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Casa releases new security protocol assuring reduction of risks against Bitcoin

Casa, a cryptocurrency startup that allows users to securely store cryptocurrencies recently announced the launch of the Casa Wealth Security Protocol.

Casa’s latest security protocol would be implemented in Casa Keymaster apps and services, which is a multisig system for Bitcoin. The risks against cryptocurrencies are innumerable and can be distinguished into categories like loss or theft. While many security protocols fail to address all the risks that pose a threat to cryptocurrencies, Casa’s Key Security Protocol claims to have gathered “the best-known balance of features” that would reduce the risk of loss and theft, using the latest technology available.

Furthermore, the firm’s blog post suggested that it considered an array of threats before designing the protocol. The post read,

“Data and credential loss, phishing, SIM hijacking, network attacks, malware, supply chain attack, physical coercion, child/pet attack, internal service provider attack, platform /hosting provider attack, code dependency attack, official seizure and inheritance failure.”

The ecosystem has witnessed several attacks due to SIM swapping where hackers have stolen millions. Telecommunications giant AT&T was sued by a crypto investor after he claimed to have lost $24 million. Recently, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter had his Twitter account hacked due to SIM swapping fraud.

Casa’s latest security protocol will offer several features to protect users from the aforementioned threats. The features include “multi-signature, multi-location, heterogeneous hardware and software, seedless hardware wallets, PIN or biometrics for a mobile key only, sovereign recovery instructions, emergency lockdown button, 3-of-5 key shield multisig, 2-of-3 basic multisig, and mobile key.”

Source:ambcrypto

Cryptocurrency

Preston Byrne: Peirce’s Safe Harbor Proposal Would Be Hilarious if It Weren’t so Serious

Preston Byrne, a columnist for CoinDesk’s new opinion section, is an attorney at Byrne & Storm, where he advises cryptocurrency miners, decentralized protocol developers, custom software development shops, and interactive computer services businesses. This is his bi-weekly column, “Not Legal Advice,” an opinionated roundup of bigger legal topics in the crypto space. And, yes, it is not legal advice. Hester Peirce’s CoinDesk op-ed about her Safe Harbor proposal is here.

Much ink has been spilled over the last six years about the extent to which U.S. securities laws can and should apply to the sales of cryptographic tokens by protocol developers.

The default position that a conservative law firm will follow is that in the U.S. the sale of a token by a protocol developer before a token network is launched is the sale of a security. Current Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) policy appears to say that, in the life of any cryptocurrency, there will come a point when the token has been distributed to sufficiently many hands and the network’s architecture is sufficiently distributed – or as SEC corporate finance director Bill Hinman put it in 2018, “sufficiently decentralized – where purchasers would no longer reasonably expect a person or group to carry out essential managerial or entrepreneurial efforts,” and thus the token ceases to be a security.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, aka “Crypto Mom,” thinks the government should facilitate startups that want to have a go at turning their definitely-are-securities-today into maybe-not-securities-tomorrow. She has proposed a safe harbor to achieve this, whereby token startups will be given a three-year head start to take an ICO coin and turn it into a “decentralized” network, i.e. one which:

is not dependent upon a single person or group to carry out the essential managerial or entrepreneurial efforts… (such that) the tokens must be distributed to and freely tradeable by potential users, programmers, and… secondary trading of the tokens typically provides essential liquidity for the development of the network and use of the token.

The three-year safe harbor period will allow protocol devs time to:

facilitate participation in, and the development of, a functional and/or decentralized network, unrestrained from the registration provisions of the federal securities laws so long as [certain] conditions are met.

In other words, under the proposal, crypto projects would be able to sell securities to the public and work towards “decentralization” by, among other things, selling still more of these securities and creating a robust market for these securities, in the hope that engaging in the sale and marketing of these securities will turn them into non-securities, despite the fact that they will function in the marketplace exactly as securities do today at all relevant times.

This proposal would be hilarious if it weren’t so serious.

The most significant issue is that the proposal relies on a standard for “decentralization” which isn’t entirely certain today. Although the SEC has “decentralization” guidelines in print, projects that appear technically indistinguishable receive differing regulatory treatment for reasons that, to industry experts, are not immediately apparent.

Take, for example, Block.one, Sia and Telegram. Block.one claims to have raised north of $4 billion in a yearlong, rolling ICO for the EOS blockchain that kicked off with the purchase of billboard advertising in Times Square at the Consensus 2017 conference. Sia did an unregistered [initial coin offering] also, raising roughly $150,000. 

Telegram, by contrast, endeavored to sell its tokens to U.S. persons via the Rule 506(c) exemption of Regulation D. At a predetermined future date, Block.one’s and Sia’s presale tokens converted to live network tokens. At a predetermined future date, Telegram’s presale tokens were to convert to live network tokens.

Block.one was fined $24 million, or about 60 basis points on $4 billion, and walked away, and its once-were-securities-but-I-guess-now-they’re-not coins continue to be listed on major exchanges. Comparatively smaller offender Sia was fined $250,000, or twice what they raised, and walked away. Telegram, by contrast, drew an emergency injunction in the Southern District of New York and the project has ground to a halt.

Of course, there are reasons why the SEC might be friendlier to some startups and less friendly to others. For example, startups that approach the SEC and cooperate will be treated more gently than those that do not. But, fundamentally, the real problem here is that the SEC’s “decentralization” test, as currently used, and as proposed to be used in the future, is unquantifiable to the point of being unconstitutionally vague.

There is no agreed statutory or technical definition of what makes a project more or less “decentralized.” When prominent developers and industry marketers cannot agree on a uniform definition of the term, which more often appears to be marketing-speak than as a definite, measurable quality, I struggle to see how the government should be in a better position to do so. For this reason, I would struggle to advise a client seeking to adhere to the “decentralization” test whether they are decentralized or not. 

The only thing that is made clearer by this proposal is that, to paraphrase an industry colleague, “’blockchain technology’ and Mom & Pop investors don’t have lobbyists. Coinbase does.” This proposal is fantastic for startups who need capital, market venues who need trading volumes to survive and the lawyers who advise them. For this reason, I don’t expect that many U.S. law firms will raise significant objections to this proposal which, if adopted, would almost undoubtedly be the single greatest creator of transactional legal work since the invention of securitization.

It would facilitate a headlong rush of issuers into the lightly-regulated crypto-capital markets as every company in the world sought to obtain American investors’ capital without selling them so much as a single basis point of equity or taking on a single dollar of debt, all without needing to sort out the details for 36 months.

If that’s the rule the SEC wishes to adopt and the result it wishes to bring about, that’s the Commission’s prerogative. I might suggest that a simpler approach would be for the government to approach tokens like it approaches bitcoin: treat coins sold in an initial coin offering as something sold, a securities sale, and treat a mined coin as something made, a mere commodity, which will still allow for a great many experiments in blockchain tech to flourish without creating incentives for every company in America to launch its own token.

Crypto scam numbers on the rise

The Wall Street Journal reports on Feb. 8:

Seo Jin-ho, a travel-agency operator in South Korea, wasn’t interested in exotic investments when a colleague first introduced him to PlusToken, a platform that traded bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But the colleague was persistent.

His investment grew at a dazzling rate. He invested more—a lot more. In less than five months, he bought $86,000 of cryptocurrencies, cashing out only $500.

The story ends in a familiar way, with Seo Jin-ho losing all of the money he invested.

Crypto-analytics company Chainalysis estimates that after a fairly busy 2017 in which $1.83 billion was “invested” in crypto scams, 2018 was a quieter year. This is perhaps understandable given the noises that the SEC made from January through November.

In 2019, however, a staggering $3.99 billion – that’s billion with a B – was reportedly lost to crypto-investment scams. This suggests that regulatory intervention in 2018 was not aggressive enough to deter the continuing growth of “scam” activity.

Clamping down on scams is almost universally understood as an important prerequisite to mass adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a viable payment and financial services technology. When asking why investors seem so uniquely susceptible to crypto scams, it bears mentioning that each of the top ten coins in circulation was issued otherwise than through a regulated channel, with the SEC and Department of Justice, at least as far as the public is aware, declining to take action against ethereum, tether, XRP, litecoin, Binance Coin, bitcoin cash, bitcoin SV and tezos, and taking a $24 million punt on EOS, despite there being identifiable promoters for each project (usually a notionally non-profit foundation but sometimes a for-profit entity).

The absence of an adequate regulatory regime means that a new “scam” project is virtually indistinguishable from one that has shed that label through accidental success. The marketing material for, say, ethereum and for any “scam” currency are primarily found on informal channels such as internet fora and Twitter promotional posts rather than in the form of an offering circular. The closest thing to “legitimacy” that any particular project can obtain is a listing on Coinbase or Binance, commercial actors with commercial interests that call for them to list and trade more coins in greater volumes, regardless of the gain or loss to investors.

A “safe harbor” that made it more difficult for retail investors to distinguish bona fide projects like Blockstack from known scams like OneCoin for a three-year period would likely undo much of the progress towards mainstreaming crypto adoption that has been made to date, which has seen large institutional players like Bakkt or Fidelity Digital Assets enter the space.

News:Source.

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Cryptocurrency

US Presidential Candidate Bloomberg Suggests Cryptocurrency Regulation To Help Prevent Another Financial Crisis

As of Monday, February 17th, 2020, U.S. presidential candidate, Micheal Bloomberg, and his campaign team have published a formal financial reform plan, aimed at strengthening the U.S. economy and helping it recover from the “the damage Trump has done” following the financial crisis of 2008.

Amongst dozens of other financial recommendations, the formal proposal also included the mention of creating a “clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.” According to Bloomberg, “Cryptocurrencies have become an asset class worth hundreds of billions of dollars, yet regulatory oversight remains fragmented and undeveloped.”

Better Late Than Never

Aimed at rebuilding the country’s financial future, Bloomberg’s plan suggests there needs to be more safety and transparency in the U.S. economy if another crash similar to the 2008 financial crisis is to be avoided.

For this, he suggested that financial institutions need to monitor their risk exposure better, as well as recording all financial transactions via a centralized database, on top of many other recommendations, such as working to strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

According to the proposal,  Bloomberg wants to “reform Wall Street and put the financial system to work for every American”.You Might Also Like:

  • Later Today: $40 Million Worth Of Bitcoin To Be Sold On Auction By The US Government
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And as far as creating a regulatory framework for crypto, he had this to say, “For all the promise of the blockchain, Bitcoin and initial coin offerings, there’s also plenty of hype, fraud and criminal activity”. All of which, according to many, represents a significant vulnerability and risk for the future of both the American and the global economy.

In other words, through the proposal’s recommendations, the hope is that Bloomberg and his team will be able to ensure that the mistakes made by Wall Street causing the 2008 financial crisis won’t ever happen again. And at the same time, he is mentioning that cryptocurrencies are going to have a part to play in it all.

Bloomberg For U.S. President

Although he has only recently joined the race for U.S President, Bloomberg has already sunken millions of dollars into his advertising campaign. And as of today, he is currently polling at around 16%, placing him in second place at the national level.

Bloomberg’s mention of cryptocurrency also made a recommendation of clarifying which U.S. agencies are going to be responsible for regulating the U.S. crypto industry.

The chosen agency will also be responsible for defining when tokens should be considered as securities, clarifying the tax system surrounding crypto, defining the requirements for financial institutions, as well as “protecting consumers from cryptocurrency-related fraud.”

As it is, this could be big news for the future of Bitcoin, which as of the time of writing this, is currently trading at around $9,918.75.

Featured image courtesy of Associated Press

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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies price prediction: Bitcoin, Ripple & IOTA – European Wrap – 17 February

Bitcoin Price Prediction: BTC/USD banks on $9,700 support for reversal – Confluence Detector

Bitcoin continues to face increased selling activity on the first day of the trading this week. The drab action is a continuation of the weekend losses that jeopardized support levels at $10,200 and $10,000. There was a struggle to keep the price above $9,800 during the Asian house, however, the downward force saw the bulls scatter leaving a gap for another drop towards $9,700.

Bitcoin confluence levels

According to the confluence detector, BTC/USD is trading between stacks of support and resistance. The first hurdle is seen at $9,954; the region where the Bollinger Band 15-minutes upper, the 100 SMA 15-mins, the 38.2% Fibo one-day and the pivot point one week support one converge.

fxsoriginal

Ripple Price Analysis: XRP/USD erased the gains of the previous rally

Ripple’s XRP has been collapsing for three days in a row. The massive sell-off caused by a global correction on the cryptocurrency market wiped out all the gains of the previous week and pushed XRP/USD below $0.2700 on Sunday. At the time of writing, the coin is trying to settle above $0.2800, however, an upside bias remains weak. XRP is down 10.5% on a day-to-day basis, and 4.6% since the beginning of Monday. Ripple’s current market value is registered at $12.2 billion, while an average daily trading volume amounts to nearly $4 billion in line with the figures of the previous days. 


IOTA team released wallet update, transactions are not resumed; IOT/USD stays under pressure

IOTA hit an intraday low at $0.2602 during early Asian hours and recovered to $0.2690 by the time of writing. The 24th largest digital asset has lost nearly 9% of its value in the recent 24 hours amid massive sell-off on the cryptocurrency markets. The coin has been losing ground since February 12, when major vulnerability of IOTA’s flagship wallet was discovered.

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