Bitcoin prices dipped in Monday trading after surging over the weekend. On Sunday, April 15, prices rallied as high as $8,340, a level not before seen since March 26. By Monday, bitcoin fell back below the $8,000 mark in morning action before treading above it by early afternoon. Trading volume remained subdued, down from a recent surge at the end of last week.
As most top market value cryptocurrencies trade lower Monday, April 16, these are the stories you can’t miss.
Hong Kong Warns on ICOs
Julia Leung, deputy head of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, said in a speech that, despite their technological innovation, initial coin offerings (ICOs) pose significant risks for investors. “While we acknowledge that innovative technologies such as blockchain have the potential to improve efficiency and financial inclusion, that does not entitle anyone to conduct fundraising from the public in violation of securities law,” Leung said. “Further complicating matters, many of these fundraising [activities] are dubious, if not downright frauds. The issuers escape the scrutiny of the police or securities regulators because of their cross-border nature and the way the crypto assets are structured to fall outside any regulator’s perimeter.”
Ripple Slips on Increased Regulation
Ripple’s XRP token slid in Monday trading after the company’s head of regulatory relations told UK governors that more regulation would be a good thing. “We’re at that time now where we need more clarity and rules and we need more certainty,” Ripple’s Ryan Zagone told The Telegraph. “It’s a good time to start revisiting that ‘wait and see’ approach taken by regulators.” Zagone urged British lawmakers to follow the lead of Japanese regulators, who have laid down more defined laws on the growing cryptocurrency space. “Regulation creates the guardrails on the highway that allows new entrants to come in, particularly institutional investors.”
Coinbase Buys Startup
Cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase announced it has purchased Earn.com, a startup known for its strong funding. Earn.com, which was previously called 12 Inc., allows users to earn bitcoin by replying to emails and completing tasks. Users can then keep the money for themselves or donate it to charity. Coinbase did not say how much it paid to purchase Earn.com; however, recent funding rounds valued the startup at about $116 million. As part of the deal, Earn.com co-founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan will become Coinbase’s first chief technology officer.
CFTC Head No Evangelist
J. Christopher Giancarlo, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said at an appearance at Vanderbilt University that he is not a cryptocurrency evangelist. The chairman had previously been labeled as such after he told the Senate in February that lawmakers “owe it to this new generation to respect their enthusiasm about virtual currencies with a thoughtful and balanced response, not a dismissive one.” But recently, Giancarlo said, I neither expected nor desired that a few words spoken during a Senate hearing broadcast on C-SPAN would lead to an Andy Warhol ’15 minutes of fame.’ Nor was I, or am I, a cryptocurrency evangelist.” Giancarlo said there are a significant number of “get rich quick schemers” and “shady entrepreneurs” in crypto, but noted that they are joined by a “growing contingent of professional, institutional users.”