Maitland ICO Monitor – 8 August 2018

8th August 2018

The Big Read

Regulators Plan ‘Global Sandbox’ for Fintech Including Blockchain

Several financial regulators from around the world are forming a new alliance to engender the growth of financial technologies such as DLT and blockchain. The Global Financial Innovation Network, recently announced by the FCA, will include 11 other member regulators and will serve as a network of regulators who discuss policy and develop a “global sandbox” in which firms can trial cross-border solutions. CoinDesk, 8 August 2018

ICE Creating New Cryptocurrency Market: A Double-Edged Sword

The Intercontinental Exchange, parent of the New York Stock exchange, has announced its intentions to build Bakkt, a new ecosystem for cryptocurrencies. This is a major step in the mainstreaming of the crypto industry. Bakkt will resolve a number of issues that prevent institutional investors from fully engaging with crypto, such as the custody problem, while the ICE association should reassure regulators. Nevertheless, the plans to launch a regulated, physical bitcoin futures contract and warehouse means leverage-based financialization is likely coming to the industry in a big way. Forbes, 3 August 2018

For Wall Street, Bitcoin ETF decision could answer $1 Billion Question

New York-based investment management firm VanEck’s proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund is deemed by many to have the best shot of being approved by the SEC. Participants in this space will be watching closely to see if the changes made by VanEck – insuring the product and weeding out non-accredited investors – are enough to distinguish it from other failed proposals, such as the Winklevoss ETF. Should this succeed the cryptocurrency market will likely experience an influx of capital as institutional capital, speed traders and accredited investors move into the crypto space for the first time. CoinDesk, 7 August 2018

New Kid on the Block – The Technologies, Funds and ICOs you should know about

New Platform: Boerse Stuttgart

Germany’s second-largest stock exchange is developing an ICO platform as part of a larger end-to-end infrastructure for digital assets. The platform will allow token issuers to conduct token sales with standardised and transparent processes. This development reflects a growing trend in the industry with numerous stock exchange operators aiming to take a more hospitable stance towards crypto; Canadian stock exchange TMX, for example, announced that its subsidiary had inked a deal to establish a cryptocurrency brokerage that plans to initially focus on bitcoin and ether. CoinDesk, 2 August 2018

New Platform: HashCash

HashCash ICO Platform has launched its own ICO Launch Solutions for companies looking for a strong platform to launch their ICO tokens. The service aims to provide quick fundraising and includes a coin listing evaluation process to meet global cryptocurrency trading regulations. Perhaps the most enticing aspect of this new service is the additional features, ranging from ICO Landing Page Customization to KYC Integration.  Business Insider, 6 August 2018

Scams, Sanctions and Suspicious Activity

Labour calls for inquiry into ex-Tory chairman Grant Shapps

Conservative MP Grant Shapps has resigned from two appointments related to blockchain technology after it emerged he had been due to receive thousands of pounds worth of cryptocurrency tokens for his role advising blockchain startup OpenBrix, ahead of an ICO. Financial Times, 2 August 2018

Korean Authorities Investigate Alleged Crypto Scam That Promised Investors Shipwreck Gold

South Korean Authorities are investigating a possible crypto investment scam involving the Seoul-based Shinil Group as the key figure. It is alleged that Shinil promised to pay investors in gold from a sunken Russian shipwreck. To encourage investors to purchase the company’s own cryptocurrency, Shinil promised to reimburse customers with gold from the ship and the coin subsequently received $53.7 million in investment. These investors went looking for gold, evidently it didn’t pan out. Coin Telegraph, 1 August 2018

Researchers Discover Huge Crypto Scam Botnet on Twitter

Researchers have uncovered a huge botnet that mimics legitimate accounts on Twitter to spread a cryptocurrency ‘giveaway’ scam. The discovery was made by Duo Security who identified a single network of 15,000 bots in a three-tiered structure that spread the fake cryptocurrency giveaway. These bots created copycat accounts that would copy the name and profile of the legitimate account; the bots would then reply to tweets posted by the legitimate account, containing a link to entice twitter users to use the scam. CoinDesk, 7 August 2018  

Bulls & Bears of the week

"We are absolutely never going to do that. Zero interest." Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on holding an ICO