Maitland/AMO Cryptocurrency Monitor – 10 January 2020
The Big Read
According to the Swiss president, Facebook‘s controversial cryptocurrency project has “failed” in its current form. Ueli Maurer, who also serves as Switzerland’s finance minister, said that Facebook’s Libra would not be accepted by central banks and therefore not work as a currency. The Financial Times also notes that French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire said he would block the development of Libra on European soil because it poses a threat to “monetary sovereignty”. 30 December 2019, The Independent.
Coindesk reports that Telegram has been ordered by a judge to explain why it should not have to turn over financials concerning its $1.7bn initial coin offering. District Judge P. Kevin Castel of the New York Southern District Court ordered Telegram to respond by the end of day Friday following a request Thursday by the SEC. The SEC reportedly said the investment information is necessary ahead of next week’s deposition of three Telegram employees, including founder and CEO Pavel Durov. 3 January 2020, Coindesk.
BBC News features an article on whether cryptocurrency owners should make a will to make sure that nothing is lost in the event of a sudden death of tragedy. After finding out that Bitcoin worth up to $30bn has been lost, UK company Coin Cover has created what it calls the world’s first cryptocurrency will, with the company unsurprised many people have gone to the grave with their earnings. The scheme sees people carrying an “indestructible” card which has information about their cryptocurrency, as well as others they give to their beneficiaries.
Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has said the cost of responding to law enforcement requests for user data is rising sharply year on year. CoinDesk reports that the firm posted an infographic teasing its new 2019 Transparency Report, indicating it had received 710 information requests in total – 49 percent more than in 2018.
New Kid on the Block – The Technologies, Funds and ICOs you should know about
Cointelegraph reports on an announcement by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority that virtual asset services may not be conducted in or from the Qatar Financial Centre. The QFC is a business and financial centre with its own legal, regulatory, tax and business infrastructure in Qatar. The regulator announced the new measures in a tweet stating that authorized firms are not permitted to provide or facilitate the provision or exchange of crypto assets and related services until further notice. 6 January 2020, Cointelegraph.
Scams, Sanctions and Suspicious Activity
A fraudulent cryptocurrency site operating out of St. Louis, Missouri, has been ordered to cease and desist from activities amounting to misleading investors. CoinGeek reports that Mavixbtc was served a final notice by the Securities Division after the firm was found to be misleading investors by claiming it was registered with both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation—claims that were both untrue. 2 January 2020, Coingeek.
Cointelegraph reports that Bitcoin scam ads featuring the likeness of Martin Lewis have continued to appear on social media despite Lewis’ previous efforts to prevent such illegal practices. Reported by a Twitter user the scam Instagram ad shows Lewis’ face to promote a fake article pretending to be published by major British national daily tabloid The Mirror. 7 January 2020, Cointelegraph.
Bulls & Bears of the week
“Cryptocurrency is one of those odd things which is very private for a lot of people. If you acquired yours early, you might actually have a substantial amount of money. You might be worried about your personal security" – David Janczewski, CEO at Coin Cover
“[Bitcoin} was the first money that was built for the internet by the same type of people who built the internet” – Tyler Winklevoss