A modest sell-off capped off a rather unspectacular week for crypto markets. Market capitalization hovered around the $220-billion for much of the period, while Bitcoin continued to fluctuate around $6500, eventually losing around 1% by the end of the week. With other cryptocurrencies shedding slightly more, Bitcoin dominance crept above 52%.
Bitcoin soon to begin hosting ICOs?
It was revealed last week that the world of crypto funding could be dramatically transformed before the end of the year with Initial Coin Offerings reportedly coming to Bitcoin. A new sidechain developed by RSK will enable the Bitcoin blockchain to host ICOs – something only Ethereum and a few other platforms are capable of doing. Indeed, RSK has been working on this initiative since early-2016, with the smart contracts being coded using Solidity, the same language used by Ethereum. A BTC-pegged cryptocurrency called “smart Bitcoin” will also be used to fuel the network.
In late-November, South Korean blockchain start-up Temco will reportedly “take advantage of both the seminal idea and RSK’s technology, launching a public token sale with the goal of raising $19 million.” Temco CEO Scott Yoon believes the Bitcoin will eventually have the same functionality as Ethereum, acknowledging that “RSK … will be dominating [the smart contract] ecosystem and [for] Bitcoin that will open another era of Bitcoin, like Ethereum.”
CFTC Chairman: Crypto is “here to stay”
Speaking to CNBC on Tuesday, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Christian Giancarlo said that he personally thinks that “cryptocurrencies are here to stay”. Giancarlo added, “I think there is a future for them. I’m not sure they ever come to rival the dollar or other hard currencies, but there’s a whole section of the world that really is hungry for functioning currencies that they can’t find in their local currencies.”
With many currencies of the world “not worth the polymer or the paper they’re written on, and those parts of the world rely on hard currencies,” Giancarlo believes that Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies “may solve some of the problems.” At the same time, he provided assurance that the CFTC remains focused “on the fraud and manipulation aspects of cryptocurrency markets,” and cited the recent court victory for the regulator that allows it to prosecute such cases within the crypto space.
SEC sets ETF deadline
The SEC has named October 26thas the deadline for “any party or other person” who wishes to submit statements in support of or opposition to the nine cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that it rejected on August 22nd. The ETFs were proposed by Proshares, Graniteshares, and Direxion, but all were rejected by the SEC on the grounds they would not satisfy the requirements of the Exchange Act that protect against fraudulent and manipulative practices.
The regulator’s Order Scheduling Filing of Statements on Review states that the order disapproving the ETFs “shall remain in effect pending the Commission’s review.” But whether the SEC will reverse course on its original decision remains to be seen.
South Korea pushes to unfreeze ICO ban
Lawmakers in South Korea are pushing bills to unfreeze the ban previously placed on ICOs by the government. A report by Business Korea states that ruling Democratic Party lawmakers Min Byung-doo and Roh Woong-rae are leading efforts to convince the government to reverse the September 2017 ICO ban and adopt more positive, crypto-friendly regulations.
Min wants to restore South Korea’s standing in the ICO space alongside countries such as Singapore and Switzerland, “As blockchain and cryptocurrencies have merits and demerits, only confident governments can handle them properly. A case in point are Singapore, Switzerland, and France. These countries have opened up the road to ICOs for companies.” He also lamented the government’s failure to lift the ban, “This is a very worrisome situation. A recent report shows that South Korea’s blockchain technology has fallen to the 75 percent level of the U.S.”
Yale invests in $400 million USD cryptocurrency fund
Friday’s Bloomberg report states that major US Ivy League university Yale is supporting the ‘Paradigm’ cryptocurrency-focused fund which is hoping to raise $400 million. The report observes the significant level of secrecy surrounding the fund, with sources familiar with the matter asking to remain anonymous, and the details of Yale’s investment remaining undisclosed at this stage.
The fund was created by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang, and Pantera Capital’s Charles Noyes. Huang reportedly left Sequoia earlier this year to launch the fund with Ehrsam.