China’s internet finance association is warning citizens against participating in overseas cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offering (ICO) investments.
The National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA), a major self-regulated internet finance guild has issued a new public notice urging investors to be wary of risks involved in cryptocurrency trading on overseas platforms. Chinese authorities, led by the People’s Bank of China (the country’s central bank), issued a sweeping ban on ICO’s in September 2017 and ordered the shuttering of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. Highlighting the regulatory clampdown, NIFA claims it has “monitored” individuals and institutions in China who continue to operate in the cryptocurrency space by trading on overseas trading platforms.
“In this context, domestic investors will face certain risks in moving to overseas platforms to participate in [cryptocurrency trading] transactions,” read an excerpt from the notice.
The notice went on to add:
Howard Schultz, who recently revealed an ambitious 30,000 square-foot Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai in partnership with Alibaba, expressed his enthusiasm towards the cryptocurrency market.
Cryptocurrency For Retailers
In the next few years, Schultz stated that he believes several legitimate cryptocurrencies will emerge, endorsed and adopted by retailers. He said:
I personally believe that there is going to be a one or a few legitimate trusted digital currencies off of the blockchain technology. And that legitimacy and trust in terms of its consumer application will have to be legitimized by a brand and a brick and mortar environment, where the consumer has trust and confidence in the company that is providing the transaction.
WeMakePrice, better known as Wemepu, one of South Korea’s largest e-commerce platforms, is integrating 12 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in collaboration with Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
First Major Retailer and E-Commerce Platform in South Korea
The financial technology chief of Singapore’s central bank does not foresee a scenario where bitcoin would trigger a global financial meltdown akin to the 2008 collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.
In an interview with Channel News Asia, Sopnendu Mohanty – chief of financial technology at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank, opined bitcoin will not cause a global financial crisis in the event of a price collapse. The central bank official insisted global regulators are “getting serious about this whole cryptocurrency market”, suggesting authorities would step in with regulations when bitcoin markets continue to grow globally.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been very cautious in its statements on ICOs and cryptocurrency as they attempt to strike a balance between embracing a technological revolution and avoiding the stifling of innovation. They aren’t seeking to dismember the cryptocurrency space, but rather provide guidance on how to operate and comply with existing regulatory requirements.
However, companies have been caught between wishing to hold an ICO open to U.S. investors for a utility token – or one that provides functionality on a platform without the guarantee of trading or an investment return, and not drawing the ire of the government.
There have been plenty of ways in which companies have erred on the side of caution, most notably with the Simple Agreements for Future Tokens.
Nigeria’s central bank governor has become the latest to speak out against bitcoin, claiming that investing in it is a ‘gamble’ and that it may need to be regulated.
Bloomberg reports that speaking during an interview in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said:
Cryptocurrency or bitcoin is like a gamble, and there is a need for everybody to be very careful. We cannot as a central bank give support to situations where people risk savings to ‘gamble.’
Bitcoin is not a “legitimate” currency, but a digital currency could one day form the linchpin of a cashless future, at least according to Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz.
Schultz made this prediction during a post-earnings conference call on Thursday, stressing — as mainstream executives so often do — that distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be leveraged outside of cryptocurrency-based applications.
I don’t believe that bitcoin is going to be a currency today or in the future,” Schultz said during the conference call, audio of which can be found on the Starbucks website. “I’m talking about … the possibility of what could happen — not in the near term, but in a few years from now — with a consumer application in which there’s trust and legitimacy with regard to a digital currency.
The chairmen of two US regulatory agencies have written a joint statement expressing their concerns over the present state of the cryptocurrency markets.
Writing in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chief Jay Clayton and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) head J. Christopher Giancarlo expressed their disapproval over the manner in which many market participants in the distributed ledger technology (DLT) space flout regulations and attempt to circumvent rules governing investor protection.
Despite a spate of negativity stemming from Nobel economists stemming from Davos, there’s one holdout who has begun to show some interest. Robert Shiller, a Yale economics professor who won the Nobel Prize for an empirical analysis of asset prices, at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland referred to bitcoin as a “clever idea,” one that he seemingly continues to contemplate despite his doubts.
Retail investor activity is on the rise, claims the CEO of brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, thanks in part to heightened interest in digital currencies and pot-related securities.
Speaking on CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell,’ the chief of Ameritrade, Tim Hockey, said that there has been ‘frenetic activity from a retail point of view.’
According to Hockey, boosting that growth is the millennial population. In terms of new entrants to the market place, Hockey explained that they are experiencing 72 percent on year-over-year growth with those new accounts.
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