The world is facing the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, stock markets saw their biggest crash since 1987 and cryptocurrency prices are recovering after the ‘dash to cash’ saw highly liquid assets go on sale. You might be forgiven for missing the top five most important stories in crypto this week…
market downturn sees crypto interest hit all time high
Crypto investors continued to buy the dip even as the price of Bitcoin dropped nearly 50% in a single day. People see this as a buying opportunity, Binance US CEO told Coindesk. Interest in cryptoassets continues to surge as central banks prop up failing stock markets with unlimited quantitative easing and trillion-dollar bailouts, and as the Bitcoin halving approaches in April 2020. Read more here.
court blocks telegram ICO again
The long-running saga over Telegram’s ICO has taken another twist, this time with a federal court injunction against the distribution of its Gram token. Telegram denies its $1.7bn fundraising effort from a 2018 ICO amounts to a sale of securities.
Lawyer Stephen Palley notes that the ruling means the court is also “likely to ultimately enter a permanent injunction”.
In the past 18 months the SEC market regulator has ramped up action against ICOs, collecting tens of millions of dollars in fines from crypto companies. It now deems most ICOs as unregistered securities sales, citing the 1946 Howey Test that underpins its rulings. Read more here.
crypto-friendly digital bank Revolut launches in US
The high-profile failure of the Robinhood app to function properly during some of the heaviest stock market and cryptocurrency selling in recent memory opens the door for UK challenger bank Revolut to profit.
Customers can open a Revolut account in minutes, direct from their smartphone. This speaks to the way that new generations are used to accessing banking services. Revolut already has 10 million users and a $500m funding round valued the bank as Europe’s richest fintech. With crypto buying available direct in-app, it opens up the US market to cryptocurrency in a manner not seen before. Read more here.
CFTC – who controls private keys defines digital asset delivery
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates futures and derivatives markets has just resolved 4 years of confusion over what exactly constitutes “delivery” of digital assets. In 2016 the CFTC fined Bitfinex for keeping control over cryptocurrency private keys after ‘delivering’ funds to investors linked to margin trading. If users do not hold the private keys to their crypto then they do not control access and use of their digital assets. The CFTC now defines “actual delivery” as concluded when a customer has total control of an asset, and the issuer holds no control 28 days after the transaction is complete. Read more here.
coronavirus turmoil triggers 2020 crypto tax extension
Fallout from the coronavirus has triggered an extension for crypto investors in the US to pay their tax bills. The Treasury Department announced an additional three months for people to pay up to $1 million in owed taxes. The change shifts the deadline from April to 15 July in an effort to brace the American economy for a period of unprecedented disruption. Read more here.