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What happens to Influencers that promoted ICOs and Crypto projects?

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Floyd Mayweather paid $600,000 in a settlement against SEC charges, who’s next?

SEC issued a public statement in November of 2017 warning individuals promoting investment vehicles such as stocks, ICOs, cryptocurrencies and other investments without disclosing their compensation arrangements.

Specifically, SEC stated that “these endorsements may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement.”

The operating word here is ‘disclose’.

Interestingly, providing a ‘disclaimer’ stating that ‘I am not a financial advisor and do not rely on my opinion’ is not enough. You have to disclose if you are being compensated for promoting / shilling.

Cryptotapas has not endorsed any project because someone offered financial incentives.  We have always picked projects that personally interested us and we share what we come across during our research it leads us to either invest or ignore a particular project.

That is not the case for many social media influencers.

Many backroom deals are entered into before an influencer talks about a project, all without disclosing that they are being compensated.

ICOs and Crypto projectsAccording to Doug Polk’s YouTube Video, Suppoman was caught on live video when a message from Indahash team offering 2 BTC popped up on his screen, in the video, we can see that Suppoman immediately reacts “Oops, you didn’t see that”. Suppoman later denied having anything to do with shilling the project for money.  It would be interesting to see influencers in such a predicament would be bought under investigation, and if so, how? Suppoman does not live in the United States, he lives in the United Kingdom.

In another case, a letter made circles in the crypto community talking about corruption (or insider trading of sorts) involving Ian Balina. It would be interesting to see if this alleged shill will come to light and what action this will result in. According to his LinkedIn page, Ian Balina lives in Washington DC.

ICOs and Crypto projectsOn November 29, 2018, SEC settled charges with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Khaled Khaled (DJ Khaled), “for failing to disclose payments they received for promoting investments in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).” Mayweather paid $614775 and Khaled settled $157,725, without admitting or denying the findings to settle the charges by SEC.  This latest action re-triggered the discussion about SEC going after social media influencers who hid their private dealings about getting compensated for promoting / shilling a particular project is what is going to be the hot topic going into 2019.

Will SEC take the same route of imposing penalties against the social media influencers who concealed the information about being compensation for promoting / shilling about an ICO or crypto project or will SEC press for more serious charges?

We will have to wait and see.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

RK Reddy is an ardent fan of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies.  You can see the excitement about this new technology in every article on Cryptotapas.com.  Sometimes this excitement leads to an overly optimistic view.  Guilty as charged.   RK Reddy says “what may seem like an ‘overly optimistic expectation’ today may become an everyday norm in 5-10 years; look at the history of cars or airplanes, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies belong to the similar frame of reference.”  Of course, that is just his opinion.

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Press Release

Crypto News Today #39

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breaking crypto news

What keeps this whole crypto space exciting?  There is not a single boring week.  We have been tracking this space since 2017 and we are yet to find a boring week in Crypto.  

Whether it is filled with FOMO or FUD, there is always excitement of sorts.  Let’s see what’s happening this week.

US Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on digital dollar

China’s digital yuan race is pushing the US to rethink its digital dollar timeline.  Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) stated, “The U.S. needs a digital dollar…The U.S. dollar has to keep earning that place in the global payments system. It has to be better than bitcoin … it has to be better than a digital yuan.”  While Facebook’s Libra is taking center stage of discussion whenever stable-coins are brought up in front of congress, the emphasis during this hearing was to develop a digital dollar controlled by the government and better than existing stable-coins.

NYDIG discloses $190 Million Fund 

“New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) today disclosed, in an SEC filing that it closed a $190 million bitcoin fund. The NYDIG Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP, reports that it has 24 unnamed investors and is  exempt under Rule 506(b) of the Regulation D safe harbor protections established in 2013,” according to Forbes.  This is quite bullish considering that NYDIG also had a similar fund worth $140 Million last month.

You can buy Bitcoin at 3500 Post Offices in Australia

Australians can now buy Bitcoin at any of its 3500 Post Offices across Australia.  Thanks to the partnership of Australia Post with Bitcoin.com.au, Australians can now simply use cash or EFTPOS payments for digital currencies.  “Our mission is to make Bitcoin safe and easy for every Australian”, says Holger Arians, CEO of Bitcoin.com.au, “for many people, paying for Bitcoin at an Australia Post office feels safer than transferring funds online—particularly for first-time buyers. We’re proud of this partnership and would like to thank Australia Post for their continued openness to new technologies.”  This is a tremendous news in the broader Bitcoin movement as this helps Australians to access Bitcoin directly without having to transfer money online or having to open accounts with random exchanges.

Visa partners with Bitcoin startup Zap

Visa partners Bitcoin ZapZap, a bitcoin startup, is building a product called Strike that enables bitcoin lightning payments without needing users to set up a bitcoin wallet.  Visa is now partnering with Zap to bring the lightning fast payments on Strike platform through Visa.  Visa has been aggressively partnering with companies in the crypto space.  It even filed for a patent in the cryptocurrency payment system.  

We have been tracking the most important news in blockchain and crypto space since 2017. You can check out all the chronicled news here.  

Consider subscribing to our newsletters to receive these news updates in ONE neat email per week along with other freebies that we give away once-in-a-while.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. Stay safe and healthy!

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Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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Press Release

Crypto News Today #38

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breaking crypto news

This week’s crypto news has everything: Innovation, IPO, Integration and regulatory support.  China’s blockchain is forging fullsteam ahead while New York is making it easy for companies to operate in the blockchain/crypto space in the State.  Big 4 firm, KPMG, is launching a suite of blockchain and crypto analytics services and more.

BSN Integrates Chainlink Oracles, Bringing Real-World Data Into Its IRITA Powered Network

Chainlink logoChina’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN) has integrated Chainlink oracles. “This key integration will enable governments and enterprises to incorporate validated real-world data into their BSN applications using Chainlink oracles via the IRITA interchain service hub. Professional Proof of Stake (POS) operator SNZ Pool will run nodes to support the operation,” according to the press release.  The integration is expected to speed up the adoption of BSN in and outside China.  Chainlink has been picking up steam recently with many companies using Chainlink’s Oracles to bring the conventional business world to the blockchain network.

Supreme Court sets ‘limits’ on SECs powers to assess digorgements (penalties)

Securities Exchange Commission’s ‘extent’ of power has been challenged by the Supreme Court. A ruling that SEC cannot assess digorgements beyond the ‘illicit gains’ could help a lot of blockchain and crypto startups with much needed relief knowing that SEC cannot assess penalties beyond what was raised from the investors minus required expenses.  For instance, before this ruling, SEC could charge a company disgorgements that are 100% or more of the money raised from the investors, this devastated many up and coming entrepreneurs who may have spent part of the proceedings in expenses such as legal expenses, salaries, administrative expenses, etc.,   Supreme Court also ruled that the disgorgements should be used for the benefit of victims and not solely for the SEC’s fund.

KPMG’s Chain Fusion To Help Manage Crypto And Traditional Assets Over Public And Private Blockchain Networks

KPMG is making strides in the blockchain and crypto space. It has recently launched its Chain Fusion, a suite of advanced analytics capabilities to support blockchain and crypto technology products.  The press release states “KPMG Chain Fusion leverages a structured data model to combine data originating from blockchain infrastructure and traditional systems in support of analytics for business, risk and compliance objectives. KPMG Chain Fusion was designed to help clients address considerations from regulators across the globe focusing on the integrity of control environments to support business objectives for accurate financial reporting and technology objectives for security, availability and processing integrity across both traditional and blockchain systems.”

New York proposes new licensing rules to facilitate crypto businesses

In a good news from the big apple, New York financial regulators proposed new licensing rules for the crypto businesses that would make it easier for businesses to offer services and use cryptocurrencies.  The New York Post reported that  The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) proposed framework would allow companies that want to engage in virtual currency business activity in the state to obtain a conditional license, through which they would collaborate with fully licensed companies.”  Regulators in other States in the US are trying to catch up with regulatory framework to lure blockchain and crypto organizations, NY is heating up the space by making it easier for companies to operate in the State.  Being the financial capital of the US and the world, this is a welcoming stance from the State for the crypto businesses.

Bithumb Exchange to Reportedly File for IPO in South Korea

Bithumb NewsBitcoin and Cryptocurrencies are going mainstream.  We have seen companies that operate in the blockchain and crypto space going IPO instead of ICO.  ICOs have historically been limited to those who have been in the crypto space while IPOs are much more stringent to follow through with registrations, approvals and investor selection.  Bithumb, one of the popular exchanges is rumored to be going the IPO route.  Google translation of the news reads that “It is expected that Bitsum’s IPO will be an event in which discussions on virtual currency and even blockchain will spread in our society and economy. From whether or not a virtual currency can be recognized as a real value, it is highly likely that there will be controversy over business feasibility, industrial value, and meaning. In addition, virtual currency tax issues, business continuity, asset handling, and investor protection are also issues to consider.”

Bitfinex Launches Open-Source Crypto-Powered Streaming Protocol

bitfinex newsBitfinex launched an open-source crypto powered streaming protocol called Dazaar. Dazaar’s website describes that “Dazaar Vision is a live video-streaming app. It allows you to set up live broadcasts and subscriptions. All Peer-to-peer, and in real time. With the power of Dazaar you can customize payment options for your subscribers and viewers, without any centralized third-parties.”  The platform is designed to be blockchain agnostic although it will support Bitcoin Lightning Network, Ethereum and EOS at the beginning.    

We have been tracking the most important news in blockchain and crypto space since 2017. You can check out all the chronicled news here.  

Consider subscribing to our newsletters to receive these news updates in ONE neat email per week along with other freebies that we give away once-in-a-while.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. Stay safe and healthy!

Get ‘Week in Crypto’ news updates in ONE email.
We never
spam your inbox and we only send one email per week
with updates, news, eBooks, tax updates, and more!
Get
knowledge, not spam!  Subscribe here.

best Crypto Tax Software

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

We have used referral codes where available.

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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Press Release

Crypto News Today #37

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breaking crypto news

We have been chronicling the most important Blockchain and Crypto news that matter since 2017, you can view all in one place here. 

Get ONE email per week with most important updates from the Crypto space.

Elon Musk giveaway scam has raked millions of dollars and the time for the crypto community to be vigilant about scammers has never been more critical.  Stay safe out there.

Moving away from the scammers and toward the progress, we have a lot of crypto news to cover this week.  Let’s dive in.

Binance Joins the Internet and Mobile Association of India

binance logoBinance is making its strategic moves into India. First, it partnered with WazirX and now it has joined the Crypto Exchange Committee of the IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India). In a recent blog post, Binance confirmed its member standing with the Crypto Exchange Committee of the IAMAI.  The blog post alludes to what IAMAI does and why it is important alliance, “IAMAI plans to jointly work with the regulators and policy-makers on a sustainable policy framework for crypto assets in India to support innovation along with proper measures to ensure security and risk management,” the post read.

$6 Billion contract awarded to build a fully cryptocurrency based Akon City

KE International which got its fame by building a US $2 billion Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC), a green City based in Western Kenya, has been awarded a US $6 Billion contract to build one of a kind futuristic-complete Cryptocurrency run city called Akon City.  The city that is planned to open in phases will have its first phase open in 2023 with entire project scheduled to be completed by 2029.  Akon City is expected to run on the Akoin Crypto.  “Akon City’s Phase 1 is expected to complete by end of 2023, and will see the construction of roads, a Hamptons Hospital campus, a Hamptons Mall, residences, hotels, a police station, a school, a waste facility and a solar power plant. Akon City Phase 2 will run from 2024 to 2029 and will end with a complete cryptocurrency City running exclusively on AKOIN cryptocurrency,” press release stated.

Jay Clayton to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York

“I am pleased to announce that President Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, currently the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” an announcement by the Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs read. Crypto community reaction was mixed.  Some people supported his role at the SEC and praised him for declaring Bitcoin as ‘not a security’, while others were hopeful that this is a ‘good’ turn of events for the crypto in general.

“Project Bakong” to bring blockchain based payments to life in Cambodia

A whitepaper released by the Government of Cambodia revealed its plan to inject blockchain-based payments in the country to reduce the US Dollar reign in the country. The project is expected to remove the redundancies and unnecessary costs that are apparent and plenty in the current centralized financial system.  “NBC re-evaluates existing payment systems infrastructure and engages in the Project Bakong – a project to consider alternative technology platforms to create a next generation of payment system aimed at addressing financial inclusion, interoperability amongst players, and supporting the ease of payments in the local currency, while at the sametime doing so in safety and efficiency,” the whitepaper reports.

Bank of Thailand announces Prototype Development Project of CBDC

The Bank of Thailand is building a prototype to test the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) capabilities. The prototype is expected to provide the feasibility assessment of a CBDC.  “ In this project, the CBDC prototype will be integrated with the procurement and financial management systems of the Siam Cement Public Company Limited and its suppliers developed by Digital Ventures Company Limited. The prototype is expected to serve as a financial innovation that enables higher payment efficiency for businesses such as increasing flexibility for fund transfers, or delivering faster and more agile payments between suppliers,” announcement read.

Anchorage to make borrowing against Bitcoin and Crypto easy

Whenever you remove the bitcoin and crypto from the custodian you run a risk of security outside. When you want to use your crypto as collateral to avail a loan – you will have to move your crypto from your wallet to the lender’s designated wallet. However, Anchorage Financing, a custodian service, is working with Silvergate to let owners lend US Dollars without crypto leaving Anchorage’s custody.  Silvergate has over 750 digital currency and FinTech clients and has been consistently posting profits for 20+ years. 

We have been tracking the most important news in blockchain and crypto space since 2017. You can check out all the chronicled news here.  

Consider subscribing to our newsletters to receive these news updates in ONE neat email per week along with other freebies that we give away once-in-a-while.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. Stay safe and healthy!

best Crypto Tax Software

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

We have used referral codes where available.

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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