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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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Crypto News

Crypto News Today #42

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Crypto News this week.

Bitcoin seems to be having a great week this week with it crossing $10,000 and retracing to $9800.

Beyond the price action, a major development happened this week in the crypto space.

OCC clears US banks to offer Crypto custody services in the US

bank crypto custodyProbably one of the biggest bullish news in the US around cryptocurrencies came from The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC),  which clarified that Banks must provide the custody services to its customers including digital assets.  In a press release, OCC confirmed that: “From safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults, we must ensure banks can meet the financial services needs of their customers today,” said Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks. “This opinion clarifies that banks can continue satisfying their customers’ needs for safeguarding their most valuable assets, which today for tens of millions of Americans includes cryptocurrency.”   This move ensures that banks are able to provide custodial services to its customers for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. This stamp of approval could open up a vast majority of investors ‘dipping in’ to crypto.

MasterCard expands Cryptocurrency program

Mastercard cryptoMastercard announced “the expansion of its cryptocurrency program, making it simpler and faster for partners to bring secure, compliant payment cards to market. Supercharging the partnership experience, cryptocurrency and crypto card partners are invited to join Mastercard’s Accelerate program for emerging brands and fintechs, giving them access to everything they need to grow quickly.”  Wirex recently received Mastercard’s principal membership to offer crypto services to the consumers on MasterCard platform.

Visa reveals its outlook on Crypto payment

Visa partners Bitcoin ZapVisa has revealed its outlook on crypto payments on its network.  In a somewhat positive spin on the digital currency move, Visa has praised the advantages of crypto payments, “We believe that digital currencies have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places. As such, we want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money. We look forward to sharing more with you on this work in the months that follow.”  Visa did point out that there is a lot to do on the legal and policy framework side of things and that Visa has been “Visa has been engaging with policy makers and global organizations to help shape the dialogue and understanding of digital currencies; this includes our work with the World Economic Forum and our collaboration on a set of policy recommendations for central banks exploring the concept of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).”

DC Financial Services Law: Bitcoin deemed ‘money’ 

When Larry Dean Harmon tried to argue that ‘he cannot be tried for money laundering’ because Bitcoin is not money.  Well, the federal court tossed his argument out of the window declaring that “Money “commonly means a medium of exchange, method of payment, or store of value,” Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell wrote for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “Bitcoin is these things.”  While Bitcoin is considered as ‘property’ under the IRS tax laws, this federal court ruling brings to light that Bitcoin is money for in the court of law.  This variation in the eyes of federal law and tax law will potentially continue to exist in the foreseeable future.

ESPN goes Crypto with eSports on Blockchain

Espn crypto paymentsESPN has unveiled its ‘pre-launch’ online gaming on Blockchain enabled for crypto payments.  This platform is expected to facilitate micro transactions. “As per a research done by 3EA Limited, a global strategic management consulting group, e-sports and online gaming is a $140 billion global industry driven predominantly by digital micro-transaction economies, which we believe will benefit immensely from the integrity and resilience of the Blockchain technology,” said Mr. Chris Parker, one of the Directors of ESPN Global.” The ability of Blockchain to facilitate ‘micro transactions’ without the need for central financial institutions could revolutionise the space.   

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

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

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

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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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Crypto News

Crypto News Today #41

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Crypto news that matters.

Welcome to yet another exciting, exhilarating and equally crazy week in crypto.

While the world seems to have come to terms on how to live in spite of COVID as the numbers keep spiking, blockchain and crypto are not losing any steam.

A lot of exciting developments continue to propel this space forward.

Let’s get on with this week’s news.

Massive Twitter hack targets Bitcoin newbies

We keep telling people that there are no free giveaways, especially in the crypto space, unless it is an airdrop.  A colossal coordinated Twitter attack hacked accounts of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Apple, Obama and more.  A message about ‘free bitcoin giveaways’ was promptly posted by the hackers to con the gullible users.  Luckily, and we say that with a sigh of relief, the entire debacle cost around 13 BTCs.  It could have been worse in our mind but glad that it ended with minimum damage.  Twitter issued a statement: “We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”  It is unclear whether or not Twitter will bear the loss for investors from this debacle.

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We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.

Kingdom Trust Appoints Fidelity Digital Assets To Power Bitcoin Custody For Choice Retirement Accounts

Kingdom Trust bitcoinProbably the biggest news this week is Kingdom Trust’s appointment of Fidelity Digital Assets to provide Bitcoin custodial services to the retirement accounts.  Kingdom Trust wants to bring the Fidelity brand confidence to its Bitcoin offering so that the investors feel comfortable and confident about their bitcoin holdings. “For anyone who was considering bitcoin as part of their retirement portfolio, but was waiting for the infrastructure to mature and for familiar names to enter the space, that day is today,” says Ryan Radloff, CEO of Kingdom Trust, in the Press Release.

TATA Consultancy Services launches Quartz to support Cryptocurrency Trading

TCS Quartz BlockchainTata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) new crypto services solution to allow Banks and Investment Firms to invest in crypto services. The announcement on the Bombay Stock Exchange revealed that TCS has launched Quartz, a solution in the crypto space, “the solution is designed to support multiple cryptocurrencies and stable coins, digital currencies linked to fiat currencies, trading venues and public blockchain networks, thus offering choice and flexibility to customers when deciding their trading and investment strategies. Importantly, it can help banks and investment firms offer their customers the ability to transfer payments in the form of ‘digital cash’, and benefit from lower transaction costs and quicker access to liquidity.” 

PayPal hints Crypto initiatives

In a letter sent as a response to the European Commission’s public consultation on building EU Framework for markets in Crypto-assets, PayPal revealed that while it has exited the Libra association it continues to “continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities to democratize access to financial services.” People are interpreting this statement to mean that PayPal is innovating in the crypto-assets space.  At the minimum, based on the response in the letter, it seems plausible that PayPal may be building on ramps to facilitate any EU guidelines to accommodate Crypto-assets on PayPal. 

Cosco Shipping and Alibaba join hands in blockchain initiative

Cosco Shipping BlockchainCosco Shipping Group, the Chinese state-run shipping company, is the latest to join the growing momentum in digitization through the use of blockchain technology. China Ocean Shipping Group signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China’s e-commerce company Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Group, to jointly promote the development of blockchain technology for shipping logistics,” read the news.  The collaboration will explore the opportunities to utilize blockchain to support the smart shipping and smart ports efforts. 

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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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

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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Crypto News

Crypto News Today #40

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How does mainstream adoption take place?

One day at a time.  In this week’s news case – one IPO at a time.

Coinbase’s intention to go IPO and Arca’s launch of the first ever SEC registered fund to offer digital shares are all hinting towards a tectonic shift in the blockchain and crypto space.

Coinbase to go IPO

coinbase best exchangeCoinbase is making headlines yet again. Reuters reported in an exclusive that Coinbase is preparing to go public either by end of this year or early next year. While the 2018 valuation has put the company at $8 Billion, we have to wait to see how much the company’s valuation will be for the IPO.  The company has not yet filed the paperwork with the SEC.  However, “Coinbase said it had hired Facebook Inc FB.N deputy general counsel Paul Grewal as its chief legal officer.”  This has further cemented the rumor that the company is serious about its IPO plans.

Binance acquires Swipe

binance logoBinance is on a global dominance of crypto space.  It has been making strategic investments to accomplish this mission.  Binance has announced that the acquisition of Swipe has completed.  The announcement disclosed that “The two companies will work together to further mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies by bridging the gap between fiat and digital assets, notably payments and purchases in cryptocurrency through traditional financial systems.”  Bringing the solutions that make the transition from crypto to fiat and vice-versa is one of the easiest ways to bring crypto to the masses.  This partnership of Binance and Swipe is the step in the right direction.

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Arca to become first SEC registered fund to offer digital shares

ArCoins will be issued on Ethereum Blockchain which will provide the interest to the investors on quarterly basis.  The company will issue 100 million ArCoins at a face value of $1.  Jerald David, president of Arca Capital Management, stated that ““Shareholders can directly transfer ArCoin using blockchain technology; other features of blockchain are being used for fund operations, such as freezing and replacing tokens for investors that have lost their public keys, and using smart contracts on the blockchain to enforce transferability of ArCoin to only whitelisted ETH addresses,” as reported by Forbes.

Lithuania issues world’s first digital collector coin on Blockchain

World’s first blockchain based digital collector coins will be created by the Bank of Lithuania.  The press release states that “The Bank of Lithuania is planning to release 24,000 collector tokens created using the blockchain technology. Each token will feature one of the 20 signatories and collectors will have a chance to collect the entire set. The tokens will be divided into 6 categories by the signatories’ areas of activity, with 4,000 tokens allotted to each of them. When purchasing the digital coin, buyers will get 6 randomly selected digital tokens and only upon collecting a token from each of the 6 categories they will be able to redeem a physical silver coin. The tokens will be available for purchase and storage on the Bank of Lithuania e-shop.”

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!
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knowledge, not spam!  Subscribe here.

best Crypto Tax Software

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

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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