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SEC Requests Public Feedback on CBOE’s Latest Proposal for Bitcoin ETF

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is soliciting public feedback on yet another application for a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF), reigniting the debate over whether the regulator will soften its stance on crypto-backed funds.

SEC Seeks Feedback

Regulators issued the call in response to a proposal by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) to list and trade bitcoin shares backed by VanEck and SolidX, according to documents published on the SEC website.

As Hacked reported earlier this month, VanEck and SolidX are looking to develop a new bitcoin-linked ETP that will provide direct exposure to the digital currency. The fund proposes to hold actual units of bitcoin rather than merely track the cryptocurrency’s price movement through the derivatives market.

According to SEC documents, the trust will invest solely in bitcoin through over-the-counter markets as well as domestic and international exchanges, “depending on liquidity” and other factors. The trust “is not actively managed,” the documents say.

If approved, the SolidX Bitcoin Shares will operate in a similar fashion as the Bitcoin Investment Trust, which is offered by Grayscale Investments and can be accessed over-the-counter through the GBTC symbol. As an OTC product, GBTC faces liquidity shortfalls that otherwise wouldn’t be the case had it been listed on an SEC-regulated exchange.

Bitcoin ETF: The Quest Continues

Securities regulators continue to entertain the possibility of a bitcoin-backed ETF but have rejected a slew of applications over consumer safety concerns. In the case of VanEck, the issuer has made three separate attempts to list a bitcoin-based ETF in an effort to lure more retail investors into the fold.

The SEC is seeking public commentary on a rule change that would open the door to bitcoin ETFs. The rule in question is Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act.

Issuers like VanEck believe that a properly constructed ETF that provides direct exposure to the price of bitcoin will help protect shareholders against volatility associated with sourcing and holding cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, the SEC does not view bitcoin itself as a security, but its securitization does fall under the purview of the Washington-based regulator.

Issuers have attempted to circumnavigate the SEC’s concerns by proposing ETFs that trade bitcoin futures rather than the underlying asset itself. Technically, these products would fall under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Since January, roughly one dozen bitcoin-based funds have been rejected by the SEC over concerns of market manipulation, liquidity and the impact of hard forks on market prices.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 771 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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Cryptocurrencies

6 Upcoming Events That Could Trigger a Price Pump for These Cryptocurrencies

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The kind of fundamental developments that sent a coin to the moon in 2017 had already started to lose their potency by the time 2018 came around. As the year wore on, we started to see partnership announcements and technical developments go unnoticed, when once the mere rumour of them was enough to positively impact the price of a coin.

And while 2019 will probably see an extension of this trend, I can’t help but think of the number of times I’ve seen a coin pump 50% in a week, only to go and check the project’s Twitter page and see that they’ve just implemented a new tech update.

By that time I’m too late, and whatever anticipation was being speculated on has turned into news, and is now being sold.

So in the spirit of experimentation, here’s a few upcoming technical updates due in the coming weeks.

Aeternity (AE) – First Mainnet Hardfork

Aeternity has three hardforks scheduled over the next year as it completes its migration from Ethereum. The date for this hardfork is only a few days away, but I include it on the basis of Aeternity’s previous volatility, exemplified in this chart from the last seventy days. Volume has been climbing all through February, from $10 million to $50 million.

Hardfork Date: February 20th

IOST (IOST) – Mainnet Launch

Just over a week away from mainnet, the IOST token price has shown signs of life with 4% growth in the past seven days. A summary of what the IOST mainnet promises to bring can be found here in a tweet from co-founder Jimmy Zhong.

Mainnet Launch Date: February 25th

 

Ethereum (ETH) – Constantinople Hardfork

The previously delayed Constantinople hardfork is scheduled for the end of the month. Block rewards will be reduced from 3 to 2 ETH, and the difficulty bomb will be delayed for another year, among other tweaks.

At time of writing ETH is up 8% for the week, with Constantinople ten days away.

Hardfork Date: February 27th

CyberMiles (CMT) – 15 Million Users’ Data Uploaded to Blockchain

A huge migration is set to take place at the end of February as the 5Miles mobile app uploads all of its customers accounts onto the CMT blockchain. Once launched, 5Miles clients will be able to transact independently across the chain. 5Miles is a ‘mobile marketplace’ where users buy and sell various items and services.

Launch Date: February 28th

Theta Token (THETA) – Mainnet Launch

Theta Token is another project set to leave Ethereum for its own mainnet. A look at THETA’s weekly chart shows a token at just about break even, but zooming out to the monthly view reveals that something has been building with THETA for a while.

Mainnet Launch Date: March 15th

QuarkChain (QKC) – Mainnet 1.0

QuarkChain was one of the darlings of the ICO period, and big things were expected from this highly rated project. Big things might still be on the horizon, and we may find out more about QuarkChain when the mainnet lands at the end of March.

Read more on what’s in store for QKC fans in 2019. The coin price has been falling all quarter, and all month. But that trend reversed for the first time this week as the coin regained 6% of its value. Volume jumped from $1 million to $6.8 million in the last few days.

Mainnet Launch Date: March 31st

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 145 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Fake Satoshi Craig Wright on Asimov, Pseudonymity and Why E-Cash is Still Relevant

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Craig Wright continued to try and convince the world that he was Satoshi Nakamoto this week, even after WikiLeaks released a fairly damning batch of files all but confirming that he wasn’t.

But that didn’t stop Wright from doubling down, and on Saturday he released another Medium screed detailing the many reasons why he can’t conclusively reveal himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto.

Along the way he compares himself to Isaac Asimov’s Hari Seldon, makes some intriguing points on the subject of pseudonymity vs anonymity, and pulls the example of E-Cash from the 1990’s as a reason for why Bitcoin (SV?) can never be truly secretive.

Craig Wright’s ‘Foundation’

According to Wright, the reason he can’t just use his private key to move Satoshi Nakamoto’s original BTC holdings is because it would only cause more problems than it would solve. His reasons for this are vague, and repeated throughout (the way of the huckster in general?).

Wright then goes on to imply that time-locked releases via the blockchain could be the manner in which he chooses to reveal himself – an idea he says he took from Asimov:

“Something people don’t understand about Bitcoin is that it is also a time lock. Bitcoin with nLockTime allows for the pseudonymous release of information at defined times. It’s a concept that I took from Asimov. It is aimed to ensure that information is provably released when the author chooses. Only when the author chooses.”

How long he intends his Seldon-like drip-feeding of clues to last is anyone’s guess, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends with an anti-climactic reveal of a ‘second foundation’ – which we once again must wait for to be revealed.

Can Bitcoin be Anonymous?

While describing his own pseudonymity, he also touched on that of Bitcoin’s (I assume Wright is referring to his own pet project, Bitcoin SV, although the same would apply to BTC, BCH, etc).

Wright referenced the failure of 1990’s digital money solution, E-Cash, and pointed out that privacy doesn’t always mean anonymity. He wrote:

“If you want privacy, the last thing you want is anonymous money, because anonymous money allows every action to be traced using legally viable methods and law.”

Wright points out that anonymity brings scrutiny, namely from government agencies. That’s why Wright says Bitcoin can never succeed as a truly anonymous currency.

This 1997 paper titled: ‘The Unintentional Consequences of E-Cash’ suggests something similar, and describes how the very thing that was created to foster privacy could prove to be the same thing that destroys it:

“If the World Wide Web or its successors become fee-based systems in which readers are charged for access, consumers who use traceable digital cash will find that their reading habits as well as transactions become valuable, tradeable data. This will lessen their privacy and could have a chilling effect on readers and, possibly, on authors also.”

Twenty years on from the paper’s publication date and its authors appear to have been remarkably prescient. Will Hari Seldon…  I mean Satoshi Nakamoto… I mean Craig Wright prove to be just so?

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 145 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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WikiLeaks Exposes Craig Wright’s Lies as Nakamoto Saga Hits Peak ‘Faketoshi’

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The comedy of errors that is Craig Wright’s attempt to convince the world that he is Satoshi Nakamoto took another turn this week, when WikiLeaks dropped a batch of documents showing his dishonest retrofitting of Bitcoin documentation.

WikiLeaks vs Craig Wright

Wright released a Medium post last week where he told the world once again that he was the real Satoshi Nakamoto. In the post he also gives some more vague reasons as to why he just won’t move some of Satoshi’s BTC from his original address. And more importantly, he took time to take a swing at WikiLeaks.

I do not like Wikileaks, and I have never been a fan of Assange’s methods. More importantly, I am strongly opposed to criminal markets and bucket shops. Ross Ulbricht and others like him are criminals.”

Fast forward a few days and WikiLeaks responded. This batch of documents was released to Github on February 11th, and announced via Twitter with the following message:

Craig S. Wright is a proven serial forger of documents claiming that he is the inventor of Bitcoin. He has been repeatedly caught. This has been independently verified by WikiLeaks at the time of his first claim and subsequently.”

The documents show evidence of Craig Wright’s long history of forgeries and lies, including his failed attempts to fake blog posts by the original Satoshi, and thwarted attempts to fake PGP keys, public keys, and contracts and emails.

Project BlackNet

Screenshot of Craig Wright’s tweet.

The comedy stylings of Craig S. Wright got even more surreal on Feb 10th, when he released this screenshot of a paper he supposedly submitted to the Australian government in 2001.

The paper, titled ‘Project BlackNet’, details you know what… Craig Wright’s early sketchings of his ideas for Bitcoin, nearly a decade before Bitcoin was invented.

Within hours of the claims, inquisitive internet detectives had taken them apart, and supplemented their takedown with multiple examples of photographic evidence, like this one which showed Wright’s amateurish attempts to echo the writing style of Satoshi Nakamoto based on the Bitcoin whitepaper.

Side-by-side comparison of Wright’s paper and the original drafts.

But what Wright didn’t seem to realise was that an earlier draft of the Bitcoin whitepaper was already in existence, from around August 2008. In the end, Wright’s forgery contained all the changes and rewrites present in the October 2008 version, meaning his plans were doomed from the start.

Why Does He Persist?

Speculation as to why Craig Wright continues to push the idea that he is Satoshi Nakamoto proves to be varied. Without delving too deep into the personal life of Craig Wright, many have accused the Bitcoin SV backer of attempting to ease his own financial worries by drawing investors towards ‘Satoshi’s Vision’.

Others say this is just another chapter in the long history of Craig Wright’s obsession with fortune and fame. To borrow a turn of phrase from a humble redditor: ‘This is peak Faketoshi’.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 145 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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