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US SEC Executive Who said Ethereum is Not a Security to Leave the Agency




The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that William Hinman, the current director of the Division of Corporate Finance, would leave the agency by the end of this year. The reason for stepping down is part of the normal departures from federal regulatory agencies at the end of a presidential term. As the term of President Trump comes to an end, several top SEC executives, including William Hinman, are said to leave the commission. (4).jpg

Hinman has worked for the agency for more than three years, helping the commission’s work to regulate the crypto industry. He started working for the agency in 2017. He led the commission’s task on revising standards for accredited investors.

He assisted spearheading the agency’s early task related to digital assets, playing a leading role in the discussion looking into which cryptocurrencies qualify as securities. His legacy for the crypto industry is a regulatory framework that crypto firms could use to assess whether or not digital assets constituted securities. According to SEC’s blog:

“Mr. Hinman led efforts regarding the rapid innovation in digital assets, including by providing a framework that market participants could use to evaluate whether digital assets are offered and sold as securities.”

However, several crypto participants continue criticizing the agency for its lack of regulatory clarity regarding this rule.

Hinman was the first executive at the commission to declare that Ethereum (ETH) was not a security.  In 2018, Hinman spoke at an event where he stated that the cryptocurrency “may not represent an investment contract since there is no group or central figure responsible for ETH.”

The executive assisted the commission in writing rules for Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and other corporate disclosures. His work has been a great contribution to the agency, touching into multiple areas like leading the task of the formation of the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), a unit that promotes public engagements with the focus of addressing fintech issues and initiatives like digital assets, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), blockchain, machine learning/artificial intelligence, digital marketplace financing, and automated investment advice.

Hinman is also remembered for the use of the phrase “sufficiently decentralized,” meaning the degree to which crypto firms had to be decentralized to avoid the regulator’s wrath.  

The commission has appointed Shelley Parratt, the current deputy director of the division, to take over Hinman’s current position on an acting capacity.


Image source: Shutterstock Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/sec-executive-who-said-ethereum-not-security-leave-agency

Blockchain News

3 Reasons Behind Bitcoin and the Crypto Market’s Sudden Crash




Bitcoin whales have been shorting the market.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies crashing

On Nov 21, crypto analyst Willy Woo indicated that “old hands have been selling into this rally since the start of November.” Old hands selling is a bad sign that may mean that a price drop may be coming soon.

Bitcoin whales stir movement on the market

On Nov 22, Crypto Quant CEO Ki Young Ju indicated that “When whales are active (over 90%) on Coinbase, the $BTC price will likely be going sideways or bearish.” Typically, whales can acquire Bitcoin at a much lower price. They simply cash out to guarantee enough profit when the market becomes overheated.

The 2017 Bitcoin surge followed by its crash may be related to Bitcoin whale manipulations.  According to University of Texas professor John Griffin and Ohio State University’s Amin Shams, the Bitcoin bull run in 2017 may be driven by Bitfinex. They said through an academic paper:

“This one large player or entity either exhibited clairvoyant market timing or exerted an extremely large price impact on Bitcoin that is not observed in aggregate flows from other smaller traders.”

Although there are more and more investors interested in Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos, the current price action of BTC seems to be primarily driven by institutional and big players. This year, Grayscale and its Bitcoin trust have been really eye-catching, as it has secured the largest Bitcoin amount seen by any institutional investor up to now. MicroStrategy and Square’s big Bitcoin buy-ins are also influential pulses that have driven Bitcoin’s price up as well.

Bitcoin economy fits billionaire investor George Soros’ quote perfectly. The philanthropist stated:

“Economic history is a never-ending series of episodes based on falsehoods and lies, not truths. It represents the path to big money. The object is to recognize the trend whose premise is false, ride that trend, and step off before it is discredited.”

Possible crypto regulation time bomb

There may be a series of crypto regulations upcoming in the US. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has allegedly heard rumors that the Trump Administration may soon issue a huge and strict crypto wallet regulation on United States traders with privacy-invading data collection requirements.

On Oct 8, the U.S. Department of Justice published a “Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework” that put cryptocurrency under strict regulations, similar to policies revolving around fiat money.

Google Trends indicate Bitcoin is booming

On Nov 25, CNBC’s Brian Kelly warned of a Bitcoin short-term correction that could see its price plummet to $12,000.

An explanation may be that altcoins rose much more than Bitcoin in price, which could serve to attract more funds into altcoin speculations. Whenever Bitcoin crashes, altcoins get pulled down as well.

Another reason is that searches for “buy bitcoin” on Google Trends have exploded to new highs, which means rising demand from retail investors. But this may not be a good sign. As Kelly said:

“Whenever you get that big of an address growth implied, that is a caution sign.”

Image source: Shutterstock Source: https://Blockchain.News/analysis/3-reasons-behind-bitcoin-and-crypto-market-sudden-crash

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Blockchain News

IOTA Launches Austria State-Backed Christian Doppler Laboratory for Blockchain Research




The IOTA Foundation, a non-profit distributed ledger technology-focused foundation has announced that it is joining a new research project, which is expected to run for seven years. The IOTA Foundation is joining the new research laboratory for blockchain technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) as an industrial partner. - 2020-11-26T172433.733.jpg

The research lab, the Christian Doppler Laboratory (CDL-BOT), will provide “cutting-edge research on DLT interoperability, the intersection of DLT with the Internet of Things and developer support offerings.” 

The Federal Minister for Digital Economic Affairs in Austria has officially opened the laboratory in a digital ceremony, joined by the co-founder and co-chair of the IOTA Board of Directors, Dominik Schiener. The IOTA Foundation continues to strive for developing open source technologies and infrastructure for trusted IoT.

For the IOTA Foundation, this project would allow more development and research on the IOTA Tangle as well as applications in the Internet of Things. The project would also look beyond the IOTA protocol to further develop the European DLT ecosystem. In an official press release shared with Blockchain.News, IOTA explained:

“This requires novel mechanisms to enable DLT interoperability ranging from cross-blockchain token transfers or atomic swaps to cross-blockchain smart contract invocation and interaction, as well as providing client-side blockchain interoperability through developer support.”

Pantos, a scientific research project aiming to solve the key technical barriers in the crypto and digital asset space, as well as Bitpanda, a leading European neobroker has also joined the research project. Prof. Stefan Schulte, the lead for the new lab said:

“With the rising number of potential application areas for DLT-based payments and data exchange in the Internet of Things, new DLTs have to be integrated, and interoperability between different DLTs becomes necessary. I am looking forward to doing joint research with the IOTA Foundation and Pantos in order to find novel solutions to this highly topical topic.”

The press release also mentioned that postdoctoral and doctoral students would also be employed for the research project, under the supervision of Prof.Stefan Schulte. 

Image source: Shutterstock Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/iota-austrian-state-christian-doppler-laboratory-blockchain-research

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Greenheart PUNT approved for listing on leading global crypto exchange DigiFinex  

Greenheart PUNT, the new sustainable Defi token led by Greenheart, is delighted to announce that the PUNT token has been approved for listing on the leading Singapore digital exchange DigiFinex.

DigiFinex is a Top 12 global crypto exchange and regularly trades in excess of $2 Billion dollars per day in volume and liquidity. The exchange trades approximately 200 leading coins and has over 4 million customer accounts – of which 800,000 are active daily users.

The listing on DigiFinex is in addition to Greenheart PUNT’s initial (December 1st) listing on the LAToken exchange and is designed to maximize liquidity and trading volume for PUNT token holders and investors.

The Greenheart PUNT token is scheduled to begin trading on DigiFinex on Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

Greenheart was founded two years ago in Ashbourne, County Meath, and was formed two years ago by childhood friends Mark Canavan and Paul Walsh. The company produces a full range of sustainable oils – and shortly – edibles and balms for the retail market. Although Greenheart only began selling its oils in January 2020, it already has over 1,500 customers, a customer return rate three times the industry average and over seventy trusted 5-star reviews on its website.

Before launching Greenheart, Paul and Mark spent years researching extraction methods to produce the most effective agricultural products, for the end consumer with full traceability from seed to shelf. The company is the first sustainable producer in its market to use the full scope of cutting edge technology in its cultivation and production. This includes Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Blockchain technology at each stage of the planting, harvesting, production, and retailing process.

Greenheart Punt Token 

The Greenheart Punt token is being backed by a real commodity – 1,000 liters of Greenheart’s oil in year 1 (with a retail value of $4 million US dollars) – allowing token holders to redeem their tokens directly for Greenheart oil.

The company also plans to continue deploying pioneering sustainability technology and cold press extraction, while also launching an Innovation Centre to teach farmers and the wilder public about the benefits of growing hemp and sustainable crops in Ireland.



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Ripple XRP’s Skyrocketing Price Performance Is Attributed to One Key Factor, Says Blockchain Analytics




Ripple’s XRP token has been all the rage lately, making headlines left and right due to its relentless surge in the past week. Currently, its price has pulled back slightly, but the bull run and the talks revolving around XRP have benefited Ripple overall.

Ripple (XRP) depicted in the sky to signify its price surge

At the time of writing, Ripple’s XRP price has pulled back, down 30% on CoinMarketCap in the last 24 hours. However, blockchain analytics provider Santiment has asserted that XRP has excelled in one key area. Social discussions revolving around Ripple has escalated, especially lately.

The Ripple (XRP) effect 

For the first time since April, Ripple may have pinned investors’ interest more than Ethereum (ETH), according to behavior analysis charts. Ripple has been talked about and discussed more than Ethereum lately, and this may be significant since it may indicate that market sentiment around XRP is growing stronger, potentially surpassing Ether (ETH) as a preferred digital asset investment. Per the announcement:

“The daily social volume (mentions on #crypto platforms) of $XRP is on the verge of surpassing $ETH for the first time in 7 months. This crossover would be significant, as it signals change in interest level between the two assets, regardless of positivity.”

Santiment blockchain analytics chart

 Source: Santiment via Twitter

According to the chart illustrated above, which displays Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple by social volume, or popularity, Ripple has captured increased investor interest and this digital asset may soon be mentioned more than Ethereum. The purple line is an indicator of Ripple’s social volume, with the orange one and blue one representing Ethereum and Bitcoin respectively.

The development of XRP Ledger, the underlying distributed ledger technology backing XRP, has increased in activity by five-fold, compared to 18 months ago.

Ripple’s price has gained new heights

Ripple’s social volume, as well as the technology company’s new projects, have coincided with the XRP token’s rise in price. According to CoinMarketCap, XRP gained by nearly 140% in a month. Its rise in price has been said to be influenced by many factors, per market experts.

In just a week’s time, Ripple’s XRP token outperformed both Bitcoin and Ethereum on the market, as it regained its position as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, after previously having been unseated by Tether (USDT).

A stellar performance by XLM

XRP is not the only altcoin that has been outperforming lately. Recently, Stellar Lumens (XLM) recorded gains of over 155% in a week, as it went through a protocol update. This was implemented by validators on the network and will provide a more seamless experience for users on the Stellar network.

Stellar Lumens is a modified fork of Ripple. It was also initiated by one of Ripple’s co-founders, Jed McCaleb. Similar to Ripple, Stellar also operates as a payment technology designed to connect financial institutions and improve cross-border payments through lower costs and improved time efficiency.

Ethereum has something up its sleeve too

With Bitcoin’s recent bull run driving altcoins higher, who is to say whether or not Ripple may surpass Ethereum in terms of investment popularity in the long run. Currently, Ethereum awaits the launch of ETH 2.0 mainnet, which is less than a week away. With the new blockchain segment implemented on December 1, its native cryptocurrency Ether may increase in value.

Image source: Shutterstock Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/ripple-xrp-skyrocketing-price-performance-attributed-one-key-factor-blockchain-analytics

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