Article by Joeri Cant.

The United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services has scheduled a hearing with Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton and four other SEC commissioners to discuss, among other topics, crypto.

In a memorandum from Sept. 19, the Committee on Financial Services stated that it will hold a hearing on Sept. 24 entitled, “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission: Wall Street’s Cop on the Beat.”

This one-panel hearing will include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton, commissioner Hester Pierce (AKA Crypto Mom) and another three commissioners.

Libra coin could amount to a security

The Committee on Financial Services has included cryptocurrencies on its list of topics for discussion and points out that the federal securities laws apply to securities — including stocks, bonds, and investment contracts — regardless of whether they are digital.

The hearing will touch upon Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), whether or not digital assets are a security or exempt from securities law, and of course Facebook’s planned launch of its stablecoin Libra in 2020. The document adds:

“The Libra Investment Token could amount to a security since it is intended to be sold to investors to fund startup costs and would provide them with dividends. The Libra token itself may also be a security, but Facebook does not intend to pay dividends and it is unclear if investors would have a “reasonable expectation of profits.”

Zuckerberg continues tour of Washington DC

Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 19 that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is making the rounds with policymakers in Washington, D.C. to discuss “future internet regulations,” most recently with Senator Josh Hawley.

Earlier on Sept. 19, Cointelegraph reported that Zuckerberg had dinner with a handful of U.S. lawmakers, where he faced intense scrutiny over the Libra project.

Another alumnus of Coinbase has left the cryptocurrency industry unicorn for a smaller startup.

Vaishali Mehta, who worked as a senior compliance manager at Coinbase from November 2017 to November 2018, joined TrustToken last month as head of compliance, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“Crypto is an exciting place and I have been lucky to have been a part of this ‘madness’”, Mehta told CoinDesk through a spokesperson. “I really related to Trusttoken’s vision to foster a new financial future which is resilient to fraud, failure and greed. Ultimately though its the people who you work with that makes or breaks the workplace and I consider myself fortunate to be a part of such an astounding team and help take this company closer to it’s Mission.”

TrustToken, the company behind the TrueUSD stablecoin, confirmed the hire. Coinbase didn’t responded to CoinDesk’s request for a comment at press time.

A former head of BSA/AML (Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money-laundering) risk and onboarding at Deutsche Bank, Mehta is one of several high-ranking or long-tenured employees who have left Coinbase in the last few months.

In October, Adam White, who was Coinbase’s fifth-ever employee, left to become the chief operating officer of Bakkt, the new digital asset trading platform built by Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. Also that month, Coinbase’s head of trading, Hunter Merghart, resigned after just six months on the job.

Coinbase’s chief policy officer Mike Lempres left for venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (an investor in the startup) in November. And last month, Coinbase risk operations manager Rees Atlas, who joined in 2013, moved to the marketing communications startup Twilio, and soon after that chief product officer Jeremy Henrickson quit.

New employer

Last year was a busy time for Mehta’s new employer, TrustToken. After launching TrueUSD, a stablecoin backed by U.S. dollars, in March, the company raised $20 million of venture funding through a strategic token sale from investors including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BlockTower Capital, Danhua Capital and others in June.

In December, TrustToken reported successfully passing a smart contract security audit by Certik, SlowMist and Zeppelin. The company said it’s storing its dollar reserves in multiple third-party trust companies regulated by multiple U.S. states.

TrueUSD is one of several cryptocurrencies designed to maintain parity with the U.S. dollar that launched in 2018 to compete with the market leader, known as tether or USDT. Stablecoins allow crypto traders to move money quickly between exchanges without having to rely on the banking system. Tether suffered a crisis of confidence in the fall amid questions about its dollar backing, though it later regained its parity with the greenback.

As of Thursday evening, TrueUSD’s market cap exceeded $200 million.

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Jameson Lopp — a crypto industry figure and self-proclaimed professional cypherpunk — described Bitcoin (BTC) as the first step in a broader transition to an anarcho-capitalist society. Lopp’s comments were made in an interview on the Stephan Livera Podcast, published Dec. 29.

According to Lopp, Bitcoin is an experiment that — if successful — could make the transition to an anarcho-capitalist society possible:

“I believe that Bitcoin is a very interesting experiment that if is successful in the long run could not only revolutionize money, but revolutionize how we think about governance.”

Lopp explains further that a “more self-sovereign, anarcho-capitalist society” could be developed if services currently provided by centralized third parties — such as governments — were provided by “software agents that can start to replace pieces of government functionality,” continuing:

“The first step I think is Bitcoin, and if that’s successful enough, then we can start talking about the next step.”

The recently deceased cypherpunk co-founder Timothy May described in his “Crypto Anarchist Manifesto” how the use of cryptography will allow for the creation of a system in which people will be able to interact directly, free from the influence of governments.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, May had criticized the contemporary crypto industry as recently as October, saying that “attempts to be ‘regulatory-friendly’ will likely kill the main uses for cryptocurrencies, which are NOT just ‘another form of PayPal or Visa.’”

During this week’s interview, Lopp also declared that “one thing that people don’t seem to be investing in as much as they should is education.” He encouraged investors to “do your own research” and also argued that developers “need to bake user education into the actual software and hardware,” such as crypto wallets.

Major Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently launched a program that aims to educate users about cryptocurrency while earning crypto, dubbed “Coinbase Earn.” At launch, the program is invite-only and focused on the Ethereum-basedtoken 0x (ZRX).

This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph

Coinbase customers in the U.S. can now make withdrawals into their PayPal accounts.

According to a blog post, U.S. customers can withdraw their Coinbase balances to PayPal immediately and without any fees. The new arrangement allows customers to quickly convert their cryptocurrency holdings to cash, wrote Allen Osgood, who works on product at the exchange.

Coinbase announced it was bringing back a PayPal integration last month, noting that customers will only be able to make withdrawals using PayPal. Users won’t be able to buy cryptocurrencies via PayPal.

The exchange previously had a PayPal integration, but the company ceased offering the service due to technical issues earlier this year.

A spokesperson for the exchange told CoinDesk that “there is new functionality that was improved from the prior one,” adding:

“There is new technical work to make this possible, and that was done in conjunction with PayPal.”

On Friday, Osgood wrote that the partnership provides Coinbase customers an alternative to the traditional federal wire or automated clearing house (ACH) network that they were previously required to use.

He added:

“These traditional finance networks can add up to two business days to a withdrawal. We’re always looking for ways to not only meet the bar set by traditional finance, but raise it. That’s why we rebuilt our integration to ensure that the speed and reliability of PayPal withdrawals does just that.”

The service is only available to U.S. customers for now, a Coinbase spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk. Support for PayPal withdrawals in other nations will continue to be added across 2019, Osgood wrote on Friday.

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Major American cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has launched support for Zcash (ZEC) at and the exchange’s Android and iOS apps, according to a blog post published Dec. 5.

Per today’s announcement, Coinbase customers can now purchase, sell, send, receive, and store ZEC. The coin will be available for customers in most jurisdictions, but initially customers from the United Kingdom and the state of New York will not be able to use the service. Coinbase further notes that additional jurisdictions may be introduced later.

Since Zcash is a digital currency based on a decentralized blockchain and designed with the goal of making transactions more private than they are on the Bitcoin blockchain, it deploys specific features of cryptography to protect the privacy of its users. Coinbase therefore outlines in the post:

“Initially, customers can send ZEC to Coinbase from both transparent and shielded addresses, but only send off Coinbase to transparent addresses. In the future, we’ll explore support for sending ZEC to shielded addresses in locations where it complies with local laws.”

The move follows the introduction of ZEC on the Coinbase Pro platform in late November. The exchange then noted that trading on the ZEC/U.S. dollar order book would begin only after sufficient liquidity is established.

Zcash has not responded to Coinbase’s announcement, showing a slump by almost 10 percent on the day, according to CoinMarketCap. The coin is trading at around $66.64 at press time, down from yesterday’s high point of $77.73. The altcoin’s market capitalization is around $358.9 million, while its daily trading volume is around $155 million.

Zcash daily trading chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Zcash daily trading chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

As Cointelegraph reported last week, Coinbase has launched over-the-counter (OTC) trading for institutional customers, purportedly following an increased demand for OTC crypto trading from institutional players.


This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph

Coinbase Wallet, provided by major U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase, has launched support for Ethereum Classic (ETC), according to an official company blog postNov. 27.

Ethereum Classic is the result of a hard fork in 2016, arising out of differences into how to respond to the high-profile DAO hack of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

Today’s blog post outlines that the Coinbase Wallet app should update over the “next few days,” after which users will be able to view, send and receive ETC to their addresses. Fo existing Coinbase Wallet users, their ETC address will be identical to their current ETH address.

In addition to ETC, Coinbase Wallet supports storage, sending and receiving of ETH and “100,000+ ERC20 tokens.”

As previously reported, Coinbase first announced it would be listing Ethereum Classic on its trading platform in June, leading to a sharp spike in the asset’s value. After the listing went live in early August, ETC was also incorporated into the Coinbase Index Fund.

Also in August, crypto exchange and wallet service Bittrex added a U.S. dollar-ETC trading pair, the same month as crypto trading app Robinhood announced its own support for the asset.

At press time, ETC is ranked 17th largest crypto by market cap, and is trading at $4.30, down almost 8 percent on the day, according to CoinMarketCap.

This post credited to Cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph

A new cryptocurrency hedge fund called Circuit Capital is launching in January. Based in San Francisco and Singapore, the fund has four founders, including a former Deutsche Bank AG trader and a private equity analyst.

While it’s curious timing to create an investment opportunity based on a cryptocurrency market that’s recently lost 70% of its value, Circuit’s founders disagree.

According to a Bloomberg report, Eugene Ng, ex-Deutsche Bank derivatives trader and Circuit co-founder, says,

“Despite what is happening with prices, we’re seeing adoption growing and a lot of people are looking to scale crypto businesses. We are starting to see talent moving into this space and institutional infrastructure developing.”

To gauge these developments, Circuit is developing an index that measures blockchain technology-backed digital assets. The metrics will follow 10 data points, including

  • Transaction volume
  • Number of active crypto wallets
  • Hash rates
  • Web searches for articles on crypto
  • Hiring of technology and financial professionals in the industry
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Ng will oversee the fund’s Asian business with former Tikehau Capital analyst Aaron Tay. Bo Nam and Richard Jahnke, two former technology stock analysts turned venture capitalists, will manage Circuit’s US operations.

According to Nam, Circuit seeks to raise $30 million by its first-quarter launch with investment capital gradually increasing to over $100 million. While $100 million may seem like a small amount for most macro hedge funds, he says it’s a significant amount for the crypto market.

Andreessen Horowitz launched their $300-million crypto fund a16z earlier this year. Paradigm, a crypto fund recently launched by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang and Charles Noyes of crypto fund Pantera Capital, just raised $400 million.

Pantera, founded by former Goldman Sachs trader Dan Morehead, is also reportedly on track to raise $100 million of its $175-million target for its third fund, despite the bear market. The fund recently disclosed raising $71.45 million in a new round of funding.

This post credited to Daily HODL Image source: Daily HODL 

Ran Neuner, host of of the Crypto Trader show on CNBC Africa, claims that major crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase is about to announce its first Initial Public Offering (IPO), according to a tweet Thursday, Oct. 25.

Neuner states that the details on Coinbase’s IPO are to be revealed Friday, Oct. 26, live on the CNBC Crypto Trader show.

The host also provided statistics on Coinbase’s revenue and account numbers in his post. The infographics show that the number of users on Coinbase has now reached 25 million, with 600,000 actively trading on the platform.

Source: Ran NeuNer’s tweet

As per the data revealed, the California-based crypto exchange has seen $90 million in revenue last quarter, with expectations to earn $450 million in the last quarter of 2018. 80 percent of revenue came from consumers, 15 percent more from institutional accounts, and the source of other 5 percent was not disclosed.

Source: Ran NeuNer’s tweet

Coinbase president Asiff Hirji first hinted about an IPO in late 2017. When asked about the possibility of taking the company public, he said:

“It is certainly in the interest of our investors…and the most obvious path of Coinbase is to go public at some point, but there’s a lot for us to do between now and then, whenever that date is.”

In early October, U.S. tech media Recode cited two unnamed sources familiar with the matter who stated Coinbase was about to finalize a deal that would value the company at about $8 billion. In particular, the crypto exchange was allegedly in talks with Tiger Global and its current shareholders for an investment of up to $500 million.

This post credited to cointelegraph  Image source: Cointelegraph

Former head of institutional platform group at Coinbase crypto exchange Adam White is reportedly joining Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) platform Bakkt. ICE’s new hire was revealed by anonymous sources familiar with the matter cited bynews outlet The Block on Oct. 12.

White left Coinbase in early October, declining to comment on his decision. However, a spokesperson of Coinbase then said that the company was “extremely sad to see him go.”

As per The Block’s source, Bakkt has now hired White as its Chief Operating Officer.

The crypto trading platform Bakkt was first announced in August by the Intercontinental Exchange, which is also the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It has been developed in partnership with Microsoft and Starbucks.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, White has been working for Coinbase for almost five years and was its fifth-ever employee, joining the team at the time it gathered in a one-bedroom apartment and Bitcoin (BTC) was trading at around $200.

While White was working for Coinbase, the company deployed a series of services targeted at big institutional clients, such as custodian services and an index fund.

The exchange, which was recently valued at $8 billion according to some reports, has made a number of high-profile hires in the past months. For instance, this October Coinbase welcomed a board member of the Charles Schwab bank Chris Dodds, and in September it hired Fannie Mae’s former General Counsel Brian Brooks as its new Chief Legal Officer.

Moreover, this summer a former Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoftemployee Tim Wagner joined Coinbase as vice president (VP) of engineering.


This post credited to cointelegraph  Image source: Cointelegraph 

Crypto exchange Coinbase is shutting down its institutional-investor focused index fund product, a spokesperson told CoinDesk.

The spokesperson told CoinDesk that the Coinbase Index Fund – first launched earlier this year – will be formally closed by the end of the month, with customers instead directed to the recently-announced Coinbase Bundle product instead. The news was first reported Thursday by The Block.

The spokesperson said:

“After assessing demand from retail, accredited and institutional investors, Coinbase has decided to shut down Coinbase Index Fund. We will focus on providing diversified exposure to all investors through Coinbase Bundle.”

Unlike the index fund, the bundle is open to all Coinbase customers, with no accreditation required. The minimum required investment is only $25 as well, compared to $250,000 for the fund.

“We’ve decided to refocus the resources devoted to managing the Coinbase Index Fund to other parts of the business,” the spokesperson concluded.

The Coinbase Index Fund was first announced in March, though it did not go live until mid-June, when product lead Rueben Bramanathan wrote that institutional investors could invest anywhere from $250,000 to $20 million into the product.

At launch, the fund exposed U.S.-based investors to bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, ethereum classic and litecoin, which were weighted by market capitalization.

Coinbase also announced its intention to add further assets to the fund should they be listed on any of its trading platforms as well.

The confirmation comes a day after Coinbase announced it was adding the 0x Protocol token (ZRX) to its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro. The exchange only allowed deposits of the token until Friday morning, and launched full trading later in the day.

That being said, retail investors cannot yet access or trade ZRX through or its mobile apps. Coinbase said Thursday that the token would be added to these platforms at some future point.

This post credited to coindesk Image via Token Summit/YouTube