Bitfinex will discontinue all services to U.S. customers, and Italy has fined OneCoin €2.5 million for being a pyramid scheme. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 32:
- Bitfinex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume, has announced it will no longer allow U.S. investors to purchase certain tokens on its exchange that may be at risk of running afoul with regulators. According to the company’s latest announcement, Bitfinex will also be making other changes to its service, no longer accepting verification requests for U.S. individuals effective immediately. Further, in the next 90 days, it will gradually discontinue all services to U.S. customers. The exchange explained that the decision follows a recent investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on how tokens issued by way of an initial coin offering (ICO) may be considered securities. “We anticipate the regulatory landscape to become even more challenging in the future,” the statement reads.
- Another initial coin offering (ICO) is shattering records. The blockchain data storage network Filecoin went through its first public offering this week. Despite technical issues, it has garnered an estimated $200 million from investors. In fact, sales came to a halt just about an hour after beginning. The sale sets a new record for investor interest in an ICO. To put this massive achievement in perspective, the beginning of July saw the launch of Block.one’s EOS tokens, which set a record at $185 million raised in 5 days. A few weeks later, Tezos Blockchain Project raised $232 million in less than two weeks. Filecoin was able to nearly match this record in one hour.
- Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD), the central depository for Moscow Exchange, the largest exchange group in Russia, is developing a blockchain platform to provide deposit and settlement services for digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Built in partnership with Waves Platform, the public blockchain project designed for the launch of distributed applications had previously said in a blog post that it had struck a deal to become the NSD’s technological partner, at the time, noting that it had has already started developing a prototype. In an announcement this week, the NSD confirmed that the first prototype will be presented during the first half of next year.
- The Italian Antitrust and Consumer Protection Authority (AGCM) has fined OneCoin 2.5 million euro for being a pyramid scheme. In early December of last year, the AGCM announced an investigation into OneCoin and ordered local affiliates to stop promoting the company. The regulator cited the reason behind the investigation was suspicion OneCoin was a “deceitful Ponzi scheme”. Despite OneCoin dismissing the regulator’s preliminary findings, the AGCM officially banned OneCoin in Italy on February 27th. On August 10th the AGCM announced it was fining the company 2.5 million euros for running a pyramid scheme.
- Compared to the previous week the price of Bitcoin has increased by around 19 percent, with the exchange rate currently at about $3,871 per BTC. The price of Ethereum increased by more than 25 percent over the same period, taking Ether up to a rate of $315 per ETH. Ethereum Classic lost about five percent, with the price decreasing to $14.94 per ETC. Zcash gained 9 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $227 per coin.