China is banning ICOs (and possibly even more), but Canada is taking a friendlier approach. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 36:
- It was already rumored last week that China was about to ban ICOs, and at the start of this week the rumor was confirmed by Chinese authorities. The Chinese government took the bold move of banning ICOs all together. The ruling comes from China’s central bank, which issued a statement criticizing ICOs for “disrupting” the country’s financial order. The regulator described initial coin offerings as “a form of unapproved illegal public financing” that “raises suspicions” of fraud and criminal activity.
- As China moves to ban initial coin offerings (ICOs), a regulator on the other side of the world is taking the polar opposite approach. Far from imposing penalties and refunds, Quebec’s regulator for financial institutions, the Autorite des marches financiers (AMF), is seeking to better understand the blockchain use case. In fact, the AMF has not only determined that a token sale by Impak Finance, a platform for investing in socially responsible enterprises, is a security, it has gone so far as to accept the company into its regulatory sandbox. With the news, Impak Coin becomes the first project to launch in the AMF’s sandbox, announced earlier this year, and the first regulated ICO based in Canada.
- China continued to cause more price action this week. The bitcoin price crashed $400 following rumors that China was planning to make it illegal to operate a bitcoin exchange within the country. According to a regional financial website, China will declare operating a bitcoin exchange to constitute “illegal economic activities”. Earlier this year, the country’s central bank begun monitoring bitcoin exchanges more closely, leading many to fear that regulators would soon shut them down. The new rumors haven’t been confirmed yet.
- U.S. blockchain startups R3 Holdco LLC and Ripple Labs Inc are suing each other over an options contract to purchase Ripple’s digital currency XRP, according to lawsuits filed on Friday. In September 2016, the two companies entered an agreement giving R3 the right to purchase up to 5 billion XRPs for $0.0085 per unit until September 2019, according to a lawsuit filed by R3 in the Delaware Chancery Court on Friday. In June 2017 Ripple’s Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse attempted to terminate the options contract through an email to R3’s Chief Executive David Rutter, according to the R3 lawsuit. R3 alleges that the contract does not give Ripple the right to terminate it unilaterally and is asking the court to declare that it is entitled to all its rights, including purchasing the XRP anytime over the next two years.
- Compared to the previous week the price of Bitcoin has decreased by around eight percent, with the exchange rate currently at about $4,209 per BTC. The price of Ethereum decreased by more than 12 percent over the same period, taking Ether down to a rate of $292 per ETH. Ethereum Classic lost about 24 percent, with the price decreasing to $14.71 per ETC. Zcash lost 20 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $209 per coin.