The SEC is warning investors over ICOs, and CME has announced it aims to launch Bitcoin futures. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 44:
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning to investors about celebrity-endorsed initial coin offerings (ICOs). In the warning the SEC notes that “celebrities and others are using social media networks to encourage the public to purchase stocks and other investments”, and that “these endorsements may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement.” The SEC adds that “a failure to disclose this information is a violation of the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws. Persons making these endorsements may also be liable for potential violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, for participating in an unregistered offer and sale of securities, and for acting as unregistered brokers.”
- A class-action lawsuit has been filed in a California state court against the organizers of the technology project Tezos, which in July raised $232 million in one of the largest “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) ever. The lawsuit, filed on Oct. 25 in the California Superior Court in San Francisco, alleges that Tezos’ organizers violated U.S. securities laws and defrauded participants in the online fundraiser. Brian Klein, an attorney for the Breitmans, said the lawsuit “is without merit” and the couple “are going to aggressively defend themselves.”
- CME Group Inc., the world’s biggest exchange group, said Tuesday it aims to launch a futures contract based on bitcoin by the end of the year. The plan, subject to regulatory approval, would be a big step forward in the evolution of the digital currency. “It is a legitimization of bitcoin as an asset class,” said Daniel Masters, chairman of the Global Advisors group of companies, which runs a bitcoin hedge fund and exchange-traded notes linked to digital currencies.
- The European Commission has announced €30 billion on new investments in technology initiatives including those involving blockchain. The funding would come through the Horizon 2020 initiative, which to date has been supported by €77 billion in public funding. The goal is to support new investments in the areas of “migration, security, climate, clean energy and digital economy”, as well as “breakthrough, market-creating breakthrough[s],” according to a statement from Oct. 27. While it’s not clear how exactly the funds will be spent in relation to blockchain, a representative for the Commission highlighted blockchain’s role in the effort in a statement. “Artificial intelligence, genetics, blockchain: science is at the core of today’s most promising breakthrough innovations. Europe is a world leader in science and technology and will play a major role in driving innovation,” said Carlos Moedas, commissioner for research, science and innovation.
- Compared to the previous week the price of Bitcoin has increased by more than 28 percent, with the exchange rate currently at about $7,373 per BTC. The price of Ethereum was stable over the same period, with Ether trading at a rate of $298 per ETH. Ethereum Classic gained about 16 percent, with the price increasing to $12.03 per ETC. Zcash lost 3 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $229 per coin.