Crypto Week in Review 6/16/2018: Ethereum Settles at $500 as the SEC Clarifies Its Position
The second week of June saw crypto markets drop as Bitcoin fell below $7,000 and Ethereum dipped below $500. Despite the bearish market, not all the news was negative. Arguably the biggest news was that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially announced that Ethereum (ETH) is not classified as a security under federal law. The decentralized nature of ETH is the key factor in the decision. However, Ripple (XRP) and other utility tokens are still in an ambiguous legal area, as the speech by the SEC’s William Hinman clarified that utility tokens can still be securities. Further regulatory clarity will be needed going forward.
Here’s the rest of the week in review:
A paper released Wednesday by a professor at the University of Texas titled “Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered?” claims that fraudulent transactions of Tether, a digital currency pegged to the USD, were responsible for approximately 50% of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin and 64% of other top cryptocurrencies.
The first ever cryptocurrency electric bike will be launched by a UK cycling shop. It will allow riders to generate rewards in the LoyalCoin token, equivalent to about $26.50 per thousand miles. The crypto e-bike is an example of blockchain-based loyalty programs that have recently cropped up.
Hollywood is considering making a film about cryptocurrency. The pioneering project will be named Crypto. Its plot will involve a federal agent who gets caught up in the world of cybercrime, crypto, and corruption. Alexis Bledel, Kurt Russell, and Beau Knapp will reportedly star in the thriller. Viewers might be interested in how Hollywood decides to portray crypto.
The CEO of Western Union expressed disappointment in its partnership with Ripple Labs. Hikmet Ersek stated that the pilot project with XRP has not resulted in significant cost savings in the last six months. But Ersek remains optimistic, noting that only payment transfer tests with US dollars and Mexican pesos have been run. He added that he wishes to continue the Ripple partnership.
The state of New York has approved the trading of Stellar lumens (XLM). New York’s Department of Financial Services gave the green light to ItBit, allowing the exchange to add XLM to its platform. Regulators also awarded the crypto storage company Xapo a BitLicense. The move likely means that New York does not consider XLM to be a security.
The controversial former Trump advisor Steve Bannon is interested in creating his own crypto. In a New York Times interview, he came out as a believer passionate about crypto’s decentralized libertarian ethos. He also stated he wants to create a new crypto called “deplorables coin.” White nationalists and the alt-right communities are typically very fond of Monero (XMR) and other privacy coins.
A crypto mining startup is looking to be the first crypto company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Argo Blockchain announced that it intends to raise £20 million for an initial public offering, at a valuation of £40 million. The firm offers mining services for Ethereum, Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and Zcash (ZEC). Argo is expanding its operations in China and Canada.
Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency wallet and exchange, announced Monday that it plans to add Ethereum Classic (ETC) to its list of coins available for trading. Coinbase also announced Tuesday that its Index Fund is now open for investments of $250,000 to $20,000,000.
Crypto prices fell broadly this week to under $300 billion, thanks to negative news. Trader Ran Neu-Ner stated that the bottom is yet to come. Although the technical signals look bearish, now could be a good time for long-term investors to start building positions in some cheap coins.