Why Some Banks Issue Their Own Digital Tokens, While Others Don’t

This week, a number of banks shed light on their respective crypto-related projects, following the recent expansion of JPMorgan Chase into the field. IBM was the big mover. A joint announcement by IBM and Stellar (XMR) said that as many as six global banks might issue their own stablecoins on IBM’s blockchain-powered payments network, dubbed “Blockchain World Wire” (BWW). The question now is whether this marks a turning point for cryptocurrency’s use, or if it merely continues the experiments that have marked the early stages of digital money. While quite…

Digital Asset Holdings Gets Permanent CEO 3 Months After Blythe Masters Leaves

United States distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider Digital Asset Holdings has appointed a new permanent CEO after Blythe Masters quit the post last year, the company confirmed in a press release on March 19. Digital Asset, which Masters began running in 2015, specializes in building DLT-based solutions for various financial entities. Founded in 2014, the company remained with a temporary CEO — chairman of the firm’s board, AG Gangadhar — for three months after Masters confirmed her departure in December. Now, the slot will be filled by Yuval Rooz, Digital…

SEC’s Senior Advisor for Digital Assets Valerie Szczepanik: Stablecoins May Be Securities

Senior advisor for digital assets at the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Valerie Szczepanik reportedly noted that stablecoins could experience issues under current securities laws. Blockchain-related news website Decrypt reported her comments on March 16. Szczepanik, also known as the Crypto Czar, was appointed to the new position of associate director of the Division of Corporation Finance and senior advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation for Division Director Bill Hinman in June of 2018. When Szczepanik reportedly made the statement concerning securities at Austin’s SXSW conference on March…

SEC’s Finhub to Host Public Forum on Blockchain, Digital Assets in May

United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it is hosting a public forum on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital assets this May. The news was revealed in an SEC press release today, March 15. The commission’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (Finhub) has organized the event — dubbed the Fintech Forum — which will take place on May 31, 2019. The press release reports that the forum will include industry experts as panelists and is “designed to foster greater communication and understanding…

Nasdaq-Powered EU Digital Exchange DX Launches Security Token Trading

Estonia-based Nasdaq–powered digital trading platform DX.Exchange is claiming an industry first with its launch of security token trading and security token offering (STO) listings. The development was shared with Cointelegraph in a press release on March 14. As previously reported, DX.Exchange went live in January, with support for various fiat and cryptocurrency trading pairs and tokenized stocks. In March, the platform added tokenized exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to its supported products. According to the press release, the platform now allows investors to purchase security tokens using both fiat and major cryptocurrencies…

Digital Currency Group, Polychain Back UK Crypto Futures Exchange Coinflex

Physically delivered crypto futures exchange Coinflex has attracted two more high-profile crypto investors, Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital, the exchange tweeted on March 12. The new investors have joined Coinflex’s investor consortium, which includes major market making and venture capital names such as Dragonfly Capital Partners, Trading Technologies and Roger Ver. In the same announcement, Coinflex introduced its FLEX Coin, which is designed to encourage liquidity and reward early traders on the platform. Traders will be paid a certain amount of FLEX based on the proportion of the volume…

Russia Adopts Digital Rights Law That ‘Forms the Basis’ of Digital Economy Development

Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, has voted to enact new digital rights legislation in October this year, according to a press release on the Duma’s official website on March 12. The changes to Russia’s civil codex passed their third and final Duma reading on Tuesday. The law reportedly establishes the concept of “digital rights” in Russian legislation with the addition of a new article, 141.1, of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. The law determines how digital rights can be exercised and transferred, as well establishes rules for digital…

Proposed Bill Requires Identification of Buyers Paying in Digital Currencies

A bill requiring users to identify themselves while using digital currencies has been filed on March 8, according to the official Texas legislature portal. The bill’s text contains the definitions of digital currencies, digital wallets, distributed ledgers and verified identity digital currencies (VIDC). The latter is defined as “a digital currency that allows the true identities of the sender and the receiver to be known before a person has access to another person’s digital wallet.” Per the proposed bill, before accepting a payment in digital currency, a person must verify…

Marshall Islands Digital Currency Needs Work to Satisfy US Regulatory Concerns

The Marshall Islands’ government upcoming digital currency, which will be launched in partnership with Israeli startup Neema, still needs work in order to placate United States financial regulators. English-language Israeli media The Times of Israel reported on the currency’s progress on March 9. While the release of the coin, dubbed the Sovereign (SOV), is scheduled for later this year, The Times of Israel notes that the U.S. regulators are concerned about a possible negative impact on the existing banks in the country, as well as potential for money laundering. More…