Japan Not Considering Approval of Bitcoin ETF, FSA Denies Reports

According to a spokesperson from the Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan is not considering the approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Speaking to Bitcoin.com, an FSA representative said: There is no such fact that we are considering approving ETFs which track crypto-assets at present. We are not currently considering approving them. Japan Doesn’t See the Need for a Bitcoin ETF Last week, several sources including Bloomberg reported that Japan is exploring the possibility of approving Bitcoin ETFs as an alternative to Bitcoin futures. The reports led to an increase…

Circle CEO Says More Regulatory Clarity From US SEC Will Help Unlock Crypto Markets

CEO and co-founder of Goldman Sachs-backed crypto finance company Circle has said the biggest regulatory hurdle facing crypto today is the lack of clarity from the United States securities regulator over how to define various crypto assets. Jeremy Allaire made his remarks in an AMA reddit thread he initiated on Jan. 10 together with Circle co-founder Sean Neville and other representatives from the firm. In response to a question over Circle’s efforts to educate regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about the crypto industry, as well as specific…

Most Cryptos Need CFTC’s Light Touch, Not SEC Oversight

United States congressman Darren Soto has said that most cryptocurrencies should not be regulated under the country’s securities regulator. Soto made his comments in an interview with financial news channel Cheddar on Jan. 10. According to Soto, crypto should be overseen by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — rather than classed as securities under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s charge. Soto, a Democrat, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 9th District of Florida, and spearheaded a bipartisan…

Crypto Hedge Fund Manager Disputes Augur Metrics of $2 Mln, Claims Only $100,000 at Stake

Blockchain-based prediction market Augur is reportedly significantly overestimating its usage, a founding partner of cryptocurrency hedge fund Tetras Capital claimed on social media on Jan. 10. The latest criticism of the project, Alex Sunnarborg took Augur to task following publication of its most recent weekly report showing the amount of money circulating within its markets. Specifically, the report claims around $2 million is currently involved in wagers set up by users. Sunnarborg, however, notes the figure includes wagers which have already closed. “Augur metrics showing ~$2 (million) ‘total money at…

South Korea Government Approves Seven out of 21 Cryptocurrency Exchanges’ Security Policy

Some of South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges have passed a government security audit, but the majority could be exposed to attacks, local tech news outlet ZDNet reported on Jan 10. Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit, in addition to four other major exchanges, satisfied investigators during the audit, which took place between September and December 2018. Of the tranche of 21 platforms involved, however, the remaining 14 failed to meet the criteria for suitable security procedures. South Korea previously had one of the world’s most active cryptocurrency trading economies before regulatory upheaval…

Two Alleged Ethereum ‘Scam Forks’ Appropriating Users’ Private Keys, Report Finds

This article has been updated to include comments from MyEtherWallet concerning the clone phishing site. Altcoins Ethereum Nowa (ETN) and Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV) are reportedly appropriating the private keys of users trying to redeem their allegedly forked coins. The suspected scam was covered in a report sent to Cointelegraph by the Guarda Wallet development team on Jan. 11. The official website of the Ethereum Nowa project — which doesn’t contain a white paper — describes the process that users are supposed to engage in to obtain ETN. According to…

Vinny Lingham Forecasts Bitcoin Price for Two Months Trading Between $3,000 and $5,000

Vinny Lingham, CEO of blockchain identity platform Civic, has revised down his short-term Bitcoin (BTC) price prediction on Jan. 11, telling financial news network Cheddar that the cryptocurrency could fall below $3,000. In an interview, Lingham, who had previously forecast BTC/USD to trade between $3,000 and $6,000 in the coming months, said the market would either “breakout or breakdown.” “The reality is it’ll probably trade sideways between $3,000 and $5,000 for another month or two while it’s trying to find which way to go,” he said, adding: “When it finds…

Japanese Regulators Grant Cryptocurrency Exchange License to Coincheck

Japan’s finance regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has granted full permission for cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck to continue operating in the country. Cointelegraph Japan reported on the development on Jan. 11, quoting an official communique. Coincheck, which was hacked in January 2018, losing altcoin tokens worth $530 million at the time, now joins the slowly increasing number of officially sanctioned exchanges serving the Japanese market. The step is a milestone for the exchange and for online broker Monex Group, which bought Coincheck for a nominal $33.5 million in April. According…

NASA Publishes Proposal for Air Traffic Management Blockchain Based on HyperLedger

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has proposed an air traffic management blockchain, according to a paper published on the agency’s official website on Jan. 10. The proposed system would employ an open-source permissioned blockchain to enable secure, private and anonymous communication with air traffic services. The document notes: “This framework features certificate authority, smart contract support, and higher-bandwidth communication channels for private information that may be used for secure communication between any specific aircraft and any particular authorized member.” The engineering prototype of the system reportedly…

Overstock’s Security Token Trading Platform to Give Investors Control Over Token-Holdings

The security token exchange subsidiary of e-commerce retail giant Overstock, tZero, has started releasing control of its tokens, according to a letter to investors released on Jan. 11. Last August, the subsidiary had announced that its security token offering would close, having raised $134 million out of the maximum amount of $250 million previously specified. In June 2018, tZero had also signed a letter of with investment company GSR Capital for the purchase of $160 million in tZero Security Tokens. According to tZero CEO Saum Noursalehi’s letter, investors now have…