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US Congressman Tom Emmer Says XRP Is Not a Security, Calls on Regulators to Support Cryptocurrency

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US Representative Tom Emmer is confident that XRP isn’t a security.

Emmer, a Republican from Minnesota, held a crypto-focused town hall on Thursday to discuss the space with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

Garlinghouse says the biggest challenge Ripple and the XRP community have faced is the lack of clarity regarding how crypto assets beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum will be classified by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. He notes it’s been more than two years since BTC and ETH were ruled not to be securities and that the lack of clarity for the rest of the industry has restricted innovation.

Emmer, a noted supporter of the crypto space, agrees.

“Over two years is not only a problem, it is absolutely unacceptable, because what this does is entrepreneurs like you and everyone else on this town hall — you start looking elsewhere. Money will go where it’s easiest to flow, and the more the government puts in obstacles — and one of them is just inaction — the less opportunity we have to position the US as the leader.”

The representative says he plans to keep working on persuading other members of Congress – who he says “still think of Bitcoin in terms of the Silk Road” – that crypto has value and utility.

The XRP classification in particular matters to Ripple: The global payments startup is currently facing lawsuits that allege it sold the asset as an unregistered security. One is a class-action lawsuit from lead plaintiff Bradley Sostack, a former XRP investor who claims Ripple violated advertising laws in California. In May, Sostack’s lawsuit, which was initially filed in 2018, was consolidated with a new case filed by Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement (BMA), a company based in the US territory of Puerto Rico, which also claims that Ripple violated securities laws by selling XRP.

In June, Ripple filed for the fraud allegations to be dismissed, arguing that Sostack failed to offer the facts necessary to show Ripple made any false statements. The next hearing is scheduled for August 26.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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Source: https://dailyhodl.com/2020/08/21/us-congressman-tom-emmer-says-xrp-is-not-a-security-calls-on-regulators-to-support-cryptocurrency/

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US Lawmakers Want to Regulate Stablecoins, and Crypto Twitter is Not Happy

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The new STABLE Act could easily become the next nightmare for stablecoin businesses in the United States as it would bring them closer to the banking ecosystem than to the world of technology.

On December 2, 2020; Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, along with Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Rep. Stephen Lynch, introduced the new Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement (STABLE) Act, a bill that essentially orders all stablecoin issuers —such as Tether for USDT or Circle for USDC— to have a banking charter and be licensed by multiple federal agencies before they can even think about issuing a token.

If You Issue Stablecoins, Then You Are a Bank

The STABLE Act aims to protect low-income families who invest their money in stablecoins and who may be left defenseless as companies responsible for issuing tokens do not follow the same rules as regular banks, even when they provide similar services.

“It is critical not to let Wall St and Silicon Valley own the future of digital payments” is written in a one-pager. Lawmakers emphasized their concern about Facebook’s efforts to develop a cryptocurrency that could jeopardize the financial system’s stability, claiming that low- and middle-income families, immigrants, and people of color will be hurt the most in case something goes wrong.

Reps Lynch, Tlaib, and García, creators of the Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement (STABLE) Act,
From left to right: Reps. Lynch, Tlaib, and García

According to a press release published by Ms. Tlaib’s official website, the Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement Act has 4 key pillars:

  1. It requires any prospective issuer of a stablecoin to obtain a banking charter;
  2. Requires that any company offering stablecoin services must follow the appropriate banking regulations under the existing regulatory jurisdictions;
  3. Requires that any company or bank issuing a stablecoin to notify and obtain approval from the Fed, the FDIC, and the appropriate banking agency 6 months prior to its issuance and maintain an ongoing analysis of potential systemic impacts and risks;
  4. And requires that any stablecoin issuers obtain FDIC insurance or otherwise maintain reserves at the Federal Reserve to ensure that all stablecoins can be readily converted into United States dollars, on demand.

If approved, considering the four points above, stablecoins as we know them would probably have severe difficulties in staying alive, or at least would struggle to maintain their current conditions.

Crypto Twitter Reacts… And They Don’t Like What They See

However, the STABLE Act has not yet been passed, and there is little chance that it will be due to the length and sensitivity of the issue, coupled with the fact that the very bureaucratic steps required to pass the law would make it very difficult to advance in less than 30 days.

And although this law has a difficult path ahead of it, influential personalities in the crypto-verse are rasing their voices, criticizing it for slowing down innovation and attemtpting to give the power back to traditional banking.

For example, Chainlink God —a main voice among the Link Marines— said the law would be harmful to society, inviting the three lawmakers to “educate” themselves:

Meltem Demirors, CSO of CoinShares, had a similar —yet, more diplomatic— position, saying the law would be counter intuitive and would basically do more harm than good:

Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, the company behind USDC shared an extensive thread reacting to this announcement:

For now, the only thing the community can do is wait. Nothing has changed yet. However, this could be taken as a warning sign of upcoming efforts to thighten the belt on stablecoin businesses, which is bad for some fintechs, but good for other decentralized stablecoins like DAI.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/us-regulation-stablecoin-act-crypto-twitter-not-happy/

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Hackers Demand 200 Bitcoin Ransomware After Compromising Leading Israeli Insurance Company’s Sensitive Data

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A notorious hackers’ group called The Black Shadow has compromised one of the largest insurance companies in Israel – Shirbit. The attackers have already released sensitive client documents and have demanded a ransom in bitcoin, which could rise to $4 million by the end of the week.

Israeli Insurance Company Hacked

According to a local media outlet, the first confirmation of the hack came on Monday evening. Representatives of The Black Shadow group posted an initial batch of compromised documents on a Telegram channel.

Shirbit had contacted the National Cyber Directorate and Capital Market Authority to open an investigation. Shortly after, the organizations confirmed the breach and indicated that the hackers have also leaked numerous insurance details, alongside the initial documents.

According to the report, Shirbit has many high-profile customers, including government employees. Company CEO Zvi Leibushor said that the safety of its clients is Shirbit’s top priority.

“Shirbit has invested millions of shekels in securing databases and protecting against cyber-attacks and meets all the stringent regulatory requirements in this area.” He added that the firm has invested “all resources and efforts needed for an effective safe and rapid solution to this cyber-attack, whose real goal is to try to harm the Israeli economy.”

Demand Requested In Bitcoin

After releasing a small part of the compromised documents, The Black Shadow reps have contacted the victims to request 50 bitcoins (about $960,000 with today’s prices).

However, in case Shirbit failed to pay the attackers within the first 24 hours, the demand would double to 100 bitcoins. The procedure will repeat and double to 200 bitcoins if another 24 hours pass without payment.

Furthermore, the hackers threatened the insurance company that if it fails to transfer the funds by the end of this week, they will sell all compromised data to other bidders.

It’s worth noting that numerous other Israeli companies and high-profile individuals have recently become victims of similar hacks and demands.

CryptoPotato recently reported that 20 Israeli crypto executives, all clients of the local telecommunications giant Partner, were hacked by stealing their SMS messages.

Another coverage informed that a new type of ransomware attacked called Pay2Key has been executed against several Israeli companies in the second part of 2020. The perpetrators had requested the demand in bitcoins, similarly to the Shirbit hack.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/hackers-demand-200-bitcoin-ransomware-after-compromising-leading-israeli-insurance-companys-sensitive-data/

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Bitcoin Price to Hit $36,000 in 2021: Kraken Crypto Sentiment Survey

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From what happened in the last couple of weeks, it appears that the crypto bull market is upon us. Bitcoin has been consistent with its volatility-induced rallies, and this is infusing confidence in investors.

So much, so that VIP clients in Kraken’s latest Crypto Sentiment Survey say that BTC will skyrocket to about $36,000 in 2021. They also feel that ETH could revisit its previous highs of $1500.

Bitcoin And ETH To Trade At Average Prices Of $15K and $549 By 2020 End

The latest Kraken Crypto Sentiment Survey covers investor sentiment for the second half of 2020. The exchange had already conducted a similar survey back in March this year. But then investors were way more optimistic about BTC and ETH price growth by December.

Now, the same respondents have retracted their bullish calls for bitcoin and ether (ETH) this year. According to the latest numbers,

The average bitcoin price target among 309 responses fell -35% surveyover-survey to $14,866, well below February’s average of $22,866. The median price target also retraced -28% from $19,424 to $14,000, and the most commonly cited price target was $15,000, down -25% from $20,000.

With respect to ether (ETH), the average price target among 289 responses was $549, off -32% from the previous survey’s average of $810. The median price target was unchanged at $500 and the most frequently cited price target was $500, up +66% from $300.

At 72 percent, traders and investors (down from 81 percent when the survey was conducted in March) comprised a majority of the survey responses. 18 percent of responses came from Institutions (broker, custodian, family office, hedge fund, lender, market maker, private equity firm, proprietary trading firm, or venture capitalist).

And the rest 4 percent – from crypto service providers (ATM, exchange, lender, payment processor) and miners. As compared to March, the researchers at Kraken anticipated a lower price growth optimism from the said respondents since the year is so close to its end.

The Outlook For 2021 Remains Super Bullish

When asked about how they see bitcoin and ether prices in the next year, respondents didn’t shy away from expressing their mega bullish calls. Survey participants called for an average bitcoin price target of $36,602 in 2021. Some put the median bitcoin price target at $25,000, but a lot of folks (approximately 61 percent) felt if not anything else, BTC will at least hit $20,000.

A small section of respondents reported hopium-induced ultra bullish calls.

Approximately, 8% of respondents provided a price target greater-than-or-equal-to $100,000, roughly 20% of respondents reported a price target greater-than-or-equal-to $50,000…

Survey participants were very optimistic about ETH’s outlook as well in the next year. This sentiment came from the discussions around Ethereum’s network upgrade and the growing popularity of the DeFi ecosystem. Respondents think ETH will trade at an average price of $1454 in 2021. Also, at the same time:

Close to 59% believe that ether will, at least, hit $800. Additionally, 22% of respondents see ether surpassing its previous all-time high of $1,595 set in early-January 2018 and just under 92% see ether, at the very least, trading higher than current price in 2021.

What becomes evident from the aforementioned numbers is that participants in a price prediction survey tend to project bullish figures for a longer-term.

Will Bitcoin(BTC) and ether (ETH) hit the above price targets in 2021? That still remains to be seen.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-price-to-hit-36000-in-2021-kraken-crypto-sentiment-survey/

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