Today on Bitcoin This Week we comment on the SEC’s announcement to delay deciding Direxion on Bitcoin ETF, we comment on Bitcoin Fraudster entering a guilty plead to charges of securities fraud and obstruction and more.
Libertarian Will Accept Bitcoin Donations Despite Ban
A candidate for the role of Governor of Wisconsin has vowed to accept donations in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, despite warnings from the State’s ethics committee that such donations could be unlawful. Phil Anderson, who is running on behalf of the Libertarian Party, said that the current confusion over State law on crypto-donations should not “affect the First Amendment right of those who want to show support and contribute” to his election campaign.
Anderson requested the Ethics Commission to allow Bitcoin donations in May of this year, but the Commission referred the matter to the State Legislature amidst fears that crypto-donations may not be legal under State law. However, Anderson was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel lambasting the Legislature’s ability to handle this matter “fairly or expeditiously.”
New Bank Of England Payment System Will Be Blockchain Friendly
The Bank of England has announced that its new payment system, which it hopes to be up and running by 2020, will be designed to accommodate Fintech companies that employ blockchain technology.
The new system is mooted to provide extra protection against cyber attacks and will update the current Real-Time Gross Settlement system, which currently handles a staggering £500 billion worth of transactions annually. With Britain set to exit the European Union, the Bank of England is keen to avoid the city of London losing Fintech firms to other EU financial hubs. Installing a blockchain-friendly settlement system will, it is hoped, future-proof London’s financial services and arm it against a post-Brexit hemorrhage of global Fintech giants.
SEC Delays Deciding Direxion On Bitcoin ETF
US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, will not decide on whether to allow five new Bitcoin ETFs to be operated by investment firm Direxion until it has further time to examine the proposals. The SEC now has until the 21st of September to rule on whether it should change its rules to accommodate the company’s planned ETF products.
Exchange Traded Funds are securities that track the price of a commodity and are traded on the stock exchange. Speculation that the SEC will grant permission for a Bitcoin ETF has seen the currency record significant gains this week, leading commentators to suggest that a positive SEC decision in September could send Bitcoin prices soaring. However, the SEC has, to date, shown a marked reluctance to allow Bitcoin ETFs, most recently refusing a proposal from the Winklevoss brothers in May.
Bitcoin Fraudster Enters Guilty Plea
The operator behind WeExchange Australia and Bitfunder pleaded guilty to charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice in a Manhattan Court this week. Joe Montroll has admitted to running the now defunct services to defraud investors, and of failing to disclose a cyber-hack that relieved WeExchange of over 6000 Bitcoins in 2013.
Montroll used deposited Bitcoins for his only expenses, then continued to invite investments after the hack, even though he could no longer make repayments to a firm he had mislead into making a sizeable investment on the promise of daily interest. To compound matters, Montroll subsequently lied to SEC investigators who had been alerted to the activities of the disgraced platforms.
Bitcoin Breaks The $8000 Mark
It’s been a strong week for Bitcoin, with the currency gaining $1000 in value between Monday and Tuesday, although there has been some correction of that price since.
Bitcoin opened on Monday at $7414 and made a steady climb, closing at $7711. However, on Tuesday, the value soared to $8424 from an opening of $7716, before closing very strongly at that peak price. While not making any rapid advances, the price remained steady on Wednesday, keeping above the $8000 mark. Prior to this week, you have to go back to late May to find the last time Bitcoin crossed the $8000 threshold. To see current prices click here.