Malaysia Plans to Enact Crypto Regulation in Q1 2019, Finance Minister Reports

Malaysia will enact regulations for cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) in Q1 2019, local English-language news media outlet The Star reported Nov. 28.

The publication quoted finance minister Lim Guan Eng, who said Wednesday said the country’s regulator, the Securities Commission (SC), had updated him with a timeframe for the new rules.

The move will form “part of the SC’s efforts to facilitate alternative fundraising avenues and new investment asset classes,” The Star added.

Malaysia has taken a piecemeal path to regulation of its domestic cryptocurrency industry, originally beginning the process in late 2017.

Authorities have sought to control the sector in the meantime, Lim telling parliament that entities wishing to issue cryptocurrencies must consult the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia.

“I advise all parties wishing to introduce Bitcoin (style) cryptocurrency to refer first to Bank Negara Malaysia as it is the authority that will issue the decision on financial mechanism,” Cointelegraph reported him as saying Monday.

This month, a Malaysian politician had also recommended putting on hold approval for a government-backed cryptocurrency issuance project until the regulations came into force.

Malaysia has sought to foster its relationship with blockchain this year, November also seeing the Education Ministry set up a university degree verification system using the technology.



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Crypto Research Firm Launches Disclosure Database for Digital Assets

Cryptocurrency data and research company Messari is launching a disclosures registry for basic cryptoasset information, according to a press release published Nov. 27.

Messari is a New York-based startup, which provides insights, markets data, and research tools in the crypto industry for investors, regulators, and the general public. In March, Messari secured between $1–$5 million in early-stage funding to launch its disclosure database, according to Forbes.

Per the recent Messari announcement, the company has launched the open-source disclosures registry, that aims to become “a single source” for basic cryptoasset information. Twelve initial partners have also joined the project, including such industry players as secure identity ecosystem firm Civic and blockchain protocol Aion.

While forming the database, Messari will purportedly collect basic information voluntarily disclosed by the participating parties about their token design, supply details, technical issues, as well as investors and advisors. The profiles will reportedly be free of access within the industry. The release further explains:

“With the launch of the Messari registry, token projects will finally have a common platform that helps them better communicate material updates with both their existing communities and external stakeholders…”

Ryan Selkis, the CEO of Messari, stated that transparency is critical for the development of the crypto economy. He noted that participating projects “share our vision that the information they provide should remain freely accessible to all market participants, rather than locked behind the paywall of any single data provider.”

Other organizations in the cryptocurrency space have also formed self-regulatory and development bodies. In April, sixteen Japanese licensed exchange operators took steps to launch the Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Association (JCEA). Plans began surfacing in February from two industry entities whose members now make up the JCEA — the Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) and Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA).

A study by international law firm Foley & Lardner LLP published in June revealed that 86 percent of cryptocurrency firms’ executives and investors want the industry to self-regulate. A total of 89 percent of respondents saw the need for “formalized” self-regulation, with a slightly lower majority considering that these formalized standards should have regulatory oversight from authorities.



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Crypto Exchange Bitstamp to Integrate New Platform for Market Monitoring

European cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp will integrate a new platform to improve compliance and customer protection, according to a press release published Nov. 27.

Bitstamp has formed a partnership with British market surveillance firm Irisium Ltd. in an effort to improve the safety and reliability of its marketplace. The exchange will deploy Irisium’s platform to monitor market activity and attract more institutional investors.

Commenting on the collaboration, Alastair Goodwin, CEO of Irisium Ltd, said that the adoption of Irisium’s platform will help “increase transparency, integrity and confidence in the cryptocurrency market,” eventually improving market liquidity and adoption.

Founded in 2011, Bitstamp is purportedly the largest crypto exchange by trading volume in the E.U., supporting trading for Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), U.S. dollars and euro.

Recently the exchange was acquired by Belgium-based investment firm NXMH, which is in turn a subsidiary of investment bank Barclays. The firm is a also a subsidiary of Korea-based media giant NXC Corp., which bought a 65.19 percent stake in South Korean crypto exchange Korbit last year.

In August, Bitstamp along with crypto exchanges Gemini, Bittrex, and bitFlyer USA established a self-regulatory organization dubbed the Virtual Commodity Association Working Group for digital commodities, such as cryptocurrencies. The organization aims to help large-scale investors get more comfortable with the crypto market and work on formulating industry standards.

In May, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) in partnership with U.K.-based Crypto Facilities launched the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate and Real Time Index to provide users access to a real-time ETH price in U.S. dollars. Both rates are set to be calculated by Crypto Facilities, and based on transactions and order book activity from crypto exchanges Bitstamp and Kraken.



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ADAM will Set a Code of Conduct for Crypto Participants

Ten financial and tech companies have come together to establish an Association for Digital Asset Markets or ‘ADAM.’ The groups aim is to create a “code of conduct” for the cryptocurrency sector.

ADAM is a Good Boy

The body is made up of well-known crypto names. These include Galaxy Digital, BTIG, Paxos—which recently launched the PAX stablecoin—and crypto liquidity solutions provider GSR.

Looking to get on the good side of regulators, and no doubt put more of a definite shape on the cryptocurrency market, the group will work with regulators to seek “comprehensive standards” for market participants.

These standards will apply to all areas of the industry from trading, custody, clearing, and settlement and will be the framework for “ethical conduct” and “professionalism.

If successful, these standards should deter market manipulation and improve transparency for both regulatory authorities, policymakers, and the public.

Code of Conduct

According to Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange and ADAM Advisory Board Member, rules are vital for the success of any market:

“Rules are fundamental to the development of any market. Over 200 years ago, market leaders came together to draft rules that led to the creation of the New York Stock Exchange. The advent of digital assets requires a similar effort; one that will clarify existing rules and give both investors and regulators the confidence necessary to sustain this market.”

>> NASDAQ to Launch Bitcoin Futures in 2019

Important questions remain about the specifics; who exactly will be setting the rules and who exactly will be enforcing them?

Made to complement existing laws and regulations, the code of conduct will include guidelines for “market integrity, risk management, KYC and AML, custody, record keeping, clearing and settlement, market manipulation, data protection, and research.

Ten companies make up ADAM. But hundreds of companies make up the entire crypto industry. Can an entire industry adopt these ‘standards’ successfully?

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Ten Blockchain, Fintech Firms Launch Association to Make ‘Code of Conduct’ for Crypto

Ten financial and tech firms have established an Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) to create a “code of conduct” for the cryptocurrency sector. The launch was announced in a press release published Nov. 27.

Among ADAM’s founding members are Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, global financial services firm BTIG, fintech firm Paxos – of recently-launched stablecoin PAX – and crypto liquidity solutions provider GSR.

According to the press release, ADAM will focus on working with regulators to seek “comprehensive standards” for digital asset market participants. These will aim to encompass trading, custody, clearing and settlement in the sector, and to provide a framework for “ethical conduct” and “professionalism.”

The standards are also an attempt to improve transparency for both regulatory authorities, policy makers and the public, and to broadly deter market manipulation, the release notes.

Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and ADAM Advisory Board Member, is quoted as saying:

“Rules are fundamental to the development of any market. Over 200 years ago, market leaders came together to draft rules that led to the creation of the New York Stock Exchange. The advent of digital assets requires a similar effort; one that will clarify existing rules and give both investors and regulators the confidence necessary to sustain this market.”

ADAM’s code of conduct will reportedly be established to work as a “complement” to existing laws and regulations in order to “accelerate fair and orderly digital asset markets where innovators and capital can transact with confidence.”

Specifically, the code will include guidelines for “market integrity, risk management, KYC and AML, custody, record keeping, clearing and settlement, market manipulation, data protection, and research.”

In late October, crypto finance company Circle announced it was participating in the Global Digital Finance (GDF) industry body as a founding member. The GDF is developing its own global “code of conduct” for crypto assets, which will similarly aim to serve as a “shared rulebook” of standards in regard to money handling, risk management, interaction with customers and regulators, and market practices.



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Crypto Winter Arrived, Bitcoin Not Escaping $5kFor 3 to 6 Months




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According to Vinny Lingham, the CEO of Civic, the crypto market and Bitcoin could suffer from their bearish trend for at least three to six months.

The $3,000 support level has been quite strong Lingham said and in the short-term, the $3,000 support level will likely be maintained with buy orders being set in the lower range of $3,000 to $3,500.

Lingham said:

“I think it stays in the range between $3,000 to $5,000 at least for three to six months. I don’t think we break through the support level of $3,000 just yet. I think there is a lot of buying in the short-term around that mark. If we don’t get out of the crypto bear market cycle in the next three or six months, the $3,000 level could go.”

Not Escaping Crypto Bear Market in Six Months Could Lead to Trouble

Several prominent analysts including Woobull.com founder Willy Woo have said that the bear market of the cryptocurrency market could come to an end by the second quarter of 2018, but there exists a very low probability of the downtrend being reversed in the short-term.

Following a correction in the magnitude of 80 to 90 percent, an asset normally tends to endure a long consolidation period. For a rapidly moving asset class like crypto, the consolidation period could last three to six months.

But, Lingham said that if the cryptocurrency market fails to recover in the next two quarters, the $3,000 support level could be breached and the downtrend could extend to the end of next year.

Over the past several months, in spite of the volatility in the cryptocurrency market, the industry has seen the entrance of Bakkt, ICE, Nasdaq, Fidelity, and many more financial institutions in Asia.

Today, on November 27, sources reported that Nasdaq is planning to operate a Bitcoin futures market by the first quarter of 2019.

Lingham noted that if the volatility of the cryptocurrency market continues to increase, then institutional investors could refrain from investing in the asset class even if the infrastructure strengthens and solidifies.

“[Extreme volatility] doesn’t make crypto an investment-grade asset. If you keep speaking about institutional investors coming to the table and ETF getting approved, you can’t have this sort of volatility in an asset class if you want big money to be involved,” he added.

Is Bitcoin Too Risky?

The recent crash of Bitcoin in the past two weeks by more than 35 percent has scared away retail and institutional investors, Lingham explained. Because of the downtrend, he emphasized that the asset is too risky to invest in.

“I think in the short-term, it is a market where you scare away the retail investors, you scare away the institutional money and the die hards are hodlers, and will come in whatever dry part they have left. For me, it’s a bit too risky. But obviously, it’s high-risk, high-reward, if the market does turn, this could be a great time to buy.”

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Nasdaq to Launch Bitcoin Futures Market, Not Worried by Crypto Winter




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The world’s second largest stock exchange Nasdaq is planning to introduce a Bitcoin futures market within the first quarter of 2019.

Sources told Bloomberg that Nasdaq has been cooperating with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to receive regulatory approval to operate as a compliant cryptocurrency futures market operator.

The report read:

“Nasdaq has been working to satisfy the concerns of the U.S.’s main swaps regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, before launching the contracts, the people said. The New York exchange operator, which was first reported to be eyeing Bitcoin futures last year, wants to allow trading in the first quarter of 2019, one of the people said.”

What Impact Will Nasdaq Plus Bakkt Have on Bitcoin?

Bakkt, a cryptocurrency exchange built by ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, is expected to launch its Bitcoin futures market on January 24.

On November 20, the company delayed the listing of Bitcoin futures citing an unforeseen increase in demand for its futures product. Bakkt stated that it needs additional time to prepare the infrastructure that is required to serve a large group of investors based in the US.

“ICE Futures U.S., Inc. will list the new Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract for trading on trade date Thursday, January 24, 2019, subject to regulatory approval. The new listing timeframe will provide additional time for customer and clearing member onboarding prior to the start of trading and warehousing of the new contract,” Bakkt announced.

Currently, the demand from institutional investors for crypto can only be evaluated through the numbers that Bakkt, Fidelity Digital Assets, Goldman Sachs, BitGo Custody, Coinbase Custody, and other major over-the-counter (OTC) markets can provide.

The entrance of Nasdaq in a long-lasting bear market and downtrend suggests that the company sees sufficient institutional demand from the U.S. market. A conglomerate in the size of Nasdaq does not allocate a large portion of its resources to develop an infrastructure for a new asset class unless it is certain that the demand for it will grow over time.

Depending on the delivery of Nasdaq’s plans, by the second quarter of 2019, the cryptocurrency market could have Nasdaq and NYSE, two of the largest stock exchanges, in the global market operating Bitcoin futures markets.

Bakkt physically delivers Bitcoin to its investors and as such, it could have an actual impact on the supply of Bitcoin and ultimately its price. The intricacies of Nasdaq’s plans remain unclear but the two markets could lead to an increase in additional liquidity for the asset.

SEC’s Concerns

Since August, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on the futures market, the commission consistently stated that the futures market is simply not of significant size to handle large-scale investment vehicles.

In the next 6 to 12 months, the stance of the SEC towards the Bitcoin futures market could change if Bakkt and Nasdaq demonstrate real demand from local investors.

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Bitcoin Price Drops 7% Again as Crypto Market Struggles to Retain Momentum




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Throughout the past 24 hours, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) dropped from $4,065 to $3,600, reversing a short-term corrective rally.

The dominant cryptocurrency has been on a steep downtrend for several weeks but on November 26, for a brief of time, Bitcoin seemed to be initiating a corrective rally after reaching a new yearly low at around $3,400.

Temporarily, Bitcoin spiked to $4,000, engaging in a 17 percent increase in price within a 24-hour period. However, the price of the asset began to fell back to the lower region of $3,000.

What is Bitcoin up to?

The cryptocurrency market is struggling to sustain any sort of momentum in an attempt to create a trend reversal. Sell pressure on major digital assets is increasing and buy pressure is declining, which has led both Bitcoin and Ethereum to drop by more than 40 percent in the past two weeks.

“Bitcoin failing to complete the bull flag and to hold the neckline of the IH&S. Lack of buy pressure and $3,800 range looking weak. Expecting more downside: $3,400 as first target,” cryptocurrency trader Crypto Rand said on November 26.

Since Monday, the price of BTC has moved closer to the $3,400 support level and based on the movement of BTC in the past 12 hours, it is likely that BTC will drop below the level in the days to come, especially if it fails to maintain stability above the $4,000 mark.

Ripple (XRP), EOS, Stellar (XLM) and other major cryptocurrencies are in a worse position than BTC and ETH because of their low daily volumes. Currently, the volume of ETH remains larger than that of XRP, XLM, and BCH combined.

When the price of an asset falls substantially without a huge spike in volume, it represents a free fall without much sell pressure. Which means as big sell volumes begin to the hit the market, the price of the asset could be vulnerable to additional sell-offs in the near future.

The volume of BTC is decent at $6.5 billion and the volume of ETH is also relatively high. But, the volume of other major cryptocurrencies are lower than where they were from August to November, a period in which BTC demonstrated its lowest level of volatility in recent history.

Alex Krüger, a cryptocurrency trader and economist, said:

“Before the crash BTC had been growing exponentially. Will BTC ever resume exponential growth? Maybe not. Maybe only temporarily. Many assets don’t grow exponentially. What if bitcoin has matured and starts behaving as a currency or most commodities?”

One Positive: Swiss ETP

The newly introduced crypto exchange-traded product (ETP) in Switzerland offered by Amun and the Swiss Stock Exchange, has began to appeal to a large group of traders in the region.

It has become the biggest ETP in Switzerland with the highest trading volume, portraying an immense interest from local investors towards crypto.

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Craig Wright’s Bitcoin Cash Fork Can Hit $1 Million: Fmr Reddit Crypto Dev




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According to former Reddit crypto lead-turned-entrepreneur Ryan X. Charles, there are only a couple options for the future of Bitcoin, specifically Bitcoin Cash-spinoff Bitcoin SV — it goes to astronomical highs, or it goes to zero. To illustrate his point, published the following tweet on Friday. It seems he has decided that of the two networks that came out of the BCH hard fork, he’s on the side of Bitcoin SV (BSV).

While there are of course many possibilities for the future of cryptocurrencies as a whole, and certainly any number of futures for all versions of Bitcoin, the real message of the Yours.org founder’s tweet lies in the last bit: “Adoption trumps everything.”

Yours.org One of First Services Launched on Bitcoin Cash

Charles had long advocated for larger blocks in the Bitcoin network, believing that the ability to simultaneously process millions of transactions is vital to the long-term success and viability of Bitcoin. It wasn’t until Bitcoin Cash went live that he felt he could launch Yours.org, which requires on-chain payments for people to read content — with payments as low as 1 penny being processed on a regular basis. Yours.org is something like a hyper-monetized WordPress.com or Tumblr, without building its own blockchain as Steemit has done.

In an interview with CoinGeek, he said:

“Something that I think the nChain and CoinGeek side understand that seems to have been glossed over on the ABC side is the desperate urgent need to scale right now.”

After leaving Reddit, Charles listed for a bit, floating the idea of creating a decentralized version of the social site, but eventually landed on the creation of Yours.org. More recently, he has been active on a Bitmain-backed payments project called Money Button, which makes it easy for websites to accept payments through cryptocurrencies.

It is important not to sensationalize such statements as “go to one million USD.” While many believe that various crypto tokens can hold values that high in the distant future, Charles’ primary point of view is that scaling and adoption are crucial to the success of Bitcoin — whatever version. As such, he’s chosen Bitcoin SV as his dog in the race because he believes it is best equipped for scaling.

Only time will tell what scaling strategy works best, but in the Bitcoin world, there are now three competing visions — the off-chain scaling of Bitcoin Core, the medium-careful scaling of Bitcoin ABC, and the aggressive on-chain scaling of Bitcoin SV.

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Bulgarian Prosecutors Detain Three Hackers Allegedly Involved in $5 Million Crypto Theft

Bulgarian Gendarmerie forces and specialized prosecutors have arrested three hackers allegedly involved in stealing $5 million in crypto, Sofia-based newspaper 24 Chasa reports Monday, Nov. 26.

Bulgarian police reportedly seized cryptocurrencies worth around $3 million, as well as the equipment allegedly used by the thefts, including computers, flash drives, and a hardware portfolio for storage of crypto data.

Apart from notebooks containing crypto accounts, the prosecutors have also seized a car that was allegedly purchased with stolen funds and worth about 60,000 in Bulgarian Lev (BGN) (about $35,000). According to prosecutors, the suspects implemented new hacking methods and performed advanced computer skills in the scam. The criminals also used specialized software for the hacking scheme.

The prosecutors reportedly launched the investigation five months ago, shortly after being informed about the first cases of the alleged scam. The suspects are currently imprisoned by order of a local specialized court.

Last week, U.S. authorities in the state of California arrested a 21-year old man from New York for the alleged theft of $1 million in crypto in a “SIM-swapping” scheme. The hacking method involves the stealing of a cell phone number in order to hijack online financial and social media accounts.

Previously, California-based law enforcement group REACT Task Force reported that “SIM swapping” has become one of its “highest priorities” in a bid to fight cryptocurrency fraud.



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