PwC Is Advising (Not Auditing) Another Stablecoin Project

The Hong Kong division of global accounting and consulting firm PwC is exploring the best practices for issuing stablecoins, as part of an initiative with the non-profit Loopring  Foundation. Announced Tuesday, PwC Hong Kong’s Asia-focused study on stablecoins follows a PwC partnership in the U.S. to advise decentralized lending platform Cred, which is working on a U.S. dollar-tied coin. Stablecoins or one sort or another are suddenly all the rage, with the likes of Circle issuing its dollar-backed USDC on exchange giant Coinbase, and even big players like IBM getting in on…

Israeli Startups Raised $600 Million Through ICOs in 2018: Report

Israeli startups have brought in more than $600 million in funding from initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the first three quarters of 2018, according to an industry report. Crypto analytics and research firm One Alpha surveyed ICOs and blockchain projects globally, from the past year, aiming to provide an overview on the status of the blockchain and ICO ecosystem, with a particular focus on Israel. One Alpha’s survey counted 140 active blockchain-related companies in Israel, which, when combined with other forms of investment, have received $1.3 billion worth of investments.…

The Incoming Wave of ICO Regulation (Yes, It’s Coming)

Alex Sunnarborg is a Founder of Tetras Capital. Previously, he was a research analyst at CoinDesk and a founder of the crypto investing app Lawnmower. As you may know, securities classification analysis in the U.S. today primarily revolves around the Securities Act of 1933 and the SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. Supreme Court case of 1946. The Securities Act of 1933 was established to require issuers to disclose certain pieces of information to potential investors prior to any public securities offering. This law was enacted to reduce misrepresentation by issuers and to help…

Media Startup Civil to Issue Refunds as $8 Million Token Sale Fails

Civil, the New York-based startup aiming to put journalism on a blockchain, has announced it will issue refunds to users who participated in its token sale, as it failed to meet a pre-set minimal requirement. Matthew Iles, Civil’s chief executive officer, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday that the startup closed the sales process of its proprietary CVL tokens on Oct. 15, which was not able to reach the goal of collecting at least $8 million. Having received a $5 million funding from the ethereum startup Consensys last year,…

Crypto Reckoning? Industry Vets Strike Humble Tone in San Francisco

Many at San Francisco Blockchain Week 2018 are warily reflecting on the lessons of the 2017 token sale boom, the pride that came before this current bear market fall. Veteran investor and AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant told conference goers on Monday the last “hype cycle” was a “coming of age” for many cryptocurrencies such as ethereum, the second largest crypto by market cap. “We almost got Wall Street completely involved, but we didn’t quite get there,” Ravikant said, adding that although some of the world’s leading financial institutions are tiptoeing…

North Dakota Securities Regulator Issues Cease and Desists Against 3 ICOs

North Dakota’s securities watchdog is again taking action against ICO projects it alleges are operating illegally in the state. On Thursday, Karen Tyler, commissioner of the North Dakota Securities Department, issued cease and desist orders against three companies for offering “unregistered and potentially fraudulent securities in the form of ICOs.” The regulator alleged in a news release that the companies – Crystal Token, Life Cross Coin and Advertiza Holdings – had placed fraudulent statements on their websites with claims of excessively high returns, insufficient disclosures and misrepresentation of facts. The agency said…

United Arab Emirates to Allow ICOs as Corporate Funding Option

The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has announced plans to introduce new rules that would permit initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a fundraising method for domestic companies. Intended for introduction in 2019, the new rules would allow firms to raise capital via crypto token sales as an alternative to traditional methods such as IPOs, according to a Reuters report published Monday. The news was revealed by the head of the U.A.E.’s securities watchdog, Obaid Saif al-Zaabi, who said at a seminar today: “The board of the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority has approved…

VOIP Pioneer Says New Startup Is Paying Users Interest on Millions in Crypto

Celsius, a cryptocurrency lending startup, says it’s paying thousands of users interest for depositing bitcoin and ether with its wallet app. Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Celsius claims to have garnered more than 10,000 users since the soft launch of its mobile app on June 29, with an average deposit of 0.5 bitcoin or 5.5 ether earning up to 6.7 percent on an annualized basis. The interest comes from income Celsius makes lending fiat and crypto, much of the latter to hedge funds that want to short, or bet against, the…

Multicoin Leads $10 Million SAFT Sale for Ethereum Scaling Startup Skale

Blockchain startup Skale Labs raised nearly $10 million in an effort to develop a blockchain scalability infrastructure for ethereum, the company announced Thursday. The startup says in a press statement that it raised $8.86 million in a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) sale led by Multicoin Capital, on top of $785,000 raised earlier this year. Galaxy Digital, Aspect Ventures, Blockchange Ventures, Boost.VC, Canaan Venture Partners, Floodgate Fund, Hack.VC, Neo Global Capital and Signia Venture Partners also participated in the sale. The company intends to launch an open-source permissionless blockchain…

South Korea’s Policy Chief Calls for Legalization of ICOs

The chairman of Korea’s National Policy Committee has called for the legalization of initial coin offerings (ICOs), provided that a regulatory framework is put in place. According to a report from CoinDesk Korea on Tuesday, Min Byung-Doo, who is a member of the country’s governing Democratic party, said that, with token sales becoming a global trend, “I do not want the ICO door closed completely … The state should not ignore [the issue].” The policy chief spoke earlier Tuesday during 8th plenary session of the National Assembly, at which lawmakers posed…