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As the popularity of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) is mounting along market’s instability and other cryptocurrencies fraud around the world, a debate has emerged about the appropriate regulatory policies for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The most frequently asked questions include the proper division of authority amid the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), whether authority of these commissions should reach the core of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as others are expecting that a whole new regulatory rule is required for cryptocurrency and token fundraisers. This blog illustrates the congressional testimony on cryptocurrencies, which aims to reflect the existing regulatory approach that is being used by the regulators to observe and manage ICOs and cryptocurrencies, and how more regulatory clarity can be achieved in such markets.

ICO whitepaper

US Securities laws disclosure system is the prime one, where promoters can easily share information related to their company and management, openly. With SEC, this information is filed later. By dissimilarity, most of the ICO disclosures are enabled via “whitepapers” which are unregulated at this time, focusing mainly on the current technology and on such technologies that are under-development.

Investors and buyers of ICO tokens that are looking for a good return or technology users that are looking forward to contribute and support in an advanced product would have to expect certain disclosures for making a purchase in a conversant way. Some of the disclosures that have been identified by the entrepreneurs themselves are specifically relevant to ICOs transition.

Location of Promotors

According to a study, in 32% of ICOs, it is literally impossible to identify the promoter’s origin. From an investor’s point of view, this is a serious information asymmetry. It won’t be possible to identify what legal protections and rules are. without this information. Moreover, there are few ways through which investor can interact with related public authorities especially in case of fraud, like; loss or theft. So, ICO whitepaper should set out a comprehensive report of where the issuer and its key management are placed.

Issues

If we talk about the history of US Securities law, there was no such information important for investors than the financial statements of the issuer. Investors could easily evaluate the past performance of the company by scrutinizing income statements, cash flow and balance sheets, and by doing so, they could make well-versed guesses about the future performance of the company as well as its profitability.  A whole ecosystem of third-party auditors, credit rating agencies, and accountants, were settled due to the criticality of financial statements in securities offerings, to make sure the accuracy of financial statements.

ICOs serves for a different purpose as compared to most of the traditional IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). Rather than funding trading companies, ICOs involve products industrialized by startups identifying technology-based issues and offering the sale of solutions based on technology.

It’s not the past performance of the company or financial statements for most of the offerings, but it’s the venture’s technology plan. Therefore, guaranteeing that investors/retail buyers comprehend the crucial contours of the fundamental technology solution is ultimate as ICOs turn out to be a more and more popular way of fundraising.

Moreover, further technical chunks of the ICO whitepaper would be a perfect subject to a system of third-party authentication, especially for larger fundraises. Also, when describing the solution, hyperbole should be avoided by the promoters which are an endemic problem in whitepapers. Plus, investors should be required to identify an objective base for all the upcoming statements as well.

Blockchain

Investors should be well-versed about how the secondary infrastructure works, and how it is going to affect the governance of the token. Also, the consensus method for a virtual currency’s Blockchain should also be revealed as well, along with a summary of how the governance decisions, plus other decisions affect the network, such as; software upgrades, which will be synchronized amid the several investors such as designers, miners, and users.

Token’s Description

This is obvious that tokens can have a number of different economic and qualitative features, like; currency, utility, or securities. The disclosures would have to elucidate what it means to a typical holder, if the tokens are created in a technological format, complying with firm guidelines, like; ERC20 standard.

Likewise, if some efforts will be made for listing a token, for example, to list a securities token on an ATS (alternative trading system), or if there are trading limitations on the security, then such facts have to be disclosed in a way that is clear to the owner of the token. The description of token should specify the envisioned use of the coins that are issued in the offering, their quantity, plus whether the advisors will keep the reserve coins, and if they do, then how they’d liquidate them. Promoters should be required to reveal their intellectual ownership of the company’s protocol.

Technical Team Qualification

Common disclosure requirement in registered offerings is the information about the business experience of executive officers as the investors are given a sense of the quality of management and are probably the success of the company once it goes public. In ICOs, companies have restricted histories and the problem may be exceptional, if same information about the offering’s technical team could be evaluated. At the same time, coders have diverging backgrounds, as some are more qualified and experienced than others. Also, to provide investors with an intellect as to the proficiency and reliability of the white paper, many founders should provide all info linked to key engineering experience, skills, qualifications and other relevant features. Plus, it should also be mandatory for developers to provide links to their previous work.

Risks

ICOs should involve disclosures regarding the most substantial risk aspects affecting token holders in the offering document. Even though many investors will probably understand that even successful ventures can be later disintermediated by more effectual nonentities. A token holder may get astonished to discover that the product doesn’t function as it’s intended or might develop a purpose all-in-all contingent on the progress of the technology, possibly even less in all likelihood, the requirements of the contributors in the ecosystem. Shareholders should comprehend as well that the greater sectoral risks, including variations in the trade that could demote some designs of blockchain into further parts of the sector, making many tokens worthless. Buyers had to be completely aware of their latent susceptibility to hacking, disruption, and data-loss, also authorized subjects like privacy concerns and information transportability across borders.

No doubt, there are other imperative disclosures as well that should be operationalized in means that are way too much effective.

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Bitcoin – puzzling rise of the bitcoin

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Bitcoin info: An insane rise in the value of the bitcoin is providing a new discussion to the technology world.

A number of people are really wondering about the origin of it, they are puzzled by this phenomenon? surprise how it is physical? how they withhold on it? how bitcoin works? or whether a new bubble like this, is on its way?

Whereas others count that the currency change brings the sans regulations.

If we look back, one Bitcoin was at the value of $0.003 in 2010. Whereas, its value in 2017 raises to $2500. Clearly, means that one bitcoin is equal to the 2500 US dollars. By multiplying the perspectives bitcoin’s value is 879,999 times.

 So, which thing people buy in actual????

On another side, people think about the hoarding of the bitcoins.

One of the trader’s point of view is, “Of course, you can spend bitcoins to purchase items at places where they are accepted. But a lot of traders are buying on speculation because the supply of bitcoin is limited”.
All we know that there is 21 million total supply of the bitcoins and 70% are mined already from the internet. And, a sharp increase of the bitcoin is associate it with “bubble” word.

Billionaire Mark Cuban already admit that it has a worth, it has a value in blockchain technology. And named it as a bubble early in this month.

Few of them relate this bitcoin hype to the “Tulipmania. A well-known episode in Dutch history 1636-1637.  Where the value of tulip bulb was pushed by the gamblers to rapid heights.

Unfortunately, the bubble burst and bulbs price crashed. The main reason for this crash was, no existence of the fundamental value of a bulb.

But, in the case of the bitcoin, you are free to spend your coin and get goods and services. This scope is continually expanding. Traders of the bitcoin are the well-wisher of this technology and claims that bitcoin’s attractiveness directly lies in its potential.

Furthermore, it is possible that fiat money also doesn’t have original value but it is controlled by the different sources. That is a reason for long-term investment.

Japanese government legalized the bitcoin, it is a live example that cryptocurrencies are making their ways into the mainstream.

Bitcoin is not only one cryptocurrency, which is available with the limited supply. In fact, there are more than 900 digital currencies available on the internet. Whereas, cryptocurrencies are basically decentralized digital money, which is not created by any government or central bank.

Additional tag: Bitcoin stock market

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Token Tax 2018: Here’s what ICO Investors and Issuers must know about it!

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ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) have skyrocketed in the past few years. A lot of attention has been given to regulatory matters than the potential tax issues that may soon arise for both investors as well as issuers. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) didn’t issue any guidance related to the tax treatment of token issuances. Taxpayers are mostly left to apply existing-tax-rules, depending on regulations and models that offer flawed analogies to token issuances.

cryptocurrency and taxes

Cryptocurrency and Taxes

Overall, the facts of a certain token issuance, which includes the rights related to tokens must be scrutinized to regulate the proper characterization of the tokens for tax-related matters. A token has to be considered as an equity interest in the issuing entity, however, the tax consequences to the holders and issuers will rely on the buckets that token falls into.

The rules can be way too much complex if the equity interest is in a partnership, and if the taxable income partnership will surge over to the investors, so they may have a constant tax liability. Furthermore, if an investor uses “appreciated cryptocurrency” to get the tokens, it will end up in current-tax to the investor on the appreciated cryptocurrency, however, considering other facts, the investor may have the ability to claim that the cryptocurrency exchange for tokens was “tax-deferred.”

There are few token issuers that issue some of their tokens for free through an “airdrop.” Receivers usually sign up for airdropped-tokens through the website of the issuer, and sometimes they have to use social media platforms to disseminate information about tokens in order to receive them. For the receiver, the value of tokens that he/she receives in an airdrop is a taxable income.

Token issuers usually pre-sell some tokens via SAFT or SAFE-T. The holder, under a SAFT usually pays a fixed-amount for getting the right to collect a determinable number of tokens. SAFT often provide that the envisioned SAFT’s tax treatment is as a “forward contract.” If this treatment is appreciated, then the tax on the purchase amount must be delayed ’til the tokens get delivered to the SAFT holder.

Though, SAFT as a forward contract won’t necessarily be appreciated by the Internal Revenue Service, as the agency may pursue to re-characterize SAFT to extricate it from a traditional prepaid “forward contract.”

Based on SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), SAFE-T is planned to be considered as an equity instead of alterable debt. SAFE-T’s tax treatment is ambiguous; however, it comprises the elements of both SAFE and SAFT.

It’s quite clear from that there’s only a little guidance from the IRS about how token offering is treated for tax purposes. Determining how to describe these tools for tax-purposes is an exhaustive procedure. Issuers must look up for a tax adviser to get some help in organizing their token offerings.

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New Tool! Make Almost 3X PROFIT in Bitcoin Buying BURSTCoin Today?

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SEC Uncovers A Case Of Fraudulent ICO

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No doubt cryptocurrencies have become notoriously volatile as various governments and financial organisations are imposing restrictions regarding the sale and purchase of fraudulent ico. On the other hand it is also a fact that continuous boom in the cryptocurrency market is the main reason behind the birth of some alarming situations regarding its investment and fundraising options. With an increase in the popularity of Initial coin offering and cryptocurrencies, many top social networking websites have recently banned advertisements related to all sorts of activities related to this specific market. Recently Facebook, Google and Twitter are on the top of the list among the sites which have prohibited ads related to cryptocurrencies. Not only that but the US Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued a strict warning according to which celebrities can no more endorse ICOs without proper announcement. Even a country like India has officially announced that Bitcoin is no more than an illegal tender within its borders.

ico fraud

some massive frauds and illegal activities related to the digital tokens have also become a reason for such restrictions. One of such recent fraudulent activities was reported by the US security exchange commission against two co-founders of a supposed financial services start-up for organizing a deceptive initial coin offering.

Who Was Behind That ICO Fraud?

The names of the two founders are Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas who are behind that ICO fraud. They were running of a cryptocurrency firm by the name of Centra Tech which was also authenticated by champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged the founders of Centra Tech for organizing a fraudulent initial coin offering. All that information was made public in a press release dated April 2.

 

Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas, were arrested and charged for raising 32 million dollars in an unregistered investment with the help of so called “CTR Token”. Farkas was fully prepared to leave the country, but was arrested moments before he could board his flight.

How Was This ICO Fraud Discovered?

According to the statement issued by US Securities and Exchange Commission, Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas offered a number of financial products on behalf of their company Centra Tech which also included a debit card backed by Visa and MasterCard. It was being claimed by Centra Tech that with the help of this debit card users could instantly convert cryptocurrencies into US dollars and other legal tokens. In fact it was all based on a fraud as no such agreement existed between Centra Tech and Visa or Mastercard.

 

Centra Tech was also alleged for creating fictional resumes and biographies in order to promote its fraudulent company. The company also hired celebrities like champion boxer Floyd Mayweather to promote their initial coin offering.

 

According to a warning issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in November last year, the ICOs which involved celebrities could be illegal.

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