A Stablecoin for HODLers? ‘Pizza CEO’ Raises $3 Million for New Crypto

A fixed price coin whose value increases over time? Only in crypto. Coming out of stealth mode Monday, crypto project Fragments is revealing that it has raised a $3 million venture round led by True Ventures, with additional participation by Pantera, FBG Capital, Founder Collective and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Co-founded by Pythagoras Pizza founder Evan Kuo, the project was originally designed as a gig economy token but has since pivoted from that vision to one that addresses a fundamental problem in crypto: the need for a token that can easily trade…

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ICOs Iced: A 12-Month Freeze on US Token Trading Is Just Beginning

“The market is being chilled.” Issued by Mike Lempres, chief legal and risk officer at Coinbase, the statement captures the mood of the moment for crypto innovators in the U.S. as regulatory uncertainty and months of wanton market growth appear to be finally coming to a head. Spurring the shift is that the SEC finally confirmed last week what had been long rumored, that it’s investigating companies and startups associated with initial coin offerings (ICOs). In response, entrepreneurs are largely surrendering on the idea new cryptocurrencies created and sold to investors could…

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So Long ICOs, Hello Airdrops: The Free Token Giveaway Craze Is Here

Imagine getting $1,000 just for joining a newsletter. Well that’s effectively what happened for those that subscribed to Onchain’s newsletter early on in the project’s lifecycle. The company, which is building the Ontology network designed to connect real-world institutions to each other, gave 1,000 of its “ont” crypto tokens to people who signed up for its newsletter prior to a certain date. Those crypto tokens were distributed earlier this month and are now trading for a little over one dollar per coin, according to CoinMarketCap. “Ontology just raised a private round…

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Spooked By SEC, Video Streaming ICO Halts Token Release

Entrepreneurs are starting to doubt that crypto tokens can be used at all in the U.S. In fact, according to Simar Managt, the co-founder of distributed video streaming startup Stream, the current environment of regulatory uncertainty and rumors of subpoenas is putting such a pinch on projects that many are thinking about “moving elsewhere.” But, while that hasn’t happened yet for the Silicon Valley-incubated startup, the threat of regulator action is leading it to overhaul its product roll-out – drastically. Announced Tuesday, Stream is releasing a white paper that outlines…

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Report: South Korea Could Ease Its ICO Ban

South Korea’s ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) could be eased in the coming months, according to a new report. CoinDesk reported in September that the country’s Financial Services Commission had moved to prohibit the blockchain funding model. Yet a new report from the Korea Times suggests that the ban may be lifted in part, specifically for token sales that meet as-yet-to-be specified conditions. An anonymous source told the newspaper: “The financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry, and other relevant government offices about a plan…

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Gram Scam: Fake ‘Telegram ICO’ Websites Just Keep Popping Up

Would-be investors in Telegram’s multibillion-dollar initial coin offering (ICO) have quickly become a favorite  target for scammers. CoinDesk has identified as many as nine more websites claiming to sell the Telegram token after previously reporting on another fake website, which claimed to be run by the “Telegram Foundation.” Most of the sites claim that the token pre-sale will end sometime this weekend, with the price listed near $1. Notably, the first bogus website identified by CoinDesk has since been taken down. Many of the websites found in CoinDesk’s review are similar,…

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Dutch Finance Minister Calls for ICO Regulations

Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra issued a letter to parliament on Thursday advocating for an international approach to cryptocurrency regulation. His initial focus is new consumer protections, public documents suggest. To start, Hoekstra wants to talk with credit card companies about potentially instituting stronger protections for people who buy cryptocurrency with credit cards, for example. Under some of the proposals put forth by Hoekstra, local exchange platforms and cryptocurrency services would reportedly need to register with the government and adhere to know-your-customer requirements by the end of 2019. In the letter, the finance minister…

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KODAKCoin Backers Warn SEC Could Restrict Trading of Token

A new “light paper” released for the forthcoming KODAKCoin sale states that the token could see “significant” trading restrictions should the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deem it a security. KODAKCoin – which is being developed by a firm called WENN Digital using the brand of the onetime photography giant, and is set to form part of a new digital rights management platform – is being sold by way of a Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs), as detailed in the paper. Included in the paper is a long…

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US Congress to Discuss ICOs in Hearing Next Week

A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee is set to hold a hearing next week on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). A notice posted on the committee’s website lists the Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee hearing – entitled “Examining the Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets” – is scheduled for March 14 at 10 a.m. EST. As of press time, no further details have been published regarding the hearing. An agenda outlining the scope of the hearing, as well as who is set to appear as…

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US Officials Endorse Blockchain at DC Summit, But ICO Concerns Linger

Come together and collaborate… This was, perhaps, the message broadcast by representatives of the U.S. government to audience members at the first day of panels at the DC Blockchain Summit in Washington, DC on Wednesday – even as securities regulators warned exchanges who offer trading of ICO tokens. Indeed, it was James Sullivan, the deputy assistant secretary of services at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration who remarked during his address that “we cannot make policy in the abstract” and that, when it comes to the potential use of blockchain…

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