Early on the morning of March 22nd, the Nikkei Asian Review published an article with the headline “Japan to warn Hong Kong-based crypto exchange: Criminal charges to be filed if Binance fails to halt Japan operations.”
Yikes — It certainly got our attention!
The FSA has been clamping down on cryptocurrency venues after a $500 million theft from Japanese exchange Coincheck in January.
CZ, the CEO of Binance, took to Twitter saying, “Nikkei showed irresponsible journalism. We are in constructive dialogs with Japan FSA, and have not received any mandates.”
Within minutes of the news story circulating, bitcoin took a swift nosedive, dropping over 5% from $9040 USD to trade at just above $8600 later in the day, at the time of reporting.
Do you think there any truth to this or is it just another case of irresponsible journalism as CZ claims?
March 7th was one of the most active days we’ve seen in a while.
The CFTC finally got it’s ruling in Federal Court, the SEC made an official statement following up on subpoenas issued to ICOs, and Binance came down with a severe case of the bots.
A U.S. district judge ruled in favor of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) definition of cryptocurrencies as commodities, which the regulator has observed since 2015.
However, in it’s own statement, the SEC announced that it would regulate ICOs and that any exchange that allows investors to buy and sell securities — ICO’s included — needs to comply with existing SEC rules for exchanges. Yep, that means getting registered with the SEC just like the New York Stock Exchange.
So, wait a minute — the SEC say cryptocurrencies in fact securities? or just the new ICO ones?
Meanwhile a pump and dump scheme was orchestrated on ViaCoin on Binance using bots designed to execute trades automatically. This caused ViaCoin to explode in value from $3 to $200 in just minutes. The exchange denied rumors of a hack, as Bitcoin tumbled over 15% to $9,400 at the time on Binance.
All of this is causing uncertainty in the markets and, according to data.coin.fm, with the exception of Monero which is trading at $309.89, all of the top 10 cryptos are all in the red week on week. NEO is leading the plunge, to trade at just $96.81 at press time, 25.33% lower than it’s value last week.
So, it seems that the hotly-anticipated regulator armageddon has begun.
Unfortunately, pump and dumps like what happened on Binance are just more proof for regulators, like the SEC, that oversight is necessary.
But, which US agency will regulate the space ultimately — the CFTC or the SEC?