Crypto News | Operation Cryptosweep Crackdown in US/Canada

Operation Cryptosweep. Sure, it may sound like a secret MI6 black ops project, but it is in fact an in-depth ICO probe conducted by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). On May 21, it was announced that US and Canadian state and provincial securities regulators have joined forces in order to more effectively investigate potentially fraudulent crypto investment projects. Operation Cryptosweep brings together regulators from 40 jurisdictions, with 70 investigations already initiated and more to follow. 35 companies have already been issued warnings as part of the investigation process. The Washington Post reported that 30,000 crypto-related names have been discovered in recent weeks, some of them connected to alleged scams. Most of them were registered in December 2018, when the price of BTC was at an all-time high. Joseph Borg, the president of NASAA, said that not every ICO is fraudulent. He said that the Association needs to find out what is being promoted to investors and whether that is in compliance with securities laws.

Operation Cryptoswwep is not the only piece of news today, though. Across the pond, the Bank of England issued a staff working paper on May 18, reviewing potential scenarios, risks and financial stability issues posed by central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The paper takes three CBDC models into consideration. The first model is the Financial Institutions Access model, whereby only banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) can access the digital currency. The second model is the Economy-wide Access model, where all banks, financial institutions, households, and companies are granted access to the central bank digital currency. The third model is an in-between version, mostly resembling the first model, but with a “narrow bank” that serves as a gatekeeper for households and firms. The paper stipulates that there is no reason to believe that a CBDC would negatively affect the economy, noting, however, that additional models and more research is necessary.

While 2017 was an amazing year for ICO earnings and crypto prices, especially compared to 2018 so far, news outlets are reporting that blockchain technology is flourishing in spite of the struggling crypto prices. Numerous major corporations have decided to embrace blockchain technology, including banks Credit Suisse Group AG, ING Groep NV, and HSBC, as well as tech giants LG, Oracle, and Naver.

Still, DApps are where the real innovation is taking place. They are especially important in South Korea, where major companies are competing with startups to win over a substantial market share. In March, Kakao revealed “Kakao Coin”, intended as a legacy cryptocurrency. Startup enterprises have proven themselves to be more innovative, though. There is Calorie Coin, which rewards users for performing fitness activities, while Kodebox aims to develop a platform that lets users exchange cryptocurrencies and video game items.

The mayor of Seoul recognized the popularity of blockchain technology. Since he’s up for re-election in June, he decided to leverage that popularity by promising the citizens of Seoul to develop a blockchain incubation center. Whether these promises will help him win a few votes remains to be seen.

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Author: Max Rothstein

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