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06/02/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

February 6th 2018

1. Canadian Bank to Build Vault for Cryptocurrencies

Small Canadian bank VersaBank is developing a virtual safety deposit box able to safely store digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. The project should be completed by June, and customers from around the world will be able to use the service. They first announced the news in January through a press release. This is big news considering many banks’ hostile approach to cryptocurrencies. CEO David Taylor said that

“Most people’s really valuable assets are contained in some sort of digital format, whether it be a deed or a contract or a cryptocurrency.”

Furthermore, Gurpreet Sahota, formerly employed at BlackBerry, has been employed as a cybersecurity expert. Many funds are already showing interest in the vault, and though a price has not been set yet, it will be expensive.

2. The Public Can Still Purchase Crypto, Just Not With Credit Cards

Over the last few days, many outlets reported of banks banning customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies with credit cards. As of today, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citi and Capital One are part of the list. Virgin Money and Lloyds Banking Group have also banned its customers from using credit cards for crypto purchases. The latter owns Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and MBNA, which means they will all adopt the same position. Many think the decision was due to fears of credit cards users not being able to repay the money spent on credit. However, customers will still be able to use alternative forms of payment, such as debit cards and bank transfers. However, Australian “Big Four” banks are not planning on adopting the same rule.

3. CFTC Does Not Want Crypto Regulation To Be Harmful

J. Christopher Giancarlo, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman, believes a “do no harm” approach should be adopted when issuing cryptocurrency regulations, as there should be a balance. Giancarlo discussed the topic in a written testimony. He argues that ignoring an innovation is not the responsible approach for a regulatory body. Cryptocurrency will not disappear just because the main bodies are ignoring it. He said a similar approach was adopted during the advent of the internet, and distributed ledger technology should have the same opportunities to thrive. The chairman argued that futures exchanges and futures clearinghouses should be in charge of dealing with the public’s concerns over self-certified bitcoin futures products.

4. Singapore Deputy PM Does Not Believe There Are Reasons to Ban Cryptocurrency

The Central Bank of Singapore was commissioned to assess the risks involved in cryptocurrencies. According to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, no reason has been found yet to ban this type of trading. The deputy PM believes the phenomenon is still too young, and if it does eventually manage to succeed, the ramifications are still unknown. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been investigating, but no concrete evidence to support a ban has been found. He went on to say that cryptocurrencies could all go under a singular legislation as a result of crypto exchange regulations.

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