2019 is quickly drawing to a close and the cryptocurrency ecosystem has seen a lot of ups and downs this year. Across the globe, there have been a lot of positive gains, as well as a few slips, as the Bitcoin space continues to develop. This week has been no exception, with just as much positive and negative activity as has been seen in previous weeks. All of it is helping to shape the future of digital currency.
Chinese crypto mining equipment company Canaan Creative became the first to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on a U.S. exchange. It had hoped to attract as much as $400 million when the offering went live on the Nasdaq Global Market, but a last-minute retraction by a banking partner, Credit Suisse, caused it to only draw around $100 million.
Bitfinex and Tether are still putting out fires over certain deals and business arrangements that may not have been the smartest, or in the best interest of the two firms. The latest blaze comes via a second class-action lawsuit filed by investors in Washington and follows the same heat felt from the previous suit – Bitfinex and Tether are conspiring to manipulate crypto market prices.
Another crypto exchange has been shut down, but not because it ran out of money or because regulators initiated an investigation into the operations. This time, the DX.Exchange in Israel was forced to close because its employees wanted it that way. The firm behind the exchange, CX Technologies, Ltd, was said to have been previously involved in shady financial deals and then lied about being part of the exchange.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has had a productive and lucrative year collecting money from misguided ventures. The entity reported that it has collected $1.3 billion from a mixture of restitution, disgorgement, penalties and fees since 2019 began. It didn’t say how much of that would be used for the office Christmas party.
South Korea advanced closer than ever to legitimizing crypto when a government policy committee approved legislation that defines digital currency as digital assets. This would ultimately allow the currency to be eligible for legal status in the country, as long as the judiciary committee and the National Assembly both sign off on the bill.
Estonia had good intentions with a recent plan to provide better oversight of crypto trading platforms in order to combat money laundering. However, its plans went awry when an email was accidentally sent that included the email addresses of more than 200 trading entities. Perhaps not as egregious as the error made by the BitMEX exchange earlier this month, when all its users’ emails were released into the wild, but still a major security violation.
The Upbit exchange went down after it acknowledged that it had been the victim of a massive hack, resulting in the loss of $50 million in Ether (ETH). The exchange has promised to cover its users’ losses with its own funds, but there were rumors that it had been an inside job. Were that found to be true, it demonstrates a major amount of irresponsibility on the part of the exchange. No one person should have that level of control and there are plenty of systems available to ensure two or more individuals are required to release funds.
Add Ghana to the growing list of countries considering a state-backed digital currency. China, the Marshall Islands, Bermuda and others have already put there own digital offering on the global radar and the African country is joining in, as well. The first step will be a pilot project to investigate the viability of the offering and, if all goes well, an official launch would follow.
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