New Jersey Gives BlockFi Another Month Before New Account Ban

In brief

  • BlockFi has drawn attention from securities regulators in New Jersey, Texas, Alabama, and Vermont.
  • Regulators believe it is offering unregistered securities.

Crypto lender BlockFi is facing lots of questions from state regulators. It just bought a little more time to address some of them.

According to BlockFi CEO Zac Prince, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities has extended a deadline to stop offering its BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) in the state to September 2.

The state’s attorney general originally filed a cease and desist against the company on July 19, demanding that new BIAs, which promise up to 7.5% annual returns on deposited crypto, cease by July 22.

“Our rules are simple: if you sell securities in New Jersey, you need to comply with New Jersey’s securities laws,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew J Bruck at the time.

That was the first in a series of actions by state securities regulators against the upstart lender. New Jersey was quickly joined by Alabama, Texas, and, just this weekend, Vermont.

In a blog post today, Prince spun it as potentially good news: “We’ve said time and again that the key to our industry’s success is appropriate regulation. Ultimately, we see this as an opportunity for BlockFi to help define the regulatory environment for our ecosystem.”

Whereas much of the conversation about cryptocurrency regulations relates to whether certain digital assets are unregistered securities, state securities regulators are preparing to argue that the BIA product itself is an unregistered security offering, or an investment contract that hasn’t been vetted by the Securities and Exchange Commission or their state-level counterparts.

The Texas State Securities Board put it simply in a July 22 cease and desist: “They are not registered with the Texas State Securities Board to offer or sell securities in Texas, as required by Section 12 of the Securities Act, and the BIAs are not registered or permitted for sale in Texas, as required by Section 7 of the Securities Act. Accordingly, Respondents are violating laws designed to protect Texans.”

BlockFi Interest Account accept a variety of stablecoins, including Tether and Gemini USD, as well as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other crypto assets.

Prince today vowed to “fight for your rights to earn interest on your crypto assets.”


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Ghana’s vice president declares Africa should embrace digital currencies

Ghana’s vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia believes that African governments need to embrace digital currencies to facilitate trade throughout the continent.

As reported by Ghanaweb Bawumia outlined his argument during the Fifth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference, which boasted the theme of “Facilitating Trade and Trade-Finance in AfCFTA; The Role of the Financial Services Sector.” He argued that trade between African countries demands a “single central payment” system. Currently, moving goods over African borders is costly and time-consuming. A digital payments system, Dr. Bawumia believes, would rectify these issues.

Related: Can blockchain make a difference? Africa sees vast monetary potential

“Digitization has also become one of the most consequential policies of the Nana Akufo-Addo government,” said Dr. Bawumia.

“When the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced many economies into partial and total lockdowns, it reinforced the need to pursue digitization.”

The Vice President also discussed Ghana’s recent payment initiatives, such as Mobile Money Interoperability. Dr. Bawumia notes these services have “shown that more people can be financially included, and this needs to be rolled out across Africa to ensure the growth of the AfCFTA vision.”

Related: Tanzanian president urges central bank to prepare for crypto

Earlier this year, The Bank of Ghana (BoG) revealed it has a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in development. Dr. Bawumia noted the bank’s intent and believes it will bring the country credibility in the digital space.

African countries have long been exploring crypto and other forms of digital currency. Nigeria is planning its own CBDC called GIANT, set to launch this October, even after its central bank banned financial institutions from working with crypto exchanges. Tanzania, which banned cryptocurrencies back in 2019, has plans to reverse its course and implement crypto-positive regulation after its President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, spoke favorably of Bitcoin.


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Fast Money’s Brian Kelly Remains Bullish On Bitcoin, Here’s Why

Fast Money trader Brian Kelly was on the show recently to talk about Bitcoin’s recent price surge. The surge which had happened at the end of the weekend had seen the price of Bitcoin rise over 10% to surpass $39,000, gaining over $4,000 within a day.

Brian Kelly agreed with show host Melissa Lee saying that the short-covering contributed to the price surge. Kelly explained that a high number of short coverings around the asset saw the price shooting up as the weekend drew to a close. A lot of factors have been speculated to have given rise to the price spike.

Related Reading | Bitcoin To Reach New All-Time Highs, Market Strategist

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Rumors of Amazon integrating Bitcoin on its platform had been the front-running theory behind the price spike. But Kelly explained that the rumors were only part of the reason that the digital asset had seen significant movement. Outlining other factors that contributed to the rally.

Catalyst For Price Spike

Brian Kelly addressed the speculations of the Amazon news being the main catalyst for Bitcoin’s price surge. Kelly explained that the Amazon news had been out in the market about a week before the momentum picked up.

According to Kelly, the high amount of shorts coupled with the news of Amazon and Tether’s news led to a “big short squeeze” as the weekend drew to a close, which is when the market is usually less liquid than usual.

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Bitcoin price chart from

Bitcoin price chart from

BTC price breaks $40,000 for the first time in over a month | Source: BTCUSD on

The short squeeze had seen over $1 trillion shorts liquidated in a matter of 24 hours as the price surged. With Bitcoin contributing over 70% of this amount, seeing over $800 million shorts liquidated in the same period of time.

Following the short squeeze has been a bounce-back of the trading volume and volatility levels of Bitcoin, which had been trending at yearly lows for about a month. The digital asset has since picked up momentum and the market seems determined to ride out this wave for as long as possible.

Still Bullish On Bitcoin

Kelly responded to a question regarding the price of the asset bouncing back before reaching $40,000. Saying that the bounce had come as no surprise. Kelly personally remains bullish on bitcoin. “The real game here is whether or not it is going to be adopted as an institutional asset,” Kelly said. “And I don’t see anything that has changed my mind on that.”

Continuing on, Kelly added the decision of the federal bank and federal reserve to keep printing money could be a determining factor. To which Kelly said, “By my score, I don’t see how they cannot continue to print.”

Related Reading | Bitcoin Price Drops $1,000 In 12 Hours After Amazon Dispels Bitcoin Integration Rumors

The rate at which the Fed prints fiat money continues to be a concern for investors. This could lead to inflation if the amount of paper money being printed is not controlled. To this end, Bitcoin becomes an attractive asset for investors who are worried about inflation. Given the limited supply of the asset, there is simply no way for an individual or government to print or make more coins. Hence, fighting inflation.

Bitcoin continues to see bullish movement. At the time of this writing, the asset price has now broken $40,000 and continues to trend upward.

Featured image from NBC News, chart from


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PayPal’s crypto ‘super app’ set to roll out soon

Payment provider company PayPal said its users may not have much longer to wait to have greater crypto functionality through the platform. 

During PayPal’s Q2 2021 investor update call today, CEO Dan Schulman said the initial version of the company’s super app wallet was “code complete.” The PayPal president said the company planned for the wallet to be fully ramped in the United States in the next several months.

The super app wallet will feature high yield savings, early access to direct deposit funds, messaging capability, “additional crypto capabilities,” and more. Schulman said each wallet would be “unique, driven by advanced AI and machine learning capabilities.”

PayPal reported that it had more than 400 million active user accounts as of June 30, with $311 billion in total payment volume for the second quarter of 2021. The firm also added 14.5 million new active accounts, bringing its user base to 392 million. Venmo, the PayPal-owned payments firm which launched crypto trading in April, had roughly $58 billion in total payment volume for the second quarter of 2021, with 76 million active accounts.

“We’re one of a few payments companies to allow consumers to use cryptocurrency as a funding source,” said the PayPal CEO. “We’re also seeing strong adoption and trading of crypto on Venmo.”

Related: PayPal users will be able to withdraw crypto to external wallets

Earlier this month, PayPal announced it would be increasing the limit on crypto purchases for certain users based in the United States from $20,000 to $100,000. The payments firm initially said it would be entering the crypto space in October 2020, later allowing eligible customers to use crypto for trading and payments.