TikTok Crypto Influencers Mislead Viewers

TikTok, the popular social media platform, has become a go-to source of information for many young people today. However, a recent study conducted by daapGamble reveals that over one-third of cryptocurrency influencers on TikTok are sharing unvetted misinformation about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency investments. Many of these influencers are promoting crypto investments without properly warning viewers about the risks, convincing unwary investors to put their hard-earned money into cryptocurrencies that are likely to lose value.

The study analyzed 1,161 crypto-related videos on TikTok, which used the hashtag “#cryptok.” More than one in three of these videos were found to be misleading, while just one in ten videos contained some form of disclaimer about the risks of investing. Additionally, 47% of the crypto influencers were found to be pushing services for their own profit.

The potential financial risk for unwary investors is high, with one in three misleading videos on TikTok mentioning Bitcoin. Furthermore, videos using popular crypto-related hashtags, such as #crypto, #cryptoadvice, and #cryptoinvesting, have cumulatively garnered over 6 billion views. However, viewers often overlook the ill intent of influencers and trust their content purely based on its high number of views or likes.

The study found that both new and seasoned investors should do extensive research on crypto projects before making any form of investment. While the reach of crypto influencers is smaller than that of mainstream celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, Jake Paul, and Soulja Boy, the potential financial risks for unwary investors remains equally high.

In recent years, many mainstream influencers have been accused of promoting cryptocurrencies to their millions of fans without disclosing the payments they received. For instance, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission forced Kim Kardashian to pay $1.26 million in penalties for promoting EthereumMax (EMAX).

In April 2022, a $1 billion lawsuit was filed against crypto exchange Binance, CEO Changpeng Zhao, and three crypto influencers for allegedly promoting unregistered securities. The Moscowitz Law Firm and Boies Schiller Flexner, who filed the lawsuit, called this a classic example of a centralized exchange promoting the sale of an unregistered security.

In conclusion, while TikTok can be an excellent source of information, viewers are advised to exercise caution when it comes to crypto influencers and do their own research before making any investments.


Tagged : / / / / / /

SEC Charges Bittrex for Unregistered Securities Trading

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged crypto asset trading platform Bittrex and its co-founder and former CEO William Shihara for operating an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency. In a separate charge, Bittrex Global is also facing charges for its operation of a single shared order book with Bittrex.

The SEC has filed four charges of Exchange Act violations against the companies and Shihara in the US District Court Western District of Washington. According to the SEC’s complaint, tokens traded on Bittrex, including OMG, Dash, Algorand, Monolith, Naga, and IHT, are securities. The agency has been criticized in the past for its “regulation by enforcement” approach, which claims tokens are securities only at the time of filing complaints and not before.

The SEC’s charges against Bittrex highlight the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the crypto industry, especially when it comes to determining whether digital assets qualify as securities. The agency has previously filed charges against several companies for unregistered securities trading, including Telegram and Ripple.

Bittrex is not the first cryptocurrency trading platform to face legal action from the SEC. In 2019, the agency took legal action against EtherDelta, a decentralized exchange, for operating an unregistered securities exchange. The SEC has also previously warned investors about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Bittrex has been a prominent player in the crypto industry since its launch in 2014. The platform currently supports trading in over 300 cryptocurrencies, making it one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. However, the SEC’s charges against the company and its former CEO could have significant implications for the broader crypto industry, especially when it comes to determining whether certain digital assets qualify as securities.

In response to the SEC’s charges, Bittrex issued a statement saying that it had been in “close communication” with the agency over the past two years and had been “cooperating with them in an effort to address their concerns.” The company also said that it “disagrees” with the SEC’s assessment that certain tokens traded on its platform are securities and plans to “vigorously defend” itself against the charges.

In conclusion, the SEC’s charges against Bittrex and its former CEO highlight the ongoing regulatory uncertainty surrounding the crypto industry. While the agency has taken legal action against several companies for unregistered securities trading, questions remain about how to determine whether certain digital assets qualify as securities. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the broader crypto industry and how it is regulated moving forward.


Tagged : / / / / /

BaFin Declines to Classify NFTs as Securities, Recommends Case-by-Case Approach

The fact that there is now a discussion going on over the appropriate approach to classify these digital assets is reflected in BaFin’s decision to not recognize NFTs as securities. This argument has been going on for quite some time. Even if there are many who think of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as investments or crypto assets, there are also others who believe that NFTs are nothing more than one-of-a-kind digital collectibles that have no value apart from the rarity or desirability of their presence. Despite the fact that some individuals regard non-traded stocks and bonds to be investments, this is the case. It is possible that, at some time in the future, the case-by-case method that BaFin utilizes will make it possible to get greater clarification about the classification of NFTs.

Yet, it is difficult to apply current legal frameworks to non-fiat currencies such as NFTs since these assets are not standardized and cannot be exchanged. This makes it difficult to apply existing legal frameworks. Those in charge of regulation are presented with a challenge as a result of this. The phrase “crypto assets” refers to non-fungible tokens that cannot be traded for other currencies and is an exception to this norm. BaFin is under the impression that non-financial transactions will not be in conformity with the licensing requirements outlined in the Payment Services Supervision Act, nor will they be subject to BaFin’s supervision regarding the prevention of money laundering. This is due to the fact that non-bank financial transactions are not regulated in the same manner that payment services are.

Notwithstanding the difficulties that are associated with recognizing them, non-fungible tokens are becoming an increasingly popular category of digital collectibles. This is despite the fact that identifying them may be difficult. The majority of non-fungible token (NFT) collectors acquire NFTs for reasons related to status, distinctiveness, and aesthetics rather than with the purpose of utilizing them as an investment, according to research that was undertaken by the metaverse site Metajuice. As the market for non-traditional assets (NFTs) continues to increase, the legal frameworks that control it will need to change in order to provide investors and collectors a higher degree of transparency and protection. This will be necessary in order to accommodate the market’s growing size.


Tagged : / / / / / /

Brazil’s Securities Market Regulator Targets Mercado Bitcoin over Token Sale

The Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM), the securities market regulator in Brazil, has ordered Mercado Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Brazil, to provide information on fixed-income tokens the exchange has issued over the last two years.

According to reports by Estadão newspaper, the capital markets regulator wants to know the amount Mercado Bitcoin raised with the tokens and see a list of investors who participated.

While the report did not reveal the names of the tokens, it confirmed that they were issued on a blockchain and allegedly backed by real-world assets. The report further said the tokens were “low risk and high yield” in “consortium, energy, writs of payments and receivables.”

Mercado Bitcoin has responded to the matter, saying that its token sales fully complied with Brazil’s regulatory framework. The exchange further said it “actively” works with the securities market regulator and Brazil’s central bank to “contribute to the construction of regulations for the sector.”

“We do not make public offerings of securities outside the scope of the authorizations we hold as an authorized crowdfunding platform and investment manager,” Mercado said.

In early this month, the CVM banned the Singapore-based crypto exchange Bybit from brokering securities in the country. On September 5, Bybit was booted out of the Brazilian market over its alleged unregistered securities offering. The country’s securities watchdog ordered the Singaporean exchange to cease operations immediately or face a daily fine.

The CVM alleged that Bybit was seeking to raise funds from Brazilian investors for investments in securities without the company having the authorization to act as a securities intermediary. The regulator argued that only Brazil’s stock exchange B3 is allowed to offer securities in the country.

This month, 2TM Group, Mercado Bitcoin’s parent company, criticized Brazilian regulators for not being clear about regulating cryptocurrency. The company said the current environment in Brazil is unfair and has not yet developed a clear regulatory framework for crypto-activities.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that the CVM is preparing to release an official crypto guide soon but encourages companies to consult the commission before issuing any token that may be considered a security.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / /

Kraken Has No Plan to Delist Tokens Labeled as Securities by the SEC – Incoming CEO

The incoming CEO of Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, Dave Ripley, announced on Thursday the exchange has no plans to delist tokens the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has labeled as securities or to register with the agency as a market intermediary.

In July, the SEC started scrutinizing Coinbase for listing several tokens on its platform the regulator identified as securities. As a result, crypto exchanges like Binance delisted some of the tokens that the watchdog recognized as a security in the recent Coinbase insider trading case.

But Ripley has said Kraken has no plans to remove those tokens from its exchange. The executive said Kraken sees no reason to register with the SEC as an exchange because his firm does not offer securities, despite calls from SEC chairman Gary Gensler for crypto platforms to register.

“There are not any tokens out there that are securities that we’re interested in listing. There could be some new token out there that becomes interesting and also happens to simultaneously be a security [and] in that case, we would potentially be interested in that path,” Ripley said.

Despite giant players in the crypto market like Celsius Network and Voyager Digital filing for bankruptcy, and others like Coinbase announcing layoffs, Ripley said Kraken is looking for opportunities for M&A in the current market environment. He said the exchange is open to even considering companies that are going through a bankruptcy process.

He, however, said Kraken would consider acquisitions that boost its product and tech portfolio, particularly as the exchange looks to widen its offerings with an upcoming platform for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and banking services for institutional clients.

Why Kraken Rebrands as Libertarian?

Kraken has been a champion of libertarian values associated with cryptocurrency. And it seems the new CEO is keen to stay in that course as part of the company’s culture.

In March, Kraken refused to shut down Russian accounts unless regulators order it to do so. During that time, Kraken’s outgoing CEO Jesse Powell said the exchange was within legal sanctions requirements and was working with law enforcement to ensure banned accounts do not unfairly affect innocent Russians. Amid rising financial sanctions against Russia, Kraken refused to freeze of accounts for Russian users.

This week on Wednesday, Kraken announced that its often-controversial CEO Jesse Powell would step down and that Ripley, Kraken’s Chief Operating Officer, will assume the CEO role after the company hires a new COO.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Coinbase Sued For Failing to Grant Wallet Access During Volatility

Coinbase Global Inc, the Nasdaq-listed US digital currency trading platform has been dragged to court yet again in a class action lawsuit.


The lawsuit was filed by George Kattula on behalf of the aggrieved users of the exchange who claimed the firm did not grant them access to their crypto wallets during periods of price volatility.

According to Plaintiff, this is against the advertisement made by the exchange, adding that it “improperly and unreasonably locks out its consumers from accessing their accounts and funds.”


Plaintiff is requesting $5 million in damages as he re-emphasized that the trading platform breached trust by not revealing the assets on its platform are securities. As one of the pioneering trading platforms around, Coinbase saw a tremendous user count within the space of a year. The exchange revealed it has 11.2 million Monthly Transacting Users (MTU) in Q4 last year, a figure that is up from the 2.8 million a year earlier.


Riding on the historic outages from Coinbase following times when market volatility is extreme, the complaint highlights how Coinbase’s growth was not matched by the right number of employees to process the request and this always affects the exchange’s overall performance.


“Coinbase’s user growth has outpaced its ability to provide the account services and protections it promises to consumers,” the complaint says. “Coinbase was aware it was woefully incapable, understaffed, and overstretched, such that it could not perform its promises and obligations to consumers like plaintiff.”


Coinbase is not new to legal scrutiny and has sued and been sued in the past year. The latest designation of 9 tokens on the exchange’s platform as securities by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month might further put the firm in a more entangled legal brawl in the near future.


Coinbase has come to declare that it does not list securities, however, the current class action lawsuit from George Kattula takes its precedence from this yet-to-be-resolved designation.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Samsung Securities Files Paperwork to Launch A Crypto Exchange

Seven major domestic securities companies in South Korea have filed to launch their own cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Local newspaper NewsPim reported the new development on Monday.

According to NewsPim, Samsung Securities, Mirae Asset Securities, and five other giant brokerage companies have applied for preliminary approval to operate an exchange within the first-half of 2023.

Mirae Asset Securities Co., Limited is the largest investment bank and stock brokerage company by market capitalization in South Korea, with $648 billion under its management.

As per NewsPim, Mirae has developed a subsidiary under its consultation arm Mirae Consulting to operate the exchange. Mirae is seeking to hire technical staff to research and develop cryptocurrency and other blockchain-based platforms.

Similarly, Samsung Securities is carrying out studies on how best to enter the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Samsung Securities is a South Korea-based wealth management firm that provides a wide range of financial services from brokerage, wealth management and investment advisory services to corporate finance and trading.

According to NewsPim, Samsung Securities tried to spearhead the development of a crypto trading platform last year, though it failed to acquire the necessary talent to do so.

The report said the sudden influx of institutional interest in South Korea was driven by the newly elected President Yoon Suk-Yeol, who took office in May.

President Yoon promised deregulation of the Bitcoin and crypto markets during his recent presidential election campaign trials.

To assist in accomplishing such goals, the report disclosed that South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), the South Korean government’s top financial regulator, plans to revise the relevant laws for Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and securities.

The regulator intends to push for a Digital Assets Framework Act so that these (Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and securities) can be managed in one regulated framework divided into security-type tokens and non-security-type tokens.

According to NewsPim, the FSC will also examine whether domestic virtual assets are securities.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / /

Coinbase Facing SEC Probe over Crypto Listing: Sources

Coinbase is facing a new probe as the crypto winter wages on.


Three people familiar with the probe said that the crypto exchange platform is facing a US probe into whether it improperly let Americans trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities.

Bloomberg reported that Coinbase has come under heavy scrutiny from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following the platform’s expansion of the number of tokens which is offered to trade.

This case has come at a critical time as Coinbase is still recovering from last week’s allegation of an insider trading scheme where a former company manager and two other people involved were sued by the SEC.

The SEC and Coinbase declined to comment, Bloomberg said.

“As the largest US trading platform, Coinbase lets Americans trade more than 150 tokens. If those products were deemed securities, the firm could need to register as an exchange with the SEC,” Bloomberg reported.

The SEC is necessary to apply for a legal test to check if a digital asset is a security. A token is generally considered to be under the SEC purview if it involves investors kicking in money to fund a company and make a profit.

However, a recent report from Blockchain.News stated that Coinbase’s new derivatives unit is capturing the interest of new retail traders who are eyeing the crypto exchange’s “nano” bitcoin futures products amid the company’s collapsing trading volumes.

Coinbase’s “nano” bitcoin futures product saw volumes touch records three straight days in the last week even after its spot trading volume collapsed from $200 billion in May 2021 to $59 billion in July, the report added.

The nano bitcoin futures product was launched in June. 

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Urges ‘Federal Oversight of Crypto’

Since the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a memo christening as many as nine different tokens listed on Coinbase Global Inc as securities, the entire industry has seen a polarising discourse about the take of industry leaders on the subject.


FTX co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried has shared his take on this and taking to Twitter, and he said some tokens could be classified as securities and those that are not.

Designating a token as security requires the issuers to register it with the SEC; legal obligations are attached to it. In the digital currency ecosystem nowadays, a number of blockchain startups present themselves as a decentralised entity when in reality, a particular firm is in charge of the issuance and administration of the tokens. 

The SEC has taken a stance against this position but has not yet given clarity as regards how crypto firms can define if their token is a security or not. The commission and blockchain payments firm Ripple Labs Inc are currently in a legal battle as regards the state of XRP as a security.

The case’s outcome is bound to set a precedent upon which many other crypto tokens will hinge their case on.

For Bankman-Fried, he believes by the time clarity is fully defined, the SEC will automatically be tasked with regulating securities. At the same time, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is billed to regulate those not categorised as such.

He said he wants a federal oversight of the crypto industry, a move consistent with his role in lobbying regulators over the past few years. 

It is unclear how the SEC is planning to approach the confusion tied to the status of the bulk of crypto assets. However, the commission is obligated to align with other government agencies to establish a regulatory framework to guide the industry in obedience to the Executive Order issued by President Joe Biden back in March.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / / / /

9 Cryptos Named as Securities by SEC amid Coinbase Insider Trading Charges

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday listed nine cryptocurrencies that it considers as securities. The regulator named the nine crypto assets in its first insider-trading case, where it said the nine digital tokens are “securities”.

On Thursday, the SEC, through coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), arrested and charged former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi, his brother Nikhil Wahi, and a friend Sameer Ramani on allegations of insider trading and wire fraud.

SEC filed a complaint alleging that the former Coinbase employee engaged in insider trading by giving his brother and friend tips on which tokens the exchange planned to list shortly. According to the complaint, Wahi had advanced knowledge of which crypto assets were about to be listed on the Coinbase platform. He, therefore, shared such information with his brother and friend so they could purchase the coins ahead of the listings. The complaints disclosed that Nikhil Wahi and Ramani made over $1.1 million on trades with nonpublic information.

Along that case, the SEC also explicitly mentioned nine crypto assets listed as securities. The assets are:

·     Amp (AMP)

·     Rally (RLY)

·     DerivaDAO (DDX)

·     XYO (XYO)

·     Rari Governance Token (RGT)

·     LCX (LCX)

·     Power Ledger (POWR)

·     DFX Finance (DFX), a

·     and Kromatika (KROM).

The agency named all the tokens in connection with the alleged insider trading.

In the past, the SEC had identified cryptocurrencies as securities in enforcement actions or settlements with the provider.

But Thursday’s complaint is the first time the agency identified several crypto coins as securities and the exchange listing the so-called securities.

As a result, Coinbase and other intermediaries may be in trouble for legal liabilities. While the SEC has gone after the rogue Coinbase employee, it has also asked a federal judge to consider whether the nine crypto assets are tied to allegations of unregistered securities.

If the court accepts SEC’s promise, then the SEC will bring enforcement actions against Coinbase for being an unregistered securities broker/exchange, as well as open up legal liabilities for crypto issuers behind the coins and platforms that facilitate the trading of such assets.

Meanwhile, Coinbase has responded to the SEC filing, stating that regulations in the US are not keeping up with the digital world and therefore need fixing.

Coinbase submitted a petition on Thursday to the SEC, stating that the regulator should develop rules that describe “digital asset securities.”

The exchange further said that if the SEC is keen to encourage crypto adoption, it should provide sensible regulation. Without that, the US won’t reap the rewards associated with cryptocurrencies. And the U.S. may not be able to catch up with other jurisdictions, Coinbase stated.

The above case is one of few examples from the SEC that mentioned specific cryptocurrencies as securities but has offered little clarity over several years.

Early last year, the SEC sued Ripple for selling XRP tokens as unregistered securities to investors in the US and worldwide. Thursday’s complaint shows that the regulator views most cryptocurrencies as securities.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 25,732.89 5.16%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,810.75 4.19%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 87.97 6.96%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 109.06 5.64%