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Sharing Economy International to Delist from Nasdaq and Move Its Stock Listing to OTC Markets

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Bitcoin Files

Sharing Economy International Inc. announced that on November 26, 2018, Sharing Economy International Inc. (the “Company”) received a staff determination notice from The Nasdaq Stock Market (“Nasdaq”) informing the Company that as a result of its failure to comply with Nasdaq’s shareholder approval requirements set forth in Listing Rule 5635(c) (the “Rule”), the staff had determined to deny the Company’s request for continued listed based on a plan of compliance submitted on October 26, 2018.

In the determination notice, the staff expressed its concern that the plan of compliance did not represent a definitive plan evidencing the Company’s ability to comply with the Rule due to (i) a portion of the shares issued in violation of the Rule having been sold in the market (and accordingly no longer subject to remediation) and (ii) the lack of signed commitments from other holders of shares issued in violation of the Rule to participate in a proposed exchange offer intended to remediate such issuances by virtue of a subsequent special meeting of stockholders to be held to approve them. Nasdaq further informed the Company that, in accordance with Listing Rule 5101, unless the Company requests an appeal of the staff’s determination, the Company’s common stock will be suspended from trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market at the opening of business on December 5, 2018.

The Company has decided not to appeal the Nasdaq determination notice and is instead moving its stock listing to the OTC Markets. The Company believes OTC Markets is more suitable to its capital and business needs at this time as it undergoes the transition of its business and pursues aggressive growth strategies in the coming years. Although SEII is moving its stock listing to a different market, the Company intends to continue to maintain high quality reporting and disclosure standards and will continue to improve its corporate governance.

The Company’s common stock will be delisted from Nasdaq effective at the open of trading on December 5, 2018. The Company expects that its common stock will begin trading on the OTC Markets under the symbol SEII beginning on December 5, 2018.

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Blockchain

Facebook’s Libra seeks Swiss payment system license

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Libra

Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project is seeking a Swiss payment system license, financial watchdog FINMA said on Wednesday, noting the breadth of the planned services would require broad oversight. The world’s largest social media network announced plans in June to launch a cryptocurrency as it seeks to expand beyond social networking and move into e-commerce and global payments, though the plans have drawn intense scrutiny from global financial officials.

“Due to the issuance of Libra payment tokens, the services planned by the Libra project would clearly go beyond those of a pure payment system, FINMA said, noting this mean it would be subject to such additional requirements.

These would extend to capital allocation for credit, market and operational risks, risk concentration and liquidity, and the management of the Libra reserve, it said. “We are engaging in constructive dialogue with FINMA and we see a feasible pathway for an open-source blockchain network to become a regulated, low-friction, high-security payment system,” the Geneva-based Libra Association said.

It has asked FINMA to clarify the status of the association and the Libra coin under Swiss supervisory law, the regulatory said. [bit.ly/2kEP7bk]

U.S. Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker told reporters in the Swiss capital on Tuesday that cryptocurrency project must meet the highest standards for combating money laundering and terrorism financing if it is to get off the ground.

“Whether it’s bitcoin, Ethereum, Libra, our message is the same to all of these companies: anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism has to be built into your design from the get-go,” Mandelker said.

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ArBinance Makes Arbitrage Trading Easier

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ArBinance

ArBinance is a cryptocurrency arbitrage platform. It allows traders to benefit from the difference in price value between cryptocurrency markets.

The platform, which deals with over 100 cryptocurrency exchanges, aims to make arbitrage trading easier for professional and novice traders alike. The trading platform uses its specially designed software that is both highly functional and easy to use for traders.

Seeing that arbitrage is not only about finding beneficial trades but making them promptly, ArBinance’s software is built with efficiency in mind. The platform’s application instantly identifies profitable trade opportunities and acts upon them just as swiftly. This process makes sure that individual traders could benefit from market events within seconds of their initiation.

ArBinance is Allowing Users to Take Fair Advantage of Arbitrage

Arbitrage trading refers to the practice of benefiting from the difference in price value between various markets. When traders spot this price difference, they buy the asset from the lower-cost market and sell it in a place where it is at a higher price.

This difference is simply a fraction of the total price of the asset. As such, buying and selling it in a single transaction does not bring in massive profits. But when this price difference is spotted, and essential purchases or sales are made a few times a day, it could bring in astounding results. That’s one of the many reasons why arbitrage trading is so prevalent in conventional markets.

As the cryptocurrency market grows with more and more exchanges, arbitrage trading has also started to gain significant traction within the sector. More exchanges mean more opportunities to spot pricing differences, which translates to higher profitability.

Traders must be their best at all times to determine the price difference between hundreds of exchanges. Since no one can keep up with an avalanche of trades, traders are not able to gain full advantage of arbitrage trading even if they want to do so.

That is where automated solutions such as ArBinance come in.

ArBinance Offers Targeted Arbitrage Solutions

To help traders make the most out of arbitrage trading, ArBiance has designed an intuitive interface. The application is easy to use and boasts of a few significant functions, such as the ability to perform automated arbitrage trading. Trades are possible even when users are away from their computer screens.

ArBinance works round the clock and lets its users take advantage of 24/7 arbitrage to make sure that they never miss out on potential gains. The automated platform has been designed to spot price differences in over 100 hundred cryptocurrency exchanges and make trades instantly. This way, traders can benefit from relevant opportunities without manual tracking of prices or execution of trades.

ArBinance provides its arbitrage solutions through its website, where interested traders could sign up to use its services. To learn more about ArBinance and its offered trading solutions, head to ArBinance.com today.

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Altcoins

Binance Partners with Paxos to Launch USD-Backed Stablecoin ‘BUSD’

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Binance

The regulated financial institution that digitizes and mobilizes assets, Paxos Trust Company, and global cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain ecosystem, Binance, today announced its partnership to launch a USD-denominated stablecoin, Binance USD (BUSD), which has received approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

Rich Teo, Paxos Co-Founder and CEO Asia, commented, “NYDFS’s approval of BUSD is a vital step towards long term stability in global crypto markets. We are proud that our stablecoin as a service offering enables trusted companies like Binance to introduce products customized for their users. The Paxos brand symbolizes regulatory integrity, consumer protection and transparency for all of our partners.”

Later this month, BUSD will be available on the Paxos platform for direct purchase and redemption 1:1 for U.S. dollars and available on Binance.com for trading initially against BTC, BNB and XRP. Paxos will serve as the USD custodian and issuer of BUSD.

“Paxos is leading the digital trusts space and we are excited to work with them in developing our native stablecoin,” said CZ (Changpeng Zhao), Binance CEO. “We hope to unlock more financial services for the greater blockchain ecosystem through the issuance of BUSD, including more use cases and utility through the power of stable digital assets.”

Additional details regarding this partnership will be revealed on-stage at Invest: Asia 2019 where Paxos’ Rich Teo and Binance’s CFO Wei Zhou will discuss it live on September 12, 2019, at 4:20 pm local time.

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Alibaba, Tencent, Five Others To Receive First Chinese Government Cryptocurrency

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STO

China’s central bank will launch a state-backed cryptocurrency and issue it to seven institutions in the coming months, according to a former employee of one of the institutions who is now an independent researcher. Paul Schulte, who worked as global head of financial strategy for China Construction Bank until 2012, says the largest bank in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the second largest bank in the world, his former employer, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China; two of China’s largest financial technology companies, Alibaba and Tencent; and Union Pay, an association of Chinese banks, will receive the cryptocurrency.

A separate source, who’s involved in the development of the cryptocurrency, dubbed DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payments), confirmed that the seven institutions would be receiving the new asset when it launches, adding that an eighth institution could also be among the first tier of recipients. The source declined to provide the name of the additional company. Speaking under terms of anonymity, the source, who previously worked for the Chinese government, confirmed that the technology behind the cryptocurrency has been ready since last year and that the cryptocurrency could launch as soon as November 11, China’s busiest shopping day, known as Singles Day.

At the time of launch, the recipient institutions will then be responsible for dispersing the cryptocurrency to 1.3 billion Chinese citizens and others doing business in the renminbi, China’s fiat currency, according to the source. The source added that the central bank hopes the currency will eventually be made available to spenders in the United States and elsewhere through relationships with correspondent banks in the West. “That’s the plan, but that won’t happen right away,” the source said.

The plan to use a diverse set of China’s trusted institutions to disperse the cryptocurrency is reminiscent of a number of other ideas currently percolating around the world. For instance, Facebook’s planned libra cryptocurrency will be backed by a basket of currencies issued by central banks with support from companies like Mastercard and Uber in the United States, Vodaphone in England and Mercado Pago in Argentina. And last week, Bank of England governor Mark Carney floated the idea of a new currency backed by a number of central banks to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

What sets China’s DC/EP apart from libra and Carney’s “synthetic hegemonic currency” (SHC), according to Shulte, is that while libra is little more than early-stage computer code and the SHC doesn’t appear to have gone much further than Carney’s mind, the Chinese cryptocurrency is ready to launch. “China is barreling forward on reforms and rolling out the cryptocurrency,” says Schulte, who now runs an eponymous bank research firm. “It will be the first central bank to do so.”

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Blockchain

Facebook Posts Lobbying Retainer Amid Cryptocurrency Controversy

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Facebook

Facebook has hired a Washington-based lobbying firm in light of increased Congressional and regulatory pushback the social media network has received due to its forthcoming cryptocurrency offering, Libra

The social media giant in August retained consulting shop FS Vector for support on “issues related to blockchain policy,” according to lobbying registration documents filed with Congress.

Facebook formally unveiled the details of its planned blockchain digital currency initiative in June, which could potentially bring the world’s “unbanked” billions into the digital economy by allowing anyone to securely buy, sell or send money to others via Facebook. The proposed digital currency, which has yet to meet regulatory approvals, is set to launch sometime next year.

Announcement of the social network’s forays into the digital asset space has since raised serious concerns among lawmakers. Congress in July drafted a bill, titled “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act,” which would prohibit “large platform utilities”—defined as a tech company that earns annual global revenues of $25 billion or more—from being a financial institution or operating “a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.”

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) in June called for a moratorium and Congressional review of Facebook’s Libra project, “given the company’s troubled past.” Appearing in July on CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Waters likened Facebook’s cryptocurrency venture to “starting a bank without having to go through any steps to do it.”

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell in July posited that “Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability.”

President Trump raised concerns about Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency as well, tweeting in July that “if Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks.”

FS Vector, which was founded in 2018, bills itself as a regulatory compliance, public policy and business strategy advisory firm that specializes in the fintech, cryptocurrency, blockchain and financial services markets.

FS Vector partner John Collins leads the Facebook account. Collins formerly served as vice president of international policy at the American Bankers Association’s international subsidiary, the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade. Prior to that, he was a staffer on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and also led Congress’ first work into digital currencies in 2013.

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SEC Warns Over Crypto Trader Investment Scams

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scams

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) is warning over a new form of investing scam, in which victims are lured into investing with websites claimed to be legal digital currency traders operating overseas.

Pol Lt Co Woranan Silam, a spokesman for the Department of Special Investigation, on Saturday relayed the SEC’s warning to the public, saying FX Trading Corporation is not authorised to trade in digital currencies as claimed.

Several other companies and websites are also involved in the fraud, he said. Most claim to be foreign companies operating outside Thailand offering services via their online portals. It is not known how much they have ripped off from an unsuspecting public.

The SEC says it has authorised only three companies to operate digital assets businesses, namely Bitcoin Co (www.bx.in.th), Bitkub Online Co (www.bitkub.co.th) and Satang Corporation Co (www.satang.pr), he said. And Coins TH Co (www.coins.co.th) is the only authorised digital currency broker or dealer, he added.

The spokesman also warned that, since the scams also involved overseas companies, Thai authorities require cooperation from their counterparts in other countries to investigate or step in as appropriate.

Such probes could take years to conclude or recover any lost investments, he said.

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Blockchain

Binance Announces Open Blockchain Project ‘Venus’

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Binance

Binance announced its plans to initiate an open blockchain project, Venus, an initiative to develop localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe. Binance is looking to create new alliances and partnerships with governments, corporations, technology companies, and other cryptocurrency companies and projects involved in the larger blockchain ecosystem, to empower developed and developing countries to spur new currencies.

With its existing global blockchain ecosystem, Binance has already reserved its public chain technology and cross-border payment system for secure operations of new stablecoins. Since its launch last April, Binance Chain has been running securely and robustly and has issued a range of stablecoins, including a BTC-pegged stablecoin (BTCB) and the Binance BGBP Stable Coin (BGBP) pegged to the British Pound. Binance will provide full-process technical support, compliance risk control system and multi-dimensional cooperation network to build Venus, leveraging its existing infrastructure and regulatory establishments.

Binance welcomes additional government partners, companies and organizations with a strong interest and influence on a global scale to collaborate with us to build a new open alliance and sustainable community. We encourage like-minded people and organizations to contact us and discuss the infinite possibilities of the digital world together: venus@binance.com.

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‘Strategic differences’ force departure of Swiss digital exchange boss

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Swiss

The CEO of Switzerland’s crypto assets stock exchange will step down just eight months into his job following disagreements on how the nascent trading platform should be run. Martin Halblaub will depart at the end of August when his contract expires.

SIX Groupexternal link, which owns the Swiss stock exchange and its SDX digital exchange projectexternal link, played down the development, saying it will not affect the operation or its timetable. But this may be viewed as a blow for Switzerland’s ambition to host the first national stock exchange to trade a new breed of digital assets.

“I fully support SDX’s ambition and business model and would have loved to lead SDX into the future.  However, I have decided with a heavy heart – given our differing ideas on strategy, combined with the stretch the role is for my life model – that I cannot engage in a long term commitment as Head of SDX,” Halblaub is quoted in the memo.

SIX internal memo

Dear colleagues    As you know, Martin Halblaub was engaged as a Senior Advisor by SIX to lead SDX through its initial phase until the SIX Board …

The key strategic difference is that Halblaub wanted SDX to be launched as an independent company – a plan that grated with SIX’s board who wanted the new exchange to operate under the overall SIX umbrella.

Halblaub will be replaced as SDX CEO on September 1 by Tomas Kindler on an interim basis, according to an internal memo released on Tuesday. Halblaub’s tenure has proved short-lived having only been appointed to the top position at the start of this year.

Kindler is currently number two to Thomas Zeeb, head of securities and exchanges at SIX. Zeeb says in the memo that an “executive search” has been launched to find a permanent replacement and that Kindler is one of the candidates they are looking at. Zeeb added that Halblaub has expressed an interest in remaining at SDX as a senior advisor.

Global competition

“Martin [Halblaub] led SDX through its initial phase with great success. He helped shape SDX’s ambition, strategy and business model and has built a strong Management team around him.  We thank him for his support during this phase,” SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof says in the memo.

In an interview with the NZZ am Sonnntag newspaperexternal link on Sunday, Dijsselhof made no mention of the internal conflicts at SDX.

Announced in July 2018, the SDX project was initially timetabled to be operational by mid-2019. But that date has been put back to the first or second quarter of 2020 following internal tests later this year with banks that have ownership stakes in SIX.

SDX faces competition from several other countries and one domestic project as it seeks first mover advantage in the tokenized digital asset business that has been tipped to bring vast efficiencies to the trading of shares, bonds and an anticipated wave of new financial products.

Projects ranging from Germany, the United States and Thailand are also bidding to become the first national crypto asset exchanges. Budding crypto bank Sygnum in Zurich has teamed up with national telecoms operator Swisscom, the Deutsch Börse and other partners to offer a Swiss trading alternative.

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SEC Obtains Freeze of $8 Million in Assets in Alleged Fraudulent Token Offering and Manipulation Scheme

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SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced fraud charges against a Brooklyn individual and two entities under his control who allegedly engaged in a fraudulent scheme to sell digital securities to investors and to manipulate the market for those securities. On Aug. 12, 2019, the court entered an emergency freeze to preserve at least $8 million of the $14.8 million the defendants raised in 2017 and 2018 in an offering of digital securities.

The SEC filed charges against Reginald “Reggie” Middleton, a self-described “financial guru,” and two entities he controls, Veritaseum, Inc. and Veritaseum, LLC (collectively Veritaseum). The Commission’s complaint, filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, alleges that the Defendants marketed and sold securities called “VERI” tokens on the internet, inducing retail investors to invest based on multiple material misrepresentations and omissions. Among other things, Defendants allegedly knowingly misled investors about their prior business venture and the use of offering proceeds, touted oversized – but fictitious – investor demand for VERI, and claimed to have a product ready to generate revenue when no such product existed. The complaint further alleges that Middleton manipulated the price of the VERI tokens trading on an unregistered digital asset platform. The complaint also alleges that Middleton recently moved a significant amount of investor assets and then dissipated a portion of those assets, transferring them to Middleton’s personal account.

“After learning about Middleton’s transfer of funds, we took quick action to prevent the further dissipation of investor assets,” said Marc P. Berger, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “Whether in digital currency or plain cash, we will act to protect investor assets and to pursue fraud and manipulation in our securities markets.”

The SEC’s complaint charges Middleton and Veritaseum with violating the registration and antifraud provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws, and Middleton with additionally violating the antifraud provisions on the basis of his manipulative trading. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest and penalties, and a bar from offering digital securities. For Middleton, the SEC also seeks an officer-and-director bar.

The Commission’s investigation was conducted by Jorge G. Tenreiro and Victor Suthammanont of the New York Regional Office, assisted by Roseann Daniello, a staff accountant in the New York Regional Office, John O. Enright of the Cyber Unit, and IT Forensics staff Ken Zavos and Olga Cruz-Ortiz. The case is being supervised by Lara Shalov Mehraban, Associate Regional Director of the New York Regional Office. The SEC’s litigation will be led by Mr. Tenreiro and Mr. Suthammanont.

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Blockchain

Binance KYC Leak Highlights Importance of Personal Data Privacy

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Changpeng Zhao

Last week, cryptocurrency exchange Binance, was at the center of a controversial KYC data leak that resulted in a massive portion of its customer’s personal data, privacy, and identity being put at risk.

While the company was quick to dismiss the leak and ensuing panic from its users as nothing more than FUD, calling it a “false KYC leak,” in the same official blog post Binance admits that their investigation is still ongoing, and while that the allegedly leaked photos didn’t include the crypto exchange’s digital watermark, all photos appeared to be tied to a month when Binance had outsourced their KYC process to another third-party firm.

Binance appears to be minimizing the situation in the public eye and deflecting any accountability of their own for not ensuring the third-party firm secured its customer’s data.

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Hundreds of customer photos uploaded during Binance’s KYC process could be seen being scrolled through on a video recording of a Telegram channel where the photos were uploaded as part of a 300 BTC ransom hackers demanded from Binance – that they ultimately did not pay.

The once poster child of the crypto industry known for thwarting hackers and keeping funds “SAFU” has recently come under fire for barring US users from its exchange, only offering 2x margin on crypto trading, and now, leaking potentially thousand of customer’s data without taking any responsibility or apologizing to those affected in order to save its image.

Cyber Crime: Over 3 Billion Private Personal Records Leaked Last Year

The leak highlights the ever-increasing importance of personal data privacy in the digital age. Over 3.3 billion people were affected by personal data leaks in 2018, and the trend is only growing. In 2018, the equivalent of 291 different people’s personal data was leaked per second. Over 15 billion personal records have been leaked since 2013 when benchmarking first began.

As much as 65% of these leaks involve identify theft, which can involve credit issues, criminal allegations, tax liability, or worse. As much as 13% involve financial access, meaning that cyber criminals were able to directly access financial data and accounts, potentially draining accounts of their holdings – an incident that has become common in the cryptocurrency industry, and elsewhere on the internet.

In 2018 alone, the cryptocurrency industry was exposed to over $1 billion in exchange-related hacks, with nearly all of them involving some kind of data breach or lax security protocol. The rest of the internet is by no means different, with nearly every major internet company or publicly traded corporation experiencing some sort of major data leak over the last decade.

At the start of August, the Entertainment Software Association – a powerful company in the video game industry – leaked the personal data of thousands of industry professionals, journalists, and executives alike. The most alarming issue is that the ESA didn’t even hide this information behind any type of security, and ignored repeated attempts from users notifying the company of the security failure.

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Neglect like the case with Binance or the ESA exists everywhere in the world and on the internet. Uploading personal data to platforms that aren’t secure is at the core of the issue.

Personal data is also easy to come by for cyber criminals, making the matter far worse and widespread. According to data, personal records can be obtained for as little as $30 on the dark web. This includes full name, social security number, date of birth, bank account numbers, and more. Driver’s licenses are only $20. Passports fetch up to $2,000 – still relatively cheap to access such important personally identifying data.

How To Protect Personal and Private Data in the Digital Age

Because the issue is so widespread and the trend is only growing each year, personal data protection will only become more important and difficult. Methods and tactics of cyber criminals will improve, and so should the security and safety that companies provide their customers. Better yet, personal data should be kept private, and not required over the internet where sensitive documentation can so easily be leaked.

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New systems must ultimately be developed, but many companies can start improving their processes today by accepting responsibility and taking necessary steps to protect their customer’s personal data.

One example of a company taking additional steps to protect customer data is PrimeXBT. PrimeXBT is a Bitcoin-based margin trading platform featuring crypto assets (with up to 100x leverage) similar to Binance but also features traditional assets such as forex, commodities, stock indices, and more. The two worlds of digital and traditional finance coming together under one roof make PrimeXBT unique.

PrimeXBT combines the bank-grade security and focus on customer safety from traditional finance with the value of privacy that is the ethos of the crypto industry.

PrimeXBT requires no personal data to be uploaded at all, and ditches the time-consuming KYC process in favor of offering their customers privacy. The company has even in the past taken steps to move its trading infrastructure to Switzerland to ensure customer privacy remains the highest priority. It’s one of the few places that exist on the internet where there zero risk of personal data loss or leak, because no personal data is ever required.

Conclusion

In the digital age, personal data and privacy are constantly put at risk unnecessarily. Corporations and companies carelessly require this data, then don’t give it the proper protection or care that personal data and privacy deserves.

But until the public begins to vocalize their concerns over personal data and privacy and avoid companies that do not prioritize safety and security, or companies themselves begin to take additional steps and make investments in security, the issue will only grow more severe.

For now, all internet users must do due diligence when using any platform or website which requires personal information to be uploaded, and whenever possible, select a company or website that doesn’t require any personal or private information be uploaded at all.

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