3iQ Research Group consolidates the top five cryptoasset stories of interest
to investment advisors and our investors.

Crypto-focused Hedge Funds Draw SEC Scrutiny

March 14, 2018 – The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is examining the business practices of crypto-focused hedge funds. Concerns have been raised on whether these firms, which invest directly into cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), are appropriately valuing and safeguarding clients’ holdings. The SEC wants to ensure investors are fully aware of the risks involved, as well as making sure that no one is profiting off this market by breaking the law.

Thus far, the SEC has sent out a number of requests to crypto-focused hedge funds, seeking information on how they price digital investments and follow compliance regulations. In a few cases, subpoenas have been issued to further investigate potential misconduct. The largest crypto-focused hedge funds now manage a combined value of over $3.5 billion USD. It’s a growing portion of the $3.2 trillion USD hedge fund industry, and regulators are working hard to gain a handle on this growing ecosystem.

Read the full article here.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have raised billions. Delve into their history in:

What are ICOs?

by 3iQ Research Group

Battle of Billionaires: Alan Howard Joins Crypto Bulls

March 14, 2018 – Alan Howard, a British hedge fund billionaire, has reportedly made sizeable cryptocurrency investments in 2017, and is planning on betting even more. Alan Howard is the co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management, a European hedge fund which has also made similar investments in the crypto space.

The investments contrast the ongoing skepticism and hostility from notable billionaires such as Warren Buffet and the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon. In spite of this, other big-name billionaires like Peter Thiel and Mark Cuban of Shark Tank continue to support cryptocurrencies.

Read the full article here.

Goldman-backed Circle to Hire 100 People for Crypto Exchange

March 14, 2018 – Circle, a company backed by $140 million in capital from investment banks Goldman-Sachs and China International Capital Corp, is now hiring 100 more staff as the company spearheads development of their recent acquisition of Poloniex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

This expansion of operations brings even more light to cryptocurrencies, showing how increased regulatory scrutiny and price fluctuations prove undaunting for even the largest investment banks. The co-founder of Circle, Jeremy Allaire, believes that “the long-term view is that every form of value on the planet will become a crypto token”.

Read the full article here.

Chicago University Students Hyped for Bitcoin Classes

March 13, 2018 – University students in the Chicago region are demanding to learn more about Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies are set to be a major part of the future economy, which is driving demand for cryptocurrency related education today.

“It’s not so much about being ahead; it’s making sure that you’re not going to be behind,” said Sarit Markovich, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Markovich began teaching about Bitcoin 5 years ago, however, it was not until 2017 that students really became interested in the subject. She now has approval to create an entirely new class focused on the subject. A number of other universities in the region, such as the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, are following suit, with new cryptocurrency related courses being offered for the first time.

Read the full article here.

Crypto Firms Want Clearer Regulations at Congressional Hearing

March 14, 2018 – Many crypto advocates have expressed frustration with the cryptocurrency market guidelines set out by US regulators. Coinbase Inc.’s chief legal officer, Mike Lempres, said the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) need to work together to provide clearer definitions on the legal status of cryptocurrencies. There is little uniformity between different regulatory bodies, the SEC defines most digital assets as securities, while the CFTC defines them as commodities, and the IRS treats them like property.

Cryptocurrency related start-ups are in a tough position; “It is not clear where one regulator’s authority ends and transitions to another,” Lempres said. “The absence of regulatory clarity has slowed our willingness and ability to list new assets.

Read the full article here.


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