FinCEN says ICOs are "generally" money transmission businesses

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

In a letter to Congress, FinCEN suggests issuers of unregistered ICOs targeting U.S. residents must comply with money transmitter business licensing rules (see story below).

News

FinCEN raises major licensing problem for ICOs in new letter to Congress
(CoinCenter, by Peter Van Valkenburgh)

"Today FinCEN released a letter to Senator Ron Wyden clearly indicating that they interpret the relevant laws and regulations such that token sellers are money transmitters."

Coinbase's COO Hirji says digital exchange to offer cryptocurrency-focused index fund
(MarketWatch, by Aaron Hankin)

"Hirji told CNBC during an interview on its 'Fast Money' segment that the planned index fund is intended to give retail investors broad exposure to virtual currencies. The COO said the fund is still in the works and would be targeted to accredited investors, with a specified net worth."

Putin's orders: Russia prepares to legalize cryptocurrency markets by July 2018
(CCN, by Samburaj Das)

"As revealed in a report by the Russian parliament’s official publication on March 1, Russian president Vladimir Putin has set a deadline on July 1 for relevant cryptocurrency legislation to be adopted in the country."

XRP, BCH, LTC & ETH: Grayscale adds 4 new crypto trusts
(CoinDesk, by Nikhilesh De)

"The new products are among the first securities to allow investment in those particular cryptocurrencies, according to a press release. It adds the disclaimer that, the value of a share in a trust may not correspond to the value of a cryptocurrency being held by the trust."

World Economic Forum leads creation of fintech cyber security consortium
(Reuters, by Anna Irrera)

"The group will create a framework to assess the security level of fintech companies and data aggregators, whose preparedness against hacks is seen as increasingly important to the stability of the wider financial industry, the companies said."

Commentary

The big and possibly dumb buyback boom
(Bloomberg, by Justin Fox)

"Bloomberg Gadfly's Stephen Gandel tallied up recent announcements by 51 S&P 500 companies and found that of their $54.5 billion in estimated annual tax savings, 38.7 percent is going to buybacks and increased dividends, 22.6 percent to business investments, 14.9 percent to employee bonuses, wages and benefits and 2.6 percent to philanthropy (which leaves 21.2 percent as yet unaccounted for)."

Poverty in America
(The Economist)

"Inequality has grown considerably over the past two decades, and the role of the government in arresting that trend has been limited compared in to other rich countries."

Why blockchain is a revolution (ft. Emin Gün Sirer)

Technical

Miner vs. miner: attack script seeks out and destroys competing currency crafters
(The Register, by Richard Chirgwin)

"If successfully installed, the attack then lists running processes and kills any it doesn't like. Mertens noted that alongside ordinary Windows stuff, the list of death-marked processes includes many associated with cryptominers..."

Hacker's delight: does quantum computing spell the end for encryption?
(Communications of the ACM, by Joe Dysart)

"Researchers like Lange and Guneysu have made some progress coming up with alternative encryption technologies they believe could defeat tomorrow's quantum wonders. Granted, they may not have quantum computers to work with right now, but they are able to extrapolate how quantum computers will be able to neutralize today's encryption, and they have come up with alternative encryption methods they believe will quash the most formidable of quantum technologies."

The importance of Ledger's new firmware update

World record DDoS attack hits 1.7 Tbps, thanks to Memcached flaw
(TechRepublic, by Brandon Vigliarolo)

"Both the attack on GitHub and this second attack used the same reflection/amplification technique, which exploits a vulnerability in the Memcached protocol. Until the flaw in memcached servers can be fixed, Arbor's Carlos Morales said in a blog post, attacks like these are likely to continue."

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