Weekly Crypto News: SEC Commissioner Dissents from Rejection of Bitcoin ETF

Today’s market did not fall much on adverse news but rallies on good news. This is an indication that the trend is bullish. Remitano gladly bring you the weekly highlighted news that we collected from 22/7 to 29/7

1. SEC Commissioner Dissents From Agency’s Rejection of Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) Commissioner Hester M. Peirce has published a statement of official dissent from the agency’s second disapproval of the Winklevoss brothers’ application for a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) yesterday, July 26.

Referring to the most recent rejection, SEC Commissioner Peirce argued that the SEC has fundamentally erred with its latest decision on three grounds. Firstly, Peirce contends that the agency overstepped “its limited role” when it focused on the characteristics of the underlying Bitcoin market, rather than the derivative the applicant sought to list:

The Commission erroneously reads…the [Securities Exchange] Act, which requires…that the rules of a national securities exchange be ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices…’ [It] focuses its decision not on the ETP shares to be listed …but on the underlying bitcoin spot market….[instead of] the ability of BZX…to surveil trading of and to deter manipulation in the ETP shares listed and traded on BZX.

She reinforces her point by adding that the “concerns underlying the [SEC] disapproval order go to the merits of bitcoin [itself] as an investment,” and that “if the disapproval order’s rigorous standard were applied consistently, many [other] commodity-based ETPs would be in peril, as rumors of manipulation plague many commodity markets.”

Moreover, Peirce argues, yesterday’s decision courts the risky precedent that: “When we do finally approve an ETP on bitcoin…investors may reasonably — but incorrectly — conclude that the investment carries with it the SEC’s imprimatur because the Commission has performed due diligence on the underlying market and, through its approval, is certifying the quality of that market.

Peirce’s two further points argue that the SEC’s disapproval order will likely “inhibit” the institutionalization of the Bitcoin market, something she deems necessary in order to best address the agency’s concerns.

Lastly, she argues that the rejection demonstrates a skeptical view of innovation,” which she argues could lead to adverse effects “well beyond this particular product,” stating boldly:

I reject the role of gatekeeper of innovation — a role very different from (and, indeed, inconsistent with) our mission of protecting investors, fostering capital formation, and facilitating fair, orderly, and efficient markets.

2. Crypto, Fiat Firms Discuss Cryptocurrency Legitimation in Closed-Door Nasdaq Meeting

A closed-door meeting was held by Nasdaq Inc. this week to discuss steps for legitimizing the crypto industry in global markets, Bloomberg reports today, July 27.

Around half a dozen representatives from both traditional finance and the crypto industry firms –– among them reportedly the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini –– held a closed meeting in Chicago this week. As Bloomberg reports, Nasdaq Inc. held the meeting as a way to “get the industry on the path to legitimacy.”

Nasdaq confirmed that the event took place, but declined to comment, Bloomberg notes. An unnamed source “familiar with the event” told Bloomberg that this was just the beginning of such meetings.

Earlier this summer, the president and CEO of Nasdaq Adena Friedman had mentioned that cryptocurrencies can become a “financial element of the Internet.”

Earlier, in April, Friedman said that the stock market giant could become a platform for trading cryptocurrencies in the future, if the market becomes more regulated.

3. Consulting Giant Accenture’s New Patent Reveals Plans for Blockchain Logistics Innovation

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Consulting giant Accenture has plans to use blockchain to upgrade its logistics network, a patent application published July 26 reveals.

According to the document published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the corporation wants to follow in the footsteps of various major players in leveraging blockchain to secure, speed up and increase the efficiency of logistics movements.

A device may receive an indication that a product has arrived at a destination. The product may have been shipped by an entity to the destination,” the patent’s abstract begins, elaborating:

The device may perform an analysis on the product to determine an attribute of the product. The device may perform a comparison of information identifying the attribute of the product and information included in an encrypted record, for the product, of a blockchain, to verify the attribute of the product.

The move marks a further step in Accenture’s increasing interest in blockchain, this month having also announced an aerospace supply chain tool in partnership with French multinational aerospace firm Thales.

In March meanwhile, Accenture linked up with global logistics operator DHL to work on a blockchain implementation for pharmaceutical supply chains.

It is also not the first time Accenture has applied for a blockchain-related patent. In September last year, the company gained mixed reactions to its so-called “editable blockchain” application, with some sources claiming the concept ran contrary to the essential ethos of immutability that the technology represents.

4. Chinese Research Institute Report Finds Blockchain Can Enhance Financial Services

A Chinese scientific research institute and value-added Internet service provider Tencent Holdings have jointly released a July 24 report emphasizing the impact of blockchain on the transformation of traditional financial services.

According to the report, blockchain technology will further enhance “the transparency of financial transactions, strengthen the flexibility of system operation, and automate processes, thus affecting the record keeping, accounting and payment settlement methods of financial services. The study further comments: “In addition to digital currency, the characteristics of the blockchain can play a big role in the fields of payment and settlement, supply chain finance, securities trading, insurance, and credit reporting.”

Earlier this week, three major Chinese telecom operators launched a blockchain research group for building a “next-generation telecommunication network.” China will also lead an international research group on the standardization of the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology.

5. Singapore Airlines Launches Blockchain-Based Loyalty Wallet, Co-Developed by Microsoft

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched its own airline loyalty digital wallet that uses blockchain technology, it announced July 24. The software has been co-developed by Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village, according to the press release.

The new wallet — dubbed ‘KrisPay’ after SIA’s ‘KrisFlyer’ loyalty programme — converts frequent flyer miles into digitized ‘KrisPay miles’ that can be used to pay for retail purchases via a mobile app.

According to SIA, KrisPay miles are currently accepted at 18 merchants island-wide, with more merchants to reportedly be added to the platform in future.

As reported, SIA first successfully tested the proof-of-concept for its blockchain-based loyalty wallet back in February.

U.S. tech giant Microsoft, meanwhile, has been steadily investing in blockchain technology, with early moves to implement an off-chain Ethereum-based protocol by its cloud computing arm, Microsoft Azure, in summer of last year.

This February, the firm announced plans to integrate blockchain-based decentralized IDs into its Microsoft Authenticator app, and Azure formally announced the release of a blockchain app creation service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, in May.

Most recently, Microsoft has been working to integrate blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) for supply chain management solutions, as well as partnering with two major Asian tech companies on an enterprise blockchain platform.

Collected and compiled by Remitano