Arizona Law to Delineate ICOs and Securities

 

The world might be deliberating prohibitions and regulations on crypto activity, but in Arizona, they have embraced it so wholeheartedly that public records show that there has been a hike in the number of blockchain bills in the state’s legislature.

The state’s Senate has already passed a bill that approves its inhabitants to be able to pay their taxes in cryptocurrency. This new bill didn’t just pass all the stages in Senate as smoothly as one would believe. Arizona’s Senate minority leader Steve Farley was of the opinion that the volatility of the bitcoin might be a problem when it relates to tax payments. His fears were somewhat allayed when Arizona’s Department of Revenue confirmed that they would have only 24 hours to change the bitcoin payments into dollars.

The bill has already gone on to the state’s House of Representatives. If it is successfully passed, the state could soon start collecting bitcoin as an accepted form of tax payment.

Jeff Weninger, a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives (who was also very instrumental in the passing of the first bill) introduced two new different means focused on blockchain – one of which would start the process for an administrative structure for initial coin offering (ICOs) implemented in the state.

It should be noted that two new bills brought up by the representative comprise of words like “blockchain”, “virtual coin”, “virtual coin offering” and they are potential terms that might be added to the Arizona government’s catalog of definitions.

The virtual coin is defined in the first bill as a medium of exchange that can be traded digitally. A virtual coin has virtual value and can be used to store value.

The second bill tweaks the provisions of the Arizona Revised Statutes that pertain data created and stored by blockchain. The bill is in relation to the one that legitimized blockchain signatures and smart contracts implemented last year. This bill makes digital signatures have the same enforceability as written signatures. Arizona’s law now directs that smart contracts are to be also recognized and enforced.

The Arizona Electronic Transactions Act (AETA) provides that virtual signatures areas enforceable as written signatures. HB 2417 stipulates that signatures, e-records, as well as smart contracts — made through blockchain and entrenched by UCC Articles 2, 2A, and 7 — are recognized as legal e-signatures under the appropriate Arizona Act.

Using the “killing two birds with one stone” analogy, the legislature arm of the Arizona government has given a very comprehensive definition of cryptocurrencies and has ensured a solid foundation for contracts which are implemented using them. This means it’s now easier for people to meddle in the cryptocurrency world while ensuring they can do business with it.

It is worth to mention that the Arizona government perpetually sets up processes that strengthen the harnessing of the blockchain technology’s features.

Weninger is of the belief that cryptocurrency payments posses a multitude of merits which include the ease at which it can be used and the convenience it has.

 

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ROBOS and Banks: The Dawning of a New Time

Will Banks Use More Robots

The use of Robo advisors is gaining prominence in mainstream banking circles. Clients have several options available to them when picking investment products. These include the go-it-alone approach where individuals are responsible for the management of their own portfolio of stocks, bonds, cash, indices, commodities etc. This option is best suited to professionals, or investors who understand the intricacies of the financial markets.

The other option is a choice between using traditional banks and investment gurus on the one hand, or the modern-day upgrades with things like discount brokerages. While there is certainly merit in all of these options, many investors are not totally sold on either option. A fusion of these investment possibilities which encompasses online advice with a self-directed brokerage is increasingly preferred by clients.

Fintech Disrupting Traditional Banking

FinTech has dramatically revolutionized the investment landscape, and banking operations are front and centre. New-age investors prefer having a say in how their money is managed, and this need has not been fully satisfied with the options listed above. Instead, clients prefer hybrid options known as Robo advisors. The concept of a Robo advisor is largely misunderstood by mainstream investors. A Robo advisor does not remove the human element from investing and portfolio management.

True to form, Robo advisors do not require clients to meet with investment gurus face-to-face. It is a convenience-based element at play, and one that makes it easier for anyone to instantly initiate trades at the click of a button. Most of the communication via Robo advisors is conducted through secure online connections and chat services such as Skype, messenger, and the like.

More Control Over Financial Portfolios

The Canadian investment scene is slowly adapting to this modern-day technology, but only the Bank of Montréal has infused Robo advisor technology as part of its investments toolkit. FinTech is leaps and bounds ahead of traditional banking. It is a major disruptive force in the financial world, and it caters to a large under-banked or unbanked sector of society. In Canada, the US and across Europe, clients are looking for easier ways to manage their financial portfolios, while still maintaining control over trades that are executed.

The conventional system of entrusting all of one’s finances to a fund manager with a bias towards certain stocks, ETFs or mutual funds is losing traction. Today, investors want to have a modicum of control over their portfolio, and they don’t want the emotional component, or the bias via the investment advisor. A Robo advisor serves this purpose well. Provided the range of financial assets available to the client is all-encompassing, a Robo advisor can pick the appropriate stocks based on client specifications. Hard data is analysed instantly, and the best investment options are provided to the client.

Robo Advisors with Canadian Banks

The do-it-yourself model cannot be ignored by banks for much longer. The explosive growth of FinTech investment paradigms has already caused multiple banks like HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, Goldman Sachs and others to stand up and take notice. Banks are implementing protocols to allow Robo advisors as part of their investment toolkit. One of the leading asset management companies is BMO. What many clients don’t know, is that BMO also has a robo advisor. Through use of this modern-day technology, BMO can now offer exchange traded funds across multiple portfolios.

It is the oldest bank in Canada, and also the first to adopt new-age technologies. Clients can easily synchronize their BMO online banking summary with their investment accounts for maximum functionality. A wide range of exchange traded funds is available, and the provision of Robo advisors makes it easy to use SmartFolio accounts. Account types include RRSP, TFSA, and RESP. By allowing customers to personalize their financial portfolios, it’s akin to a Robo advisor. This is the way Canadian investors are choosing to go, and many other big banks are now taking notice.

The post ROBOS and Banks: The Dawning of a New Time appeared first on Wall Street.

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Bitcoin The Hottest Topic in World Currency

 

Bitcoin surged to a fresh all-time high on Thursday hitting $5,231, eclipsing the previous record of $5,014 hit in early September. The cryptocurrency is now up more than 420% for the year.  So far, investors and customers have shrugged off negative commentary about cryptocurrencies, despite being unable to break into the U.S. markets.

In September, Chinese authorities banned exchanges that deal in crypto currencies. They also banned initial coin offers which are the way most digital currencies raise capital. This has further perpetuated the rally, since there is a limited supply on the amount of a crypto currency that can be mined. With supply contained by regulators and demand increasing, the price of bitcoin is getting forced higher.

There have been reports floating during the past week that China might allow cryptocurrency exchange as well as ICOs. Sources cite Chinese regulators saying that bitcoin trading will likely resume with more regulation. This could include new licensing and anti-money laundering regulations.

SEC Does Not Give Its Blessing to Bitcoin

To date, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is the main U.S. securities regulator, has not given its blessing to crypto currencies. Without consent from the SEC mainstream trading is not possible. Their unwillingness to consider bitcoin has frustrated exchange applicants who are now withdrawing their applications. This will likely be a long process, and need consent from congress as a new currency that is potentially subject to manipulation, would undermine the U.S. dollar. Bitcoin is a treat to the greenback globally, which will make it difficult for the digital currency to gain widespread acceptance in the United States.

Swedish Officials Pay Debt in Bitcoin

Swedish regulators with the Swedish Enforcement Authority has paid a debt with bitcoin. This is the first time the enforcement agency in any country has accepted bitcoin as a currency that is paid directly to a government.

Swedish authorities see bitcoin as an asset that can be used to make payment and its increasing acceptance will provide an alternative method for payments of debt. While the Swedish authorities are used to handling these issues through the banking world, they also take payments which need to be converted into cash.  By taking bitcoin, they greatly enhanced their ability to retrieve debts. In this regard, it seems the Swedish Enforcement Authority will likely continue accepting bitcoin for debts citizens wish to settle.

 

Bitcoin prices have broken out to fresh all-time highs pushing through the highs made in September, and poised to test higher levels.  Support on Bitcoin is seen near the 10-day moving average at 4,576.  Volume on the breakout is average, which does not add to the accelerating in prices.  Bitcoin prices are experiencing accelerating positive momentum as reflected by the relative strength index (RSI). The index is a momentum oscillator that also measures overbought and oversold levels. The currency reading on the RSI is 75, which is above the overbought trigger level of 70, which could foreshadow a correction. Reading below 30 on the RSI are considered oversold.

 

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