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SEC Cashed in Big from Crypto ICOs in 2020

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With the fine from Telegram making the bulk of the charge on ICOs by the SEC, other projects also bowed to the SEC’s pressures and collectively coughed out about 40 million dollars in fines.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saw one of its profitable years ever with respect to cash seized from firms including crypto Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that fell under its regulatory purview. According to a report by Cointelegraph, the SEC raked in about $4.68 billion, with more than one quarter from unregistered ICOs and crypto-related firms.

The report noted that the record-breaking sum of money was realized by the Enforcement Division of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and they were proceeds from illegal income bordering on the activities of Wall Street firms, insider trading fines, ICOs amongst others. As highlighted, about $1.26 billion dollars was accrued from SEC nabbed unregistered ICOs.

“The Commission obtained judgments and orders totaling approximately $4.68 billion in disgorgement and penalties – the highest amount on record,” said Stephanie Avakian, SEC Division of Enforcement Director.

For the year as contained in the SEC report, the commission took action in a total of 715 cases, with 405 bordering on a range of categories including market manipulation, securities offerings, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and insider trading amongst others. Of the seized sum, about $600 million was returned to investor victims.

Telegram: the Major Brunt of the SEC Clampdown on ICOs

Telegram has been tagged as the firm which suffered the major fines from the SEC with respect to its Gram Token ICO back in 2019. Back in October 2019, The SEC filed an emergency lawsuit against the Telegram Open Network in a bid to halt its Gram ICO sales. After a series of legal battles, Telegram agreed to pay the sum of $1.2 billion to its Gram token investors while also paying a fine of $18.5 million.

With the fine from Telegram making the bulk of the charge on ICOs by the SEC, other projects such as the Bitclave, Shopin, NAC Foundation, Unikrn, Boon Tech, and Bitcoiin2Gen, also bowed to the SEC’s pressures and collectively coughed out about 40 million dollars in fines.

The SEC is most successful in its attempt to clamp down on fraudulent business schemes in the US thanks to its whistleblowing policy. The scheme has not only helped the SEC track illegal funds, but it has also profited the whistleblowers immensely. As Cointelegraph reported, about 39 whistleblowers have been awarded a total sum of $175 million with one individual carting away with about $114 million about three weeks ago. 

With its productivity, the whistleblowing policy has been hailed as a “critical component of the Commission’s efforts to detect wrongdoing and protect investors in the marketplace.” 

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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How smart crypto traders caught a 48% price pump

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Disparities in information access and data analytics tech are what give institutional players an edge over regular retail investors in the digital asset space.

The core idea behind Markets Pro, Cointelegraph’s crypto intelligence platform powered by data analytics firm The TIE, is to equalize the information asymmetries that permeate cryptocurrency markets.

Markets Pro bridges the gap with two world-class functionalities: the quant-style VORTECS™ score, and breaking NewsQuake™ alerts.

The former is an algorithmic comparison of several key market metrics around each coin to years of historical data, which assesses whether at any moment the outlook for this asset is bullish, bearish, or neutral given the historical record of price action.

NewsQuakes™ are automated notifications driven by an AI routine that monitors thousands of information sources to deliver potentially market-moving news to members, often within seconds.

Neither of these is a predictive tool. What both the VORTECS™ score and NewsQuakes™ are designed to do is to notify traders that something has just happened that, in the past, reliably moved asset prices. That’s why a good Markets Pro chart is the one that shows events happening in the right order and in the right time: First comes the indicator, and then price action follows.

In the last couple of days, we have observed a number of exemplary scenarios illustrating classic Markets Pro reads on the market.

RUNE: VORTECS™ shoots up, price follows shortly

June 13 did not start off as a particularly great day for those who were invested in THORChain (RUNE) and looking to make some gains. The coin has been on its way down, falling from above $9.00 a couple of days ago to just above $7.00.

However, the coin’s VORTECS™ score has been steady in the green (bullish) zone, sometimes even venturing into dark green (confidently bullish).

While most traders only saw what was on the surface — a coin’s weak performance — Markets Pro members have had access to a wider view. Even if the price trend did not look promising at all, the market conditions remained historically favorable for RUNE, suggesting a dip potentially worth buying.

Shortly before noon, RUNE’s VORTECS™ line tipped over 80, foreshadowing a rally that began to unfold six hours later. When the price went up, it went up sharply: from $7.00 to the peak of $10.34 twenty-six hours later.

It might also seem from the chart that fuel for the rally came from a NewsQuake™ detected a couple of hours before the pump. While the announcement of a RUNE giveaway by an investment company Qi Capital has definitely added to the momentum, it is unlikely that it had actually triggered the massive pump: As a sequence of strong VORTECS™ scores pointed out, RUNE’s breakout was propped up by an overall healthy outlook in the first place.

KNC: Polygon partnership news shakes up the market

Big announcements that promise more liquidity for the DeFi sector are usually a boon for the coins involved. When Kyber protocol’s team announced the deployment of their first liquidity mining program on Polygon and Ethereum, worth $30M in rewards, the market rewarded the KNC token with a pump from $1.78 to $2.06 (a 16% increase) within 8 hours.

However, the effect of the news began to recede almost as quickly as it kicked in, so only those quick to react were allowed to feast at the profit table. A safe way to secure a spot was through receiving a NewsQuake™ (red circle in the graph) notifying users of the collaboration. Alerts were sent to Markets Pro several minutes after the deal was publicly unveiled, but before the price of KNC had begun ascending.

These classic patterns are replicated day in, day out on Cointelegraph Markets Pro, where the top-performing strategy the team has been monitoring since Jan 3 2021 (Buy at 80, Sell after 24 hours) has now delivered a staggering 3,694% return in live-testing. Full details of the methodology used are available here.

Cointelegraph is a publisher of financial information, not an investment adviser. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and carry significant risk including the risk of permanent and total loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Figures and charts are correct at the time of writing or as otherwise specified. Live-tested strategies are not recommendations. Consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions. Full terms and conditions.



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How Market is Shaping Up

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With the 2024 halving still about 1198 days, the stakes seem higher, perhaps because of the volatility of the trading market in 2021.

No sooner will a person start talking about the crypto world before the Bitcoin halving is mentioned. It is a major event with a significant impact on cryptocurrencies generally – and has been from the onset. The idea, factored into the design of the crypto asset by Satoshi Nakamoto, helps manage the inflation of the asset.

Unlike Ethereum, only about twenty-one million BTCs can be mined based on the design algorithm. Interestingly, estimates suggest that 98% of this will have been mined by 2030. Thus, after every 210,000 blocks, the reduction in the number of new Bitcoins that can be mined per block is triggered. Consequently, the amount of rewards earned by miners is reduced.

So far, the halvings have been greeted with significant media attention. This is particularly true of the months that lead up to the halving. From a price of $2.55 before its first halving in November 2012, BTC rose to about $1037 a year after. A similar trend continued after the second halving in July 2016, with BTC rising to $2525 exactly a year after.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the third halving happened in May 2020 with the price of BTC at $8600 and six months later, the price was over $15,420. By and large, the market has run exactly as some have predicted with prices falling just before the reductions and then rising to new heights after the halving is completed.

Bitcoin Enthusiasts Remain Excited about Halving

The reduction in the Bitcoin supply has always been greeted with excitement and speculation. The last halving was watched online by 7000 people on Bitcoin Magazine’s live stream. This was even as CoinMetrics co-founder Nic Carter, Messari CEO Ryan Selkis and Kraken content producer Pete Rizzo, celebrated the halving.

With the 2024 halving still about 1198 days and 5 hours away at the time of writing according to CoinMarketCap, the stakes seem higher, perhaps because of the volatility of the trading market in 2021, but the excitement is no lesser.

Against the current trend, many experts remain optimistic that it will an uptrend. Analyst PlanB expects the price of BTC to soar to $288,000. Senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, Mike McGlone, also predicts the market will correct for a bullish trend. Billionaire Tim Draper has also stuck to his guns about the direction the market is headed.

It’s safe to say that the jury is still out on whether this upcoming halving. The question in the mouth of many Bitcoin investors and speculators is: “Will it follow the type of growth in previous halving?”

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An experienced writer and Fintech enthusiast, passionate about helping people take charge of, scale and secure their finances. Has ample experience creating content across a host of niche. When not writing, he spends his time reading, researching or teaching.



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Hawkish Fed comments push Bitcoin price and stocks lower again

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Bitcoin (BTC) and the wider financial markets faced a new wave of selling on June 18 following comments from James Bullard, the president of the United States Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, indicating that he expects the first interest rate increase to happen in late 2022. 

Bullard’s comments were even more hawkish than Wednesday’s comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who indicated that the rate hikes would come in 2023. Powell’s comments triggered a sell-off across financial markets as the U.S. dollar gained strength.

U.S. dollar currency index. 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that as the dollar was strengthening, Bitcoin bulls were overwhelmed by sellers, triggering a decline to a daily low at $35,129.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The uniform sell-off across a variety of assets including stocks, gold and cryptocurrencies has further eaten away at the narrative that Bitcoin is an uncorrelated asset, as data shows that BTC’s correlation with both gold and stocks has continued to increase throughout 2021.

Traditional markets close the week down

Friday’s close in traditional markets marked one of the worst weeks for the Dow since October after the index saw five straight sessions of losses for a total decline of 3% this week.

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ were also hard hit on Friday, closing the day down 1.31% and 0.92% respectively, while the 10-year treasury note fell by 4.04% in response to the strengthening dollar.

As for the cause behind the recent hawkish stance from the Fed, Bullard pointed to a higher than expected level of inflation as the economy reopens following the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Bullard said:

“We’re expecting a good year, a good reopening. But this is a bigger year than we were expecting, more inflation than we were expecting. I think it’s natural that we’ve tilted a little bit more hawkish here to contain inflationary pressures.”

Bullard suggested that in the future, inflation is  “running at 3% this year and 2.5% in 2022 before drifting back down to the Fed’s 2% target.”

Altcoins price crumble

Altcoins saw their prices decline alongside Bitcoin on Friday as traders once again fled to the safety of stablecoins as market volatility picked up.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Ether (ETH) saw its price slide more than 13% to reach a low at $2,137 and Amp (AMP) fell 33% from its all-time high of $0.1211 that was established on June 16.

Related: Bulls hesitate to buy the dip after Bitcoin price falls close to $35K

Of the top 200 coins, the two best performances of the day were ZKSwap (ZKS) with a 14% gain Gnosis (GNO) which rallied by 7.4%.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.486 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 44.8%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.