Bitcoin prices were rising again on Wednesday as the No. 1 cryptocurrency by market value again set its sights on $10,000.
Prices primarily stayed in the $9,200 to $9,300 range for most of the trading day. While bitcoin and a handful of other cryptocurrencies moved into the green, many of the larger digital assets by market cap registered losses.
Here's what you need to know in cryptocurrency for Wednesday, May 9.
Jury to Decide: Are ICOs Securities or Not?
A jury will soon decide if initial coin offerings (ICOs) ought to be considered securities, adding their perspective to the fray fiercely debating the topic throughout the crypto world today. The jury has been called on by a U.S. District Court in which businessman Maksim Zaslavskiy faces fraud charges related to two ICOs that regulators allege were in violation of securities laws. Zaslavskiy, who pleaded not guilty to the charges in December, has argued that the ICO token sales did not constitute securities offerings, moving to dismiss the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department case against him, according to Coindesk. The jury's decision on whether ICOs are securities could set an important precedent in the crypto space, but it might not happen for some time. Judge Raymond Dearie didn't decide on the matter in preliminary hearings this week, instead opting to let the jury decide when the case goes to trial in January 2019.
SEC Warns Against Blanket ICO Classification
Earlier this week, SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce told a crowd at the Medici Conference that "sandbox" regulation for ICOs won't work. "My fear that regulators will grab hold of the shovel and buckets is why I am often wary of so-called regulatory sandboxes. I am entirely in favor of finding ways to make appropriate regulatory allowances that clear the way for innovation to flourish. What troubles me about sandboxes, however, is that the regulator is typically sitting there next to the entrepreneurs," Pierce said. The commissioner went on to say that, in her experience, all ICOs are securities. But she clarified, "Given the undeveloped nature of this area, I am wary of any blanket designation for all ICOs," and urged regulators to "evaluate the facts and circumstances of each offering."
Gary Cohn 'Not a Big Believer in Bitcoin'
Gary Cohn, former leader of President Donald Trump's National Economic Council, told CNBC, "I'm not a big believer in bitcoin. I am a believer in blockchain technology." Cohn then added that he does think "we will have a global cryptocurrency at some point," noting that such a development in digital assets would hinge on mining costs and cost of electricity, to name a few factors. In that world, the global cryptocurrency "will be a more easily understood cryptocurrency that will probably have some blockchain technology behind it, but it will be much more easily understood how it's created and how it moves and how people can use it," Cohn said.
Winklevoss Twins Win Patent
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twins behind the Gemini cryptocurrency platform and of Facebook (FB) fame, have won a patent claim that aims to settle exchange traded products (ETPs) that hold cryptocurrency. The Winklevoss' patent, awarded to their Winklevoss IP fund, outlines a system that can execute transactions for ETPs holding cryptocurrencies from high-market-value bitcoin to lesser known assets like dogecoin. It's the latest step in the Winklevoss' goal to gain approval for cryptocurrency ETFs to trade on larger-scale markets.