After an earnest attempt to inch closer to highs, bitcoin reversed its path and turned sharply lower Wednesday, March 7. Prices fell below the psychologically-important $10,000 mark Wednesday morning, down as much as 9% by afternoon trading. Of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap, only two were trading into the green Wednesday afternoon.
As bitcoin grapples with big losses and high trading volume Wednesday, these are the headlines you can't afford to miss.
SEC's New Requirement
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday it will require digital asset exchanges to register with the regulatory body. The decision from the SEC came after several weeks of subpoenas in the cryptocurrency space as regulators worked to achieve some semblance of control over the largely unregulated digital asset world. According to the SEC, "If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates on an 'exchange,' as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration. The federal regulatory framework governing registered national securities exchanges and exempt markets is designed to protect investors and prevent against fraudulent and manipulative trading practices."
Comcast's Blockchain Bet
Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Action Alerts Plus holding Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) , is leading a $3.3 million seed investment in New York-based blockchain startup Blockdaemon, Coindesk reported. Blockdaemon creates enterprise software that allows a number of different blockchain protocols to interact with one another. "We think it can be a great business and we think it can fuel the growth of other blockchains," Comcast Ventures managing director Gil Beyda told Coindesk. "Maybe as a byproduct of our investment in Blockdaemon perhaps we'll see other companies using blockchain and looking for an investment." Comcast Ventures had previously said it would pursue an "aggressive" strategy to push harder into blockchain for enterprise solutions.
Japanese authorities are reportedly preparing to issue "administrative punishment notices" to several cryptocurrency exchanges while suspending others from doing business, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The notices and suspensions are said to be part of a crackdown on exchanges in the country with flawed processes that could potentially facilitate money laundering and other illicit activities. The move will come a few weeks after Japanese exchange Coincheck was hacked, losing roughly 500 million NEM tokens from wallets on the platform. The notices and suspensions will come from Japan's Financial Services Agency, which last month inspected 15 unlicensed crypto exchanges.
Bannon Weighs In
Steve Bannon, former aide to President Donald Trump, said at a conference in Zurich that cryptocurrencies will bring the world "true freedom," according to a Swiss newspaper. Bannon also reportedly said that cryptocurrency is at the "very heart" of the populist movement in Switzerland. He continued, saying, "Central banks are in the business of debasing your currency. Central governments are in the business of debasing your citizenship. The central technology conglomerates are in the business of debasing your own personal sovereignty and your own personal data." But he went on to add that cryptocurrencies are the best means of amending such problems: "We take control of the central banks away. That will give us the power once again...once you take control of your currency, once you take control of your data, once you take control of your citizenship, that's when you're going to have true freedom."
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