APPLE AND THE SEC TRY TO CRACK DOWN ON CRYPTO AS SWITZERLAND CREATES SOLID LEGAL FRAMEWORK.
● American Celebrity Entertainer, T.I, Charged By SEC With The Promotion Of Fake Cryptocurrency.
● Apple Will Not Allow DAPPs On Appstore, And Bans Crypto Transactions: States CEO Of Coinbase
● Latest Swiss Legislation Provides Strong Ground For Blockchain And CryptoCurrencies
In today’s first story of Overbit Insights, we cover some legal action in the United States that’s making headlines over the weekend. On Saturday, 12 September, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged famed musician and actor T.I. with promoting fraudulent initial coin offerings, specifically one linked to a company called FLiK, aiming to create a platform like Netflix, but on the blockchain. FLiK raised approximately $150,000 in 2017 September, yet no FLiK platform was ever developed or released
In the settlement, T.I agreed to pay $75,000 in civil penalties, as well as abstain from any offerings or sales of digital-asset securities for at least the next five years. Though this is undoubtedly a notable punishment, it seems the Atlanta rapper and actor was not at the centre of the investigation. T.I’s name was removed from the lawsuit back in February, leaving behind targets such as the two companies involved, FLiK and CoinSpark, as well as their founder, Ryan Felton. Felton, a hardly notable film producer, is the lone defendant in the suit who is yet to settle. The lawsuit is currently ongoing, yet is held up by COVID-19 health & security measures, according to documents.
Speaking of crackdowns on cryptocurrency, we move onto our next story of today’s issue. In a thread on Twitter, Co-Founder and CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong recently shared his thoughts on the current Apple App Store restrictions on cryptocurrency. According to Armstrong, Apple has restrictions in place that disallow iOS users to earn rewards using cryptocurrency. Armstrong went further, stating that Apple told Coinbase it was “not appropriate” for the App Store to allow iOS users to engage in decentralised finance (DeFI) apps.
This thread by Armstrong came in the wake of Apple’s recent update that allows developers to suggest proposals to the App Store policy. After this change, Coinbase and team decided to improve their app’s user experience. However, this led Armstrong to learn of the restriction imposed by Apple on crypto apps which he believed would “stifle innovation in cryptocurrency.” Armstrong’s thread is worth reading for yourself, but the following tweet sums up the overall gist.
“I greatly admire Apple as a company, and think they build amazing products, but their restrictions on the app store, in particular around cryptocurrency, are not defensible in my view, and they are holding back progress in the world.”
Most of Armstrong’s thread is an expansion upon this one tweet. With the CEO of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges directly calling out Apple for non-competitive and even monopolistic practices, especially as it relates to cryptocurrency, it’s pretty easy to imagine how the traditional world and the digital world are on a collision course.
To round off this week’s discussion of Overbit Insights, we move to the other end of the spectrum in terms of cryptocurrency adoption. In a historic legislative move on Thursday, 10 September, Swiss parliamentarians passed a new set of finance and corporate laws and amendments that recognise the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
According to a SwissInfo report, the government has amended a whole suite of laws regarding finance, ranging from company bankruptcy to securities trading. More specifically, these new laws define the legalities behind exchanging digital securities, as well as the legal process of reclaiming digital securities from bankrupt companies. These new laws go a step further, even defining the legal requirements for running cryptocurrency exchanges. One can expect to see these laws in action early next year.
With this historic move, blockchain and cryptocurrency industries in Switzerland are expected to see a much-appreciated tailwind. Switzerland has traditionally always been an epicentre of finance, and even before this legislative move, several hundred blockchain companies called Switzerland their home. It’s safe to say this trend will continue to grow, and even reach massive velocity, once these bills and amendments become law. Once again, we see a stark contrast between the countries and businesses which adopt blockchain versus those who do not. Here at Overbit, we imagine this valley will continue to widen in the foreseeable future. It’s safe to say which side of the debate we fall on.
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