Blockchain and Cryptocurrency News Roundup

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  • July 13, 2020
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13 July 2020.

New all time highs, the Secret Service and action in the courtroom. Catch up on the biggest headlines over the last week right here.

Coinbase CEO Defends Secret Service Contract

“Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has taken to Twitter to set things straight following recent reports that the popular California-based cryptocurrency exchange sold blockchain analytics software to the U.S. secret service. Based on an entry on USASpending.gov, the official source for government spending data in the U.S., Coinbase was awarded a four-year contract worth $183,750. The contract was due to end in May 2024. The record shows that the contract will allow the Secret Service to access Coinbase Analytics software but doesn’t go into more detail than that. Coinbase claims the data offered as part of Coinbase analytics is separate from the data that Coinbase collects about its own users.”

Decrypt

Telegrams Judgement Non-Binding for Kik

“Kik’s proverbial day in court may last a lot longer than Telegram’s. That’s the takeaway from a federal judge’s response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission during a hearing in its case against messaging platform Kik over the company’s 2017 initial coin offering, which raised $100 million. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, senior judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, rejected the SEC’s argument that the token sale was similar to that of Telegram, another messaging company which raised money for a blockchain project, and should face a similar outcome. The SEC won a preliminary injunction against Telegram this year, ordering the company to halt the issuance of its gram tokens, and the firm later discontinued the TON project. “I think that there is no binding precedent one way or another,” Hellerstein said. Nearly 200 people dialed in to listen to Thursday’s hearing, which took place just over a year after the SEC filed suit. Both the SEC and Kik have filed for summary judgment, meaning they hope to end the lawsuit before it reaches a jury trial, either by a ruling that Kik violated securities laws (the SEC’s argument) or that it didn’t (Kik’s argument). It is now up to the judge to either grant a judgment or let the trial proceed, unless the parties settle.”

CoinDesk

Chainlink Races to a New ATH

“Today the price of Chainlink (LINK) soared by more than 34% to reach a new all-time high at $8.48 and also notch a market capitalization of $2.5 billion. Three key factors that likely pushed the price of LINK to a new record high were: high-profile partnerships, price discovery, and the strong momentum that currently drives the altcoin market.”

Cointelegraph

SEC Charges App Developer Abra for Unregistered Security-Based Swaps

“Abra and its affiliate Plutus Tech have agreed to a cease-and-desist order and a combined penalty of $150,000 after being charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission for selling unregistered security-based swaps to investors in 2019. According to the official SEC release on July 13, by leveraging Abra’s app, users were able to enter into contracts that provided them with synthetic exposure to price movements of stocks and securities trading in the United States—through blockchain-based financial transactions. Users could then choose to mirror these securities and make an investment that would rise and fall with the real-world price. The regulators state that these swap transactions violated US securities law. Abra first started offering the security-based swaps to investors in February 2019 in the US and abroad. According to the SEC, Abra marketed its app to retail investors but took no steps to determine whether users who downloaded the app were “eligible contract participants” as defined by the securities laws.”

BlockchainNews

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