Stephen O'Neal How We Will Remember the Year of the Dog? ICO Market Decline, Trend Toward Compliance and Other Takeaways As the Year of the Earth Pig has come, it is time to look back at what happened during the previous year. Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Dog is now over. Time for the main takeaways: from the ICO market’s decline to the “Blockchain before Bitcoin” trend 24 Total views 0 Total shares Analysis Happy Chinese New Year! As the Year of the Yellow Mountain Dog has drawn to a close, it is time to look back at what happened.
While there was a promising start in January 2018, when most altcoins were enjoying their all-time highs, the bear eventually took over, and the market delved into the so-called “Crypto Winter.” Nevertheless, there was good news, too: The United States regulators expressed their desire to stick to “positive regulation,” while big league investors poured some funds into a number of promising, compliant crypto projects (mostly stablecoins ).
Here is what was happening month-by-month, along with the main takeaways. January 2018
Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck was hacked , overtaking the infamous 2014 Mt.Gox collapse — an industry-record-breaking $532 million worth of NEM tokens was stolen this time.
Despite the amount of damage, Coincheck has managed to steadily rebound from the security breach. Soon after the incident, the platform announced plans of working toward refunding all 260,000 victims. Coincheck also closely followed the orders of Financial Services Agency ( FSA ), the domestic watchdog, and eventually secured a license to operate, becoming a fully compliant agent. February 2018
The Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) and the the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission ( CFTC ), America’s two main regulators when it comes to crypto, made positive remarks about the industry before the Senate, making wide adoption and constructive regulation more possible for the market.
On Feb. 6, Jay Clayton and Chris Giancarlo, respective heads of both agencies, held a joint meeting , where they argued that “virtual currencies mark a paradigm shift in how we think about payments,” but remained worried about the uncontrolled nature of ICOs. Giancarlo went as far as to explain the term “HODL” to the Senate. March 2018
Big tech companies proceeded to prohibit crypto-related advertisements on their platforms. While Facebook had already introduced its ban back in January , social media giants Twitter and Google followed suit in March, introducing similar action.
The blanket bans did some damage to the market. Not only did they deprive industry players of promotional tools, but the also contributed to the stigmatization of cryptocurrencies as a whole. April 2018
The Reserve Bank of India ( RBI ) announced that the bank will no longer provide services to any person or business that deals with cryptocurrencies in what seemed like a de-facto ban introduced within a major market. Although there were some signs of recovery since then, the harsh, Chinese-like regulation has stayed. May 2018
In what seemed like an unexpected twist for a blue chip institution, Goldman Sachs executive Rana Yared told The New York Times that Bitcoin “is not a fraud,” and unveiled plans to trade cryptocurrency. That marked an important step on Wall Street’ s path to the crypto market. June 2018
Jay Clayton, the chair of the SEC, confirmed that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not securities since they act as a replacement for sovereign currencies. That comment suggested that the agency won’t investigate into the latter’s initial coin offering (ICO) and deem it as unregistered, which would potentially result in large fines and penalties. July 2018
July proved to be an important month for regulation in the crypto industry, as two separate U.S. congressional hearings centering the matter were held : One by the House Agriculture Committee, and the other by the House Financial Services Committee.
The meetings struck completely different tones: While the latter echoed some of the most conservative sentiments regarding the realm of crypto — with the obligatory call for a blanket ban — the former appeared more positive, as the board of experts provided the regulators with collected considerations bothering the industry. August 2018 Crypto market experienced a major plunge, delving into a full-on bear mode , which still stays as of press time. On Aug. 14, ETH alone shedded as much as 20 percent of its value, while BTC lost its $6,500 support. September 2018 The SEC requested more comments on its decision about the listing and trading of a BTC exchange-traded fund ( ETF ) created by New York-based firms VanEck and SolidX, which was regarded as one of the top candidates among the community . Essentially, the regulator showed it wasn’t going to make any decisions on BTC ETFs in 2018 , therefore prolonging the hypothetical arrival of Wall Street’s money. October 2018 Major U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase la...