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September 2017

INX Plans to Raise $130 Million USD From Milestone IPO



INX ltd, a crypto exchange startup, has announced plans to raise up to $130 million USD through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

INX has developed a regulated platform for cryptocurrency trading and an alternative trading system for security tokens, which it hopes will become a one-stop-shop crypto services platform. The move to raise money through an IPO is quite unusual by market standards, as generally crypto startups tend to raise capital via Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). On Monday, the company filed a draft prospectus with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission to sell 130 million of its tokens, which are based on Ethereum’s ERC-20-standard.

INX’s Three Key Services

INX’s platform aims to establish three key services. The first of these is INX Crypto, which intends to be a licensed money transmitter. Second is INX Services, which will be registered as a broker-dealer and an alternative trading system (ATS). Lastly, the company plans on setting up INX Solutions, a financial services business.

More Transparency

This announcement is somewhat of a milestone, as previously token sales had been for the most part unregistered. However, the rising number of fraud cases in the crypto market as of late has led to increased SEC prosecutions, and so INX’s move aims to bring more transparency to its crypto operations.

“When fully operational, we expect to offer professional traders and institutional investors trading platforms with established practices common in other regulated financial services markets, such as customary trading, clearing, and settlement procedures, regulatory compliance, capital and liquidity reserves and operational transparency,” the firm said.

>> Crypto Adoption has Yet to Hit the Masses: Vitalik Buterin Explains Why

While purchasing these tokens will not give investors equity in the firm, it does entitle them to a share in the profits as well as placing investors ahead of shareholders when it comes to repayment in the event of liquidation. “It is the Company’s intention that the INX Token holders’ claim for breach of contract will be senior to the rights of the holders of the ordinary shares of the Company in liquidation,” said the draft prospectus.

The Company will not complete the sale of INX tokens until it has raised gross offering proceeds of $5 million within one year.

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Facebook’s Digital Coin Libra Faces Extreme Criticism



Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency to be launched as a payment service provider, requires close examination. According to a senior official at Britain’s financial watchdog, this new coin project requires deep scrutiny as it raises questions both on social and legal grounds. Facebook unveiled its Libra digital coin last month as a platform that will let one buy things or send money to people with nearly zero fees.

Regulators Have Doubts About Libra

One would pseudonymously buy or cash out their Libra online or at local exchange points like grocery stores. However, soon after its announcement, Libra raised concerns over its potential impact on privacy from lawmakers and regulators around the world.

According to Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority, Libra’s “size and scale will pose questions for society and government more generally about what is acceptable and desirable in this space. Historically, this may have been a sector that has lived by the mantra of ‘move fast and break things,’ but the issues raised here require deep thought and detail.”

>> Blockchain Supply Market to Grow to $9 Billion: Allied Markey Research

Deep Thought and Detail Needed

Since the time of its pronouncement, Libra has faced extreme skepticism and is likely to face severe regulatory scrutiny as well. Scheduled to launch by the end of June 2020, Libra is not only Facebook’s entry into one of the least regulated areas of finance, but will also eventually cede control to an independent consortium of over 100 companies, with players like MasterCard, Visa, Uber, and Spotify already having tentatively signed on. However, the fate of Libra depends much on the response of the domestic and international financial regulators and monetary authorities.

According to the news, the FCA has already met Facebook to discuss the project at large, but there are still several questions that require answers as to the workings of Libra. A detailed report on how this cryptocurrency would operate is quintessential for Libra’s blooming. Crucial decisions on such projects lie with lawmakers and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), an umbrella group for central banks. Politicians need to quickly coordinate regulatory responses to new risks as Facebook and other tech firms move into finance, the BIS said last month.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © nazarenko

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Bitcoin Acceptance Growing | Microsoft Excel Adds Bitcoin Symbol

Bitcoin acceptance

Bitcoin acceptance

It seems that cryptocurrencies are nearer and nearer to mainstream adoption with each day. In the latest crypto development, Microsoft Excel has added a Bitcoin symbol to the spreadsheet for use when entering financial data. This is a big leap for Bitcoin acceptance.

Microsoft Adds Bitcoin Symbol to Excel

This move from Microsoft is a sign that Bitcoin acceptance is becoming popular, and it not just a passing whim. So far, only Bitcoin has been added to the platform’s spreadsheets.

Reddit user “thepowerx” indicated that going forward it seems like Microsoft Excel will be featuring Bitcoin as one of the listed supported currencies. However, it is still unclear when the feature will be available for all program users because there is still scanty information regarding the addition. Microsoft itself hasn’t even confirmed the move.

>> Even if Facebook Launches GlobalCoin, It’s Going to Struggle: This is Why

Bitcoin Acceptance: Microsoft’s Involvement

Microsoft has been warming up to Bitcoin over the years, and adding support for the cryptocurrency to its programs will be a way of accepting Bitcoin whole-heartedly.

Since 2014, Microsoft has been accepting Bitcoin payments, making it one of the first mainstream institutions to adopt Bitcoin. Recently, the company was involved in the launch of the Bakkt platform in collaboration with New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange.

Microsoft is not just supporting Bitcoin by normalizing it, but it is also openly building on the platform. The company recently created and unveiled a decentralized identity tool on the Bitcoin platform. The project, termed Ion, will enable the user to be in control of digital identities without depending on any company.

The building of the platform directly on Bitcoin instead of a faster blockchain shows how highly Microsoft regards Bitcoin.

So what do you think about Bitcoin acceptance growing globally?

Featured image: DepositPhotos © TPOphoto

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Libra Should Not Scare Central Banks, Says Facebook



Libra, the cryptocurrency that is expected to be launched by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) in 2020, has proven to be the biggest disruptor in the crypto sphere since June. Policymakers, central bankers, and even politicians have expressed their skepticism with regards to the project.

Relief for Crypto Traders?

The announcement in July created massive disruption in the crypto market, and it was around that time that Bitcoin lost its momentum. That being said, the troubles for Libra are not over yet as fresh fears have been raised whether the Facebook-backed stablecoin is going to undermine the US Dollar and other sovereign currencies or not. Due to this development, Facebook has again been pushed on to the back foot.

Some of the concerns in addition to its effect on traditional fiat currencies include data privacy issues of users and the fact that the token could be used for criminal activities. Considering the fact that the company has been in the middle of a data privacy storm for some time, it is only natural that regulators believe that Libra might end up compromising its users. However, the company has stated that the project is being headed by numerous participating firms, not just Facebook itself.

>> Wells Fargo to Launch USD-Pegged Stablecoin for Internal Settlements

Some of the most important people from the Libra project eventually took to Twitter in order to clear the air about the whole thing. The head economist of the project stated in his tweet, “All of the design of Libra is really around being a complement of fiat [currencies], not a substitute.”

Despite the recent misgivings from regulators in different parts of the world, Facebook has stressed that the cryptocurrency will only be launched after it has been cleared by all relevant regulators all over the world. It also stated, several months ago, that Libra might not actually be launched next year at all.

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