CFTC Wants to Learn More About Ether (ETH) and Its Use on the Ethereum Network

On Tuesday (11 December 2018), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a "Request for Input" (RFI) on "Crypto-asset Mechanics and Markets". More specifically, the CFTC is "seeking public comment and feedback in order to better inform the Commission’s understanding of the technology, mechanics, and markets for virtual currencies beyond Bitcoin, namely Ether and its use on the Ethereum Network."

According to its press release, the CFTC is expecting that these comments, all of which must be received by 60 days from the date of publication of the RFI in the Federal Register, "will benefit LabCFTC, the CFTC’s FinTech initiative, and help to inform the Commission’s understanding of these emerging technologies." The Commission says that it wants this public feedback for advancement of oversight of the commodity futures markets and for regulatory policy development. It also says that the feedback will "advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives markets as well as monitoring and reducing systemic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets." Comments may be submitted via the CFTC website, regular mail, or hand/courier delivery.

In addition to general feedback, the CFTC is hoping for answers to 25 questions across the following categories:

  • "Purpose and Functionality"
  • "Technology"
  • "Governance"
  • "Markets, Oversight and Regulation"
  • "Cyber Security and Custody"

Here are a few of the more interesting questions:

"Are there any existing or developing commercial enterprises that are using Ether to power economic transactions? If so, how is Ether recorded for accounting purposes in a comprehensive set of financial statements?"

"Does the Ethereum Network face scalability challenges? If so, please describe such challenges and any potential solutions. What analyses or data sources could be used to assess concerns regarding the scalability of the underlying Ethereum Network, and in particular, concerns about the network’s ability to support the growth and adoption of additional smart contracts?"

"Relative to a proof of work consensus mechanism does proof of stake have particular vulnerabilities, challenges, or features that make it prone to manipulation? In responding consider, for example, that under a proof of stake consensus mechanism, the chance of validating a block may be proportional to staked wealth."

"How would the introduction of derivative contracts on Ether potentially change or modify the incentive structures that underlie a proof of stake consensus model?"

The following question is especially interesting (see if you can spot anything wrong with the question):

"In light of Ether’s origins as an outgrowth from the Ethereum Classic blockchain, are there potential issues that could make Ether’s underlying blockchain vulnerable to future hard forks or splintering?"

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

Nexo Co-Founder: Bitcoin Doubters Are Running Out Of Reasons

Michael LaVere
  • Nexo exec says bitcoin doubters are running out of reasons. 
  • The price of BTC broke $12,600 for the first time in over a year. 

Bitcoin doubters are running out of steam in 2019, especially as the price of BTC trends towards new highs. 

No Longer Doubting Bitcoin

Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of cryptocurrency lending startup Nexo, appeared on CNBC  onJune 25 to take aim at bitcoin detractors. In the interview, Trenchev explained that bitcoin has been declared dead more than 300 times, with 90 occasions occurring in the past year. 

Nexo Antoni Trenchev Bitcoin DoubtersAntoni Trenchev appeared on CNBC to discuss bitcoin's price rally | Source: CNBC

Crypto bears such as Warren Buffett and Peter Schiff have continued to call for the demise of bitcoin, despite the price trading above $11,000. Trenchev declared that bitcoin “has risen from the ashes yet again.”

He continued, 

“I think, you know, the doubters are having a really hard time continuing their cause.”

Institutional Interest In Cryptocurrency

Trenchev gave his reasons for the increased rise in bitcoin price. He highlighted institutional participation, including the launch of JP Morgan’s JPMCoin pilot at the end of the year. Geopolitical turmoil has also been favorable for the price of bitcoin. 

In early April, concerns over Brexit sparked the initial rally which saw bitcoin jump above $4,000. More recently, deteriorating US-China and US-Mexico trade relations have led to anxiety in the stock market. With President Trump now threatening sanctions against Iran, bitcoin is becoming a favorable digital asset for investors fleeing traditional markets. 

Set For New Heights in 2019

Despite crypto proponents losing confidence during last year’s bear market, Trenchev believes skepticism is shifting towards current bitcoin detractors. 

He told CNBC, 

“[During] the bear market of 2018, we’ve seen even the harshest proponents turning skeptical at some point, and this usually is the inflection point from which, you know, assets start rallying again, but I think it is really about institutional support and implications that it has in terms of mass adoption.”

Trenchev also gave a nod to Facebook’s Libra. While Facebook has created a storm of global regulatory concern over Libra, the digital currency has driven new interest into cryptoassets -- even if bitcoin's price was already on the rise. 

In all, Nexo’s co-founder believes it is more difficult to doubt bitcoin in 2019. The landscape for crypto has shifted since last year’s market collapse, which will provide a springboard for adoption and price.