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Howard Marks, co-founder and co-chairman of Los Angeles-based distressed debt investor Oaktree Capital Management, slammed Bitcoin for not having any substance — while saying investors are merely speculating on its price without being able to judge its intrinsic value. ‘IT’S NOT AN INVESTMENT’ Marks took part in CNBC’s eighth annual conference for institutional investors – Delivering Alpha — which was held in New York, where he expressed his rather negative sentiment towards the first and foremost cryptocurrency. Marks noted that Bitcoin (BTC) $7335.46 -0.04%, which has a market capitalization upwards of $126 billion, fails to fulfill the definition of an investment, stating: It’s not an investment … it’s a trade. He went on to imply that any and all long-term investors are merely speculating on its price, stating that those who buy Bitcoin do so “Not because they can specify its intrinsic benefits. Not because they can judge the intrinsic value. But only because they think it’s going up.” The billionaire investor also made reference to the “Greater Fool Theory” — a popular argument which defines the price of an asset not by its intrinsic value but rather by the expectations of the market participants. Marks also expressed his bearish stance on the future of Bitcoin, stating: In the long run, I think it will be shown not to have any substance. It goes without saying that Bitcoin has its fair share of speculative traders. However, can’t this be said for other asset classes as well? Marks has already once acknowledged that he doesn’t know what’s behind Bitcoin, yet this hasn’t kept him from bashing it and everyone who believes in its value. Meanwhile, one of the world’s largest financial services providers, MasterCard, won a patent which purports to pave the way for crypto-based credit card payments — essentially hinting that the company believes cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

Malta’s new cryptocurrency regulatory framework has not taken effect just yet. Three bills regarding cryptocurrencies, blockchain and distributed ledger technology, passed by Maltese Members of Parliament in June, set out a number of ambitious changes to the country’s legal landscape overseeing cryptocurrency-related businesses. However, the Malta Financial Services Authority said Friday that one of these laws is “not yet in force.” The government is currently developing the “Virtual Financial Assets Framework,” which will complement “The Virtual Financial Assets Act,” according to the announcement. Until such a time as this framework is complete, the MFSA is not yet in a position “to start receiving request for approvals and authorizations under the Act.” Nor is it clear when the framework will take effect. The announcement notes that the bill will not take effect until “such date as the Minister for Digital Economy may establish by notice in the Government Gazette.” That being said, Malta, dubbed the “Blockchain Island,” has been hailed as one of the world’s most friendliest jurisdictions for cryptocurrencies attracting major crypto businesses such as Binance and OKEx. In fact, it was reported this month that Binance, a major cryptocurrency exchange, would partner in efforts to launch the first Malta-based “decentralized and community-owned bank” dubbed the Founders Bank.

Switzerland’s financial market supervisor, FINMA held discussions with the country’s bankers’ association and the Swiss National Bank (SNB), on how to improve cryptocurrency ventures’ access to banks. This is in response to the exit by some crypto-enterprises that are opting to move their business to other territories. SWITZERLAND THE CRYPTO-NATION According to Reuters, Swiss regulators have been taking steps to maintain the country’s reputation as a cryptocurrency friendly jurisdiction and to prevent the departure of virtual currency projects that have traditionally had limited access to the formal financial system. Over the years Switzerland has cultivated a reputation as one of the more cordial countries for cryptocurrency entities willing to set up shop or conduct ICOs. In addition to having an aggregation of digital currency startups in a region recognized as Crypto Valley, the country has also expressed its support of cryptocurrencies as witnessed by the sentiments shared by the Swiss Economics Minister: Now we have arrived at an innovative moment in the financial world. Cryptocurrencies are part of the fourth industrial revolution. We look at what possibilities can arise from it. For my part, I try to identify the opportunities, the risks and the opportunities, and decide: Is this a future business with future jobs or is it not? That’s why I support the circles that deal with it. A few Swiss banks have already started offering Bitcoin futures and the country’s stock exchange announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange. Even large players like Bitfinex have given Switzerland a stamp of approval of sorts by considering the country as its permanent residence. All of these factors have contributed to the crypto-nation tag that Switzerland is aspiring for. However, the real issue lies with an acceptance by the country’s bankers. Switzerland the Crypto-Nation LIMITED ACCEPTANCE FROM THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM Only a small number of Swiss banks have allowed cryptocurrency ventures to do business with them making it difficult for such projects to be domiciled in the country.

A red start for the weekend in Crypto land; altcoins falling heavily are Dash, Cardano, Monero and Nem, only VeChain is climbing Anticipation of a quantifiable recovery for crypto markets has faded as we enter the weekend. The selloff has continued and the rally appears to have been another blip in a lengthening bear market. Total market capitalization has fallen below $280 billion and looks to be heading further south. After holding steady at $7,400 for a few days Bitcoin has fallen back by 1.7% to $7,320. Further declines could see BTC dropping below $7k again and into dangerous territory. Likewise with Ethereum however it has remained stable over the past 24 hours with no further losses, trading at $460. Predictably the altcoins are all in the red for the third day though today’s losses are not as heavy as yesterday. Everything is down in the top ten with Cardano taking the biggest hit of just over 9%. ADA has consistently been one of the worst performing altcoins since its January all-time high. It is currently trading at $0.161 which is about the same level as it was this time last month. Stellar has also fallen back again by another 5.5% on the day to $0.274, the rest are down by 3-4%. Dash is getting absolutely trounced this morning with a 12.7% slide to $240. Over the month is has lost 10% as all gains from the recent rally are getting wiped out. Other altcoins in the top twenty losing heavily are Monero and Nem, both down over 6% on the day. The only cryptocurrency in the green in the top 25 is VeChain which is posting a 8.3% gain on the day to trade at $1.80. Since the beginning of May VEN has been absolutely trounced losing 67% from $5.50 to its current levels. Today’s gain raises VeChain back to its level this time last weekend. During the mid-week rally it broke $2 but since then has lost all gains. A couple of obscure alts are also posting gains today, way down the chart is WAX and Kin which are both up around 4%. The rest are still be sold off though at a slower rate indicating that the next low may not be as low as the previous and another rally may be possible. Total crypto market capitalization has fallen for the third day in a row.

Seiko Noda, Japan’s internal affairs minister, denied having an interest in a cryptocurrency company under investigation and interfering in that investigation, according to a report in Asahi Shimbun. As a Cabinet minister, Noda could be accused of trying to influence a government investigation. Noda acknowledged that one of her aides was present at a meeting on Jan. 30 during which a Financial Services Agency representative explained the agency’s position on regulations governing funds raised by issuing cryptocurrencies and other topics. FSA Warns Company The FSA warned the unnamed company on Jan. 12 that it suspected the company of engaging cryptocurrency exchanges, which it was not registered to do, and such an action violates payment services law, sources said. The company offered its own cryptocurrencies in October. The FSA demanded answers from the company, and gave a deadline after which it would report the matter to investigators. Noda’s office contacted the FSA several days after the warning, according to a document. Asahi Shimbun obtained via information disclosure. Noda’s office wanted to know what the agency was doing with respect to the company. Noda’s office further said it would permit a company representative to attend the briefing because the company consulted with her office regarding the issue. The name of the person requesting the meeting had been removed from the document. Sources said it was a Noda aide. The investigation continued following that meeting. In February, the agency advised the company not to sell cryptocurrency. Noda: I Didn’t Know About The Warning On July 19, Noda told Asahi Shimbun she was not aware of the agency’s warning to the company. Noda claimed the purpose of the meeting was to provide an overall understanding of cryptocurrency exchanges, and said the requested briefing did not constitute exerting pressure. #blocktechnews #crypto #bitcoin #ripple #ethereum #blockchain #blockchaintechnology #investing #investment #earnings #money #mining #wallet #iota #trading #cryptonews #cardano #stellar #zcash #ox #zrx

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