Cryptocurrency latest news - SEC Chairman Gary Gensler testifies before Congress on Bitcoin after Snook coin price drop

September 15, 2021

US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler will testify before the Senate Banking Committee today on cryptocurrency as the price of Snook coin drops.

According to the New York Times, Gensler wants more protection in crypto trading, lending, and finance and plans to discuss the environmental risk of such currencies, such as Snook coin which has dropped in price today.

Meanwhile, Interactive Brokers Group announced on Monday that they launched low-fee cryptocurrency trading on their platform.

According to Reuters, "U.S. clients of the brokerage will now be able to trade and custody bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash alongside stocks, options, futures, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds."

Earlier, There was talk of Walmart adopting Litecoin as an acceptable currency at their stores, but the retailer quickly shut the claims down as fake.

The news comes after Bitcoin was legalized by Ukraine after El Salvador adopts it as legal tender.

Read our cryptocurrency live blog for the latest news and updates...

  • VENEZUELA

    Venezuela is another likely candidate. The country unveiled its own cryptocurrency - the Petro - back in 2018 but efforts to get the currency off the ground have stalled.

    That's partly due to ongoing US sanctions against the oil-rich, but volatile country.

    Bitcoin may be adopted by the country as a stable alternative to Petro, as it's already a widely accepted and proven blockchain payments network.

  • MEXICO CONSIDERING CRYPTO

    Meanwhile, Mexico has previously held discussions regarding the adoption of some form of digital currency.

    El Salvador's decision could ultimately shift favor towards Bitcoin rather than alternative crypto or a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

    Earlier this week, Grupo Elektra, a leading banking and retail company in Mexico, threw its support behind Bitcoin by introducing the Bitcoin Lightning Network as a payment method.

    But Mexico's central bank quickly shot down the plans, warning: "The country’s financial institutions are not authorized to carry out and offer to the public operations with virtual assets, such as Bitcoin, Ether, XRP."

    Many of the country's lawmakers remain opposed to Bitcoin, despite grappling with high inflation rates due to the continued devaluation of its currency.

  • PANAMA NEXT?

    When it comes to Central America, Mexico and Panama are considered potential Bitcoin adopters in the near future.

    If Panama were to adopt the currency, it could have global implications considering its status as a critical shipping lane.

    Like Paraguay, Panama has introduced a bill to regulate the use of Bitcoin within the nation. The bill would recognize Bitcoin as a national alternative payment method.

    Panamanian Congressman Gabriel Silva, who authored the bill, tweeted on Tuesday: "Today we present the Crypto Law. We seek to make Panama a country compatible with the blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet.

    "This has the potential to create thousands of jobs, attract investment and make the government transparent."

  • PARAGUAY COULD BE NEXT TO ADOPT CRYPTO

    That belief comes, in part, as a response to local congressman Carlos Rejala drafting legislation to make the nation more attractive to the crypto market.

    Rejala’s plans will allow crypto firms to finance their operations in Paraguay using digital currency, as well as remit dividends abroad and capitalize any crypto profits into local banks, ProactiveInvestments.com reports.

    Rejala also said that the country's low electricity, costs, and the fact it sources most of its power from renewable energy, is a key advantage amid concerns about the environmental impact of crypto mining.

    Should the bill pass, Rejala previously suggested he'd seek to present another bill to make Bitcoin legal tender later this year.

  • POSITIVES OF ADOPTING BITCOIN

    Maggie Wu, the CEO of blockchain venture capital firm Krypital Group, says challenges in Bitcoin adoption do exist, however told Forbes she's optimistic about its future.

    "I believe that Bitcoin adoption is conceivable, especially in the relatively small developing countries with inadequate monetary systems where the recognition of digital currencies there is relatively high," she said.

    “The blockchain-related infrastructure that can carry digital currencies in most Central and South American countries and regions is not complete, including wallets, exchanges, etc. This is also the direction of our investment focus. We think there is huge potential and value here for fostering crypto adoption throughout the region.

    “El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin has brought concern from officials in developed nations as well as from international NGOs who often describe Bitcoin as having few redeeming public interest attributes.”

  • FINANCIAL RISKS CONTINUED

    "Who'd be against something that helps the people and doesn't do any harm?" he said of his critics. "They're probably politically motivated.”

    He also argued that it would make it faster and cheaper to receive money from family living abroad.

    El Salvador’s economy relies heavily on the remittance market, representing around 20 percent of the nation's GBP, or around $6 billion annually, according to Forbes.

    Around 95 percent of remittances are sent from Salvadorans working in the US to their families back in their native country.

    But service charge fees for such transfers can make up a significant chunk of the portion sent, particularly with smaller transfer amounts.

  • FINANCIAL RISKS OF ADOPTING BITCOIN

    Proponents of El Salvador's decision have hailed the move as the progressive future of money.

    Critics, however, have derided it as little more than a publicity stunt by Bukele.

    More troublingly, they say the move poses substantial financial risks to ordinary Salvadorians and their country, as cryptocurrency is an infamously volatile market.

    Indeed, the nation's cryptocurrency rollout got off to a rocky start yesterday with Bitcoin plunging more than 10 percent, seeing its value drop from $52,5000 to $44,000, on its first day as El Salvador's official currency.

    But Bukele has argued that adopting Bitcoin will allow more Salvadorians, about 70 percent of whom don’t have bank accounts, into the formal economy. 

  • EL SALVADOR ADOPTS BITCOIN

    The nation's president Nayib Bukele passed a bill in June that stated that from September 7, Bitcoin can be used in any transaction and all businesses must accept the e-currency as payment.

    The law also states that tax contributions can be paid via Bitcoin and exchanges in the cryptocurrency will not be subject to capital gains tax.

    Under the new law, El Salvador will "promote necessary training and mechanisms so that the population can access [Bitcoin] transactions."

    However, those who do not have access to technologies that can carry out Bitcoin are excluded from being required to accept it.

    The US dollar and Bitcoin are now the country's official currencies.

    It's the first time Bitcoin has been adopted as a legal tender in a sovereign nation.

  • SEC CHAIRMAN ADDRESSES CONGRESS

    US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler will testify before the Senate Banking Committee today on cryptocurrency as the price of Snook coin drops.

    According to the New York Times, Gensler wants more protection in crypto trading, lending, and finance and plans to discuss the environmental risk of such currencies, such as Snook coin which has dropped in price today.

  • RISKS OF ALGORAND CONTINUED

    Here we explain the main risks of buying the Algorand coins and other digital currency.

    • Consumer protection: Some investments advertising high returns based on cryptoassets may not be subject to regulation beyond anti-money laundering requirements. 
    • Price volatility: Significant price volatility in cryptoassets, combined with the inherent difficulties of valuing cryptoassets reliably, places consumers at a high risk of losses.
    • Product complexity: The complexity of some products and services relating to cryptoassets can make it hard for consumers to understand the risks. There is no guarantee that cryptoassets can be converted back into cash. Converting a cryptoasset back to cash depends on demand and supply existing in the market. 
    • Charges and fees: Consumers should consider the impact of fees and charges on their investment which may be more than those for regulated investment products.  
    • Marketing materials: Firms may overstate the returns of products or understate the risks involved.
  • WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ALGORAND?

    Cryptocurrencies are risky and returns are never guaranteed.

    Ms Streeter said: "Algorand is still wracked with volatility and this makes it unreliable as a store of value. 

    "Its price is being driven primarily by future price speculation rather than an underlying use-case.

    "It’s also highly sensitive to any pressure which could erode the earnings of crypto speculators, having fallen in value as members of congress considered changing tax rules which could cream more profits from short term  gains.

    "Traders would still be wise to heed the warnings of the Financial Conduct Authority, that if consumers invest in crypto assets they should be prepared to lose their money, so they should only dabble in crypto at the fringes of their investments."

  • ALGORAND COULD BE NEXT FAST GROWING CRYPTO

    Susannah Streeter, senior investment an market analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: "There is speculation that Algorand could be the next fast growing tree in the crypto forest, with new applications and smart contracts being built on its blockchain branches.

    "It’s still dwarfed in comparison with Ethereum and upcoming rival Solana but it’s gained the spotlight with a deal with Drone Racing Land, to provide blockchain enabled tickets, collectables and other NFT-related products to promote the organisation’s events around the world.

    "However, this is a highly competitive space and there is no guarantee who the eventual winners will be in the smart contract space. 

  • PRICE OF ALGORAND

    The price of Algorand is currently trading at $2.06 at the time of writing.

    It's up more than 4% over the past 24 hours and down from a seven day high of $2.54.

    Algorand hit an all time high of $3.28 in June 2019.

  • EL SALVADOR TO USE ALGORAND

    Algorand will be used by the government of El Salvador to develop blockchain infrastructure including Chivo, the nation's bitcoin wallet according to Forbes.

    The country hit headlines as the first in the world to make bitcoin legal tender.

    Algorand has also come into the mainstream, signing a deal to sponsor the Drone Racing League, CNBC reports.

    Hedge fund SkyBridge Capital run by Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House Director of Communications sacked by Donald Trump, recently said it will use Algorand to get institutions to use blockchain.

  • WHAT IS ALGORAND?

    Algorand is a cryptocurrency of the Algorand blockchain, a public decentralized network on which smart contracts can be built.

    It was created in 2019 by Silvio Micali, a professor a the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

    The computer scientist has also won the Turing Award for his work in the area of cryptography.

    The Algorand Foundation based in Singapore is behind the project.

    Algorand claims that it speeds up transactions and improves efficiency compared to bitcoin and other blockchains.

    There will be 10billion Algorand coins minted (ALGO) by 2030, according to coinmarketcap.

  • INTERACTIVE BROKERS ADDS CRYPTO TRADING TO PLATFORM

    Interactive Brokers Group announced on Monday that they launched low-fee cryptocurrency trading on their platform.

    According to Reuters, "U.S. clients of the brokerage will now be able to trade and custody bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash alongside stocks, options, futures, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds."

    "As financial markets evolve, sophisticated individual and institutional investors are increasingly seeking out allocations to digital currencies as a means of achieving their financial objectives," said Chief Executive Officer Milan Galik.

  • FAKE WEBSITES

    Another widespread scamming technique is websites that appear to be a new cryptocurrency mining operation or investment opportunity.

    These sites encourage investors to wire in money, sometimes offering investment "tiers" and promising greater returns.

    But when users attempt to withdraw their cash, they are unable to and told to input even more cryptocurrency.

  • DATING APP SCAMS

    Some scam operations have even started using dating apps to reel in potential targets.

    In some reports, scammers would pose as a long-distance love interest sharing a hot new crypto opportunity.

    About 20 percent of the money reportedly lost through dating scams in around the last year involved cryptocurrency.

  • GIVEAWAY SCAMS

    Giveaway scams often pose as celebrities or well-known figures and ask victims to send Bitcoin, promising to send back a much larger amount.

    Many giveaway scams are marketed over social media, attempting to connect through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

    For instance, victims reported sending more than $2million to scammers impersonating Elon Musk.

  • SCAMMERS WILL POSE AS AN AGENCY OR BUSINESS

    As noted by Inverse, Many phishing scams will attempt to impersonate a government agency or business to get your attention.

    Some reports to the FTC said victims were contacted by scammers pretending to be the Social Security Administration and asked to deposit money into Bitcoin ATMs.

    Other victims lost money to scammers posing as the cryptocurrency company Coinbase.

  • CYRPTO SCAMS

    The FTC reported that since October of 2020, nearly 7,000 people have reported losses of more than $80million in the US due to cryptocurrency scams.

    That number is around 12 times, or 1,000 percent more than reported losses from the period a year earlier.

    Here are some of the red flags that may signal a Bitcoin scam so you can protect your crypto wallet.

  • WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF HBAR?

    Mt Jobson adds: "Hedera Hashgraph still has a long way to go in proving its concept. The usual warnings over risk and volatility applies here."

    Below we round up five risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.

    • Consumer protection: Some investments advertising high returns based on cryptoassets may not be subject to regulation beyond anti-money laundering requirements. 
    • Price volatility: Significant price volatility in cryptoassets, combined with the inherent difficulties of valuing cryptoassets reliably, places consumers at a high risk of losses.
    • Product complexity: The complexity of some products and services relating to cryptoassets can make it hard for consumers to understand the risks. There is no guarantee that cryptoassets can be converted back into cash. Converting a cryptoasset back to cash depends on demand and supply existing in the market. 
    • Charges and fees: Consumers should consider the impact of fees and charges on their investment which may be more than those for regulated investment products.  
    • Marketing materials: Firms may overstate the returns of products or understate the risks involved.
  • HBAR CONTINUED

    Myron Jobson, Personal Finance Campaigner, interactive investor, says that one of Hedra’s unique selling points is its purported energy efficiency credentials.

    He told The Sun: "Unlike the Bitcoin network which uses more in one year as the country of Argentina, analysis by Cambridge University suggests, Hedra claims to be a low carbon footprint public ledger."

    “It is part of the InterWork Alliance’s (IWA) Sustainability Business Working Group which aims to aid global efforts on sustainability in the crypto space by in a number of ways, including standardizing carbon offsets.

    “Proof-of-stake blockchains like Hedra inherently consumes energy to function – there is no getting around it.

    "The effectiveness of carbon offset is difficult for the lay investor to gauge based on the publicly available information.

  • WHAT IS HBAR WORTH?

    There is a total HBAR supply of 50billion units and according to Coinmarketcap almost 7billion were in circulation as of January 2021 - around 14% of the total supply.

    There is a governing council for Hedrera and members include well-known companies like Google IBM and Boeing.

    You can buy and sell HBAR on some cryptoexchanges ans is currently trading at $0.3987 at the time of writing.

    HBAR's up nearly 5% in the past 24 hours and down just over 10% from it's all time high back in March of $0.4495.

  • WHAT IS HBAR CRYPTO?

    Hashgraph is similar to a blockchain and was created in 2017 by American computer scientist Leemon Baird.

    The Hedera Hashgraph system is a distributed ledger built on Hashgraph and was created by Baird along with Mance Harmon.

    HBAR is the cryptocurrency of the Hedera Hashgraph.

    The company itself expalins: "HBAR is the native, energy-efficient cryptocurrency of the Hedera public network."

    It claims to be the third generation public ledger after "Bitcoin pioneered decentralized infrastructure and Ethereum brought programmability".