Bitcoin prices teetered back and forth into the red and green Thursday, sticking near about $8,350 for most of the trading day before dropping closer to $8,200 late-session. Trading volume remained subdued for bitcoin, coming in at about $5.7 billion.
Here’s what you need to know in cryptocurrency for Thursday, May 17.
SEC’s Fake ICO Dupe
In its latest bid to warn investors of the dangers of investing in illegitimate initial coin offerings (ICOs), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) created a fake website with a fake offering. The parody site, HoweyCoins.com, mocks ICOs and has a fake eight-page white paper with fake celebrity endorsements and a fake management team working the ICO. HoweyCoins.com features all of the language and guarantees the SEC warns against, including a “complex yet vague explanation of the investment opportunity” and a countdown clock ticking down as “time runs out” on the deal. When site visitors click the button to buy coins and invest in the ICO, they are instead directed to an SEC page with investor tips and education tools.
JP Morgan Launches Crypto Strategy
JP Morgan Chase & Co. has moved Oliver Harris, former head of the bank’s fintech and in-residence programs, to a new position aimed at uncovering the uses of cryptocurrency across corporate and investment banking branches, according to Financial News. The move comes a few months after JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon scaled back earlier criticisms of crypto, in which he called the digital assets “frauds.” Harris’ new role also follows a similar move by Wall Street rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which recently recruited trader Justin Schmidt to head a new crypto derivatives trading unit. JP Morgan employees were alerted to 29-year-old Harris’ new role through an internal memo released Wednesday. Harris is set to report to Umar Farooq, the bank’s head of blockchain initiatives.
Square Founder Dorsey Wants Bitcoin to be ‘Native Currency’
Square Inc. cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey said at Consensus 2018 this week that he wants bitcoin to become the “native currency” of the internet. “I’m just approaching with the principle that the internet deserves a native currency. It will have a native currency. I don’t know if it will be bitcoin. I hope it will be bitcoin. I’m a huge fan,” said Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Twitter Inc. Dorsey added that his team at Square has often debated whether bitcoin will become the basis for all online payments in the future, adding that the mobile payments company has “led with that mindset.” Dorsey continued, “But there’s still a lot of skepticism and a lot of debate and a lot of fights. But that’s where the magic happens, where the creativity happens.”
Celebs Used to Promote Crypto Scams
Houston-based Wind Wide Coin was issued an emergency cease-and-desist order from Texas watchdogs following allegations the startup attempted to dupe investors with false advertisements from celebrities. Wind Wide reportedly created fake client profiles using images of high-profile people including actress Jennifer Aniston, Prince Charles and former Finland prime minster Matti Vanhanen, according to the Texas State Securities Board. The Texas-issued order also accused the firm and three individuals of claiming to be licensed in the state, of selling unregistered securities, of misleading investors and of withholding information.