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Cryptocurrencies were stuck in holding patterns for the most part of the week as traders took some time to digest recent industry developments. Here’s what you need to know.

First up, check out this snapshot of how bitcoin and its buddies have fared in the past seven days as of December 7, 01:00 am GMT.

Cryptocurrencies Weekly Performance (Image from Coin360)
Cryptocurrencies Weekly Performance (Image from Coin360)

Ugh! It’s another sea of red for cryptocurrencies! As my buddy Forex Gump wondered: Is Bitcoin Dead?

If you think that bitcoin is about to be worthless or if you’ve been HODL-ing for some time and want to make that moolah back and more, you could take up Morgan Creek Digital on its million-dollar bet that bitcoin and its peers would outperform the S&P 500 over the next decade. Any takers?

SEC delays bitcoin ETF decision…. again!

Market watchers already got a sense of the SEC’s stance on the remaining bitcoin ETF applications when Chairperson Clayton shared his thoughts in a crypto conference earlier on, but the regulator just announced that it’s pushing back the deadline to late February next year.

In the official document published, the SEC noted:

“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”

This means that they will be taking more comments from the public as they continue to mull their decision, although it’s also worth noting that this delay comes after a meeting with representatives from VanEck, SolidX, and CBOE.

Based on their previous memorandum, the discussions centered on how there was precedent for a bitcoin ETF based on other commodities with ETFs like gold and crude oil. Representatives from the firms pointed out that bitcoin might even be more resistant to market manipulation compared to traditional assets with approved ETFs.

G20 on regulation and taxation

Trade talks weren’t the only topics on the table during the G20 Summit as leaders also discussed plans to regulate “crypto-assets” and possibly even impose taxes on transactions involving these.

Based on their declaration titled “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development,” the group stated:

“We will regulate crypto-assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in line with FATF standards and we will consider other responses as needed.”

It was also reported that the final G20 document included text on “a taxation system for cross-border electronic payment services.” Specifically, it notes that it “will consider the issue during 2019 when Japan will be the president of the summit.”

Also in Japan, the FSA is stepping up its game in cracking down on ICOs just as the SEC is doing so in U.S. soil. Sources told Japanese news outlet that the regulator  plans to limit individuals’ investment in ICOs to better protect them.

“Blockchain for Europe”

Over in another part of the globe, four major blockchain companies formed a band of brothers to promote the understanding and proactive regulation of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies in the region.

Dubbed “Blockchain for Europe” this initiative will advocate for future “smart” regulation that will be conducive to innovation and help Europe “shape the global agenda” on blockchain. Ripple, NEM Foundation, Emurgo, and Fetch.AI are its founding members.

Also in the EU, seven member nations signed a declaration calling for help in the promotion of DLT in the region. It was reportedly initiated by Malta and supported by France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, and Greece.

The document enumerated industries like  “education, transport, mobility, shipping, Land Registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare” that can be transformed by DLT.

R3 Corda platform developments

Ripple is still making waves as it was recently added by R3 as the first cryptocurrency on its Corda Settler universal payment settlements platform.

This application will allow payment obligations raised on the Corda blockchain to be settled through any parallel payment rail that supports cryptocurrencies or assets. A payment rail refers to a platform or network that transfers money from one entity to another.

More recently, four banks were able to complete a live transaction for a short-term debt instrument on the Corda platform. This involved €100,000 worth of a one-day maturity euro commercial paper.

Commerzbank provided the pilot framework, software and distributed ledger network for the trade as well as guidance on regulatory implications while Natixis acted as the issuer, Rabobank as the investor, and ING as both the dealer and escrow agent.

Just be warned, there is a considerable amount of risk in trading cryptocurrencies due to their inherent volatility and sensitivity to headlines. Be careful out there!