Belgium is leading the good fight for crypto enthusiasts, whilst MetaMask lets itself down.
Markets are always a little jittery over Thanksgiving, with liquidity at its lowest across a range of risk markets.
Curious Cryptos’ Commentary — Belgium
Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has issued a new report whose objective is “…to provide explanations of the most common cases where crypto-assets may fall within the scope of the prospectus rules and/or the MiFID conduct of business rules. ” You can read the entire text here if you’ve already watched enough football this week:
Though this report does not determine rules and regulations regarding cryptos in Belgium, nor further afield, it is a potentially useful starting base for the implementation of MiCA (Markets in Crypto Assets), the flagship EU legislation expected to be implemented by 2024, a more 18 months after the European Parliament, European Commission, and the European Council all agreed to its contents. I do rather wish civil servants had any concept of hard work, and deadlines, but I know I wish in vain.
The one key point the FSMA makes is this:
“If there is no issuer, as in cases where instruments are created by a computer code and this is not done in execution of an agreement between issuer and investor (for example, Bitcoin or Ether), then in principle the Prospectus Regulation, the Prospectus Law and the MiFID rules of conduct do not apply.”
What does this mean?
Let me interpret civil service speak for you, a task which is only slightly easier than translating Californian, which is littered with phrases like “living in myself”, and other nonsense, which bears no relationship to life or reality.
It means that BTC, ETH, and a plethora of other cryptos are not securities.
Way to go, Belgium.
I hope that a copy is sitting open on the desk of Gary Gensler, Chair of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) as he contemplates losing the case against XRP (Ripple).
Curious Cryptos’ Commentary — Data collection
It seems that even supporters of the decentralized world cannot shake off the bad habits of the decentralized world.
ConsenSys (https://consensys.net/) provides a suite of blockchain products that “…make it easy to build applications on Ethereum and participate in DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, and the metaverse”.
Amongst their products is Infura, an API-based tool that allows interaction with the Ethereum network, and MetaMask, one of the most widely used crypto wallets in the world, built on top of Infura.
MetaMask is an amazing product, though it does take a little technical knowledge to set up for blockchains other than Ethereum, and it does take a little experience to be confident dealing with dApps (decentralised applications).
ConsenSys has announced that Infura will now collect IP addresses and public keys for all transactions made on the Ethereum network when using MetaMask.
This is nuts, going against the whole philosophy of decentralisation.
And pointless too. I cannot believe for one moment that anyone still uses the internet without a VPN, and anti-tracking software. So, the IP address information is useless, and all transactions using ETH are recorded publicly on the blockchain.
But the motivation for this change is just one small example of how important it is for our privacy that the world is increasingly adopting the decentralized model wherever it can.
Trigger alert warning — if any reader feels that they are “literally shaking” (as claimed by a Durham student who cannot emotionally cope with a different point of view) after reading my commentary, then I can only suggest you don’t read, or don’t shake. It’s up to you.
Cryptos — none of my commentary should be seen as a recommendation to get involved in cryptos. I might be talking complete nonsense without knowing it. Any crypto investments must be viewed as extremely high risk and treated as if they are worth zero until sold.
Stocks — just to make it clear this is not a stock advisory service. The CCC team does not provide financial advice in any way at all. Any reference to asset prices in this commentary are there to simply give context to the commentary and to give color to the performance of certain stocks related to cryptos.
For the avoidance of doubt, this newsletter is not an incitement to buy cryptos, buy stocks, or even to sell family members in the hope of buying cryptos or stocks.
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