Market Analysis Report (11 Mar 2019)

Bitbond: Germany’s First Security Token Offering

Today at noon, cryptocurrency lending platform Bitbond will launch its Security Token Offering (STO), highlighting how regulators in Germany have paved the way for such token sales to make early inroads toward the mainstream in the nation. The Bitbond Security Token Offering is Germany’s first STO and the prospectus has been approved by the German financial regulator BaFin. The tonkenized bond BB1 is issued on the Stellar blockchain and pays a fixed coupon and a variable profit participation.

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Court Orders Bank to Return $330,000 to Cryptocurrency Exchange

A court in Brazil’s state of São Paulo has recently ordered Banco Santander to return over $335,000 to a local cryptocurrency exchange after it froze its account claiming its activities were incompatible with the bank’s policies. According to local news outlet Criptomoedas Fácil, adjudicator Daniela Menegatti Milano dismissed an appeal made by Banco Santander on a case brought forth by local cryptocurrency exchange Mercado Bitcoin, which saw the bank freeze its account with 1.3 million reals in it.

Per the news outlet, Santander froze Mercado Bitcoin’s account without giving the crypto firm a proper explanation, and when asked claimed its activities didn’t align with the bank’s policies. Mercado Bitcoin pursued legal action. The crypto exchange claimed the funds were improperly frozen and should either be returned or deposited on another account until the process was concluded. The court ruled in favour of Mercado Bitcoin:

“In light of what’s exposed, I find justifiable the formulated requests, condemning the defendant to refund RS $1.350.733, fixed by the practical table of the court, plus interest of 1% per month. The defendant will support legal expenses set at 10% of the condemned value.”

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U.S. Prosecutors Arrest Alleged OneCoin Leader

U.S. prosecutors in New York have arrested a top manager of the OneCoin project, stating it stole “billions” from investors through an alleged pyramid scheme. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) has indicted Ruja Ignatova and Konstantin Ignatov on charges of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering, claiming the two defrauded investors out of “billions of dollars” using a fraudulent cryptocurrency.

According to a press release, prosecutors are alleging that OneCoin is a pyramid scheme, where members receive commissions to recruit other individuals to the project. These recruits are required to purchase crypto packages, and OneCoin currently claims to have 3 million members worldwide. While OneCoin claims its tokens are mined by servers operated by the company and that its price growth is organic, neither of these are true, the release says.

Attorney Geoffrey Berman said “these defendants created a multibillion-dollar ‘cryptocurrency’ company based completely on lies and deceit,” adding:

“They promised big returns and minimal risk, but, as alleged, this business was a pyramid scheme based on smoke and mirrors more than zeroes and ones. Investors were victimized while the defendants got rich.”

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