The Old New Thing: ICE and the Future of Bitcoin Trading and Regulation

The Old New Thing: ICE and the Future of Bitcoin Trading and Regulation

As reported earlier by The New York Times (NYT) and Bitcoin Magazine, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is developing an online trading platform that would allow large investors to trade bitcoin directly. As news about the ICE platform continues to develop, Bitcoin Magazine spoke with lawyers Ben Sauter and Dave McGill of Kobre & Kim, a New York City law firm which specializes in disputes and investigations, to examine the regulatory issues surrounding the launch of such a platform, including swap contracts and the implications the ICE platform might have on cryptocurrency trading in the future.

Sauter and McGill are also participating lawyers in the Digital Currency & Ledger Defense Coalition (DCLDC), a coalition of lawyers and academics whose collaborated effort focuses on understanding the regulatory and legal issues surrounding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to protect individual constitutional rights and civil liberties in connection with regulatory and law enforcement scrutiny.

For a large financial institution such as ICE or Goldman Sachs, figuring out how to develop a cryptocurrency trading platform is a potentially complicated analysis that begins with the question of whether or not a cryptocurrency is a security. If a cryptocurrency is deemed a security by the Howey test, “there are a lot more regulatory requirements,” according to McGill.

While many people agree, including Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at the Coin Center, that the Howey test can act as the ultimate clarifier of which cryptocurrency is a security and which is not; the distinction is also important for another reason. Ultimately, the Howey test gives guidance on which regulatory agency polices which cryptocurrency. At this point, securities fall under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) jurisdiction. Non-security cryptocurrencies — or commodities until proven otherwise — are in the realm of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). While this is obvious to anyone who can remember each agency’s full name, the distinction is also important because each agency has taken a different approach to policing cryptocurrency.

The SEC has gone after what McGill called “low-hanging fruit.” These are the “pump-and-dump” ICOs that are scams or otherwise illegitimate in their offerings to investors. And, at least with ICOs, both agencies appeared to be on the same page in January 2018. More recently, the SEC has created a fake ICO. The token, aptly named HoweyCoin, is being used as a way to demonstrate potential signs of fraud in ICOs to cryptocurrency investors.

Outside of the SEC’s scam scrubbing, Sauter and McGill have also seen regulator behavior that is not exactly encouraging for private sector participants:

“The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) say they want to have an active dialogue with industry participants to understand the latest trends and developments. Unfortunately, we see a lot of regulators initiating those conversations with industry players by way of subpoena. Whenever you receive a subpoena from a regulator, you have to be concerned that it could be a lead-in to an enforcement action. This dynamic doesn’t exactly promote a free and healthy exchange of ideas,” said McGill.

CFTC: The Prevailing Bitcoin Regulator?

In late April, SEC Chairman Clayton said bitcoin is not a security. According to both McGill and Sauter, because bitcoin will not likely be classified as a security, larger financial institutions like CME, CBOE, Goldman Sachs and now ICE are able to move forward with giving their clients exposure.

Not being a security also means that the CFTC is the federal agency that most often acts as a watchdog over bitcoin transactions. But it is also not the only one. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has become involved in some bitcoin futures trading in pursuit of acts of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Even if it is the prevailing regulator, how the CFTC will handle bad actors and fraud in bitcoin transactions is still up for debate. In the last year, there have been more aggressive actions such as CFTC v. McDonnell (CabbageTech) and, outside of cryptocurrencies, the CFTC’s prerogative to cut down on fraud and market manipulation (Monex). This could be evidence that there will likely be a crackdown on certain types of short-term trading behavior.

“An underlying concern of the CFTC is that there are a number of people who can fairly easily impact prices with their trading. It makes it very difficult to regulate markets,” said Sauter, “but innovation is happening in futures and derivatives markets.”

Speaking toward how Bitcoin law will develop in the U.S., Sauter stated that industry cases which reach the court of appeals will be the ones that will ultimately shape U.S. regulation by either correcting case decision errors or clarifying and interpreting the law itself.

Contract Swaps Aren’t New or Unregulated

If reports that ICE is considering using a model of trading bitcoin with swap contracts, this type of trading would remain under the regulatory realm of the CFTC. Furthermore, it would also decrease transaction speed.

Swaps are a type of derivative contract where two parties trade based on a notional principal amount. Generally, one of these amounts is fixed while the other is variable, commonly based on an interest rate, floating currency exchange rate or index price. Swaps do not normally trade on exchanges but instead are over-the-counter contracts between different organizations. Sauter and McGill suggested that ICE would likely use an interest rate swap, though they are most likely still figuring out what they will pin bitcoin prices to.

“Using the swap mechanism allows ICE to position themselves squarely under CFTC regulations, but getting that regulatory certainty looks like it will come at the cost of speed,” said McGill. “One of the ideas behind bitcoin and other digital currencies that made them so attractive as a concept was the idea that market participants could securely transact with one another almost instantly, without the need for intermediaries. But, if you have to create a swap product with a one-day settlement period to get regulatory clarity, then you lose a lot of what made digital currencies attractive in the first place.”

“Bitcoin swaps aren’t entirely novel, either,” pointed out Sauter.

TeraExchange began offering Bitcoin-based swaps in 2014. And, since launching its derivatives swap option in October 2017 after CFTC approval, LedgerX is reported to have increased their trading volume sevenfold.

Sauter stated that one reason why regulators have not moved more quickly to establish clear law around Bitcoin is that there still remains debate and uncertainty about regulators, the CFTC in particular, to police the markets.

“One way regulators and institutional players are dealing with this is to move trading to regulated derivatives markets, be it swaps, futures or options,” said Sauter. “When that happens, the CFTC has a much more direct line of access to the markets and market participants. That’s part of the reason why we’re seeing such innovation happening in the derivatives markets.”

Another reason Sauter proposes for the interest in Bitcoin derivatives is that they are a much easier route by which big financial institution players can get involved. “Institutional investors often have strict requirements concerning the types of markets and products they can trade, and they tend to like the idea of trading in markets that they know are being policed and that offer remedies in the event problems arise.”

How Decentralized Proprietary Trading Could Be Affected

The implications of the rise in bitcoin-based swap contracts also means that the instantaneous transaction, so highly placed in the early value of bitcoin, might be a thing of the past for more mainstream investors to gain less-risky exposure. However, as McGill pointed out,  “A lot of that early speed and eliminating transaction fees comes at the cost of added risk.”

It can be assumed that any cryptocurrency trader that is familiar with Mt. Gox is well aware of the risks associated with trading on unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges. Still, for some, the risks are worth it.

“Some of this will just be decided by the market,” said Sauter. “Plenty of investors are weighing the risk of maybe not getting their money back when they need to unwind a trade. Traders who don’t want to deal with this will opt-into these trading platforms run by accredited institutional investors.”

“There’s clearly more risk in operating on less regulated and decentralized exchanges,” said McGill. “There may well be more lucrative opportunities as well, but there are all sorts of risks — including insider fraud — that a lot of traders want to avoid.”

By this estimation, bitcoin futures have brought the attention of regulators and that will inevitably alter the current space, whether making it more regulated or diversified remains to be seen.

“CME bitcoin futures acted as the canary in the coal mine. From a regulatory perspective, it will be interesting to see if some of the fast-and-loose trading techniques that were being deployed on the nascent cryptocurrency exchanges carry over to the more mature and tightly regulated markets operated by CME and ICE,” said McGill. “Certainly, you’re going to get more players in the mix, and that alone will probably translate into more enforcement activity by CME and government regulators.”

Weighing the risks of unregulated and decentralized exchanges draws back to the fundamental conflict that has been revolving around the cryptocurrency space since the Bitcoin white paper was first issued.

Will bitcoin remain truly decentralized or will the desire to hedge against risk lead the majority of traders to accredited and regulated institutions? For many who are invested in bitcoin, not just for profit, but also ideological reasons, the answer appears obvious. Yet whether these Bitcoiners are early adopters of a movement or no more than fringe factions will be decided by the market. It would appear that less regulated and decentralized exchanges still need to develop strategies to match the greater security legacy financial institutions are championing to bring to cryptocurrency.

“From a regulatory point of view, the idea of decentralized exchanges pose some interesting jurisdictional questions,” said McGill. “Ultimately, U.S. regulators tend to be less concerned about physical location and more focused on whether the activity interacts with and impacts U.S. commerce. I don’t think the notion of decentralizing an exchange will translate to immunity from regulators, but it has the potential to create a lot of headaches for regulators.”

Another factor in ICE and other legacy institutions hopping into bitcoin trading is an increase in the space’s technological innovation brought by increased competition.

“Now you’re going to have the most sophisticated trading companies in the world trading in these products at an algorithmic level, which will substantially increase the volume of trading activity,” said McGill.

“You’re going to get more players in the mix and probably many of those will have less regulatory experience and perhaps as a result more enforcement cases,” said Sauter.

On New Competition and Shorting

Though the involvement for big U.S.-based financial players will certainly affect the market, established cryptocurrency exchanges are optimistic about the future.

Tendai Musakwa, director of marketing at the Hong Kong–based cryptocurrency exchange, BTCC, believes that exchanges like BTCC “will remain the go-to cryptocurrency market for retail clients for the foreseeable future.”

“We specifically designed our USD exchange to be accessible, drawing on our seven years’ experience operating the longest-running bitcoin exchange to create an effortless crypto trading experience. “

Musakwa also pointed out that many legacy financial exchanges will have “high barriers of entry and inaccessible or confusing user interfaces.” Citing “real-person 24/7 customer support and deposit options such as credit cards,” he believes that cryptocurrency exchanges will continue to create value that institutional exchanges are unable to offer. “In addition, legacy fiat exchanges are geographically bound, while exchanges like BTCC offer customers worldwide easy access to BTC/USD trading.”

Added to this, Sauter attested that there are still many more regulatory hurdles for institutional exchanges — many of which have not yet been created. For instance, “even if an exchange is authorized, investment companies and broker dealers and issuers of ICOs must become accredited before they can move forward.”

The ICE has also indicated that plans for such a platform could dissolve at anytime based on the unregulated changes in cryptocurrency market. Another institutional player, CEO of Nasdaq Adena Friedman told CNBC that Nasdaq would be open for bitcoin trading when “people are ready for a more regulated market.”

“It’s going to be a more balanced marketplace going forward,” stated McGill. “It would be a shame that, in the process, a lot of what has drawn people into cryptocurrency could be lost in the shuffle due to new regulation.”

Promoted: ASK.fm Tokenizes Q&A

Promoted: ASK.fm Tokenizes Q&A

ASK.fm is one of the largest question and answer social networks in the world. The company’s recent announcement of the sale of its utility token (ASKT) has left many people wondering why a company that has been around since 2010 would make such a dramatic shift. Now, it has become clear that the company sees an initial coin offering (ICO) as its opportunity to take a leap into the decentralized economy. ASK.fm plans to do this by tokenizing social interactions within its network.

Currently, ASK.fm has 215 million registered users in 168 countries facilitating 600 million questions per month. Known as ASK.fm 2.0, the company’s new blockchain-centric iteration will feature tokenized incentives for users. Influencers will have the opportunity to earn direct rewards for content, in this case, the responses they create. By increasing network activity through an incentivized token, ASK.fm expects to dramatically raise the level of knowledge and expertise on the network.

Once the tokens are implemented into the ecosystem, users who possess them will have the opportunity to participate in a worldwide movement to capitalize intellect.

Here’s how the process will work: Any ASKT holder will be able to pose a question, bidding a certain number of tokens. Those being asked can either choose to answer or decline the question. . The accuracy of responses will be verified by independent moderators.

Each participant benefits from either asking catalytic questions or giving valuable answers. In other words, users benefit from the content they create under the ASK.fm theme, “Your Answer Is Your Asset.”

“We are employing a robust blockchain-based Q&A platform that introduces a new cryptocurrency token,” said ASK.fm 2.0’s CEO, Max Tsaryk. “Our intent in doing this is out of conceptual necessity, not on a whim. Blockchain [technology] enables a more democratic means of economic self-regulation driven by market laws and systems.”

A Tokenized Model For Q&A

The unrelenting evolution of online social media platforms — from Friendster and MySpace to Facebook and Twitter — advancing to integrating tokenized incentives appears likely. In the case of ASK.fm 2.0, tokenizing social interactions is seen as a remarkably new and creative way to build on top of its original value proposition and user base.

ASK.fm currently owns two registered business entities in Ireland and Latvia , a trove of trademarks and other intellectual properties. It intends to boost its presence through tokenization while maintaining a good standing with relevant regulatory bodies.

At present, ASK.fm is conducting a private sale while the details of the presale and public sale are still being worked out. Reportedly, 50 percent of a total 2 billion tokens will be offered to investors and potential users during the token sale at an introductory price of 0.1 USD per  ASKT.

The release schedule and the distribution of rules are forthcoming. Funds raised by investors in the private sale, presale and upcoming public token sale will be used to develop and nurture the new platform.

Tsaryk and members of the ASK.fm team believe that the implications of this tokenization effort could be monumental. In its infancy stage, the project is being led by a team of U.K. lawyers, directors and advisors in collaboration with highly regarded blockchain developers from Ukraine. Tied to this are plans on the part of ASK.fm 2.0 to curate a new open online course network employing a gamification-based learning model.

Accordingly, the blockchain is seen as a way to untether ASK.fm from an advertising-centric revenue model. This new model will allow the company to ignite a more expansive community with higher quality responses and increased openness.

“We believe that blockchain technology can boost access to knowledge and how it is assessed through a tokenized social media community where people are incentivized to deliver thoughtful and in-demand responses,” added Tsaryk. “Through this process, the network’s expertise gains intrinsic value and becomes a foundational piece for a new economy.”

In anticipation of the launching of the new platform  later this year, Tsaryk concluded, “Once fully launched, it will provide a unique experience for global experts, professionals and opinion leaders excited about the opportunity to monetize themselves and be a part of a growing community of users.”

Bitcoin Magazine’s Week in Review: Blockchain’s Big Gathering

Bitcoin Magazine’s Week in Review: Blockchain’s Big Gathering

This week’s news was dominated by stories out of Blockchain Week and the Consensus 2018 conference held in New York City. There was free beer served from an ID-validating dispenser, Warren Buffet was criticized for his “rat poison” view of cryptocurrency, and there were plenty of business announcements, including news from eToro, Netki, Bitmain and Circle. Catch up on these stories and more in this week’s Bitcoin Magazine review.

Featured stories by Amy Castor, Colin Harper and  Kyle Torpey

Stay on top of the best stories in the bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Fred Wilson Explains Why Warren Buffett Doesn’t Get Bitcoin

In his 2018 annual shareholder meeting at Berkshire Hathaway recently, Warren Buffet referred to bitcoin as “rat poison.” Venture capitalists Fred Wilson and Balaji Srinivasan had a chat with Wall Street Journal reporter Paul Vigna on the mainstage of Consensus 2018. The pair of tech investors pointed out the differences between Buffett’s approach to investing and how the crypto asset market works.

Civic Demos Proof of Concept With Beer Vending Machines, Launches ID Codes

Blockchain identity verification platform Civic has emerged from Consensus 2018 with a project that imagines a network of validators and service providers who work together to verify individual identities. Conceptually, new users would put identity information on a smart contract that would get validated with references on the blockchain that attest to its validity. Then service providers can request to validate said information, which would streamline ID checks and help prevent against fraud.

Civic showed a working proof of concept using their Civic app. Anyone verified on the platform can scan a QR code to prove that they’re of legal drinking age. In a partnership with Anheuser-Busch, Civic unveiled the vending machine at Consensus 2018, offering anyone who used it a free brew from the “world’s first crypto beer vending machine.”

Digital Identity Company Netki Launches Investor Validation Solution

Los Angeles based Netki just made it easier for companies launching token sales to onboard their customers in a way that supports compliance with existing security laws, using their digital identity confirmation platform. The company is adding investor validation to its existing know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) solution. The service allows investors to upload requisite documents via a web browser or mobile app.  Compliance is a huge concern for ICO projects right now. Regulators are in the midst of trying to decide how to label virtual currencies, and it is looking as if they may rule that many existing tokens are non-compliant securities.

Social Cryptocurrency Trading and Brokerage Firm eToro Is Expanding to U.S.

eToro is a regulated global brokerage firm located in Israel that trades in cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities, ETFs and more. Having recently received $100 million in funding, the company is currently in talks with U.S. financial institutions, regulators and regulatory advisors, and has already registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The company is opening an office in New Jersey and plans launch a crypto wallet later this year.

Bitmain Leads Circle’s $110 Million Round; Teams Up to Create Stable Coin

Bitmain continues to make news. The largest of the Bitcoin mining operations is putting its muscle behind mobile payments and cryptocurrency trading firm Circle by leading a $110 million Series E round of funding, the companies announced at Consensus this week.

They are also joining forces to create a “stablecoin,” a cryptocurrency that is pegged to a stable asset. The goal is to eventually have lots of stable tokens, all backed by different fiat currencies, managed by CENTRE, but the first will be Circle USD Coin (USDC), a coin backed one-to-one by the U.S. dollar with the fiat to be stored in an auditable bank account and redeemable by verified buyers.

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Poised for $9,000s Amid Weak Lows

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Poised for $9,000s Amid Weak Lows

A short-lived rally gave eager bulls false hope as the the market attempted to break back into the trading range (TR) outlined in last week’s BTC Market Analysis. As noted in our last discussion, a break back into the TR would be considered a period of evaluation and an inability to maintain support within the TR would likely lead to a continuation of the downtrend:

fig1Figure 1: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Downtrend Continuation

After establishing the Major Sign of Weakness (SOW), the market made a feeble rally and ultimately formed a Last Point of Supply (LPSY) at the bottom of the TR. The LPSY is the point where supply begins to overwhelm the market and long positions begin to close as the demand dries up. Shortly after the rejection of the TR, the market established a new low. However, this low was pushed on fairly low volume. The price action and volume are shaping out a reversal pattern called a Falling Wedge (FW):

fig 2Figure 2: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Falling Wedge

If the price manages to break out of this FW it will have a modest $1,000 move upward. The measured move would have us retesting the lower $9,000s once again. However, if we fail to gain enough momentum upward, we would likely test the macro 61% Fibonacci retracement values:

fig 3Figure 3: BTC-USD, 3-Day Candles, Macro Fib Retracements

fig 4Figure 4: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Macro 61% Closer View

If we manage to test the 61%, this will again be a zone of evaluation as we wait to see how the market reacts to such strong, macro support.

Summary:

  1. After a short-lived rally, bitcoin established a LPSY in the $8,800s before continuing to make new lows.
  2. Currently, the market is pushing new lows but on diminishing volume.
  3. The current price action is forming a Falling Wedge which, if it breaks upwards, would have a price target in the low $9,000s.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Op Ed: Facebook Is Moving Into Blockchain: How Might This Play Out?

Op Ed: Facebook Is Moving Into Blockchain: How Might This Play Out?

Historically, Facebook has done a great job of staying on the cusp of technological advancement through investing heavily in new technologies and smart acquisitions. From WhatsApp to Oculus, the company has used its bulging bank balances to stay one step ahead of consumer trends by snapping up tech and talent. And, after last week’s internal announcement that Facebook would be investing heavily in a new blockchain technology research wing, headed by David Marcus, one of the company’s top execs, leader of its Messenger platform and a former CEO of PayPal, it is quite obvious which new emerging technology the company has its sights set on now.

Blockchain technology — and its incorruptible, decentralized digital ledger — could offer the accountability and transparency needed to pull Facebook out of its recent data security quagmire, which saw CEO Mark Zuckerberg dragged in front of the United States Congress following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. On the flipside, the decentralized nature of blockchains would make it difficult for Facebook to continue with its most valuable business model: harvesting user data and targeting users with advertising based on their online behavior.

So, with this conundrum in mind, how might Facebook be planning on using the blockchain, and how will this affect the overall development of blockchain technology?

What Is the Plan?

I would argue that there are three potential incentives for Facebook in building out its blockchain capabilities:

The first, and most obvious, is that Facebook is aiming to publicly align itself with a technology which is most famous for providing transparency and offering users control of their own data in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The scandal has left many users questioning Facebook’s management of user data and the platform’s transparency and privacy terms, which blockchain applications could potentially alleviate.

The second is that Facebook wants to continue drawing developers to create apps on its developer platform by capitalizing on the popular trend of coders moving en masse into the crypto space. If Facebook can develop a platform where app developers can raise and earn from their apps via tokens on the blockchain, the speed to reward incentive is much higher. Tokens offer developers immediate value at the point of launch, rather than having to wait years for their apps to mature to hit the jackpot.

The third, in light of recent scandals, is that Facebook likely to be monitoring the progress of a number of emerging blockchain-based social media platforms, such as Steemit and YOYOW. However, to date, these competitors are well off being a real threat, with less than 100,000 daily users. As such, the chances are that Facebook is instead looking to the future, to launching a next generation social platform enabled by the blockchain which offers users more control over the use of their data, and the opportunity to be rewarded for sharing their data.

How Is Facebook Most Likely to Use Blockchain Technology?

Security and Data Management

Blockchain technology enables immutable and transparent record keeping which could assist Facebook in re-establishing trust and confidence in the way users’ data is stored and used. Through the blockchain, users could see who had been given access to their data, which, in turn, would mean Facebook would have to do a better job of allowing users to set their own data access restrictions and limitations. For example, users would be able to see exactly what personal data they have stored on Facebook and subsequently decide what data can be made available to the public or for sale to marketers. This would also open the door to users being able to monetize the sale of their own data, via the Facebook platform.

Marketplace and Cryptocurrencies

The creation of Facebook’s own tokens, based on Ethereum or other existing cryptocurrencies, would allow for the exchange of tokens on the Facebook app store and also in newer Facebook initiatives like the Facebook Marketplace.

The blockchain is best used in shared economies, where multiple parties cooperate and create a mutual environment of trust. Introducing tokens could allow Facebook apps and marketplaces to become more sophisticated but also more trustworthy. The added transparency of the blockchain, with increased user control of their own data, plus access to more than 2 billion active users, would be enough to bring most developers or brands onboard.

What Are the Roadblocks to Adoption?

The decentralization of a platform which has based its whole business model on the total control of user data would require a truly radical redesign of the site’s architecture.

However, while the move would be a huge task, it shouldn’t, in theory, pose too many performance-based issues. Technically speaking, there is no reason why decentralized databases could not be applied to social media networks. Existing blockchain technology, with some modifications, would be able to support the size of the platform and its traffic.

The bigger impact would be the overall redefinition of Facebook’s platform and architecture, creating a system where data access was controlled directly by the blockchain and its decentralized network of users. In short, Facebook would have to give up the reins of its user data and allow it to be controlled by the community as a whole. This change would blow its current advertising and targeting model out of the water.

As such, I think we are unlikely to see Facebook adopt this type of system in the immediate future. It is much more likely that there will be limited applications over the coming years, possibly in regards to the app store and payments, whereas a decentralized Facebook 3.0 platform will be released separately when the time is right.

What Will the Long-Term Effects Be?

If Facebook integrates blockchain technology in a meaningful manner, we will undoubtedly see other big players in the social media space follow suit. The way in which Facebook uses the technology will be important. If Facebook goes down the route of creating its own cryptocurrencies or adopting existing ones, it will go a long way toward legitimizing and promoting the technology to the greater masses, and moving the blockchain and crypto closer to the mainstream worldwide.

Time will tell as to whether Facebook will follow its previous path of acquiring startups like Steemit or whether the core values and structures of the companies will be so different that this will be impossible. But, while Facebook has had the resources to buy out competitors in the past, even the largest of businesses cannot purchase a cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum, which no one person owns. That said, we are likely to see Facebook try its hand at some form of decentralized social networking or data management platform in the coming years.

However, while Facebook has the advantage of billions of users and bulging bank balances on its side, it will still face the same blockchain and cryptocurrency related legal issues as any other American business. It is important to note that, for such a large company, setting up a team of less than 10 people is a small step rather than a huge leap into the world of the blockchain. But it might be enough to show social media users around the world that Zuckerberg and his company have learned from their recent time in the naughty corner and are willing to clean up their act in the future.

This is a guest post by Jaroslav Kacina, the CEO of Equidato Technologies and the enterprise blockchain platform SophiaX. Views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine.

jQuery(function ($) { //tab $('#forum').on('click', function(event){ $('news.et_pb_tab_2 et_pb_tab_active').click(); $("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: $('#news').offset().top }, 1000); }); });