US SEC Chair Says BTC Needs More Regulation

On September 19, United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton has said Bitcoin (BTC) needs stronger regulation in order to be traded on a major exchange.

Clayton made his remarks at the Delivering Alpha conference. Warning investors to be wary, he added:

“If [investors] think there’s the same rigor around that price discovery as there is on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange… They are sorely mistaken. […] We have to get to a place where we can be confident that trading is better regulated.”

While Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Bitcoin future contracts are indeed traded on a major exchange, Bitcoin in and of itself is not. (Neutral)

Iranian Government Proposes Annual License for Bitcoin and Crypto Miners

Based on the translated proposal from the Cabinet of Iran, licensed and registered cryptocurrency miners will be required to submit information such as their list of business activities, the predicted value of their investments, current employment status, rental agreements for the space itself, the value of their mining equipment and the duration of the mining project. The license will need to be renewed every year.

Stepping back, the Iranian mining industry has grown dramatically over the past two years, thanks in part to state-subsidized electricity. For example, just one Persian Telegram group for local miners has 3,424 members. Based on a survey of more than 1,600 Iranian crypto users by the market analytics firm Gate Trade, 35 percent of respondents earned income through mining and 70 percent were interested in learning more about local mining businesses. One anonymous source in Tehran told CoinDesk that most miners he knows are “under the radar” and import equipment through the black market, without paying taxes.

As such, the Central Bank of Iran finally recognized the grassroots industry and promised a lawful licensing procedure in July 2019. This pending proposal was approved by Reza Rahmani, Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade. The Iranian mining licenses would only apply to miners with equipment that requires 30 kilowatts, which might exclude homemade mining equipment or small operations.

However, another source in Tehran, an avid bitcoiner, told CoinDesk he supports this move because it could create the foundations for a sustainable mining industry in the country. For example, if too many miners in a single district apply, the authorities could encourage miners to distribute their operations across the region. (Neutral)

Coinbase has Announced the Support for Telegram and 16 Additional Digital Assets

On Sept. 19, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced that it is considering the addition of a range of new assets; namely, Avalanche, Celo, Chia, Coda, Dfinity, Filecoin, Handshake, Kadena, Mobilecoin, NEAR, Nervos, Oasis, Orchid, Polkadot, Solana, Spacemesh, and Telegram.

Coinbase added that it intends to explore assets that have not yet launched and which Coinbase may choose to support in the future.

Moreover, Coinbase emphasized that new tokens may not come online everywhere at the same time, given differing legal requirements. The blog post explained:

“We will add new assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, subject to applicable review and authorizations.” (Positive)