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  • ‘I’ve done nothing wrong’ — Lark Davis denies ‘pump-and-dump’ allegations
    by Jesse Coghlan on 30/09/2022 at 2:15 AM

    Davis claimed he received nothing for free from the projects it’s alleged he profited from, and the amounts he sold weren’t enough to “dump the price.” Crypto influencer Lark Davis has refuted new allegations from Twitter “on-chain sleuth” ZachXBT of shilling “low cap projects” to his audience “just to dump them shortly after.”Davis was responding to a Twitter thread posted by Zach on Sept. 29, containing allegations that he profited over $1.2 million through selling tokens from crypto projects which he was allegedly paid to promote without disclosing.In a 17-part thread, Zach pointed to eight examples of what is supposedly Davis’ crypto wallet receiving tokens from new crypto projects, with Davis subsequently tweeting or posting a video on them, and then selling the tokens shortly after.Speaking to Cointelegraph, Zach said he received requests from multiple people who lost money on the tokens shared by Davis asking to “take a closer look” at him.“Lark managed to dump with size on low cap projects time after time,” Zach said, adding they’ve investigated other crypto influencers, but the alleged amount was “never at this magnitude.”Zach alleged in the thread that the largest gain to Davis came from receiving 120,000 SHOPX tokens, with Davis tweeting hours later about the project whilst apparently simultaneously selling the tokens, gaining $435,000.6/ Example 3: $SHOPXa) Mar 31, 2021 at 3:31 pm UTC Lark receives 120k SHOPXb) Apr 1, 2021 at 12:32 am UTC Lark Tweets about the projectc) Meanwhile Lark is in the process of dumping all his 120k SHOPX for over $435k USD (finishes on 4/2) pic.twitter.com/mc3HvHrCdI— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) September 29, 2022 This example along with seven others Zach presented purportedly shows Davis making over $1.2 million in a similar pattern.“Participating in seed rounds & sharing projects you genuinely like is completely fine as long as it’s done in a transparent manner,” Zach tweeted, adding:“This is not the case as Lark has a pattern of dumping his discounted launchpad bags right after shills across YT (YouTube), Twitter, & [his] newsletter.”Cointelegraph requested comment from Davis and was directed to a series of tweets posted late on Sept. 29 in which Davis calls the allegations made by Zach “ridiculous” and provided a response to each example Zach alleged he profited from.Related: ‘Far too easy’ — Crypto researcher’s fake Ponzi raises $100K in hours“I got nothing for free,” Davis tweeted to his over one million followers, adding his token sale investments are “always disclosed” on his YouTube channel of 485,000 subscribers and shared with his followers “well before the launch.”For the sales in question, I want to be clear that: 1. I disclosed that I was an investor when I initially discussed them2. I talked about it before the token sale, to give you a chance to get into the sale. 3. I paid for all of these coins, I got nothing for free.— Lark Davis (@TheCryptoLark) September 29, 2022 Davis added he was following an investing strategy he teaches, selling the tokens upon launch, which he claims is a common investing practice for token sales. Davis said the amounts he sold were “nowhere near enough to dump the price” of the tokens.“I teach this concept frequently to you all, none of this should be a surprise if you have been paying attention,” he tweeted. “What you choose to do with my opinions is completely up to you.”

  • The ‘Brussels Effect’ wields real influence over US crypto regulation
    by Philipp Pieper on 30/09/2022 at 12:07 AM

    The European Union is leading the way when it comes to global cryptocurrency regulations. The right to privacy is enshrined in many legal traditions around the world. In the United States, it’s protected by the Fourth Amendment; in the European Union, it falls under Article 8 of the European Convention for Human Rights. While definitions differ between jurisdictions, most of us have a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy for our correspondence, in our homes and about our persons.In the 1970s, businesses, families and individuals started generating data like never before, and the degree to which it fell under existing privacy mandates was increasingly unclear. This proliferation of data was first acknowledged as a problem in the late 70s and picked up pace in the decade that followed. In response, the EU introduced its Data Protection Directive in 1995, guaranteeing certain fundamental rights around the processing of personal data.The crucial thing to understand in this context is that an EU directive leaves space for member states to determine how it will be incorporated into national laws. It is a recommendation, not a regulation that would legally require members to enforce laws from a set date.From 1995, the regulation of privacy in the EU trod a well-worn path. Starting as a directive, it eventually developed into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became a lawful requirement in 2018.Related: Biden’s cryptocurrency framework is a step in the right directionGDPR became the benchmark for privacy law and influenced regulation in other jurisdictions, including the United States. It’s a phenomenon Anu Bradford coined “The Brussels Effect,” where EU law sets the global regulatory standard. We’ve seen it happen in a number of fields besides data privacy, such as environmental law and online hate speech, which often enter the U.S. via a similar mechanism: the “California Effect,” whereby California sets a strict standard that is later widely adopted in the United States.And now there’s another industry poised to follow this well-trodden path — from EU directive to EU regulation to global regulatory standard. The case of Tornado Cash — which saw a protocol designed to mask financial transactions and increase privacy shut down by regulators because of its use by bad actors — is an example of why regulation is so vital to decentralized finance (DeFi). Infrastructure must be built along regulatory lines.Like data in the 1980s, the proliferation of digital securities and the wider DeFi space is inevitable. Regulation will be essential to supporting innovators, promoting innovation and protecting investors, not to mention the widescale adoption of digital securities trading globally. In the U.S., digital securities fall into a regulatory gray space, with neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor the Commodities Future Trading Commission willing to put their heads above the parapet and claim responsibility for them. In California, the regulation of digital assets is an ongoing conversation, and the Senate is expected to push for an amendment to California’s Financial Code to include digital assets: the Digital Financial Asset Law. If passed, it would be enforceable beginning in 2025. By contrast, EU regulators have been quicker to get to grips with DeFi. The German regulator, in particular, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, or BaFin, has gone to great lengths to encourage innovation and offers a regulatory blueprint for DeFi elsewhere. A 2020 amendment to the German Banking Act put crypto assets on parity with traditional securities.Related: Biden’s anemic crypto framework offered nothing newIn Brussels, regulation is also picking up pace. The EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) comes into force in the fourth quarter of this year and will kick off an 18-month transition period for member states. Meanwhile, the newly published European Financial Stability and Integration Review 2022 showed a laudable understanding of the sector. It advocated for a rethink of the current regulatory approach, centering regulation on activity rather than an entity. It’s still early when it comes to DeFi. However, digital securities regulation in the EU could well follow a similar path to the one that led to GDPR. Brussels this year issued an opinion on activity-based regulation, which we ultimately might see incorporated into its Markets in Financial Institutes Directive. (A directive, remember, is a guiding recommendation for member states.) From there, it could become regulation as part of MiCAR.With a real-world example of DeFi regulation to lean on and decentralized finance becoming the technology layer where ultimately the entire financial market will be moving, other regulators will follow. Indeed, jurisdictions like Israel have made a habit of it. The question is whether the U.S. will be most influenced by the “Brussels Effect” or the “California Effect.”Philipp Pieper is the co-founder of Swarm, a regulated DeFi platform in Germany.This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

  • Lack of ‘qualified people’ without more Web3 education, say academics
    by Ciaran Lyons on 29/09/2022 at 11:49 PM

    Blockchain Academy International’s Huxley Peckham says there are already 60 different industries using blockchain tech today. Australian blockchain academics and educators have called for more robust Web3 education in schools, preparing students for a world that will be dominated by blockchain technology.Huxley Peckham, head trainer for Blockchain Academy International told Cointelegraph that there are “very few qualified people in the blockchain industry, but there is big demand for qualified people,” noting that worldwide, there are at least 60 different industries using blockchain tech. Both Peckman, and Blockchain Academy International founder Tim Bowman said it was time to rapidly expand blockchain education in schools in order to prepare for a shift in the world economy.Peckham believes blockchain education is important as it will allow “the next generation of strategists and consultants to come out with some real grip in this industry,” noting that knowing how to apply the technology will “really enhance their career.” He suggested blockchain is a lucrative industry to jump into, noting he’s seen various jobs in the industry commanding “$300,000 [Australian dollars] plus incentives.”Chris Berg, Co-Director of RMIT University Blockchain Innovation Hub told Cointelegraph that it is vital students have an idea “on what does the economy look like, how the economy is changing” as it relates to cryptocurrency and blockchain. Berg firmly believes that students “need to leave year 12 with an understanding of the changing nature of the economy, and the technologies that will affect it, one of those is blockchain.”Meanwhile, Leigh Travers, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Australia told Cointelegraph that it was imperative that Australian students can access the same level of high-quality education in blockchain as those seeking a career in traditional industries.Travers noted that Binance Australia recently introduced a “Binance Internship” — allowing students to learn from the best in “Web3 and crypto” and “hopefully land jobs outside of that.”This is alongside plans for Binance Australia to form a partnership with Australian universities so that a “blockchain master’s degree” can be established to help people “get into the Metaverse or build that out for the future.”Bowman noted that his academy has “met with a school in Brisbane who are going to be offering a Diploma of Applied Blockchain to their year 11 and 12 students in 2023.”Related: Top universities have added crypto to the curriculumBlockchain Academy International is the first blockchain education facility to be approved in Australia for government-issued student loans. This allows Australians to enroll in its blockchain courses without having to pay upfront, instead taking out a loan with the Australian government the same way university loans are provided.Bowman said he believes young Australians are already ahead of the curve in many ways recalling a personal experience he had talking to a primary school principal who asked a sixth-grade class “who here knows what an NFT is?” which was followed by “half the class putting their hands up” before learning that “six students had already bought an NFT.”A newly released survey report from Australian crypto exchange Swyftx estimates Australia to gain one million new cryptocurrency holders over the next 12 months, bringing total crypto ownership in the country to over five million.

  • Warner Music Group partners with OpenSea to create more Web3 opportunities for artists
    by Judith BannermanQuist on 29/09/2022 at 10:14 PM

    The company stated that select artists can launch their NFT collections and limited-edition projects on their own dedicated drop pages. On Sept. 29, global music and entertainment company Warner Music Group (WMG) announced a partnership with nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea to provide a platform for select musical artists to build and extend their fanbase into the Web3 community. According to the release, the collaboration between these two entities will allow select WMG artists to get early access to OpenSea’s newly rolled-out feature, which enables artists to launch their NFT collections and limited-edition projects on their own customizable and dedicated drop pages.These WMG artists will have access to personalized storytelling on customized landing pages, as well as to OpenSea’s industry-leading safety and security features. The partnership, aimed at helping WMG artists build new Web3 communities, intends to introduce existing fan communities on OpenSea to new forms of connection and creativity through NFTs — and open up new opportunities for fans to engage with music and artists within the Web3 community. Shiva Rajaraman, OpenSea’s vice president of product, shared:“For artists and musicians, NFTs represent a new creative medium and a mechanism to build community, engage directly with fans, and express themselves across borders and languages.”Oana Ruxandra, chief digital officer and executive vice president of business development at WMG, also stated, “Fundamental to music’s DNA, is community – it’s artists and fans coming together to celebrate the music that they love. Our collaboration with OpenSea helps to facilitate these communities by unlocking Web3 tools and resources to build opportunities for artists to establish deeper engagement, access, and ownership.”The first collection of music NFTs is currently in development with Warner Records UK in collaboration with Web3 company Probably Nothing. According to WMG, this collaboration marks the latest in a series of efforts to build out the music company’s expertise in the Web3 space.Earlier this year, Cointelegraph shared that Warner Music Group had announced a partnership with fantasy-themed collectible card game developer Splinterlands to create and develop play-to-earn, arcade-style blockchain games.

  • Market manipulation claims will be hardest ‘nut to crack’ in Bitcoin ETF approval — WisdomTree
    by Turner Wright on 29/09/2022 at 10:00 PM

    “We’re all kind of watching this and seeing what’s going to happen,” said WisdomTree’s Will Peck on spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the United States. Will Peck, the head of digital assets at exchange-traded fund provider WisdomTree said regulators in the United States will “ultimately get there” on approving a Bitcoin spot investment vehicle, but dealing with claims of market manipulation could be a challenge.Speaking to Cointelegraph at the Converge22 conference in San Francisco on Sept. 29, Peck said WisdomTree would not follow Grayscale by taking legal action against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for denying its Bitcoin (BTC) ETF application. According to Peck, the company planned to “engage more productively” with the SEC without a lawsuit, but tackling some of the regulator’s reasons for turning down spot Bitcoin ETF applications could take time.“We’re all kind of watching this and seeing what’s going to happen,” said Peck. “The reasons that [the SEC has] given have really been around potential for market manipulation — that Bitcoin trading does not happen on regulated venues […] There’s been some questions in the past of custody, the ability of qualified custodians, whether banks or otherwise to be able to custody crypto assets on behalf of a registered firm like this.”He added:“I think it seems that the first one around market manipulation’s kind of the hardest nut to crack, where there’s been the biggest slowdown.”Peck said that the firm would continue to engage with U.S. regulators over an ETF offering. WisdomTree has several exchange-traded products linked to different cryptocurrencies in Europe, and has filed more than one application with the SEC for a spot Bitcoin ETF offering in the United States. The SEC rejected one of the company’s applications in December 2021, after which WisdomTree amended its filing to name U.S. Bank as a crypto custodian for its Bitcoin trust.Related: Self-custody isn’t for everyone: WisdomTree exec on ‘be your own bank’While Grayscale’s legal actions against the SEC over its ETF offering are ongoing, the firm’s chief legal officer Craig Salm suggested it could take from one to two years for a resolution. The U.S. regulator began approving investment vehicles linked to BTC derivatives for the first time in October 2021, but has turned down spot Bitcoin ETF applications from 16 companies, often saying the investment vehicles were not “designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practice.”

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