Category Archives: Caitlin Long

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The Balance Is Shifting, but Only 20% of Those in Tech-Related Fields Are Female

New York Blockchain Week is back on 10-17 May, although it doesn’t seem like almost a year since the Lambos cruised down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, yet again the lack of female reps from the Blockchain industry highlights the fintech’s gender imbalance.

The second of such events hosted by CoinDesk and the New York City Economic Development Corporation is expecting industry stakeholder’s from over 100 countries to meet and collaborate in what has now become the de facto annual industry summit.

Industry big names such as Caitlin Long and Donna Redel will be speaking at the annual celebration of blockchain, but it would be nice to see other women pushing blockchain forward in attendance. Women at the top have long viewed diversity as the blockchain industry’s fundamental, but this doesn’t always stretch to big events such as these.

IBM’s blockchain sisters Bridget van Kralingen, Marie Wieck and Ginni Rometty showed what they could achieve in 2018.  Amber Baldet, once of JPMorgan, left Wall Street to develop her own software by founding Clovyr and get startups on the road to using blockchain technology more effectively. These are all voices the industry needs to tap into at the big events.

In 2018, Blockchain Women Ireland (BWI) was founded in the Irish Republic to further advance awareness of the blockchain sector in the country in an attempt to address the current figures which illustrate that still, only 20% of those in tech-related fields are female.

New York Blockchain Week speaker Caitlin Long is another who followed the Wall Street Exodus to blockchain, co-founding the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition which has been responsible for pushing innovative blockchain legislation forward in the state. She explains:

“The developments in Wyoming over the past year have been so positive for both the industry and Wyoming. We are paving the way for how to provide clarity to blockchain developers about what’s legal and what’s not.”

Speaker Donna Rede; professor at Fordham Law and leading advocate for the financial literacy of women runs courses in crypto and blockchain, is another leading from the top. The once chair at COMEX and one-time Managing Director and Board member at the World Economic Forum says her focus is now on educating future leaders in blockchain technology.

A recent UK government report revealed that salary imbalance between the genders when it comes to business is still slow to change. Although one in three entrepreneurs are women in the UK — a hugely improved figure — many of the companies run by women are also half the size of those with male directorship. The report goes on to indicate that accelerating female recruitment into the business over the next year could add an extra USD 25 billion to the UK economy alone.

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SEC Hints at Flexibility for Crypto Startups Through “No Action” Letter

SEC Hints at Flexibility for Crypto Startups Through

SEC Senior Adviser for Digital Assets and Innovation Valerie A Szczepanik has indicated that in certain circumstances, ICOs may be able to avoid registration requirements.

Speaking in New York at a gathering hosted by the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, the SEC official has suggested that in certain cases an application doesn’t fit SEC law or regulation “but that it perfectly fits the spirit accomplishing all the goals of investors protection”.

In such cases, a “no-action letter” can be issued to blockchain token projects which recommend no SEC action against the token issuer. Szczepanik explained:

“The letters set forth exactly what the person plans to do or the entity plans to do and if it’s something that the SEC feels comfortable with, we can release a no-action letter for exemptive relief saying “we can recommend no enforcement action”.”

William Hinman, the SEC Director of Corporation Finance maintains that in his view although the Ethereum platform is completely decentralized, it doesn’t currently qualify as a security. New token projects may well have an opportunity to gain SEC registration through the “no action” approach. Szczepanik argues:

“I think that’s a way forward for a lot of people who want to implement some of these things that may not exactly fit in the format of the rules that we want.”

The SEC came under fire in September regarding its current punitive regulations for cryptocurrency, accused again of a lacking a sufficient working knowledge, when a group headed by former Morgan Stanley managing director Caitlin Long and Bitcoin core developer Bryan Bishop, wrote a letter endorsed by prominent experts in the industry.

Referring to the SEC’s current regulations, the letter suggested that bad rules can only serve to damage the burgeoning industry stating:

“Current SEC rules surrounding custody do not reflect the risks inherent in managing digital assets and do not use the technical strengths of the technology. These technical strengths have the potential to lead to a stronger, more robust custody environment.”

The group suggested that the SEC gain insight into the industry by engaging with cryptographic engineers, software developers, Bitcoin exchanges, smart-contract designers, blockchain developers, and existing digital-asset managers.

 

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Crypto Pioneers Attack SEC over Regulation in Joint Letter

A group of crypto pioneers has laid out concerns about the regulation of cryptocurrencies to the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), outlining caution that further regulations passed could be detrimental to the industry as a whole.

The news of this letter to the SEC follows another written last week by the US Congress in which they asked for more clarity on cryptocurrency security. Congress also said that they believed that cryptocurrency important for many sectors of the US economy and that the SEC’s view that all cryptos are securities, besides Bitcoin and Ethereum, is leading to an exodus of crypto and blockchain companies and talent from the United States.

This latest letter from the industry itself against intrusive regulation is sure to put added pressure on the SEC to find a solution which is suitable to all. A major warning to the SEC was about the very nature of cryptocurrency which is that it was designed to be held by a third party, rather the individual, and any future regulation would need to keep this in mind.

The letter was a crypto who’s who cosignatory document including dotcom veteran Christopher Allen, Bitcoin core developer Bryan Bishop, financial expert Angus Champion de Crespigny, blockchain attorney Gavin Fearey and Caitlin Long, most recently Morgan Stanley’s managing director.

The letter explained that cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be type-cast due to their unique qualities and as such warned that “fitting them into existing market infrastructure introduces risks to investors that would not otherwise exist”.T he letter also warned against “applying rules to digital assets in ways which do not reflect their strengths”.

Earlier in June, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton clarified that the regulators had no intention of changing their traditional regulatory approach. He said:

“We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time. We’ve been doing this a long time. There’s no need to change the definition.”

Clayton was referencing a Supreme Court ruling from 1946 which defines a security as an investment of money in a common enterprise, in which the investor expects profits from others’ efforts. Those in the crypto industry have always maintained that cryptocurrencies, tokens, and ICOs, as assets rather than securities, need further legal definition.

 

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Bitcoin Advocate and Academic Gives ETFs the Thumbs Down

As previously reported by Bitcoin News, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has just rejected at least eight proposals for Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), but there is one investor who doesn’t see this as a bad thing.

In a recently released video, Bitcoin advocate and tech entrepreneur Andreas Antonopoulos sees Bitcoin ETFs as both an inevitable and potentially destabilizing influence on the cryptocurrency market when they finally get approval.

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a Greek-British bitcoin advocate. He is a host on the Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast and a teaching fellow for the M.Sc. Digital Currencies at the University of Nicosia. His concerns are best illustrated by this comment made on the video.

“ETFs fundamentally violate the underlying principle of peer-to-peer money, where each user is not operating through a custodian, but has direct control of their money because they have direct control of their keys.”

Antonopoulos seemingly examines ETFs differently from the majority of market investors who see approval as a kickstart to a sluggish year which will bring in institutional investors and revitalise Bitcoin.  His view is that the market will be manipulated by major market makers as seen in commodity markets, and the investors will lose the right to be heard, arguing:

“We already saw that level of influence during the August 1st fork, user activated software forks, Bitcoin Cash, the scaling debate… Large custodial exchanges had a very strong voice in the ecosystem. They were able to decide if they were going to support or not on behalf of 10 million customers… an ETF will do that and it will do that on an even bigger scale”

Another issue that concerns Antonopoulos is privacy and transparency, suggesting that an ETF may react to regulatory pressure and refuse to adopt privacy measures and create another corporate Bitcoin market. This is a similar view to that held by former Wall Street exec Caitlin Long, who sees a corporate Bitcoin through Wall Street’s entrance into the crypto arena bringing the potential of bad practice to the industry.

Recently, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin Tweeted out his critique of those focusing too much on ETF approval, pointing out the accessibility of purchasing cryptocurrency should be focused on to promote ”actual adoption.”

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