Like the rise of cryptocurrencies, interest in a new trading app that will allow users to trade bitcoin and Ethereum has surged, CNBC reported. After Robinhood announced that it will allow no-fee cryptocurrency trading beginning in February, more than 1 million people have joined the waitlist to trade on the platform. But the service won’t be available to everyone in the U.S.: It’s launching in just five states.
And, in regulatory news, authorities in Hong Kong are warning their citizens about the risks of trading in cryptocurrency – and they're taking their message to television, TechCrunch reported. The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and the Investor Education Centre (IEC) have reportedly started a public campaign that will include TV and print media ads to make the public aware of the “potential risks” of investing in initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.
In the U.S., federal judges in New York are about to rule on whether the U.S. government has the authority to regulate cryptocurrency offerings, Fortune reported. The ruling could determine whether bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be regulated like traditional investments, such as stocks and bonds. One professor is fairly certain that cryptocurrencies are closer to traditional investments than not. “If it’s not a security, then what is it?” asked Peter Henning, a former SEC and Justice Department lawyer.
In international news, could the Swiss be thinking of getting into digital tokens? Johann Schneider-Ammann, the country’s economics minister, said Switzerland could be a major “crypto-nation” at a private conference, according to Express. The paper further reported that the country wants in on the cryptocurrency craze and is particularly interested in developing initial coin offerings (ICOs).
And, in cryptocurrency crime news, two bitcoin traders were held at gunpoint in the U.K. and forced to make bitcoin transfers, Business Insider reported. Danny Aston and his girlfriend, Amy Jay, were victims of criminals who jumped a fence, kicked down a door and broke into their home, leaving their baby outside during the forced transfers.