After the Nordea Bank AB decided to ban employees from trading bitcoin, unions are questioning if the policy is legal, Bloomberg reported. But Per Bolund, Sweden’s financial markets minister, wouldn’t comment on the legality of the ban: He said he “would leave that for the labor market to assess.” Still, Bolund said Sweden’s government is monitoring cryptocurrency developments.
In artistic cryptocurrency news, Katy Perry decided to paint her nails with the logos of a few of her favorite … cryptocurrencies, Mashable reported. According to the report and of course, her Instagram account, her thumbs were painted with the Ethereum logo, while her index fingers were showing Litecoin logos. And her ring finger? Monero.
Over in Washington, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to crack down on initial coin offerings (ICOs). “The SEC is devoting a significant portion of its resources to the ICO market,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo wrote in a piece in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC reported. “Through statements, reports and enforcement actions the SEC has made it clear that federal securities laws apply regardless of whether the offered security … is labeled a ‘coin’ or ‘utility token’ rather than a stock, bond or investment contract.”
And there’s a new place to trade cryptocurrencies for customers in select U.S. states, CNBC reported. Starting in February, Robinhood will allow customers in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana and New Hampshire to trade bitcoin and Ethereum. When trading does begin, its customers will not be subjected to investment minimums, maximums or withdrawal limits. Robinhood’s plans come as cryptocurrencies are becoming more like investment assets.
But despite the investment speculation, Richard Muirhead, a general partner at Fabric Ventures, doesn’t think cryptocurrencies are in ‘dotcom bubble territory,’ CNBC reported. During a CNBC panel at The Sanctuary in Davos, Muirhead said that the market cap of companies during the dot-com bubble was “several trillions.” However, the market cap of cryptocurrencies is only a little more than half a trillion, he said.
And BitConnect, an investment lending platform, has received its first class-action lawsuit, in which six former investors claim the company mishandled more than $770,000 of their money, TheNextWeb reported. “Sure enough, the crypto-Wonderland created by BitConnect was too good to be real,” the document reads. “As the business’ closure in January 2018 revealed a Ponzi scheme, numerous securities laws violations, and thousands upon thousands of investors who lost [more than] 90 percent of their holdings.”