Blockchain Bites: China’s Tether Crackdown, CME’s Bustling Bitcoin Markets, Kin’s ‘Active Development’

Chinese officials are cracking down on tether trades. The CME bitcoin futures exchange is heating up, signalling institutional interest. And Kik’s kin token will continue development following a $5 million SEC settlement.

Top shelf

Ripple, across the pond
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has given more insight on the company’s possible move away from the U.S., saying the legal status of the XRP cryptocurrency is key. Talking to CNBC Friday, Garlinghouse said his blockchain payments infrastructure company could potentially relocate to London, where the nation’s regulator “clarified” that XRP is not a security and is used like currency. Ripple is currently engaged in a U.S. legal dispute with investors who claim XRP is an illegally issued security. The Securities and Exchange Commission has not been clear on the issue. Switzerland, Singapore, Japan and the United Arab Emirates are also on the table for potential headquarters.

Tether crackdown
Chinese authorities, including the nation’s central bank, have arrested 77 suspects and shuttered three gambling sites said to have “whitewashed” illicit funds using the tether (USDT) stablecoin. Announced over WeChat, the PBoC’s Huizhou office said the suspects had laundered 120 million yuan ($17.95 million) obtained through illegal online gambling activity, in part through USDT. In July, several crypto over-the-counter (OTC) traders were detained in order to assist with state investigation efforts involving illegal economic activity. It is “illegal to open casinos and participate in gambling online,” the PBoC said. “Don’t be curious and lucky. Any ‘disguise’ can’t escape high-pressure supervision.”

Institutional interest
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has become the second-biggest bitcoin futures platform by number of open contracts, signaling institutional interest. As of Thursday, bitcoin futures contracts worth $790 million were open on the CME, according to data source Skew,…

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