NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant to Attend Crypto Summit as Special Guest Speaker

Kobe Bryant, twice Olympic gold medalist and NBA superstar, will appear as a guest speaker at the NiTRON Summit 2019 in San Francisco, decentralized Internet project TRON (TRX) shared exclusively with Cointelegraph Nov. 20.

Basketball champion Kobe Bryant has been invited to the conference as a special guest to “share his thoughts and life experience to inspire young leaders and entrepreneurs,” the press release states.

The press release notes that Bryant is a guest of TRON founder Justin Sun.

Over the past several years, the crypto community has received a star-studded boost from a number of notable celebrities from around the world. Just recently, Eminem’s new album “Kamikaze” mentioned Bitcoin (BTC) as the new mainstream, as “now everybody doing bitcoin.”

Earlier this year, rapper Akon, who authored a total of twelve Billboard Top Ten Hits, launched his own cryptocurrency intended for use in his “Akon Crypto City,” Cointelegraph reported Jun. 20.

Back in the spring, Michael Owen, the former Liverpool football star, partnered with the Singapore-based Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX) to issue the OWN tokens, Owen’s name-backed cryptocurrency, Cointelegraph wrote Mar. 22.

And this fall, former U.S president Bill Clinton gave the keynote speech at Ripple’s global payments tech conference.

Meanwhile, Cointelegraph reported Nov. 17, 2017 that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has already warned that Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) endorsed by celebrities could be qualified as illegal, noting:

“Celebrities […] using social media networks to encourage the public to purchase stocks and other investments. […] may be unlawful.”

Bank of Thailand Governor: Digital Currency Use Won’t Replace Cash for Three-Five Years

The governor of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) has said that it will take three to five years for countries to switch from using cash to using digital currencies. The bank governor’s comments were reported by the Thai News Agency (TNA), a subsidiary of the Thai state-owned public broadcaster, Nov. 17.  

The central bank’s governor, Dr. Veerathai Santiprabhob, stated that digital currency would not replace fiat currency right away “because of complication[s], a readiness of people and an efficiency of technology.”

Although the BoT has not issued a central bank-backed digital currency (CBDC) yet, the Thai central bank is “now testing the use of digital currency for settling payment among financial institutions,” according to the TNA. The article also states:

“The BoT hopes that full implementation of using digital currency among financial institutions would take place during the first quarter of 2019.”

Previously this month, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde urged the international community to consider the possibilities of endorsing CBDCs, Cointelegraph reported Nov. 14.

Back in July, the Thai central bank’s Santiprabhob had already announced that BoT was reviewing blockchain applications for cross-border payments to “improve regional financial connectivity,” Cointelegraph wrote Jul. 14.

Study: ‘Compliance Trilemma’ Limits Potential of ICOs

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are facing a regulatory “compliance trilemma,” according to a recent study funded the government of Canada and the University of British Columbia (UBC).

To prepare the report, the research team investigated the ICO space over the course of six months, focusing primarily on North America, but also delving into some other countries and jurisdictions. The team conducted 45 qualitative interviews with individuals in the ICO space, including representatives of the finance, law, and science sectors of the field.

Per the study, ICO issuers face a “trilemma,” wherein they can only address two of three objectives at a time, those being “having a compliant offering,” “reaching a distributed pool of investors,” in a manner that is “cost-effective.” The researchers define compliance as following regulations in the home jurisdiction of both the issuer and investor.

While a broadly distributed pool of investors is said to be the principal benefit of an ICO as a funding mechanism, the cost of complying with financial regulators becomes “much greater” if the investor pool becomes more distributed.

“If issuers forgo these costs, the risk of being non-compliant rises significantly. The result is a trilemma, whereby issuers currently must forgo one of these goals to realize the other two, or to compromise on all three,” the study explains.

The trilemma further reveals four basic approaches available to ICO issues, which are “the Maverick ICO,” “the Private ICO,” “the Hybrid ICO,” and no ICO at all. The first option refers to ignoring compliance for maximizing ICO reach and cost effectiveness, which reportedly runs a huge risk of regulatory enforcement.

The second approach focuses on targeting only accredited and institutional investors by sacrificing distribution, which may not affect cost-effectiveness but raise challenges in secondary market trading control.

Regarding the Hybrid ICO, the report reads that it “compromise[s] on all three dimensions by issuing in select markets, resulting in bounded cost effectiveness, compliance and investor scope,” resulting in a combination of risks.

The researchers found that companies wishing to undergo an ICO sought relief from the trilemma through relevant regulatory authorities. Participants in the study reportedly called for amendments to regulation, including clarifications of existing regulation and development of “fundamentally new” regulatory definitions and frameworks. The study concludes:

“…To date, the ICO has been hampered by a trilemma that has substantially limited its potential… Many actors with legitimate ventures that could benefit from ICOs are likely holding back, due to combination of confusion over how exactly they might comply with financial regulations within and across jurisdictions, and the prohibitive costs of doing so manually.”