Edward W. Mandel
Oct 2, 2018

... crypto.

Google declared this past week that it would relax its absolute prohibition on crypto-asset advertising in the U. S. and Japan. Although much of the ban remains in place, Google will now deign to take the money of “regulated cryptocurrency exchanges”. The change takes effect October 1.

This means almost nothing in practical terms, but we in the blockchain world will take our Ws where we can get them, considering all the Ls we’ve sustained since the start of the year.

BQT.io team want to ensure our participants: We’re all about winning in this competitive environment and are willing to “work the refs” to get an edge. We just attended few blockchain groups in Tokyo attending TeamZ. The temperature is still very hot for innovative projects.

Who benefits?

Google’s whitelist is pretty short here. This doesn’t effect anyone not operating under Old Glory or the Rising Sun.

So Binance, OKex and Bitfinex — all in Hong Kong — aren’t touched by this, nor is Singapore’s Huobi.

In Japan, at least 11 crypto exchanges are registeredwith the government’s Financial Service’s Agency. Even more have united to form a self-regulatory organization. If the FSA approves their petition, then at least 16 exchanges would fit the definition. Or would they? The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association is seeking certification as a fund settlement platform, not as an exchange.

In the U. S., Bittrex would be outside the scope because it’s not registered. Kraken has been talking about registering with the SEC as a broker-dealer and as an alternative trading system, but not as an exchange. Would it be allowed to advertise on Google? I don’t know, and I doubt Sergei and Larry do.

There’s also the question about whether state-regulated exchanges — it can be done as of now via New York’s BitLicense — qualify. There are only two exchanges currently approved by Albany. One is bitFlyer, which is a Japanese firm already regulated by FSA. The other is Coinbase.

According to CCN, most American crypto exchanges prefer to register at the state level, but only as “money transmitter businesses,” a practice that leaves the SEC “underwhelmed by [their] enthusiasm for coming within the regulatory structure”. But is that close enough for Google? ... Larry? ... Sergei?

To what effect?

Google’s ban was first announced in mid-March, and bitcoin went roughly from $9,300 to $8,400. This was part of a longer trend that extended well into April, so it’s unclear how much had to do with Google and how much had to do with other causes of market jitters at the time. Still, it didn’t help.

Since then, bitcoin has settled into an ever-narrowing trading range. It’s not quite a stablecoin, as it has been described elsewhere (perhaps with tongue in cheek), but lately trading in BTC is about as exciting as trading in utility stocks. Or parking your money in a savings account. Or watching a bronze-medal match. Or kissing your sister.

Anyway, Google’s announcement has had no measurable effect on cryptocurrency prices. So maybe this is a favorable omen suggesting that prime time is now ready for crypto — and vice versa. Or maybe it’s whole lot of nothing.

BQT.io team reminds us of the importance of public policy to the next-generation hedge exchange (BQTexchange.com) recently released for private beta. We’ve got some great ideas for a peer-to-peer exchange, native to the social Web and focused on enabling hedge trading.

It can all come crashing down if we don’t look at how government oversight could affect us. We have to pay attention not only to the direct impact of regulation, but also the indirect impacts of reducing our number of channels to grow our community.

That’s why we’re looking at these issues very closely, and hope that other blockchain startups at our stage of development are of the same mind.

Edward is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Blockchain Enthusiast and visionary behind many successful organizations. An avid entrepreneur, Edward has a knack for designing distinctive business models complemented with superior technology to deliver unparalleled service and profitability. Edward also has been advising and consulting for various successful Blockchain technology and ICO projects and recently launched his own BQT.io P2P Hedge Exchange helping traders connect with each other to leverage their crypto assets.

BQT.io has been in development since March 2017 and its ICO launched September 18. BQTexchange.com private beta launched in September. The information can be found online at BQT.io, Telegram @BQTCommunity and on Twitter as @bqt_ico.