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US Congress to Hold SEC Crypto Hearing, Ripple in Hot Seat, Bitcoin at 7-Elevens in Philippines

TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. US Congress announces SEC cryptocurrency-related hearing. Facebook will launch Libra next year against all odds. Abra expands to 6K+ stores in the Philippines. Ripple attempts to avoid the securities question in a motion to dismiss a lawsuit. Binance to a lunch a fiat-to-crypto OTC ramp for Chinese markets, and Uphold targets Venezuelans’ accounts after sanction expansion.

US Congress Announces SEC Hearing to Address Cryptocurrencies

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Top US commissioners from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been summoned to appear before lawmakers to discuss regulation in general and cryptocurrencies in general. The hearing will deal will three main issues: the applicability of security laws to some cryptocurrencies, the real possibility of approving a Bitcoin ETF product, and also the topic of Libra, the Facebook cryptocurrency project.

Facebook Libra Still Launching Next Year

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Facebook Coin Libra is apparently still planning to launch next year, even with all the regulatory turmoil its proposal has caused worldwide. David Marcus, head of the Libra project, told Swiss local outlet NZZ, “The goal is still to launch Libra next year. Until then, we’ll need to address all questions adequately, create a suitable regulatory environment.” With Germany and France openly rejecting Libra in their territories, Marcus declared it was unlikely the coin will be used for payments in those countries.

Philippines: Abra Support in 6K 7-Elevens

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Abra, a cryptocurrency and stocks investing app, expanded through a partnership with ECPay, allowing them to leverage the power of its network by onboarding 6K stores all around the Philippines. With this move, Abra users will be able now to purchase cryptocurrencies from these merchants, including 7-Eleven convenience stores.

Ripple Avoids Answering Securities Issue in Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit

Ripple, the company behind the XRP cryptocurrency, chose to dodge the issue dealing with the fact they could be running an unregulated securities sale in a motion to dismiss a lawsuit. The filing states: “Purchasing XRP is not an ‘investment’ in Ripple; there is no common enterprise between Ripple and XRP purchasers.” For the company, virtual currency is just a commodity, as CFTC’s guidelines suggest.

Binance to Launch Fiat-to-Crypto OTC Ramp in Chinese Markets

Binance is launching a fiat-to-crypto OTC platform in Chinese markets. This is a step forward to capture a bigger part of the Chinese market, as it needs platforms of this kind following the ban of initial coin offerings that made the country’s banks unable to transact directly with cryptocurrency businesses. Binance seems to value the Chinese market, having also made strategic investments in a media company called Mars Finance just recently.

Uphold Terminating Venezuelan’s Accounts After New Sanctions

Uphold, a cryptocurrency exchange system, seems to be targeting Venezuelans and terminating their accounts in a systematic way as a consequence of new sanctions the US government applied against the ailing country. While exchange officials state this is false, and that these are routine account KYC checks, a mass of Venezuelan users have had their accounts closed following strange questionings. Uphold CEO Juan Pablo Thieriot declared “there is not a one-size-fits-all reason behind the closing of accounts.”

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