15 January

The crypto industry has its first federally chartered bank: Anchorage.

Crypto custodian Anchorage has secured conditional approval for a national trust charter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), making it the first national “digital asset bank” in the U.S. The safekeeping, management and trading of digital assets have been regulatory stumbling blocks for large financial institutions – but those obstacles are gradually being removed.

We are a national bank. The only difference is our business line, that we’re doing crypto assets versus doing other assets. The benefit of having a federally chartered bank is that it preempts all the state laws. The clarity of being regulated by the oldest regulator for banks in the United States … sends a very clear message.

Acting OCC chief Brian Brooks, speaking at a public event earlier Wednesday, expressed his belief that banks and financial services more broadly will transition to being blockchain-based.

I think what’s necessary is the creation of crypto banks that are able to hold stablecoins that reflect value of a fiat currency, but that doesn’t change the native asset, and you need to have real cryptocurrencies over here where they interact directly with each other, with no need to ever off-ramp. Fiat will ultimately be a legacy thing of the past.

Today’s announcement is a recognition that not only can banks engage with crypto, but that crypto companies can function as banks. This is the most important step yet towards the full modernization of our financial services system.

Fellow crypto startups BitPay and Paxos have also applied for federal charters through the OCC. Kraken and Avanti are special-purpose depository institutions organized under Wyoming state law.”

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“The amount of Ether held on exchanges has plunged over the past two days. Data from Glassnode indicates that Ether reserves on centralized exchanges have not been this low since July 2018. As of this writing, only 7% of Ether’s circulating supply is held on exchanges.

Saunders interprets the data as suggesting an explosive bull-run into new all-time highs is imminent for Ether. According to crypto market data aggregator Into The Block, Ether is currently exhibiting numerous bullish signals, including a bid-to-ask volume imbalance of almost 9%.”

See Also: Gnosis receives $2.3B Ethereum in a day, now 3rd largest ETH holder with 2.2% of supply
See Also: eToro warns users crypto trading may become limited due to ‘unprecedented demand’

“The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said Thursday it would reopen its proposed rulemaking period for an additional 15 days for its reporting requirements, and another 45 days for a requirement on recordkeeping and counterparty reporting requirements.

Perhaps most important, the 15-day extension means Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is said to be spearheading this effort, will be out of office by the time the comments period closes, perhaps allowing for FinCEN to better incorporate industry feedback.

FinCEN is providing a longer period in light of the somewhat greater complexity of those aspects of the proposed rule and various issues identified in comments received during the original comment period.”

See Also: DC Magistrate Judge Calls Unhosted Wallet ‘Horror Story’ a ‘Fiction’

“Biden’s bill – which amounts to $400 billion for Covid-19 management, more than $1 trillion in direct relief spending and $440 billion for communities and businesses – is more than double the $900BN bipartisan bill approved last month, and only slightly below the March 2020 Cares Act.

We have to act and we have to act now,’ Biden said, ahead of laying out a second, even broader economic recovery plan next month at a joint session of Congress. That initiative will include money for longer-term development goals such as infrastructure and climate change, the transition team said. So even more trillions.

“As excessive Ethereum gas prices continue to hamper smaller transactions and operations on the network, the number of faster and cheaper options continues to expand as layer-two adoption increases.

The LeverJ decentralized exchange has seen a surge in trading volumes since it launched perpetual contracts four weeks ago. Around $75 million has been traded across 26,600 transactions, costing just under $600 in total gas fees.

Only in DeFi 2021 could you miss these monster numbers trading on an Ethereum DEX—built on L2.

Decentralized exchange Loopring is also gaining traction with new updates and layer-two liquidity mining incentives for its native token, LRC. Its latest feature is the ability to send from a Loopring L2 account to any Ethereum based L1 account without the recipient ever needing to be on L2. DeFi protocol Synthetix is also poised to launch its Optimism layer-two staking upgrade called Castor later today, Jan. 14.

“The Winklevoss twins said in an interview they are considering taking the New York-based digital-asset firm public due to the rising interest in cryptocurrencies.

We are definitely considering it and making sure that we have that option. We are watching the market and we are also having internal discussions on whether it makes sense for us at this point in time. We are certainly open to it.”

See Also: Gemini to Offer Credit Card With Crypto Rewards

DTCC Global Settlement Behemoth and Ethereum

“The U.S. is going slow on central bank digital currencies (CDBCs) considering the risks they may pose to the dollar’s dominance, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve said Thursday.

Powell estimated it will take “years rather than months” before the Fed releases a CBDC, despite early studies of digital dollar–friendly blockchains at the central bank’s Boston outpost. He added the Fed is “investing heavily” in understanding the technology and looking at the policy questions CBDCs pose.”

See Also: Forget Facebook’s Stablecoin. Now It’s $700B Bitcoin in the Crosshairs

Cream is now allowing other protocols to borrow funds without posting collateral. For risk management purposes, the system is not permissionless. Each protocol needs to be whitelisted by Cream for a line of credit. The protocol is then able to borrow freely, until it reaches the credit limit set by Cream.

For the Yearn ecosystem, the Iron Bank can be particularly useful for increasing the effectiveness of yield farming strategies. By leveraging assets without posting collateral, Yearn vaults can effectively multiply the yield they obtain from farming SUSHI, CRV and ALPHA. At the same time, people supplying assets on Cream benefit from the higher interest-rate payouts.”

“Suarez, for his part, was interested in promoting Miami as a potential hotbed for new innovation in tech. Suarez also mentioned that he’s looking into ‘allowing people to use crypto to pay for city fees,’ from property taxes to fees associated with permits.

We want anyone who shares our vision to come here and build.”