25 September

“The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced tougher measures on crypto trading that, for the first time, makes illegal crypto-related transactions, including services provided by off-shore crypto exchanges.

The Sept. 24 notice bans banks and other financial institutions from offering services related to crypto, including transactions of fiat to crypto currencies, or from one crypto to another. Anyone facilitating trades is subject to legal prosecution. The involvement of law enforcement agencies, rather than civil entities, means crypto trading in China now has added a “financial crime aspect.”

This is certainly much bigger and more expansive than the destruction of the mining industry. It could easily be construed as making anything related to crypto possibly illegal under the menu of statutes the notice cites.

Despite the severity of the new language, some have remained positive about crypto’s future when it comes to China. Justin Sun, the founder of the Tron blockchain, pointed out the latest ban does not deny citizens’ “freedom of owning and exchanging virtual currency,” meaning there’s no clear ban on crypto possession.

Do not be too pessimistic about it. I think the biggest possibility in the future is that once major countries in Europe, North America as well as Japan, South Korea have come out with clearer regulatory policies on crypto, China will slowly introduce laws and regulations on crypto, too.”

See Also: Bitcoin Drops $2K as China Declares Cryptocurrency-Related Business Illegal

“While each time this happens, the markets react with a price drop, each time the effect is smaller and more short-lived. The ‘China bans bitcoin’ story has gained almost a meme-like status in the bitcoin community because of this.

If China continues to enforce at this magnitude, crypto trading will shift to venues in countries with more stable regulatory environments, which means more predictable liquidity and healthier, more robust trading across the globe.

For the institutional crypto industry it won’t change much. The retail market most likely has gone under the radar and will continue to support market volumes.”

“After weeks of teasing the release on Twitter, Andre Cronje has launched Artion, an NFT marketplace on the Fantom blockchain. Artion appears to be a clear-cut vampire attack on OpenSea.

Artion sports a remarkably similar front end to OpenSea. Unlike OpenSea, Artion’s code is entirely open source, and the platform does not charge a fee for minting or purchasing NFTs. OpenSea charges a flat 2.5% fee on all purchases. OpenSea has no token, and has been continually raising hundreds of millions of dollars in private equity rounds throughout the last year.

Cronje revealed that Artion is preparing for a robust cross-chain market with a NFT token bridge, and that the platform will launch “on a new chain every week,” with Ethereum, Arbitrum, Avalanche and Polygon as early targets.

We are open-sourcing it completely and encouraging teams to fork it. It’s about sending a message.”

“The U.S. regulator cited a law enforcement exemption in denying a Freedom of Information Act request about Tether. The SEC said it would not release records around Tether because they were collected for enforcement purposes, according to a FOIA response the SEC sent to The New Republic staff writer Jacob Silverman.

This exemption protects from disclosure records compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement activities.

Any SEC investigation would have to have started recently. According to Bennett Tomlin, a data scientist, a similar FOIA request filed in February and returned in July found the SEC did not “locate or identify any information responsive to your request.”

The SEC response also said the withholding of records for the law enforcement exemption does not necessarily mean any charges or enforcement actions will be brought.”

“The U.S. House of Representatives has included a crypto provision in this year’s version of the annual defense budget bill. The defense bill generally receives wide bipartisan support and is seen as a must-pass bill.

The proposed legislation would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to clearly define which agency has oversight of which aspects of the crypto market. If the bill is enacted into law, Congress would create a working group within 90 days of the bill’s passage composed of SEC and CFTC representatives.

Over the course of a year, the group would then be required to analyze the current regulations and their impact on the primary and secondary markets while filing a report describing how current regulations affect the country’s competitiveness.”

“This will be the largest integration yet of crypto with an existing, mainstream digital service (aside from crypto features in financial apps like RobinHood and PayPal). And the fact that it’s Twitter making the first move could hardly be more bullish.

That said, I’m actually not certain the Bitcoin integration is the biggest part of the Twitter news. The friendly-looking Lightning interface is exciting, but Twitter has never prevented posting public crypto addresses to profiles, so in some sense it’s more an upgrade than an entirely new option.

NFT verification, however, will be a step change. The feature is still in development but it will provide some way of confirming and visually conveying that an NFT displayed in a Twitter profile is authentic, and that it is owned by the same person as the Twitter profile. This integration will make those claims vastly clearer and more powerful.

“Securitize has signed on to provide a smart contract and issuance platform for the firm, starting with Arca’s tokenized fund dubbed the “Arca U.S. Treasury Fund,” which was launched in July 2020. Securitize is a registered transfer agent with over 200 clients and nearly a half-billion dollars in regulated securities issued in the past three years.

Arca touts the Arca U.S. Treasury Fund as the first treasury fund registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 to issue shares as digital assets via the blockchain. The fund meets the same regulatory requirements as a mutual fund, but differs by offering exposure via Ethereum-based digital asset security tokens called “ArCoin.”

Institutions have struggled to meet investor demand because few tokenization companies have met the rigorous regulatory and operational thresholds required by investors.”

“The Future of Life Institute, a charity and outreach organization, is launching two fellowship programs named after Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. The Vitalik Buterin Ph.D. and postdoctoral fellowships are centered on “existential safety research” in artificial intelligence (AI).

The institute is ‘working to ensure that tomorrow’s most powerful technologies are beneficial for humanity.’ Specifically, the Future of Life Institute focuses on keeping artificial intelligence “beneficial,” while exploring ways of reducing risks from nuclear weapons and biotechnology.

The fellowship includes an annual $80,000 stipend and a fund of up to $10,000 that can be used for research-related expenses such as travel and computing.”