8 June

“A wide-reaching, bipartisan crypto bill emerged Tuesday from U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who are seeking to extend a comprehensive set of regulations across digital assets in the U.S.

The legislation attempts to tackle the biggest questions hanging over digital assets. It would set new federal law for stablecoins, taxes on small-scale payments and the jurisdictions of regulators – answering the uncertainties that have kept the fledgling financial sector from maturing.

These are some of the main features of what Gillibrand described as a “landmark bill:”

  • It would define the terrain between crypto securities and commodities, allowing token issuers to know beforehand what they are launching based on the “purpose of the asset and the rights or powers it conveys the consumer.” The market envisioned in the bill is dominated by commodities, including most of the big names in crypto, such as bitcoin, ether and dozens of the other tokens with significant market share that would fall into a definition as “ancillary assets” overseen by the CFTC.
  • The lawmakers would give the CFTC authority over the spot markets in crypto commodities.
  • 100% reserve, asset type and detailed disclosure requirements for all payment stablecoin issuers.’ There would be a new framework for banks and credit unions to issue stablecoins. The lawmakers insist that ‘existing stablecoin issuers and new entrants into the market have an adequate opportunity to compete with existing banks and credit unions.’
  • The bill would liberate small-scale purchases of goods and services from the mire of tax implications by making transactions of less than $200 tax-free – potentially clearing a path for a cryptocurrency that acts more like a currency.
  • The senators also suggest an industry “sandbox” in which regulators let crypto firms test new products on a limited scale and duration.
  • The Lummis-Gillibrand proposal also adopts language from a bill last year that sought to clarify the meaning of a crypto broker, especially hoping to protect wallet providers, software developers and others from being snagged by certain tax reporting requirements.

The effort from Lummis and Gillibrand, however, is seen in Washington as a starting point for a dialogue that won’t lead anywhere significant before next year. Still, with Lummis on the Senate Banking Committee that oversees the Securities and Exchange Commission and Gillibrand holding a spot on the Agriculture Committee that oversees commodities and the CFTC, the lawmakers are well placed to help shepherd key portions of the legislation.”

See Also: Human Rights Leaders Urge Congress to Take ‘Open-Minded’ View on Bitcoin
See Also: US Justice Department Urges More Coordination to Combat Crypto Crime

U.S. electronic trading giant Citadel Securities is building a “cryptocurrency trading ecosystem” with the help of high-frequency trading and market-making firm Virtu Financial, as well as venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Paradigm.

This marketplace is intended to create more efficient access to deep pools of liquidity for digital assets. So a group of industry leaders are working closely together to facilitate the safe, clean, compliant and secure trading of digital assets.

In January of this year, Sequoia and crypto VC firm Paradigm invested $1.15 billion in Citadel.”

See Also: Metaverse-Related Economy Could Be as Much as $13T: Citi

PayPal is finally allowing cryptocurrency holders to transfer their digital assets off its platform to other wallets and exchanges, the feature most often requested since the fintech giant’s crypto buy, sell and hold service went live in October 2020.

The move away from regimented custodial platforms towards more open systems is a trend being followed by other large fintech players to enter crypto, such as popular trading app Robinhood, which is rolling out a new crypto wallet focused on decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

We are a payments and commerce company, and we think that our role in the ecosystem is about increasing access.

We want people on our platform acquiring digital currencies to be able to then use them to do something, whether it’s buying NFTs or interacting with games or other things, and stablecoins are a component of that and really important for the commerce and payments aspect to grow.”

“Verrilli’s career includes previously serving as a solicitor general for the U.S. from 2011-2016 under the Obama administration. During that time, Verrilli was the top lawyer representing the government’s side in dozens of U.S. Supreme Court cases, and he’ll now work as additional counsel for Grayscale.

For Grayscale, the move comes as the firm approaches a July 6 deadline for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make a decision on Grayscale’s application to convert GBTC to a spot bitcoin ETF. The firm said in May it had a “productive” meeting with the SEC in which it made its case for an approval.

It’s paramount that Grayscale has the strongest legal minds working on our application to convert GBTC to an ETF, and we are thrilled that Verrilli will join our outstanding legal team.”

Checkout.com will now be able to offer merchants instant fiat-to-stablecoin conversion for customer payments by using Fireblocks’ crypto payment tech. The move comes as various payment firms seek to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto payment options.

Traditionally, merchant payouts are limited to 9-5 on weekdays excluding public holidays and are further delayed through batch processing over several business days. Merchants are no longer restricted by arbitrary settlement times.

In a beta run, Checkout.com “successfully” tested ways for customers’ fiat transactions to utilize payments for merchants through USDC. To date, Checkout.com has facilitated settlement of more than $300 million.”

See Also: Circle to Support Polygon USDC on Payments Platform as Adoption Grows

Ethereum Merge: Ropsten Upgrade Livestream (June 8)

Energy Web & US Gov’t