2 December

On Nov. 30, Sber officially announced new opportunities for its proprietary blockchain platform, including compatibility with smart contracts and applications on the Ethereum network. Sber’s latest additions also bring an integration with major software cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask.

The integration allows users to make operations with tokens and smart contracts placed on Sber’s blockchain platform, the announcement notes. Nam noted that the newly integrated features will help Sber to unite developers, corporations and financial institutions to explore practical business applications of blockchain, Web3 and decentralized finance.

Sber’s announcement came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an open blockchain-based settlement network. He criticized the monopoly in global financial payment systems, expressing confidence that digital currencies-based technology will drive independence from banks. Sber’s majority shareholder is the government of Russia.”

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“Sen. Tina Smith called the FTX collapse “shocking, not surprising,” and said that future crises will continue to occur as long as regulatory gaps remain. Behnam pointed out that the Securities and Exchange Commission has the authority to require basic safeguards be in place, such as separation of house and customer money and best execution of investment trades.

Invariably, the questions we are all obligated to answer as regulators are: ‘How did you let this happen?’ and ‘How will you prevent this from happening again?’ […] Without new authority for the CFTC, there will remain gaps in a federal regulatory framework.

Behnam pointed to crypto derivatives and clearing platform and FTX subsidiary LedgerX as an example of successful CFTC regulation.

We at the CFTC do not have the legal authority to ask about an unregulated entity. We simply do not have the authority to register cash market exchanges […] This is the gap.

There is also a question of the impact of overseas companies on the United States and U.S entities trading offshore, Gillibrand added.”

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“CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam, testifying in the first of several congressional hearings on FTX before the Senate Agriculture Committee, said his agency couldn’t have prevented the collapse because FTX wasn’t an entity regulated by his agency. He asked the lawmakers for broader authority to directly oversee spot cash market exchanges, which aren’t regulated by any federal agency now (tokens that are deemed securities are overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission).

This sort of activity would be prohibited if the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA) had been a law, Behnam said. The DCCPA would ban the commingling of customer and corporate money and also require better corporate governance and actual bookkeeping, Behnam said. Still, he suggested revisiting the bill to ensure it addresses possible misconduct that may occur at other companies.

Given the circumstances of the past few weeks, I think we should take a pause and look at the bill and make sure there are no gaps or no holes. Where the bill may be strengthened [is] disclosures around financial information of the entity, the crypto entity and conflicts of interest.

With or without a pause, Behnam stressed the importance of moving quickly to pass legislation that could give his agency greater oversight of spot markets.

Strengthening the bill and filling the gaps is one thing. We need to move forward as soon as possible. We need registration of exchanges. We need surveillance of market activity. We need direct relationships with custodians who are holding customer money.”

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that ‘the next generation for markets, the next generation for securities, will be tokenization of securities.’ Speaking at a New York Times DealBook event, Fink argued that tokenization will provide “instantaneous settlement” and “reduced fees.”

In November, JPMorgan turned to Polygon to trade tokenized cash deposits in a Singapore-based trial via Onyx Digital Assets, a private blockchain created by the bank. The bank has also promoted the benefits of tokenization in some of its whitepapers.”

“More investors are storing crypto in their own wallets instead of with centralized exchanges, and that is reflected in higher trading volumes and user growth for decentralized-finance (DeFi) spot and derivatives trading platforms, the report said. In the past 60 days, both revenue and the number of transactions have grown.

While these are early trends, the transition to on-chain markets, with their greater transparency, is a positive development in ‘crypto’s journey to rebuilding customer and policy-makers’ trust,’ Bernstein said.

The Arbitrum and Optimism blockchains are seeing the strongest momentum in user growth and in transaction and revenue momentum since the FTX unwind, the note said. Solana, which was viewed as the native blockchain for the FTX/Alameda ecosystem, is deteriorating the most.”

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The offering, a customizable widget that can be embedded directly into a decentralized exchange (DEX), non-fungible token (NFT) platform, wallet or decentralized app (dapp), is designed to allow customers to instantly purchase cryptocurrencies in Web3 apps.

Stripe said it offers customizable on-ramping services and handles know-your-customer (KYC), payments, fraud and compliance issues. ‘We built our fiat-to-crypto onramp to remove [logistical] complexity.’

One of the initial projects to use Stripe’s new on-ramp is Audius, the decentralized music discovery platform, which said it has adopted Stripe’s payments offering to enable users to use their credit cards to purchase its native AUDIO token to tip their favorite artists.”

“SBF should be sitting in a jail right now, but instead he is giving an interview on the New York Times Dealbook summit.

I remember when Bernie Madoff was caught and did that softball interview with the New York Times conference whilst chilling on the beach. Oh wait, of course that didn’t happen.

The awkwardness of the interview setup was not missed by viewers, who decried the fact that the audience erupted in applause as the interview concluded.”

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