29 April

“Ethereum is often depicted as traditional finance’s adversary in a Manichean struggle for decentralization. In reality, there isn’t any conflict at all. Rather than subverting the traditional financial sector, Ethereum is improving it. Soon, the two systems will be inextricably entwined.

Ethereum’s core value propositions — self-custody, transparency and disintermediation — are enormously relevant to financial institutions, and they can be realized within existing regulatory frameworks. Ethereum has already taken the first steps toward institutional adoption, and with its unmatched network decentralization, it is all but destined to become the primary settlement layer for the world’s financial transactions.

Ethereum isn’t here to deliver a stateless alternative currency or an anonymized shadow economy. What it offers is simple: neutrality.

Ethereum is the global financial system’s first truly unbiased referee, and its arrival couldn’t be more timely. The geopolitical stability afforded by the United States’ preeminence is eroding, and domestic politics in major economies have become increasingly volatile. In a multipolar world, the financial system urgently needs to maintain reliable rules of the road.

Ethereum’s system for settling transactions and storing data is practically incorruptible. That is largely because of the unrivaled decentralization of its consensus layer, which spans more than 500,000 validators distributed among more than 10,000 physical nodes in dozens of countries. Despite concerns to the contrary, Ethereum is trending toward greater decentralization over time, not less.

Soon, Ethereum and its scaling chains will permeate traditional banking and asset management. From savings accounts to retirement portfolios, virtually every investor will self-custody their assets in trustless smart contracts, and carefully regulated on-ramps will render the tokenization of fiat currencies virtually frictionless.

The technology now exists to create a wide array of disintermediated markets and tokenized financial instruments. What is missing is connectivity with the broader financial system. That is the focus of an emerging class of regulated fiat-to-crypto on-ramps and custodians, such as Circle.

In the coming years, expect to see a proliferation of tokenized securities, starting with risk-off fixed-income assets. There will also be heavy investment in Ethereum staking pools, which will emerge as a critical strategic asset in the institutional crypto market. Other areas of focus will include on-chain financial reporting, streamlined user flows for regulatory compliance and institutional-grade tokenized derivatives.”

See Also: What’s Next After Shapella?

“The study, conducted between July 2022 and January 2023 and published on April 28 by cryptocurrency exchange Bitget, featured approximately 255,000 adult respondents from 26 countries, with around 10,000 respondents per country. The confidence interval for the study is 95%, with a margin of error of ± 0.1%.

The survey revealed that 46% of millennial respondents owned cryptocurrencies, compared with 25% of Gen X, 21% of Gen Z and 8% of baby boomers.

[B]y the beginning of the next decade, demographic processes may lead to a dramatic shift towards increased acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a higher proportion of younger generations continue to exhibit strong demand for crypto, despite the slowdown in population growth.”

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the region’s central banking institution and regulator, has required the institutions to help virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in getting banking services. Additionally, the statement encouraged lenders to train staff and form dedicated divisions to support the crypto industry while avoiding a ‘wholesale de-risking approach” that turns away new industries or certain nationalities.’

Authorized institutions should endeavor to support VASPs licensed and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission on their legitimate need for bank accounts in Hong Kong.

The news comes amid Hong Kong preparing to adopt new crypto regulations that will officially allow retail investors to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). As previously reported, the new crypto licensing regime is scheduled to be enforced on June 1, 2023.”

See Also: ‘Operation Choke Point 2.0’ Is SEC’s ‘Chemotherapy’ for $14B Ponzi Problem, BCB’s CEO Says

“The European Central Bank wants its centralized financial settlement systems to better interact with distributed ledger technology. The central banks that use the euro currency, known collectively as the Eurosystem, are ‘to look into how wholesale financial transactions recorded on DLT platforms could be settled in central bank money,’ according to a statement issued by the ECB on Friday.

We are now assessing whether the technology, which we use, the centralized technology operated by the Eurosystem, needs to be updated to be more easily interoperable with intermediaries that might be adopting distributed ledger technology.

The announcement reflects mounting interest in the technology from traditional financial markets, including for post-trade infrastructure that completes deals struck in trading venues. Euroclear, a Brussels-based firm that specializes in clearing and settlement, is set to release a new platform for DLT-based bond trading shortly, and Forge, the crypto arm of French bank Societe Generale, has introduced the CoinVertible stablecoin (EURCV), pegged to the euro, to settle transactions that involve digital assets.”

The team behind Lens, a Web3 social media protocol, has announced the launch of a new “layer 3” network to scale blockchain social media apps. Called “Bonzai,” the new network processes and stores posts, comments and shares, taking this data off the Polygon network and thereby increasing scalability for Lens.

Introducing Bonsai, an Optimistic L3 scaling solution, that will process transactions at hyperscale, and is designed to support the next generation of web3 social users.

Lens is a blockchain protocol that allows users to form a portable “social graph,” or digital set of connections, between themselves and others. When users form a connection with another person on one Lens app, they can transfer those connections to any other app built on the protocol. There are 17 different Lens-based social media apps listed on the protocol’s official website, including Buttrfly, DumplingTV, Lenster, Lenstube and others. Lens runs on the Polygon network, a layer 2 of Ethereum.”

See Also: Mastercard Launches Crypto Credential Service for Cross-Border Transfers
See Also: PayPal to Enable On-Chain Transfers From Venmo Accounts, Including to On-Chain Wallets

“U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index data, tipped as the macro event of the week, failed to deliver a performance catalyst as numbers broadly conformed to what markets had already priced in. Attention increasingly focused on the macro events of the coming week, these headlined by the Federal Reserve interest rate decision. Already strong odds of a further rate hike only gained momentum on the back of the PCE print.

Bitcoin has already broken its Downtrend. Now it’s all about continuing the new Uptrend. Whether a retest is needed or not is the question. But history suggests the mid-term to long-term outlook looks bullish.”

See Also: Ripple Sold $336M Worth of XRP Tokens in Q1, Reports Strong XRPL Growth

CEO Jonathan Steinberg discussed his company’s soon-to-launch crypto wallet for trading tokenized real world assets such as gold. Blockchain brings democratization to traditional finance, he tells CoinDesk Editor-in-Chief Kevin Reynolds.

We thought through tokenization and blockchain-enabled finance that you could add functionality … When you put tokenized, physically backed gold with peer-to-peer exchange and payments, gold now becomes currency, like it was hundreds of years ago.

WisdomTree, which announced this month that it cracked the $90 billion asset-under-management mark, currently has nine crypto funds approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that invest in traditional assets such as U.S. Treasuries. Users will be able to access these funds through the WisdomTree Prime wallet once it launches.”

See Also: Tokenization of Real-World Assets ‘Changes How Value Is Transferred’

“The United States House of Representatives was abuzz with talk about crypto on April 27, as both the Financial Services Committee and the Agriculture Committee held hearings with nearly identical titles and covered nearly the same ground with many similar conclusions.

We’ve all heard the siren’s call to ‘come in and register.’ It sounds enticingly attractive. But this is an oversimplification that conflates registration, which may theoretically be possible, with compliance, which is not.

Of the top 15 digital assets traded, two have been identified by the SEC as securities, and seven have been identified by the CFTC as commodities, leaving considerable confusion even in the most actively traded assets.

Several witnesses gave examples of the shortcomings of the current SEC regulatory framework when it is applied to crypto. FalconX deputy general counsel Purvi Maniar said mandatory SEC disclosures would make peer-to-peer transactions impossible. Regulatory gaps made such market issues as the FTX collapse possible, former CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad said.

The two committees will hold a joint hearing next month.”

See Also: U.S. House Will Have Crypto Bill in 2 Months: McHenry

Bankless: Weekly Rollup

28 April

Google Cloud is working with Polygon Labs to help developers make it easier to build, launch and grow their Web3 products and decentralized applications (dapps) on the Ethereum-based layer 2 blockchain.

Under the new partnership, Google Cloud will bring its Blockchain Node Engine – the tech giant’s fully managed node hosting service – to the Polygon ecosystem, which will help developers focus on building on the protocol, while retaining complete control over where nodes are deployed. The tech powerhouse said that its partnership with Polygon will also help the protocol advance its zero-knowledge innovation strategy, potentially making transactions cheaper and faster.

Today’s announcement with Google Cloud aims to increase transaction throughput enabling use cases in gaming, supply chain management, and DeFi. This will pave the way for even more businesses to embrace blockchain technology through Polygon.

Google Cloud is helping the industry achieve escape velocity by directing our engineering efforts toward areas like improving data availability and enhancing the resilience and performance of scaling protocols like zero-knowledge proofs.”

See Also: CoinDesk Indices, Crypto Asset Manager CoinFund Launch an Ethereum Staking Benchmark Rate
See Also: Web3 Can Be ‘the Trust Layer’ to Counter Issues Raised by AI

Three Republican members of the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee have sent letters to the heads of U.S. banking regulatory agencies seeking information on possible coordinated efforts taken against digital asset firms.

Dated April 25, the letters were addressed to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chair Martin J. Gruenberg, Federal Reserve System Chair Jerome Powell and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu. The letters began by recalling the Obama Administration’s purported Operation Choke Point that encouraged banks to deny service to certain types of business.

Today, we are seeing the resurgence of coordinated action by the federal prudential regulators to suppress innovation in the United States. There is no clearer example than in the digital asset ecosystem.

Taken together, the actions of the Fed, FDIC, and OCC do not appear to be in reaction to recent events or the result of a sudden desire to protect financial institutions from risky behavior, but instead suggest a coordinated strategy to de-bank the digital asset ecosystem in the United States.

The letters’ authors provided the examples of OCC Interpretive Letter 1179, the FDIC’s letter of April 2022 and the joint statement of the three agencies released in January. Despite the ‘run-of-the-mill fraud seen in the crypto industry, Digital asset activity is not inherently risky,’ they say.”

See Also: Cameron Winklevoss blames regulatory double standards over banking crisis

“Global banks continue to expand their cryptocurrency-related capabilities, with the British multinational bank Standard Chartered raising new funding for its crypto platform Zodia. One of the biggest banks in the United Kingdom, Standard Chartered originally announced plans to provide institutional custody for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2020.

With new funding, Standard Chartered’s Zodia plans to increase the amount of supported cryptocurrencies, including staked Ether (ETH).

The firm will also tunnel the newly raised funds for geographic expansion beyond its present markets in Europe and Asia. The firm is particularly interested in opportunities in the Middle East but is planning to stay away from the United States due to regulatory uncertainty.”

See Also: Tokenization Is ‘Killer App’ for TradFi: JPMorgan
See Also: Bitcoin Could Be ‘Great’ Investment for IRA or 401K Plans
See Also: Ex-a16z Engineering and Security Heavyweights to Start Crypto Custody Firm: Source

“Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said Thursday that it has responded to a Wells Notice received from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), urging the agency not to pursue enforcement action against the company for the SEC’s own sake.

In response to the SEC’s Wells Notice, the company said its platform does not list securities, its Coinbase Wallet product does not constitute a broker, and the exchange’s staking services do not constitute a securities offering. The company [also] argued that by allowing it to be listed on Nasdaq, the SEC implied that it did not think Coinbase’s business was unlawful.

We do not relish litigation against the SEC, but we will vigorously defend ourselves. In the meantime, the financial system still needs updating, so we’ll continue building.

Coinbase’s Vice President of Litigation said the agency has up to six months from issuing a Wells Notice to decide if it wants to bring charges. After SEC staff assesses Coinbase’s response, a recommendation will be made to the agency’s commissioners on whether to pursue enforcement action.”

See Also: Kraken ‘Fighting the Fight’ Behind the Scenes With Regulators
See Also: Grayscale CEO Expects Decision on Attempt to Overturn SEC’s ETF Rejection by End of 3Q

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously decided to go forward with implementing the use of digital wallets for government services and official documentation purposes.

Beta testers during the pilot period will be mobile users seeking to access government services such as bicycle registration and RV parking registration. Other potential pilots would be for registration of park facilities, tracking volunteer hours, over-the-counter building permit distribution and pet licensing.

We believe the value of digitizing paper documents, records, and services is an important step forward for the convenience of Santa Cruz County residents and improving equity and access for our community.”

See Also: Robinhood Launches ‘Connect’ to Link Native Crypto Wallet to DeFi Apps

27 April

Franklin Templeton, with about $1.4 trillion assets under management, said its OnChain U.S. Government Money Market Fund (FOBXX) is now supported on Ethereum via layer 2 blockchain Polygon. The fund is the first U.S. registered mutual fund to use a public blockchain to process transactions and record share ownership, the investment firm claimed in the press release.

Extending the reach of the Franklin OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund to Polygon enables the fund to be further compatible with the rest of the digital ecosystem, specifically through an Ethereum-based blockchain.

One share of Franklin Templeton’s fund is represented by one “BENJI” token, where the holders are able to gain exposure to the fund through digital wallets.

The investment giant said in a press release that it continues to see operational efficiencies through use of blockchain-integrated systems, including increased security and faster transaction processing. The firm announced in September that it will offer digital asset strategies to wealth managers.

In the wake of recent market volatility and banking crisis, investors have been pouring into money market funds to hedge their investment risks. With more institutional investors pushing further into digital assets, traditional finance (TradFi) players are using this opportunity to merge both worlds.

Tokenized assets are going to positively rewire the global financial system, and Franklin Templeton is at the forefront of this movement.”

See Also: TS Imagine to Bolster Crypto Trading Offering Through Deutsche Boerse Unit
See Also: Coinbase Prime, Talos Team Up to Meet Rising Institutional Crypto Trading Demand
See Also: Deloitte on a crypto hiring spree, reveals LinkedIn job postings

The ETPs will give European investors access to digital-asset investment through traditional brokerage accounts. The investment vehicles [also] provide institutional investors with an entry point to crypto.

Frankfurt, Germany-based DWS, which has 821 billion euros ($907 billion) in assets under management, will be Galaxy’s “exclusive ally” for crypto ETPs in Europe, the announcement said. Galaxy has previously listed exchange-traded funds in Canada with CI Global Asset Management.

While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s repeated rejection of applications to list spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. has been a source of frustration in the industry, similar products are now well established in Europe and Canada.”

“The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) unveiled its Cambridge Blockchain Network Sustainability Index (CBNSI) on Wednesday. The tool marks the latest research produced under the Cambridge Digital Assets Programme (CDAP), a research initiative hosted by the CCAF in collaboration with organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The initiative is also being conducted in collaboration with a few staid financial institutions, such as Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, Invesco, Mastercard, and Visa.

Using height as an analogy, the research compares the current energy use of Bitcoin to Ethereum, both before and after the merge.

If Bitcoin’s energy use was represented by Malaysia’s Merdeka 118, the second-tallest building in the world at 679 meters, Ethereum’s pre-merge energy usage would have been the London Eye at 135 meters—around five times smaller. To continue the analogy, CCAF writes the post-merge Ethereum network could be represented by a raspberry, or 1.5 centimeters.

While the Ethereum Foundation was quick to say the transition [to PoS] made Ethereum 99.95% more energy-efficient, according to CCAF research, the energy consumption of Ethereum plummeted by 99.99% after the merge.

The tool also provides energy estimates for Bitcoin and Ethereum that are updated daily. At each network’s current rate, the index estimates Ethereum’s annualized power consumption as 5.8 gigawatt-hours compared to around 132.2 terawatt-hours for Bitcoin.”

See Also: Cambridge Blockchain Network Sustainability Index

“The Cambridge, U.K.-based firm wants to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions between decentralized finance (DeFi) users using AI-powered “agents” to execute trades based on user-defined parameters, it said Wednesday. It will roll out the suite of trading tools later this quarter.

Users submit their orders to an agent, which then puts it in escrow or an atomic transaction while it works out where it can do the order matching. The ability of the platform to find and create liquidity is where the platform comes into itself, whereby agents work together to create those decentralized order books.

The absence of a liquidity pool, the mechanism usually employed by DEXs to facilitate quick and efficient trading, means there is no trove of coins for hackers to target.”

See Also: Imagining the Future AI and Web3 Can Build
See Also: Solana Labs Preps ChatGPT Plugin for Real-Time Blockchain Analysis

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (N.Y. Fed) has curbed its counterparty criteria for its reverse-repurchase program (RRP) Wednesday in a way that could prevent stablecoin issuer Circle from accessing the prized Fed facility.

The Circle Reserve Fund, managed by global investment management giant BlackRock Advisors, appears to fall into this category.

The RRP lets selected counterparties – money-market funds, banks – lend overnight to the Fed at a fixed rate, currently at 4.8%. While the facility was originally created as a stabilization tool for the financial system, it has become a highly attractive vehicle to earn high yield with minimal counterparty risk. Currently, funds in the program reach almost $2.3 trillion.

Circle’s USDC stablecoin gaining access to the RRP would create “a stablecoin effectively backed by the Fed” and could potentially destabilize the financial system, the Bank Policy Institute, an important advocacy group for U.S. banks, said in January.

The Fed updated the eligibility rules for the ONRRP facility in ways that could deny access to stablecoins.”

See Also: Bittrex Global CEO Says Firm Will Fight SEC Charges, Did Not Serve U.S. Customers
See Also: Digital Euro Holdings Shouldn’t Be Capped, Study Says
See Also: Circle Unveils New Method for Moving USDC Between Blockchains

26 April

Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) has asked a federal court to force the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to respond to its petition filed last year asking for formal rulemaking within the digital assets sector. The exchange asked the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to order the SEC to provide “regulatory clarity” around how existing securities laws might apply to the digital asset sector.

The filing is a preemptive move by the crypto exchange to argue that the SEC’s approach doesn’t provide sufficient regulatory guidance for U.S. crypto firms. The SEC warned Coinbase last month it expected to sue the exchange over allegations of listing and offering unregistered securities products.”

See Also: Coinbase CEO Backs ‘Stand with Crypto’ NFT Campaign
See Also: CFTC proposes reducing anonymity to manage risks

“The U.S. crypto industry might be on shaky ground with regulatory saber rattling in congress, but Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest and investment firm 21Shares are still bullish on a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund—despite being rejected twice previously. In a refiling Tuesday, the two again asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to approve a Bitcoin spot ETF.

A long-list of high-profile companies are awaiting approval on a product directly pegged to the price of the crypto. But the SEC has been slow to approve a true Bitcoin ETF.

21Shares is committed to the U.S. market and advancing a regulated spot crypto product.”

According to a Visa job posting published on April 20, the company’s crypto division is building the ‘next generation of products‘ to facilitate the digital commerce of everyday life.

We have an ambitious crypto product roadmap @Visa and just opened a few reqs for senior software engineers to help us drive mainstream adoption of public blockchain networks and stablecoin payments.

Among preferred applicant qualifications, Visa listed a good understanding of layer 1 and layer 2 solutions alongside experience with writing smart contracts using the programming language Solidity.

One of the world’s largest payments companies, Visa made a major move into the crypto industry in 2020, partnering with the blockchain firm Circle to support the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin on certain credit cards. The firm has been gradually expanding its crypto offering.”

See Also: Google Cloud to Help Web3 Builders Fast-Track Their Startups
See Also: Decentralized Exchange GMX Connects to Chainlink’s Low-Latency Oracles Following Community Vote

“A legal framework for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) could be coming to California. Matt Haney introduced Assembly Bill 1229 on Monday, which already has support from prominent crypto investment firm Andreessen Horowitz and the Crypto Council for Innovation.

Assembly Bill 1229 would change the state’s corporate code to include DAOs, blockchain networks, and smart contract protocols. If passed, the bill would enable DAOs to incorporate in California and pay taxes, while providing better protection for Californians participating in the Web3 economy.

We have long been supportive of reasonable regulation that puts guardrails in place while giving innovators the certainty they need to keep building, which is exactly what this legislation does.

We think that Web3 needs to be firmly rooted in California. And that’s what this bill is about. Whatever you call this new technology—blockchain, web3, or crypto—we know that it’s the future of tech.”

See Also: Arbitrum Airdrops $120 Million in ARB to DAOs

“Today we received a letter from Binance.US terminating the asset purchase agreement. While this development is disappointing, our Chapter 11 plan allows for direct distribution of cash and crypto to customers via the Voyager platform.

In a tweet, Binance.US attributed the termination to the ‘hostile and uncertain regulatory climate in the United States that has ‘introduced an unpredictable operating environment impacting the entire American business community.’

Binance.US’ offer, originally made in December, allowed it to back out if the deal wasn’t consummated within four months. In a recent legal filing, attorneys for Voyager warned that the deal falling apart could cost the estate, and its over 1 million creditors, an extra $100 million.

Faced with Twitter speculation that abandonment of the deal was linked to an upcoming settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which has sued parent exchange Binance over selling unregistered crypto derivative products, Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao responded with an emoji of a shrugging figure.”

See Also: Genesis Files for Mediator Assistance Over Amount of DCG Contribution to Reorganization
See Also: FTX Finalizes $50 Million Sale of LedgerX Crypto Derivatives Exchange

“The appeals court largely upheld Apple’s victory against Epic Games, but found it cannot forbid app makers from circumventing its 30% cut.

In a decision with potentially major implications for NFT and crypto builders, a United States federal appeals court has ruled that Apple violated California’s Unfair Competition Law by forbidding app developers from using any alternative payment method besides those of the tech giant’s own App Store, which levies a 30% fee on most transactions.

The court’s positive decision rejecting Apple’s anti-steering provisions frees iOS developers to send consumers to the web to do business with them directly.

Last September, Apple opened its App Store to NFTs—but only to NFTs sold through its own payments system, which takes a 30% cut of most transactions. But given Monday’s ruling, the landscape for NFTs could soon look quite different.

If Apple doesn’t appeal or if the ruling is again upheld, then NFT developers may be able not only to use NFTs purchased across the internet to unlock features in iOS apps, but also to direct users within those apps to purchase NFTs on sites that don’t charge exorbitant fees.

Furthermore, an easing of such restrictions may permit for the use of cryptocurrency in app-related transactions—a development that Apple’s policies currently prohibit.

See Also: Grimes Offers 50% Royalties on AI-Generated Music Using Her Voice
See Also: Web3 Entertainment Studio Toonstar to Release NFT-Backed TV Series ‘Space Junk’

“Daniel Shin, a co-founder of Terraform Labs, the firm behind the failed Terra cryptocurrency project, was indicted by South Korea on violations of capital-markets law among other charges, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Shin was indicted alongside nine others, as prosecutors froze 246.8 billion won ($184.7 million) in assets from those indicted.”

What is Data Availability?

25 April

A report from the firm noted that the crypto winter is finally over and bitcoin halving is set to be a positive catalyst for the price.

The climb to $100,000 could be driven by a number of factors, including the recent banking-sector crisis that helped to ‘re-establish bitcoin’s use as a decentralized scarce digital asset.’ The report also noted one of the drivers for the price to reach $100,00 is the broader macro backdrop for risky assets gradually improving as the Federal Reserve nears the end of its tightening cycle.

Against this backdrop, bitcoin has benefited from its status as a branded safe haven, a perceived relative store of value and a means of remittance. While BTC can trade well when risky assets suffer, correlations to the Nasdaq suggest that it should trade better if risky assets improve broadly.

As we approach the next halving, we expect cyclical drivers to become more constructive, as they have in previous cycles.”

See Also: Ethereum Layer 2 Networks’ Total Value Locked Hovers at Near-Record High, Data Shows
See Also: Bitcoin’s Six-Week Hot Streak Ends as Institutions Turn to Ethereum
See Also: Bitcoin Posts Biggest Weekly Loss in 5 Months as Dollar Liquidity Declines, Debt Ceiling Fears Return

Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee are taking another swing at stablecoin legislation with a discussion draft revealed Monday afternoon, which may mark a new starting point for negotiations with Democrats.

The draft bill makes clear that stablecoins must be fully backed by safe reserves that are subject to monthly reviews by registered accountants, which would eliminate the possibility of math-backed stablecoins being able to comply.

It also declares that stablecoins are not securities, settling a controversial point in the ongoing debate over whether tokens are securities or commodities, which decides which agency will oversee their trading.

One of the most hotly debated points of the legislation since last year has been how much authority is given to the federal and state regulators. This version would make a lane for state-based licensing for issuers and maintain the state’s enforcement powers, but it also provides that an enforcement disagreement could be overruled by the Federal Reserve.

In addition, the proposed legislation would put issuers’ chief executives on the hook for putting out faulty information on a stablecoin’s reserves, calling for them to sign off on the monthly numbers and making them criminally liable if the reports are known to be false.

A senior Republican staff member said a copy of this draft was provided to Waters’ staff, and the Republicans hope it’ll start a new negotiation.

Rep. Patrick McHenry’s (R-N.C.) financial services committee is separately working on legislation to regulate market structure in the crypto sector, the staffer said, and that bill is expected to address key industry questions about which agencies will have what roles overseeing digital assets. One of the panel’s subcommittees scheduled a hearing on the topic for Thursday, April 27.

See Also: French Regulator Floats ‘Fast-Track’ Registration for Incumbents After MiCA’s Passage
See Also: LUNA is not a security, South Korean court rules in Terra co-founder’s case

The digital euro will aim to “complement” cash and mimic its best features, a European central banker has told lawmakers, but it may not afford the same level of privacy. Panetta also raised the possibility that some small transactions using the digital euro could be made anonymously.

We will try to replicate the features of cash that people appreciate, that citizens prefer. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the digital euro will have the same level of privacy as cash. But certainly we will guarantee the maximum level of privacy.”

See Also: Lawmakers Could Still Nix Digital Euro, ECB’s Panetta Says
See Also: China to expand CBDC use case for Belt and Road Initiative
See Also: Zimbabwe to Introduce Gold-Backed Digital Currency: Report

“In March 2022, after the European Union placed sanctions on Russia in response to its attack on Ukraine, Binance announced it would not support deposits from Visa and Mastercard cards issued in Russia, as well as any Visa and Mastercard deposits made from the Russia.

Now, the restriction seems to be gone: Users can deposit Russian rubles, euros, British pounds and other currencies from bank cards issued in Russia. Earlier in April, Russian users also reported that Binance lifted limits for accounts with balances larger than 10,000 euros for users in Russia. The exchange has not officially released a statement on either of these changes.

While the sanctions are still in place, this restriction no longer exists on Binance, according to media reports, and neither does the Russian bank cards ban. Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in October, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said Binance abides by the sanctions but some of its legal entities outside of the EU might still be able to serve Russians.

We are against dictatorships of war. We’re not against the population.”

See Also: Celsius auction has Gemini and Coinbase as new bidders: Report

22 April

“The first product at Gemini Foundation, as the new division is called, will be a perpetual bitcoin (BTC) contract denominated in Gemini dollars (GUSD), the company said. An ether (ETH) perpetual contract also linked to GUSD will come next.

The announcement coincides with increased scrutiny by U.S. regulators and lawmakers about the role of cryptocurrencies in the world’s biggest economy – a campaign that’s affected Gemini. In January, the company and Genesis were accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of selling unregistered securities.”

See Also: Gemini flags ‘big plans’ for Asia with India hub and regional CEO

“A long-awaited and expected approval of the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation means the landmark law intended to protect consumers and ensure financial stability can take effect in mid-2024. The initial reaction has been warm.

MiCA makes Europe fit for the digital age and will foster innovation and fair competition.

While the overarching MiCA law, known as a “level one” text, is now nailed down, EU agencies such as the European Securities and Markets Authority say they will have to draft and consult on the “substantial package of implementing measures” that lie underneath.

There were last-minute disputes among lawmakers and governments on how the law should treat NFTs and decentralized finance, and hastily drafted compromise language may not always be clear about, for example, what is or isn’t an non-fungible token or a decentralized grouping.

There are a lot of things that the MiCA level one text does not define – there are questions that will be answered in the so-called level two legislation.”

See Also: Abu Dhabi’s Financial Free Zone Proposes Legal Framework for Decentralized Economy
See Also: ‘Worst code I’ve ever seen’: Euro stablecoin faces centralization criticism

“Early signs show that Ethereum’s seamless Shanghai upgrade has spurred institutional investors’ interest in staking. Allowing withdrawals reduced the liquidity risk associated with locking up ETH for staking, which had kept some investors at bay.

Top institutional-grade ether (ETH) staking service providers have already recorded about three times larger inflows in April compared to all of last month. Some 80% of the inflows happened after the Shanghai upgrade went live on April 12.

According to a survey by Kiln, an institutional-grade staking service provider, 68% of investors said they intend to start staking or increase their staked amount after Shanghai. Kiln has recorded $47 million (24,640 ETH) of new deposits since the Shanghai upgrade. Rival platform Staked.us booked $111 million (58,592 ETH) in inflows, more than double the $51 million (26,667 ETH) of staking rewards withdrawn.

We are discussing at the moment with some brokerage firms, investment banking services holding companies in the U.S. or in Europe.”

A pair of computer science researchers recently published pre-print research indicating that the nascent cryptocurrency market is beginning to show a level of maturity similar to the traditional equities market.

Both markets showed similar hierarchical clustering. The study authors also state there’s evidence for ‘the existence of a “best value” cryptocurrency portfolio.’ According to the researchers, by comparison, cryptocurrency may even offer a lower complexity threshold for diversification:

Retail investors with limited ability to hold complex portfolios of many cryptocurrencies may be sufficiently diversified with a relatively small portfolio across just 16 cryptocurrencies.

The study authors note that cryptocurrency has been called ‘an immature market, characterized by significant swings in volatility and occasionally described as lacking rhyme or reason,’ but the research appears to indicate otherwise.”

See Also: Bitcoin’s Dominance Rate Runs Into Familiar Resistance, Hints at ‘Altcoin Season’ Ahead
See Also: Crypto VC Funding Down 82% Compared to Last Year

“Blockchain research and infrastructure provider Flashbots introduced the beta version of its MEV-Share protocol, aiming to distribute a portion of Maximal Extractable Value profits to Ethereum users. Following a technical evaluation during the beta phase, Flashbots plans to release the MEV-Share code as open-source.

Incorporated within Flashbots Protect, a remote procedure call (RPC) tool that can be integrated with users’ wallets, the MEV-Share protocol seeks to defend against bots trying to extract profits by re-ordering user transactions. It does so by giving users control over the execution of their transactions on the Ethereum network.

With MEV-Share, the team claims to give users the ability to adjust privacy settings and manage order flow sharing, which safeguards against front-running while selectively sharing transaction information with searchers operating MEV bots.

Users can now gain access to MEV redistribution while still maintaining a base level of privacy. They can add these protections to their wallet with a few clicks.”

See Also: Golem Portal Launched

“The U.S District Court for the Northern District of California found that Yuga Labs owns the BAYC trademarks, which are valid and enforceable, and that the defendants used the BAYC marks – referring to the images – to sell RR/BAYC NFTs without Yuga Labs’ consent and in a “manner likely to cause confusion”, with the similar product look confusing consumers intending to purchase an actual BAYC NFT or track their value with token tracking tools.

In addition, the court ruled that the defendants’ use of the BAYC marks was not a case of fair use, nor an artistic expression under something called the Rogers Test, because Yuga’s BAYC marks were strong in the marketplace and the RR/BAYC project was intended to mislead.

The court also determined that the domain names registered and utilized by the defendants – rrbayc.com and apemarket.com – have the potential to create confusion with the judge concluding that the defendant’s actions are driven by a malicious intent to profit and the two are engaging in cybersquatting.”

21 April

Societe Generale’s (GLE) has introduced a stablecoin pegged to the euro (EUR) on Ethereum, saying it is the first such asset deployed on a public blockchain. While U.S. banking giant JPMorgan’s in-house stablecoin JPM coin has been in use since 2020 as a settlement token between financial institutions, it trades on the bank’s internal Onyx network, not a public blockchain.

EUR CoinVertible (EURCV) will be offered to institutional clients as a means of bridging the gap between traditional capital markets and digital assets. SG said it is addressing increasing demand from clients for a robust settlement asset for on-chain transactions, as well as a means for on-chain liquidity funding and refinancing.

The Societe Generale division won registration from France’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) to offer cryptocurrency trading and custody services last September, in a sign of the gathering momentum of institutional adoption of digital assets in France.”

TransUnion, one of the three major credit agencies in the U.S., will deliver credit scores for decentralized finance (DeFi) lenders starting next week, the firm announced on Thursday.

TransUnion will provide traditional (off-chain) credit scores for individuals when they apply for loans on blockchain-based protocols without compromising applicants’ privacy, according to the press release. The firm is teaming up with data security firm Spring Labs and DeFi identity and compliance software developer Quadrata to provide the service.

Last year’s brutal crypto bear market led to a wave of defaults on unsecured crypto loans. Credit scores for crypto borrowers could have mitigated the losses.

Credit scoring is an important tool for lenders to help mitigate risk regardless of the platform being used.

TransUnion’s credit scoring allows consumers to use their credit history and share their credit information in a secure way with any blockchain-based lending protocol while also helping lenders improve their decision-making and risk management.

As more consumers and lenders move to blockchain to conduct business, it’s important to ensure that the balance is struck between the information that lenders need to assess risk and the privacy and anonymity expected by users of the technology.

TransUnion’s latest effort is part of a larger trend in which traditional financial (TradFi) services and crypto markets have become more intertwined as TradFi firms explore ways to use blockchain technology and their foothold in traditional markets to serve crypto investors.”

See Also: Crypto Options Exchange Deribit Adding Zero-Fee Spot Trading
See Also: Crypto Lending Protocol MakerDAO Approves Transferring a Maximum of $500M in USDC to Coinbase Custody for 2.6% Yield
See Also: Crypto Trading Firm Wintermute Plugs Into CoinRoutes Smart-Order Routing System
See Also: Blockchain Infrastructure Provider 0x Rolls Out New Line of APIs
See Also: Staking Provider P2P.org Raises $23M From Big-Name Investors to Drive Institutional Offering

Lawmakers in the European Union on Thursday voted 517-38 in favor of a new crypto licensing regime, Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA), making it the first major jurisdiction in the world to introduce a comprehensive crypto law. The European Parliament also voted 529-29 in favor of a separate law known as the Transfer of Funds regulation, which requires crypto operators to identify their customers in a bid to halt money laundering.

The vote follows a Wednesday debate in which lawmakers largely supported plans to make crypto wallet providers and exchanges seek a license to operate across the bloc, and require issuers of stablecoins tied to the value of other assets to maintain sufficient reserves.

The rules put the EU at the forefront of the token economy.

Its main provisions start to apply just over 12 months after publication in the EU’s official journal, likely in June.”

See Also: Is Europe’s MiCA a Template for Global Crypto Regulation?
See Also: Why the EU Has MiCA and the U.S. Has Securities Law Confusion

The U.S. government has now agreed that the bulk of Binance.US’ $1 billion deal to purchase assets of the bankrupt crypto lender can proceed, despite concerns the fine print of the contract would pardon breaches of tax or securities law. The April 19 filing proposes that until an appeal is settled those contentious “exculpation provisions” should remain on hold, but not the remaining elements of the deal.

The plan and confirmation order contemplate certain transactions and other steps, including making certain distributions to Debtors’ account holders … the parties agree that these transactions may go forward while this appeal is litigated and resolved.”

“Alexey Pertsev, a Russian developer who worked on code for the Tornado Cash privacy protocol, can await trial from home, a court in the Netherlands has ruled.

This week, the public prosecutor issued more specific charges that Pertsev habitually laundered over 500,000 ether (ETH), which he should have suspected was of criminal origin. Pertsev has denied those charges.

Shortly before Pertsev’s arrest, Tornado Cash was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which said the service had been used to raise funds for the North Korean regime.”

See Also: Terraform Labs Co-Founder Do Kwon Faces Montenegro Indictment: Bloomberg

20 April

“The Bank of Russia is working on a bill that will introduce an “experimental legal regime” for cryptocurrencies to be used exclusively in export-import deals, the head of the regulatory agency, Elvira Naiullina, said on Monday.

Nabiullina said the central bank’s plan includes the creation of special organizations that will be charged with mining crypto and processing payments for cross-border trade deals. Altukhov added that a new tax code will be introduced for miners as a part of the regulation.

The Bank of Russia and the country’s Ministry of Finance earlier agreed that Russia can’t avoid using crypto payments during the current situation, TASS wrote, referring to international sanctions imposed on the country to exclude it from the U.S. dollar-powered global payment infrastructure.”

Skeptical remarks from key Democrats Wednesday are bringing into question the chances for U.S. stablecoin legislation that the crypto industry has been relying on as the first real oversight effort from Congress. ‘The posted bill in no way represents … negotiations between the two of us … I think we’re starting from scratch.’

Still, the need for a federal bill on stablecoins is apparent, said McHenry, chairman of the Financial Services Committee. Waters added later in the hearing that the committee should move “very quickly” on an updated bill.

It is important for us internationally and domestically. It’s very important that we have that understanding on a bipartisan basis, the utility and importance of this legislation.”

See Also: The Big Issues of Stablecoin Issuance

United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has received a license to operate in Bermuda and is reportedly set to launch a derivatives exchange based there as soon as next week.

The license, a Class F License under the Digital Asset Business Act, allows Coinbase to conduct a range of activities such as token sales and issuance. It also permits it to operate as both a digital asset exchange and as a digital asset derivatives exchange provider.

Coinbase cited clear regulations as the reason why Bermuda ‘was chosen as one of our financial hubsand explained its regulatory environment ‘is long known for a high level of rigor, transparency, compliance, and cooperation.’

Some from the crypto community believe the latest development could be the beginning of the end for Coinbase in the United States as it came just a day after CEO Brian Armstrong disclosed at a FinTech event in London that the exchange might consider leaving the U.S. due to a lack of regulatory clarity.

One other clear benefit of a Bermuda-based exchange is its tax laws. Businesses operating in Bermuda are required to pay a payroll tax, but it has a corporate tax rate of 0% meaning profits are tax-free, making it an attractive base for firms looking to cut expenses.

We will work with governments and regulators in different markets, and will always aim to be the most trusted and compliant crypto company in any market.”

“European Union lawmakers from multiple parties signaled continuing support for the bloc’s landmark Markets in Crypto Assets regulation in a Wednesday debate, suggesting the licensing law known as MiCA will easily be approved in a vote scheduled for Thursday.

MiCA, whose main political outlines were agreed upon last year, would allow crypto exchanges and digital-wallet companies to offer regulated services across the bloc and requires stablecoin issuers to hold sufficient reserves.

Europe can be proud of the step we’re taking today. MiCA should restore the trust that was damaged by the FTX case and bring stability to the sector.

MiCA rules will take effect 12 to 18 months after the legislation is published in the bloc’s Official Journal, which is likely to happen in June – potentially making the EU the first major jurisdiction with a wide-reaching crypto law.”

See Also: EU Lawmakers Skeptical on Digital Euro Plans
See Also: Central Banks Successfully Test DLT in Linking Financial Settlement Systems

“Space and Time offers real-time data indexed from major blockchains combined with off-chain datasets provided by customers. The end result is a hybrid transactional and analytic database that’s pre-loaded with real-time blockchain-native data.

The one-click deployment through the Azure Marketplace gives developers the ability to access, manage and perform analytics on the blockchain data. Businesses can build on the blockchain without revamping their existing tech architecture.

Partnering with Microsoft makes a lot of sense for us and to build with Azure adds a tremendous amount of value for our organization as we build these pillars to ensure that the world has verifiable data in a time where the complexity of data and the transparency of data is going to be more vital than it’s ever been.”

“Post the Shapella upgrade, unstaking withdrawals have been orderly and well-absorbed by the market and we are also seeing an uptick in staking from ETH holders. As ETH continues to be deflationary post-Merge and with the added attraction of staking yields which can be freely unstaked, we are seeing more bullish interest on ETH.

Since April 10, the number of active, or open, ether futures contracts trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has risen 39% to 6,248, according to official data. In U.S. dollar terms, open interest has increased by over 70% to $633 million. The combination of rising open interest and widening basis suggests the leverage has been allocated to the bullish side.

ETH is definitely experiencing idiosyncratic flows at the moment. BTC OI is down 1.5% since April 10, whereas ETH OI is up 38.7% in the same period.”

See Also: Hard-Wallet Maker Ledger, Crypto Custodian Etana Target Institutions With Regulated Custody
See Also: Bitcoin Hovers Near $29.3K After Binance Sell Order, UK Inflation Data

“The project is a new client for OP Stack, the standardized, open-source development stack that powers Optimism. The system is written using the Rust programming language and is meant to serve as a faster alternative to op-node, the only existing rollup client that’s maintained by OP Labs and written in the Go programming language.

A16z’s thesis is that more systems make for more robust decentralization for Optimism, and the addition of one based on Rust will attract more developers.

Magi performs the same core functionality as the reference implementation (op-node) and works alongside an execution node (such as op-geth) to sync to any OP Stack chain, including Optimism and Base.”

See Also: 1inch, Aggregator of Decentralized Crypto Exchanges, to Launch on Ethereum Rollup zkSync Era

a16z Crypto CTO: State of Crypto 2023

19 April

According to Bernstein, the new crypto cycle is still not fully appreciated, with a number of positive factors lining up. These include macro catalysts, a new bitcoin mining cycle, the continued successful upgrades of the Ethereum blockchain and the success of Ethereum scaling products such as Arbitrum.

The Ethereum blockchain’s fees are up threefold, ‘reflecting the growing user intensity and token prices, post FTX,’ the note said. Macro catalysts are aligning for bitcoin (BTC), the note added, with continued weakness in U.S. regional banks and further deposit outflows toward money-market funds and the big four U.S. banks all reflecting concerns about the “centralization of money.”

Any potential dislocation, whether on the bank’s credit side, or on the sovereign side …positions bitcoin perfectly as a safe-haven asset alongside gold.

The opportunity to build a new institutional financial stack on the blockchain remains a worthy goal, and serious participants remain focused on the long term. This will be the first crypto cycle which will see participation from leading institutional investors.

Bitcoin has rallied 80% this year – with prices surging 23% in March amid multiple bank failures in the U.S. Ethereum’s native token ether (ETH) is up 76% year-to-date.”

See Also: Lesser-Known Bitcoin Indicator Signals Onset of Major Bull Run

“At a Tuesday hearing in front of the GOP-controlled House Financial Services Committee, lawmakers slammed U.S. Securities and Exchange Chairman Gary Gensler’s approach to regulating the crypto world.

Lawmakers furiously attacked Gensler for not being clearer with his rulemaking. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) was particularly aggressive and claimed that U.S. tech companies were suffering as a result. ‘You’ve been an incompetent cop on the beat,’ he said, before claiming that Gensler was pushing American firms into the ‘hands of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party.)’

During your tenure at the SEC, how many rules has the SEC finalized that actually accommodate the existing regulatory framework and are specifically for the digital asset industry so that the crypto market can come into compliance? The answer is zero.

Before the hearing, lawmakers dropped an open letter criticizing the SEC for a lack of clear rules for crypto companies.

Gensler, who took the job in 2021, claims that most coins and tokens fall under the securities definition, but many claim that the body is overstepping its authority. These actions have some politicians—Republicans in particular—seething, with some claiming that the regulator’s crypto stance will stifle innovation in the U.S.”

See Also: Lack of Crypto Compliance Is SEC’s Fault, Say Republican Lawmakers Ahead of Hearing
See Also: US House committee chair repeatedly presses Gary Gensler: ‘Is Ether a commodity or a security?’
See Also: Crypto Companies May Use a Supreme Court Doctrine to Push Back Against SEC: Lawyer

“Anything is on the table, including relocating. I think the U.S. has the potential to be an important market for crypto, but right now we are not seeing that regulatory clarity that we need.

Coinbase received a Wells Notice from the SEC in March. Armstrong said Coinbase had met with the SEC “30 times” without getting feedback regarding the nature of its business before receiving the notice. He said there’s a lack of distinction or nuance in how regulators view the different arms of the cryptocurrency industry. Exchanges like Coinbase should be regulated like financial services companies, whereas the decentralized areas of the industry should be handled very differently because there is no central authority to regulate.

Armstrong compared the U.K. situation, where there is only one regulator – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – responsible for both commodities and securities. Armstrong also spoke of decentralized identity as one of the most compelling use cases for blockchain technology beyond cryptocurrency.

Decentralized social media is on the horizon. I think that’s pretty important in terms of freedom of speech.

Earlier this year, Coinbase unveiled Base, an Ethereum layer 2 network upon which developers can build decentralized apps (dapps), sending a signal it wants to go beyond the trading of digital assets and into developing and expanding the broader uses of blockchain technology.”

See Also: UK ‘Moving Fast’ on Crypto Regulations, Says Coinbase CEO

“Over 1 million ETH has been withdrawn since the Shapella hard fork on April 12. However, a significant number of addresses have restaked their ETH. The majority of the validators are restaking their unlocked Ether.

Data from the on-chain analytics firm Nansen suggests that more ETH is currently being staked than withdrawn. As of April 17, the ETH staking volume of 124,000 ETH exceeded the withdrawal volume of 64,800 ETH for the first time. In the last 24 hours, the amount of staked ETH was 94,968 against 27,076 in withdrawals.”

See Also: Rocket Pool Made It Cheaper to Stake ETH Through Its Platform Following Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade

“Cubist, a platform that uses bank-grade hardware to manage the keys that control digital assets, has launched a service aimed at institutional blockchain staking providers, timed to coincide with the arrival of staking deposits and withdrawals on Ethereum.

Cubist’s approach is to store staking keys in hardware security modules (HSM), physical computing devices that carry out digital signatures and can provide evidence if tampered with.

HSMs are the gold standard in the banking industry, and for a good reason. Conceptually an HSM means your key is bound to a physical object.

The firm’s founding team of professors in cryptography from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California San Diego have sought to replace the current array of cobbled-together and counterintuitive solutions that risk raw keys being exposed while signing transactions.

Cubist, which recently raised a $7 million seed round, also announced that Web3 staking provider Ankr is its first key management customer.”

See Also: Blockdaemon Sets Sights on Large Institutions With New Wallet App
See Also: LI.FI and InsurAce Pitch Protection for Moving Crypto Between

“United States Federal Reserve Board governor Michelle Bowman spoke at Georgetown University on April 18 to “offer a perspective” on central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Bowman expressed doubt about the need for a CBDC to improve the payment system or its ability to enhance financial inclusion in the United States. She saw the programmability of a CBDC as a ‘stark contrast to the flexibility and freedom embedded in physical currency or bank deposits‘ that could be misused.

There is also a risk that this type of control could lead to the politicization of the payments system and at its heart, how money is used. A CBDC that permitted this type of control […] Could also threaten the Federal Reserve’s independence.

It is difficult to imagine a world where the tradeoffs between benefits and unintended consequences could justify a direct access CBDC for uses beyond interbank and wholesale transactions.”

See Also: Hong Kong’s Central Bank Digital Currency Could Be on Permissioned Blockchain: Source

The former U.S. president announced Tuesday the release of a “Series 2” of his NFT collection Trump Digital Trading Cards. Upon the news of the upcoming collection, the floor price of the original collection on secondary market OpenSea fell from nearly 0.4 ETH, or $840 to 0.2 ETH, or $420 – losing half of its value.

While the tokens will be minted on the Polygon blockchain and remain at their original mint price of $99, the art, rarity traits and utility features will differ from the first collection. No 10 tokens will have the same features. Rather than a sweepstakes, collectors who purchase 47 tokens can claim a dinner with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Collectors who purchase 100 tokens with a cryptocurrency will earn the dinner and a unique Trump-themed artwork.”

18 April

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee published a draft version of a potential landmark stablecoin bill, with proposals including a moratorium on stablecoins backed by other cryptocurrencies and a request to study a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The moratorium on stablecoins like UST would last until a study can be conducted.

A House Financial Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on stablecoins on Wednesday, featuring Dante Disparte from Circle Internet Financial, which issues USDC; the Blockchain Association’s Jake Chervinsky; Columbia Professor Austin Campbell and New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne Harris.

That hearing will come a day after the full Financial Services Committee meets to hear from Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler.”

See Also: U.S. Congress to Tackle SEC Oversight, Stablecoin Legislation
See Also: Stablecoins Gain Traction as Inflationary Shield in Latin America With Growth in Europe
See Also: Centralized Stablecoins Are Problematic. Is a Decentralized Alternative on the Way?

“Derivatives marketplace Chicago Mercantile Exchange is adding to its cryptocurrency offerings with daily expirations for bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) futures options contracts.

CME’s bitcoin and ether futures and options had a record daily average volume of more than $3 billion in the first quarter, the firm said.”

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that crypto exchange Bittrex simultaneously operated a national securities exchange, broker and clearing agency in violation of federal statutes. Former CEO Bill Shihara and Bittrex Global GmbH are also facing charges. Bittrex [also] worked with crypto issuers to “delete … ‘problematic statements'” that the SEC would investigate, the regulator said in a press release Monday, including price predictions and statements implying an “expectation of profit.”

According to the complaint against Bittrex, the SEC alleges omise go (OMG), algorand (ALGO), dash (DASH), tokencard (TKN), i-house token (IHT) and naga (NGC) are securities.

SEC Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal said the lawsuit against Bittrex ‘should send a message to other non-compliant crypto market intermediaries.’

The SEC’s suit is reminiscent of a recent action against Beaxy, a company that settled similar charges, and is suggestive of the charges it may bring against Coinbase (COIN), the largest exchange in the U.S., which received a Wells Notice last month.

General counsel David Maria told the Wall Street Journal that Bittrex would fight the suit unless the SEC provided a ‘reasonable settlement offer.’

See Also: Rep. Davidson to introduce legislation to fire SEC boss Gensler for crypto overreach
See Also: What DeFi Must Sacrifice to Appease Regulators

“As a result of the government’s progressive crypto approach, nearly 80 cryptocurrency firms have shown interest in opening or expanding their business in the city. Hong Kong’s push to become a crypto hub has opened an opportunity for not just crypto companies but many state-affiliated banks in China.

Along with providing account services to cryptocurrency businesses, these banks will serve as settlement banks to enable token deposits at authorized exchanges to be withdrawn in Hong Kong dollars, Chinese yuan and U.S. dollars. Besides onboarding crypto companies and opening bank accounts for regulated firms, the Chinese government-backed CPIC Investment Management launched two crypto funds. CPIC is the second-largest insurance firm in mainland China.

China’s growing interest in crypto via Hong Kong has surprised many in the crypto ecosystem.”

See Also: Bhutan’s sovereign investment arm quietly invests millions in crypto: Report

The cryptocurrency seems to be mirroring its performance in first-half 2019, when it more than tripled in valuation after a yearlong bear market, according to Vetle Lunde, a senior analyst at K33 Research. The drop and subsequent recovery are analogous to the pattern seen in the 2018-19 bear market in terms of length and trajectory, according to Lunde.

Bottoms in both cycles lasted for approximately 370 days. And the peak-to-trough return after 510 days of both cycles reached 60%. While history is far from likely to repeat in a similar fashion if the fractal were to continue – BTC would peak around May 20 at $45,000.”

See Also: Ether’s Strong Price Action May Continue Until End of Month: Coinbase
See Also: Bitcoin Sinks Below $30K Amid Dollar Jump, Mixed Q1 Earnings

To build Twitter into anything like WeChat, Musk would have to rebuild Twitter – and essentially every service that’s been built on the internet since 2004 because Big Tech’s “walled gardens” do not always communicate.

The only way to actually build a super app is with decentralized applications, also known as dapps. Developers on the decentralized Web benefit not only from composable software functions, i.e., blocks of code that are easy to integrate into other open-source projects, but also composable network effects. That is the aggregate value that participants add to a network, which can be snapped in like a Lego piece.

Ethereum has built infrastructure that supports this kind of composability among Ethereum dapps. Ethereum dapps can tap into Uniswap’s contracts for liquidity or call Aragon’s contracts for on-chain governance. No negotiation is required.

This is a feature of the decentralized Web that might be called composable network effects. In today’s applications, it often takes the form of liquidity, i.e., networks of buyers and sellers. But composable network effects exist at every layer of Web3.

This isn’t to suggest that anyone should try to build so-called super apps in Web3. It seems a little early for that. But this quality of composable network effects will continue to attract builders, and their work will eventually lead to applications that wouldn’t be possible on the internet of 2004.”

Erik Voorhees knows how to stop crypto’s biggest threat