Welcome to the AsicZ Weekly Wednesday Roundup for June 14th, 2023. In this edition, we bring you the latest developments in the crypto industry, including Crypto.com’s decision to shut down its institutional crypto exchange in the U.S., the safety assessment of crypto holdings in Binance.US and Coinbase amidst SEC lawsuits, proposed SEC reform legislation, and the significance of cryptocurrency in protecting against tyranny. Additionally, we delve into the uncertain future of legal American crypto exchanges, as well as the ongoing negotiations between the SEC and Binance.US to avoid a total asset freeze. Let’s dive into the details and stay informed!
Crypto.com, a Singapore-based company, has announced the closure of its institutional crypto exchange in the U.S. starting June 21. The decision is attributed to the “current market landscape” and “limited demand” for its services, likely influenced by recent SEC lawsuits targeting major crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase. However, Crypto.com’s retail trading app, including its regulated crypto derivatives product UpDown Options, will continue to operate. The company, known for its Visa debit cards and global user base of over 80 million, remains open to the possibility of reopening a U.S. crypto exchange in the future, pending regulatory conditions.
As the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeks to temporarily freeze assets tied to Binance.US, users of the cryptocurrency exchange are left pondering the security of their funds and whether to stay or withdraw. The level of risk a person is willing to tolerate becomes the determining factor, experts suggest. While Binance and Coinbase assure customers that their assets are secure, investor protection experts highlight the lack of safeguards and regulatory uncertainties in the crypto industry. As alternative options, individuals can consider diversifying across reputable exchanges, storing funds in offline wallets (cold storage) with caution, or exploring decentralized finance (DeFi), but each comes with its own set of risks.
In response to what they perceive as excessive regulatory actions against the cryptocurrency industry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), two Republican congressmen have introduced the SEC Stabilization Act, aiming to restructure the SEC and oust Chairman Gary Gensler. Warren Davidson and Tom Emmer criticize Gensler’s leadership and advocate for a decentralized SEC structure with increased oversight and clarity. The proposed legislation would empower commissioners like Hester Peirce and distribute rulemaking authority among them while implementing term limits. This move reflects ongoing tensions between the crypto industry and regulators, with critics calling for a more balanced and consistent approach to cryptocurrency oversight.
Lili Infante, a former “crypto cop” at the US Department of Justice, shares her perspective on the importance of cryptocurrency as a tool to protect against tyranny, despite witnessing its misuse in facilitating heinous crimes. Infante acknowledges the rise of crypto-enabled crime but emphasizes that the technology itself is not inherently bad; it is the individuals who exploit it for nefarious purposes. She highlights the potential of decentralized and trustless monetary systems to mitigate the devastating consequences of power struggles and resource competition. Infante’s commitment to defending cryptocurrency stems from her personal experience with authoritarian governments and a deep appreciation for the freedoms it affords.
The recent lawsuits filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against major crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase raise concerns about the possibility of operating a legal cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Coinbase, known as the industry’s goody-two-shoes, finds itself at the center of the SEC’s scrutiny, potentially jeopardizing the future of crypto exchanges in the country. If Coinbase, with its compliance measures and SEC permission, is deemed illegal, it raises questions about the feasibility of any other exchange operating legally. This article explores the implications and uncertainties surrounding the legal landscape for American crypto exchanges.
In an effort to protect customer funds and prevent a complete shutdown, Binance.US and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been ordered by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to negotiate a compromise. The SEC had filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against Binance.US, alleging that Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao had access to customer funds. The parties have been referred to a magistrate judge to work out a solution, with an update scheduled for June 15. Both Binance.US and Zhao deny mishandling funds, criticizing the SEC for creating an unnecessary emergency situation.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested a four-month extension to respond to Coinbase’s call for regulatory clarity in the cryptocurrency space. In a letter submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the SEC stated that it has not yet decided on the action to take regarding Coinbase’s petition for rulemaking, but dismissed Coinbase’s request for a writ of mandamus as having “no merit.” Coinbase’s chief legal officer criticized the SEC’s response, pointing out contradictory statements from SEC Chair Gary Gensler and the lack of commitment to a deadline despite the court’s order. The court’s order coincided with the SEC suing Coinbase for offering unregistered securities and operating an unregistered securities exchange.
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