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Gary Gensler is now head of the SEC. What comes next?

Predicting the SEC’s next few years based on Gensler’s track record with crypto and elsewhere.

The post Gary Gensler is now head of the SEC. What comes next? appeared first on The Block.

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As The Block reported last week, Gary Gensler is now chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after being sworn into office.

Now at the helm of the agency that governs trading at the largest stock markets in the world, Gensler will obviously play a key role in the Biden administration’s oversight of the U.S. financial services sector. His ascent to office comes during what might be called a period of heightened scrutiny, a state of affairs that came in the wake of controversy over the GameStop stock craze and the role of platforms like Robinhood and firms such as Citadel Securities, which play significant yet publicly invisible roles in the proverbial engine room of Wall Street. As Congress scrutinizing activities like naked short selling and payment for order flow, Gensler’s agency comes into view — particularly as the Biden administration seeks to take a potentially different tack compared to the Trump years. 

It’s worth recalling that Gensler’s last public-sector role was leading the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Barack Obama, enforcing the then-new Dodd-Frank Act in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis.

But what does Gensler’s new job — and the specific issues he faces — portend for the world of crypto? 

Answering the above question is tough. It’s a subject that the crypto industry has been mulling over since Gensler’s name came up among Biden’s potential picks for the incoming financial regulation team.

As noted by The Block’s Mike Orcutt, Gensler brings to the table a deep knowledge base of the U.S. payments system. His outlook on blockchain technology as a whole seems to center around innovation in payments, given his past comments including those during a Senate confirmation hearing in early March.

According to Gensler, “these innovations have been a catalyst for change. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have brought new thinking to payments and financial inclusion, but they’ve also raised new issues of investor protection that we still need to attend to.”

That knowledge base may come in handy when Gensler next appears before Congress, where he’ll undoubtedly be asked about the agency’s tack on crypto — including by those with a less-than-nuanced viewpoint on the technology and its applications. So, “education” — a word that industry stakeholders, lobbyists and even members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus itself have used to paint their mission — could come into play for the former MIT professor

Perhaps a more immediate consideration is the fact that Gensler will serve alongside Commissioner Hester Peirce, who has advocated for a more permissive U.S. regulatory stance for digital assets. Last week, Peirce went public with an updated version of her so-called token safe harbor proposal. 

When reached for comment about the timing of Gensler taking office and her proposal update, she told The Block:

“To kick-start the conversation, I proposed an updated version of my token safe harbor proposal yesterday that provides enhanced token purchaser protections and improved clarity for how tokens could be deemed non-securities.”

And when asked about Gensler’s confirmation, Peirce expressed hope that he will support her stated goal of providing more regulatory clarity for the crypto industry.

“I look forward to working with Chairman Gensler on the many issues facing the Commission, including crypto matters. I am hopeful that he will recognize the need to foster innovation and bring greater regulatory certainty to crypto,” she told The Block. 

Yet Gensler is no crypto advocate, certainly relative to Peirce, who is in favor of reducing regulation writ large. In a 2019 conversation between the two at the MIT Bitcoin Expo, the two alluded to debates during Peirce’s time working for Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Gensler’s time at the CFTC. “You won a lot of those battles, I have to say. Which is why we have such a big rulebook,” Peirce joked.

“We did have that little thing called the financial crisis, y’know, 10 million people lost their jobs,” Gensler responded.  

But despite a difference in views on the relative merits of “more” and “less” regulation, there are clearly many areas of overlapping interest — should the two find alignment on crypto issues, Gensler’s term in office could lead to the sort of clarity currently sought by the U.S.-based crypto industry. Where he falls on specific proposals like the token safe harbor remains to be seen.

Still, Gensler isn’t going to upend the SEC’s positions on initial coin offerings. He has gone on the record, including in his lectures while teaching at MIT in 2018, in saying that he considered XRP to be a security issued by Ripple. Those comments are likely to be top of mind for those hoping Gensler will, for example, intercede in the agency’s ongoing lawsuit against distributed ledger company Ripple, which was sued by the SEC last year for allegedly selling XRP in unregistered securities offerings.

The safe harbor proposal is different, as it aims to establish thresholds for registration of new token issuances below those of securities, provided those tokens can demonstrate sufficient decentralization after a time. It’s perhaps easy to imagine that Gensler would have different ideas about those thresholds, but it’s still a means of accountability for projects, which he could support. Peirce, at least, is pushing for the proposal to succeed as a major part of her policy portfolio.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Source: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/101668/gary-gensler-sec-what-comes-next?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Blockchain

Bitwise Launches Crypto Industry Innovators ETF

Bitwise has announced the launch of its ‘Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF” (BITQ) that offers investors exposure to companies in the crypto sector.

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Crypto asset management firm Bitwise has announced the launch of its Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ) that offers investors exposure to companies in the cryptocurrency sector. The Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF is already live on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker BITQ. The index captures the companies engaged in the crypto sector and has at least $100 million of liquid digital assets on their balance sheet.

Bitwise Launches Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ)

Asset management firm Bitwise has designed a Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ) focused on thirty companies in the crypto market with at least $100M of liquid crypto assets on the balance sheet.

READ  Enjin Coin Became First Authorised Gaming Crypto by JVCEA

Also, these companies must have 75% of income derived from cryptocurrencies or have 75% of their net assets in crypto.

In the announcement release, Matt Hougan, CIO of Bitwise, said:

“Like e-commerce and mobile before it, crypto is a disruptive technology creating massive opportunities for new companies to emerge as winners. Until recently, most great crypto innovators were private companies, but that’s changing rapidly. Today, there’s a growing set of public companies capitalizing on crypto, and more to come. BITQ aims to identify these businesses and give investors access.”

Previously, Bitwise applied with the SEC to launch such a fund, but the firm withdrew its application from the regulatory agency earlier this year.

Hunter Horsley, CEO of Bitwise, says that BITQ aims to make crypto investment opportunities available through traditional investing platforms:

READ  Bitcoin Price Will Rally To $100,000: Binance CSO

“With BITQ, our aim is to make crypto investment opportunities available through traditional investing platforms and a familiar, liquid, and cost-effective ETF. We are thrilled to see this space continue to grow as investors increasingly gravitate toward this transformative asset class.”

Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund Available to Investors on OTC Market

With over $1.5 billion in assets under management, the firm has previously launched a number of crypto index funds, including a DeFi index. Currently, Bitwise sponsors over five other crypto-related funds namely, Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund, Bitwise DeFi Crypto Index Fund, Bitwise Bitcoin Fund, Bitwise Ethereum Fund, and Bitwise 10 Index Offshore Fund.

Most are private placements available only to accredited investors but the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund is made available to all investors on the OTC market.

READ  Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) Unconfirmed Transactions (Mempool) Spike

#BITQ #Bitwise #Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF

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Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/bitwise-launches-crypto-industry-innovators-etf

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Hong Kong in Talks with China to Stretch Cross-Border Testing of Digital Yuan

After the successful proceeding of the first phase of the testing of the Digital Yuan, Hong Kong is in talks with China to stretch its cross-border testing.

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After the successful proceeding of the first phase of the testing of the Digital Yuan, Hong Kong is in talks with China to stretch its cross-border testing. This has marked yet another step toward wider adoption of the currency.

Hong Kong to Stretch Testing of Digital Yuan to China

The Monetary Authority of Hong Kong has recently conducted tests with the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China.

In addition to this, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in an e-mailed response to the questions asked that it involved a bank designated by the mainland authority, as well as the merchants and bank staff.

The e-mailed response said:

“We have tested the use of the related app, system connectivity, and certain use cases such as cross-boundary purchases.” 

Along with this, the statement said:

“We are discussing and collaborating with the PBOC on the next phase of technical testing, including the feasibility of broadening and deepening the use of e-CNY for cross-boundary payments.”

Also, it should be known that the People’s Bank of China is pretty ahead of other major central banks in the development of its own digital currency.

The bank is looking forward to replacing cash and maintaining control over a payments landscape that has become increasingly dominated by technology companies not regulated like banks.

Payment Infrastructure Underpinning e-CNY can Address Substantial Portion of Cost Base

As revealed in the report released on Wednesday by Oliver Wyman, the usage of the Digital Yuan in Hong Kong could lead to a much faster and cheaper cross-border payment and clearing process. 

Michael Ho, the Principal of Financial Services at Oliver Wyman and Co-Author of the report said:

“If the payment infrastructure underpinning e-CNY were to roll out for cross-border payments at scale, we believe it can address a substantial portion of this cost base.”

China could promote the overseas use of digital yuan starting with the Greater Bay Area, a massive urban cluster that includes Shenzhen, Macau, and Hong Kong.

READ  Diginex Introduces EQUOS.io In Singapore To Start Derivative Product Trading

#Cross-border transactions #Digital Yuan #Hong Kong

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Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/hong-kong-in-talks-with-china-to-stretch-cross-border-testing-of-digital-yuan

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Identity Platform Acuant Partners with Blockchain Analysis Firm Chainalysis

It has been revealed that the identity platform for fraud prevention and Anti-Money Laundering compliance, Acuant has partnered with Chainalysis.

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In a recent announcement, it has been revealed that the identity platform for fraud prevention and Anti-Money Laundering compliance, Acuant has partnered with Chainalysis. The recent partnership between the AML compliance and the blockchain analysis company is meant to assist financial institutions with AML solutions.

Acuant Partners Chainalysis to Provide AML Solutions

The partnership between Chainalysis and Acuant will be helping in assisting the cryptocurrency businesses assess risk, safeguard them against illegal transactions, automate workflows, and protect their reputations with Anti-Money Laundering solutions.

In addition to this, it should be known that the customers of both partners, Acuant and Chainalysis, will now be able to leverage both the platforms via the interface provided by Acuant to manage transactions that are indicative of higher risk.

The customers will be provided with access to Chainalysis Know Your Transactions (KYT) as well as Chainalysis Reactor, their graphical investigative software

Talking further about the investigative software, it can be utilized to follow the flow of funds across the blockchain for investigations.

The amalgamation of the Chainalysis Know Your Transactions and Acuant integrates a data set of thousands of services with the solutions that help to review both the fiat and crypto transactions.

The Integration of Identity Platform and Blockchain Analysis Firm

Well, along with this, the integration will be helping in detecting any kind of suspicious activities, manage the investigations, and moreover, file the suspicious activity reports (SARs).

The real-time alerts on the highest-risk activity will be allowing the compliance teams to target the most urgent activity and following that, fulfill the regulatory obligations to report the transactions that are suspicious.

Jose Caldera, the Chief Product Officer at Acuant said:

“Our partnership with Chainalysis will further augment our support to the cryptocurrency industry. This partnership is bringing together and integrating the top Anti-Money Laundering solutions in the marketplace today. We look forward to working with Chainalysis to strengthen our platform and to continue to be a leading solutions provider in the crypto space.” 

READ  Bitcoin PARABOLIC!! | $9,500 Next Stop?? | Bitcoin Maximalism Vs. Altcoin Hype | BTC On Excel

#Acuant #Blockchain #Chainalysis

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Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/identity-platform-acuant-partners-with-blockchain-analysis-firm-chainalysis

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BIC’s Video News Show: Bitcoin Cash

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In this episode of the BeInCrypto video news show, host Jessica Walker will look at bitcoin cash (BCH). The coin has returned to the top ten in market cap, due to an anticipated upgrade, its pairing with ethereum (ETH), as well as the increased use of CashFusion. We’ll also take a look at its recent price movements.

Bitcoin Cash is Back in the Top 10 Cryptos! Is it There to Stay?

Bitcoin cash back in top ten

Bitcoin cash has been gaining a lot in the past several weeks. It currently sits at the tenth place on CoinMarketCap’s top cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization. It is a regular on the list and it seems to be going up because of investors looking for the next “boom-coin.” By sharing a name with mainstay bitcoin (BTC), it’s basking in the glory of its more popular namesake. But what are some other reasons for BCH’s return to the top ten?

May 15th upgrade

Perhaps the most important thing on BCH holders calendar is the upgrade that will happen on May 15. Most of the changes are aimed at improving the experience of users and merchants when using BCH to make payments. This will hopefully provide another incentive for adoption.

Another upgrade that stands out to us is the removal of the unconfirmed chained transaction limit. This will allow users to do more than 50 chained unconfirmed transactions at a time. This was a highly requested feature for a long time. In particular, by gambling sites and other high volume, quick transaction apps that relied on BCH for payment. 

BCH and Ethereum

Another interesting development around BCH is its pairing with Ethereum. This will happen through the SmartBCH sidechain, which was announced last Thursday. 

In an interview with bitcoin.com, the Smart Bitcoin Cash team lead explained that developers and decentralized app makers can now experiment and develop with the sidechain, which is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. This seems to have already provoked some interest. 

The Coinflex exchange team has begun running tests with setting up a decentralized exchange and creating tokens. If successful, the sidechain could become a platform for expanding the user base of bitcoin cash and grow its ecosystem. 

CashFusion

CashFusion has also been mentioned quite a lot this week. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, CashFusion is a service that provides privacy for bitcoin cash. Described simply, it lets wallets help each other blend into the crowd and keep prying eyes away. 

Reports have indicated that since CashFusion was introduced in November 2019, there have been more than 67,000 fusions or almost $6 billion worth of BCH using today’s exchange rates. This could be another sign of the popularity of bitcoin cash, which has largely gone under the radar in recent months.

Technical analysis

A quick chart analysis shows us that we are close to a high from May 2018, which was around $1,850 dollars. Right now, we seem to be on track to reach and test that level. But a correction and retest of $1,228 on the downside are also possible, although that level did hold several days ago. 

Source:TradingView

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/bics-video-news-show-bitcoin-cash/

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