For what is traditionally a quiet news week, there sure is a lot happening in crypto.
Jay Clayton ended his term as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair with a bang last week, filing a major lawsuit against Ripple in his final act (more on that below). Now, SEC Commissioner , who is widely considered an ally of the crypto community, is set to fill the vacant position.
On Friday, Turkey's chief central banker announced the country will begin a previously undisclosed digital currency in the second half of 2021. The surprise move would place Turkey among the handful of countries that are already in advanced stages of CBDC experimentation. In other CBDC news, Russia Today quoted an official from the Central Bank of Russia saying that the development of digital currencies may challenge the SWIFT international banking payment system and could eventually make it .
And finally, another day and another all-time high for Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency continues its record-breaking tear, briefly piercing $28k yesterday before settling to $27.6k at the time of writing. With 2020 now drawing to a close, the crypto community joins in hoping to ring in the new year at $30k. 🥂
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs and two of its executives claiming that the company, which offers the XRP cryptocurrency, illegally sold unregistered securities. Immediately following the news, the value of XRP plunged by more than 25%.
Ripple’s troubles continued as exchanges started to delist Ripple, with Bitstamp becoming the first major exchange to take action as a result of the lawsuit by halting XRP trading and deposits for all US customers as of January 8, 2021. Swiss cryptoasset manager 21Shares, formerly known as Amun, also removed XRP from its exchange-traded products (ETPs).
Despite an ongoing pandemic, a new report by The Block examining cryptocurrency financing and M&A activity in 2020, claims crypto retained steady venture funding throughout 2020. Total funding saw approximately $3.1bn in financing volume over a span of 774 transactions.
There were also 83 mergers and acquisitions this year, totalling $691m in volume - a 28% increase year-over-year and the highest M&A transactional volume ever.
Ahead of the launch of Facebook's Libra project in January, the White House has released an assessment on regulatory considerations for stablecoins.
The President's Working Group on Financial Markets, which conducted the assessment, warns that broad regulatory oversight of stablecoins is forthcoming. In addition to highlighting the importance of AML and KYC verification among all parties (even unhosted wallets), the report also mentions stablecoin issuers should be able to comply with sanctions obligations, as well as have the ability to enable one-to-one redemptions.
It remains unclear how algorithmic stablecoins like Empty Set Dollar (ESD) and crypto-backed stablecoins like DAI which aren't backed with fiat currencies might be affected by the Working Group's suggestions.
The hacker that breached hardware wallet provider Ledger’s marketing database earlier this year has released personal data for thousands of users, prompting many to threaten the firm with a class-action lawsuit. According to the hardware wallet manufacturer’s own testimony, the e-commerce marketing database was breached on June 25, 2020.
We recently dropped a special Coppercasts episode filmed in Helsinki where we met with the smart, funny, and downright delightful Yichen Wu – CEO and co-founder of Tesseract Investment. The above Show & Tell segment sees Yichen outline some of the inefficiencies borrowers face in the crypto lending market, and how Tesseract and Copper are solving these issues.
In the longer conversation, he describes the trends he is seeing in institutional crypto borrowing and lending, why regulators are right to take a slow and prudent approach to crypto, nurturing the ‘shallow’ crypto talent pool, and why CrossFit is like airline food…
In an op-ed for the Association of Corporate Treasurers' magazine, our CFO writes that with institutional investors throwing more weight behind Bitcoin, corporate treasurers must double down on understanding this fast-evolving global asset class.
Subscribe today to receive these updates directly to your inbox every Monday morning.