Congress Decides Crypto Regulation, Not The US SEC – Blockchain Association

According to the policy expert of the Blockchain Association, Jake Chervinsky, financial regulators in the United States have made efforts to enforce cryptocurrency regulations. However, they are bound by legal constraints because the ultimate authority to decide on crypto regulations lies with Congress.

Chervinsky Questions The Power Of The CFTC And SEC 

Chervinsky recently took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the current state of crypto policy in a lengthy thread. He pointed out that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) do not possess the power to regulate cryptocurrency comprehensively.

According to Chervinsky, it is uncertain if the Senate Democrats and House Republicans will reach a compromise on crypto legislation. This is due to the ideological division between them.

In his criticism, Chervinsky accused the CFTC and SEC of exceeding their jurisdictional boundaries by trying to “make progress” on their own. He noted that they have refused to seek approval from Congress.

Chervinsky urged the crypto industry to stay calm despite the recent wave of actions from the SEC, the crypto sector’s “top opponent.” He cited the agency’s efforts against staking services as an instance.

Furthermore, Chervinsky proposed that the crypto industry can advocate for positive policy changes by pursuing legal action. He highlighted the significant role of the judiciary in shaping policies that have been previously disregarded.

Coinbase CEO Ready To Defend Staking Offerings In Court

Meanwhile, Coinbase exchange is allegedly under SEC investigation for issues relating to crypto staking. Brian Armstrong, the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, has adopted a firm position, asserting that eliminating cryptocurrency staking would have dire consequences for the country.

In a tweet, Armstrong maintained that Coinbase’s staking offerings are not securities. He stated that he would defend this assertion in court if required.

Meanwhile, the judgments rendered by judges in pivotal cases establish legal precedents for upcoming issues. For instance, suppose a lawsuit was brought to court, and the judge declared that Coinbase’s staking services were not securities. Other crypto entities can employ such verdict as a defense in comparable situations.

In other news, several lawmakers have attacked the SEC for its stance on crypto. During a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing, the US SEC and its chairman, Gary Gensler, faced criticism from numerous lawmakers.

Senator Tim Scott raised concerns about the agency’s vigilance, questioning whether it had been negligent in its duty. The lawmaker cited the numerous bankruptcies in the crypto industry that resulted in the loss of millions of user funds.

The post Congress Decides Crypto Regulation, Not The US SEC – Blockchain Association appeared first on Tokenhell.

Bitcoin Does Not Have Value – Peter Schiff

In a recent interview, Peter Schiff, a Bitcoin critic, spoke with Anthony Pompliano and reasserted his belief that Bitcoin lacks any intrinsic value. Schiff cited the absence of physical existence as the basis for his argument.

He stated that there is no distinction in utility between a solitary Bitcoin and multiple Bitcoins.

Schiff Argues That BTC Has No Genuine Value

According to Schiff, the incapability of BTC, regardless of the amount to be deployed for tangible purposes, means it does not have value. In the contemporary era, money exists primarily in digital form.

The fundamental contrast between Bitcoin and the conventional digital financial system lies in their respective levels of centralization. Bitcoin operates on a decentralized digital platform.

According to Schiff, terrible economic circumstances are looming, and many Bitcoin investors will have to liquidate their holdings to secure necessities such as food. The investment expert foresees widespread unemployment and anticipates inflationary issues, particularly concerning essential goods such as food.

Schiff believes Gold presents a viable substitute for traditional fiat currency and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Furthermore, Schiff theorizes that Gold will become an appealing option during the impending economic recession.

This is due to its historical usage as a medium of exchange and its physical value. Moreover, Gold has various applications in electronics, such as being utilized as a form of currency and for jewelry creation.

Competition For Bitcoin 

Meanwhile, the value of Gold has been increasing since 2000 when the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, sold a significant amount of Gold from the UK’s national reserves. This period represented the lowest bear market that commenced in 1980, followed by the peak of the gold craze in 1971.

On the other hand, fiat currency has experienced a significant decline in its purchasing power over the past ten years. The situation worsened when the government introduced stimulus initiatives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Therefore, Schiff contends that the developments that emerged in 2020 have yet to reach their culmination and that more inflation and economic frailty lie ahead. Also, the crypto critic identified the presence of numerous decentralized tokens as an additional hurdle for Bitcoin.

In contrast to Bitcoin’s early years, modern blockchains such as Ethereum offer a plethora of functionalities unavailable to Bitcoin. Schiff posits that the vast quantity of tokens, coupled with their perceived lack of intrinsic value, will pose a significant challenge for Bitcoin.

Also, it would affect the broader cryptocurrency industry during times of severe economic downturn.

The post Bitcoin Does Not Have Value – Peter Schiff appeared first on Tokenhell.

Despite Market Volatility, Singapore’s DBS Bank Records Rising BTC Transactions

The recent market volatility has not stopped Bitcoin trading from surging at Singapore’s DBS Bank. Despite the multitude of scandals and the sharp decline in prices, the Digital Exchange (DDEx) of the banking giant reported an 80% increase in trading volumes.

This result shows that investors are still bullish on the future of cryptocurrencies despite the current turbulence. According to a recent report, despite the recent decline in cryptocurrency value and industry scandals, Singapore’s DBS Bank has experienced a surge in Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes on its Digital Exchange (DDEx).

The bank saw an 80% increase in trade volume. Consequently, it also saw a rise in Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) held in its custody by over 60% and 100%, respectively.

Furthermore, DBS believes investors gravitate towards established and regulated platforms to enter the market after FTX and its affiliated entities collapse. To this end, DBS securely stores all digital assets in custody in a separate location inside the bank, employing institutional-grade cold wallet storage methods.

The bank conducts coin purity checks to ensure compliance with all relevant Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations for any digital assets that come into its custody. Lionel Lim, the CEO of the DBS Digital Exchange, pointed out that the market has started to pay more attention to trust and stability due to a series of scandals that have impacted the digital asset industry.

He emphasized that investors highly appreciate DBS’s unique benefits in securing gateways to enter the digital asset economy. Being a controlled digital exchange supported by the DBS, the platform delivers the reliability and stability that investors seek.

DBS’s Foray Into Crypto Trading Proves Successful 

Last September, DBS’ Digibank launched self-custody digital asset trading. Since then, the bank’s wealthy customers have completed over 90% of their transactions digitally.

DDEx will continue to be a members-only exchange that provides services to various categories of investors (institutional investors, family offices, and accredited investors). The exchange aims to offer exclusive services to a limited number of investors and ensure they have access to cutting-edge cryptocurrency trading services that meet their specific investment needs.

Lim noted a surge of interest from corporate clients in 2022. The company is actively working on converting several inquiries into STOs.

Meanwhile, DDEx announced plans to explore potential opportunities for high-quality listings in 2023, driven by its corporate clients’ growing interest in Security Token Offering (STO). The increasing demand for crypto trading on the DDEx is a positive sign for the industry.

It shows that despite the recent market volatility and scandals, cryptocurrency still has massive potential.

The post Despite Market Volatility, Singapore’s DBS Bank Records Rising BTC Transactions appeared first on Tokenhell.

Swiss-Based Digital Asset Firm Taurus Secures $65M In Series B Funding Led By Credit Suisse

The Switzerland-based digital asset solutions provider, Taurus SA, is reported to have raised $65 million in a Series B funding phase. The company provides digital services to financial institutions in Europe.

Landing The Series B Funding

The latest funding round comes almost three years after Taurus raised $11 million in Series A funding, with the Series B starting in May 2022 and closing earlier in February 2023. Credit Suisse, which led the latest financing round, is Switzerland’s second-biggest financial institution by assets.

Also included in the financing is Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, Pictet Group, one of Switzerland’s oldest private banks, and Lebanese tech-focused venture capitalist, Cedar Mundi Ventures. Furthermore, Taurus added that its existing investors, like Arab Bank Switzerland and Investis, a Swiss real estate firm, were also part of the Series B funding round.

According to Taurus, the Swiss financial watchdog, FINMA, has approved the funding partnership. Four of Taurus’ co-founders, Lamine Brahimi, Oren-Olivier Puder, Jean-Philippe Aumasson and Sebastien Dessimoz, still maintain their status as the company’s largest shareholders following the new funding round.

Credit Suisse’s Role

As one of the leading banks in the country, Credit Suisse’s role in the current investment is notable because the bank has yet to make a significant investment in the crypto industry like others. Fnality, AlgoTrader and FundsDLT are the only crypto-based entities to have seen significant investments from the Swiss bank.

Commenting on why the bank invested in Taurus, the spokesperson stated that the firm has a reputation and expertise in providing digital asset services to institutional players. Hence, Credit Suisse is focused on custody service and tokenization, which would help expose the bank’s clients to cryptocurrency.

Furthermore, the spokesperson revealed that using distributed ledger technology (DLT) features could help boost the efficiency of the traditional finance system, which was not possible in the past or was expensive to adopt.

Credit Suisse and Taurus have had a working relationship for close to two years, as disclosed by the spokesperson. The bank has undertaken numerous projects with Taurus as a partner and has launched multiple initiatives on working with different crypto asset classes.

Growing Institutional Clients

According to Sebastien Dessimoz, one of Taurus’s key shareholders, the world of traditional finance is steadily merging with digital assets. It implies that more financial institutions will enter crypto in the coming years.

Taurus is reportedly servicing more than 25 institutional clients, and the firm has witnessed significant expansion as the years pass by, added Dessimoz. The firm’s market share in Switzerland is around 50% to 60%, and expansion plans are on the way to ensure Taurus has a presence in Paris and Dubai, Dessimoz said.

In addition, the company also plans to begin operations in Southeast Asia and the Americas. Due to the ongoing expansion spree, Taurus is looking to add more talent by increasing its headcount from 60 to 100 workforce before the end of the year.

The post Swiss-Based Digital Asset Firm Taurus Secures $65M In Series B Funding Led By Credit Suisse appeared first on Tokenhell.

US Senators Criticize SEC Over Hostile Approach To Crypto Industry

An excerpt shared by Twitter user @801_XRP from a recent meeting by the US Senate Banking Committee on its hearing of the crypto crash shows some lawmakers have expressed concerns over the regulatory issues in the sector.

The committee members stated that the SEC has yet to properly oversee the crypto space as investors lose billions of dollars.

Using Hostile Attempts To Enforce Laws

The tweet by the XRP enthusiast features video extracts showing two committee members, Senator Thom Tillis (from North Carolina) and Senator Tim Scott (from South Carolina), discussing the lack of regulation in the crypto industry. The lawmakers spoke about the absence of rules which has become the most critical issue.

They referenced the crash of several crypto exchanges and billions of dollars lost by investors. In particular, the senators mentioned the aggressive approach employed by Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in his attempts to regulate the digital asset space.

They also discussed other topical issues, such as stablecoin regulation and whether the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) should collaborate in their oversight functions. According to Senator Scott, the regulatory agencies in the United States have succeeded in disrupting the crypto space in their attempts to ensure compliance.

The committee revealed that it had been flooded with calls to provide the necessary suggestions for regulatory watchdogs to have the right tools to supervise the sector. Senator Scott further regretted the absence of the SEC chair during the latest hearing and said that the committee would like him to testify before September.

Disagreeing With SEC’s Method

According to Senator Scott, the regulators have already permitted business in the crypto space without providing the players with the appropriate guidelines. As a result, there have been massive failures in the sector which the appropriate committee must address.

Scott added that had the SEC provided the proper regulations aside from its aggressive approach to enforcing rules, the massive crashes that occurred last year involving Celsius, BlockFi, Terra Luna, FTX, and others could have been avoided.

For his part, Senator Tillis stated his concern is over Gary Gensler’s method of regulating the crypto ecosystem. He added that Gensler must not think he has full authority to implement a regulatory framework without involving the sector’s and the legislature’s participants.

According to him, the SEC chair has been moving too fast and has made expensive mistakes in implementing rules. Tillis believes the US Congress would step in and establish a regulatory basis for the digital asset industry.

Thus, both Senators call on Congress to make a move toward ensuring that a comprehensive guideline is enacted for the sector. Many industry players have accused the SEC of its high-handedness in enforcing regulations, citing its long-running court battle with Ripple Labs.

The post US Senators Criticize SEC Over Hostile Approach To Crypto Industry appeared first on Tokenhell.

Review Your Bitcoin Exposure – IMF Warns El Salvador; Crypto Community Kicks

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), after a recent visit to the South American nation of El Salvador, wants the country to review its continued exposure to cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin. However, the crypto community had none of it and called out the global monetary body.

Their several messages showed their disapproval of the IMF’s suggestions.

Kicking Against IMF’s Suggestions

According to some of the community responses, the global financial organization’s suggestions come off as spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and that the IMF is attempting to stop El Salvador from moving on with its Bitcoin plans.

Interestingly, a community member tweeted that the IMF is trying to scare other countries from following the path of El Salvador. However, the member urged other countries to adopt Bitcoin and close down their central banks.

According to reports, the IMF believes that El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption has not materialized and that there is a need for the country to address the risks. However, despite the crypto bear market and inspired by El Salvador’s resilience, many nations are beginning to follow the path of the South American country.

They are implementing Bitcoin-friendly policies to ensure its use. In November 2022, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved legislation recognizing cryptocurrencies as a payment method.

This lawmakers’ approval was followed by the bill’s December 22 presidential approval and will be enacted before the third quarter of this year. Unlike El Salvador, Brazilian law did not recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender but as a means of payment for goods and services.

Furthermore, another crypto enthusiast has called out the policy inconsistency of the IMF by citing the organization’s acknowledgment of El Salvador’s GDP growth potential and its suggestion that the country gives up its Bitcoin policy because of economic risks.

Similarly, another commenter described the actions of the IMF as fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The community member noted that Bitcoin would continue to grow regardless of the organization’s predictions.

Notably, another community member pointed out that this might be the beginning of a bull rally for Bitcoin. At the same time, another explained that IMF has started to lose its grip on developing countries due to continued Bitcoin adoption.

The Bitcoin Plan

Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, continues to reiterate his drive to make Bitcoin a central focus of his economic revival for the country. Last November, the president revealed his moves to purchase one BTC per day.

Moreover, El Salvador unveiled a legal initiative last month to establish a Bitcoin-backed bond dubbed “Volcano Bond.” The bond will reportedly be used to settle sovereign debt and fund the development of a crypto project named “Bitcoin City.”

Since the start of the year, the Bitcoin network has recorded numerous developments. On February 14, the token’s average block size attained a new all-time high for the first time in weeks.

Amid the increasing inflation affecting fiat currency, the Bitcoin ecosystem has evolved from strength to strength.

The post Review Your Bitcoin Exposure – IMF Warns El Salvador; Crypto Community Kicks appeared first on Tokenhell.

Marathon Digital Ditches HODL Tactics; Cashes Out On BTC After 2 Years

It has been a long time since Marathon Digital Holdings has been in the crypto space. The company recently made the news with its decision to sell 1,500 BTC in January.

This decision to sell these coins comes after more than two years of maintaining their HODL strategy of not selling mined BTCs. The HODL strategy, an acronym for ‘hold on for dear life,’ is a popular strategy among crypto enthusiasts who choose to hold onto their coins for long periods and maximize their profits.

At the start of 2023, Marathon recorded a substantial rise in BTC mining, producing 687 BTC in January, compared to 475 BTC in December 2022. Chairman and CEO Fred Thiel attributed the gains to the “team’s ability to work in sync” with the new hosting provider in McCamey, Texas.

He highlighted the improvements in operational efficiency and the steps taken to secure their financial status as the reasons behind the firm’s successful performance. Due to the slight surge in Bitcoin prices at the start of the year, Marathon chose to sell 1,500 BTC from its holdings to secure operational funds for corporate purposes.

This is the first time in two years that the company has liquidated part of its resources, allowing it to remain financially sound and continue to invest in its core business. The proceeds from the sale will be used to ensure Marathon’s long-term success.

Marathon has 11,418 BTC, with unrestricted access to 8,090 BTC (roughly equivalent to $190 million at current rates). Additionally, the firm held $133.8 million in free cash at the end of the month.

The firm strives to maximize its mining proficiency throughout 2023 with a target of around 23 exahashes of computing power by July this year. The team is confident that it will transform Marathon into one of the world’s leading Bitcoin mining companies.

Since it debuted on Nasdaq in 2013, MARA’s shares have surged impressively, especially in the past month. The stock now trades at roughly $8, representing an increase of 135% since the start of the year.

Interest In Compute North 

In December last year, there were reports that Marathon was considering purchasing Compute North Holdings, a troubled crypto data center. To look into the matter further, Marathon sought the help of professionals and consulted Guggenheim Partners and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Compute North is a significant hosting service provider for Marathon, with 68,000 Bitcoin mining machines in their Texas-based wind-powered facility in the third quarter of 2022. Unfortunately, 40,000 of the units were left idle due to legal issues.

In September 2022, Compute North declared bankruptcy. The filing revealed that Marathon’s total exposure to the venture was an estimated $80 million. Unfortunately, this is a massive financial loss for Marathon and a stark reminder of the potential risks involved in investing in highly speculative projects.

The post Marathon Digital Ditches HODL Tactics; Cashes Out On BTC After 2 Years appeared first on Tokenhell.