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Global Markets Rebound as SEC Mounts Pressure on Crypto

Published 08/06/2023, 20:20
Updated 09/07/2023, 11:31
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US stocks rallied last week after the Senate passed a bipartisan deal to extend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling. 

At the same time, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics job report for May came in stronger than expected. 339,000 new jobs were created, exceeding Wall Street estimates for 180,000, signalling a labour market that continues to be resilient. This stroke of positive news fueled major indices such as the S&P 500 upwards to a 10-month high of 4299 points. 

The crypto scene also benefited from the news and took a slight boost upwards, with BTC reclaiming the $27K towards the end of last week. The gains in crypto were, however, short-lived as the regulatory tension between Binance/Coinbase and the SEC intensified. 

SEC Goes after Binance and Coinbase 

The SEC is at it again! Back in February, it was Operation Choke Point 2.0, which we covered in this post.  This time, the regulator is targeting major crypto exchanges offering services in the US, specifically Binance and Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN). 

Binance in the Crosshairs

On Monday, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao, with the accusation of running a ‘web of deception’. According to documents filed in a federal court in DC, Binance and CZ are facing 13 charges, including operating an unregistered exchange, commingling funds, and the sale of unregistered securities. 

Coinbase Taking Shots

Coinbase also found itself in the crosshairs, a day after Binance was sued. The US- domiciled exchange is being accused of offering unregistered 'securities', and the SEC has listed 13 crypto assets in relation to the suit - including bigger names such as Polygon, Cardano, and Solana.

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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong also expressed their intention to challenge the SEC to provide clear guidance on regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies. Binance was likewise seen in a call to arms and made statements through its lawyers that SEC chairman Gary Gensler offered to take up an advisory role at Binance’s parent company back in 2019. 

On the brighter side, these latest developments have only had a small impact on BTC’s price, which could signal sellers being exhausted here and that the markets are becoming more and more resilient to “bad news”.

Industry Shakers 

  • Circle receives a digital token license in Singapore 

Circle Singapore, an affiliate of Circle Internet Financial, has received the Major Payment Institution (MPI) license for digital payment token services in Singapore, allowing the company to offer cross-border and domestic money transfer services. The company’s newly acquired license aligns with the proposed stablecoin rules by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which set requirements for issuers and restricts certain user activities.

  • RBA deems Stablecoins and CBDCs worth further study 

The Reserve Bank of Australia has released its submission for a digital assets bill inquiry, focusing on the regulation of crypto exchanges, custody services, and stablecoin issuance. While acknowledging the potential of stablecoins, the submission emphasizes the need for a strong regulatory framework. The submission also mentions the Reserve Bank's engagement in research on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), although does not confirm any decisions on implementing a digital Australian dollar.

  • Binance.US raked in $410 million of revenue since its inception

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Amidst the SEC's investigation into Binance, it has been revealed that Binance.US, the company's US subsidiary, has generated significant revenue and profit. According to SEC filings based on information provided by Binance, Binance.US has amassed $410 million in revenue and achieved a gross profit of $225 million since its launch. The majority of its revenue, amounting to $265 million, was generated in 2021, followed by $95 million in 2022.

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