Crypto News Headlines (20-April-2022)

The market for crypto exchange-traded funds in Australia is becoming more crowded, with two spot ETFs from 21Shares set to launch next week, joining an offering from Cosmos Asset Management.

21Shares, which has $2.5 billion in assets under management with 30 global exchange-traded products, has partnered with ETF Securities to launch a bitcoin ETF and an ether ETF, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The products will be the first in Australia to invest directly in the underlying assets. Cosmos Asset Management’s ETF invests in the Toronto-based Purpose Bitcoin ETF as opposed to spot bitcoin.

Both funds will be listed on the Cboe Exchange starting on April 27 with prices being tracked against the Australian dollar.

The funds will hold bitcoin and ether in cold storage, with Coinbase as the custodian.

The two products give investors a “way of trading crypto in a tightly-regulated environment without having to maintain their wallet and manage risk,” said Graham Tuckwell, executive chairman of ETF Securities Australia.

Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Jared Polis, the respective governors of Florida and Colorado, are two of the most pro-crypto politicians in the country—and are viewed by pundits as possible candidates for the 2024 presidential election.

That’s why it’s notable the pair got into a Twitter spat on Tuesday. It began when DeSantis, who recently called for Florida to accept tax payments in Bitcoin, warned he might attempt to punish Twitter’s board of directors for blocking Elon Musk’s attempts to buy the company.

 “We’re gonna be looking at ways the state of Florida potentially can be holding these Twitter board of directors accountable for breaching their fiduciary duty,” wrote the governor.

Legal scholars have scoffed at the notion that the state has any case against Twitter, suggesting that DeSantis’s threat is aimed at burnishing his credentials among conservatives who believe the platform is biased against them.

A senior executive with the U.S. Secret Service, David M. Smith, talked about cryptocurrency in an interview with CNBC, published Tuesday.

Smith is a senior executive and special agent currently serving as the 28th Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service Office of Investigations, where he leads the agency’s global investigative mission, comprising 161 offices and over 3,000 employees.

The Secret Service is responsible for detecting, investigating, and arresting any person who violates certain laws related to financial systems. “In recent years digital assets have increasingly been used to facilitate a growing range of crimes, including various fraud schemes and the use of ransomware,” its website describes.

Smith told the news outlet that Secret Service agents and analysts are actively tracking the flow of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the blockchain, elaborating:

When you follow a digital currency wallet, it’s not different than an email address that has some correlating identifiers.

The US financial services company – Robinhood – continues to be active on the crypto scene. In a blog post, the organization disclosed it had signed a deal with the London-based digital asset trading venue – Ziglu Limited. Once approved by regulators, Robinhood will acquire the British company as it seeks to expand its operations into Europe.

Vlad Tenev – CEO of the American firm – said Ziglu’s “impressive” team consists of “crypto experts” that will guide Robinhood’s operations on the Old Continent.

“Together with the Ziglu team, we’ll work to leverage both companies, exploring new ways to innovate and break down barriers for customers across the UK and Europe,” he added.

For his part, Ziglu’s CEO – Mark Hipperson – stated that both parties share a common set of goals, such as “working to reduce the barriers to entry for a new generation of investors.” He asserted that his entity will aid Robinhood’s expansion and “bring better access to crypto and its benefits to millions more customers.”

According to Reuters, the European Union is working to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, advocating for relevant cryptocurrency exchange companies to disclose relevant details. Still, it has been rejected by more than 40 cryptocurrency business leaders.

In a letter to 27 EU finance ministers dated April 13, cryptocurrency-related companies pointed out that EU regulation should not go beyond the rules set by the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF), according to Reuters.

FATF stands for The Financial Action Task Force, which is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. The inter-governmental body sets international standards that aim to prevent these illegal activities and the harm they cause to society. As a policy-making body, the FATF works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.

Crypto funds had a second straight week of outflows as bitcoin became more sensitive to interest rates and investors adjust to the the Federal Reserve’s hawkish turn, CoinShares reported Tuesday.

Across the industry, crypto funds had $97 million in net outflows in the seven days through Apr. 15, according to CoinShares. Of that, 88% came from European funds in a shift from the prior week when the majority of the $134 million in outflows came from U.S. funds. The $134 million in outflows was the most since January.

“We have witnessed bitcoin becoming increasingly interest-rate ‘sensitive’ over the course of 2022 in a similar way to other stores of value,” CoinShares wrote in its report.

So-called “short” bitcoin investment products – such as exchange-traded products that provide an inverse to the cryptocurrency’s performance – saw $1.8 million in outflows last week after a few weeks of inflows.

The executive power in Dublin is drafting new political integrity rules to limit foreign political donations amid fears that Russia might try to influence Ireland’s electoral process. The stricter regulations are meant to prevent Irish parties from accepting donations through cryptocurrencies and oblige them to fully reveal their properties.

A report by the Irish daily Independent describes the changes as a significant shake-up of the country’s electoral legislation, which will grant the Electoral Commission powers to issue take-down notices to social media platforms and alerts of online misinformation attempts. Local Government Minister Darragh O’Brien, who is leading the reform efforts, has been quoted as stating:

The appalling invasion of the Ukraine and insidious disinformation war highlight the ongoing fundamental threats faced by all democracies.

El Salvador’s efforts to harness Bitcoin to boost its economy are falling short of what the BTC maximalists had hoped for.

Finding common ground with the International Monetary Fund, which has asked El Salvador to reverse its Bitcoin law and which could withhold financial assistance, has not happened. Many critics doubt it will, and counted among them is the nation’s former Central Reserve Bank president.

Speaking on Monday with, Carlos Acevedo, who served under Mauricio Funes from 2009 to 2013, said that stubbornly chasing a Bitcoin-based solution has cost the country dearly, “killing” relations with the IMF and making such a bond issuance virtually impossible.

There is a clam in the bitcoin (BTC) market, the likes of which we last saw before the beginning of the late 2020 bull run.

The leading cryptocurrency’s 30-day volatility, which measures the standard deviation of daily returns over four weeks, has declined to 2.20%, the lowest since November 5, 2020, according to data provided by Arcane Research.

The gauge peaked above 6% in June 2021 and has been on a declining trend ever since, barring the temporary spike to 4.5% around the March Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting.

The steady decline could be attributed to several factors, including dominant crypto exchanges Binance and FTX’s decision to cut down leverage, declining interest in crypto-margined futures, and, more recently, reduced speculative interest, as evidenced by the decline in trading volumes.

Data tracked by Kaiko Research shows that bitcoin and ether’s (ETH) weekly trading volumes have slipped to the lowest levels since the summer of 2021.

Binance US, the highly regulated division of the firm devoted to North American clients, has been awarded a “money transmitter license” in Puerto Rico.

It marks the fourth such license approval for the company in as many months, according to the April 19 announcement. It added that it is working to acquire the few remaining licenses which will permit operations in all US states and territories.

Officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean island is an unincorporated territory of the United States and has been since 1898.