News Headlines (16th November 2023)

A group of bipartisan U.S. lawmakers have urged the Treasury to revise its proposed digital-assets taxation regime. The group is backing crypto representatives and lawyers who have called the proposed taxation scheme “dangerous and improper overreach.”

Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y) led a group of nine lawmakers in the effort calling the tax reporting requirement “unworkable.”

“If finalized, the proposed regulation’s overly broad definition of a digital asset “Broker,” insufficient definition of a “Digital Asset,” and unreasonably short comment period threaten to prevent a large swath of the digital asset ecosystem from continuing to exist in the United States,” the Wednesday announcement said as it made public the Nov. 10 letter addressed to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Assistant Secretary Lily Batchelder.*gwhwns*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTUyMDk1MTIxMS4xNzAwMTM2NDUw*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMDEzNjQ0OS4xLjEuMTcwMDEzNjQ2Mi4wLjAuMA..

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed a decision on the Grayscale Ethereum futures exchange-traded fund (ETF).

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Grayscale Investments filed to the Wall Street regulator back in September. The fund would allow investors to buy shares that bet on the future price of Ethereum (ETH), the second-biggest digital asset by market cap.

But the SEC said today that it would delay the decision. The SEC regularly extends the period it has to give decisions on crypto products.

Ferrari’s decision to allow U.S. residents to buy its cars in exchange for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin BTC tickers down $37,325 has become one of the biggest market wins in 2023, according to the CEO of the Bitcoin ATM operator CoinFlip.

Ferrari has been aware of the growing demand from clients for alternative payment solutions and decided to support dealers in meeting these clients’ requests, the representative said, adding:

“The source of the cryptocurrencies will be proven, and volatility risks associated with exchange rates will be eliminated. Dealers — and ultimately Ferrari — will receive payments in traditional currency and will not be managing cryptocurrencies directly.”

According to CryptoPotato, Tether (USDT) continues to dominate the stablecoin market, with its market cap reaching a new all-time high of $87.48 billion this week. Despite facing scrutiny regarding the authenticity and reliability of its reserves, USDT remains the third-largest digital asset globally, behind Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). Over the past year, its market cap has increased by $22 billion, while its rival, USDC, has seen a decline of $21 billion in the same period.

USDC, issued by Circle, has failed to gain significant momentum in 2023. Its market cap peaked at $55 billion in June 2022 but has since steadily decreased, with a drop of approximately 45% since January 2023. At the time of writing, its market cap stands at $24 billion.

Tether’s growth has been partially driven by growing demand in emerging and developing markets, with Brazil’s revenue service agency revealing that USDT accounted for 80% of all cryptocurrency transactions in the country. The increasing enthusiasm among institutional investors for BTC, fueled by the anticipation of a potential Bitcoin ETF, has also contributed to the expansion of Tether.

Lloyds Bank, a prominent retail and commercial bank in the U.K., issued an “urgent warning” regarding the “rising threat of crypto scams” on Friday.

The British bank noted that crypto investment scams have increased by 23% this year, with victims losing an average of £10,741 ($13,343), more than any other type of consumer fraud. “A growing number of British investors risk being defrauded by a wave of fake adverts posted on social media,” the bank stated, noting that 66% of all investment scams start on social media, with Instagram and Facebook being the most common sources.

Lloyds Bank cautioned:

It’s important to remember that fraudsters will go to great lengths to convince investors that they are the real deal. This can include setting up fake companies, social media profiles, and websites to clone real firms. They may even produce investment literature that looks professional.

Bitcoin’s (BTC) bullish momentum will likely remain intact heading into the end of the year, lifting prices to the $40,000 mark, according to Markus Thielen, research head at crypto services provider Matrixport and founder of analytics portal DeFi Research.

“Bitcoin will reach $40,000 – if not even $45,000 – by the year’s end,” Thielen said in a note shared with CoinDesk, citing options market positioning and dovish Federal Reserve (Fed) expectations as catalysts for continued price gains. The cryptocurrency has more than doubled this year, with prices rising nearly 40% in the past four weeks alone.

The recent bullish action spurred demand for call options or derivatives, giving the purchaser the right to snap up the underlying asset at a predetermined price later.*gwhwns*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTUyMDk1MTIxMS4xNzAwMTM2NDUw*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMDEzNjQ0OS4xLjEuMTcwMDEzNjQ2Mi4wLjAuMA..

South Korea’s national pension fund invested almost $20 million in Coinbase shares in Q3 2023, turning a 40% profit, according to reports in local media.

Citing a recent U.S. SEC filing, local publication News1 reported that South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) invested nearly ₩26 billion ($19.92 million) in Coinbase shares, purchasing 282,673 COIN shares at an average price of $70.5.

Coinbase shares currently trade at $98.15, up almost 40% from the NPS’s average purchase price.

The Philippines Bureau of the Treasury announced it would offer 10 billion pesos ($179 million) of one-year tokenized treasury bonds for the first time after canceling the traditional auction scheduled for Nov. 20.

The Bureau of the Treasury will offer the tokenized bonds to institutional buyers at minimum denominations of 10 million pesos with increments of 1 million pesos. The bonds will be valid for one year and due in November 2024. The final interest rate will be disclosed on the issuance date, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The bonds will be issued by the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

According to Foresight News, Henson Orser, the head of the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority, has resigned less than a year after taking office. He will be replaced by Matthew White, a PwC partner who previously served as an advisor at VARA. According to sources, Henson Orser resigned for personal reasons.

In addition, the Dubai regulator is preparing to impose fines on more than ten cryptocurrency companies that failed to comply with its guidelines by the November 17 deadline. It is currently unclear which companies will be fined.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its enforcement results for the fiscal year 2023 on Tuesday. The securities regulator revealed that it filed 784 total enforcement actions, a 3% increase over fiscal year 2022. SEC Chair Gary Gensler commented:

The investing public benefits from the Division of Enforcement’s work as a cop on the beat.

Regarding crypto assets, the SEC stated: “Fiscal year 2023 was another highly productive and impactful year for the SEC’s enforcement efforts relating to crypto asset securities.”