News Headlines (7th December 2023)

New Jersey Assembly Bill 5747, sponsored by Representative Herbert Conway, was introduced on Nov. 30 in the New Jersey State Assembly to classify all cryptocurrencies issued and sold to institutional investors as securities. According to the text of the bill:

This bill classifies all virtual currencies issued and sold to institutional investors as securities.

Under the proposed rules, virtual currencies issued and sold directly to institutional investors will be subject to the state’s “Uniform Securities Law” and any regulations promulgated by the Bureau of Securities in the Division of Consumer Affairs to effectuate the purposes of the bill.

Coinbase shares dropped Wednesday from the 19-month high of $147.86 earlier in the week, closing at $134.63.

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest sold Coinbase (COIN) shares for a third straight day Wednesday as the crypto exchange’s share price remained near a 19-month high.

The sale of 180,422 shares would have brought in $24.3 million at the closing price of $134.63. They rose as high as $147.86 on Tuesday. The sales took place from the Innovation (ARKK), Next Generation Internet (ARKW) and Fintech Innovation (ARKF) exchange-traded funds (ETFs), according to an emailed statement.*7i78f8*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTA4MzUyNzc2Ni4xNzAxOTUwNTQz*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMTk1MDU0My4xLjEuMTcwMTk1MDU4Ni4wLjAuMA..

Bitcoin is booming, and so are network fees. Alongside the euphoria among investors over Bitcoin’s recent surge above $44,000—a 20-month high—increased network congestion is prompting another battle over the NFT-like Ordinals project and BRC-20 tokens.

Ordinals remain at the eye of a storm over what should or should not be allowed on the Bitcoin blockchain. On Wednesday, Bitcoin Core developer and Ocean Mining CTO Luke Dashjr railed against Ordinals inscriptions and their effect on the Bitcoin network.

Bitbuy and Coinsquare, two of the largest crypto exchanges domiciled in Canada, have surpassed 1 billion Canadian dollars ($736 million) in assets under management.

According to a Dec. 6 announcement by parent company WonderFi, the two entities currently hold over 1 billion CAD in clients’ cash and digital asset deposits, up from 695 million CAD ($512 million) in the third quarter.

“During the month of November, the platforms experienced a combined 16% increase in monthly active users as compared to the monthly active user count in October. The platforms also recorded a 54% increase in total trading volume,” the company wrote.

According to CoinDesk, Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko expressed concerns about the future of the company’s Saga Phone during a recent appearance on Laura Shin’s Unchained podcast. Yakovenko cited disappointing sales and changing market dynamics as reasons for the uncertainty. He mentioned the possibility of creating a smart wallet or a cheaper version of the phone for iPhone users as a secondary device, but noted that they have not seen enough demand to justify producing 50,000 units, which he considers the threshold for success.

The Saga Phone was initially released earlier this year, with its price being reduced from $1,000 to $599 in August. Yakovenko acknowledged that advancements in mobile interfaces, such as Progressive Web Apps and pass keys, have significantly narrowed the gap between specialized and regular smartphones.

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) slammed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s approach to the regulation of the crypto industry on Tuesday at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion titled “Fostering Financial Innovation: How Agencies Can Leverage Technology to Shape the Future of Financial Services.”

The lawmaker posted on social media platform X after the hearing:

If it wasn’t obvious before, it’s certainly obvious now: The SEC has a deliberate policy preference to provide LESS clarity to the marketplace instead of more clarity. Complete disservice to our great capital markets.

India is unlikely to bring a crypto or Web3-specific legislative bill anytime soon and perhaps up to mid of 2025, said one of India’s senior politicians, who oversees the financial evolution of the nation.

Jayant Sinha, Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance in India’s Parliament and a Minister of Parliament from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was answering a question during a CoinDesk interview at India Blockchain Week in Bengaluru about when India could see a Web3-specific bill.

“Regulators and policymakers are responsible, not just on the innovation side, which of course we want to encourage, but also on the safety side,” Sinha said. “We have to really find that balance and that balance is going to evolve over the next 12 to 18 months.”*7i78f8*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTA4MzUyNzc2Ni4xNzAxOTUwNTQz*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMTk1MDU0My4xLjEuMTcwMTk1MDU4Ni4wLjAuMA..

Bitcoin’s aggressive rebound has devastated crypto stock short traders, inducing over $2.6 billion worth of losses for short sellers in less than three months, according to a new report from financial data firm S3 Partners. 

Since September 11, when Bitcoin fell to a three-month low of $25,152, the coin has skyrocketed a dramatic 75%, to a current price of $43,924. Crypto stocks have similarly followed suit—clearly taking short sellers by surprise.

Stocks like Coinbase and MicroStrategy tend to move with the broader crypto market, and have undoubtedly received massive bumps from BTC’s improving fortunes. Coinbase stock is up 51% in the last month alone, to $143.63 at writing.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has issued a warning related to suspected fraud involving crypto entities Hong Kong Digital Research Institute and BitCuped.

In a Dec. 6 notice, the SFC said the Hong Kong Police Force had blocked access to the websites of BitCuped and Hong Kong Digital Research Institute — also known as HongKongDAO — claiming users could be fooled into making illegitimate investments. The regulator also issued cease-and-desist letters to the firms’ website operators.

“The SFC suspects HongKongDAO may be disseminating false and misleading information about itself and its business through online channels,” said the Dec. 6 notice.

According to CoinDesk, cryptocurrency lending company Ledn is now offering crypto-backed loans where all assets remain locked up with a qualified custodian. This move comes as the company adapts its centralized finance approach in response to the changing landscape of the digital asset space, following the collapse of non-transparent crypto companies last year. Ledn has processed over $635 million in retail loans backed by Bitcoin and more than $4 billion on the institutional side to date.

The new range of Custodied Loans, which typically involve crypto pledged as collateral being held at BitGo, will be charged at a slightly higher rate.