Another big regulatory week in Crypto

Coinbase responds to the SEC

Welcome to the third edition of The Benchmark, a newsletter brought to you by Alongside, where we cover the latest crypto market performance and news in a few minutes or less.

Market Check-in

This week’s latest news

Coinbase execs respond to SEC’s Wells notice in person and on video

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal addressed the company's Wells notice from the SEC in a video released on YouTube and at Consensus 2023. This comes alongside SEC Chair Gary Gensler's video message, in which he urged crypto exchanges to comply with regulations. Both events underline the ongoing tension between the SEC and the crypto industry, particularly regarding regulatory clarity and the path to compliance for businesses dealing in digital assets. Grewal emphasized Coinbase's commitment to regulatory compliance and called for a sensible regulatory framework for the crypto industry, expressing their willingness to work with regulators.

Coinbase Sues the SEC

Coinbase + SEC Round II

Coinbase is suing the Securities and Exchange Commission in an attempt to force the agency to provide a clear response to its petition for a digital asset-specific rule. The SEC has reopened custody and exchange rules to include digital assets but has not drafted a specific rule for them, prompting Coinbase to file a writ of mandamus to compel action.

First Republic Bank goes south, and JPMorgan takes it on

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) appointed the FDIC as receiver of First Republic Bank, stating the bank was conducting its business in an unsafe or unsound manner. As of April 13, 2023, First Republic Bank had total assets of approximately $229.1 billion and total deposits of approximately $103.9 billion.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has accepted a bid from JPMorgan Chase Bank to assume all deposits and substantially all assets of struggling First Republic Bank. The San Francisco-based bank has faced increasing concerns over its high amount of uninsured deposits and exposure to low-interest rate loans, with depositors withdrawing more than $100 billion amid the banking crisis affecting Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

The purchase agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank includes all uninsured deposits and ensures that depositors are covered.

More reading from this week

1/ Deloitte jumps into crypto headfirst with hundreds of job listings

Deloitte appears to be diving headfirst into the world of cryptocurrency, posting 331 crypto-related roles in the last week. This move suggests that the accounting behemoth is ready to lend the crypto sector some added legitimacy, trust and legacy expertise.

2/ Crypto community flocks to Austin for Consensus

The CoinDesk editorial team captured the sentiment/temperature at one of the industry's leading conferences, noting that the sense of optimism in the crypto community has been dulled by concerns about regulatory uncertainty.

3/ DappRadar releases extensive recap of NFT markets

In the comprehensive analysis of NFT markets from Q4 2022 to Q1 2023, DappRadar reports that Yuga Labs has emerged as a dominant force, with its 16 NFT collections accounting for 34.6% of the entire industry's trading volume during that time.


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DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.