Crypto Regulation Challenges Intensify

Coinbase begins to look at other options.

Welcome to the second 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

Highlights - rough week for the Crypto Markets.

  1. Dormant whale Bitcoin addresses moved over $30M in BTC, possibly from an exploit.

  2. Bitcoin flew back from $30,000 to $27,000s.

  3. Ethereum is back below $2,000.

This week’s latest news

Gensler’s testifies before the House Financial Services Committee

During the US House Committee on Financial Services oversight hearing on the SEC's management of digital assets, SEC Chair Gary Gensler faced criticism from committee members for his proposed regulatory agenda. Members, including Patrick McHenry, Tom Emmer, and Warren Davidson, expressed concerns over Gensler's lack of clarity and specificity in his regulations and accused him of punishing businesses dealing in digital assets without providing a transparent path to compliance. The hearing highlighted the disagreement between the SEC and the crypto industry, and Gensler's ability to balance investor protection and innovation remains uncertain.

Coinbase diversifies away from the U.S.

Coinbase + the UK

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong expressed optimism about the UK's approach to cryptocurrency regulation after a meeting with UK Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffiths. Despite recent concerns about a digital pound and banks blocking crypto on-ramping, Armstrong praised the UK's efforts to create sensible regulation that encourages growth and consumer protection. Coinbase shared nine recommendations to help the UK become a thriving crypto hub, addressing banking cooperation, regulatory frameworks, stablecoin usage, digital innovation, and more.

Coinbase + Bermuda

Coinbase Global secured a license to operate in Bermuda as part of its global expansion efforts. The Bermuda Monetary Authority granted the license, allowing Coinbase to operate as a digital asset business in the territory. Coinbase is planning to launch a crypto derivatives exchange in Bermuda as soon as this week, Fortune reported on Wednesday, citing a person close to the company.

The SEC goes after Bittrex

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against crypto exchange Bittrex, alleging the company violated federal laws by operating as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency without proper registration. The SEC claims that Bittrex worked with crypto issuers to remove "problematic statements" from their offering materials and provided the services of all three types of entities. Former CEO Bill Shihara and Bittrex Global GmbH are also facing charges. Bittrex has denied the allegations and plans to defend its position in court.

More reading from this week

1/ Judge rules BAYC Ripofff NFTs violated copyright

2/ South Korean court rules LUNA is not a security

3/ Most protocols fade after they’re hacked, analysis shows

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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.