President Biden to Sign an Executive Order on Cryptocurrency
The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden will sign an executive order outlining the U.S. government’s strategy for cryptocurrencies, this was disclosed by the people familiar with the situation.
According to the people, the order will direct federal agencies to examine potential regulatory changes, as well as the national security and economic impact of digital assets.
The order will direct federal agencies to examine potential regulatory changes, as well as the national security and economic impact of digital assets, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing the deliberations. The White House’s approach to crypto has attracted fresh attention in recent weeks after the U.S. and its allies levied sanctions on Russia, prompting concerns that organizations and individuals could use crypto to evade the restrictions.
The Biden administration is under pressure to play more of a coordinating role in Washington’s approach to the asset class, as industry executives bemoan what they say is a lack of clarity on rules. The executive order, which has been in the works since last year, will require federal agencies across the government to report later this year what they’re doing regarding digital tokens, Bloomberg News has reported. The plan is expected to begin carving out roles for agencies across the government, from the State Department to the Commerce Department.
The White House’s directive is also expected to address the possibility of a U.S.-issued central bank digital currency, or CBDC, though it’ll likely hold off on taking a firm position because the Federal Reserve is still studying the issue. The central bank, in a paper released in January, said a U.S. CBDC could help preserve the dollar’s dominance, as other countries, like China, embrace the technology.
US Regulatory Body Sues Binance for Breaking Trading Rules
The world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) were sued on Monday by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The U.S. regulator alleged that Zhao and his company violated trading and derivatives rules.
According to a lawsuit filed by the CFTC in a Chicago federal court, Binance operates a facility for trading digital assets without necessary registration, thereby offering unregistered crypto derivatives products to consumers in the U.S. against federal law.
The suit also alleged that the company, under CZ’s leadership, directed its customers to spoof their locations through the use of virtual private networks (VPN), Investors King learnt.
“VPN use by customers to access and trade on the Binance platform has been an open secret, and Binance has consistently been aware of and encouraged the use of VPNs by U.S. customers,” the suit read.
“The company directed important customers such as trading firms to set up shell companies in places such as Jersey, the British Virgin Islands and the Netherlands to avoid restrictions”, the filing added.
In a press release on Monday, CFTC Chief Counsel Gretchen Lowe called Binance’s actions “willful evasion of U.S. law,” pointing to internal chats and emails.
Lowe is making reference to internal chats between Binance employees, where the company’s Chief Compliance Officer directed an employee to ask U.S. customers to hide their location.
As a penalty, the CFTC seeks to compel Binance to repay allegedly ill-gotten gains that stem from the misconduct it is accused of. It also wants Binance to pay civil penalties and accept bans on trading as well as its ability to register within the U.S.
Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin fell around $1,000 to trade below the $27,000 mark after the lawsuit was first filed. Similarly, Binance’s exchange token BNB fell about 3% while crypto-related stocks also fell after the suit was published.
Statista Predicts 150 Million Indians to Have Crypto By the End of 2023
A Statista report has predicted that India’s crypto community will surge to more than 150 million members by the end of the year. This was estimated at more than 11% of India’s total population.
The report added that most Indians who deal with digital assets are well-educated and aged between 18-40. Going by the report, by the end of 2023, India’s crypto adoption rate is expected to surpass that of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Russia.
Statista noted that educated younger individuals with middle-income status in India are seeking alternatives to the shaking banking system with residents of the Federal Capital, Delhi most inclined to buy and hold digital currencies for the long term.
The uncertainty in the traditional financial system and the search for higher returns are the main factors pushing Indians toward the digital asset sector.
Last year’s KuCoin survey indicated that the total number of domestic crypto investors in India is around 115 million, of which around 40% fall in the 18-30 age group.
Several reports have earlier projected more crypto adoption in the years ahead with countries in Europe, America, Asia and Africa leading the adoption chart. Investors King learnt.
According to HedgewithCrypto research, Australia is the biggest country when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption in 2023 as 7.37 out of 10 persons owned a digital currency. The sale of cryptocurrency and other digital assets is legal and regulated in Australia.
Other countries on the top ten list include the United States, Brazil, UAE, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Canada, Turkey and Singapore.
Meanwhile, a number of analysts have predicted that Bitcoin could begin a new macro uptrend in a matter of days despite facing problems flipping $28,000 to support.
Bitcoin has so far shown an impressive performance since the beginning of the year.
The flagship cryptocurrency is up more than 50% in 2023 despite the series of challenges that have impacted the banking system and the anti-crypto approaches from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nasdaq Set to Launch Crypto Custody Service
Nasdaq, an American stock exchange based in New York City, is reportedly gearing up to launch crypto custody services for Bitcoin and other digital assets. The launch is billed to debut in the second quarter of 2023.
Investors King understands that the exchange first announced its plans to set up a digital asset business in September 2022 and has been steadily working on setting up the division over the months.
At launch, Nasdaq will join Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon and Fidelity among other large financial firms offering crypto safekeeping. In the fourth quarter of 2022, BNY Mellon said it would provide custody and transfer services for bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), specifically, to a number of its institutional clients.
According to the Bloomberg report, “Nasdaq has applied to the New York Department of Financial Services for a limited-purpose trust company charter, which would oversee the new business.”
In an interview on Friday, Senior Vice President and Head of Nasdaq Digital Assets Ira Auerbach said that Nasdaq “is pushing ahead to get all the necessary technical infrastructure and regulatory approvals in place.”
The launch is coming amid increasing calls for crypto regulations and the offensive position of the US Securities and Exchange Commission against cryptocurrency firms.
However, analysts believe that if successful, the crypto custody service will give more legitimacy to cryptocurrency and aid new adoption, especially among institutions and high net-worth individuals who have harbour uncertainties about digital assets.
It appears that institutional interest in cryptocurrency is still high despite the price collapse and several unfortunate events such as the collapse of FTX which bedevilled the industry in 2022.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency adoption continues to be on the rise in Germany as DWP Bank, a German securities processing firm that manages over 5.3 million securities accounts allows its affiliated banks to offer Bitcoin (BTC) trading to its retail customers. Similarly, another German bank, DZ Bank plans to offer a Bitcoin option for its customers by the end of the year.
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