4/22/22 Roundup

DeFi Weekly Roundup

April 22, 2022

Federal 

  • The Federal Election Commission signaled on 4/15 that it will take steps to uncover some types of virtually untraceable donations to super PACs, a potentially significant shift in the enforcement of campaign finance law.
  • The FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the U.S. Treasury Department issued a warning to the crypto industry highlighting increasing risk from North Korea state sponsored hackers. 
  • Over two dozen Democratic members of the house penned a letter to the EPA chief this week urging greater scrutiny of the crypto industry and its impact on climate change.

State 

  • Below is a summary of the latest state legislative developments that have occurred this past week. Our master state legislative tracker can be found here
    • Nebraska: L.B.707 – Bans custodianship of cryptocurrency unless the currency was initially offered more than six months prior. The bill was signed by the governor on 4/18.
    • Missouri: H.B. 2571 –  Would add cryptocurrency to state laws concerning money laundering.. Passed first reading and was scheduled for public hearing on 4/26.

International

  • IMF officials identified crypto regulation as India’s top midterm issue this week during public meetings. 
  • The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority appointed Victoria McLoughlin as interim head of its digital assets department as the country ramps up its efforts to regulate the crypto industry.
  • The crypto sector has written to European Union finance ministers and lawmakers to urge a rethinking of anti-money laundering rules the industry regards as “burdensome” and “alarming.” The letter from academics and experts primarily raises concerns around privacy.
  • The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) set out initial risk management expectations for regulated entities dealing with crypto assets on Thursday, as well as a policy roadmap for introducing further standards over the next three years.
  • Germany’s second largest bank – Commerzbank has applied for a crypto license. If the license application is accepted, the bank would be authorized to offer exchange and crypto-asset services.

Industry 

  • Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is leaving the Blockchain Association after less than two years due to a difference in “values, goals and standards.”
  • Blockchain.com will likely look at an IPO as early as the beginning of next year. 
  • Goldman Sachs has released a report stating that  virtual-reality (VR) platforms are projected to evolve rapidly in 2023, noting that tech titans like Apple and Meta will lead the race to develop metaverse technology.

4/17/22 Roundup

DeFi Weekly Roundup

April 17, 2022

Federal 

  • On 4/10 FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame launched American Dream Federal Action, a PAC supporting “forward-looking Republican candidates who want to protect America’s long-term economic and national security.” The PAC will focus on crypto. 
  • On 4/7 the Republican Congressional Committee released a policy paper entitled Cryptocurrency Goes Mainstream which among other things calls for the preservation of private sector innovation in the crypto industry. 

State 

  • On 4/13 state regulators in Texas and Alabama ordered virtual casino Sand Vegas Casino Club to stop selling NFTs, alleging the firm is defrauding the public by promising a cut of profits from its metaverse casinos and selling unregistered securities.
  • California’s  Department of Financial Protection and Innovation has said that it received 326 complaints about cryptocurrency products or services between 01/01/21 and 02/14/22. The complainants reported losses totaling $7.75 million from scams.
  • Conneticut: H.B.5320 – Would require the registration of virtual currency businesses,  establish consumer protections concerning virtual currency, and allow the acceptance of credit and debit cards for the purchase of virtual currency. Reported out of committee on 4/13.
  • Virginia: H.B.263 – Will allow state banks to offer crypto asset custodial services. The bill was signed by the governor on 4/11 and will take effect in July. 
  • Hawaii: H.B.2108 – Establishes a program for the licensure, regulation, and oversight of digital currency companies. The bill was sent back to the House on 4/14 where the house rejected Senate amendments.
  • Rhode Island: H.B.8152 –  Establishes a green coin to be issued by the state as reward for adhering to environmental building guidelines. The bill was introduced on 4/14.

International

Industry 

  • The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., a top financial services company, is working with the Digital Dollar Project, a nonprofit, on a central bank digital currency pilot.
  • On 4/13 Nexo and Mastercard launched the first crypto backed credit card in selected European markets. 

4/8/22 Roundup

DeFi Weekly Roundup

April 8, 2022

Federal 

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke about her views on Crypto currency for the first time on Thursday, 4/7. Her statements were broad and largely echoed sentiments from the presidential executive order, signed last month. She also stated that crypto rules should match those of the traditional financial system. 
  • US Senator Patrick Toomey, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee has introduced the Stablecoin Transparency of Reserves and Uniform Safe Transactions Act of 2022 which would create a three-pronged regulatory framework for stablecoin issuers,  a new license specific to stablecoin issuers, and allow insured depository banks to issue payment stablecoins.

State 

  • Below is a summary of the latest state legislative developments that have occurred this past week. Our master state legislative tracker can be found here
    • Connecticut: HB 5320 – Would require the registration of virtual currency businesses, establish consumer protections concerning virtual currency, and allow the acceptance of credit and debit cards for the purchase of virtual currency. The bill has been reported out of committee and placed on the house calendar on 4/6.
    • Hawaii: S.B.2695 – Would empower the governor to create a crypto and blockchain task force which would study the implications of the industry and recommend legislation. This bill was placed on the House calendar for final passage on 4/7.
    • Missouri: H.B.1472 – Would amend the state’s money laundering laws to include cryptocurrencies. This bill passed the House and was placed on the Senate calendar on 4/6.
    • California: S.B.1275 – Would allow for state agencies to accept cryptocurrency as payment for provision of certain services. This bill failed to pass out of committee but was granted reconsideration on 4/5.

International

  • On Wednesday 4/7 Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s program which allowed users to hold and use crypto on its app was halted by regulators. It is unclear when or if it will be able to resume. 
  • The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade announced its intention to force crypto miners to use domestically produced hardware.
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria fined four banks this week for breaking the prohibition on cryptocurrency transactions. The nation represents the largest number of crypto transactions outside of the U.S. 

Industry 

  • The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR accepted its first stablecoin donation equivalent to USD 2.5m from crypto exchange towards the support for families forced to flee Ukraine to neighboring countries.
  • On Thursday, 4/7 the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced it will begin paying bonuses to fighters in cryptocurrency.