THIS WEEK IN CRYPTO
- SEC Chief renews vow to crack down on crypto industry rule-breakers. Gensler on Thursday is going back on the offensive and repeated his demands that crypto exchanges, brokers, and attorneys in the digital-coin industry comply with securities rules. It’s the latest salvo by the SEC chief in his push to clamp down on an asset class that he says often operates in legal gray areas.
- SEC’s Gensler supports commodities regulators having Bitcoin oversight. Mr. Gensler, speaking at an industry conference, said Thursday he looked forward to working with Congress to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission added power, to the extent the agency needs greater authority to oversee and regulate “nonsecurity tokens… and the related intermediaries.” Read more here.
- GameStop announces partnership with FTX. GameStop said it will collaborate with FTX US on new e-commerce and online marketing initiatives and will begin carrying FTX gift cards in select stores. The financial terms of the partnership weren’t disclosed. The partnership suggests that the company is making strides in its strategy shift to nonfungible tokens.
- New Fed banking chief targeting crypto and climate change as top priorities. Fed Governor Michael Barr, whose title of vice chair for supervision gives him broad powers over the nation’s banks, gave his first policy speech since being confirmed by the Senate. He pushed for action on stablecoins, climate change preparations, and both the safety and fairness of the finance industry.
- The final countdown to the Ethereum Merge has officially begun. The Merge is officially underway and will likely kick in sometime between Sept. 13-16. The Bellatrix upgrade – the network's final "hard fork" before the Merge – was activated on Tuesday, marking the beginning of Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).
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- Binance will convert users’ USDC into its own stablecoin. The largest crypto exchange will start converting any existing user balances and new deposits of USD Coin (USDC), Pax Dollar (USDP), and True USD (TUSD) into the company’s own stablecoin, according to a statement published on Monday. The conversion is scheduled to begin on Sept. 29.
- Coinbase bankrolls lawsuit against Treasury Department following Tornado Cash sanctions. Coinbase is backing a lawsuit filed against the Treasury Department Thursday by six users of a recently sanctioned crypto service. Treasury said the service helped launder billions from state-sponsored bad actors. But crypto enthusiasts argue that sanctioning crypto code is an overstep and could cause negative ripple effects in the tech industry. Read more here.
- Crypto mining is threatening US climate efforts, White House warns. The White House says the environmental impact of producing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could impede US efforts to combat climate change. The conclusion thrusts the Biden administration into the center of an already raging debate over the carbon footprint of digital assets.
- Crypto startup Mysten Labs raises $300 million in FTX-led round. The cash infusion will help the company build out its Sui blockchain, hire more staff and expand into the Asia-Pacific region. FTX Ventures led the round, which also included a roster of prominent investors including a16z crypto, Jump Crypto, Apollo, Binance Labs, Franklin Templeton, Coinbase Ventures, Circle Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
- Bitcoin dips below $19K, hitting its lowest point in two months. The price drop came after a 10-day stretch during which bitcoin traded right around the $20,000 mark. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization had struggled to overcome what appeared to be price resistance at $21,000. The bitcoin price fell as low as $18,680.
- Ethereum proof-of-work miners seem to be moving over to the Ethereum Classic network. Ethereum's Merge is expected to occur sometime between September 10 and September 20. That will essentially put Ethereum PoW miners out of business, which seems to be driving the price of Ethereum Classic higher. Read more here.