digital yuan win
Has capitulation to the Digital Yuan as the new digital currency of the Internet begun? Ledger Insights reports that UK multinational Standard Chartered, which services Asia, Middle East and African markets, said that its bank in China “is amongst the first foreign banks to take part in the digital yuan business pilot. It has started providing digital RMB exchange and redemption services via City Bank Clearing.” Read it. No doubt there will be many such announcements in the days, months, years to come and with the full support of the Chinese government.
Singapore-based Temasek Holdings is believed to have a 17% stake in Standard Chartered.
what you should know: Can you say, “Threat to the global hegemony of the U.S. Dollar”? Hello, national security implications. If lawmakers need encouragement on digital assets legislation (i.e. the stablecoin bill, in particular), this is it. For some, this will renew focus on creating a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), too.
With the settlement of U.S. government charges against cryptocurrency platform Binance announced last week (and the SEC’s still pending), Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sees light at the end of the tunnel for his industry. Armstrong told CNBC yesterday, “The enforcement action against Binance… that’s allowing us to kind of turn the page on that and hopefully close that chapter of history...” Read it. Armstrong was in the U.K. on Monday for the Global Investment Summit, an exclusive event which encourages foreign investment in the United Kingdom. He told CNBC that “he is ‘impressed’ with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s leadership when it comes to digital currencies and that Coinbase was investing more in the U.K. as a result.”
what you should know: Armstrong rattled the unspoken saber of “moving offshore” with his UK comments. If/when his company wins its lawsuit against the SEC, even more pressure – or encouragement, depending on how you look at it – will come Congress’s way with regulatory clarity as the ultimate prize.
Policy director Justin Slaughter of venture firm Paradigm dishes on prospects for digital assets Congressional action on “The Scoop” podcast with Frank Chaparro of The Block. Other than the stablecoin bill, Slaughter sees any regulation driven by Congress delayed until after the 2024 general election. He also explains that many policymakers believe the problem with new regulation for industries such as digital assets is that it creates “loopholes” for the industry. “I reject that. I think there’s a lot of potential here – even if you’re a regulator – to like change here…,” added Slaughter. “There’s ways in which attacking the questions of crypto leads to wins for the industry, for consumers, for investors and for the regulators as well. And I think that is the mindset I wish was more prevalent.” Listen to the podcast.
terrorist financing and Tron
The Tron blockchain and Tether came under the Reuters microscope yesterday for facilitating the movement of funds by terrorist organizations such as Hamas. Reuters quotes Mriganka Pattnaik, CEO of blockchain analytics firm Merkle Science, “Earlier it was Bitcoin and now our data shows that these terrorist organizations tend to increasingly favor Tron.” Read more. Reuters provides details on past seizures by Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF), which was responsible for freezing 143 Tron wallets between July 2021 and October 2023.
Counter Terrorist Financing Taskforce – Israel (CTFTI) – FIU Task Force Public Statement – FinCEN.gov
what you should know: It’s not clear where the data in the Reuters report intersects with reports from the Wall Street Journal such as this one on October 27. And, Reuters’ reporting team admits, “Estimates of the sums of money that reach proscribed groups through crypto are unreliable because it is hard to say whether money sent to seized wallets was really destined for those groups.” Nevertheless, for advocates of draconian anti-money laundering legislation for digital assets, the Reuters piece will be another “arrow in the quiver.”
shaking the hill
Thomas Vartanian, who was as a bank regulator during the Carter and Reagan Administrations, offered a provocatively titled op-ed in The Hill yesterday titled, “When are regulators going to hold crypto accountable?”
Vartanian favors continued enforcement actions in the digital assets space, and doesn’t back away from the need for strong regulation: “We are long past the time for regulatory action. More flowery executive orders from presidents are not going to change a thing. Regulators need to stop quibbling over regulatory turf and Congress needs to look past political donations from the tech and crypto industries and act decisively.” Read it.
Hear Tony Edward’s recent Thinking Crypto podcasts…
still more tips
Blast Protocol Faces Criticism From Investor Paradigm – NFT Now
Bitcoin may reach $57K over pending ETF approval: Analyst – Yahoo Finance
New Binance CEO Richard Teng says firm has ‘robust timeline’ for board, financial disclosures – Fortune
Binance’s Zhao Can’t Return to UAE From US for Now, Judge Says – Bloomberg