Legislation Complication As Speaker Selection Process Begins; Terrorist Financing Comes Into Focus

legislation complication

CoinDesk’s Jesse Hamilton opines on the House speaker mess and its effect on digital assets legislation momentum. He observes a range of roadblocks from Rep. Patrick McHenry (R, NC) new role as temporary House Speaker to a looming government shutdown in mid-November. Hamilton concludes, “Because this is only the first year of the two-year congressional session, the end of the calendar isn’t a death sentence for any of the legislation. However, January starts a presidential election year when the political stakes increase on everything and the partisan fight gets bloodier, so moving legislation becomes more complicated.” Read more.

Will a new speaker appear by the end of the day today from the House Republican conference? And – could House Democrats play a role in selecting a speaker if Republicans are deadlocked for an extended period?

terrorist financing

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that terrorist organization Hamas has received $41 million in crypto funds between 2021 and June of this year – not to mention other terrorist organization which more than double the funding amount. Israeli police tell the WSJ that they “froze further crypto accounts used by Hamas to solicit donations on social networks, part of a continuing effort to locate the ‘financial infrastructure in cryptocurrencies used by terror entities to fund their activities.'”

For transactions, the article reports that the stablecoin Tether was the main way terrorists moved funds. Data was sourced from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. Read more.

more tips:

Israel Police freezes Hamas crypto accounts on Binance – Calcalist

stablecoin December

Blockchain Association policy executive Ron Hammond remains hopeful but realistic about digital assets legislations prospects. In one of his tweet thread updates, Hammond says on X, “…we are largely in a standstill in DC from a crypto legislative perspective. The FTX trial which many expected to dominate Capitol Hill chatter has largely been relegated to an afterthought given the various other pressing matters.” He sees stablecoin legislation as possibly getting a vote on the House floor in November or December. Read the thread.

crypto aid Israel

A group of Israeli crypto business leaders announced on Decrypt that they are starting a new fund to help residents after the terrorist attack by Hamas in Israel.  In an effort to overcome any risk for fraud (i.e. phishing), the business group is being very deliberate in explaining how its setting up the humanitarian effort. From the press release: “Crypto Aid Israel (www.CryptoAidIsrael.com) is hosting a multisig wallet, entrusted to respected members of the local Web3 community, that will be used to collect donations in over a dozen forms of cryptocurrency including BTC, ETH, USDT, USDC, etc. Partnerships are being established with a leading Israeli bank and multiple government agencies in order to distribute the donations swiftly and efficiently.” Read more details on Decrypt.

stat of the day

A Fall 2022 survey by the Federal Reserve called, “The Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC),” tracking consumer payment behavior may be another way to divine the total number of crypto holders in the U.S.

The survey, which was reported in June of this year, asked 4,719 respondents, “Do you own any cryptocurrency?” 382 or 8.1% responded “Yes.” Get the report (PDF). That increase is believed to be double the reported number from 2020, the beginning of the last crypto bull market.

With a U.S. population currently projected to be around 335 million, the Fed results extrapolate to 27.1 million crypto owners as of Fall 2022.  Given the debate around Coinbase’s use of 52 million crypto owners in the U.S., either number is impressive.

The question hidden in the millions of owners is how many really care about crypto enough to have it effect their vote?

cross-border CBDCs

A new, annual report by the international Financial Stability Board included a first set of measurements on cross-border payments. Download the report (PDF). Noting the findings which showed the high cost of foreign exchange (FX) as a percentage of payments, Ledger Insights says, “This figure alone could encourage central banks to become more involved in cross border payments, reinforcing their role in cross border CBDC initiatives. Some of those CBDC programs have explored providers competing for FX.” Read more.

more tips:

Central bank digital currencies and financial stability in a modern monetary system – David Tercero-Lucas on ScienceDirect.com

event: securities traders

The Securities Traders Association (STA) has its eye on digital assets at its “90th Annual Market Structure Conference: The Next Era” taking place in Washington, D.C. today through Friday.  “From significant reforms to equity market structure to new challenges and regulatory priorities surrounding digital assets, our industry is facing key questions that may define its future for years to come,” says the conference’s preamble. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Rostin Behnam will speak as will Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce. See the agenda.

event: tokenization

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are exploring tokenization at its annual event in Marrakech, Morocco this week. In a discussion titled,  “Tokenization: Mapping the Present and Charting the Path Ahead,” representatives from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the IMF and Société Générale, panelists will explore the token trend. The agenda reads: “Proponents claim that tokenization has the potential to revolutionize trade, finance, supply chains, and intellectual property by enhancing accessibility and liquidity, increasing transparency, and reducing transaction costs. But has the importance of tokenization been exaggerated, and if not, what hurdles should be tackled as a matter of priority to reap the benefits?” See more.

event: enforcement

A Securities Docket event on October 25 in Washington, D.C., called Securities Enforcement Forum 2023 will feature a fireside chat with SEC Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal. Also, a panel titled, “Digital Assets and Cryptocurrency – Regulation and Enforcement of Exchanges, Tokens, Crypto Lending, DeFi, NFTs and More.” David Hirsch, the SEC’s Chief for its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit will appear with a gaggle of lawyers. Public Speaking + Lawyers + The Police = Imagine the disclaimers on this panel!  See the agenda.

more tips:

Crypto Sector Seeks Lawyers, Compliance Officers After Reputational Hits – The Wall Street Journal

still more tips

Stablecoins are ‘a better product’ than local currencies in emerging economies, Carrica says – Blockworks

Brazilian securities regulator plans sandbox for tokenization in 2024 – Cointelegraph

The Crypto Economy’s Big Hope Is Already in Crisis – The Wall Street Journal