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Bipartisan Push Against Biden’s Veto on SEC’s SAB 121: Lawmakers Advocate for Crypto Custody Clarification

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In a compelling turn of events, a formidable group of lawmakers has stepped forward to challenge President Joe Biden’s veto on a noteworthy piece of legislation that would enact significant changes to the regulatory landscape of the cryptocurrency market. The bill in question, aimed at repealing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121), has garnered support from both sides of the political aisle, reflecting a rare moment of bipartisanship in an increasingly divided Congress.

The pushback against the President’s veto is primarily led by influential figures such as Wyoming Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis and North Carolina House Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Patrick McHenry. In a formal letter addressed to President Biden last Thursday, they expressed concerns that the SEC’s guidance under SAB 121 could have unforeseen negative impacts on financial markets, particularly within the burgeoning cryptocurrency sector. Their message was clear: the bipartisan support for the repeal of SAB 121 necessitates a reconsideration of the presidential veto or, at the very least, a constructive dialogue aimed at rescinding or amending the SEC’s staff guidance.

The controversy over SAB 121 stems from its implications for companies that custody digital assets. Specifically, the bulletin mandates these entities to report cryptocurrencies held on behalf of clients as liabilities on their balance sheets, a requirement that critics argue could disrupt traditional IT resource management within banks and other financial institutions. The legislative motion to repeal this SEC bulletin saw substantial support in Congress, passing with a 61.5% to 39.5% margin in the Senate and 229 to 183 in the House, indicating a significant number of Democrats aligned with their Republican counterparts on this issue.

The opposition to SAB 121 and the subsequent legislative efforts to overturn it underscore a broader debate about the role and reach of regulatory authorities in overseeing the rapidly evolving crypto market. Those advocating for the bill’s repeal argue that the SEC’s guidance could stifle innovation and impose unnecessary burdens on firms operating within the crypto space.

Despite the strong Congressional support for the repeal, President Biden’s hesitance stems from concerns regarding the potential risks that reduced SEC regulatory authority might pose to financial stability and market integrity. The White House has voiced apprehensions that diminishing the SEC’s oversight capabilities could lead to increased financial insecurity and market volatility, risks that the administration seems unwilling to take amidst already fluctuating global financial conditions.

The resolution H. J. Res 109, which encapsulates the effort to repeal SAB 121, has put President Biden in a position where his decision could significantly influence the United States’ regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies. With the extended deadline for action set to June 3rd, there is still time for further discussions that could sway the President’s stance. This interval provides a crucial window for stakeholders within the crypto industry and regulatory bodies to engage with the administration, potentially shaping the outcome in a way that balances innovation with the necessary safeguards to protect investors and the broader financial system.

As the situation continues to develop, the financial and crypto markets are closely watching the administration’s moves. The outcome of this legislative standoff could set precedents for how financial regulations adapt to new technologies and could either open the door for more innovative approaches to cryptocurrency regulation or reaffirm the SEC’s existing authority over digital assets. Regardless of the final decision, this episode illustrates the growing importance of cryptocurrency in the national conversation about finance and regulation, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing debate over how to best navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by this disruptive technological frontier.

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Judge Challenges Coinbase’s Subpoena Push Against SEC Chair, Citing Irrelevance and Misjudgment

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In a recent judiciary proceeding, Judge Katherine Polk Failla expressed criticism towards Coinbase’s attempt to serve a subpoena to Gary Gensler, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The judge highlighted the seemingly unwarranted nature of the request for documents from Gensler’s tenure and the years preceding it. The call for such extensive disclosure raised eyebrows and was deemed as potentially deviating from the relevant legal standards.

The matter unfolded in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, where Judge Failla openly questioned the strategic approach by Coinbase. The exchange had sought to compel Gensler to produce documents and communications from both his period as SEC Chair and the four preceding years. This demand by Coinbase was part of their broader effort to gather evidence in ongoing litigation against the SEC, which had taken a hardline stance on regulatory compliance issues related to cryptocurrencies.

The SEC promptly contested Coinbase’s subpoena, denouncing it as an unwarranted invasion into Gensler’s personal affairs and asserting that any pertinent communications could be procured directly from the agency. Senior trial attorney for the SEC, Jorge Tenreiro, argued that the request encompassed materials that bore no direct relevance to the lawsuit, emphasizing that Gensler’s duties as chairman are separate from his personal communications prior to his SEC tenure.

Coinbase, on their end, defended the relevance of their subpoena through their attorney, Kevin Schwartz. Schwartz argued that Gensler’s previous comments on digital assets, both in public forums and private communications, could shed light on the regulatory perspectives and expectations of the SEC. This, in Coinbase’s view, was fundamental to understanding the regulatory framework and the SEC’s actions regarding digital assets.

The controversy roots back to June 2023 when the SEC initiated a lawsuit against Coinbase, alleging the platform operated without proper registration as an exchange, broker, or clearing agency. Additionally, the lawsuit challenged Coinbase’s provision of staking services, asserting they constituted offering unregistered securities. This lawsuit is part of a broader crackdown on cryptocurrencies, with the SEC also targeting tokens like solana, Cardano, and Polygon on Coinbase’s platform, claiming they are unregistered securities. Despite these severe allegations, Coinbase has consistently refuted the SEC’s claims, standing by the legitimacy of its operations and the nature of the assets listed on its platform.

Judge Failla’s skepticism towards Coinbase’s subpoena efforts underscores a broader dialogue in the intersection of law, technology, and financial regulation. Her advice for the parties to collaborate on a briefing schedule indicates a preference for a more streamlined and focused approach to resolving the legal quandaries at hand. This interaction between Coinbase and the SEC highlights the evolving regulatory challenges and the ongoing debate over the classification and regulation of digital assets in the United narcotics trade. As the legal battles unfold, the outcomes of such cases could potentially shape the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies in the United States.

The ongoing scrutiny of Coinbase by the SEC, coupled with legal challenges, underscores the pressing need for clarity in the regulatory framework governing digital assets. As the industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the resolution of these legal disputes will be crucial in determining the path forward for innovation, investor protection, and regulatory compliance in the cryptocurrency market.

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Growing Optimism for SEC Approval of Ethereum ETF as Major Asset Managers Submit Updated Filings

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The evolving landscape of cryptocurrency investment in the United States stands on the brink of a significant milestone as several high-profile asset managers, including behemoths like Fidelity, VanEck, Franklin Templeton, 21Shares, Grayscale, and BlackRock, have made moves indicating that the approval of a spot ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) could be imminent. These financial titans have collectively taken a decisive step, updating their S-1 registration forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), signaling readiness and pushing the envelope closer to what many see as an inevitable nod from the regulatory body.

The significance of these updates cannot be understated, serving as a harbinger for the growing confidence among industry insiders about the forthcoming approval of Ethereum ETFs. This sentiment is bolstered by the previously observed SEC’s decision to approve the 19b-4 forms, which laid the groundwork for ETFs to start trading. Such developments underscore a shifting tide in the regulatory landscape and an acknowledgment of cryptocurrencies as pivotal components of mainstream investment portfolios.

Two notable contenders in this race, Grayscale and 21Shares, intriguingly chose not to disclose their fee structures within these latest filings, an omission that aligns with past practices seen across various financial instruments awaiting regulatory clarity. Despite such omissions, the sector buzzes with anticipation, and the speculation over the eventual fee structures and their implications for investors is rife, further highlighting the strategic considerations at play as firms position themselves within this emerging market segment.

Adding to the crescendo of expectations, Bitwise, another asset management firm, recently updated its S-1 filing, unveiling a plan to waive fees for up to $520 million, a move aimed at enticing early adopters and setting a competitive stance within the nascent market. Yet, specific details regarding the launch date remain elusive, with firms electing for flexibility, committing to launch “as soon as practicable” post-regulatory approval.

Bloomberg Intelligence, a leading market research firm, has been at the forefront of monitoring these developments. Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, shed light on the procedural nuances, explaining that the SEC’s July 8 request for updated S-1 forms was part of a broader strategy to streamline the approval process. Balchunas further noted the SEC’s forthcoming guidance which would elucidate fee structures and other pivotal details, marking a crucial next step in bringing these financial instruments to market.

The SEC’s meticulous and deliberate approach to ETF approvals underscores the regulatory body’s commitment to ensuring investor protection while fostering innovation within the financial markets. This balancing act, while sometimes perceived as slow, signifies a thorough vetting process designed to mitigate systemic risks associated with new asset classes.

As the market stands on the precipice of these landmark approvals, the enthusiasm is palpable, yet so are concerns regarding market volatility. The anticipation of Ethereum ETFs has stoked debates about potential impacts on market dynamics, liquidity, and price stability. Critics and proponents alike watch closely as metrics like the Deribit bitcoin Volatility Index hint at the broader market’s sentiment and preparedness for what could be a transformative event in cryptocurrency investment.

The ripple effects of an SEC approval for Ethereum ETFs extend far beyond immediate market reactions, promising to usher in a new era of digital asset investment through regulated, transparent, and accessible means. Such a development would not only enhance Ethereum’s liquidity and price discovery but also establish a precedent for the integration of other digital assets into the fabric of global financial markets.

In a broader context, the push for Ethereum ETFs reflects a maturing cryptocurrency market increasingly interwoven with traditional financial systems. As barriers between digital and traditional assets continue to blur, regulatory frameworks will evolve, guided by innovations in the market and the imperative to protect investors in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

The path to regulatory approval for Ethereum ETFs is emblematic of the broader journey of cryptocurrencies from fringe assets to mainstream investment vehicles. As this journey unfolds, the financial community watches eagerly, anticipating not just the opportunities these ETFs promise but also the broader implications for the digital asset ecosystem and the regulatory landscapes shaping its future.

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Fetch.ai Transforms into Artificial Superintelligence Alliance (ASI) Amidst Successful Merger with Ocean Protocol and SingularityNET, Promising Market Growth

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In a significant development for the world of cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence (AI), Fetch.ai’s (FET) evolution into the Artificial Superintelligence Alliance (ASI) has captured the keen interest of investors and blockchain enthusiasts alike. This transformative merger, incorporating both Ocean Protocol (OCEAN) and SingularityNET (AGIX), marks a pivotal juncture in Fetch.ai’s journey, promising to reshape its collective identity under the ASI umbrella. As a result, the cryptocurrency community is abuzz with speculation on how this transition will impact Fetch.ai’s market value and the broader implications for the AI-driven token market.

Set to be finalized by mid-July, the merger has observed a proactive engagement from both retail and institutional investors. Notably, FET whales have aggressively capitalized on this venture, anticipating a lucrative outcome once the merger attains completion. In just a week, notable addresses holding between 100,000 and 10 million FET have significantly expanded their holdings, accumulating over 62.5 million FET, valued approximately at $74 million. This bullish accumulation underscores the confidence major investors have in the potential of Fetch.ai as it transitions into ASI, evidencing a strong belief in the value proposition of the merged entity.

The burgeoning optimism is not confined to whales alone; it is equally palpable among retail investors. Positive sentiment has dominated social media discussions and crypto forums, where Fetch.ai’s merger into ASI has been a hot topic of conversation. This collective anticipation is grounded in the recognition of ASI’s potential to pioneer transformative AI solutions within the blockchain sphere, further propelled by Fetch.ai’s strategic collaborations and technological advancements.

However, the trajectory towards Fetch.ai’s price surge is not devoid of challenges. Despite the heightened expectations post-merger, the cryptocurrency market’s broader trends have exerted a counterbalancing force, leading to a period of consolidation for FET. Trading between $1.05 and $1.75, this phase of price stabilization is anticipated to persist in the short term. Nevertheless, market analysts and investors alike hold a consensus that the conclusion of the merger and the onset of new developments within ASI would catalyze a break from this consolidation, steering Fetch.ai’s value on an upward trajectory.

The synthesis of Fetch.ai with Ocean Protocol and SingularityNET into ASI symbolizes a significant milestone in the fusion of blockchain technology with artificial intelligence. By adopting a united front under the FET ticker, ASI aims to leverage the strengths of each participating entity to foster innovation in AI and blockchain applications. This amalgamation is poised to enhance data interoperability, privacy features, and decentralized governance, thereby offering a comprehensive ecosystem for AI development and deployment on the blockchain.

Market response to Fetch.ai’s strategic maneuvers and the formation of ASI hints at a broader recognition of AI’s integral role in the future of cryptocurrency. As investors align their portfolios to capitalize on this transformative trend, Fetch.ai’s journey from a standalone entity into a cornerstone of the ASI reflects the dynamic and synergistic potential of combining AI with blockchain technology.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of AI and cryptocurrencies, Fetch.ai’s transition into ASI emerges as a bellwether for the industry’s forward trajectory. With its impending merger set to redefine the boundaries between artificial intelligence and blockchain, Fetch.ai stands at the vanguard of a new era, promising to unlock unprecedented opportunities for innovation, value creation, and technological advancement in the digital age.

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