07 May 2021 · 3 min read

BTC Is 'Speculative' Store of Value, 'A Lot' of Alts - Securities, Says SEC Chair + More News

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
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Gary Gensler. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube/Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Regulation news

  • Bitcoin is a speculative and volatile store of value, Gary Gensler, Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), told CNBC, adding that "a lot of crypto tokens — I won’t call them cryptocurrencies for this moment — are indeed securities." Yesterday, Gensler told lawmakers that crypto investors are currently not protected when trading on exchanges. “There’s a lot of authority that the SEC currently has in the securities space and there are a number of cryptocurrencies that fall within that jurisdiction,” Gensler said, clarifying that BTC does not fall under this umbrella, as it is considered a commodity and not a security.

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has refused to block cryptoasset trades in general, instead leaving the ultimate decision to the banks themselves, according to a report by the Economic Times.
  • The US Department of the Treasury today announced that Michael J. Hsu will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency on May 10. Prior to joining the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Hsu served as an Associate Director in the Division of Supervision and Regulation at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

M&A news

  • Electronic payment processing company Nuvei announced that they are set to acquire fintech startup Simplex, which provides a fiat infrastructure to the crypto industry, for around USD 250m. Following customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.

Adoption news

  • A survey by the US Federal Reserve found that one fifth of the respondents consider cryptocurrency a threat to financial stability. Cryptocurrencies also ranged relatively low on the list of threats, landing in 9th place out of a total of 14 potential issues. The survey included only 24 respondents, ranging from brokerage firms and investors, to political advisors and academics.
  • Payments provider Square saw their quarterly revenue more than tripling, in no small part due to Bitcoin’s booming popularity, Bloomberg reported. Its Bitcoin revenue increased elevenfold, from USD 306m to USD 3.51bn.
  • German stock exchange Boerse Stuttgart has listed Cardano (ADA) and Stellar (XLM) exchange-traded notes (ETNs) with their price tracked in relation to the euro, according to an emailed announcement. Now, a total of 22 crypto ETNs are available on the exchange, with the first listed back in November 2017.
  • Crypto payment provider Bitpay has added the Dai (DAI) stablecoin and Wrapped BTC (WBTC) as a payment option for merchants, they said in an emailed statement. Both are available immediately, without any need for additional integrations, regardless of the merchant’s location. Settlement in Dai and WBTC is expected to be available this month.
  • Bitcoin mining company Bitfarms said that its application to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market was approved by Nasdaq under the symbol “BITF”. The last remaining requirement prior to listing and trading on the Nasdaq is to confirm Bitfarms’ common shares are eligible for electronic clearing and settlement through the Depository Trust Company (DTC), the company said, adding that the process to confirm DTC eligibility is "moving forward expeditiously." The company did not provide any estimations when the trading might begin.

Career news

  • Bitcoin investment and technology solutions provider NYDIG said that John Dalby, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of major global investment firm Bridgewater Associates, has joined their team in the same position. “Personally, I share NYDIG's vision for Bitcoin's ability to propel economic empowerment for all. I eagerly look forward to doing my part to help NYDIG deliver innovative Bitcoin solutions to institutions and individuals,” Dalby was quoted as saying.

Investments news

  • Vienna-based digital asset platform Bitpanda said it raised further a EUR 10m (USD 12m) as an extension of its Series B round. This extension brings leading market makers Jump Capital and Wintertermute to Bitpanda, with the participation of LeadBlock Partners to strengthen their institutional offering and position in Europe, they added in an emailed announcement.
  • New York Attorney General Letitia James has taken legal action to immediately halt "the continued illegal and fraudulent operations" of the cryptocurrency trading platform Coinseed. Yesterday, James filed a motion asking the court for a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and the appointment of a receiver to immediately block Coinseed and its CEO from making any further unauthorized trades and safeguarding investors’ monies, per the announcement.

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(Updated at 15:40 UTC with an announcement by Bitfarms.)