United States

Cathie Wood’s Ark and 21Shares refile for spot Bitcoin ETF

ARK Investment Management, an investment firm founded by veteran investor Cathie Wood, is taking another try to launch a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States. ARK Invest submitted on May 13 yet another application for its physical Bitcoin ETF, the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The application includes a proposed rule change from the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) BZX Exchange. According to Bloomberg ETF analyst Henry Jim, the latest deadline for approval or disapproval of the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF is January 24, 2023. Ark 21Shares decides to try again for a “Spot” Bitcoin ETF and files 19b-4 with SEC. Deadline for approval / disapproval: Jan 24, 2023 (latest). Deadlines:2...

Law Decoded: The long waves in the aftermath of UST’s crash, May 16-23

It’s been two weeks since the shock of the TerraUSD (UST) depegging, but the long waves of this event are still coming in. The Congressional Research Service described the UST crash as a “run-like” scenario and claimed that the crypto industry has not reached the same level of “adequate regulating” as the traditional finance market.  Michael Barr, former advisory board member of Ripple Labs and United States President Joe Biden’s pick for a vice chair for supervision at the Federal Reserve, definitely agrees with that. During the confirmation hearing, he mentioned “some significant risks” that innovative technologies and cryptocurrencies, in particular, bring along.  It’s not only in the U.S. where the regulators got concerned about stablecoins. The executive director of markets ...

Biden’s pick for Fed vice chair for supervision calls for congressional action on stablecoins

Michael Barr, a law professor and former advisory board member of Ripple Labs who is United States President Joe Biden’s pick for vice chair for supervision at the Federal Reserve, called for U.S. lawmakers to regulate stablecoins in an effort to address “financial stability risks.” In a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, Barr said innovative technologies including cryptocurrencies had “some potential for upside in terms of economic benefit” but also “some significant risks,” citing the need for a regulatory framework on stablecoins to prevent the risk of runs. Barr added that the Fed potentially releasing a central bank digital currency was an issue that required “a lot more thought and study,” echoing Fed chair Jerome Powell’s views concerning due dilig...

China returns as 2nd top Bitcoin mining hub despite the crypto ban

The Chinese government has not managed to take down cryptocurrency operations as part of its crypto ban last year as China has re-emerged as one of the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) mining hubs, according to a new report. China became the second-largest Bitcoin hash rate provider as of January 2022, months after the local government banned all crypto operations in the country, according to the latest update from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) shared with Cointelegraph on May 17. Bitcoin miners in China accounted for 21.1% of the total global BTC mining hash rate distribution as of early 2022, following only the United States, which produced 37.8% of the total hash rate as of January, according to the data. China was once the world’s largest Bitcoin m...

US federal judge approves of Justice Dept criminal complaint on using crypto to evade sanctions

The United States Department of Justice may move forward on a criminal prosecution case against a U.S. citizen who allegedly violated sanctions through cryptocurrency. According to a Friday opinion filing in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the unnamed individual who is the subject of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department allegedly sent more than $10 million in Bitcoin (BTC) from a U.S.-based crypto exchange to an exchange in a country for which the U.S. currently imposes sanctions — suggesting Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, or Iran. The filing alleged the individual “conspired to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act” and conspired to defraud the United States. The individual allegedly “proudly stated the Payments Platform could circumven...

CFTC commissioner appoints senior policy adviser experienced in digital asset regulation

In a Friday announcement, Pham said Keaghan Ames will be her counselor and senior policy adviser at the CFTC starting May 23. Ames worked at Credit Suisse for more than two years as vice president and head of U.S. regulatory policy, which included advising executives on digital assets regulation. He will be joining the CFTC from the Institute of International Bankers, where he has been the director of government affairs since July 2021. Sworn in as a commissioner in April, Pham is one of five heads serving at the CFTC under chair Rostin Behnam — all of whom were appointed by United States President Joe Biden. Pham is the latest commissioner to join the CFTC following the confirmation of Christy Goldsmith Romero, Summer Mersinger and Kristin Johnson. NEWS: CFTC Commissioner Pham Announces A...

US Senate confirms Jerome Powell for another four years as Fed chair

The United States Senate has confirmed the nomination of Jerome Powell as the chair of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System until 2026. In an 80–19 landslide vote on the Senate floor on Thursday, U.S. lawmakers confirmed Powell as chair of the Federal Reserve, a position he held from February 2018 until February 2022, when he was named chair pro tempore until a confirmation vote could be secured. Powell was one of four Fed nominees awaiting a full Senate vote following weeks of delays due, in part, to partisan obstructionism — Republican lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee boycotted a meeting in February that would have likely sent Powell’s nomination to the Senate for a vote earlier. However, some of United States President Joe Biden’s nominations for the Fed have re...

5 state regulators allege organization is tied to Russia, scamming users using metaverse casino

Authorities in the U.S. states of Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Wisconsin have filed enforcement actions against the Flamingo Casino Club for allegedly perpetrating a scam through nonfungible tokens (NFTs) tied to a metaverse casino. In a Wednesday announcement, the Alabama Securities Commission, Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions, New Jersey Bureau of Securities, Texas State Securities Board and Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions alleged the Flamingo Casino Club has been “fraudulently soliciting NFTs” it claims are tied to ownership rights of a casino in the metaverse, thereby giving token holders a share of any profits. The organization has allegedly solicited investors directly through social media, recruiting influencers to promote NFT sales for the ca...

Environmental groups urge US government to take action on crypto miners

A group of eight organizations focused on the environment have called on different government agencies under the Biden administration to implement new approaches in response to Proof-of-Work and other crypto mining operations. In a letter to the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy on Monday, the Environmental Working Group, Earthjustice, Greenpeace, the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, the Seneca Lake Guardian, and the Milwaukee Riverkeeper urged the White House to enact policies aimed at curbing “the electricity use and climate pollution associated with digital currencies that rely on [PoW].” Specifically, the organizations alleged crypto mining in the United States harmed communities by creating increasing demand for electricity sour...

US Treasury Secretary reaffirms need for stablecoin regulation following UST crash

United States Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen called on U.S. lawmakers to develop a “consistent federal framework” on stablecoins to address risks to financial stability. In a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on the Financial Stability Oversight Council Annual Report to Congress, Yellen reiterated her previous position calling for a regulatory framework on stablecoins, citing a November report from the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. In addition, the Treasury Secretary commented on TerraUSD (UST), the third-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, dropping to $0.67 in the last 24 hours. “I think [the situation with TerraUSD] simply illustrates that this is a rapidly growing product and that there are risks to financial stability and we need a...

Utah Governor approves of blockchain and digital innovation task force

After nearly a three-year-long discussion about establishing a task force to oversee blockchain and crypto initiatives, the governor of Utah, Spencer Cox, signed a bill to create the Blockchain and Digital Innovation Task Force. The Utah State Legislature first saw the introduction of the house bill (H.B. 335) in early February 2022, which took nearly two months to pass through several senates, house and fiscal actions before finally being signed by Governor Cox on March 24. Some of the primary duties assigned to the task force involve making policy recommendations related to blockchain and related technologies. A part of the bill reads: “[The task force shall] develop and introduce recommendations regarding policy pertaining to the promotion in the state of the adoption of blockchain, fin...

Nvidia to pay $5.5M as part of SEC case concerning ‘inadequate disclosures’ around crypto mining

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, has announced that it has settled charges against Nvidia — the company behind graphics cards used by many crypto miners — in regards to “inadequate disclosures.” In a Friday announcement, the SEC said that Nvidia failed to disclose that mining cryptocurrencies was “a significant element of its material revenue growth” based on sales of its graphics processing units, or GPUs, during the 2018 fiscal year. The company has agreed to pay a $5.5 million penalty and will be subject to a cease-and-desist order based on violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and disclosures required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. According to the SEC, Nvidia reported growth in revenue around its gaming business in 2018, but also had informatio...