Crypto Companies Celebrate as SEC Delays Decision on Bitcoin ETFs
Crypto Assets Gaining Recognition On Aug. 29, crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments scored a major victory against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its efforts to convert its over-the-counter Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a listed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Neomi Rao ordered Grayscale’s petition…
Crypto Assets Gaining Recognition
On Aug. 29, crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments scored a major victory against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its efforts to convert its over-the-counter Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a listed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Neomi Rao ordered Grayscale’s petition for review be granted and the SEC’s order to deny the GBTC listing application be vacated. Previously, Rao said that the SEC did not “offer any explanation” as to why Grayscale was in the wrong.
Initial enthusiasm in the crypto community about the victory was tempered by the understanding of the limits of the court’s decision. “So far, every time they lose in court they just shamelessly say the judge got it wrong and pursue more shenanigans,” Delphi Labs general counsel Gabriel Shapiro said. According to Zero Knowledge Consulting managing partner Austin Campbell: “For many companies, fighting back is incredibly expensive (you will win, but you’ll be bankrupt when you do) or you’re a financial conglomerate where the SEC can fuck up the rest of your business in the meantime. Gangster behavior.”
Meanwhile, the SEC has postponed its decisions on six applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs such as those proposed by WisdomTree, VanEck, Invesco Galaxy, Bitwise, Valkyrie, and Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust. The SEC will have another 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register to consider the proposed rule changes allowing the listing of the investment vehicles, giving the regulator until October to approve, deny or delay a decision.
The UK’s Travel Rule Comes into Effect
The UK has also implemented a travel rule to ensure that crypto businesses comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) regulations. The rule requires crypto companies to collect and store certain information about their customers to enable the tracing of financial transactions.
Cryptocurrency Transfers and NFTs in the UK and US
Crypto asset businesses in the United Kingdom must now comply with the Travel Rule for crypto which came into effect last week, meaning that transfers from overseas jurisdictions that haven’t implemented the Travel Rule must be subject to a “risk-based assessment” before being made available to the beneficiary. This also applies to those in the UK sending payments outside the UK.
Allegations of Unregistered Securities Transactions with NFTs
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused Impact Theory — a Los Angeles-based media and entertainment company — of engaging in unregistered securities transactions by offering nonfungible tokens (NFTs) called Founder’s Keys, which raised almost $30 million from October to December 2021. According to the SEC, the company “encouraged potential investors to view the purchase of a Founder’s Key as an investment into the business.”
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Crypto Declared Property by Chinese Court
A People’s Court in China recently released a report on the legality of virtual assets, analyzing the criminal law attributes of digital assets. The court noted that virtual assets, under the current legal policy framework, are still legal property and protected by law.
The report, titled “Identification of the Property Attributes of Virtual Currency and Disposal of Property Involved in the Case”, acknowledged that virtual assets have economic attributes and thus can be classified as property. Despite China’s blanket ban on all foreign digital assets, the report argued that virtual assets held by individuals should be considered legal and protected by law under the current policy framework.
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Crypto and the EU’s Regulatory Landscape
The European Union has been at the forefront of the crypto revolution, pioneering regulations that could shape the future of the industry. MiCA, the proposed Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation, is a key part of this, but what are the good, the bad, and the ugly of the EU’s crypto rules?
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