Binance, Coinbase head to court; the SEC labels 67 crypto-securities
Top Stories This Week
U.S. SEC sues Binance and Coinbase amidst crypto crackdown
Binance and Coinbase have been targeted in a new round of lawsuits by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against crypto businesses. The regulator pressed 13 charges against Binance on June 5, including those involving unregistered offerings and sales of tokens, and failing to register as an exchange or broker-dealer. The commission also went after Coinbase on similar grounds, alleging that popular cryptocurrencies offered by the exchange are securities. Trading volume across the major decentralized exchanges jumped 444% in the hours following the legal actions. In the six months after FTX’s bankruptcy, SEC crypto-related enforcement actions rose 183%.
SEC lawsuits: 67 cryptocurrencies are now seen as securities by the SEC
The total number of cryptocurrencies the United States securities regulator has labeled as a “security” has now reached an estimated 67, after adding a few more to the list in its lawsuit against crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase. In its case against Binance, the SEC introduced 10 cryptocurrencies into the securities classification, while it named 13 cryptocurrencies in its Coinbase suit. The “security” label now applies to over $100 billion worth of the market, or around 10% of the $1.09 trillion total crypto market capitalization.
Coinbase CEO’s stock sale was probably not planned to occur a day ahead of SEC suit
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sold company shares the day before the SEC lawsuit against the exchange. The transaction caused a minor stir in the Twitter cryptoverse, as Armstrong avoided a sharp loss by doing so. SEC records show that Armstrong sold 29,730 shares of the company on June 5, the day before the SEC suit. Armstrong has been selling Coinbase stock regularly since November under a 10b5-1 plan adopted in August, which determines the timing and size of transactions in advance. The net worths of Armstrong and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao have suffered heavy blows due to the suits. Within 30 hours, Armstrong’s net worth plummeted by $289 million and Zhao’s by $1.33 billion.
Binance.US suspends USD deposits, warns of fiat withdrawal pause
Binance.US has suspended U.S. dollar deposits and announced an upcoming pause for fiat withdrawals as early as June 13. According to the exchange, it was forced to take action amid “extremely aggressive and intimidating tactics” from American regulators. Trading, staking, deposits and withdrawals in crypto remain fully operational. Binance.US also delisted eight Bitcoin pairs and two BUSD pairs while noting that OTC Trading Portal services were paused.
June 2023 has proven to be a tumultuous month for cryptocurrency exchanges in America. Crypto.com will no longer serve institutional clients in the United States after announcing the suspension of the service starting June 21. The Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange cited limited demand from institutional customers as a primary reason for the move, which has been exacerbated by testing prevailing market conditions. American retail users still have access to cryptocurrency derivatives trading and the UpDown Options offering.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $26,449, Ether (ETH) at $1,837 and XRP at $0.53. The total market cap is at $1.1 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Terra Classic (LUNC) at 17.73%, XRP (XRP) at 2.40% and Stacks (STX) at 2.39%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Sui (SUI) at -22.08%, Conflux (CFX) at -20.97%, and Flare (FLR) at 20.57%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
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Most Memorable Quotations
“The SEC doesn’t make the law. Indeed, this approach to regulation is unacceptable, but it is what we have come to expect from the SEC and its anti-crypto stance.”
Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association
“We’re proud to represent the industry in court to finally get some clarity around crypto rules.”
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase
“We believe that blockchain and Web3 technology have enormous potential to transform a wide range of industries and prepare them for the future.”
Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol
“[Gary Gensler] opened up this year, in 2023, with all these enforcement actions; I think it looks like CYA [cover your ass] to me.”
French Hill, United States Representative
“When regulation does not meet novel technology where it is, the U.S. loses its competitive edge over other countries.”
Ryan Wyatt, president of Polygon Labs
“We believe that the capital market information will be completely different in a few years, and it is our job to lead the revolution.”
Ittai Ben Zeev, CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
Prediction of the Week
Bitcoin price can gain 60% if ‘textbook’ chart pattern confirms — Trader
Bitcoin may be in line for a 60% upside if a long-term chart feature stays intact. Popular pseudonymous trader Mikybull Crypto flagged encouraging signs on the BTC/USD weekly chart, arguing that it shows the pair completing and now retesting an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern.
“Bitcoin is flashing a text book inverse head and shoulders on the weekly TF. Price is currently retesting the Neckline after the breakout,” Mikybull Crypto explained, before adding that “if the range between the head and neckline is usually the sprint, we are anticipating another 60% rally on BTC.”
That 60% “sprint” would place BTC/USD at around $40,000.
FUD of the Week
US Bitcoin supply fell over 10% in the past year — Glassnode
Bitcoin abandoned the United States during the 2022 bear market, new research from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode. The latest analysis of the Bitcoin supply shows a global migration away from the U.S. and toward Asia. Since mid-2022, the amount of the supply held and traded by U.S. entities has decreased by more than 10%. At the same time, Europe’s share has stayed roughly equal, translating to a redistribution from west to east. The Year-over-year Supply Change shows the U.S. share beginning to decline in March 2021 but accelerating beginning in May this year.
Gary Gensler: Crypto market is like 1920s stock market, full of ‘fraudsters’
During a speech this week, U.S. SEC chair Gary Gensler compared the current crypto market to the 1920s stock market, saying that it is full of “hucksters,” “fraudsters,” and “Ponzi schemes.” Just as Congress cleaned up the stock market by enacting securities laws in the past, the current SEC can also clean up the crypto market by applying these laws, he argued. Gensler has been heavily criticized within the crypto industry, especially since the SEC filed lawsuits against crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase. Critics say he has an overly expansive view of the SEC’s regulatory authority and is driving innovation out of the U.S.
GameStop fires CEO Matt Furlong months after axing crypto push
GameStop has fired its CEO Matt Furlong, the executive responsible for launching the company’s push into NFTs. The news came alongside GameStop’s first quarter earnings call, which saw earnings per share that missed market expectations by more than 133%. The company did not provide a reason for Furlong’s termination. He will be succeeded by billionaire investor Ryan Cohen. GameStop launched its NFT marketplace in June 2022 with nearly $2 million in sales in the first 24 hours of operation. In August, however, daily sales volumes had fallen to under $4,000, a 99.8% drop from opening day.
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