ICYMI: Crypto News Update 20/11/2023
Coincover brings you a roundup of key events shaping the crypto landscape last week, just in case you missed it. So what’s been going on?
Santander Private Banking International to offer crypto trading
Santander Private Banking International is offering its high-net-worth clients the ability to invest and trade bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).
In the coming months, the offerings will expand to more cryptocurrencies that align with the criteria set by the bank. However, the exclusive service will be accessible only upon request. Furthermore, to prioritise security and compliance, all assets will be safeguarded within a meticulously regulated custody model.
Spot bitcoin ETF application approvals delayed until 2024
The decision to approve Franklin Templeton’s and Global X’s spot bitcoin ETF applications has been postponed. , The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was meant to approve Franklin’s application by the 17th of November and Global’s by the 21st, but the SEC has now deferred any decision on these applications until the start of 2024.
Many companies have had hopes to launch a spot bitcoin ETF’s this year, with some now also applying to launch ether ETF’s. There is currently no indication as to the decision the SEC will make on the applications but previous rejections were due to the susceptibility of the market and lack of surveillance-sharing agreements. The current applicants claim that these concerns have been looked in to and addressed in their new applications. Fortunately, the price of bitcoin did not drop following the news.
Ukraine to be trained on how to investigate crypto and virtual assets
14 Ukraine officials underwent specialised training on investigating modern financial crimes during a course held from November 14 to November 17 in Vienna.
Facilitated by the Office of the Co-Ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the program equipped select supervisory and law enforcement officials from Ukraine with advanced techniques and tools necessary for investigating financial crime. The initiative algins with global efforts to address security-related challenges and other concerns. The training aimed to enhance the expertise of participants in virtual asset and crypto investigations, contributing to the ongoing fight against financial crimes in the digital world.
Dubai’s VARA appoints new CEO
Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), is undergoing a leadership transition in preparation for the next phase of its full-scale market operations in 2023. Henson Orseer, the current CEO of VARA and former banker will be succeeded by Matthew White, a seasoned global advisor with a background in various roles at PwC.
This also coincides with the United Arab Emirates tightening regulations and imposing fines on unlicensed virtual asset service providers (VASPs).
New York to tighten crypto guidelines
New York's financial regulator, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), has strengthened guidelines for cryptocurrency listing and delisting to enhance investor protection. As of November 15, crypto companies operating in the state are required to submit their coin listing and delisting policies for NYDFS approval.
The NYDFS will evaluate company policies based on more rigorous risk assessment standards, considering factors such as technological, operational, cybersecurity, market, liquidity, and illicit activity risks associated with the tokens. These changes apply to all digital currency businesses licensed under New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations, as well as limited-purpose trust companies under the state's banking law.
Cryptocurrency firms with previously approved coin listing policies are no longer allowed to self-certify tokens without NYDFS approval. Among the companies affected by these rules are Circle (stablecoin issuer), Gemini (crypto exchange), Fidelity (fund manager), Robinhood (trading house), and PayPal (payments giant).
Active supply of bitcoin and ether at record low
The current circulating supply of both bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) has been at a record low since records began in 2017. Within the last year, just 30% of bitcoin and 39% of ether have been moved around. In March 2017 and 2018, 59% of all bitcoin supply was active and a staggering 86% of ether was moved around in the same year. Following this low is the highly anticipated bitcoin halving expected in April 2024.
Mastercard take an extra step towards transaction protection
Mastercard has partnered with regulatory technology platform, Feedzai, to improve the monitoring and blocking of fraud within cryptocurrencies. It’s exciting to see big players like Mastercard making the move into the crypto space and particularly exciting to see them take extra measures to protect and monitor assets in the space too. According to data from Feedzai, 40% of scam transactions come directly from a bank account to a crypto exchange. Feedzai’s software will identify and block suspicious transactions on through Mastercard.