As active as the blockchain and cryptocurrency spaces are on a continual basis, it may sometimes be difficult to keep up with everything that’s going on. It’s also difficult to separate the real news from the fluff – those pieces that are only designed to appear noteworthy but that are, in fact, just publicity campaigns. In an effort to provide crypto enthusiasts with an overview of what’s going on, here is a rundown on some of the top stories of the week.
Bitfinex and Tether have had another rough week. There was some good news, as well as bad, as the saga over their close relationship and questionable activities continues. On the one hand, Bitfinex has been told by a judge that it won’t have to turn over documents related to those activities for now. The New York Attorney General’s Office wants to know exactly what the two have been doing behind closed doors, and they’re fighting the office over its reported lack of jurisdiction. Until a request to have the case dismissed over those jurisdiction claims can be answered by a judge, Bitfinex can ignore the request.
On the other hand, though, neither of the two entities should think that it’s off the hook. While they have been given a brief reprieve in the fight with the New York government, they face a separate one with New York investors. A law firm in the state, Roche Freedman, has filed a class-action suit against Tether for its “fraudulent” stablecoin scheme. Tether’s USDT stablecoin is no longer pegged to the U.S. dollar, as it had been advertised, and the company is accused of using its position to manipulate the crypto market.
Alipay was forced to take a defensive stance this week after rumors started circulating that it was now accepting crypto payments. This would have been against the Alibaba-owned payment platform’s own rules and would, according to the company, possibly violate payment financial regulations. Alipay has a strict no-crypto policy that doesn’t permit the platform to be tied in any way to digital currencies. The announcement came after the Binance exchange stated publicly that it was now able to receive fiat payments using Alipay, via a third-party processor, which didn’t sit well with Alibaba.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected yet another rule change proposal that sought to introduce a crypto-based exchange-traded fund (ETF). This one had been submitted by Bitwise Asset Management and the NYSE Arca exchange at the beginning of the year, and received the same response as have the myriad of other requests – the possibility of market manipulation prevents the SEC from signing off on the proposal. Bitwise has indicated that it might try again, but at a much later date.
On October 6, Bitcoin SV (BSV) reached a new milestone. A review of blockchain activity revealed that BSV had surpassed BTC in the total number of transactions per day. That day, BSV saw 290,000 transactions, while BTC saw 288,000. One of the biggest reasons for the increase comes from the difference in transaction fees. An average BTC transaction will set someone back around $51.42, while the average cost for a BSV transaction is just $0.31.
If there were any questions about how Bank of America (BoA) views the future of digital currency, things were just cleared up a little. BoA had long been a staunch opponent to anything having to do with crypto, but then began to seek blockchain patents and explore the fringes of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Its latest move leaves zero doubt about what is coming, as it has recently completed a recruitment action that was launched to find a Ripple expert to work in-house. The individual, according to BoA’s LinkedIn job posting, would “lead the project management team for the Ripple Project.”
Lichtenstein is still determined to be a leading financial hub, even if that hub centers on digital currency and not fiat. The country’s Parliament just approved a new Blockchain Act, which will give better protection to companies and investors, and will almost certain attract a lot of activity to the mid-Europe country.
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