● U.S. STABLE Act Takes Aim at Stablecoins
● Top U.S. Currency Regulator: Expect ‘clarity’ soon on cryptocurrency regulations
● S&P Dow Jones Indices Set to Launch Cryptocurrency markets in 2021
As always, welcome again to this week’s edition of Overbit Insights. As this market continues to grow and mature, one of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind is how governmental regulations will impact the non-nation-state backed currencies. That being said, today’s edition revolves heavily around rumoured regulations, specifically in the United States.
Our first story starts with a recently-announced piece of legislation coming from the US House of Representatives. This wide-sweeping proposal, known as the STABLE Act, takes aim at the stablecoin market – coins that are pegged to real-world assets. This 18-page bill contains a host of different restrictions on these stablecoins, but one in particular has drawn the attention of the entire cryptocurrency community. The passage of this so-called STABLE Act would require full US banking compliance from any and all stablecoin providers, including FDIC insurance, banking charters, and approval from the Federal Reserve.
Authors of the bill claim that this act is intended to prevent the proliferation of shady banking practices from entering the cryptocurrency space, such as subprime lending and lack of financial inclusion for poor people. Though not explicitly stated, many people see this bill as a direct shot at Facebook’s Libra. However, it’s clear this bill would have massive collateral damage, impacting any and all stablecoins like DAI, Tether, USDC and more.
Many speculate this bill is likely dead-on-arrival in Congress, but according to CoinDesk guest NLW, “this is more than just another bill that will go nowhere in Congress, it’s the opening salvo of a new set of arguments that will define the next face of regulatory battles for the entire crypto industry.”. As we’ve written about extensively, this clash between physical regulators and intangible cryptocurrencies will continue to be a dominant theme, and will likely shape the future of digital money.
Moving on from this bit of negative, regulatory news, we shift to something a bit more optimistic. This past week, many in the cryptocurrency space, including Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, came out against rumoured regulations set to be rushed out by the outgoing Trump administration. Among other things, these rumoured regulations were set to destroy the concept of self-hosted wallets, requiring exchanges and other entities to track all non-exchange wallets fully.
However, despite these warnings, Brian Brooks, acting comptroller of the US currency, said new crypto regulations are on the way but “nobody’s going to ban bitcoin.” Brooks continued on in this supportive vein, saying “We’re very focused on getting this right. We’re very focused on not killing this. And it’s equally important that we develop the networks behind bitcoin and other cryptos as it is that we prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.”.
With so many worries about cryptocurrency regulation in the United States, this message from one of the highest-ranking financial entities in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is quite a reassuring one. Despite the inherent clash between governments and cryptocurrency, it’s important to remember that both sides are simply made up of people, and there will always be supporters of both sides in either camp.
To close out this week’s edition of Overbit Insights, we take a look at some even more positive news coming out of the cryptocurrency space, albeit a bit removed from the earlier regulatory stories.
According to Reuters on Thursday, 3 December, the S&P Dow Jones Indices, a division of financial data provider S&P Global Inc, announced it plans to launch tradeable, cryptocurrency indices next year.
For the underlying data, the S&P indices will use data from New York-based virtual currency company Lukka on more than 550 of the top traded coins. This will just be the start of their offerings, the companies said, as trading partners will be able to create their own, customized index fund. In a joint statement, these two companies both said they hope more mainstream & reliable pricing data will make it easier for investors to access the new asset class. “With digital assets such as cryptocurrencies becoming a rapidly emerging asset class, the time is right for independent, reliable and user-friendly benchmarks,” said Peter Roffman, global head of innovation and strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
This news is just the latest of big-name, institutional partners entering the cryptocurrency markets as Bitcoin continues to hold a few points below new all-time highs. As more institutions throw their hat into the ring, offering more sophisticated tools for investors, we continue to see massive investments by the likes of Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller, and Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy, to name a few.
Thanks again for reading this edition of Overbit Insights. This space has evolved from just one person to hundreds of billions of dollars in just a decade. Though a large leap, this money represents only a tiny sliver of the whole investment world. As things continue to grow and mature, the space will undoubtedly change. Here at Overbit.com, we will do our best to keep you up-to-date in such a rapidly-growing ecosystem.