Data from CryptoCompare shows the price of Bitcoin dropped from $30,000 to a low near the $27,000 mark, around which it is currently trading. The cryptocurrency is now changing hands for $27,300.
Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, moved in a similar way, dropping from roughly $2,1000 to a low above the $1,800 mark. It’s currently trading at $1,840 after failing to remain above $1,850.
Headlines in cryptocurrency over the last seven days were dominated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its actions against companies operating in the cryptocurrency space.
Over the week, the SEC sued trading platform Bittrex for breaking securities laws, even though the exchange is actively winding down its operations in the country.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Bittrex and its former CEO, Bill Shihara, deliberately avoided the federal securities laws’ registration requirements by telling crypto asset issuers to remove some statements from their offering materials that would suggest that they were securities.
The regulator also alleged Bittrex earned at least #1.3 billion in revenues from transaction fees from investors, without registering or complying with U.S. Securities laws. The SEC filed the lawsuit as part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard investors and ensure compliance in the crypto markets, and Bittrex quickly responded it was “disappointed” with the SEC’s “approach of regulation by enforcement.”
The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, has revealed the firm is preparing for a lengthy legal battle with the SEC after the regulator also accused it of potential securities law violations.
The cryptocurrency exchange received a Wells notice from the regulator last month, indicating potential enforcement action is due. The notice is often a final step the regulator takes before filing charges.
Coinbase has already seemingly started to diversify away from the US, with plans to launch an offshore derivatives trading platform in the near future. The company has recently received a license from the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
The SEC’s actions have seen its Chairman Gary Gensler clash with Republications on the House Financial Services Committee over digital asset regulations during a hearing, in which lawmakers criticized the regulator’s approach. Lawmakers argued that the SEC’s approach lacks clarity and may not be suitable for the crypto market.
EU parliament passes ground-breaking MiCA crypto regulation
While the SEC has been criticised for its approach and is seemingly driving away crypto firms, the European Parliament has approved the world’s first legislative framework for cryptocurrencies, the Markets in Crypto Act (MiCA), with a 517 to 38 vote.
MiCA aims to minimise risks associated with crypto investments and holds providers accountable for investor losses. The legislation imposes various requirements on crypto platforms, token issuers, and traders, focusing on transparency, disclosure, authorization, and transaction supervision.
Under MiCA, platforms must inform consumers about potential risks, new tokens will be subject to regulatory oversight, and stablecoins must maintain sufficient reserves.
Despite the SEC’s approach, the US House Financial Services Committee is making renewed efforts to establish a regulatory framework for stablecoins, such as USDC and Tether.
A new draft bill aims to put the Federal Reserve in charge of non-bank stablecoins, with the central bank responsible for approving and regulating issuers like Circle and Tether. The draft bill would also require companies looking to do business in the US required to register or face a $1 million fine.
Societe Generale’s crypto arm launches Euro-pegged stablecoin on Ethereum
In other news, Societe Generale’s cryptocurrency division, SG Forge, has announced the launch of a stablecoin pegged to the euro (EUR) on the Ethereum blockchain. The stablecoin, EUR CoinVertible (EURCV), is meant to serve as a bridge between traditional capital markets and the digital asset realm for institutional investors.
SG Forge aims to address the growing demand from its clientele for a reliable settlement asset for on-chain transactions, as well as a means of facilitating on-chain liquidity funding and refinancing.
The move comes amid growing interest in the cryptocurrency space, with the trading volumes of cryptocurrency derivatives experiencing a three-month growth streak this year, according to CCData’s latest Outlook Report.
The report reveals that derivatives trading accounted for approximately 74% of the nearly $4 trillion crypto market volume in March. Although the majority of this trading occurred on centralised exchanges (CEX), decentralised exchanges (DEX) contributed $68.7 billion to the market.
The growing interest has also led to a 40% year-on-year spike in cryptocurrency phishing attacks in 2022. The number of detected crypto phishing attacks rose dramatically from 3,596,437 in 2021 to 5,040,520 in 2022.
Francisco Memoria is a content creator at CryptoCompare who’s in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. His work has been published in numerous reputable industry publications. Francisco holds various cryptocurrencies.
Featured image via Unsplash.