Crypto Daily News from ZBG Exchange

1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Climbs as Elon Musk Tames Shorts

Bitcoin and other cryptos rallied as Musk boosted bullish sentiment during The B Word conference.

Cryptocurrencies rebounded on Wednesday as short sellers covered positions ahead of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s appearance at The B Word Conference. Bitcoin was trading at around $32,000 at press time and is up 8% over the past 24 hours. The sharp price bounce reflects positive sentiment in an attempt to reverse a monthlong downtrend largely driven by regulatory uncertainty.

During The B Word conference on Wednesday, Musk boosted bullish sentiment as he announced that SpaceX, one of the companies he founded, holds bitcoin on its balance sheet. Musk also stated that he personally owns ether. The announcement contributed to the rising prices across cryptocurrencies on Wednesday with ether breaking above $2,000 for the first time since July 14.

Cryptocurrencies:

Bitcoin (BTC) $31684, +6.06%

Ether (ETH) $1942.6, +8.29%

Traditional markets:

S&P 500: 4358.7, +0.82%

Gold: $1804.2, -0.34%

10-year Treasury yield closed 1.293%, compared with 1.214% on Tuesday.

“We see that volumes of trading have increased at the lower price levels, presumably because people are buying the dip,” Kirill Suslov, CEO of trading app TabTrader, told.

2. No, the European Union Is Not ‘Banning Anonymous Crypto Wallets’

The E.U. Commissioner for Financial Services may have misunderstood the meaning of her own statement. The reality is hard to imagine.

In a series of shocking statements early yesterday, European Commission regulators declared that they were “banning anonymous cryptocurrency wallets” as part of a money laundering crackdown. This understandably sent crypto markets tumbling — but they quickly recovered, apparently as it became clear the E.U. had woefully misrepresented the substance of the proposed regulation.

The crypto provisions (PDF) were part of a package of four proposals intended to fight money laundering. In a tweet thread summarizing the proposed rules, Mairead McGuinness, the E.U. Commissioner for Financial Services, wrote that the measure “will ban anonymous crypto wallets and make sure that crypto-asset transfers are traceable.”

If that sets your hair on fire, take a deep breath. I try not to use the F word, this being a family publication, but this is one of the rare appropriate instances: The statement from McGuinness is straight-up FUD. Rather than a ban on crypto wallets, the E.U. rules would impose tighter but defensible rules on money service providers, such as exchanges or custody services. Either McGuinness and her communications team misspoke out of genuine ignorance when describing the new rules to the public, or they knowingly obfuscated as a way to misdirect public perception.

As Tim Copeland at The Block pointed out, the new rules would be very similar to the “travel rule” guidelines from the multinational Financial Action Task Force. The rules prohibit providing anonymous services, such as crypto custody or exchange accounts provided by a third party, not the provision of software for self-custody.

In short, the ban would impact the crypto equivalent of Swiss bank accounts, not the use of crypto as cash. So if you’re willing and able to self-custody (which you should really be doing anyway), you can still hold and spend crypto anonymously (unless you do commit a crime, then that anonymity probably won’t last long).

“Banning anonymous wallets” would be a truly terrifying goal, because nearly every cryptocurrency wallet is anonymous by default, in the same sense that every web browser is anonymous by default. Wallets like MyCrypto, Exodus and Electrum are software, available for download worldwide. The notion of “banning anonymous crypto wallets,” in other words, implies an utterly draconian crackdown involving raids on server farms hosting wallet code, SWAT teams battering down the doors of DeFi degens’ basement apartments, and developers on trial for helping people move data around.

3. Tether General Counsel Tells CNBC Audit Is ‘Months’ Away

A day after rival stablecoin issuer Circle released more data about the assets behind USDC, Tether executives went on CNBC’s online show Tech Check to answer questions about its own token, USDT.

An audit for Tether, issuer of the largest stablecoin USDT (+0.02%), could be “months away, not years,” the company’s Stuart Hoegner said in an CNBC interview on Wednesday.

A day after rival stablecoin issuer Circle released more data about the assets behind USDC (+0.02%), Tether executives went on CNBC’s online show “Tech Check” to answer questions about USDT.

CTO Paolo Ardoino and General Counsel Hoegner were interviewed on one of the financial news network’s online shows to take tough questions from Deirdre Bosa. The host pelted them repeatedly with questions about the origin of Tether’s commercial paper and its stalled token issuances even as other stablecoins continue to grow. [A small amount — a little more than $100,000 worth — was issued hours before the interview.]

When asked about audits, Hoegner responded that one could be forthcoming in months, rather than years.

Tether promised audits as far back as 2017, but has yet to produce one. The company even hired New York-based accountants Friedman LLP that year to produce reports, but the relationship was dissolved in early 2018. No audit has ever been issued, though Tether published an attested report in March, 2021. An audit is generally considered to be a far more intensive accounting procedure than an attestation.

Despite amounting inquiries demanding more transparency from Tether, Hoegner said in the CNBC interview that “We’re happy now with our relationship with Moore Cayman, by extension more global, and we are getting the attests and the market is getting the information and the transparency that it needs to make good, efficient decisions about what to hold.”

While CNBC often has CEOs and CFOs on to discuss their companies, Tether’s top brass are notoriously camera shy. A Financial Times story a week ago about Tether/Bitfinex CEO Giancarlo Devasini is one of the few from a major publication to even mention his name. Ardoino and Hoegner, however, are regular commenters on Twitter, frequently defending the stablecoin, particularly against criticism about the quality of the assets they say back the token with $64 billion in market cap and often the most traded cryptocurrency on any given day.

4. Coinbase Commerce Adds Support for Dogecoin Payments

The memecoin is only the sixth crypto to be integrated with Coinbase’s e-commerce platform.

Coinbase’s e-commerce platform has begun accepting dogecoin (DOGE, +8.95%) payments.

Announced on Twitter Wednesday, the integration places DOGE alongside bitcoin (BTC, +7.35%), bitcoin cash (BCH, +6.93%), ether (ETH, +11.02%), litecoin (LTC, +8.76%) and USDC (+0.01%) as one of only a handful of Coinbase Commerce’s supported cryptos.

It will add fuel to the resurgent memecoin’s bid for crypto payments. Coinbase Commerce allows online merchants to accept cryptocurrencies.

This year, billionaire Mark Cuban began taking dogecoin for Dallas Mavericks merch. Elon Musk is also accepting dogecoin as launch payment on an upcoming SpaceX mission.

5. Elon Musk Says SpaceX Holds Bitcoin at ‘B Word’ Conference

The tech entrepreneur and provocateur said he personally owns bitcoin, ether and, naturally, dogecoin.

Elon Musk’s love-hate affair with various cryptocurrency communities continues apace as he shared more details about his and his companies’ holdings at The B Word, a conference held Wednesday.

One of his privately held ventures, aerospace company SpaceX, holds BTC (+7.36%), Musk said. SpaceX’s bitcoin holdings had not been previously disclosed.

The entrepreneur and provocateur said he personally owns bitcoin, ether (ETH, +10.93%) and, naturally, dogecoin (DOGE, +9%).

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July 22, 2021

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