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The the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) provided guidance allowing US banks to use blockchains and stablecoins for payment activities and “other bank-permissible functions”. This will provide less expensive and real time alternatives to the existing networks such as SWIFT or ACH. While there are unique risks involved the OCC recognizes that banks are well suited to manage these risks.
This is likely to add more fuel to the bull market in Bitcoin and Ethereum as both are used to host the most popular stable coins such as USDT, USDC and DAI. This news should also have a positive effect on Ethereum’s growing DEFI ecosystem which uses stable coins as a foundation. This is rare welcome news from US regulators and provides hope that the US is not entirely hostile to crypto currencies. This is in contrast to the December 18 FinCen request for comments on requiring identity verification for unhosted wallets, which if implemented would risk pushing users and exchanges further away from the US.
The OCC guidance can be found here: https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2021/nr-occ-2021-2.html
After lagging behind bitcoin during the recent bull market we saw ETH peak just shy of $740 overnight. This is the first time since 2018 ETH has seen these prices. Catalysts for the move include spillover from Bitcoin’s growing acceptance as an institutional treasury asset and the launch of ETH futures by the CME in February 2021. As the DEFI landscape matures ETH should also see upward pressure in price from demand for use as collateral.
The SEC announced it has filed charges against Ripple Labs and two of it’s executives for allegedly raising $1.3 billion through an unregistered and ongoing digital asset securities offering. In 2013 Ripple Labs launched a cross border payments network and minted 100 billion XRP token to be used as the native token of the Ripple network . It is the sale and use of the proceeds of the XRP token that is at the center of the charges.
Coinbase announced today that it confidentially submitted its Form-S1 to the SEC, officially acknowledging its plan to go public with an IPO.
Over night, bitcoin continued reaching new all-time highs hitting $23,441 before easing back. The overnight crypto charts are a sea of green of with the exception of USD pegged tokens.
Bitcoin passed $20,000 for the first time this morning, and popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is suffering an outage as interest surges.
Bitcoin is trading at $20,000 for the first time.
Bitcoin’s price has surged in recent months after hitting a yearly bottom in the $4,000 range in mid-March. In early October the digital asset began a rapid climb to over $19,000, but just today surpassed the $20,000 threshold.