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Regulators Make Way For Wall Street

GB Market Commentary 27/03/2023

by Marcus Sotiriou

Bitcoin is hovering around $27,800 and is performing well relative to other assets amongst a banking crisis in the US. The impacts of banks who deal with crypto collapsing does not bode well for US crypto regulation, and US exchanges are already feeling the rath of lawmakers.

Coinbase in particular has had incredible trouble when dealing with US regulators. Last week, they received a Wells notice from the SEC, which is a letter typically sent to inform a company or individual that the SEC is planning enforcement action against them. Coinbase has had several meetings with regulators over the years, spending significant effort trying to comply. However, they are being charged over their staking and asset listings. Coinbase Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, has remained firm, as he said, “After years of asking for reasonable crypto rules, we're disappointed that the SEC is considering courts over constructive dialogue. But if courts are required, so be it. We'll defend the rule of law.”

I think it is clear that the SEC’s fight against Coinbase is not just against the US-based exchange, but a fight against all of crypto, as the SEC seeks control over the industry in a way which is harmful and unproductive.

On Friday, it was announced that Nasdaq is readying its launch into Web3 in September with its own cryptocurrency brokerage firm. They will join traditional financial institutions such as Fidelity and BNY Mellon in offering crypto custody. With these Wall Street giants becoming cryptocurrency brokerage firms themselves, it becomes easier to understand why they are attacking crypto native exchanges and existing cryptocurrency brokerage firms.

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