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US Regulators Target Major Players

GB Market Commentary 20/09/2021

by Jonas Luethy

Following a moderately bullish weekend, the market took a sharp turn downwards last night. Bitcoin dropped by almost $2000 in a matter of hours, with the rest of the market following suit. After closing above $47000 on Saturday, BTC broke down past the 50 day moving average yesterday and is currently trading just below $45000. Some have attributed the sudden dip to the currently ongoing Evergrande situation in China which has already caused turmoil in traditional markets. Analysts have suggested a choppy week is ahead, with a potential pullback to as low as $41000, although a key support remains at $44000. Bitcoin dominance is 42.3 and the total crypto market cap is 1.99 trillion.

El Salvador took advantage of the fall in prices, adding a further 150 bitcoins to its holdings which now amount to 700 BTC. President Bukele stated that: “they can never beat you if you buy the dips” and that this was “presidential advice”. El Salvador now boasts over 200 bitcoin ATMs, and foreign nationals can now purchase citizenship for 3 bitcoin. The president’s legal advisor has also hinted that foreign nationals would not need to pay tax on bitcoin related profits, though the details remain vague.

Binance is under investigation from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission for possible insider trading and market manipulation. A Bloomberg report suggests the exchange has not been fully accused of any wrongdoing yet, and it is still unknown whether any legal action will ensue. A Binance spokesperson has reaffirmed the zero-tolerance policy that is in effect at the company, pointing to heavy repercussions should employees be found of any wrongdoings. The DOJ and IRS are also looking into whether Binance has been used for money laundering in the past as regulators crack down further on the exchange.

Coinbase has signed a deal with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement which would allow the agency to use the Coinbase analytics tool for undisclosed purposes. CEO Brian Armstrong came under heavy fire from many members of the Crypto community who have argued that working with governmental agencies runs directly against one of the core tenets of cryptocurrency, privacy. Other agencies such as the DEA and IRS have also shown keen interest in the analytics tool for other operations.

Finally, Celsius is now being targeted by state regulators in New York, Texas and New Jersey for allegedly not complying with local securities laws. CEO Alex Mashinsky was quick to respond, stating that the company wholeheartedly disagrees with the allegations and that they continue to seek to globally operate in full compliance with the law.


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