Bitcoin boom calls critical regulators to task

One man’s joy is another man’s sorrow: as simple and outdated as this quick diagnosis of kitchen psychology seems at first glance, it is nevertheless true in everyday life.

The news of the past few days shows that this zero-sum game also finds proof again and again in crypto space. While friends of cryptocurrencies and blockchain enthusiasts think they are in seventh heaven in view of the ongoing Bitcoin boom, the sudden price sprint seems to piss off state regulators.

„Dubious business“ – ECB President Lagarde calls for Bitcoin regulation.

After lawmakers around the world rather left Bitcoin to the left lately, a sudden alarmism now follows. In the hallowed halls of the European Central Bank, there currently seems to be a move to take a hard line against the crypto bandwagon. This is evidenced by the recent statements of ECB President Christine Lagarde. In a recent speech, she called for stricter Bitcoin regulation by leading economic states. Bitcoin, she said, is a „speculative asset“ and allows „dubious transactions“ and money laundering.

„Don’t be blinded“ – BaFin warns against Bitcoin and Co.

Equally critical resounded last week from Germany’s top financial regulator BaFin. In a statement, the authority warned investors not to get carried away by the latest price developments on the crypto market. Not only from direct investments in Bitcoin & Co. but also from corresponding derivatives should be kept their hands off, it said.

Gary Gensler is to become the new SEC chief – is this the death blow for Ripple (XRP)?

Not only the further rising Bitcoin price has to reckon with the headwind of the legislators. Given the spinning personnel merry-go-round at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ripple must brace itself for a heavy hand. The change of guard at the top of the authority was recently seen as a glimmer of hope for many XRP holders. But its new head Gary Gensler could herald the end of the cryptocurrency. Past statements suggest that the former MIT professor and head of the sister agency CFTC will stick to the previous course of the SEC.

FinCEN gives reprieve – U.S. Treasury slows controversial legislative initiative.

Meanwhile, the latest announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department is likely to provide at least temporary relief. Its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently upheld loud complaints from the private sector and politicians and slowed down its controversial legislative initiative to regulate crypto wallets. Specifically, the opposition’s displeasure was most recently ignited by the short timeframe for obtaining public advisory comments. This has now been extended by 15 and 45 days respectively.

CBDC tests extended – China sets up crypto ATMs

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, China continues to resolutely rely on its own recipe to contain the crypto boom: the digital yuan. After China had recently used lotteries to make its state-owned digital money known among the people, Beijing has now simultaneously created the necessary infrastructure for widespread use. In Shenzhen, the state-owned Agricultural Bank of China has now set up crypto ATMs where yuan can be exchanged for its digital version.

Bitcoin mining in Pakistan: new law provides support

Instead of blinkers and handcuffs, other countries are currently trying to take advantage of the Bitcoin boom. In Pakistan, for example, two state-owned mining farms recently went online. At the same time, a draft law was introduced to facilitate public investment in the mining infrastructure. Similar to Iran, this seems to be an attempt to boost the state coffers. Most recently, the coronavirus pandemic had left deep scars on the country’s economic performance.

„DarkMarket“ – Police, FBI and Europol shut down huge darknet trading site

Meanwhile, in the fight against crime on the Internet, an international investigative tandem has recently pulled off a joint coup. German police, U.S. investigators from the DEA and FBI, and the European police agency Europol succeeded last week in shutting down what is believed to be the largest darknet trading site, DarkMarket. Bitcoin and Monero with a current total value of almost 135 million euros are said to have been moved in the transactions conducted here. Observers see such investigative successes as an opportunity for cryptocurrencies to polish up their image.