- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated in a report published on Monday that USDT
plays a central role in the booming growth of the fraud industry.
- European Union policymakers reached a temporary agreement on Wednesday on some parts of a comprehensive regulatory framework to combat money laundering.
- According to Panigirtzoglou, the SEC sees ‘all cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin as securities.’
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Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are entering another week, facing the possibility of volatility after completing a challenging week.
Summary of Last Week
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Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are concluding a challenging week. As a week marked by intense BTC sales by Grayscale and a decrease in BTC prices comes to an end, let’s take a broad look at what happened this week…
Barclays Expects Fed to Start Cutting Interest Rates from March
Barclays economists predict that the seasonally adjusted annual inflation rate for US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) will be 1.9% in the second half of 2023 and reach 2.4% by the end of 2024. Given the recent economic data showing a slowdown in the inflation trend, it is expected that the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will implement a policy of reducing interest rates by 25 basis points every two meetings from March 2024. Barclays had previously predicted that the Fed would start cutting interest rates in June.
UN Report: USDT Plays a Central Role in Money Laundering in Southeast Asian Illegal Casinos
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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated in a report published on Monday that USDT plays a central role in the booming growth of the fraud industry. The development of cryptocurrencies and the rapid progress of other technologies have encouraged organized crime groups in Southeast Asia to exploit the practice of laundering illegal funds through black market casinos for years. The report emphasizes that organized crime effectively creates a new banking system using new technologies and exacerbates the crime ecosystem in the region with irregular or entirely unregulated online casinos and cryptocurrencies.
Tether expressed disappointment in response to the UN assessment, stating that the report ignored USDT’s role in supporting the development of emerging market economies while focusing on its involvement in illegal activities. Tether collaborates with global law enforcement agencies, including the US Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the US National Security Agency, by imposing a series of restrictions.
EU Temporarily Requires Customer Identity Verification for Crypto Companies Conducting Transactions of €1000 or More
European Union policymakers reached a temporary agreement on Wednesday on some parts of a comprehensive regulatory framework to combat money laundering, requiring all cryptocurrency companies to verify the identity of their customers. According to the agreement, cryptocurrency companies must implement “customer identity verification measures” for transactions with a value of €1000 or more. The agreement also includes risk reduction measures for transactions involving self-hosted wallets. The agreement will come into effect after being officially adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.
Monetary Authority of Singapore Bans Listing of Bitcoin Spot ETFs in the Country
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not eligible assets for ETFs, prohibiting the offering of financial products to retail investors in the country. However, MAS licensed capital market intermediaries can provide investments related to Bitcoin spot ETFs listed overseas through local brokerage firms.
Updates on the Status of Spot Ethereum ETFs This Week
JPMorgan Executive: “Probability of Approval for Spot Ethereum ETF in May Exceeding 50% is Unlikely”: JPMorgan Executive Director Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou predicts that the probability of approval for a spot Ethereum ETF in May will be less than 50%. Panigirtzoglou said, “For the SEC to approve a spot Ethereum ETF in May, it needs to classify Ethereum as a security, similar to Bitcoin. This is not certain, and I believe the probability of the SEC classifying Ethereum as a commodity before May is less than 50%.”
TD Cowen: “Low Likelihood of SEC Short-Term Approval for Spot Ethereum ETF”: Investment bank TD Cowen stated that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is unlikely to approve a spot Ethereum ETF in the short term. The TD Cowen Washington research team stated in a report earlier this week, “We do not expect the SEC to quickly approve Ethereum or other crypto ETPs because we believe the SEC will want to gain experience from Bitcoin ETPs before approving Ethereum or other crypto ETPs.” The research team added, “The waiting period may not be as long as 26 months, but it will probably be after the elections.”
SEC Extends Decision Date for Fidelity’s Spot Ethereum ETF Until March 5: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended its decision on Fidelity’s proposed spot Ethereum ETF until March 5, 2024. Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart commented, “This move is entirely as expected, and in my opinion, the truly important date is the end of May.”
Fidelity: Fed’s Interest Rate Cut Could Benefit DeFi and Stablecoins
Fidelity’s report shows that an expected interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve could reignite the interest of major institutions in decentralized finance (DeFi) and stablecoins if the infrastructure in these areas further develops this year. While institutions were expected to enter the market last year due to the returns offered by DeFi, they preferred traditional fixed-income products considered safe due to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. The report suggests that if DeFi returns become higher than Traditional Finance (TradFi) again and more advanced infrastructure emerges, institutions could develop ‘new interest’ in DeFi in 2024.
Binance Weekly Summary
Since reaching an agreement with US regulatory authorities in November, Binance has recorded a net inflow of $4.6 billion: Since reaching an agreement with US regulators on November 21, Binance has recorded a net inflow of $4.6 billion, surpassing the capital inflow of exchanges such as OKX and Bybit. In January alone, the Binance platform withdrew $3.5 billion, exceeding the capital inflow of any full month since November 2022. Additionally, Binance stabilized in December, and the BNB token, the exchange token, increased by 30% since November 21, outperforming the market.
Some Binance Users Receive Liquidation Messages Due to SMS System Malfunction: On the evening of January 17, some Binance users received a mass text message stating, “Your USDT margin account’s margin ratio has reached 80%. Please add margin or reduce your position immediately.” Binance customer service responded, explaining that many people received liquidation and close liquidation messages today due to a malfunction in the SMS system. Users were advised to ignore the messages because technical maintenance was ongoing.
Binance and Gulf Energy’s Joint Venture Starts Operating a Crypto Exchange in Thailand: Gulf Binance, the joint venture between Binance and Thailand’s Gulf Energy, has started operating a full-scale cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand. According to the announcement, Thai users can use Binance TH accounts to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with the local currency.
Solana Mobile Announces the Start of Pre-orders for the Second-Generation Saga Phone
Solana Mobile announced the start of pre-orders for the second-generation Saga phone, requiring a $450 pre-order deposit with an estimated delivery date in 2025. The sale will include various features such as referrals and leaderboards. Earlier, it was stated that the second-generation Saga phone would have similar basic features to its predecessor, Saga. Raj Gokal, co-founder of Solana and President of Solana Labs, mentioned that pre-orders for Solana Mobile’s second-generation phone, Solana Chapter2, reached 30,000 units within the first 30 hours, surpassing the sales of the first-generation phone in the first 12 months.
Elon Musk Still Owns Dogecoin, Significant Amount of Bitcoin at SpaceX
Elon Musk recently revealed in a Twitter Space session that he still owns Dogecoin (DOGE) and sees this digital asset as his favorite in the crypto industry. Musk also disclosed that SpaceX holds a significant amount of Bitcoin. However, it is important to note that Tesla had previously sold 75% of its Bitcoin assets.
What to Expect Next Week?
Next week, two significant macro developments stand out: US GDP data for Q4 2023 and PCE data. US Q4 2023 GDP data could create volatility in the markets. Additionally, PCE is the inflation data tracked by the Federal Reserve. A decrease in this data could be positive for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The annual expectation is marked at 3%. The previous data was 3.2%. In a situation where the Fed’s inflation target is 2%, a decrease in PCE could create a positive market sentiment.
In addition to these macro developments, Tesla’s earnings reports will be announced after the market closes on January 24. This report will reveal whether Tesla has bought or sold Bitcoin. On the same day, the SEC will announce a decision on Grayscale’s application for a spot Ethereum ETF. The SEC can approve, reject, or postpone Grayscale’s application.
— COINOTAG NEWS (@coinotagen) January 21, 2024