News Roundup — SEC investigates Ethereum Foundation - Is ETH a Security?

March 25, 2024

Major news stories this week;

  1. The SEC tries to put the Ethereum toothpaste back in the tube
  2. Tether's USDT Gets Delisted on Crypto Exchange OKX for EU Users
  3. MicroStrategy sells another $604M of notes to buy 9K Bitcoin
  4. Crypto exchange OKX exiting India, asking users to withdraw funds by Apr. 30
  5. Apple co-founder wins against YouTube in Bitcoin scam lawsuit

Story Summaries;

  1. The confidential inquiry comes during a time of change for Ethereum's technology and at a possible inflection point for its native asset, ETH, which many American investment companies are seeking to offer as an exchange-traded fund. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has slow-walked their efforts despite recently approving a series of Bitcoin ETFs. Fortune reported the SEC is seeking to classify ETH as a security, a move that would have major implications for Ethereum, an ETH ETF and crypto as a whole. The financial regulator has sent investigative subpoenas to U.S. companies in the past several weeks, according to Fortune's reporting.
  2. Crypto exchange OKX has ceased support for cryptocurrency trading pairs with Tether's USDT stablecoin for users based in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), the exchange confirmed to CoinDesk. As of Monday 18th March, OKX's platform offered spot crypto trading only with USDC and euro pairs, while USDT could only be traded against USDC and euro, CoinDesk confirmed via an E.U.-based OKX account. The shift emerged earlier in the day after a trader, on X, posted a note about the change from customer support citing regulatory compliance and security of the platform.
  3. MicroStrategy, one of the largest public holders of Bitcoin, has completed another convertible notes offering to increase its Bitcoin stash. Former MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor took to X on March 18 to announce that MicroStrategy had completed its previously announced offering of 0.875% convertible senior notes due 2031. The notes sold in the offering amounted to $603.75 million, including $78.75 million aggregate principal amount of notes issued pursuant to an option to purchase. According to the announcement, the notes were sold in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers in compliance with securities laws in the United States.
  4. Crypto exchange OKX is shutting down its operations in India. The decision follows shortly after the Indian government blocked several offshore crypto exchange websites earlier this year, although OKX was not on that list. However, Apple and Google stores removed various crypto apps in India earlier this year, including OKX's. "We regret to inform you that OKX is no longer providing services to users in India," OKX said in an email sent to local users. The exchange attributed the move to "local regulations" and instructed users to close all margin positions, as well as positions in perpetual, futures and options.
  5. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has won the latest round in a court battle against YouTube over the use of doctored videos featuring his likeness used in a Bitcoin scam in 2020. The latest appeals court verdict overruled a lower court judgment that absolved YouTube of any responsibility. A San Jose appeals court ruled that YouTube cannot rely on a contentious communications statute to absolve it of liability for a fraud that exploited the Apple co-founder’s popularity using a doctored video to scam people.

And that’s all for last week’s news! Wishing you a great week ahead!

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