News Roundup — U.S. SEC's Crypto Enforcer David Hirsch Quits

June 24, 2024

Major news stories this week;

  1. U.S. SEC's Crypto Enforcer David Hirsch Quits
  2. Deutsche Telekom announces Bitcoin mining plans at BTC Prague
  3. Tether launches gold-backed, US dollar stablecoin Alloy
  4. Uphold to delist USDT and 5 stablecoins by July 1, citing MiCA
  5. Bitcoin Tumbles Toward $62K as Crypto Bulls See $150M in Liquidation

Story Summaries;

  1. David Hirsch, a senior member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission crypto oversight unit has left the organization, he posted on LinkedIn on Monday. Hirsch was the chief of the crypto asset and cyber unit in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. SEC. "This past Friday was my last day with the SEC after almost 9 years," Hirsch said in the post. " I’m particularly proud of the historic work done by the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit team I had the privilege to lead." Hirsch was the SEC's crypto enforcer against cryptocurrency exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects. He had previously acknowledged that the agency's current litigation load is heavy, and the SEC can't go after everything, but that it wasn't done chasing down those it sees as violating securities laws in the same vein.
  2. T-Mobile Deutsche Telekom announced that it intends to start mining Bitcoin BTC, expanding upon its ongoing crypto-based activities. The telecommunications firm has been operating a Bitcoin node since 2023 and is currently running Bitcoin Lightning Network nodes. Speaking at BTC Prague, Dirk Röder, head of Web3 infrastructure and solutions at Deutsche Telekom, said: “Since 2023, we are running a Bitcoin node, and we are running Bitcoin Lightning nodes as well [...] I like to let you in on a little secret we will engage in digital monetary photosynthesis soon.”
  3. Tether is introducing a gold-backed stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar. It is the first tethered asset, the issuer declared. The new coin is called Alloy (aUSDT) and is mintable on the new Alloy by Tether platform. According to the company, Alloy will be overcollateralized by Tether Gold (XAUt) — a token that provides ownership of physical gold — but pegged to the U.S. dollar. By definition, the new token is a synthetic dollar, which is designed to mimic the value and functionality of the U.S. dollar without being directly backed by it. Alloy explained in an X post that tethered assets are “digital assets that aim to track the reference price of another asset through different stabilisation mechanisms.” Further, it said: “Alloy by Tether provides long-term holders the opportunity to maintain exposure to gold, while in parallel obtaining a dollar-referenced Tethered Asset for payments and day-to-day economy.”
  4. Cryptocurrency exchange Uphold has sent a notice to its European users informing them that the platform will end support for six popular stablecoins from July 1. Uphold says it is delisting the stablecoins to align with the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA). The six stablecoins are Tether (USDT, Dai (DAI), Frax Protocol (FRAX), Gemini dollar (GUSD), Pax dollar (USDP) and TrueUSD (TUSD). Users holding these stablecoins must convert them to a different cryptocurrency before June 28, after which the cryptocurrency exchange will automatically convert them into USD Coin USDC. MiCA was passed into law in May 2023 and went into partial effect in June 2023. The extensive EU crypto laws are expected to come into full force by the end of 2024.
  5. Major tokens slid as much as 7.5% in the past 24 hours as bitcoin (BTC) reversed last week’s gains causing over $150 million in bullish bets to be liquidated over the weekend. Bitcoin lost 3%, while ether (ETH), Cardano’s ADA, and BNB Chain’s BNB registered similar losses. Solana’s SOL dropped 7% to trade at nearly $120 on Monday morning, while meme coins dogecoin (DOGE) and shiba inu (SHIB) dropped nearly 5%. The CoinDesk 20 (CD20), which tracks major tokens minus stablecoins, slumped just over 4%. The move caused longs, or bets on higher prices, to record more than $150 million in liquidations. Shorts, or bets against, saw a relatively smaller $9 million in losses. Liquidation refers to when an exchange forcefully closes a trader's leveraged position due to a partial or total loss of the trader's initial margin. Some funds attributed the losses to large sales from Bitcoin miners and reactive sentiment to a German government moving a significant amount of BTC to exchanges.

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

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