News Roundup — All cryptocurrency businesses in Dubai come 'VARA-certified'

September 4, 2023

Major news stories this week;

  1. Starting August 31, all cryptocurrency businesses in Dubai come 'VARA-certified'
  2. TrueUSD (TUSD) Market Cap Jumps to $3.4B, Overtakes Binance USD (BUSD)
  3. Robinhood to Buy Back Sam Bankman-Fried's Stake for $605.7M
  4. Grayscale’s Victory Over SEC Leaves $80M in Liquidations Within 1 Hour
  5. Stablecoins Surpass Mastercard & PayPal in Transaction Volume

Story Summaries;

  1. Dubai: It’s the start of a brand new chapter for all cryptocurrency businesses in Dubai, as they operate as licensed – and fully regulated – entities by the emirate’s virtual assets regulator. The transition means businesses engaged in crypto-assets need to show they have the credentials to conduct these operations. If things go wrong, their clients are in a relatively good position to be duly compensated. What Dubai is trying to avoid is the kind of blowouts crypto firms have had in markets where laws were inadequate or are still being framed. In real terms, wherever cryptocurrencies are being used – say, buying or selling Bitcoins or used to pay off on a property investment or even a hotel bill – will require the businesses involved to have all the licenses in place to do so.
  2. TrueUSD (TUSD) recently announced a market cap of $3.4 billion, surpassing Binance USD (BUSD) for the first time. This landmark event comes on the heels of Binance’s decision to phase out its support for BUSD—a move spurred by US regulatory pressures. Binance, the behemoth in global cryptocurrency trade volume, discontinued its support for BUSD after the token’s issuer, Paxos, stopped minting new tokens. Regulatory heat from US authorities prompted Paxos to halt production, compelling Binance to revisit its portfolio strategy. Meanwhile, TUSD — once considered a lesser rival to BUSD — saw its fortunes soar. Within a three-day span, TUSD’s supply swelled from 2.9 billion to 3.438 billion, representing a remarkable 18.55% growth.
  3. Popular trading platform Robinhood (HOOD) has agreed with the United States Marshal Service (USMS) to buy back $605.7 million in stock previously owned by Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. The U.S. government seized the 55 million HOOD shares owned by Bankman-Fried and fellow FTX co-founder Gary Wang through Emergent Fidelity Technologies holding company around the start of this year. The share repurchase agreement was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Aug. 28, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Filing dated Aug. 30.
  4. Bitcoin, alongside the rest of the crypto market, shot up following the news that a US court has sided with Grayscale in its battle against the SEC. Naturally, this volatility brought massive pain for over-leveraged traders as the liquidated short positions skyrocketed to about $80 million within an hour. CryptoPotato reported Grayscale’s court victory earlier this week, which essentially meant that the SEC is now obligated to review the asset manager’s request to turn its flagship Bitcoin Trust into a spot exchange-traded fund. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean that the regulator will indeed approve such a product, the court’s decision had a massive effect on BTC’s price. The asset had stalled for weeks at around $26,000 but exploded by about $2,000 to chart a multi-week high at almost $28,000.
  5. In 2022, stablecoins on various layer 1 networks reached a transaction volume of $6.87 trillion, overtaking traditional payment giants like Mastercard and PayPal. Comparative data from 2022 showed that Mastercard settled transactions worth $6.57T, while PayPal settled transactions worth $1.3T, according to data from Coinmetrics and Bloomberg. Despite the challenges faced by the broader crypto market in 2023, such as strict regulations in the United States and continuing bear market conditions, the adoption rate of stablecoins like USDT and USDC is even higher than that of Ethereum. Since 2021, the number of stablecoin addresses holding more than $1 has grown seven times faster than Ethereum addresses with the same balance.

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

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