Dispatch #116: The Crypto Regulatory Landscape Post-FTX
In this patch of your weekly Dispatch:
- Brazil and other nations race forward with regulations
- Nexo secures registration in Italy 🇮🇹
- ETH whales in accumulation mode
The Big Idea
Do Brazil’s New Crypto Rules Herald a New Regulatory Push?
Crypto legislation had made progress in Brazil until the recent election season. In fact, up until the last few weeks, it seemed unlikely that a key piece of crypto regulation was going to be pushed through the lame-duck legislature.
That all changed in the wake of FTX. On Tuesday, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies passed a bill that establishes a “virtual service provider” license, creates new punishments for virtual assets fraud, and explicitly allowed Bitcoin to be used for payments.
While this news is obviously relevant to Brazil (a top ten crypto growth nation), it also suggests what might become a pattern: regulators feeling a new urgency to get crypto rules on the books in the wake of FTX.
That certainly seems to be the case in the US and Europe. The European Union held hearings on FTX this week that focused on the need to advance their MiCA legislation.
Speaking of MiCA, we just announced Nexo’s successful registration as a Virtual Currency Operator with Italy’s Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM) – yet another doorway for the fully compliant provision of transfers, issuance, and exchange of virtual currencies, and digital wallet services.
With the upcoming introduction of MiCA, this new addition to our portfolio of 50+ authorizations can be passportized and will thus facilitate Nexo's desired compliance across all EU Member States.
In the US meanwhile, Senator Ron Wyden sent letters to the CEOs of six crypto exchanges, Senate Finance Committee chair Sherrod Brown signaled openness to push new crypto rules, and Senator Cynthia Lummis has asked the new Congress to take up the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act when it comes to session in January. That’s plenty.
The Latest In…
The CBDC Era Heats Up
While politicians are pushing for crypto legislation, central bankers are blazing ahead with Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) projects. In comments a couple of weeks after FTX’s bankruptcy filing, Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe suggested the exchange’s collapse made a digital pound more important. This week, France and Luxembourg completed their most recent wholesale CBDC trial – a $100M settlement. Perhaps biggest of all, the Reserve Bank of India kicked off its first retail CBDC trials in four of the country’s largest cities. In the case of India, RBI officials view CBDCs as a direct competitor to crypto.
The Latest In…
The Metaverse Remains a Going Concern
Finding bullish news these days ain’t easy. We have every confidence this is a trial-by-fire moment that the whole industry will emerge stronger from. In the meantime though, we’ve been somewhat buoyed by the continued excitement within the NFT and metaverse community. Animoca Brands founder Yat Siu announced in an interview this week that the company was set to unveil a $2B investment fund for metaverse businesses in 2023. Details are scant, but the fund will reportedly focus on everything surrounding “digital property rights.” Color us excited.
The Week’s Most Interesting Data Story
ETH Whales Ain’t Scurred
As contagion works its way through the crypto ecosystem, we saw for the first time this week small narrative signals that perhaps, just perhaps, we were starting to level off at the bottom. Numerous commentators suggested the doom and gloom had gone too far. Ultimately, however, the proof is in the on-chain activity. On that front, Ethereum whales are suggesting that ETH’s depressed prices are a buying opportunity. In the last couple of weeks, there has been a massive jump in entities holding 100 to 100k ETH, reaching levels not seen since the middle of 2021. What do they know that others don’t? Something about being greedy when others are fearful?
What the Community Is Discussing
Bitcoin DeFi keeps growing as a topic of discourse.
It’s that time of the year.
What to Watch for Next Week:
- Will Sam continue his redemption tour unarrested?
- Can crypto keep hold of its upward price trajectory?
- Will a new NFT collection come along to distract us all?