Gary Gensler’s job at risk, BlackRock’s first spot Bitcoin ETF and other news: Hodler’s Digest, June 11-17

Top Stories This Week

US lawmakers file ‘SEC Stabilization Act’ to fire Gary Gensler

United States Representative Warren Davidson has introduced the “SEC Stabilization Act” into the House of Representatives. One of the bill’s main provisions is to fire Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler. The bill would remove Gensler from office and redistribute power between the SEC chair and commissioners. It would also add a sixth commissioner to the agency, disallow any party from holding a majority on the commission and create an executive director position. The SEC declined to comment on the matter.

BlackRock applies for spot Bitcoin ETF — a US first if approved

BlackRock, the world’s largest investment company, has filed an application for a Bitcoin spot exchange traded fund (ETF). It would be the first crypto spot ETF in the United States, if it receives approval. According to the filing, Coinbase Custody Trust Company would be the custodian of the fund and Bank of New York Mellon would custody its fiat. The SEC has not approved a spot Bitcoin ETF so far despite numerous applicants. The world’s first spot traded Bitcoin ETF was Canada’s Purpose Bitcoin ETF, set up in early 2021.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao denies rumors of selling Bitcoin to bolster BNB

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has refuted accusations that Binance has been secretly selling Bitcoin (BTC) to artificially stabilize the price of its BNB token. The rumors have come from several market commentators in the past days, accusing the exchange of intentionally manipulating the market to artificially inflate the value of BNB. CZ said that Binance had not sold any of its BTC or BNB, adding that the crypto exchange still held “a bag” of FTX Token — the native token of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX.

SEC’s Gensler says BTC, ETH ‘not securities’ in a newly surfaced video

A newly surfaced video from 2018 featuring Gary Gensler has made the rounds on social media, showing the now-chair of the U.S. securities regulator again stating that multiple cryptocurrencies are not securities. “Over 70% of the crypto market is Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Why did I name those four? They’re not securities,” Gensler says in the video, which is understood to come from a 2018 event hosted by Bloomberg for institutional investors. At the time, Gensler was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The video contrasts with his more recent actions as the chair of the SEC.

Binance​.US hires former SEC enforcement official amid lawsuit

Former SEC enforcement official George Canellos has reportedly been hired by Binance.US as part of the legal team defending the company against allegations of operating as an unregistered securities exchange. In response to the SEC’s action on June 5, Binance.US announced the suspension of U.S. dollar deposits and the potential pausing of fiat withdrawals, citing “extremely aggressive and intimidating tactics” from regulators. On Twitter, a former SEC chief said the exchange is “clearly preparing for a criminal prosecution and continuing to hire the best defense attorneys in the world.”

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $26,349, Ether (ETH) at $1,716 and XRP at $0.47. The total market cap is at $1.06 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are KuCoin Token (KCS) at 9.75%, Maker (MKR) at 8.08% and Quant (QNT) at 4.10%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are EOS (EOS) at -29.88%, ApeCoin (APE) at -26.07% and Flow (FLOW) at -25.93%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

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Most Memorable Quotations

“Inflation is moving in the right direction but the comments from Jerome Powell signify that rates could stay higher for longer, which would put Bitcoin on the back foot.”

Josh Gilbert, market analyst at eToro

“Requiring a DEX to register in the same way as a national securities exchange is impossible.”

Paul Grewal, chief legal officer of Coinbase

“U.S. capital markets must be protected from a tyrannical Chairman, including the current one. It’s time for real reform and to fire Gary Gensler as Chair of the SEC.”

Warren Davidson, United States Representative

“The addressable market for digitizing the world’s assets and transferring value safely across the internet is greater than the sum of all the value of all existing assets.”

Emin Gün Sirer, CEO of Ava Labs

“The banking system is failing. The legacy financial system is failing. […] Nothing works. Only Bitcoin works.”

Samson Mow, CEO of Jan3

“Over 70% of the crypto market is Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Why did I name those four? They’re not securities.”

Gary Gensler, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin price eases downside as traders demand $24.5K support holds

Bitcoin recovered some lost ground by the end of the week as markets shook off mixed United States macro signals.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD circling $26,000 on June 16 after bouncing over $1,000 from the previous day’s lows when it fell below $25,000 for the first time in three months. The 4% plunge came as the Federal Reserve pressed a pause on interest rates but suggesting more hikes would come later this year.

On short timeframes for BTC/USD, traders are remaining cautious amid the risk of further downside to come. “Still in the area of interest, but need to sustain above $24.5K to avoid a cascade to $23k,” wrote Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight.

FUD of the Week 

Curve pool imbalance triggers USDT depeg concerns, Tether CTO calls it FUD

The Tether (USDT) stablecoin slightly deviated from its U.S dollar peg on June 15 due to an imbalance in Curve’s 3pool. The price of USDT fell by 0.3% to around 0.997 as its weightage in the Curve 3pool increased to over 70% from the usual 33.1%. A significant rise in the weightage of a stablecoin in the pool indicates heavy selling of that asset. Tether’s chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, took to Twitter to assure that the depeg is nothing to worry about and it is ready to redeem any amount.

Leaders of the decentralized autonomous organization governing the ApeCoin ecosystem have been criticized by community members for what they described as “insane” salaries. An organizational chart showed salaries ranging from $7,000 to $75,000 per month, shocking some community members and prompting a slew of inquiries from others. According to a board member, the compensation corresponds to the “responsibility and liability of the role.”

‘Who the hell’ is Prometheum and what did it say to Congress about SEC compliance?

The relatively under-the-radar crypto company Prometheum has been thrust into the spotlight after a recent testimony from its co-founder, Aaron Kaplan, before a U.S. House Committee discussing crypto regulatory clarity. Kaplan’s testimony advocated for regulating crypto under current securities laws — a view also shared by the SEC. He argued that multiple frameworks provided by the SEC have “clearly laid out” a “compliant path forward for crypto,” adding that those arguing for new crypto-specific laws are “simply not willing to comply.”

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Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.

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