09 Feb 2023

The Friday Focus: Issue 72

U.S. policymakers and regulators have taken mainstage in a backloaded newsweek, with the top stories still playing out. As usual, we’ll give you the latest status on these stories - and other crypto news from the last week. Let’s dive in.
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Top storiesThe week’s main news story kicked off on February 9, when Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong took to Twitter, writing: “We're hearing rumors that the SEC would like to get rid of crypto staking in the U.S. for retail customers.” Shortly after, it was announced that Kraken had reached a $30M settlement with the SEC over staking.In the last 24 hours, reports of regulators going after the large centralized stablecoin issuers have emerged as well. The recent events come less than a week after the White House stated its concerns about crypto. Somewhat ironically, it is FTX money-backed US lawmakers that now sit with the future of crypto in their hands. Money FTX has asked to be returned.Proving the importance of perception for crypto businesses, Binance is organizing a consortium to try to rebuild trust in crypto and seeks EU lobbyists.The DCG bankruptcy is slowly moving along. A plan to sell the Genesis trading unit was revealed, and DCG is selling holdings in several Grayscale trusts.On Thursday, legendary peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins announced it is shutting down. While LocalBitcoins voluntarily decided to shut down, bitcoin ATM operator Coin Cloud filed for bankruptcy with liabilities of $100M-$500M.The loftiest funding rounds have taken a pause, but companies are still raising. Crypto lender SALT raises $64.4M to resume operations. Crypto protection firm Coincover raises $30M, a blockchain analytics firm triples in valuation despite crypto winter, and decentralized identity network Space ID raises $10M.We round off with a potentially impactful news story from the courtrooms. Luxury brand Hermès wins trademark lawsuit against MetaBirkins NFTs, setting a powerful precedent for NFT creators, according to experts.That’s all - have a great weekend!
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