CFTC Chief Promises Precedent-Setting Crypto Enforcement Cases

• CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam has promised to bring more “precedent-setting” crypto enforcement cases in the upcoming year.
• He also noted that 20% of the agency’s enforcement cases last year involved digital assets.
• He is pushing for Congress to give the CFTC authority to directly oversee trading in tokens that aren’t securities.

CFTC Chief Promises More ‘Precedent-Setting’ Crypto Enforcement Cases

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is gearing up for a big year of crypto enforcement actions, according to Chairman Rostin Behnam. The CFTC has made significant progress and brought important, precedent-setting cases against those who illegally offer derivatives or leveraged, margined or financed digital asset products to US customers or operate within the United States. To continue this work, budget increases will help support growing their enforcement and surveillance teams and they will use “the full breadth of the commission’s authority” in going after illegal transactions in digital assets.

Key Focus on Token Trading Not Registered as Securities

Behnam highlighted his push for Congress to give the CFTC authority to directly oversee trading in tokens that aren’t securities as one of his key objectives this year. He said he’ll continue to speak with members of Congress on writing legislation so that this can be achieved.

20% of Enforcement Cases Involve Digital Assets

Behnam noted that 20% of the agency’s enforcement cases last year involved digital assets, showing its attention towards cryptocurrency which represents a small portion of markets it oversees. This shows how much progress has been made by the agency in terms of pursuing those who break regulations related to cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Full Breadth Of Commission’s Authority To Be Used

He promised to use “the full breadth of the commission’s authority” in going after illegal transactions in digital assets through increased staff and budget allocations at the CFTC allowing them pursue even more cases against wrongdoers within this space and setting precedents for future actions against similar violations elsewhere too.

Push For Legislation To Directly Oversee Token Trading

Behnam continued his argument that the CFTC should be given authority by Congress to directly oversee trading in tokens that aren’t securities as part of an effort from him personally and from other members of Congress during their new session last month which started recently . This could prove crucial if passed as it would allow more stringent regulations over token trading activities not registered as securities giving more protection for consumers within these markets

House Financial Subcommittee Eyes Stablecoin Regulation

• Stablecoin regulation is the first priority of the newly formed U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion.
• Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” that the committee wants to pursue a privacy statute federally.
• The subcommittee plans to use the stablecoin draft as a model for how it will approach digital asset regulation moving forward.

The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion has set its focus on the regulation of stablecoins. The new subcommittee, chaired by Rep. French Hill (R-Arkansas), was established to examine the potential use of digital assets and financial technology for advancing financial inclusion, with a particular focus on the regulation of stablecoins.

Hill told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” that stablecoin regulation is the first priority of the subcommittee. The representative noted that they plan to use the stablecoin draft as a model for how they will approach digital asset regulation moving forward. The committee also wants to pursue a privacy statute federally, which Hill believes is important to a digital asset economy.

The subcommittee will be tasked with identifying gaps in existing financial regulations and proposing legislation to close those gaps. The subcommittee will also analyze the implications of digital asset technology and financial technology on financial inclusion and consumer protection, and assess the impact of blockchain technology on capital formation, the economy, and other sectors of the financial services industry.

Hill noted that the committee is looking to create a regulatory framework that will protect consumers and encourage innovation and investment. He stated that the committee’s goal is to create a balanced system that works for everyone involved, from consumers to businesses.

The subcommittee is also looking to identify potential areas where the regulation of digital assets could be improved, such as the need for clearer guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Hill said that the committee will be working to provide clarity on which agency, the SEC or the CFTC, will seek explicit oversight.

The subcommittee has received strong support from both parties, with both Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) serving as co-chairs. Hill believes that the bipartisan support will help the committee reach its goals and provide the best possible regulation for the digital asset industry.

Luno Exchange Appoints Simon Ince as New CTO After Co-Founder Departs

• Timothy Stranex, Luno’s co-founder and chief technology officer, departed the cryptocurrency exchange in December.
• He has been replaced by Simon Ince, who joined the firm just under two years ago as its vice president of engineering.
• Luno is headquartered in London and has offices in Singapore, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos and Sydney, with over 10 million customers worldwide.

Cryptocurrency exchange Luno announced in December that Timothy Stranex, the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO), had departed the firm after nearly 10 years. Stranex had been one of the four individuals who founded Luno, alongside Carel van Wyk, Pieter Heyns and current CEO Marcus Swanepoel.

Simon Ince has been appointed as Stranex’s replacement as CTO. Ince has been with Luno just under two years, joining the firm as its vice president of engineering in 2019.

Luno was established in 2013 and is based in London, with offices in Singapore, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos and Sydney. It is owned by Digital Currency Group (DCG), the same parent company as CoinDesk, and the firm has over 10 million customers worldwide.

In a statement, CEO Swanepoel said: “It’s been an incredible journey with Tim and we wish him all the best with his future projects. We are fortunate to have a very experienced and talented engineering team at Luno and I’m confident that Simon will be able to continue to drive the company forward as we build on our success.”

Stranex’s departure has been described as a “mutual decision”, and the firm has released no further details about his future plans.

Luno has seen a huge surge in demand for cryptocurrency services during the pandemic, with the firm reporting a 400% increase in new customers during 2020. As the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Luno is well-positioned to take advantage of the increasing demand for digital assets. Ince’s appointment as CTO will be instrumental in helping the company to continue to build on its success in the coming year.

Quasar Finance Raises $5.4 Million to Revolutionize DeFi

• Quasar Finance, a decentralized asset management protocol using the Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) technology released by the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem, has raised $5.4 million in a funding round.
• The protocol allows users to create and join vaults, or independent asset containers capable of connecting tokens and data transfers between chains.
• The capital will go toward product development and scaling out the team.

Quasar Finance, the decentralized asset management protocol released by the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem, recently announced the successful completion of a $5.4 million funding round. The venture capital firm Shima Capital led the round, which was completed at a $70 million valuation.

The impressive funding round included investments from a number of prominent investors, including Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, HASH Capital, CIB and Osmosis co-founder Sunny Aggarwal. The capital raised will be used to further develop the Quasar product and expand its team.

Quasar Finance is an interoperability-focused protocol that uses its Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) technology to address the fragmentation problem that exists between multiple blockchains. The protocol allows users to create and join vaults, which are independent asset containers capable of connecting tokens and data transfers across different blockchains.

The success of this funding round is a testament to the promise of decentralized finance, which has been put in the spotlight following the collapse of the multibillion-dollar centralized crypto exchange FTX. Quasar Finance’s plans to offer structured investment products for DeFi, starting with an automatically rebalancing index of the Cosmos ecosystem, could prove to be a game-changer for the DeFi space.

As Quasar Finance looks to further develop its product and expand its team, the protocol is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing interest in decentralized finance. With the help of this new funding, the protocol may be able to more effectively capitalize on the tremendous potential of the DeFi space and make a lasting impact on the industry.

Judge Declares Letter from Senators Inappropriate in Crypto Exchange Collapse Case

• A letter from four U.S. senators was deemed “inappropriate” by Delaware Judge John Dorsey as an intervention in bankruptcy proceedings.
• The letter from John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) called for an independent examiner to investigate the collapse of the crypto exchange.
• Judge Dorsey stated that the letter will have no impact on his decisions and that he will only make decisions based on the facts and law presented by the parties.

Delaware Judge John Dorsey has declared an intervention from four U.S. senators as inappropriate and stated that it will have no impact on his decisions. The letter, which was sent by John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), was in relation to the collapse of a crypto exchange and called for an independent examiner to investigate the incident.

The hearing occurred on Wednesday, and Judge Dorsey addressed the letter directly, stating that it was an “inappropriate ex parte communication”. He then further clarified that his decisions on the matter referred to in the letter will only be based upon admissible evidence and the arguments of parties and interest presented in open court.

The letter from the senators certainly raised questions about the ability of the exchange to protect its customers and their funds. It also asked for an independent investigation to be carried out in order to determine the cause of the collapse. The senators expressed concerns that the exchange had not made sufficient efforts to protect its customers from losses.

Judge Dorsey responded to the letter, stating that he will make his decisions based solely on the facts and law presented by the parties and not on the senators’ letter. He also stated that the letter will have no impact whatsoever on his decisions. This statement is sure to be comforting to those involved in the case, as it reassures that the judicial decisions will not be swayed by external pressure.

It remains to be seen what the outcome of the case will be, but one thing is certain: Judge Dorsey will make his decisions based solely on facts and law presented in open court.