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Bitcoin

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We have followed for years the saga of the many applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF that have been denied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). See here and here. This included the hope, when current SEC Chairman Gary Gensler was originally appointed, that the SEC might view things differently, but it was not meant to be, as the string of denials continued. There was one bright spot, in October 2021, when the…

On April 27, 2022, lawmakers in the Central African Republic unanimously approved legislation that made Bitcoin legal tender.  Bitcoin can now be accepted alongside the CFA Franc.  The CAR is one of six central African countries (Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea ) that share the CFA franc — a regional currency that is backed by France and pegged to the Euro. Opposition leaders are apparently challenging the move and are concerned…

We have written often about how the US SEC has, to date, refused to authorize a spot Bitcoin exchange traded fund (click here), while other countries such as Canada have done so (click here). Australia’s main market, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), has now given the green light for its first Bitcoin ETF, as reported by the Australian Financial Review. Cosmos Asset Management could launch its bitcoin ETF as early as April 27. Interestingly, however,…

On February 8, 2022, the U.S. government arrested Ilya Liechtenstein and Heather Morgan and charged them with conspiracy to launder the proceeds of 119,754 Bitcoin which had been stolen from cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in a 2016 hack. The present value of the theft is approximately $4.5 billion and the U.S. government has seized approximately 94,000 Bitcoin thus far. The seized Bitcoin is valued at $3.6 billion and represents the DOJ’s largest ever cryptocurrency seizure. The…

As we have discussed previously, although there was hope when Gary Gensler was initially appointed Chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission that this would mean the SEC would take a different, more enlightened view on the issue of approving a spot Bitcoin ETFs, over the past couple of months, that hope was dashed when Chairman Gensler noted that he looked favorably only on futures-based Bitcoin ETFs.  Consistent therewith, on October 19, 2021, Pro Shares became…

We have written extensively about the efforts that go back to when, in 2013, Gemini founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss first sought to launch a Bitcoin ETF. The SEC has rejected numerous such applications since then, and many are pending now. Over the past month or so, however, Securities and Exchange Commissioner Chairman Gary Gensler had indicated that he was more favorably inclined to allow futures-based cryptocurrency ETFs (as opposed to those that invest directly…

On June 24, 201, the United States Department of Justice brought a criminal bill of information against Michael Yusko III. According to the DOJ, under U.S. federal law, any business that engages in “the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means” is deemed to be a money…

The Bank of International Settlements is owned by 63 central banks and serves as bank for central banks. One June 23, 2021, the BIS released one chapter of its full annual report, which will be released on June 29. From the title of the chapter, “CBDCs: An Opportunity for the Monetary System,” it is apparent that the BIS is very much in favor of CBDCs (central bank digital currencies) — not very surprising considering the…

As the Wall Street Journal reported, on June 21, 2021: “The People’s Bank of China …said it summoned representatives of multiple institutions—including state-owned commercial banks and Ant Group Co.’s Alipay—and told them to “strictly implement” recent notices and guidelines from authorities on curbing risks tied to bitcoin and cryptocurrency fundraising activities. It was the latest sign that Beijing is intensifying its crackdown on unregulated virtual currencies.” The PBOC Statement talked about how cryptocurrencies are used…

Early in the morning of June 9, 2021, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador, 39, tweeted that the Salvadoran Congress had approved his proposed law that would make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador. The vote was 62 out of 84. El Salvador thus becomes the first country to approve the use of Bitcoin as legal tender. The country currently uses the U.S. Dollar as its currency. Bitcoin will become legal tender in 90 days,…