March 5, 2024

The fate of dollar-pegged stablecoins in question: Law Decoded, Feb. 13–20

New week, a new element of the crypto ecosystem is under attack. This time, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered Paxos Trust to stop issuing Binance USD (BUSD) — a dollar-pegged stablecoin. Paxos received a cease order from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

With no other choice, Paxos announced that from Feb. 21, it would end its relationship with Binance for the branded U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin BUSD. All existing BUSD tokens will remain fully backed and redeemable through Paxos Trust Company until “at least February 2024.” Customers can redeem their funds in U.S. dollars and convert their BUSD tokens to another Paxos-issued stablecoin, Pax Dollar (USDP). At the same time, the company “categorically disagreed” with the SEC’s opinion that BUSD is a security.

From disregarding the issue as “FUD” to calling it an attack against the Binance exchange, crypto community members laid down various theories on the allegations that BUSD is an unregistered security. Crypto analyst Miles Deutscher expressed the most obvious point of bewilderment — nobody expects profit when purchasing a stablecoin.

The situation may have far-reaching repercussions for the stablecoins in general. As Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has already hinted, the industry may drop the American dollar as a peg currency altogether, switching to the euro, yen or Singapore dollar. However, some experts believe the scrutiny of Paxos was not a direct attack on stablecoins but preventive action against Paxos in particular.

SEC sues Do Kwon and Terraform Labs for fraud

The SEC has filed a lawsuit against Terraform Labs and its founder, Do Kwon, for allegedly “orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar crypto asset securities fraud.” According to the agency, Kwon and Terraform offered and sold an “inter-connected suite of crypto asset securities, many in unregistered transactions.” Kwon, a South-Korean national, is currently at large and believed to be in Serbia after leaving his residence in Singapore sometime in September 2022 following a Seoul court issuing an arrest warrant for him. Interpol reportedly issued a Red Notice for Kwon to law enforcement worldwide later in September.

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Russia to roll out CBDC pilot with real consumers in April

The Bank of Russia is preparing to roll out the first consumer pilot for the nation’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) on April 1, 2023. The upcoming CBDC pilot will involve real operations and real consumers in Russia but will be limited to a certain number of transactions and customers. Following the first pilot stage, the Bank of Russia plans to determine how to scale the digital ruble further. The news comes amid some Russian officials claiming that the Bank of Russia is considering a gold-backed token targeting cross-border transactions.

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Kansas state lawmakers look to cap crypto political donations at $100

The topic of campaign donations in crypto is undoubtedly something that will come up before the next electoral cycle in the United States. Still, Kansas state lawmakers are eager to address it beforehand. According to a new bill, no person would be allowed to make or accept crypto contributions of more than $100 for any political candidate in the state’s primary or general election. For donations under $100, the receiver would need to “immediately convert” the crypto to U.S. dollars, not use the crypto for expenditures and not hodl the funds.

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