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Coinbase to Suspend XRP Trading Following SEC Suit Against Ripple

Coinbase said it will suspend trading of XRP, the cryptocurrency at the heart of an SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs.

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Dec 28, 2020 at 10:30 p.m. UTCUpdated Dec 28, 2020 at 11:35 p.m. UTC

Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO, speaks at Davos 2020.(Zack Seward/CoinDesk archives)

Coinbase to Suspend XRP Trading Following SEC Suit Against Ripple

Coinbase said it will suspend trading of XRP, the cryptocurrency the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued last week claiming it is really a security.

Coinbase first listed XRP on its retail-facing platforms in February 2019. Starting now, XRP trading “will move into limit only,” Coinbase wrote. It will be fully suspended on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, at 1 p.m. ET.

“We will continue to monitor legal developments related to XRP and update our customers as more information becomes available,” Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s chief legal officer, wrote in a blog post shared in advance with CoinDesk.

Coinbase said users’ XRP wallets will “remain available for receive and withdraw functionality after the trading suspension.”

Notably, the exchange said it will still support an upcoming airdrop of Spark tokens to XRP holders. XRP will still be supported by Coinbase Custody and in the self-custodial Coinbase Wallet.

Coinbase declined to comment beyond its written statement.

The price of XRP on Coinbase tanked from $0.28 to $0.24 within the first 20 minutes of the announcement. Since the announcement of the SEC’s lawsuit last week, the price of XRP has fallen by more than 50%.

XRP’s price fell over 16% within an hour of Coinbase announcing it would suspend trading.

Source: CoinDesk

Ripple effect

For Coinbase, the reason for dropping XRP as a traded asset was simple: As the company seeks to go public, being a platform for something that’s potentially a security would mean adding more paperwork simply so it could be legally allowed to let retail customers buy and sell a single cryptocurrency.

The SEC claimed last week that XRP is a security, and that Ripple has been selling it without registering or seeking an exemption for seven years, raising $1.3 billion in the process. The legal battle itself is just beginning, and litigation might take years if Ripple fights the charge in court, as it has indicated it would.

Coinbase is now the biggest exchange to act on XRP and could serve as a bellwether for other platforms. On Friday, Bitstamp announced it would halt XRP trading and deposits for all U.S. customers on Jan. 8.

Similarly San Francisco-based OKCoin announced its XRP suspension earlier Monday, effective Jan. 4.

Exchanges that continue to list XRP without registering as a securities exchange with the SEC face potential consequences down the line, including possible enforcement actions. However, should Ripple prevail in its defense, Coinbase can likely re-list XRP fairly easily.

Alex Kruger, a trader and analyst, said, “Crypto exchanges are unregistered with the SEC (by choice, as registering carries on many burdens and increased costs) and thus it is in their best interest to not offer trading of securities. It is for their protection, not their customers’.”

Gabriel Shapiro, an attorney with Belcher, Smolen & Van Loo LLP, told CoinDesk last week that the question of whether exchanges should delist is a complicated one, with both business and legal considerations.

Read our ongoing coverage of the SEC’s case against Ripple and its impact on the industry.

UPDATE (Dec. 28, 23:35 UTC): Adds XRP price reaction.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-suspends-xrp-trading

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World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona under its pilot project.

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Sweden’s Riksbank said it would continue work with Accenture on a potential e-krona digital currency until next year.

(Mario Ortiz/Shutterstock)

Feb 17, 2021 at 10:12 a.m. UTC

World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

The world’s oldest central bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, is to extend its pilot project for a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC) for another 12 months.

According to a press release on Friday, the project, which is being carried out with assistance from professional services firm Accenture, will run until February 2022.

The Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona “as a complement to cash,” with the primary objective being for the bank to increase its knowledge around the technology.

For 2021, the institution will continue developing its potential digital currency offering with a focus on performance and scalability. Testing offline functions and bringing external participants into the test environment is also on the table.

The project has raised some concerns from Sweden’s commercial banking sector over the viability of a sovereign CBDC and how that would impact the entire banking system.

There is no final decision over the issuance of the e-krona despite strong lobbying from the central bank to government last year. But with traditional cash seeing falling use, even more so during the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden has been mulling a switch to the CBDC.

However, questions still remain over the digital currency’s ultimate design and underlying technology, according to Friday’s release.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/sweden-central-bank-digital-krona-extension

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Bitcoin Mining: Wasted Energy or a Better, Greener System?

Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure on the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining fits.

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Is it wasteful to use electricity mining bitcoin? As the Biden Administration settles into power with an ambitious agenda around clean energy, notably promising to eliminate carbon emissions from the US power generation sector by 2035, the question of bitcoin mining and it’s ever-growing use of energy bubbles up once more.

In this episode of ‘On Purpose, With Tyrone Ross,’ Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure joins the show to discuss the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining can fit into a sustainable energy system.

The greatest number of people living in poverty are children, we need to change that. If you can, get involved and give back to NoKidHungry.org. Love and Light. I appreciate you!

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/podcasts/on-purpose-with-tyrone-ross/bitcoin-mining-harry-sudock

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Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage- CoinDesk

The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.

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The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.

Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Feb 13, 2021 at 2:10 a.m. UTCUpdated Feb 13, 2021 at 2:18 a.m. UTC

Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage

Deutsche Bank has joined the growing ranks of large financial institutions exploring cryptocurrency custody, with aspirations to offer high-touch services to hedge funds that invest in the asset class.

The Deutsche Bank Digital Asset Custody prototype aims to develop “a fully integrated custody platform for institutional clients and their digital assets providing seamless connectivity to the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem,” according to a little-noticed report by the World Economic Forum, host of the annual gathering of muckety-mucks in Davos, Switzerland.

In a passage buried on page 23 of the December 2020 report, Germany’s largest bank says it plans to create a trading and token issuance platform, bridging digital assets with traditional banking services, and managing the array of digital assets and fiat holdings in one easy-to-use platform.

Big banks are now announcing plans to enter crypto custody on an almost daily basis, with Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s largest custodian bank, joining the party earlier this week.

U.S. banks were given some regulatory clarity thanks to last year’s interpretation letters from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In Germany, firms are queuing up to get their hands on special crypto custody licenses from the country’s regulator, BaFIN.

Deutsche, the world’s 21st largest bank, said it aims to “ensure the safety and accessibility of assets for clients by offering an institutional-grade hot/cold storage solution with insurance-grade protection.” No specific cryptocurrencies or tokens are mentioned.

The digital asset custody platform would be launched in stages. It would eventually provide clients with the ability to buy and sell digital assets via a partnership with prime brokers (which act sort of like concierges for hedge funds), issuers and vetted exchanges.

The bank says it would also provide “value-added services such as taxation, valuation services and fund administration, lending, staking and voting, and provide an open-banking platform to allow onboarding of third-party providers.”

The service would be aimed at asset managers, wealth managers, family offices, corporates and digital funds, the bank said.

In terms of a business model, the bank would start out collecting custody fees, it said, later charging fees for tokenization and trading.

Deutsche said it has completed a proof of concept and is aiming for a minimum viable product in 2021, while exploring global client interest for a pilot initiative.

The bank’s press office could not be reached for comment Friday evening. A spokesperson had declined to comment on potential plans for a digital asset custody business when contacted last week by CoinDesk.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/deutsche-bank-crypto-custody-prime-brokerage

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