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Australia’s fourth-largest bank was the first financial institution to mint an AUD-based stablecoin back in March 2022.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) have been at the forefront of stablecoin innovation within Australia. They were the first bank in the country in 2022 to successfully mint an AUD-backed stablecoin, A$DC. This week, the financial institution has doubled its efforts to issue its stablecoin after partnering with Ethereum-powered data oracle, Chainlink.
ANZ is still in the trial phase of its plans to release A$DC and is taking a “test-and-learn approach” in light of potential roadblocks ahead. However, despite the project’s relative infancy, ANZ successfully finalised a test on-chain transaction earlier in September using an NZ dollar-based stablecoin.
The transaction was made possible thanks to Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). CCIP allows users to transfer tokens across several blockchains, efficiently. Interoperability is the name of the game here, and by providing ANZ with a secure cross-chain protocol, the bank can continue to scale the A$DC stablecoin alongside growing client adoption.
ANZ is not the only Australian bank experimenting with issuing an AUD-backed stablecoin. Rivals National Australia Bank (NAB) followed in ANZ’s footsteps by becoming the second domestic bank to complete a stablecoin transaction in March 2023. The ERC-20 token being used, AUDN, was created in partnership with Fireblocks and BlockFold.
The regulatory body has already sued Coinbase and Binance over offering customers what it deems “unregistered securities”
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), headed by Gary Gensler, has recently turned its attention to cryptocurrency exchanges and tokens they believe to be issuing “unregistered securities”. This outlook has resulted in elongated legal battles with big industry names – for example, Coinbase, Binance and Ripple (XRP).
According to the government body’s head of crypto assets, David Hirsch, the war against unregistered securities is only just beginning. While Binance and Coinbase have taken the brunt of the blow so far, the SEC plans to “continue to bring those charges” across those in the industry who allegedly acted unlawfully.
The broadening of the SEC’s lens may encompass non-US exchanges operating in the United States, decentralised exchanges and even TradFi brokers. Not even artwork of marijuana-loving cats could escape the regulatory body’s clutches, with developers of the Stoner Cats NFT collection fined USD $1 million.
The precedent here may be cause for concern among the crypto community. It appears any project released to be an investment – i.e., investors were led to believe it would appreciate in price – can be targeted and shut down.
The regulatory body’s greenlist of crypto tokens has fallen to just eight – Bitcoin, Ethereum and 6 stablecoins.
The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) is notorious among the financial community for being one of the toughest regulatory bodies of any state or nation. The agency, responsible for legislating digital currencies within the state of New York, lived up to its reputation by slashing 17 tokens from its “greenlist”.
The original list comprised several well-known tokens that were swiftly removed earlier this week, including household names like XRP, AAVE, Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The exact rationale for the delisting is hard to pin down, but likely revolves around risk assessment and the perceived volatility of certain crypto assets.
The DFS’ “greenlist” allows companies operating in New York to conduct “business activities” using these coins without seeking specific regulatory approval. Even so, a crypto exchange, broker, or fund manager wanting to use a Greenlisted token must still provide the NYDFS with at least ten days prior notice. As of the most recent update, only eight coins appear on the DFS greenlist – with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) as the sole non-stablecoin representatives.
While the NYDFS’ ruling only affects the state of New York, the news comes as the SEC doubles down on tough regulations for crypto companies operating in the United States. It appears that, at least for now, crypto innovators within the US may be facing an uphill battle as the state and federal governments hash out an adequate framework for digital currencies.
The United States Federal Bank plans to hold interest rates between 5.25-5.5% until their next meeting.
The much-anticipated result of the US Feds two-day meeting was announced early yesterday morning, with a mixed outcome indicative of the currently uncertain economic times. Ultimately, the US interest rate will remain unchanged since its previous hike in July, between 5.25 and 5.5%. While this was good news in the short term, the Feds forecasted that more interest rate rises are set to arrive before the year is out.
The lukewarm announcement from the Federal Bank was reflected by Bitcoin’s performance in the day that have followed, dropping by 2-3%.
Although crypto assets, particularly Bitcoin, are often declared as a hedge against inflation, the coin is usually at the mercy of macroeconomic factors like interest rates. Rising interest rates can lead to less discretionary spending and investors turning to risk-averse assets (such as bonds, high-interest savings accounts, or defensive stocks). This can result in a drop in Bitcoin’s value. For example, the price of BTC fell 40% in June 2022 – coinciding with interest rates in the US peaking at 9.1%.
Although the US interest rate will likely rise to between 5.5% and 5.75% by the conclusion of 2023, some economists believe that the cooling inflation will see the Feds keep rates steady for the next three months. This would likely be a positive outcome for Bitcoin pricewise and may provide a launchpad for a successful kick-off to 2024.