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The rush of major news that started last week has no sign of slowing down as we continue through June. Here are your top stories for this week. 

SEC’s political battle against crypto heats up. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), often referred to as the SEC, holds a crucial role as a governmental body in the United States. Its primary responsibility lies in safeguarding the integrity of financial markets and ensuring the protection of the general public against fraudulent activities and market manipulation. Recent developments have shed light on the SEC’s active pursuit of regulatory enforcement in the realm of cryptocurrencies.

In a previous issue of TWIW3, we highlighted the SEC’s legal action against Binance, one of the prominent cryptocurrency exchanges globally, and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao. This lawsuit was initiated as a means to address concerns regarding market manipulation within the cryptocurrency industry. The SEC alleged that Binance and its CEO engaged in unlawful activities that violated regulatory frameworks, thereby posing a threat to the stability and fairness of the markets.

Continuing its regulatory campaign, the SEC proceeded to launch another lawsuit, this time targeting Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency trading firm operating within the United States. The allegations against Coinbase revolved around the operation of an unregistered securities exchange. The SEC argued that Coinbase failed to comply with the necessary registration requirements, thereby contravening the established rules and regulations governing the trading of financial assets, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.

The primary argument presented by the SEC in both these lawsuits centres around the principle that all financial assets, irrespective of their digital or traditional nature, must be registered with the commission. This insistence on registration serves to ensure that entities operating within the financial ecosystem adhere to the prescribed guidelines and regulations outlined by the SEC. By registering and complying with these rules, market participants are held accountable, promoting transparency, and minimising the risk of fraud, manipulation, and other illicit activities.

In a Statement addressing the lawsuits, the director of the SEC noted:

“You simply can’t ignore the rules because you don’t like them or because you’d prefer different ones: the consequences for the investing public are far too great,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.”

The SEC’s pursuit of legal action against Binance and Coinbase represents its commitment to regulating the rapidly evolving landscape of cryptocurrencies. By addressing concerns regarding unregistered securities exchanges and market manipulation, the commission aims to foster investor confidence, protect market integrity, and establish a robust regulatory framework within the digital asset industry. Despite the negativity surrounding the SEC’s legal battles, these lawsuits serve as a significant step towards ensuring that all market participants operate within the confines of the law and contribute to the long-term stability and legitimacy of the cryptocurrency market.

Louis Vuitton to release a new NFT collection. 

Louis Vuitton, a renowned luxury fashion brand, has recently made headlines by venturing into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The brand announced the release of a highly exclusive collection of NFTs, each carrying a staggering price tag of $39,000. What sets this collection apart is its unique connection to physical products and the promise of granting owners access to exclusive products and experiences.

The concept behind Louis Vuitton’s NFT collection revolves around the idea of merging the digital and physical realms. Each NFT in the collection represents a distinct piece of artwork linked to a corresponding physical item. This connection allows NFT owners to unlock special privileges and experiences, providing a sense of exclusivity and luxury. This fusion of digital and physical realms provides an innovative approach to offering unique and enhanced ownership experiences for luxury consumers.

One notable aspect of this collection is its “SoulBound” nature. Unlike traditional NFTs, which can be freely bought and sold in the marketplace, SoulBound NFTs cannot be resold once purchased. This feature serves as a measure to safeguard against market manipulation and scalping, which have been prevalent concerns within the NFT industry. By ensuring that the NFTs remain with their original owners, Louis Vuitton aims to maintain the exclusivity and value of the collection, preventing it from being diluted or devalued through secondary market transactions.

The emergence of SoulBound products within the NFT industry indicates a growing trend among major companies and brands to protect the integrity and value of their offerings. By implementing restrictions on reselling, these companies seek to create a more controlled and secure environment for their NFTs, limiting speculative activities that could potentially undermine the value and reputation of their brands. This approach reflects a proactive stance towards addressing concerns related to market manipulation and ensuring that the true value of the products is retained and appreciated by their original owners.

eToro to Delist Four Cryptocurrencies for U.S. Users Next Month. 

In a significant announcement, the investor platform eToro revealed its plans to delist four cryptocurrencies from its platform in the coming month. The decision to remove these cryptocurrencies stems from what eToro refers to as “recent developments” within the crypto industry. It is highly probable that the catalyst behind this decision is the notable lawsuits initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Coinbase and Binance.

The lawsuits filed by the SEC against Coinbase and Binance have sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as these platforms have long been considered key players in the industry. The legal actions have raised concerns and uncertainty about the regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies, leading companies like eToro to reevaluate their offerings and risk exposure.

eToro’s decision to delist these four cryptocurrencies can be seen as a proactive measure aimed at mitigating potential regulatory risks and aligning with evolving industry standards. The lawsuits by the SEC against Coinbase and Binance likely served as a wake-up call to platforms like eToro, prompting them to reassess the cryptocurrencies they support and the associated regulatory implications.

By removing these particular cryptocurrencies from its platform, eToro aims to distance itself from any potential legal complications and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. This strategic move allows eToro to demonstrate its commitment to operating within a transparent and compliant framework, while simultaneously safeguarding the interests of its investors.

The impact of the SEC lawsuits extends beyond the immediate parties involved, as they send ripples throughout the entire cryptocurrency industry. Market participants and platforms alike are now compelled to reassess their risk management strategies, compliance frameworks, and the overall viability of certain cryptocurrencies.

While eToro’s decision to delist these four cryptocurrencies may be viewed as a cautious response to the recent SEC lawsuits, it also underscores the need for regulatory clarity and guidelines within the cryptocurrency space. As the industry continues to mature, it is becoming increasingly important for regulatory bodies, industry stakeholders, and market participants to collaborate in establishing a robust regulatory framework that ensures investor protection while fostering innovation and growth.

The removal of these cryptocurrencies from eToro’s platform serves as a reminder that the cryptocurrency market is subject to evolving regulatory dynamics, and platforms must remain adaptable to these changes.