Crypto News Highlights (20th May to 24th May 2024)

Here are the top stories that happened in crypto this week.

Crypto News Highlights (20th May to 24th May 2024)
Here are the top stories that happened in crypto this week.

  • SEC Approves Spot Ethereum ETFs
  • Trump Campaign Starts Accepting Cryptocurrency Donations
  • Hong Kong Expels Worldcoin Over Privacy Concerns
  • Dogecoin Icon Kabosu Passes Away at Age 18
  • US House Passes Cryptocurrency Bill Despite SEC Warnings

SEC Approves Spot Ethereum ETFs

US Securities and Exchange Commission Building

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved applications from Nasdaq (NDAQ), Intercontinental Exchange's (ICE) NYSE, Cboe Global Markets (CBOE), and five other entities to list exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invest directly in Ethereum (ETH-USD), according to a Thursday filing.

Following the news, Ethereum's price fluctuated between gains and losses, currently up 1% to $3,810. The approval, previously considered unlikely, marks a significant victory for the cryptocurrency sector. However, issuers of these spot Ethereum ETFs still require a separate final approval from the SEC before they can launch, with the deadline for this approval yet to be determined.

"There is massive demand for digital assets, and for too long, access to them has been restricted to either the technically savvy or the already wealthy," said Greg Moritz, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of crypto hedge fund Alt Tab Capital. "We see the largest financial institutions in the world creating products to meet that demand, and now we see a regulatory decision that embraces progress."

Moritz added, "Perhaps the more interesting question the ETF approval poses is if it is possible for ETH, what other altcoins could also be approved?"

Several investment firms, including BlackRock (BLK), VanEck, and Ark Investment Management, are all vying for the pivotal first-mover advantage in launching a spot Ethereum ETF.

Trump Campaign Starts Accepting Cryptocurrency Donations

Donald Trump

The Trump campaign announced on Tuesday that it will begin accepting cryptocurrency donations, presenting the move as solidarity with opponents of "socialistic government control" over U.S. financial markets.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump can now donate using any cryptocurrency accepted through the Coinbase Commerce platform, according to a

This move opens a new potential funding source for the Trump campaign, which still trails Biden in cash on hand, even though it outraised the Democratic incumbent in April. Crypto donations will be reported as in-kind contributions, similar to gifts of stock. The campaign can then choose to liquidate the digital currency or retain it.

"Contribution limits and disclosure requirements for crypto donations will follow Federal Election Commission regulations," the Trump campaign stated.

This acceptance of crypto is the latest in Trump's efforts to court the crypto community, which tends to be younger and more male, according to an April 2023 Pew Research Center poll. In December, Trump sold a limited run of NFT trading cards that could be purchased with cryptocurrency and recently hosted a dinner for his NFT backers at Mar-a-Lago.

Although Tuesday's announcement billed Trump as the "first major party nominee" to embrace crypto donations, he is not the official nominee until July. Moreover, he is not the first presidential candidate to accept cryptocurrency donations. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., running an independent presidential bid, announced in May 2023 that his campaign would accept Bitcoin donations, and Senator Rand Paul accepted Bitcoin donations for his 2015 presidential campaign.

Hong Kong Expels Worldcoin Over Privacy Concerns

Worldcoin logo

The Hong Kong government has ordered Worldcoin to cease operations within its borders, accusing the identity project of violating its privacy regulations. The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) has demanded that Worldcoin halt its activities in Hong Kong and urged citizens to report any ongoing operations.

The PCPD alleges that the collection of facial and iris images was unnecessary and excessive and that Worldcoin collected personal data unfairly by not providing privacy notices and consent forms in Chinese, failing to disclose all potential risks, and not clearly informing participants of the purpose of data collection.

Although the project's Orb hardware is integral to its operations, Hong Kong officials stated that these devices were not needed to verify a person's humanity. "Scanning or collection of face images was not required for the purpose of verifying the humanness of the participants as the iris scanning device operators were already in the position to carry out such verification at the operating locations," the PCPD noted.

"Worldcoin Foundation is disappointed by the views recently released by the regulatory authorities in Hong Kong," said a Worldcoin Foundation spokesperson. "Worldcoin operates lawfully and is designed to be fully compliant with all laws and regulations governing data collection and use, including the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance of Hong Kong, among many other similar statutes across other markets."

Worldcoin said Hong Kong authorities overlooked factors such as data minimization, user control over their data, iris code deletion, and "secure multi-party computation."

Launched in 2022, Worldcoin was developed by Tools For Humanity, co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and is managed by the non-profit Worldcoin Foundation. It uses controversial Orb iris scanners and its World ID application to combat bots by ensuring that users are actual people. Participants are issued WLD tokens in exchange for providing their biometric data.

Since its launch, World ID has attracted over 10 million users in 160 countries, with more than 5 million people verifying their identity using Worldcoin Orbs

In March, Worldcoin open-sourced core components of its Orb iris scanners on GitHub to address privacy concerns, allowing researchers to scrutinize the technology more thoroughly.

"Open sourcing typically helps to foster trust, transparency, and verifiability while also encouraging developer communities to further advance a technology," a Worldcoin spokesperson told Decrypt. "This builds on the open-sourcing of the iris code last year and the hardware nearly a year ago."

Dogecoin Icon Kabosu Passes Away at Age 18

Kabosu Shiba Inu Dog

Kabosu, the Japanese Shiba Inu dog who inspired the popular cryptocurrency Dogecoin, has died at the age of 18. Kabosu, who had been suffering from leukemia and liver disease, passed away peacefully on Friday, according to her owner Atsuko Sato.

"On the morning of the 24th of May, Kabosu crossed the rainbow bridge," Sato announced on Instagram. "She went very peacefully without suffering, as if falling asleep while feeling the warmth of my hands petting her."

Kabosu gained global fame as the face of the "Doge" internet meme, which featured pictures of her with captions in Comic Sans. This meme later became the basis for Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency launched as a joke in December 2013. Dogecoin now has a market capitalization of nearly $23 billion and has garnered a cult following, including endorsements from celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Elon Musk.

The meme coin, created by American software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, was initially intended to satirize the volatility of cryptocurrency markets. Dogecoin prices surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching 64¢ per coin in May 2021, after Elon Musk announced plans to launch a satellite named DOGE-1, funded entirely by Dogecoin.

Dogecoin also became the official sponsor of English soccer club Watford F.C. in a deal worth more than £700,000.

Kabosu became a global sensation after Sato posted a picture of her with crossed paws and a smirk on a blog in 2010. In 2023, a statue of Kabosu was erected in the Japanese city of Sakura to celebrate the famous dog.

US House Passes Cryptocurrency Bill Despite SEC Warnings

Cryptocurrencies next to a gavel

The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday to establish a new legal framework for cryptocurrencies, despite warnings from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about potential financial risks.

The Republican-sponsored Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act was approved with a bipartisan 279-136 vote. However, it is uncertain whether the Senate will consider the measure.

Supporters in Congress argue that the bill will provide regulatory clarity and promote industry growth.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler warned that the bill “would create new regulatory gaps and undermine decades of precedent regarding the oversight of investment contracts, putting investors and capital markets at immeasurable risk.” Gensler, citing high-profile prosecutions, fraud cases, bankruptcies, and failures, insisted that cryptocurrencies should be subject to the same laws as other assets. He argued that under the bill, investment contracts recorded on a blockchain would no longer be deemed securities, removing investor protections under securities laws.

Gensler also criticized the bill for allowing issuers of crypto investment contracts to self-certify their products as digital commodities, giving the SEC only 60 days to challenge these claims.

Despite this, the bill has strong support from crypto advocates and industry bodies, who have long viewed Gensler’s SEC as an obstacle to the wider adoption of digital assets.

The bill classifies cryptocurrencies as commodities rather than securities, potentially altering the regulatory landscape of the crypto industry. It also grants primary regulatory responsibility to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), reducing the SEC’s oversight. The digital asset sector has long complained that the SEC’s traditional disclosure regimes are unworkable for them.

Additionally, the bill creates a tailored disclosure and registration regime for digital asset companies. However, it faces significant hurdles in the Senate, where several lawmakers have proposed their own bills to overhaul crypto regulations.

Disclaimer:  The information provided in this crypto news round-up is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or investment advice. Obiex will not be held liable for your investment decisions.