SEC Hires, Exchange Rumors, and Bitcoin Price Woes: This Week in Crypto

Make sure you check out our previous edition here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. Also, make sure you subscribe for this week’s edition of The Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.

Price Watch:


  • South Africa Central Bank Wins Award for Blockchain – Central Banking, a global central banking forum, has bestowed its FinTech & RegTech Award for Best Distributed Ledger Initiative to South Africa’s central bank for its successful Project Khokha, which successfully used an Ethereum blockchain platform to process interbank payments and settlements. The South African Reserve Bank designed and executed Project Khokha in under three months to test the proficiency, resilience, confidentiality, finality, and scalability of a DLT solution for processing transactions under realistic conditions on a wholesale payment system.
  • Uzbekistan is Licensing Crypto CompaniesThe Korean Blockchain Business Association (KOBEA) and the government of Uzbekistan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the country’s first government-licensed crypto exchange. The move is part of an initiative to compete against Malta, South Korea’s Busan, Jeju Island, Switzerland, and other major crypto markets.
  • Trump’s New SEC Hire Boosts Possibility of Bitcoin ETF – Elad Roisman, the newly-appointed member of the SEC, could be the missing the piece in tilting the balance in favor of a bitcoin ETF approval. The new commissioner becomes the third Trump appointee to the SEC, succeeding Michael Piwowar, who stepped down in July. Roisman said in a statement that the SEC must re-examine its rules around blockchain and initial coin offerings.


  • Ripple General Counsel to Leave FirmBrynly Llyr, the general counsel at crypto giant Ripple, who joined the San Francisco-based blockchain company in Nov. 2016, has left the firm. Llyr’s departure comes as Ripple prepares to defend itself against a variety of class-action lawsuits alleging that the XRP cryptocurrency — whose majority owner is Ripple — should be regulated as a security and that the firm’s distribution of XRP (which is often colloquially referred to as “ripple”) constitutes an illegal securities offering.
  • Kraken Denies Security Breach and Office Closure – Kraken exchange has been forced to comment and denied a persisting rumor that a Halifax, CA office of the crypto exchange was shut down following a security breach resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.
  • Circle Recruits Former Homeland Security Official – Circle has hired a new chief legal officer, Gus Coldebella into the company’s senior leadership team after a four-year stint at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where he became the organization’s general counsel.
  • Coinbase Pro Announces Trading Pairs with British Pounds – Coinbase has announced the launch of new GBP trading pairs. The announcement follows the news released earlier this month that Coinbase would be adding GBP support, something discussed by Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroz in a recent interview.
  • Filecoin Prepares to Launch – Filecoin, a decentralized storage network that turns cloud storage into an algorithmic market monetized through cryptocurrency, has announced that it will go public within the coming months. Filecoin raised an outstanding $257 million dollars and has since been involved in developing the project whose market will run on a blockchain.

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Last modified: March 4, 2021 3:38 PM

Jake Sylvestre: Follow me on Twitter: @jakesyl