Mastercard Enables USDC Spending in Asia
Mastercard has partnered with Stables to allow retail customers in the Asia-Pacific region to spend and save USDC through its network. Meanwhile, worldwide banking turmoil has not slowed the blending of traditional and decentralized finance (DeFi). Global payment provider Mastercard has expanded its partnership with the Australian stablecoin platform, Stables, to enable retail customers in the Asia-Pacific region to spend and save USDC anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The wallet will accept deposits in several stablecoins, including Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD), with all deposits automatically converted into USDC. This move comes as worldwide banking turmoil and regulatory crackdowns continue to impact the crypto space.
Coinbase warns of losing crypto industry leadership
The U.S. SEC has issued a Wells notice to Coinbase. As a result, Coinbase warns that the U.S. government’s regulatory approach to crypto has created an uncertain and unstable environment. Meanwhile, other countries, such as France, the U.K., and the European Union, are building friendlier crypto regulation ecosystems and becoming crypto hubs, causing the U.S. to lose its status as the leading hub of the crypto sector.
Coinbase CEO Compares SEC to Soccer Refs in Criticism of Lack of Clarity Around Crypto Regulation
Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, compared the SEC to “soccer refs” in a game of pickleball, criticizing the regulator for their lack of clarity around crypto regulation. The comments came after Coinbase revealed they had been issued a Wells notice, which typically precedes an enforcement action. The crypto community has widely condemned the recent notice, with many agreeing that the SEC has reversed its earlier position regarding Coinbase.
Banking crisis could push cryptocurrency regulation into gray area
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire believes that the ongoing global banking crisis could lead to more uncertainty and gray area in the regulation of cryptocurrencies due to market anxiety over exposure to the US financial system and the risk of a large-scale banking system failure.
OKX to Halt Services in Canada Due to New Regulations
Cryptocurrency exchange OKX has notified its Canadian users that it will no longer provide services or allow new account openings in Canada, starting on March 24, 2023, due to new regulations. Existing Canadian customers must close open positions in options, margins, perpetual, and futures by June 22, 2023, and fiat or tokens must be withdrawn by the same date.
US Banking Crisis Fuels Regulation Debate
The recent fall of major banks in the US has reignited discussions about the most effective ways to safeguard the economy. Economist Peter Schiff argues that increasing banking regulations could contribute to a worsening economic crisis, while a group of economists warns that nearly 190 US banks are at risk of depositor-driven collapse due to monetary policies.
FTX Founder Allegedly Sought Federal Regulation Before Collapse
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly sought federal regulation for the crypto exchange before its collapse and his resignation as CEO. A leaked email exchange with a top regulator showed Bankman-Fried's intent to meet with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairman in June 2022.
Moody warns of stablecoin adoption risk
Moody's Investors Service has warned that the recent turmoil in the traditional banking sector and USDC losing its peg could negatively impact stablecoin adoption and increase calls for regulation. The credit rating agency believes that fiat-backed stablecoins like USDC could face new resistance, limiting their stability and potentially causing a run on banks holding Circle's assets, which could lead to the depegging of other stablecoins.
Crypto Advocacy Group Calls on Regulators to Address De-Banking of Crypto Firms
The Blockchain Association has submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to U.S. financial regulators, seeking documents and communications that could reveal if regulators’ actions have contributed to the recent failures of banks that provide services to crypto firms. The association is investigating allegations of account closures and refusals to open new accounts by banks against crypto firms, which it believes should be treated like any other law-abiding business in the U.S.
Banks increase risks to stablecoins
The death of the Terra ecosystem triggered a bear market in 2022, causing losses in billions, affecting investor sentiment, and intensifying the regulatory spotlight over cryptocurrencies. Recently, Circle's disclosure that Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) did not process its $3.3 billion withdrawal request led to the depegging of its USD Coin (USDC). This event caused Binance CEO CZ to believe that traditional banks are a risk to stablecoins that are usually pegged 1:1 with fiat currencies, like the U.S. dollar.

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