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Comptroller of the Currency Seeks to End Sector-Based Discrimination from Banks

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Many in the crypto industry lauded Brian Brooks, the latest Comptroller of the Currency, for his pro-crypto background and views. So far, he hasn’t disappointed. In his latest policy initiative, the regulator is pushing for a policy that would remove discrimination from banking services based on the sector.

An Open Financial System

On Friday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published a policy proposal to curb banks’ ability to deny services to firms based on their sector. As the announcement explained, the initiative aims to stop the “creeping politicization of the banking industry,” ensuring that it can operate unencumbered.

The announcement pointed to agencies like Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that provides reproductive healthcare services. It also highlighted oil and gas agencies in Alaska, many of whom have encountered banking services problems.

As Brooks noted in the announcement, every firm should get access to banking services, regardless of their political affiliations.

“Fair access to financial services, credit, and capital are essential to our economy. This proposed rule would ensure that banks meet their responsibility to provide their services fairly since they enjoy special privilege and powers because if the system fails to provide fairness to all, it cannot be a source of strength for any.”

Speaking with crypto news outlet Cointelegraph, Brooks confirmed that the rule change would apply to cryptocurrencies as well. The regulator pointed out that no provision in the Constitution outlaws digital assets.

However, he also noted that some parts of the country have licensing requirements for crypto companies to operate. In such instances, banks would merely have to check if the companies have the approvals to operate in their state. Once that has been ascertained, they can offer banking services.

Brooks is Good for Crypto 

While Brooks doesn’t seem to have crypto as his primary concern, there’s no doubt that digital assets have faced banking discrimination in the past. Most prominent is in India, with the Reserve Bank directing all commercial banks to cut ties with crypto firms in 2018.

The Supreme Court eventually overturned the decision earlier this year, although the victory didn’t come without the agency’s staunch opposition.

Even after the ban got lifted, sentiment in the country was low. The Economic Times reported in June that the Ministry of Finance was working on a more comprehensive ban, while crypto firms reportedly still had difficulties accessing banking services.

Brooks is looking to ensure that such a problem doesn’t happen in the United States. The Comptroller has so far been one of the stars of the crypto industry in Washington, speaking on digital assets’ significance every chance he gets. 

This month, he explained the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.

However, Brooks’ pro-crypto stance has brought some criticism, especially on Capitol Hill. A recent letter from several Congresspeople criticized what was seen as “unilateral actions in the digital financial activities space,” especially concerning the prospect of crypto companies getting special-purpose banking charters.

Source: https://insidebitcoins.com/news/comptroller-of-the-currency-seeks-to-end-sector-based-discrimination-from-banks

Blockchain

Ethereum Maintains Bullish Market Structure Despite Selloff; Rebound Imminent?

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  • Ethereum has seen an intense selloff ever since its price reached highs of $1,450 just a few days ago
  • The selling pressure here was rather intense and came about right as BTC started reversing its uptrend
  • This caused the aggregated market to see some intense selling pressure that has yet to alleviate
  • The crypto is now down nearly 20% from these highs, with bears continually placing massive selling pressure on its price
  • Where ETH trends will generally depend on Bitcoin, as the benchmark crypto has been guiding Ethereum’s general trend over the past few weeks
  • Any continued weakness could lead to a further breakdown, as many analysts are looking towards a test of the support at $1,100 and $1,000

Ethereum has erased almost all of the gains that came about due to the recent push higher, with bears taking full control of its price action as BTC also slides lower.

The cryptocurrency’s weakness shows no signs of ending for now, which may be due to Bitcoin’s inability to see any significant strength.

One analyst is noting that ETH is still looking technically poised to see further upside from a macro perspective, as the cryptocurrency’s long-term technical structure actually remains quite bullish.

Ethereum Struggles to Gain Momentum as Bitcoin Plunges

Bitcoin has caused the entire crypto market to nuke lower today. At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down over 13% at its current price of $1,190, which marks a notable decline from its recent highs of $1,450 set just a couple of days ago.

The selling pressure seen at these highs was intense and, coupled with BTC’s bearishness, created an intense stream of selling pressure that has yet to subside.

It is currently trading above a strong support zone, but it remains unclear how long this will hold.

Analyst: ETH Shows Some Signs of Strength Despite Capitulatory Selloff 

One analyst explained that Ethereum is still flashing some signs of strength today despite the intense selloff seen throughout the past two days.

He notes that ETH’s overall market structure is still looking strong despite the severity of this latest pullback.

“Ethereum: it is still by far the best looking » Read more

” href=”https://www.newsbtc.com/dictionary/altcoin/” data-wpel-link=”internal”>altcoin in terms of price structure. – Above the cloud – Just tested all time high – Rejection but still above the previous low.”

Ethereum

Image Courtesy of Teddy. Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.

Unless Bitcoin continues plunging lower, there’s a strong possibility that Ethereum will begin bottoming out and revert its momentum into bulls’ control.

Featured image from Unsplash.
Charts from TradingView.

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/eth/ethereum-maintains-bullish-market-structure-despite-selloff-rebound-imminent/

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Genesis Mining head forecasts importance of layer-two Bitcoin solutions

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Would Bitcoin and its blockchain be able to handle mainstream adoption as a store of value without requiring second-layer solutions? Genesis Mining’s head of mining operations, Philip Salter, holds a mixed view. 

“I think Bitcoin is a good store of value regardless of transaction fees,” Salter told Cointelegraph. “The issue is — the higher the fees are the larger is also the minimum value that can be efficiently transferred.”

Bitcoin (BTC) has stood the test of time up to this point, with BTC maintaining its place as the crypto industry’s highest market cap asset for the past 12 years. Bitcoin is seen as more of a store of value than digital cash these days, however, and Salter thinks complications may still arise from this shift in perceptions:

“Some years ago it was possible to store and transmit $1 efficiently, since tx fees were effectively zero. Currently, sending a transaction can easily cost $15, so it is not sensible to transmit $1 any more. If this trend continues due to more use of BTC and higher BTC prices, it will become prohibitive to transfer value in common amounts and it will be only an effective store of value for very large amounts.”

“That’s why I think that 2nd Layer solutions are a necessity not only for the use of BTC as a currency but also for the long term feasibility of BTC as a store of value,” Salter added. Industry players have worked on layer-two scaling solutions, such as Lightning Network, in an effort to facilitate small transaction capabilities.

Salter himself uses Lightning Network solutions for his own Bitcoin endeavors. “I personally upgraded my personal phone wallet to a lightning-only wallet (Phoenix), so that I can even in these crazy times pay with coins quickly and cheaply,” he said. “To anyone who tried to use lightning two years ago and found it confusing, I strongly suggest that you give it another try now that it’s far more established and user friendly to use.”

Bitcoin’s scaling debate was a focal point of discussion in 2017 and 2018. In September 2020, MicroStrategy said it faced no major issues during one of its BTC accumulations. The firm bought 38,250 BTC using a combination of off-chain and on-chain avenues.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/genesis-mining-head-forecasts-importance-of-layer-two-bitcoin-solutions

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90% of these altcoins outperformed Bitcoin recently

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Experts often say the altcoins rally with Bitcoin, and even fall with it. On 21 January, Longhash revealed that in the last seven days, 92% of crypto tokens “outperformed Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin rallied to new ATHs and has remained over the $30,000 range, which still accounted for less volatility compared to previous rallies. However, with increasing prices, and FUD taking over traders, the asset seems to be facing a period of stagnation, at least for now. In the past week, the asset’s price fell 12% against the dollar.

Based on Messari’s price data, Longhash tracked 69 crypto tokens — each of which daily reported trading volume of about $100 million. Among these, 66% of tokens’ prices increased in the past week, and over half of the 46 tokens that gained against the dollar increased more than 10%.

A mere 33% of tokens’ prices went down against the dollar. Specifically, prices of five tokens, including Wrapped BTC, Dash, Bitcoin SC, Zcash, and Maker fell by much more.

Source: Longhash/Messari

Longhash data stated that Bitcoin “has seen one of the most dramatic drops,” among tokens that have been falling over the week. However, experts predict the current dip in BTC prices is a temporary setback before the asset rallies to bigger numbers.

Days after ECB President called for regulating Bitcoin because of its association to illegitimate activities, the asset gained a new critic, which could have fueled FUD. Recently, President Biden’s pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, believed that cryptocurrencies “are a particular concern.”

Although altcoins seem to perform better than Bitcoin, at the moment, no crypto would be able to replace Bitcoin, given its large market capitalization. For instance, Ethereum was up 22% against Bitcoin in the past week, but as Longhash noted, “Ether’s market cap could quadruple and it would still be behind Bitcoin.”

In the last 24 hours, about $1 billion in crypto was liquidated and Bitcoin has been down by roughly 7%. The asset was trading at $32,043.96 at press time. Further, whales were depositing Bitcoin to exchanges, which could further influence prices, according to CryptoQuant’s Ki Young Ju:

Source: https://ambcrypto.com/90-of-these-altcoins-outperformed-bitcoin-recently

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