- Crypto-friendly presidential candidate Andrew Yang suspended his campaign.
- Wells Fargo invested a cool five mil in a UK-based startup that mitigates crypto risks with blockchain analysis.
- Trump’s 2021 budget proposal wants to put the Secret Service on crypto watch.
- The digital currency market cap hit $300 billion, a 61% increase from the start of the year.
In a blow to politically minded crypto enthusiasts, Andrew Yang suspended his presidential campaign this week after disappointing results in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries.
As OKCoin previously reported, Yang was easily the most crypto-friendly of the 2020 candidates. His campaign website acknowledges that “Cryptocurrencies and digital assets have quickly grown to represent a large amount of value and economic activity,” and he made crypto regulation policy a cornerstone of his campaign.
His campaign drew a large amount of support on social media, with many crypto proponents joining his #YangGang over the past two years.
This showing did not translate into support at the Iowa Caucus, where he received zero state delegates and only 1 percent of the vote, or in New Hampshire, where he received 2.9 percent of the vote as of press time, according to The New York Times.
Yang began laying off campaign staff following last week’s Iowa Caucus, before formally shuttering his bid Tuesday night.
It’s no secret that without regulations and education, cryptocurrency can be a risky business. To help combat these risks and meet regulatory compliance, a UK startup called Elliptic is using blockchain analytics, which has already been successful in uncovering a terrorist group using bitcoin to finance its operations. Elliptic’s efforts aren’t going unnoticed; this week, major banking institution Wells Fargo invested $5 million in the company.
The investment into Elliptic from Wells Fargo’s venture unit, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, is an extension of the start-up’s $23 million Series B funding round announced in September. The additional investment brings the company’s total money raised to over $40 million. Elliptic didn’t disclose its valuation.
Smith said the fact that Wells Fargo was backing the company shows banks are “interested in how we can help them understand and manage risk that relates to crypto.”
“More and more financial institutions realize even if they don’t touch crypto themselves, they are adjacent to crypto. They are exposed to crypto risk and have a responsibility to understand what the risk is and how to manage it.”
President Trump’s 2021 budget proposal was released this week, and along with sweeping cuts to education, health and human services, and the Environmental Protection Agency, he’s hoping to put the Secret Service in charge of cryptocurrency. While the Secret Service was originally part of the Treasury Department, it was moved to the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 — a move that the president apparently hopes to reverse.
Trump is notoriously opposed to cryptocurrency and has made scathing remarks about it in the past. His budget proposal ties cryptocurrency to “complex criminal organizations,” claiming advances in technology have resulted in “stronger links between financial and electronic crimes.”
Trump’s administration envisions that Treasury and Secret Service — alongside the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCeN) — will focus on coordinating intelligence agencies, financial institutions, and regulators in order to intercept terrorist financing, hold rogue states accountable, and detect and deter financial crimes.
Released yesterday, Feb. 10, the presidential budget does not necessarily bear a resemblance to the eventual federal budget, which will be decided via a budget resolution process in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate ahead of the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 2020.
The document thus has a largely political role, signaling to Congress the administration’s vision and priorities for federal spending across various programs in the coming year.
Rumors of crypto’s death are greatly exaggerated. The cryptocurrency market cap hit $300 on February 13, an impressive 61% gain since New Year’s. This continues 2020’s upwards trajectory for the crypto industry, which has largely bounced back from the 2018 crash that had some analysts predicting the demise of digital currency.
Indeed, talk of exponential growth in the cryptocurrency market cap is already making the rounds. WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty took to Twitter to share his prediction for the coming decade.
Referencing the cumulative effects of accelerated growth through technological advancement, Shetty puts this figure at $3,000,000,000,000. An insane amount of money, but still less than 40% of the current market cap of gold ($8 trillion).
“If you look at [the] history of technology, a $3T market cap in [the] next 10 years is [an] easy target.”
That’s the roundup for February 15, 2020. Check in next week for the latest news of cryptocurrency innovation and regulation around the world!
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