CoinLoan Weekly: 2021 Recap

Hey CoinLoaner,

2022 is already here. This time, we would like to share the top 3 stories in the crypto world in 2021.

China's Crypto Ban

On May 18, the National Internet Finance Association, the China Banking Association, and the Payments and Clearing Association issued a joint statement citing it by the People's Bank of China.

"Recently, cryptocurrency prices have skyrocketed and plummeted, and speculative trading of cryptocurrency has rebounded, seriously infringing on the safety of people's property and disrupting the normal economic and financial order."

According to the regulator, financial institutions should seriously avoid using cryptocurrency and any digital asset operations to determine prices for goods and services.

The first ban was released on May 25, when restrictions on mining operations were imposed in Inner Mongolia, the region with the most mining activity. Consequently, the Bitcoin exchange rate fell by 8.5%, pulling the market down.  

In early June, the Sichuan and Qinghai provinces also banned mining. By mid-July, new rules were introduced in the Anhua, Henan, and Guangxi provinces.

In July, China's State Power Corporation officially demanded their clients to halt all mining activity throughout the country, effectively making the practice of cryptocurrency mining operations completely illegal.

Ripple vs. SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against Ripple in late 2020. The regulator accused the company of selling unregistered securities worth $1.3 billion in the XRP coins. The legal standoff has been going on for months.

XRP is Ripple's internal coin used as a third party in cross-border payments. SEC allegations forced many cryptocurrency exchanges to suspend trading in XRP. The price fell to $0.17 but recovered in September, reaching $1.1.

In February, SEC and Ripple failed to reach an agreement. SEC said that Ripple's management was aware of the XRP coin status even before its official launch. However, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse insists the SEC allegations have no proof.  

According to the latest document released by the SEC in connection to Ripple’s case, representatives from SBI Holdings (Ripple's main partner) held meetings with regulator representatives from 2017 to 2019 to discuss the XRP coin. The document does not say what the company representatives discussed with government officials.

Bitcoin ETFs

Bitcoin-based ETFs have been long in the works. In October 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave the green light to ProShares' Bitcoin futures ETF, which became the first legally approved BTC fund in history. The ETF began trading on NYSE, resulting in ProShares quotes surging by 4%.

However, the SEC rejected applications from Valkyrie, Kryptoin, and other companies to launch Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, arguing they do not fully satisfy commission’s investor safety standards.

The SEC plans to approve Skybridge's cryptocurrency ETF by January 22, while a decision on Fidelity's Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust application is due on January 27.