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Monthly Wrap Up — August

Blackrock going long on Bitcoin, Tornado Cash sanctions, Revolut greenlighted by CYSEC, and more

Despite the total market cap of the crypto space scaling up to approx. $1.2T just a couple of weeks back, the price action remains choppy. Bitcoin and most of the prominent altcoins are still locked in step with the equities markets, and they stay affected by the bearish macroeconomic conditions surrounding the global financial landscape.

Another prominent crypto lender defaults big time

Following in the footsteps of major crypto lending platforms like Celsius. Voyager, Vauld, and BlockFi, Babel Finance revealed its losses had climbed to approx. 8,000 Bitcoin and 56,000 ETH. The news comes after the Hong Kong-based institutional crypto provider froze customer withdrawals in mid-June, citing “unusual liquidity pressure.”

US Senators introduce a crypto tax exemption bill

Two American Senators tabled a bipartisan bill referred to as the ‘Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act’, exempting crypto holders from having to report any taxes related to their digital asset purchases, trades, and profits worth <$50.

Bitcoin Maximalist Michael Saylor steps down as Microstrategy CEO

After guiding fintech giant MicroStrategy with its Bitcoin acquisition strategies over the last few years, Michel Saylor announced that he would be stepping down from his role as company CEO. He will now serve as the firm’s Executive Chairman. MicroStrategy currently holds 129,699 BTC in its coffers.

Blackrock goes long on Bitcoin

One of the most significant news events to hit the crypto market this month was BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, deciding to give its Alladin clients access to crypto trading and custody. Coinbase facilitates the move, which, according to the firm’s representative, was driven by rising “interest from institutional clients.”

Tornado Cash issued with sanctions by US Treasury Dept.

The American government sanctioned Tornado Cash, a crypto mixing service, claiming that money launderers and hackers were using it to move their illegally acquired funds across the globe. As a result, Tornado Cash’s Github account was suspended, and the founder and core developer of the project — Alexey Pertsev — was taken into custody by the Netherlands police.

Another interest rate hike looming on the horizon

President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Jim Bullard was quoted as saying he is “in favor” of another 75 basis point hike sometime during September. Not only that, minutes of a recent FOMC meeting reveal that further interest rate hikes may be incoming over the next few months to curb rising inflation.

Crypto firm Revolut commences operations across Europe

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC) gave the regulatory greenlight to Revolut. Now the digital asset financial services firm can operate across all 27 countries of the European Union as well as other neighboring nations such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Crypto banks can now access Fed’s native services

During the last week of August, the US Federal Reserve released guidelines giving crypto seamless access to its services. The document states that eligible banks will be divided into three categories, depending on whether they are federally insured or subject to prudential supervision by a federal banking agency.

Regulatory uncertainty continues to engulf the crypto market

As the US midterm elections continue to loom large on the horizon, experts believe that the Senate will pass no digital asset-related bill over the next few months. Already tabled crypto bills such as the “Responsible Financial Innovation Act” have also been put on the back burner for the time being.