Autor Cointelegraph By Turner Wright

Coinbase claims Apple blocked wallet app release over gas fees

The self-custody crypto wallet from Coinbase said users can no longer send nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, due to interference from Apple.In a Dec. 1 Twitter thread, Coinbase Wallet said the tech company with a more than $2 trillion market capitalization had blocked the latest release of its app in an effort to “collect 30% of the gas fee” through in-app purchases. The platform claimed Apple wanted Coinbase Wallet to disable NFT transactions, introducing “new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem.”“For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible,” said Coinbase Wallet. “Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried. This is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols.”You might have noticed you can’t send NFTs on Coinbase Wallet iOS anymore. This is because Apple blocked our last app release until we disabled the feature. — Coinbase Wallet (@CoinbaseWallet) December 1, 2022The wallet app said that users affected by the decision — i.e. those with iPhones — would find it “a lot harder to transfer that NFT to other wallets.” Coinbase added that the block may have been an oversight, calling on Apple to communicate with the firm over any issues.Related: Coinbase clarifies bug bounty policy in response to Uber extortion verdictCoinbase first announced it would be adding support for NFTs to its self-custody wallet in December 2021, giving users access through the app to marketplaces like OpenSea. On Nov. 29, the app said it would suspend support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH), XRP (XRP), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Stellar Lumen (XLM), citing low usage.

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Rostin Behnam points to CFTC-regulated LedgerX as success story amid FTX collapse

Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, chair Rostin Behnam has cited LedgerX, the crypto derivatives and clearing platform based in the United States which was not part of FTX Group’s Chapter 11 filing, as an example of how regulating crypto firms could benefit U.S. consumers. In a Dec. 1 hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee exploring the collapse of FTX, Behnam said LedgerX had essentially been “walled off” from many of the companies within FTX Group — including those that filed for bankruptcy — that provided a regulatory window for the CFTC. The CFTC chair said LedgerX was “healthy”, “solvent”, and “operational” compared to other FTX entities.“The limitations of our authority stopped at [LedgerX],” said Behnam. “For those same reasons that we were walled off from going past the regulated entity, the other FTX entities were not able to pierce through LedgerX and potentially take customer money, which obviously, as a regulator, is the priority.”In his written testimony for the hearing, the CFTC chair said: “Many public reports indicate that segregation and customer security failures at the bankrupt FTX entities resulted in huge amounts of FTX customer funds being misappropriated by Alameda for its proprietary trading. But the customer property at LedgerX – the CFTC regulated entity – has remained exactly where it should be, segregated and secure. This is regulation working.”CFTC chair Rostin Behnam addressing Senate Agriculture Committee on Dec. 1Behnan added that FTX had reported LedgerX held “more cash than all the other FTX debtor entities combined” in its bankruptcy filings. The CFTC chair, committee chair Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow and ranking member Arkansas Senator John Boozman pointed to the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, or DCCPA, as a potential solution to the events leading up to FTX’s insolvency, which left many U.S. consumers in the lurch.“The crypto industry lacks the customer protections that Americans expect and deserve,” said Stabenow. “When trading in U.S. markets, when exchanges accept customer funds for trading they must not be allowed to gamble with those funds […] FTX did all of those things, emboldened by a lack of federal oversight.”Related: US senators commit to advancing crypto bill despite FTX collapseSince filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in the District of Delaware, FTX has been the target of global regulators and lawmakers investigating the exchange, including Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Agency, authorities in the Bahamas and U.S. state and federal authorities. The U.S. House Financial Services Committee scheduled a hearing to investigate the events around the collapse of the crypto exchange on Dec. 13, and the next court hearing in the bankruptcy case has been scheduled for Dec. 16.

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Sen. Warren: Biden administration worked to stop crypto being 'dangerously intertwined' with banks

Referring to the events surrounding the collapse of FTX as “a handful of magic beans”, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren seemed to frame the “contagion” spreading through the crypto space as a partisan issue.Speaking at a Senate Banking Committee nomination hearing on Nov. 30, Warren addressed committee counsel Jonathan McKernan, who confirmed that FTX’s bankruptcy had largely not affected traditional banking institutions in the United States. The Massachusetts senator, an outspoken skeptic of cryptocurrencies, used some of her time to applaud the work of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, acting chair Martin Gruenberg, who attended as part of his nomination to assume the position as part of a five-year term.“Our banks stayed safe even as crypto imploded because many of President Biden’s regulators, like acting chairman Gruenberg, fought to keep crypto from becoming dangerously intertwined with our banks,” said Warren. “He did this despite the Trump administration’s and crypto boosters’ aggressive efforts to bring crypto and all its risks into traditional banking.”Gruenberg responded in the affirmative to one of Warren’s questions in which she claimed the banking system would have been “less safe” had firms like FTX received similar insurance from the FDIC:“The evidence is clear now. We had companies that were engaging in highly speculative activity, highly leveraged, and vulnerable to a loss of confidence in a run. They did not have direct exposures to the insured financial institutions, and as a result the failure of those firms was really limited to the crypto space, and ended up not impacting the insured banking system.”Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Nov. 30Warren went on to refer to crypto assets as “toxic” and unsuitable to integrate in traditional banking, claiming taxpayers could suffer the consequences. The senator was one of the lawmakers behind a Nov. 23 letter calling on the Justice Department to investigate the collapse of FTX and potentially prosecute individuals involved in wrongdoing, specifically naming former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried for his role in the controversy.Related: How stable are stablecoins in the FTX crypto market contagion?The ripple effects of a major exchange like FTX declaring bankruptcy amid a bear market are ongoing. Crypto firm BlockFi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 28, saying FTX owed certain financial obligations to the company. Global lawmakers and regulators have also announced intentions to investigate the events surrounding FTX and potentially create new regulatory frameworks, including those from the European Central Bank, U.S. state governments, and securities regulators in the Bahamas.

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Senate Banking Committee chair calls for coordination with Treasury on crypto

Sherrod Brown, chair of the United States Senate Banking Committee, has called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to work with financial regulators and lawmakers on comprehensive crypto legislation “in the wake of FTX’s implosion.”In a Nov. 30 letter to Yellen, Brown requested the Treasury secretary coordinate with regulators to address crypto based on recommendations from the Financial Stability Oversight Committee, or FSOC. The committee chair cited crypto exchange FTX’s “alarming fraud,” liquidity crunch and bankruptcy as examples of financial risks that should not “spillover into traditional financial markets and institutions.”“I ask that you coordinate with the other financial regulators to further work on the recommendations from the FSOC Report, including the development of legislation that would create authorities for regulators to have visibility into, and otherwise supervise, the activities of the affiliates and subsidiaries of crypto asset entities,” said Brown. “As noted in the FSOC Report, single regulatory agencies currently generally do not have a comprehensive view of crypto asset entities’ activities.”He added:“As the FTX failure makes clear, given crypto asset entities’ broad use of proprietary crypto tokens combined with opaque financial arrangements and the reliance on arbitrary valuation and data sources, the financial regulatory agencies should continue to find ways to enhance entity and crypto asset disclosures, market integrity, and transparency.”In October, the FSOC released a report in accordance with U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order on crypto, aimed at exploring potential regulatory gaps and financial stability risks of digital assets. The council recommended lawmakers pass legislation to determine which “rulemaking authority” will be responsible for regulating parts of the crypto spot market — i.e., the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. At the time, Yellen said the report provided “a strong foundation for policymakers” but did not offer a timeline for action.Related: Senate Banking Committee Democrats warn SoFi about meeting its compliance deadlineBrown’s response was the latest from U.S. lawmakers jumping in to offer their two cents on FTX’s bankruptcy and possible regulatory and legal action. On Nov. 23, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse penned a letter to the Justice Department to potentially prosecute individuals involved in wrongdoing at FTX as well as investigate the exchange’s downfall with the “utmost scrutiny.” Committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be conducting separate hearings in December to address the collapse of the crypto exchange.

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INX submits bid for Voyager Digital's assets

Trading platform INX has submitted a bid for an undisclosed amount to purchase the assets of crypto brokerage firm Voyager Digital.In a Nov. 30 announcement, INX said it had sent a non-binding letter of intent for Voyager’s assets following the platform filing for bankruptcy in July. According to INX CEO Shy Datika, the bid was aimed at providing “credibility, technology, and unique regulatory positioning” for Voyager users seeking stability in a volatile market. Voyager’s original bankruptcy filing from the Southern District Court of New York suggested the firm could owe between $1 billion to $10 billion to more than 100,000 creditors amid a bear market and exposure to Three Arrows Capital. In September, FTX US won a $1.4-billion bid to purchase Voyager’s assets, but with FTX Group itself filing for bankruptcy in November, the funds were once again up for grabs.Related: Voyager Digital won’t sue its executives for incompetence, will claim insurance on themBinance has reportedly been considering a bid for Voyager’s assets, while crypto exchange CrossTower was one of the firms that made an offer prior to FTX’s downfall. Cointelegraph reported on Nov. 13 that CrossTower had been working on a revised bid following FTX Group’s bankruptcy filing. INX was not part of the bidding process in September. Cointelegraph reached out to INX for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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