Crypto Spotlight - USA, India, and Australia further crypto regulation, Binance/Wazirz feud intensifies, BNB Greenfield announced

The cryptocurrency market has seen a boost in value over the past month, receiving a $300 billion influx to total market value, bringing the market cap back above $1 trillion. The industry's two heavy hitters have seen substantial spikes, with Bitcoin up 40% and ether firmly in the green

However, it is important to take the industry’s rally with a pinch of salt as the shadow of FTX’s collapse still looms. Despite the recent surge, Bitcoin has not yet ventured above the mid-$20,000s, which it held onto before FTX’s collapse, indicating that there’s still work to do before we put the crypto winter firmly in the rearview mirror.

However, the focus today is not on BTC price or projected trends, but on global plans to ramp up regulation on digital assets. Earlier this week the U.K. announced its goal for new crypto legislation, and many other nations are following suit with their versions of rules and regulations. With that in mind, here are the day’s top stories.

  • Tim Scott, the leading Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, has expressed interest in developing a bipartisan regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The industry is eagerly awaiting his views, as he has yet to comment publicly on the matter. However, in a recent statement, the senator showed a cautious perspective on the industry, highlighting concerns regarding its use in illegal finance and the lack of proper regulations. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrod Brown laid the foundation for cryptocurrency legislation in November. The Senate has previously been perceived as a roadblock to regulatory efforts. However, if Senators Scott and Brown can find common ground, it could serve as a crucial venue for digital asset regulation in Congress. Lawmakers in the U.S. will likely take on the challenge of creating the first significant pieces of cryptocurrency legislation this year. 
  • Australia is implementing a multi-stage approach to regulate the crypto industry to protect consumers. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission will begin by increasing the size of its crypto team and taking legal action against unregistered projects. Additionally, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will scale up operations to prevent scams. The previous government failed to reinforce existing crypto regulatory frameworks. However, the new Labor government seeks to establish a solid foundation by mapping tokens and reforming licensing and custody. The aim is to identify which assets require regulatory attention and address emerging risks.
  • The Indian government has revealed details about the ongoing work on crypto regulation as it assumes the presidency of the G-20. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is working on a paper in consultation with India, which will focus on monetary policy and the legal approach to crypto assets. The IMF is also preparing a 135-minute seminar on crypto assets to be held during a G-20 meeting later this month. India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has stated that regulating crypto assets is a priority and it is critical to establish a global standard. India's draft bill for crypto regulation is on hold until a global consensus is reached. The next step for India is taking the progress of the IMF paper to the Financial Stability Board and having all countries come together to accept the policy. This is essential as crypto is an asset class that can be traded across borders.
  • Binance demands WazirZ remove all assets from the exchange as their public feud intensifies. Binance and WazirX, an Indian crypto exchange, have had a public dispute over the ownership of the platform since August 2022. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao claimed that Binance does not own shares in WazirX, while WazirX co-founder Nischal Shetty stated that WazirX was sold to Binance, and he can prove it but cannot share due to legal reasons.Binance recently offered WazirX the choice to retract false public statements or terminate the use of their wallet service. Since WazirX has refused to clarify their statements, Binance has invited them to meet to discuss withdrawing the remaining assets from Binance wallets. Binance is facilitating this process, as they believe users who have deposited their assets with WazirX may have concerns about what will happen to their holdings.
  • Finishing on a high, BNB Chain has released a whitepaper for a new blockchain infrastructure called BNB Greenfield. The blockchain will be a decentralized storage system for Web3 applications with smart contract integrations using BNB as its native token. It will be the third blockchain in the BNB ecosystem, following the BNB Beacon Chain for governance and security and the BNB Smart Chain for smart contract computing.