In his latest Viewpoint column, FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken discusses how the distinct areas of digital assets and climate change share one important feature - that derivatives markets can play a key role to address both issues. "Our markets are designed to help manage risk in various forms in our economy," writes Lukken, noting that recent discussions with key stakeholders in the U.S. proves that "climate change and crypto assets will drive the Washington agenda for years."
Cryptoasset exchange Binance will cease offering its futures and derivatives products across Europe amid regulatory pressure, the company said in a statement. Users in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands will be unable to open new accounts to trade such assets with immediate effect, with existing users given 90 days to close out their positions from an unconfirmed date.
Intercontinental Exchange's open interest in UK Allowance Futures reached a record level of 13,447 contracts by the end of the July 28 UKA auction. Overall, the UK Emissions Trading Scheme auction attracted 13 successful bidders.
Ongoing commoditization of voluntary carbon credits on exchanges is having a dampening effect on prices as the lack of specific information included in the contracts hinders buyer interest. "With standardized contracts you don't know what exactly you are getting, and that's why the price is discounted," one carbon trader said.
Congressman Don Beyer, D-Va, has introduced the "Digital Asset Market Structure and Investor Protection Act" which proposes to compel the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission to jointly clarify the regulatory status of the digital asset market. The bill also empowers the Federal Reserve to issue a digital dollar and would require the Secretary of the Treasury to approve any fiat-backed stablecoin prior to issuance.
The House Financial Services Committee has advanced a bill sponsored by Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., that would allow the Federal Reserve to ease the adoption of contracts to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate. The proposed Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act of 2021 would set a legal process for automatically switching legacy financial contracts from Libor to SOFR.
A bipartisan Senate proposal to mandate reporting of cryptoasset transactions above $10,000 to the IRS, which would result in taxes on some trades, has caused consternation among cryptocurrency exchanges, their investors and advisers. Critics say the proposal has been drafted too hastily, while advocates say it would simply level the playing field between traditional assets and digital assets.
Cryptocurrency traders based in the US are finding ways to work around bans on offshore exchanges, according to a report from Inca Digital. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a statement that American customers "will likely have little or no protection if they trade with unregistered firms that operate outside the US."
Special-purpose acquisition company TPG Pace Solutions will take vacation rental startup Vacasa public through a merger that gives the company a $4.5 billion valuation. The transaction will leave the startup's current investors with an 88% stake in the company.
Scott Raney, managing director at Redpoint Ventures, explains that the creation of a startup visa allowing foreign-born entrepreneurs to more easily start companies in the US is important because "a key limit on innovation in our economy is the availability of talent, and we should be doing everything we can to address this limitation." Sophie Alcorn, founding partner of Alcorn Immigration Law, says the startup visa proposed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., "would open up an amazing door for international founders."