Crypto Biz: Jump Crypto exec steps down, first MiCA deadline looms, and more

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The first deadline for complying with new rules under the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) is approaching, slashing more stablecoins from local markets. 

On June 26, Bitstamp announced the delisting of Tether’s euro-pegged stablecoin, EURT, to comply with the new rules. The exchange was one of the first to list the coin in 2021. In the same vein, Uphold recently notified its European users that six popular stablecoins would no longer be supported on its platform: Tether (USDT), Dai (DAI), Frax Protocol (FRAX), Gemini dollar (GUSD), Pax dollar (USDP) and TrueUSD (TUSD).

Binance has also revamped its stablecoin strategy. The exchange is now classifying stablecoins into “regulated” and “unauthorized” coins based on their compliance with the new regulations. Coins labeled as “unauthorized” will be available on its platform in a “sell-only” mode, said Binance, adding that only a few stablecoins would meet MiCA requirements at present.

The MiCA regulation will be implemented in two phases, starting on June 30, 2024, and fully coming into force by Dec. 30, 2024. The framework classifies crypto assets into three main categories: electronic money tokens, asset-referenced tokens and other crypto assets such as utility tokens.

Under the regulation, stablecoins are considered a concern for monetary sovereignty and financial stability. Currently, stablecoins have a market capitalization of over $163 billion.

“With clear rules and guidelines, the regulation will provide the investor protections needed while contributing to financial stability and market integrity across the EU,” said Olivier Carré, deputy managing partner at PwC Luxembourg.

Some crypto firms have criticized the European regulation. “Very few banks accept this type of business in Europe. It’s already very difficult to get just one!” said Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino during an interview in May, referencing stablecoin reserve requirements of 60% in cash deposits at several banks.

This week’s Crypto Biz also explores the departure of Jump Crypto’s CEO, Animoca Brands’ return to public markets, the corporate dispute between Riot and Bitfarms, and more.

President of Jump Crypto steps down

Kanav Kariya, president of Jump Crypto, has resigned amid a United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission investigation. Jump Crypto is the digital asset subsidiary of Jump Trading. According to Kariya’s social media announcement, he intends to focus on personal relationships and reading while searching for his next venture. Jump Crypto has been involved in several controversies, including the Wormhole bridge hack in 2022, the collapse of the Terra ecosystem, and concerns about exposure to FTX.

Kariya’s resignation announcement. Source: Kanav Kariya.

Animoca Brands plans return to stock market by 2025

Gaming and metaverse conglomerate Animoca Brands is reportedly considering returning to the public market after delisting from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in March 2020. This time, the company is targeting friendlier jurisdictions, specifically analyzing Hong Kong and the Middle East. Animoca has been holding meetings with investment banks but has not chosen a location or hired an adviser. Back in March 2020, the ASX delisted Animoca after expressing concerns about its compliance with listing rules, specifically those relating to investments in crypto and blockchain-related businesses.

Riot seeks three Bitfarms board members, says it holds 14.9% stake

Riot Platforms wants to replace three Bitfarms board members, claiming a 14.9% stake in the company. Previously, Bitfarms announced a shareholder rights plan to prevent further stock purchases by Riot. Rather than continue purchasing Bitfarm shares, Riot planned to replace three of the company’s board members and “remove any additional director” appointed after its announcement. The plan to overhaul the Bitfarms’ board was the latest development in Riot’s plans to move in on Bitfarms. In May, Riot offered to acquire the mining firm for $950 million.

Nubank brings Bitcoin Lightning to its 100 million Latin American customers

Brazilian neobank Nubank has partnered with Lightspark to offer the Bitcoin Lightning Network to its 100 million customers in Latin America. Lightspark will also integrate the Universal Money Address standard, a payment system built on top of Lightning that gives users an email-like address to transfer money. Lightspark has been building Lightning Network infrastructure for enterprises since it was co-launched in 2022 by former PayPal president David Marcus.

Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse on the business behind blockchain and crypto, delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.

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