Biden vetoes House and Senate votes on SEC’s anti-crypto resolution: Law Decoded

United States President Joe Biden has vetoed a resolution that would have overruled the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) No. 121. 

“This reversal of the considered judgment of SEC staff in this way risks undercutting the SEC’s broader authorities regarding accounting practices,” Biden wrote in an official response to Congress voting to repeal the cryptocurrency accounting guidelines, which requires institutions that custody crypto assets to record crypto holdings as liabilities on their balance sheets.

The guidelines were set to take effect on April 11 but were met with considerable backlash from the crypto community and lawmakers alike.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted to repeal the SEC’s guidance by a margin of 228 to 182 and passed the bill to the Senate. Once there, senators voted to repeal SAB-121 by a significant margin of 60 to 38 in favor.

“We’re disappointed that the admin chose to overrule bipartisan majorities in both Houses of Congress who recognized the harm created by SAB 121,” crypto advocacy group the Blockchain Association declared in its X post.

U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis argued that Biden went against the “will of the American people” by intervening and preventing the guidelines from being revoked.

Israel launches digital shekel experiment

Israel intends to expedite the development of its in-house central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital shekel. The Bank of Israel (BoI) plans to involve various service providers in co-developing an advanced digital payments ecosystem centered on the digital shekel.

Project Rosalind is a joint experiment between the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of England. It aims to develop prototypes for an application programming interface (API).

As part of the challenge, the BoI will provide a sandbox environment attached to a layer of API. Participants will compete to build real-time CBDC payment systems for the general public.

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Paraguay proceeds with crackdown on crypto mining

Property containing 2,738 crypto mining units was seized in Salto del Guairá, Paraguay after the National Electricity Administration (ANDE) detected an unmetered power connection in the area. 

A bill to ban crypto mining and other crypto-related activities is before the country’s senate, pending comprehensive legislation and assurances from the national power supplier.

ANDE used artificial intelligence and power distribution analysis to zero in on the electricity theft, which it estimated was worth 1.1 billion guarani ($146,000) per month.

Five transformers were also seized on the property. The operators of the illegal operation may face criminal charges.

At least two other actions against illegal crypto farms — one in Salta del Guairá — were carried out in Paraguay in May, although those raids had much more modest results. All the government actions involved multiple agencies, including the National Police of Paraguay.

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Hong Kong kicks out all unlicensed crypto exchanges

All cryptocurrency exchanges that have not applied for an operational license with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong are legally required to cease operations in the region immediately.

In an effort to minimize risks for investors, Hong Kong regulators issued a clear ultimatum to cryptocurrency exchanges: either apply for a license by Feb. 29 or shut down their operations within three months.

During this period, more than 22 cryptocurrency exchanges applied for licenses to maintain their presence in the region. However, many of these exchanges ultimately decided to withdraw their applications just before the deadline.

While most exchanges did not provide any reasons for the surprise turn of events, Hong Hong-based Gate.HK cited the need for a “major overhaul” of its trading platform before it could comply with Hong Kong’s regulatory requirements.

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