Crypto spikes as SEC reassures public

Crypto spikes as SEC reassures public

Novelty Bitcoin tokens are arranged at a cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong as Bitcoin hits a 10-month high of $30,000. (Photo: Bloomberg)
Novelty Bitcoin tokens are arranged at a cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong as Bitcoin hits a 10-month high of $30,000. (Photo: Bloomberg)

The price of Bitcoin surpassed US$30,000 on Tuesday, the highest level in 10 months, becoming the asset with the highest return year-to-date as investors become increasingly optimistic that the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) will soon end its aggressive monetary tightening.

The market is keeping an eye on the US consumer price index (CPI) for March, which is scheduled to be released today, as it is one of the major gauges of inflation in the country. The index is expected to drop to 5.1% from 6.0% in February.

If the CPI drops, there is a possibility the Fed will delay its anticipated rate hike. On the other hand, if inflation does not decline soon, the central bank may continue to raise rates.

Ethereum (ETH), the world's second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rose to above $1,900, representing a 23% increase in a month. ETH is scheduled to undergo a significant upgrade that will allow more than 17.7 million coins to be withdrawn after being locked for two years.

Ethereum's core developers set April 12 as the date for the Shanghai upgrade to commence, marking the point at which holders will be able to request withdrawals.

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday reaffirmed that it tightened regulatory measures for digital asset operators amid uncertainty in the wake of the banking crisis in the US and Europe.

Three US banks -- Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank (SB) -- struggled with a liquidity crunch, prompting US authorities to announce the closure of the banks and measures to protect depositors' money. The situation affected US digital asset exchanges, it noted.

"The situation in the banking sector has improved, with SVB resuming operations and SB being sold to another bank. The value of banking stocks around the world has also begun to recover, however market regulators continue to monitor the situation to prepare for unexpected situations," said the SEC statement.

The SEC recently issued regulatory guidelines to address the risks of digital assets. It also increased the protection afforded to investors by updating mechanisms to govern digital asset business operators, with a focus on their financial position. For example, operators' net capital rules must be sufficient and appropriately suitable for various risks, said the SEC.

Digital asset business operators also need to have a mechanism to separate customer assets from the company's account so that customer's assets are protected by law, even in the event of a bankruptcy, and creditors cannot seize them.

In addition, the SEC reviewed the prudential criteria for financial adequacy and stability with a goal of revising the regulations on capital for operators, aligning them with changing risk conditions in the digital asset market, said the statement.

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