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Unpacking the Biden administration’s (crypto-friendly) blitz on ransomware

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Unpacking the Biden administration’s (crypto-friendly) blitz on ransomware 1
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Unpacking the Biden administration’s (crypto-friendly) blitz on ransomware

by Kollen Post
Unpacking the Biden administration’s (crypto-friendly) blitz on ransomware 3
Quick Takes
  • The Biden administration’s rollout of its strategy against ransomware managed to get all of the relevant government agencies on the same page.
  • It also went out of its way not to upset the crypto industry, which has reacted vocally to recent threats of a crackdown. 
Crypto media outlets are remarkably fond of blowing the whistle on perceived government crackdowns.

The recent wave of action by the US government against the global ransomware ecosystem is not exactly one of those. And that was by design.

The concerted, government-wide effort, culminated in the second-ever sanctions imposed on a crypto exchange — just a month and a half after the first — and a number of indictments.

Those actions, alongside a flurry of regulatory guidance over the course of October, were the fruits of a number of announcements from President Biden himself following spring’s massive ransomware attacks.

But while this could be called a crackdown, the administration has deftly choreographed its “all-of-government” approach to ransomware with an eye to keeping the crypto industry on its side. 

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You Should Know
Coinbase acquires crypto wallet startup BRD
Crypto exchange Coinbase has acquired the crypto wallet startup BRD, according to a notice from its leadership team. In a letter address to BRD’s customers published on Wednesday, co-founders Adam Traidman and Aaron Voisine said: “Today, we would like to share the news that members of our team will be continuing our mission at Coinbase, where we will work together to bring the power of decentralization to even more users around the globe.”
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More than 1 million ETH has been burned following EIP-1559
The Ethereum network has now burned over 1 million ETH since the London upgrade that ushered in the fee burning mechanism, according to figures from WatchTheBurn — a website that tracks the transaction fee burning process. At the current price of ether, the total value of the total ETH destroyed so far now stands at over $4.2 billion.
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Bitcoin trades at over 3% discount in India after government lists a crypto bill in Parliament for discussion
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are trading at a discount in India after the country’s government listed a crypto bill in Parliament for discussion yesterday. At the time of writing, bitcoin at WazirX is trading at around 40,90,000 Indian rupees (around $54,900) compared to $56,750 on Binance — a difference of over 3%, which is significant.
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Collins, a dictionary publisher founded in 1824 recording over 4.5 billion words, named “NFT,” or ‘non-fungible token,’ as the top word of the for 2021. As The Block’s data shows, interest in NFTs exploded in 2021. NFT transaction volume grew steadily since January and reached a record high of $1.05 billion in August of this year. 
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Regulation
  • Federal bank regulators in the United States issued a statement Tuesday summarizing the results of their inter-agency sprint towards clearer crypto regulations.
  • The OCC has not fully backed away from earlier authorizations for banks to engage in custody or operate nodes, but questions remain.
  • US Senator Sherrod Brown is calling on stablecoin issuers to open up about minting and redemption processes.
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