Crypto prices rebound as US SEC preps investor protection panel

Cryptocurrency prices rebounded Thursday following political news in the US and India.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released details of a meeting of its Investor Advisory Committee taking place on 2 December. The two planned panels will discuss ways to protect investors and market integrity in the face of new technologies. 

The day’s agenda shows that it, “will explore the intersection of digital assets and investor protection, with a specific lens on the regulatory framework covering digital assets, market structure issues, and defining risk in emerging technologies. Additional covered topics include blockchain technologies, crypto-based EFTs, and stablecoins.”

The SEC is working in tandem with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on regulating the currency.

Indian government backing off ban

Also, India’s government appeared to back off a full ban on private digital coins.

Bitcoin was up 2.9%, rising above $59,000, while Ethereum increased 6.2%. Litecoin rose more than 8% at one point but receded two percentage points later in the day.

Meme token Shiba Inu, named after a dog breed, increased more than 8%.

Indian crypto promoters are predicting that a full ban will not be implemented, based on their discussions with government officials.

No ban, says crypto exchange boss

“There is no complete ban, but the direction is to regulate crypto in line with (Financial Action Task Force) guidelines,” Kumar Gaurev, CEO of Indian neo-bank Cashaa, said Wednesday on Twitter.

Gaurev based his claim on a just-concluded phone call with Indian Ministry of Finance officials. The Financial Action Task Force is a global money-laundering watchdog. Neobanks are companies that provide non-traditional, online banking services. Cashaa provides crypto-related offerings.

Tough regulations expected

Avinash Shekhar, co-CEO of Indian cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay, told CNBC that India’s government will likely opt for tough regulations instead of an outright ban.

“We met the finance committee of Parliament around two weeks back,” Shekhar told CNBC. “The message or the feelers which we are getting from the government is that they’re looking for some kind of regulation – strict regulation, but not a complete ban.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government pointed to its plans for a new cryptocurrency law Wednesday 23 November in a parliamentary bulletin.

Framework for digital currency

A proposed law is called a bill. The bulletin said the bill is designed “to create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”

Shekhar told CNBC that the government has eased off its stance on a full ban after officials sought feedback from crypto exchange operators and other groups.

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called for his government to be cautious on efforts to create a national cryptocurrency.

Read more: Redfin says US house prices have hit all-time high

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