Sen. Warren Ramps Up Crypto Surveillance

Plus: Mortage Rates at 23-yr Highs, New California Crypto Regulations

Today we’re covering:

  • Liz Warren wants Biden to step in on crypto terror financing,

  • Gavin Newsom signs California’s own ‘BitLicense’,

  • Mortgage rates soar to 23-year highs,

  • And everything else you need to know.


First time reading? I’m Jordan, and this is the Bitcoin Minimalist. Every day, our team scours dozens of sources to bring you need-to-know Bitcoin news and insights—all in 5 minutes. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up here.


Elizabeth Warren Warns White House of Hamas Crypto Use, Demands Biden Act

The Scoop: Elizabeth Warren and other major lawmakers in Washington have sent a letter to the White House to warn the Biden administration of the “…use of crypto for the financing of terrorism.”

Raising Funds: The letter states that, between August 2021 and June 2023, Hamas and PIJ accumulated over $130 million in cryptocurrency. The letter also claims that transfers of crypto occurred between these groups and Hezbollah.

Addressing the Issue: The letter requests the Biden Admin share on how it plans to combat the use of crypto in terror financing and what tools and resources it needs to combat this issue going forward.

Our Take: Asking what ‘tools and resources’ are needed is probably code for ‘what financial surveillance regulations do we need to pass in order to kill Bitcoin?’ Warren is longtime stooge for traditional finance and the state surveillance apparatus. Naturally, Bitcoin is not very convenient for someone like that.


📊 Tesla revealed in a Q3 earnings report that they have not sold any additional Bitcoin this quarter. In August of 2023, it was revealed that the popular automaker did write down $373M worth of Bitcoin all the back in 2021, and the market seemed to reel on this news.

🔍 SEC Chair Gary Gensler stated that the agency is continuing to review multiple applications for spot bitcoin ETFs, without providing specific details on their status. Emphasizing the importance of the review process, Gensler noted that the SEC is considering several filings, highlighting the "time tested process" that has been in place for decades.

💡 Mash and TFTC announced a collaboration to revolutionize online media monetization using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, unveiling tools like Mash's "Reactions" for enhanced user engagement. With the relaunch of the TFTC platform, the partnership aims to provide curated content and a more fair revenue-sharing model, challenging traditional monetization methods reliant on ads and subscriptions.

🔒 Unchained Capital has introduced Sound Advisory, a platform offering bitcoin-centric financial advice. The service bridges a gap in the market, providing expert guidance on bitcoin investments, taxes, and inheritance. CEO Joe Kelly emphasized the importance of such a platform, given bitcoin's growing prominence. Sound Advisory uses a unique fee structure and provides access to Unchained’s secure custody technology.

⚠️ The FDIC has been criticized by its internal watchdog for not adequately preparing banks for crypto risks. The agency was found lacking in clear procedures regarding cryptocurrency, causing uncertainty for financial institutions. Some banks were even instructed to halt crypto activities without clear directives. Because of this, the FDIC will introduce a new strategy by January to address these issues.


California Collaborates with Crypto Industry on New Regulatory Framework, Aims for Balanced Approach

The Scoop: California’s version of the hated New York BitLicense (Assembly Bill 39) was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, but there is hope CA’s version won’t turn out so badly this time.

Golden State Engagement: Unlike New York's BitLicense, which faced industry criticism for being restrictive, California's forthcoming crypto regulations apparently demonstrate the state's openness to industry feedback. Chamber of Digital Commerce’s deputy policy director Kristopher Klaich stated “Others (sic) states could take a cue from California’s collaboration with industry to produce law and regulation”.

Who’s In Charge: The new law positions the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) as the regulatory authority for digital asset activities. Crypto firms under this law will undergo regular checks, maintain records, and disclose fees to clients.

Federal Hesitation: While California progresses, the U.S. federal government lags in crypto regulation. Differences in congressional views, coupled with leadership challenges, delay nationwide legal clarity. And the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has thus far failed to utilize existing laws to regulate as it sees fit.


Will California's BitLicense Be Any Better than New York's?

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Do you think CoinTelegraph's tweet will hurt the chances for a US Bitcoin ETF?

Yes - 28%

No - 72%

👍 Yes: “The market reaction to the false news does give the SEC a new excuse to reject an ETF, even if the reaction is largely their fault.” - Jake

👎 No: “The courts have spoken and the SEC is painted into a corner at this point. No tweet saves them now.” - Lauren


📈 Coinbase Pro now offers perpetuals trading for eligible non-U.S. retail customers, featuring Bitcoin (BTC) contracts settled in the USDC stablecoin. This move comes under the oversight of the Bermuda Monetary Authority. Perpetuals are a futures contract with no expiration date.

🏠 Mortgage rates soared to 8%, their highest since August 2000, exacerbating an existing affordability issue for potential homeowners. With the average 30-year loan rate increasing and home prices remaining high, even median income families in numerous states struggle to afford mortgages, worrying sellers and dropping new home starts.

🏦 Bank of America disclosed $131.6 billion in unrealized losses on securities for Q3, a surge from Q2. Despite concerns following Silicon Valley Bank's collapse, analysts believe the bank's strong liquidity and strategy to hold securities until maturity prevents actual long-term losses, emphasizing that the unrealized losses are on government-guaranteed securities.

Today’s newsletter was written by Colin and edited by Jordan.