This Week in Crypto – Stablecoins, US Marshals, and Sony

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This week in the crypto world we saw stablecoin issuers get regulated, US Marshals choose Coinbase, and Sony announce a crypto exchange.

Never a dull week.

Circle Beats MiCA Deadline

Circle this week became the first global stablecoin issuer to obtain an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license, a crucial requirement for offering dollar- and euro-pegged crypto tokens in the European Union (EU) under the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework.

The license places Circle, whose USDC is currently the second-largest stablecoin behind Tether’s USDT, in a prime position to capture a significant share of the EU’s market. This is in contrast to Tether’s Euro-backed stablecoin, EURT, which was among those delisted by exchanges such as Uphold ahead of the deadline.

Coinbase Prime Gets US Marshals Gig

Coinbase Prime was this week selected to take over from Anchorage as the custodian and sales agent for the US Marshals Service (USMS), which is responsible for selling all cryptocurrencies seized in illegal operations. The USMS has been dealing with unlawful crypto holdings since 2013, using first BitGo and later Anchorage for the job.

The awarding of the contract to Coinbase Prime comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission is in a pitched battle with Coinbase over the designation of cryptocurrencies.

Sony to Launch Crypto Exchange

In the strangest news of the week, it emerged that entertainment giant Sony is to launch a crypto exchange through a recently acquired company. Sony acquired and revamped Japanese trading platform WhaleFin last year, which itself underwent a transformation and emerged as S.BLOX Co.

WhaleFin was acquired by the Japanese subsidiary of Singapore’s Amber Group in 2022 under its former name, DeCurret. The collapse of FTX saw Amber Group fall into financial difficulties, and it was suspected of a complete debt-to-equity transaction with Japanese venture capital group, Fenbushi.

Sony has been steadily increasing its presence in the crypto and web3 fields, with Sony Network Communications, one of the conglomerate’s key business divisions, forming a partnership with Startale Labs, a Japanese blockchain firm, last year. This collaboration is aimed at developing Sony’s own public blockchain network, underscoring the company’s commitment to leveraging blockchain technology.