SEC Chair on a Budget: Lawmaker Proposes $1 Salary

READING TIME: 4 mins 34 secs

Diving deep into today's web3 currents:

📈 Tether Reports $700M Profit Amid Crypto Stability

🔁 Bitcoin Hits 18-Month Peak, Defying Economic Headwinds

💸 SEC's Purse Strings Tightened, Chair Faces Pay Cut

🚀 Smart Contract Market Projected to Hit $14 Trillion by 2028

Paolo Ardoino, Tether's CEO, reported significant financial gains for the company, with $700 million in profits in Q4 2022, reinforcing its position as a stablecoin tied to the U.S. dollar.

Despite market fluctuations, Tether has sustained growth, maintaining over $85 billion in market capitalization. It has taken strategic steps to diversify by investing in Bitcoin mining operations through a substantial debt facility to Northern Data AG. The company has expressed no interest in going public and remains focused on its core mission to provide a stable digital currency. Concurrently, Tether is navigating an evolving regulatory landscape, with the U.S. moving towards establishing a framework for stablecoin oversight amid broader calls for industry regulation.

Bitcoin has surged to an 18-month high, surpassing $35,000 and outperforming traditional assets amidst a tough macroeconomic climate.

The market closely monitors potential volatility triggers such as upcoming Federal Reserve statements, shortened Wall Street trading hours, and Bitcoin's robust technical indicators like hash rate and mining difficulty. Former-day traders like Peter To express nostalgia but acknowledge the market's maturity and decreased volatility, reducing opportunities for profit from market inefficiencies. Retail investor interest in cryptocurrencies shows signs of a comeback, even as some traders grow disillusioned following the FTX scandal and the market's evolution. Overall, Bitcoin's resilience suggests a strong sentiment shift, but the future remains cautiously watched by traders and investors.

A U.S. lawmaker has proposed an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) bill that would slash SEC Chair Gary Gensler's salary to $1 per year, drastically reduce funding for various government agencies, and curb what they see as regulatory overreach by the SEC.

The bill also includes provisions that would remove Gensler from his position, redistribute the agency's power, introduce an executive director role, and add a sixth commissioner to ensure no single-party dominance. This move reflects ongoing criticism from certain U.S. Representatives who have accused Gensler of excessive enforcement actions within the crypto community while allegedly neglecting actual malfeasance.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jamie Coutts predicts that the market capitalization of the smart contract sector could surge to $5-$14 trillion by 2028, from the current $350 billion.

This forecast is based on the current growth trajectory of daily crypto users, which has seen a 14% increase from 2022 and an average quarter-to-quarter growth of 29% since 2019. By applying a conservative annual growth rate of 20%, Coutts estimates that daily crypto users could reach 100 million in the next five years, driving up the market cap significantly. He notes that while such projections should be taken cautiously, the trend indicates that rising user adoption will likely increase asset prices, drawing parallels to PayPal's user growth over time.

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