Bitcoin price hovers around $44,000 Wednesday

Crypto regulation needs to be balanced, clear: Former federal prosecutor

Bitwise Asset Management general counsel Katherine Dowling reacts to Coinbase’s Super Bowl ad and discusses cryptocurrency regulation.

Bitcoin traded around $44,000 on Wednesday morning, the day after the cryptocurrency recorded a gain.

Heading into Wednesday, bitcoin was up in two of the past three days.

The cryptocurrency is up 14% month-to-date, but down 5% year-to-date.

A senior executive at JPMorgan Chase is saying new rules are needed urgently to give banks certainty in handling cryptoassets on behalf of big customers who want to enter the market.

Debbie Toennies, head of regulatory affairs at JPMorgan Chase's corporate and investment bank, said some clients had asked it to hedge their exposures to cryptoassets, according to Reuters.

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There are currently no rules concerning capital that banks should set aside to cover activities in the sector.

"I do think we need a globally consistent regulatory framework. It's important that we get to a solution as quickly as possible," Toennies told an event held by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.

Hedge funds and investment funds are becoming more interested in the crypto sector.

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In other news, a subsidiary of crypto company BlockFi Inc has agreed to pay $100 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and 32 states to settle charges in connection with a retail crypto lending product the New Jersey company offered to nearly 600,000 investors, regulators said on Monday.

The charges come as regulators crack down on the crypto industry, according to Reuters.

SEC CHAIR: EXAMINATION OF CRYPTO PLATFORM BINANCE IS SIMPLY SEEKING 'BASIC INVESTOR PROTECTION'

SEC chair Gary Gensler has been trying to force crypto companies to fall in line with existing U.S. securities laws. 

The agency said it hopes more companies will follow suit.

The penalty includes $50 million for state regulators and $50 million to the SEC.

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Its the largest fine the federal watchdog has levied on an issuer of crypto asset securities, it said.

BlockFi Lending LLC broke the rules by offering an interest-bearing lending product without registering it with regulators.

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