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    Rise in Bitcoin Pushes DeFi Past $100B Mark

    A recent surge in bitcoin prices has helped move the value of decentralized financed assets (DeFi) past the $100 billion mark for the first time.

    As Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday (Oct. 20), that data comes from DeFi Pulse, which arrived at the figure by adding up the balance of Ether and other assets held in smart contracts settled on Ethereum and then multiplying that by their price in dollars.

    Lending on cryptocurrency platforms rose by nearly 15% last week to $50.7 billion, while crypto exchange transactions on DeFi networks increased by 8.6%.

    The number of bitcoin used in DeFi climbed 8%, from 194,130 to 209,575, while the number of Ether in use increased 3.5%.

    Wednesday saw a bitcoin rally, as the price of the cryptocurrency hit a record $66,976 — a 4.5% rise — while the price of Ether increased by as much as 8.7%.

    Read more: Bitcoin Futures ETF Trading Could Get SEC Green Light

    This news comes just days after a report that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was preparing to allow the first bitcoin futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs) — proposed by Invesco and ProShares — to begin trading.

    Speculation that the SEC would approve the ETFs for trading helped bitcoin trade above $60,000 last week, the highest the crypto has been since April. The launch of the fund meant a victory for the ETF industry, which had worked for years to convince the SEC to approve an ETF connected to bitcoin.

    ETFs are funds based on futures contracts, filed according to mutual fund guidelines that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has said would offer solid investor protection.

    Also see: Regulating Crypto: Is It Different – Or Is It the Same?

    In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster published on Thursday (Oct. 21), QED Investors Partner and former U.S. Department of the Treasury Assistant Secretary Amias Gerety said that current laws are broad enough to cover cryptocurrency, even if those laws weren’t written in reference to specific technologies.

    “If you can understand clearly what the technology is doing, I think you can make pretty good judgments about what the fundamental financial activity is and what regulatory box that financial activity can or should fit in,” he told Webster.

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    NEW PYMNTS DATA: DIGITAL BANKING STUDY – THE BREWING BATTLE FOR WHERE WE WILL BANK

    About: Forty-seven percent of U.S. consumers are shying away from digital-only banks due to data security worries, despite significant interest in these services. In Digital Banking: The Brewing Battle For Where We Will Bank, PYMNTS surveyed over 2,200 consumers to reveal how digital-only banks can shore up privacy and security while offering convenient services to satisfy this unmet demand.

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