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Today in Crypto: Taliban Bans Crypto, Arrests Dealers; Grayscale Tells SEC That 3 Crypto Coins May Be Securities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been questioning Grayscale Investments over its “securities law analysis” of tokens in a few smaller crypto trusts, a Coindesk report said Saturday (Aug. 27).

The questions from the SEC show uncertainty about Grayscale’s crypto trusts, and show the regulator looking at cracking down on tokens that it believes should fall under U.S. securities law.

Grayscale disclosed the inquiry in filings from June and mid-August. In the disclosures, Grayscale acknowledges that three cryptocurrencies of the Stellar (XLM), Zcash (ZEC) and Horizen (ZEN) blockchains “may currently be a security, based on the facts as they exist today.”

In other news, the Afghanistan central bank has passed down a national ban on cryptocurrency, with the Taliban arresting numerous dealers who were illegally trading digital tokens, Bloomberg wrote Friday (Aug. 26).

Some Afghan citizens had been using crypto to preserve their wealth and keep it from the Taliban, as crypto was being used to move money in and out of the country after it was shut off from the global banking system.

Afghanistan now joins China, which banned crypto transactions in September 2021.

Meanwhile, Singapore is scrutinizing crypto-related firms in its city-state as more regulations are slated to begin, Bloomberg wrote Friday.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued a questionnaire to some applicants and holders of its digital payment license, asking about business activity and holdings.

The questions are intended to assess the financial soundness of these firms and their interconnectedness. Some of the data needed includes top tokens owned, top lending and borrowing counterparties and the amount loaned, and the top tokens staked through decentralized finance protocols.

Finally, bitcoin was stuck around $20,000 as of Sunday (Aug. 28) — showing that the crypto market was retreating along with the U.S. stock market, Bloomberg wrote.

Bitcoin was coming off a two-day, 7.6% drop as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell took a tough stand on inflation at the Jackson Hole conference on Friday.

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