In brief

  • Thousands of job losses were announced by some of America's biggest companies.
  • US markets saw their worst monthly performance for nearly a decade.
  • Crypto markets looked stable, but regulators are slowly catching up to companies that sold unregistered securities.

As the third quarter of 2020 came to a close, some of America’s biggest companies announced tens of thousands of job losses. 

American Airlines announced it was slashing 32,000 people from its payroll, followed by car insurer Allstate who will lay off 3,800 and Goldman Sachs is expected to terminate 400 positions. Shell, Disney and a slew of others have announced layoffs too. 

US markets closed out September lower than expected, with the Nasdaq and Dow posting their worst Septembers since 2011.

But, says a spokesperson from AAX, the world’s first digital asset exchange powered by the London Stock Exchange, looking more broadly at the quarter as a whole, markets did better than initially thought, thanks in large to the tech sector. 

Hopes for a fiscal stimulus package to help ease markets through the US election and continuing COVID crises dimmed after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to come to an agreement on new virus relief measures.

As we enter the earning reports season, with many of the world’s biggest companies due to announce their performance in the last quarter, the outlook is looking gloomy. 

Crypto pays

The same couldn’t be said in crypto land. DeFi, the darling of crypto investors looking to make a quick buck, has been paying out big. 

AAVE, the DeFi lending protocol, has dished out $500 million in flash loans in just nine months. As a result of AAVE’s and other projects built on Ethereum’s blockchain, miners banked a record $166 million in fees in September alone. 

The record haul was an increase of 47% over August, the previous record-breaking month, and more than six times more than Bitcoin miners made during the same time period. 

Even SushiSwap, the epitome of the DeFi is making a comeback after its token crashed by 70%, announcing new products and a shiny new website.

But crypto isn’t a bed of roses for everyone at the moment. A raft of regulatory rulings has lead to several crypto projects being hauled over the coals. 

In particular, the social network Kik. It’s been in hot water since 2017 after it sold $50 million of its Kin tokens to help monetize its app. The SEC has been pursuing it ever since, and it looks like they've got their man.

Yesterday, US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein agreed with the SEC’s assessment that Kik had sold unregistered securities, meaning Kik could be fined and potentially asked to give back all its money. Ouch. 

The SEC didn’t stop there. It charged Salt Lending with the illegal sale of an unregistered security, saying it must issue refunds of $47 million on top of fines. 

Lastly, but not leastly, regulatory stablemate the IRS has offered data firms a $1.25 million reward for whoever cracks Monero to allow law enforcement to monitor money moving through the untrackable blockchain. 

As the old adage goes: the wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind incredibly fine. 

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