Top Stories This Week
The identities of two individuals who helped former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with his $250 million bail bond could be revealed next month following a recent ruling by United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan. Bankman-Fried’s legal counsel has until Feb. 7 to contest the decision. As bankruptcy proceedings continue, FTX and affected parties have requested subpoenas for information and documents from close relatives of Bankman-Fried, claiming not all members of his inner circle have responded to requests for information. Other recent news includes Alameda Research suing bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital in an attempt to claw back $445.8 million in loan repayments made before FTX collapsed.
UK Treasury publishes crypto framework paper: Here’s what’s inside
The United Kingdom’s HM Treasury published a long-anticipated consultation paper for its upcoming crypto regulation. The document covers a broad range of topics, from algorithmic stablecoins to nonfungible tokens to initial coin offerings. The authority aims to level the playing field between crypto and traditional finance by incorporating digital assets into the U.K.’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Celsius publishes list of users eligible to withdraw majority of assets
Bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius came up with a withdrawal process for users who had funds in its custody in June 2022, when the company ceased withdrawals. Celsius released an official update on upcoming withdrawals, providing the list of users eligible to access approximately 94% of qualified custody assets. Users will also receive specific details related to gas and transaction fees associated with the upcoming procedures.
Crypto bank Silvergate is being probed by the United States Department of Justice fraud unit over its involvement with the bankrupt FTX exchange and its affiliates. Investigators are trying to find out how deep the FTX and Alameda Research dealings went with the California-based bank. According to Silvergate, Alameda opened an account in 2018, before the launch of FTX. Silvergate was heavily impacted by the collapse of FTX in November, reporting a $1 billion loss last quarter.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said the company plans to remain committed to its long-term strategy for the metaverse despite its Reality Labs business suffering operating losses amounting to $13.7 billion in 2022 — the largest ever yearly losses recorded for its metaverse-building division. The company’s overall revenue for the fourth quarter was $32.1 billion, surpassing Wall Street expectations.
Winners and Losers
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Render Token (RNDR) at 94.86%, dYdX (DYDX) at 45.84% and ImmutableX (IMX) at 43.41%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are UNUS SED LEO (LEO) at -12.30%, eCash (XEC) at -5.50% and Toncoin (TON) at -5.30%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cryptox’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“Regulators rightfully will scrutinize this industry much, much harder, which is probably a good thing, to be honest.”
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance
“The fact that both the SEC and CFTC took action against market manipulation by an alleged rogue trader is a credit positive for the industry as a whole.”
Cristiano Ventricelli, assistant vice president of decentralized finance at Moody’s Investor Service
“None of the signals that I’ve seen so far suggest that we should shift the Reality Labs strategy long term.”
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta
“Behind the scenes, Celsius conducted its business in a starkly different manner than how it marketed itself to its customers in every key respect.”
Shoba Pillay, former federal prosecutor and partner at Jenner & Block
“We believe that Bitcoin mining is being unfairly targeted and double-taxed by the IRS, currently.“
Dennis Porter, CEO of Satoshi Action Fund
“[Bitcoin is] not an effective store of wealth. But we are in a world where money as we know it is in jeopardy.”
Ray Dalio, billionaire investor and entrepreneur
Prediction of the Week
$25,000 Bitcoin now ‘crowded trade’
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25% this week, in line with almost all expectations, leading the BTC/USD pair spiking above $24,000 for the second time in as many days, with market participants still hopeful for a trip to $25,000 before a more significant retracement.
“BTC has had a clean breakout above its macro downtrend line + a backtest,” investment research resource Game of Trades stated on Twitter, adding that “the next big resistance to clear is the $25k region.”
Pseudonymous trader Crypto Tony acknowledged that the target may no longer materialize. “$25,000 is my main target, but I am seeing now a lot of people asking for this, and is becoming a crowded trade,” he wrote.
FUD of the Week
Decentralized autonomous organization BonqDAO has suffered a smart contract exploit that led to millions of dollars being stolen via an oracle hack that allowed the exploiter to manipulate the price of the AllianceBlock (ALBT) token. An independent analysis from blockchain security firm PeckShield has estimated the loss to reach $120 million, comprising $108 million from 98.65 million Bonq Euro (BEUR) tokens and $11 million from 113.8 million Wrapped AllianceBlock Tokens (WALBT).
A man suspected of being the real owner of South Korea’s largest crypto exchange, Bithumb, has been arrested for embezzlement. According to prosecutors, he and his brother, head of Bithumb affiliate Inbiogen, colluded to embezzle corporate funds and manipulate the stock prices of Inbiogen. Among other headlines, Spanish authorities have arrested the CEO of Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato in a joint effort between France, Portugal, Cyprus and United States law enforcement.
Kraken shuts down Abu Dhabi office, suspends support for AED
Crypto exchange Kraken has closed its Abu Dhabi office less than a year after receiving regulatory approval to operate in the region. According to the company, existing users will still have access to the platform using other fiat currencies. Several employees are also expected to remain in the area. The move in the Middle East comes after Kraken announced plans to cut its workforce by 30% — more than 1,000 people — in an effort to survive the crypto winter.
Best Cryptox Features
Snow Crash foretold many of the issues with the Metaverse back in the 1990s. Here are some of the problems that still need to be solved.
Tiffany Fong stumbled into Twitter fame after getting burned in the Celsius bankruptcy. She says she has no idea where it will lead.
Why are crypto fans obsessed with micronations and seasteading?
From repurposed cruise ships like MS Satoshi to the blockchain-governed Liberland and Satoshi Island, crypto fans are trying to create utopian new communities built around new rules.
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