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Hodler’s Digest

SBF legal fees, BTC market cap flips Meta and USDC climbs back to $1: Hodler’s Digest, March 12-18

Sam Bankman-Fried seeks to use FTX’s corporate insurance, Bitcoin outperforming Wall Street banks in 2023 and USDC repegs after turbulent days.

Top Stories This Week

Sam Bankman-Fried petitions court to prioritize reimbursing his legal fees

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is seeking to use FTX’s corporate insurance policies to cover his legal expenses, according to a court filing on March 15. As per the filing, the policies provide priority of payment to insured individuals such as Bankman-Fried. The move would put the former CEO on top of the FTX payout list. Another headline shows that Bankman-Fried’s inner circle received $3.2 billion in payments and loans from FTX-linked entities. The amounts exclude over $240 million used for the purchases of luxury properties in the Bahamas, political and charity donations, as well as substantial transfers to non-FTX subsidiaries. In another headline, FTX debtors reported $11.6 billion in claims and $4.8 billion in assets, meaning theres a $6.8 billion hole in the exchange’s balance sheet.

Signature Bank closed by New York regulators for not providing data

Crypto-friendly Signature Bank was officially closed down and taken over by the New York Department of Financial Services on March 12 for failing to provide consistent and reliable data. The bank has been investigated by two United States government bodies over whether it took adequate measures to monitor and detect potential money laundering by its clients. Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives Barney Frank suggested that New York regulators closed Signature as part of a seeming show of force against the crypto market.

Read also

Reformed altcoin slayer Eric Wall on shitposting and scaling Ethereum


Banking The Unbanked? How I Taught A Total Stranger In Kenya About Bitcoin

USDC bounces back toward $1 peg after Fed announcement

Circles stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), climbed back to its $1 peg following positive developments concerning Circle’s $3.3 billion worth of reserves held at Silicon Valley Bank and its new banking partners: redemptions of USDC will now be processed by Cross River Bank and BNY Mellon. The stablecoin depegged from the U.S. dollar on March 10 following SVB’s sudden collapse, triggering the depeg of many other stablecoins. The stablecoins depegging prompted a growth in loan repayments over the weekend, allowing debtors to save more than $100 million on loans.

US Fed announces $25B in funding to backstop banks

United States federal regulators announced decisive actions that would fully protect depositors at both Silicon Valley Bank and the now-shuttered Signature Bank, including $25 billion worth of funding aimed at backstopping banks and other depository firms. The Federal Reserve is investigating the failure of Silicon Valley Bank including an internal probe as to how the Fed supervised and regulated the financial institution. Amid the sudden collapse, SVB’s U.K. arm was acquired by HSBC for 1 British pound ($1.21), with loans of 5.5 billion pounds ($6.7 billion) and deposits of 6.7 billion pounds ($8.1 billion).

Bitcoin market cap flips tech giant Meta, widens gap on Visa

Despite a turbulent week for crypto following the downfall of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, Bitcoins market cap has managed to flip that of tech giant Meta. On March 14, Bitcoins market cap reached $471.86 billion, surpassing Metas $469 billion, according to data from Companies Market Cap. The leading cryptocurrency climbed to the 11th spot among top assets by market cap, sitting behind electric vehicle maker Tesla. The market capitalization of Bitcoin has added over $190 billion in 2023, outperforming top Wall Street bank stocks, particularly as fears of a global banking crisis are rising.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $27,571, Ether (ETH) at $1,823 and XRP at $0.38. The total market cap is at $1.18 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Conflux (CFX) at 186.02%, Mask Network (MASK) at 120.56% and Stacks (STX) at 102.97%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are UNUS SED LEO (LEO) at -2.22%, Tether (USDT) at -0.35% and Binance USD (BUSD) at -0.16%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

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Can Bitcoin survive a Carrington Event knocking out the grid?


Socios boss goal? To knock crypto out of the park

Most Memorable Quotations

The recent shutdowns of financial institutions may be the opportunity for crypto to reach mass adoption.

Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin

We believe that elements of the future of finance will be blockchain enabled and were already witnessing rapid change in the tokenisation market.

Drew Bradford, executive general manager, markets at the National Australia Bank

Major adoption by mainstream businesses and their consumers is right around the corner thanks to recent developments in scaling and privacy technology.

Mark Smargon, CEO of Fuse Network

Drop the blockchain/NFT/play-to-earn (P2E)/metaverse/Web3 talk. […] They [players] just want to have an entertaining playing experience not a science lesson.

Peter Bergstrom, former producer of Age of Empires and CEO of BitBlock Ventures

We are going to have a credit crunch in the U.S. and globally. […] You want to be long gold and silver […] and you want to be long Bitcoin.

Michael Novogratz, founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital

I believe regulators are using crypto as a scapegoat for their own lapses in oversight of traditional banking.

Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK Invest

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin price hits $27K in new 9-month high as Fed injects $300B

Bitcoin hit new nine-month highs on March 17 as the latest events in the U.S. banking crisis boosted crypto markets. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD hitting $27,025 on Bitstamp before consolidating. A catalyst for fresh upside had come overnight in the form of the Federal Reserves balance sheet data, which showed almost $300 billion being injected into the economy as part of the banking crisis response.

Cointelegraph contributor Michal van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, eyed specific levels up and down.

Chopperino land on Bitcoin, which means that well probably have some sideways structures, he wrote on Twitter. Needs to hold $26K. If that holds, $2830K is next. If it loses $26K, Im punting around $25K for some longs. Relatively easy to understand.

FUD of the Week 

Euler Finance hacked for over $195M in a flash loan attack

Lending protocol Eurler Finance faced a flash loan attack on March 13. The exploiter carried out multiple transactions, stealing nearly $196 million in stablecoins DAI and USDC, as well as staked Ether and wrapped Bitcoin. The attack was dubbed the largest hack of 2023 so far. A portion of the stolen funds started to be transferred to crypto mixer Tornado Cash shortly after a $1 million bounty was launched to identify the hacker. As of March 18, only a small portion of the funds had been recovered around 3,000 Ether ($5.4 million).

Europol seizes $46M from crypto mixer after $2.88B allegedly laundered

Law enforcement agency Europol has seized assets of cryptocurrency mixer ChipMixer worth $46 million for its alleged involvement in money-laundering activities. ChipMixer’s website has been shut down and four servers hosting the application have been seized. Europol claims that ChipMixer has laundered over 152,000 BTC ($2.88 billion) since its inception in 2017.

FBI, NY authorities probes collapse of TerraUSD stablecoin

The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly investigating the collapse of the TerraClassicUSD (USTC) stablecoin, which contributed to a $40 billion wipeout in the Terra ecosystem last May. Former staff at Terraform Labs have been interrogated in recent weeks by U.S. agencies, including the FBI. The probe covers similar ground to a lawsuit filed against Terraform Labs and its founder Do Kwon by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February, including misleading investors.

Best Cointelegraph Features

4 out of 10 NFT sales are fake: Learn to spot the signs of wash trading

NFT wash trading inflates the volume on some platforms by 10x20x the legitimate volume. Why is it encouraged, and what can be done about it?

All rise for the robot judge: AI and blockchain could transform the courtroom

Do the developers of legal bots have sufficient knowledge and experience of the law? Is the data used to train their algorithms timely? Will critical evidence be filtered out?

Crypto winter can take a toll on hodlers mental health

The relentless bear market, a string of high-profile criminal charges and the fall of trusted institutions have taken their toll on those actively involved in the crypto industry.

Venture capitalists bail on Zipmex bailout, company warns of consequences: Report

Silicon Valley Bank down, USDC depegged, FTX billed $34M in Jan.: Hodler’s Digest, March 5-11

Bank run on Silicon Valley Bank, USDC depegged from U.S. dollar and FTX’s bankruptcy expenses hit $34 million in January.

Top Stories This Week

Silicon Valley Bank shut down by California regulator, holding over $5 billion for prominent crypto VCs

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was shut down by Californias financial watchdog on March 10 after announcing a significant sale of assets and stocks aimed at raising additional capital. The California watchdog appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as the receiver to protect insured deposits. However, the FDIC only insures up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution and per ownership category. The bank held over $5 billion in funds from major venture capital firms. Silicon Valley Bank is one of the top 20 largest banks in the United States, providing banking services to crypto-friendly venture companies, such as Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

USDC depegs as Circle confirms $3.3B stuck with Silicon Valley Bank

USD Coin (USDC) issuer Circle confirmed that $3.3 billion of its $40 billion USDC reserves remain at Silicon Valley Bank, triggering a sell-off that resulted in the stablecoin falling below $1. The stablecoin ecosystem felt an immediate impact as USDC depegged from the U.S. dollar, with major stablecoin depegging from the U.S. dollar as a consequence, including DAI, USDD and FRAX. The USDC price was slowly re-pegging on late Saturday after turbulent trading hours. Circle plans to cover missing liquidity in SVB with corporate funds.

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Justin Aversano makes a quantum leap for NFT photography


Insiders guide to real-life crypto OGs: Part 1

Silvergate Capital Corporation to voluntarily liquidate Silvergate Bank

Silvergate Capital Corporation announced this week plans to wind down operations and liquidate its crypto arm, Silvergate Bank. The decision was made in light of recent industry and regulatory developments, said the company. Silvergate was one of the major banking partners for many crypto firms, but drew concerns about its solvency after delaying the filing of an annual financial report. Although its closure does not appear to be a systematic risk for the United States banking system, crypto firms are bracing for the potential effects of its exit, such as an increase in banking concentration and challenges for crypto venture capital firms in the U.S..

SBFs lawyers signal need to push back October criminal trial

Lawyers representing FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried have flagged that it may be necessary to delay his criminal trial, since the defense is still waiting for a substantial portion of evidence and more charges have been brought against Bankman-Fried in late February. Meanwhile, law firms, investment banks and consulting companies working with FTX on its bankruptcy case billed the crypto exchange a combined $34.18 million in January, court documents revealed. FTXs chief restructuring officer and new CEO, John J. Ray III, also received a hefty pay package, charging $1,300 an hour, amounting to a total of $305,000 in February.

Biden budget proposes 30% tax on crypto mining energy use, double capital gains tax, and a ban on crypto wash sales

United States crypto miners could be subject to a 30% tax on electricity costs under a budget proposal by President Joe Biden aimed to reduce mining activity. According to the White House, any firm using resources whether they be owned or rented would be liable for a 30% taxation of the electricity cost used to mine digital assets. Another point affecting the crypto industry in the budget proposal includes ending tax-loss harvesting and nearly doubling tax rates on capital gains for some investors to 39.6% on long-term investments, up from the current 20% tax rate.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $19,920, Ether (ETH) at $0,000 and XRP at $0.35. The total market cap is at $928.9 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Kava (KAVA) at 12.40%, Bone ShibaSwap (BONE) at 1.22% and UNUS SED LEO (LEO) at 1.05%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Stacks (STX) at -31.05%, Mina (MINA) at -29.40% and SingularityNET (AGIX) at -29.14%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

Read also

Year 1602 revisited: Are DAOs the new corporate paradigm?


Breakdancing medics NFT auctioned at Sothebys Grant Yun, NFT creator

Most Memorable Quotations

This industry has grown leaps and bounds, especially for being as young as it is, and Im still confident that we are in the process of building a better, more equitable financial system in the United States and globally.

Charlie Shrem, general partner at Druid Ventures

Notwithstanding a regulatory framework around stablecoins, theyre going to be commodities in my view.

Rostin Behnam, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Without knowledge or exposure to the industry, women may lose confidence and interest in pursuing careers in the sector.

Sandy Carter, chief operating officer and head of business development at Unstoppable Domains

It is important that regulators foster growth in IoT and M2M payments, as it is key to maintaining the global competitiveness of the European digital economy.

Digital Euro Association

Despite the volatile 2022 crypto landscape, consumers didnt lose faith in their crypto investments.

Paxos’ Annual Survey

As the bank of choice for crypto, Silvergate Bank’s failure is disappointing, but predictable.

Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin battles $20K as trader calls bank chaos 2008 all over again

Bitcoin fell to its lowest price since mid-January on March 10 as cryptocurrency markets panicked over a potential banking crisis, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows.

The BTC/USD pair saw the majority of its losses during the previous day’s Wall Street trading as risk assets everywhere suffered setbacks courtesy of the markets cold feet on the back of major restructuring at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) the United States’ 16th largest commercial lender.

Will probably wick into 18-19k before this is over- but it’s just a retest, pseudonymous trader Credible Crypto wrote on Twitter.

Uncertainty remains in the air as the aftermath of the meltdown at SVB is far from over crypto stablecoins in particular are feeling the heat. USD Coin depegged from the U.S. dollar on March 11, trading at $0.93 an hour after disclosing it had $3.3 billion held SVB, triggering a domino effect on other stablecoins.

FUD of the Week 

Hedera confirms exploit on mainnet led to theft of service tokens

The team behind distributed ledger Hedera confirmed that a smart contract exploit on the Hedera mainnet led to the theft of several liquidity pool tokens. The attacker targeted liquidity pool tokens on decentralized exchanges that derived its code from Uniswap V2 on Ethereum, which was ported over for use on the Hedera Token Service. The suspicious activity was detected when the attacker attempted to move the stolen tokens across the hashport bridge. Hedera didnt confirm the amount of tokens that were stolen.

Tether strikes at WSJ over stale allegations of faked documents for bank accounts

The company behind stablecoin Tether has rebuffed reports claiming it had ties to entities that faked documents and used shell companies for access to the banking system. Based on leaked documents and emails, The Wall Street Journal reported that entities tied to Tether and its sister crypto exchange, Bitfinex, faked sales invoices and transactions in order to open bank accounts. Tether called the findings of the report stale allegations from long ago and wholly inaccurate and misleading. A proud partner of law enforcement, the firm claims to routinely and voluntarily assist authorities in the U.S. and abroad.

NY AG sues KuCoin for selling securities and commodities without registration

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin after she was able to buy and sell crypto on the exchange, which is not registered in New York. James alleges that KuCoin violated securities law when it sold, offered to sell, purchased and offered to purchase cryptocurrencies that are commodities and securities to New Yorkers. The action is one of the first times a regulator claimed in court that ETH is a security.

Best Cointelegraph Features

D&D nukes NFT ban, Kill-to-Earn zombie shooter, Illuvium: Zero hot take Web3 Gamer

How a teenager made $1.6 million playing Yuga Labs new game and why people are going crazy over a new kill-to-earn zombie shooting game?

$54B fund partner runs women-only DAO, LatAm blockchain gaming guild

I do come from a conventional ecosystem, banking and finance, but I have never been very much of a conventional person myself.

Become a hot new NFT artist via the soft shell taco method Terrell Jones, NFT Creator

Terrell Jones tells stories with NFTs in a distinctive style influenced by gangster films that has captured the attention of the digital art world and Sothebys.

Venture capitalists bail on Zipmex bailout, company warns of consequences: Report

Fears over Silvergate, $8B hole at FTX, senators seek Binance’s numbers: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 26 – March 4

Delay in Silvergate’s financials sparks fears over bankruptcy, FTX reports $8.6B deficit and Binance’s balance sheet sought by U.S. senators.

Top Stories This Week

Silvergate stock plunges after delayed filing raises doubts over future

Silvergate made headlines this week after postponing the filing of its annual 10-K financial report, raising fears of an upcoming bankruptcy filing. The collapse of the cryptocurrency bank could prove costly for the rest of the industry. Within 24 hours after the announcement, Coinbase, Circle, Bitstamp, Galaxy Digital and Paxos confirmed that they will scale back their individual partnerships with Silvergate in some capacity. MicroStrategy and Tether joined a number of firms publicly denying any meaningful exposure to the bank. On March 2, Silvergate’s stock plummeted by over 50% on the NYSE.

FTX presentation shows massive shortfall in firms assets

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has revealed a massive shortfall in its digital asset and fiat currency holdings, with billions worth of customer funds missing from both the exchange and its United States-based arm, FTX US. In total, FTX recorded an $8.6 billion deficit across all wallets and accounts while FTX US recorded a deficit of $116 million. Among the week’s headlines, former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud along with wire and commodities fraud conspiracy. Singhs plea follows a number of Sam Bankman-Frieds close associates reportedly agreeing to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors in recent months.

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Crypto kids fight Facebook for the soul of the Metaverse


Why Grayscale’s New Digital Currency Ad Could Bring Crypto Investing To Millions

Celsius Custody customers finally begin withdrawals 263 days after freeze

For the first time in 263 days, Celsius customers have been able to withdraw funds following a freeze before its bankruptcy filing. Affected customers received an email listing those who were eligible to withdraw funds a few weeks ago, followed by another on March 2 notifying them that withdrawals were available. Customers who held funds in custody accounts only available to U.S. residents were able to withdraw 94% of their original funds. Customers who transferred funds from earn or borrow accounts to custody accounts can currently withdraw 72.5% of funds.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and colleagues demand to see Binances balance sheets

Three United States senators led by Elizabeth Warren have sent a letter to Binance CEO Changpeng CZ Zhao and Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder expressing concern over a number of aspects of the crypto exchanges operations and asking the companies for their balance sheets. Senators claim the companies evaded U.S. regulators and sanctions, as well as facilitated the laundering of at least $10 billion. Binance is reportedly preparing to settle outstanding regulatory and law-enforcement issues in the U.S.

Jack Dorseys decentralized Twitter rival enters app store

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is making progress in the development of Bluesky, a decentralized Twitter alternative. A private beta test of the mobile application is available in the Apple App Store as an invite-only app, allowing certain persons to try out the new social media experience by creating an account via an invite code. Bluesky is built on the AT protocol, a new federated social network that integrates ideas from the latest decentralized technologies.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $22,352, Ether (ETH) at $1,562 and XRP at $0.36. The total market cap is at $1.02 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Maker (MKR) at 29.45%, yearn.finance (YFI) at 21.79% and Stacks (STX) at 21.51%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Conflux (CFX) at -20.20%, Optimism (OP) at -17.94% and Hedera (HBAR) at -16.27%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

Read also

Decentralized social media: The next big thing in crypto?


‘Account abstraction’ supercharges Ethereum wallets: Dummies guide

Most Memorable Quotations

Thanks to crypto we were able to cover some of our defenders immediate needs, there was literally no other way at the time.

Alona Shevchenko, co-founder of Ukraine DAO

Chair Gensler may have prejudged that every digital asset aside from bitcoin is a security, but his opinion is not the law.

Jake Chervinsky, lawyer and chief policy officer at the Blockchain Association

Our view has not changed that fiat backed digital currencies running on public blockchains have the potential to play an important role in the payments ecosystem.

Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa

[CBDC] is the single best step that we could take [to protect national interests] because it would crowd out the ecosystem of crypto.

Daleep Singh, former deputy national security adviser for the White House

Crypto investors and younger cohorts of Americans still believe that crypto is a worthwhile investment in the future that can lead to societal benefits.

Morning Consult Survey

As the worlds first free zone solely dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies, we look forward to supporting the ambitions of entrepreneurs from around the world.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid bin Abdullah Al Qasimi, chairman of the RAK International Corporate Centre

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin price slides amid Silvergate uncertainty

Bitcoin fell 5% in a single hour overnight into March 3, dropping to its lowest levels in over two weeks, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows, as cryptocurrency markets reacted to Silvergate banks liquidity and BTC bulls failed to defend already weak support.

For some traders, the leg down for Bitcoin was already only a matter of time, as BTC price action has spent weeks trying and failing to overcome resistance above $25,000.

Pseudonymous trader Credible Crypto noted in an update that the target support price lies around the $20,000 mark a key psychological level originally reclaimed as support in January. If they fail to, then my downside target will be met sooner rather than later, the trader said.

FUD of the Week 

Bitcoin ATM decline: Over 400 machines went off the grid in under 60 days

Crypto ATMs have seen a drastic reduction this year. In the first two months of 2023, the net number of cryptocurrency ATMs installed globally reduced by 412 machines. Between December 2020 and January 2022, more than 1,000 crypto and Bitcoin ATMs were being installed every month. Its growth was hindered, however, by the bear market. Crypto ATMs are considered one of the key infrastructure pillars for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Robinhood subpoenaed by SEC over crypto listings and custody

Robinhood Markets received an investigative subpoena from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December, the company disclosed on Feb. 27. The subpoena relates to its digital asset businesss crypto listings, custody and platform operations, and it was received a month after crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy, following several other major cryptocurrency trading venues and lending platforms earlier in 2022..

Coinbase announces suspension of BUSD trading beginning March 13

Coinbase is suspending trading for the Binance USD coin, the exchange announced on Twitter, citing its listing standards behind the move. The decision will apply to Coinbase.com (simple and advanced), Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Exchange and Coinbase Prime. BUSD funds will remain accessible to withdrawal, the exchange said. Paxos’ market capitalization dropped by $2 billion within days after the New York State Department of Financial Services ordered it to stop issuing BUSD. The stablecoin is the third largest by market capitalization.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Unstablecoins: Depegging, bank runs and other risks loom

How stable are stablecoins? Growing doubts over reserves and antagonistic regulation mean a bank run is possible.

Account abstraction supercharges Ethereum wallets: Dummies guide

Your guide to why ‘account abstraction’ and ‘smart accounts’ are the hottest thing on Ethereum right now and will help bring about mainstream adoption.

$3M OKX airdrop, 1-hour due diligence on 3AC, Binance AI Asia Express

OKX to reimburse users over alleged market manipulation incident, 10,000 Binance AI NFTs minted in less than 3h and more.

Venture capitalists bail on Zipmex bailout, company warns of consequences: Report

SBF’s new charges, Shapella’s fork date and emojis as financial advice: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 19-25

Top Stories This Week Unsealed superseding indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried includes 12 criminal charges Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was charged on four new criminal counts by a federal judge presiding over his case. According to a superseding indictment, there are now 12 criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, including eight conspiracy charges related to fraud […]

Top Stories This Week

Unsealed superseding indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried includes 12 criminal charges

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was charged on four new criminal counts by a federal judge presiding over his case. According to a superseding indictment, there are now 12 criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, including eight conspiracy charges related to fraud as well as four charges of wire fraud and securities fraud. In an attempt to possibly modify his bail terms, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys will hire a security expert to assist the federal judge overseeing his fraud case. The technical expert will help the judge navigate issues regarding encrypted messages, privacy-focused messaging apps and VPNs.

Ethereum Shapella upgrade gets new date, making way for un-staking ETH

Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko announced the blockchains Shapella upgrade is scheduled for Feb. 28. The Shapella network upgrade will activate on the Sepolia network at epoch 56832. Major changes to the consensus layer include full and partial withdrawals for validators and independent state and block historical accumulators, replacing the original singular historical roots. After the Sepolia fork, the next step would be the release of the Shanghai upgrade on the Ethereum Goerli test network, planned for March.

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The best (and worst) stories from 3 years of Cointelegraph Magazine


Decentralized identity: Proving its really you in the 21st Century

US lawmaker introduces bill aimed at limiting Feds authority on digital dollar

United States Representative Tom Emmer has introduced legislation that could limit the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to Emmer, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act seeks to protect Americans right to financial privacy. The bill could prohibit the Fed from issuing a digital dollar directly to anyone, bar the central bank from implementing monetary policy based on a CBDC, and require transparency for projects related to a digital dollar.

Emojis count as financial advice and have legal consequences, judge rules

A United States District Court judge ruled that emojis like the rocket ship, stock chart and money bags mean a financial return on investment. The decision is part of a recent court filing regarding Dapper Labs motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that its NBA Top Shot Moments NFTs violated security laws. In a tweet, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Branch Chief Lisa Braganca warned users of the potential legal consequences of using emojis that may indicate future gains.

Ankr partners with Microsoft to offer enterprise node services

Microsoft has partnered with decentralized blockchain infrastructure provider Ankr to provide a novel node-hosting service on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. This partnership will integrate the technology of both companies, pairing Ankrs blockchain infrastructure with Microsofts cloud solutions. The enterprise node deployment service will offer low-latency blockchain connections for Web3 projects. The service relays transactions, deploys smart contracts and can read or write blockchain data.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $23,245, Ether (ETH) at $1,596 and XRP at $0.37. The total market cap is at $1.06 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Stacks (STX) at 122.16%, Conflux (CFX) at 95.19% and Ankr (ANKR) at 38.31%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Fantom (FTM) at -16.07%, dYdX (DYDX) at -13.26% and Loopring (LRC) at -14.41%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

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The trouble with automated market makers


Sexual Violence in India: Blockchains Role in Empowering Survivors

Most Memorable Quotations

I think its time for the Treasury, the Feds, the CFTC, the SEC, all of us better get together on crypto.

Maxine Waters, U.S. representative for California

Where the democracies have broken down, I do think its very clearly related to fiat currency, and I do think that Bitcoin fixes this in a way.

Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation

Bitcoin mining can really push the envelope around innovation and investment in renewables in a truly significant way.

Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8

By acting without Congressional authorization, [the SEC] continues to contribute to a chaotic regulatory environment, harming the very investors it is charged to protect.

Chamber of Digital Commerce

The days of crypto companies like CoinEx acting like the rules do not apply to them are over.

Letitia James, New York attorney general

Clinically, we have certainly seen an increase in people coming to therapy who report difficulties in managing their crypto trading behavior.

Anastasia Hronis, Australian clinical psychologist

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin eyes 25% of worlds wealth in new $10M BTC price prediction

Bitcoin may struggle with brutal volatility, but hodlers and critics alike should be in no doubt about its long-term price trajectory, fund manager and Bitcoin expert advisor Jesse Myers said while revealed his own outrageous BTC price target.

Analyzing Bitcoins value proposition, he argues that Bitcoins ability to appreciate over time means that it is all but destined to suck in value from other asset classes.

My conservative estimates suggest an outrageous full potential for Bitcoins price: $10m/Bitcoin, in todays dollars. To put this another way, I believe Bitcoins full potential is to eat ~25% of the worlds value while today it constitutes just 0.05%. Thats absurd. That means that I believe Bitcoin could 500x over the coming decades, in real (inflation-adjusted) terms, Myers wrote.

FUD of the Week 

US crypto regulation happening behind closed doors Blockchain Association CEO

Blockchain Association CEO Kristin Smith says Congress needs to take control of crypto legislation and ensure it is an open process by looking at the market comprehensively. Despite regulators working very quickly, legislation is moving behind closed doors, Smith observed, emphasizing the importance of industry involvement in an open process that includes Congress.

US regulatory crackdown leads to $32M digital asset outflows

Institutional crypto fund manager CoinShares reported that digital asset investment products saw outflows totaling $32 million last week, the largest outflow of the year. The outflow comes in the wake of a massive crackdown on the digital asset industry by the U.S. securities regulator targeting everything from staking services to stablecoins and crypto custody.

Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather file motion to dismiss crypto promotion lawsuit

Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather and other celebrities are hoping to convince a judge to dismiss another attempt to hold them liable for allegedly promoting EthereumMax (EMAX) without appropriate disclosure. Recently, the U.S. SEC issued a warning to celebrities who promote crypto, reminding them that the law requires them to disclose how much they are being paid and by whom.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Breakdancing medics NFT auctioned at Sothebys Grant Yun, NFT creator

Simple storytelling through digital art has led this medical student and breakdancer to be featured at Sothebys.

Green consumers want supply chain transparency via blockchain

Consumers want to support ethical, environmentally friendly products. Blockchain projects are here to help.

Hong Kong crypto frenzy, DeFi token surges 550%, NBA China NFTs Asia Express

Hong Kong wants to restore retail crypto trading, FTX Japan customers withdraw nearly all assets after three months, and NBA China will continue minting NFTs.

Venture capitalists bail on Zipmex bailout, company warns of consequences: Report

SEC sues Do Kwon, Paxos ready to litigate, SBF’s VPN: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 12-18

Top Stories This Week Paxos ‘categorically disagrees’ with the SEC that BUSD is a security The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has defined the stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD) as a security in a Wells Notice sent to its issuer, Paxos Trust Company. The SEC alleges the organization failed to register BUSD under federal […]

Top Stories This Week

Paxos categorically disagrees with the SEC that BUSD is a security

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has defined the stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD) as a security in a Wells Notice sent to its issuer, Paxos Trust Company. The SEC alleges the organization failed to register BUSD under federal securities laws. The firm, however, categorically disagrees with the authority’s view, and it’s prepared to vigorously litigate the matter in the U.S. courts. Also this week, Paxos was given directions from the New York Department of Financial Services to halt the issuance of new BUSD tokens. The department allegedly received a complaint last year from Circle another stablecoin issuer claiming that Binance’s reserves were insufficient to back BUSD.

SEC sues Do Kwon and Terraform Labs for fraud

The U.S. SEC has also filed a lawsuit against Terraform Labs and its founder Do Kwon for allegedly orchestrating a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud. The regulator said Kwon and Terraform offered and sold an inter-connected suite of crypto asset securities, many in unregistered transactions. It pointed to the firms now-collapsed algorithmic stablecoin, TerraClassicUSD (USTC) and its connected cryptocurrency Terra Classic (LUNC). The complaint seeks charges for violations of registration and anti-fraud provisions of securities laws.

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Federal judge hints at denying Sam Bankman-Fried any internet access as condition of bail

Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in court for the first time in days after using a VPN for allegedly watching football. Prosecutors claim the use of a VPN raised several potential concerns, after the former CEO contacted potential witnesses in his criminal case earlier this month. Prosecutors want Bankman-Fried to be prohibited from using cellphones, tablets, computers, or the internet, meaning no more League of Legends or other video games. In FTX bankruptcy news, a federal judge approved the release of the guarantors’ names for the $250 million bond. Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial is scheduled to begin in October, while FTXs bankruptcy case is ongoing.

El Salvador to open a Bitcoin Embassy in the United States

A Bitcoin Embassy is being opened by El Salvador in the United States. Ambassador Milena Mayorga said the country’s representative office and the state of Texas will work on new joint projects to promote Bitcoin adoption. In another headline, the International Monetary Fund advised El Salvador to reconsider plans to increase Bitcoin exposure, citing the speculative nature of crypto markets, as well as its impacts on fiscal sustainability and consumer protection. Bitcoin has been a legal tender in El Salvador since 2021.

Celsius chooses NovaWulfs bid to exit from bankruptcy

Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network has chosen NovaWulf Digital Management as the sponsor for its proposed Chapter 11 restructuring plan, which will see the investment advisory firm take over the operations of a new company, with most former Celsius customers estimated to recover up to 70% of their funds. The proposed plan has the support of the unsecured creditors’ committee and would see the creation of a new public platform called NewCo fully owned by Earn creditors. Six firms placed bids on Celsius crypto assets, including Binance and Galaxy Digital.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $24,372, Ether (ETH) at $1,694 and XRP at $0.39. The total market cap is at $1.11 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Filecoin (FIL) at 51.13%, Internet Computer (ICP) at 46.86% and Astar (ASTR) at 43.80%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are The Graph (GRT) at -1.62%, Nexo (NEXO) at -1.49% and UNUS SED LEO (LEO) at -1.05%. 

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

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Most Memorable Quotations

Paxos categorically disagrees with the SEC staff because BUSD is not a security under the federal securities laws.

Paxos Trust Company, issuer of the Binance USD stablecoin

But regulation by enforcement that does nothing to help consumers and drives innovation offshore is not the answer. Getting it right on staking matters.

Paul Grewal, chief legal officer at Coinbase

The SEC has done more to confuse rather than clarify the application of U.S. securities laws.

Kristin Smith, CEO of Blockchain Association

As an industry we have the power and responsibility to prevent digital assets becoming a haven for money launderers and sanctions evaders.

Simone Maini, CEO of Elliptic

Make no mistake: Based upon how crypto platforms generally operate, investment advisers cannot rely on them as qualified custodians.

Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

When I look at the price action, when I look at the excitement of the customers calling, the FOMO building up, it wouldnt surprise me if we [Bitcoin] were at $30,000 by the end of the quarter.

Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital Holdings

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin metric prints mother of all BTC bullish signals for 4th time ever

A Bitcoin price indicator has flashed green for just the fourth time ever this week in a major warning to bears.

According to crypto market analyst Mohit Sorout, the dollar cost average indicator was now suggesting a raging bull market. Its buy signals are rare, with Sorout seeing just three throughout Bitcoins history, each precluding serious BTC price upside. 

Today marks the 4th time this signal is suggesting a raging bullmarket, he wrote in comments, describing the event as the mother of all $btc bullish signals.

FUD of the Week 

Circle squashes rumors of planned SEC enforcement action

Circle, the company behind the USDC stablecoin, has been hit by fear, uncertainty, and doubt after a Fox Business reporter said on Twitter that the company was ordered by the U.S. securities regulator to stop selling USDC, claiming it is an unregistered security. The rumors were later denied by Circle’s chief strategy officer, although fears of regulatory action against stablecoin issuers are still running high after Paxos, the issuer of the stablecoin Binance USD, received a Wells Notice for allegedly failing to register the offering under federal securities laws.

Korean e-commerce exec accused of accepting LUNA for shilling Terra Labs

South Korean prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant for the former CEO of Tmon, a Korean e-commerce platform, for allegedly receiving billions in bribes from Terra’s co-founder, Daniel Shin, in return for promoting Terra’s token (LUNC) as a payment method. The e-commerce company reportedly advertised the token as a safe asset, therefore increasing its price, before selling it with a multibillion return.

Sen. Warren vows reintroduction of AML bill that extends to DAOs and DeFi

Vocal crypto critic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren will reintroduce to Congress a bi-partisan Anti-Money Laundering (AML) bill that covers decentralized entities such as decentralized finance protocols and decentralized autonomous organizations. According to Warren, the crypto community wants decentralized entities running on code to be exempt from AML requirements.

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Can you trust crypto exchanges after the collapse of FTX?

Experts say that most CEXs only offer basic contractual protection in the event of a mishap, but things are improving.

Bitcoiner Simon Dixon on bankruptcies and Elon Musk: Hall of Flame

Dixon recovered from deep debt thanks to Bitcoin; he accidentally became the Chapter 11 guy; and Elon Musk crashed his Twitter Space.

Asia Express: China Telcos crypto SIM, Korean exchanges in turmoil and more

South Korean exchanges plagued by scandals, China’s new blockchain SIM and Square Enix selects Polygon for its upcoming NFT game.

Venture capitalists bail on Zipmex bailout, company warns of consequences: Report

Kraken’s staking down, FTX post-bankruptcy hell and Binance news: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 5-11

Top Stories This Week Kraken reaches $30M settlement with SEC over staking as IRS seeks user information Kraken has agreed to stop offering staking services or programs to United States clients after reaching an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Along with ceasing operations, the crypto exchange will pay $30 million in […]

Top Stories This Week

Kraken reaches $30M settlement with SEC over staking as IRS seeks user information

Kraken has agreed to stop offering staking services or programs to United States clients after reaching an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Along with ceasing operations, the crypto exchange will pay $30 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties. The SEC claims that Kraken failed to register the program as a securities offering. The move has sparked controversy within the SEC. Commissioner Hester Peirce has publicly rebuked her own agency over the shutdown, arguing that regulation by enforcement is not an efficient or fair way of regulating an emerging industry.

FTX CEO testifies on pure hell post-bankruptcy days at exchange

John Ray, who took over as CEO of crypto exchange FTX, has described in a court hearing some of the chaotic experiences at the firm following the company declaring bankruptcy. According to Ray, there was not a single list of anything related to bank accounts, income, insurance or personnel, causing a massive scramble for information. As the bankruptcy proceedings continue, the names of two guarantors who signed off on part of Bankman-Frieds $250 million bail bond will remain withheld for now, after a last-minute appeal. In another headline, a federal judge denied a joint agreement between Bankman-Frieds legal team and prosecutors that would allow him to use certain messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger.

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Binance to temporarily suspend bank transfers in US dollars

Binance has temporarily suspended deposits and withdrawals of United States dollars (USD) through bank accounts. The suspension was not explained, and no other trading methods will be affected. The freeze applies only to international users, as Binance.US claims that its customers will not be affected. The crypto exchange giant has been facing banking challenges in the U.S. Recently, Binance’s SWIFT transfer partner, Signature Bank, said it would only process trades by users with USD bank accounts over $100,000.

Genesis creditors to expect 80% recovery under proposed restructuring plan

Genesis Global reached an agreement in principle with Digital Currency Group and its creditors, aiming to return at least 80% of their funds. The agreement will eventually see Genesis’ crypto trading and market-making arm sold as part of restructuring efforts. Effects of Genesis’ bankruptcy reached Cash Cloud, an automatic teller machine operator in the United States and Brazil. Genesis is Cash Clouds biggest creditor, with a $108 million unsecured loan. Cash Cloud has liabilities between $100 million to $500 million.

Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin says no chance ETH is classed as security

Ethereum co-founder and crypto entrepreneur Joseph Lubin is confident that Ether wont be classified as a security in the United States. I think it’s as likely, and would have the same impact, as if Uber was made illegal, he told Cointelegaph in an interview in Tel Aviv at the Web3 event Building Blocks 23. In September 2022, U.S. SEC chair Gary Gensler suggested that Ethereums transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model might have brought ETH into regulatory spotlight.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $21,707, Ether (ETH) at $1,525 and XRP at $0.38. The total market cap is at $1.01 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are The Graph (GRT) at 74.43%, SingularityNET (AGIX) at 65.51% and Rocket Pool (RPL) at 15.155%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Fantom (FTM) at -31.15%, Optimism (OP) at -23.79% and Aptos (APT) at -22.28%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

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Most Memorable Quotations

What we see is clients are absolutely interested in digital assets, broadly.

Michael Demissie, head of digital assets at BNY Mellon

The digital pound could exist alongside other forms of money, including stablecoins.

Bank of England and HM Treasury

Clearly if you want integrity within a metaverse, then blockchain will play a part.

Robert Joyce, chief technology officer at Nokia Oceania

Banks [in the U.S.] are reevaluating whether continuing to provide these [crypto] services is worth the risk.

Aaron Kaplan, co-CEO of Prometheum and of counsel at Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum

MetaMask has historically been an Ethereum wallet. We need to start moving beyond that. The multichain future is very clear.

Alex Jupiter, product manager of accounts and key management at MetaMask

CBDC is a way to advance the sophistication of payment systems, as well as ensuring economic security through a local currency that does not depend on other countries.

Soramitsu, Japanese financial software developer

Prediction of the Week 

Ethereum price risks 20% correction amid SECs crackdown on crypto staking

Ethereum’s native token saw its worst daily performance of the year as the U.S. SEC stopped crypto exchange Kraken from offering crypto staking services. The news pushed down the prices of many proof-of-stake blockchain project tokens.

The SEC crackdown on crypto staking begins as Ethereum’s key network upgrade, Shanghai, is set for release in March. Bitwise Asset Managements chief investment officer, Matt Hougan, considers Shanghai a bullish event for Ether:

Today, many investors who would like to stake ETH and earn yield are sitting on the sidelines. After all, most investment strategies cant tolerate an indefinite lock-up, Hougan said in a January investor letter. From a technical perspective, Ether price is positioned for a potential 20% price correction in February, according to Cointelegraph’s analysis.

FUD of the Week 

SEC chair issues warning to crypto firms after action on Kraken staking

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler issued a warning to crypto companies to come in and follow the law after the agency announced a settlement with crypto exchange Kraken. This is the latest effort by the country’s authorities to crack down on crypto firms, as banks have allegedly been discouraged from dealing with crypto firms in recent weeks by U.S. officials, aiming to make crypto business completely unbanked, sources told Cointelegraph.

Stablecoin issuer Paxos reportedly probed by New York regulators

The New York State Department of Financial Services is reportedly investigating Paxos Trust Company, the stablecoin issuer behind Binance USD (BUSD) and Pax Dollar (USDP). The department is reportedly seeking to protect customers from the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments. On its website, Paxos claims that its BUSD and USDP token reserves are 100% backed by U.S. dollars and U.S. Treasury bonds.

3AC new exchange triggers backlash from the crypto community No, thank you

The launch of the exchange project backed by the bankrupt hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) attracted a mob of angry community members. Open Exchange, a crypto exchange project that 3AC and CoinFLEX initially proposed, launched a website on Feb. 9. 3AC co-founder Su Zhu pointed out that the project is a way to make up for his past mistakes. 3AC went bankrupt in July, after suffering losses from Terra’s collapse two months earlier.

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Justin Aversano makes a quantum leap for NFT photography

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Chinas 180M digital yuan airdrop, Devastation in Turkey, Laos CBDC: Asia Express

China airdrops 180 million digital yuan to celebrate Lunar New Year, boosting consumption. APAC crypto exchanges donate to Turkey after a devastating earthquake. Laos and Soramitsu launch a proof-of-concept for a CBDC.

2023 is a make-or-break year for blockchain gaming: Play-to-own

While the thesis is compelling for crypto gaming, the way forward is unclear. Interoperability is one thorny issue, and playability still has yet to catch up to traditional games.

Venture capitalists bail on Zipmex bailout, company warns of consequences: Report

SBF bail guarantor to go public, UK crypto framework and Celsius news: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 29 – Feb. 4

Top Stories This Week SBF’s $250M bail guarantors should be made public, rules judge 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 […]

Top Stories This Week

SBFs $250M bail guarantors should be made public, rules judge

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-Frieds 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: Heres whats 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.

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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.

Silvergate faces DOJ investigation over FTX and Alameda dealings

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.

Meta CEO Zuckerberg steadfast on metaverse plans despite $13.7B setback

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

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $23,572, Ether (ETH) at $1,661 and XRP at $0.40. The total market cap is at $1.09 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

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 Cointelegraphs market analysis.

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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 

BonqDAO protocol suffers $120M loss after oracle hack

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).

Bithumb owner arrested in South Korea over alleged embezzlement

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.

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Is the Metaverse really turning out like Snow Crash?

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Tiffany Fong flames Celsius, FTX and NY Post: Hall of Flame

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.

Venture capitalists bail on Zipmex bailout, company warns of consequences: Report

FTX creditors list, BlockFi $1.2B exposure and new Celsius token: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 22-28

FTX will be the subject of a U.S. Senate hearing, authorities take HashFlare founders into custody and New York finalizes its PoW ban.

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FTX creditor list shows airlines, charities and tech firms caught in collapse

The complete list of creditors owed money by the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has been released, revealing a wide range of global companies. Among the potential creditors are airlines, hotels, charities, banks, venture capital companies, media outlets and crypto companies, along with United States and international government agencies. According to another headline regarding the FTX scandal, U.S. federal prosecutors allege that Sam Bankman-Fried invested $400 million in the venture capital firm Modulo Capital with money from the FTXs customers. Investigators allege that Modulo was likely built with criminal proceeds or misappropriated funds. Lawyer costs in the case are estimated to reach hundreds of millions of dollars before the firms bankruptcy investigation is over.

BlockFi uncensored financials reportedly shows $1.2B FTX exposure

Bankrupt crypto lending firm BlockFi uploaded uncensored financials by mistake, revealing $1.2 billion in assets tied up with bankrupt exchange FTX and defunct trading firm Alameda Research. The unredacted filings show that, as of Jan. 14, BlockFi had $415.9 million worth of assets linked to FTX and a whopping $831.3 million in loans to Alameda. BlockFi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 28, citing the collapse of FTX just weeks earlier as the cause of its financial troubles.

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New Celsius token may be used to repay creditors

Bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius may issue its own token to repay creditors. In a court hearing, Celsius attorney Ross M. Kwasteniet said the firm is negotiating with its creditors on how to relaunch the platform and adequately pay them back. If approved by creditors and the court, the relaunched version would be a publicly-traded company that is properly licensed, which is expected to provide creditors with more money than by simply liquidating  the company.

Binance holds token collateral and user funds on same wallet by mistake

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance admitted to mistakenly storing some customer funds in the same wallet with its collateral for Binance-minted tokens, or B-Tokens. The exchange already started the process of transferring the assets to dedicated collateral wallets, and stressed that B-Tokens are always fully collateralized and backed 1:1. Binance previously said that its corporate holdings were recorded in separate accounts and should not form part of the proof-of-reserves calculations.

Genesis creditors file securities lawsuit against Barry Silbert and DCG

Crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG) is facing more legal issues following the filing of a new class action lawsuit against its subsidiary Genesis Capital. A group of Genesis creditors filed a lawsuit against DCG and its CEO Barry Silbert, alleging violations of securities laws by executing lending agreements with securities without qualifying for an exemption from registration under the federal laws. Genesis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 19, and it expects to emerge from the proceedings by May.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $23,129, Ether (ETH) at $1,600 and XRP at $0.41. The total market cap is at $1.06 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Threshold (T) at 115.05%, Aptos (APT) at 86.22% and dYdX (DYDX) at 64.91%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Hedera (HBAR) at -7.72%, Decentraland (MANA) at -7.71% and Maker (MKR) at -5.77%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

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Most Memorable Quotations

With the help of blockchain technology, we can achieve medical advances so powerful and undeniable that existing systems will have no choice but to change.

Keith Comito, co-founder and president of Lifespan.io

Its very early days, but we continue to believe that stablecoins and central bank digital currencies have the potential to play a meaningful role in the payments space, and we have a number of initiatives underway.

Alfred F. Kelly, CEO of Visa

Traditionally, people have looked to centralized intermediaries or governments to solve this problem, but technology like cryptography, blockchain and zero-knowledge proofs offer new solutions.

Hester Peirce, commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

“Weve observed that institutions and enterprises are more open than ever before to working with blockchain companies to enhance their businesses.

Paul Veradittakit, general partner at Pantera Capital

We are seeing the consequences of the SECs priorities play out in real-time at the expense of U.S. investors.

Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments

Other coins or other tokens are being essentially used as a store of value for investment and speculation. [There is a] good argument that they should be treated like a financial product.

Stephen Jones, assistant treasurer and minister for financial services for the Australian Parliament

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin will hit $200K before $70K bear market next cycle Forecast

After two weeks of rally, Bitcoins price has largely been flat in the past several days, showing that market participants are not overly concerned in advance of the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England monetary policy decisions scheduled for next week.

For many, BTC price action is still bound by Bitcoins four-year halving cycles. The resulting price pattern offers one all time high year in every four, with 2025 next in line. According to pseudonymous analyst Trader Tardigrade, also known as Alan, Bitcoins block subsidy halving will occur a year prior and, from then on, the path will be open to a giant $200,000.

#Bitcoin well-formed structure with stochastic behavior indicates that the next ATH will be at 200K and next floor will be at 70K, Alan predicted.

FUD of the Week 

Mango Markets sues Avraham Eisenberg for $47M in damages plus interest

Mango Labs, the creator of crypto trading platform Mango Markets, filed a lawsuit against Avraham Eisenberg, seeking $47 million in damages. It also asked the court to rescind an agreement between Eisenberg and Mangos decentralized autonomous organization. In October 2022, Eisenberg drained around $117 million from Mango Markets by manipulating the price of its native Mango (MNGO) token, allowing under-collateralized loans.

Argo Blockchain accused of misleading investors in class-action lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit claims that crypto mining firm Argo Blockchain omitted key information and made untrue statements during its initial public offering in 2021. The filing alleged that the miner failed to disclose how susceptible it was to capital constraints, electricity costs and network difficulties. It also claimed that a number of documents presented have been prepared negligently, with inaccurate or omitted information.

US Justice Department seizes website of prolific ransomware gang Hive

International law enforcement groups have dismantled the infamous Hive cryptocurrency ransomware gang, recovering over 1,300 decryption keys for victims since July 2022 and preventing $130 million in ransomware payments. Hive was behind a series of notorious ransomware incidents, such as the Costa Rica public health service and social security fund cyberattack that occurred from April into May 2022.

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The legal dangers of getting involved with DAOs

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NFT creator: Amber Vittoria crushes it in her Big Girl Pants

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Reformed altcoin slayer Eric Wall on shitposting and scaling Ethereum

“There’s multiple cryptocurrency communities who have me as their favorite hate object basically,” says crypto analyst Eric Wall, formerly known as the ‘altcoin slayer.’

Venture capitalists bail on Zipmex bailout, company warns of consequences: Report

Genesis files for bankruptcy, FTX explores a reboot, and Bitzlato news: Hodler’s Digest: Jan. 15-21

Top Stories This Week

Crypto lender Genesis files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

FTX contagions continue to spread through the crypto industry, with Genesis Capital filing for bankruptcy protection in New York, estimating liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion, and assets at the same level. The company plans a dual track process, which will pursue sale, capital raise, and/or an equitization transaction and enable the business to emerge under new ownership. Genesis’ derivatives, spot trading, broker-dealer and custody businesses are not included in the proceedings, according to the company. In an effort to maintain liquidity, Genesis parent company Digital Currency Group suspended dividend withdrawals.

Bitzlato and its founder face enforcement actions from US authorities

United States authorities have taken enforcement actions against crypto firm Bitzlato, seizing the companys website and labeling the business as a primary money laundering concern connected to Russian illicit finance. As part of the case, FBI officials arrested Russian national Anatoly Legkodymov in Miami. The criminal complaint claims the firm was a crucial financial resource for the Hydra darknet marketplace, allowing users to launder funds, including those from ransomware attacks.

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FTX CEO says he is exploring rebooting the exchange

New FTX CEO John Ray, appointed before the bankruptcy proceedings, has set up a task force to consider relaunching FTX.com. He noted in an interview that everything is on the table when it comes to the future of FTX.com, including a potential path forward with regard to rebooting the exchange. In another headline in the case, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been accused of using his influence in the crypto industry to inflate some coins prices through a coordinated strategy with Alameda Research. Bankruptcy proceedings are facing challenges, as liquidators of Alameda have suffered at least $11.5 million in losses since taking control of its trading accounts..

Iran and Russia want to issue new stablecoin backed by gold

The Central Bank of Iran is reportedly cooperating with the Russian government to jointly issue a new stablecoin backed by gold. The token of the Persian Gulf region would serve as a payment method in foreign trade instead of fiat currencies like the United States dollar, the Russian ruble or the Iranian rial. The new cryptocurrency would operate in a special economic zone in Astrakhan, where Russia accepts Iranian cargo shipments.

3AC, Coinflex founders collaborating to raise $25M for new claims trading exchange

Co-founders of collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, are trying to raise money for a new cryptocurrency exchange in partnership with Coinflex co-founders Mark Lamb and Sudhu Arumugam. According to a pitch deck, they are looking to raise $25 million. The new exchange will be called GTX, and it will target claims against bankrupt companies, allowing customers to use claims as collateral for trading. The initiative drew criticism from the crypto community.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $21,856, Ether (ETH) at $1,621 and XRP at $0.40. The total market cap is at $1.00 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Frax Share (FXS) at 67.88%, Hedera (HBAR) at 45.32% and Convex Finance (CVX) at 44.01%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Gala (GALA) at -8.20%, Huobi Token (HT) at -6.34% and Trust Wallet Token (TWT) at -3.47%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

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Most Memorable Quotations

Crypto is getting very interesting because were finally starting to see the bear of regulation coming into play and I think, long term, thats a good thing.

Kevin OLeary, venture capital investor

I actually thought he [Sam Bankman-Fried] was the Mark Zuckerberg of crypto. I didnt realize he was the Bernie Madoff. And thats something I have to own. And so I own it.

Anthony Scaramucci, co-founder of SkyBridge Capital

What Id like to do is to see the CFTC and other regulators provide more guidance this year and Im very hopeful that perhaps we will see more clarity in the United States.

Caroline Pham, commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

Bitcoin has just become a 24/7 VIX. It’s just a trading vehicle now for large funds who want to get in and out of risk on weekends and overnight trading hours.

Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at Arca

The huge undertaking of [central bank] digital currencies is not worth the costs and risks.

Tony Yates, former senior adviser to the Bank of England

I dont think DeFi is meant to attack TradFi. DeFi is supposed to complement TradFi, at least initially.

Emin Gun Sirer, co-founder and CEO of Ava Labs

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin eyes $21.4K zone as analyst predicts BTC price will chase gold

Bitcoin rose toward new multi-month highs, with the BTC/USD pair preserving support at $21,000, according to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView.

Prices moving through support or resistance are affecting sentiment, but the trading range is well defined, noted on-chain analytics resource Material Indicators. I view the lack of BTC liquidity below $18k and above $23k as a lack of sentiment for those levels at this time, the firm wrote on Twitter.

FUD of the Week 

Silvergate reports $1B net loss in the fourth quarter of 2022

Silvergate Bank has announced a $1 billion net loss attributable to common shareholders in the fourth quarter of 2022. The digital asset bank saw significant outflows of deposits in the last quarter of 2022 mainly due to its relationship with FTX and Alameda Research. Silvergate faces a class-action lawsuit over its dealings with the crypto firms. Among the actions taken by the bank to maintain cash liquidity was wholesale funding and the sale of debt securities.

Nexo agrees to $45M settlement with SEC and states over Earn product

Crypto lender Nexo Capital has agreed to pay $45 million in penalties to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the North American Securities Administrators Association for failing to register the offer and sale of its Earn Interest product. According to the company, the regulators did not allege any fraud or misleading business practices. On Jan. 12, Bulgarian prosecutors began searching Nexos Bulgarian offices for alleged involvement in a large-scale money laundering scheme, as well as violations of Russias international sanctions.

CoinDesk could be up for grabs as parent company DCG scrambles for funds

A potential sale of cryptocurrency media outlet CoinDesk is being considered by parent company Digital Currency Group. Investment bankers from Lazard are helping the firm weigh options, including a full or partial sale. DCG has reportedly received multiple offers exceeding $200 million for the media firm over the last few months. DCG’s venture capital portfolio comprises 200 crypto-related businesses.

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Top Stories This Week

Sam Bankman-Fried: ‘I didnt steal funds, and I certainly didnt stash billions away.’

In a pre-mortem overview of FTX’s bankruptcy, Sam Bankman-Fried denied allegations of improper use of customer funds stored with the crypto exchange, attributing responsibility for the companys dramatic fall to the market crash of 2022 and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s PR campaign against FTX. In Bankman-Frieds view, a run on the bank turned illiquidity issues into insolvency. Among the latest developments in the bankruptcy proceedings, a bipartisan group of United States senators criticized one of the law firms involved in the case on the grounds of a conflict of interest, and called on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to appoint an independent examiner into FTXs activities. Also in the week’s headlines, FTX attorney Andy Dietderich said the company has recovered $5 billion in cash and liquid cryptocurrencies.

Gemini and Genesis charged by SEC with selling unregistered securities

Crypto firms Genesis Global Capital and Gemini were charged by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with offering unregistered securities through Gemini’s Earn program. Genesis and Gemini partnered on the product in 2020, offering customers the chance to loan crypto with the promise of later repayment with interest. The SEC stated that the Gemini Earn program constitutes an offer and sale of securities, and should have been registered with the commission. Tyler Winklevoss, co-founder of Gemini, said the SEC’s action was totally counterproductive, and noted that Gemini had been discussing the Earn program with the regulator for more than 17 months..

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DCG owes creditors over $3B, considering $500M VC portfolio sale

It has been a difficult week for Genesis Global Trading and its parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), as reports revealed that Genesis allegedly owes its creditors more than $3 billion. To offset the shortfall, DCG, which also owns Grayscale Investments, seeks to sell part of its venture capital holdings with more than 200 crypto-related projects, including crypto exchanges, banks and custodians in at least 35 countries, totaling around $500 million in valuation.

El Salvador passes landmark crypto bill, paving way for Bitcoin-backed bonds

On Jan. 11, El Salvador passed the landmark Digital Assets Issuance law that establishes the legal framework to issue Bitcoin-backed bonds to pay down sovereign debt and fund the construction of a so-called Bitcoin City. The bonds are expected to raise $1 billion for the country, half of which will be used to build the special economic zone. The legislation also creates a regulatory body and establishes a legal framework for all digital assets in the country.

Abu Dhabi-based Venom Foundation launches $1B fund for Web3 and blockchain

Venom Foundation, an Abu Dhabi-based blockchain platform, and Iceberg Capital announced a new partnership that will allocate $1 billion to Web3 and blockchain companies, including decentralized applications focused on payments, asset management, decentralized finance and GameFi products and services. The investment fund will look to attract startups and technology firms to use Venoms proof-of-stake-based blockchain solution.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $19,297, Ether (ETH) at $1,418 and XRP at $0.37. The total market cap is at $916.5 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Gala (GALA) at 125.9%, Aptos (APT) at 77.52% and Optimism (OP) at 45.28%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Fei USD (FEI) at -2.53%, Nexo (NEXO) at -2.29% and UNUS SED LEO (LEO) at 0.07%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

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Most Memorable Quotations

There are still some overhangs DCG and Genesis and Gemini that will play out in the next quarter. Thats not going to be great.”

Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital Holdings

History tells us theres not much room for micro currencies, meaning, you know, we have the U.S. dollar and Europe has the euro and the like.

Gary Gensler, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

As long as there is interest in the crypto market, the number of hackers will not decrease.

Tommy Deng, managing director of Beosin

People talk about the [Bitcoin] problem of volatility, but this is nothing when you live in a place where your money could easily lose half its value in a year.

Megasley, Nigeria’s first Lightning node runner

“There is no path forward as long as Barry Silbert remains CEO of DCG.”

Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of Gemini

It was a political act and not a financial gesture. Like those who grow mustaches in November to fight prostate cancer. I put this salary in Bitcoin on a cold wallet every month and I haven’t touched it.”

Christophe De Beukelaer, Belgian lawmaker

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin price wants to retest 2017 all-time high near $20K

The price of Bitcoin has jumped in recent days and sits near $19,000 at the end of this week, according to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView.

On-chain analytics resource Material Indicators predicts there could be a retest of the $20,000 mark. Seems like BTC is setting up for a retest of resistance at the 2017 Top, it wrote on Twitter.

According to the analytics firm, whether we see a bonafide breakout or fakeout remains to be seen. Time for patience and discipline.

FUD of the Week 

Nexo offices reportedly raided by police in Bulgaria

Bulgarian regulators are increasing pressure on cryptocurrency lender Nexo, after a group of prosecutors, investigators and foreign agents searched the companys offices in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia on Jan. 12. The operation was initiated a few months ago, targeting a large-scale financial criminal scheme allegedly involving money laundering and violations of international sanctions against Russia. Nexo has complained about the actions of the law enforcement authorities and is preparing to file a lawsuit against authorities to seek compensation for damages caused by the abrupt police interruption.

Scam alert: MetaMask warns crypto users about address poisoning

Digital wallet provider MetaMask warned users of an address poisoning scam, where attackers poison transaction histories. The attack does not allow hackers to access user’s wallets, but those who have become habitual about copying their wallet addresses from transaction histories could potentially send funds to copycat addresses.

Crypto.com CEO announces 20% staff cut, did not account for FTX collapse

A new wave of staff layoffs has been announced by crypto exchange Crypto.com, which will reduce its global workforce by 20% following recent industry events. Also fighting to survive the bear market, Coinbase is closing most of its Japanese operations as part of a restructuring plan that aims to reduce 20% of the exchange staff..

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