Extreme greed props up the crypto market, Sam Bankman-Fried takes the stand, and Binance woes take a big bite of its founder’s net worth. But how much? Stick around. These stories and more, this week in crypto.
Bitcoin at 18 Month High
Optimism driven by anticipation of a spot ETF lifted Bitcoin to its highest levels since May of last year, with a remarkable 14% daily gain. At the same time, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index, which gauges market sentiment also reached its highest level since Bitcoin’s all-time high in November 2021. Higher numbers in this index reflect overall market greed.
Bitcoin ETF Ticker Disappeared
The ticker for BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF, IBTC, disappeared and then reappeared on the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation’s website, causing a sudden 3% drop in Bitcoin’s price. The attention surrounding spot ETFs is so keen that the DTCC website crashed. One senior ETF analyst quipped that the heightened attention speaks to the uniqueness and intensity of this entire ETF saga.
SBF Testifies Privately in FTX Trial
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried testified privately to the judge to determine which parts of his testimony can be put to the jury. The 31-year-old faces charges of deceiving investors and manipulating evidence. Bankman-Fried defended his questionable decisions like setting up some group chats to be deleted automatically saying this complied with record keeping policies set up by his legal team.
SEC Crypto Enforcement Total Revealed
SEC Chair Gary Gensler disclosed that the agency’s enforcement actions this year have led to $5 billion in judgments and orders. Gensler specifically called the crypto industry “noncompliant” saying he “won’t even name all the individuals” they have charged. In 2023, the SEC initiated over 780 enforcement actions, and as part of that $5 billion in judgments, $930 million was returned to affected investors.
Turkey Plans Crypto Framework
Turkey’s Presidential Annual Program for 2024 sets a goal to establish crypto regulations, including plans for defining crypto assets, laying a foundation for rules on their future taxation. The plan also aims to give legal definitions for crypto providers, like exchanges. Significant crypto interest in the country has been driven by the Turkish lira’s ongoing inflation crisis. A 2022 study revealed that Turkey is the world’s second leading nation in terms of crypto-related search requests, with 5 and a half % of its population making such inquiries.
Biggest Australian Money Laundering Operation Caught
An Australian money transmitter business, Changjiang Currency Exchange has been under investigation for laundering a suspected $145 million dollars. A police operation 300-strong spanning major cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, led to the arrest of four Chinese nationals and three Australians after a 14-month investigation. Police say that the exchange helped launder dirty funds and tainted cryptocurrency from investment scams and unregistered crypto exchanges.
Binance Founder Lost Billions in 2023
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index reduced Binance’s revenue estimate by 38% due to declining volumes, leading to a whopping $12 billion drop in foundAer Changpeng Zhao’s net worth. Binance once held a substantial market share, peaking at 62% during a zero-fee promotion for top trading pairs, but after the promo ended, its market share fell to 51%.
That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.