Nexo’s offices are raided by Bulgarian authorities, layoffs continue at crypto companies and El Salvador’s Miss Universe contestant graces the stage dressed in Bitcoin. These stories and more this week in crypto.

Bitcoin Hits Pre-FTX-Collapse Price

A strong green week for the crypto market saw prices reach their highest levels since the FTX meltdown in early November. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum rose over 15% as markets appeared to respond favorably to positive inflation figures in the US.

Crypto Lender Nexo Raided in Bulgaria

Crypto lender Nexo’s offices were raided by Bulgarian police. Authorities are investigating the London-based firm on suspicion of money laundering, tax crimes, and unlicensed banking activities. In an operation involving over 300 police officers, prosecutors and national agents, the Bulgarian investigation comes after regulators in eight US states issued cease-and-desist orders against Nexo, alleging that the company was offering interest-earning accounts without registering the investment products as securities.

Crypto Layoffs Continue

Layoffs in the crypto industry continue as has announced a 20% cut of its workforce. CEO Kris Marszalek told employees that the exchange’s ambitious growth was unable to withstand the fallout of the FTX collapse. Meanwhile, Coinbase also continues to let people go, this time dismissing 950 of its employees in an effort to optimize operational expenses.

Gemini and Genesis Sued Over Lending Program

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Genesis Trading and Gemini for a lending program that left participants unable to withdraw their assets. SEC chair, Gary Gensler, explained the decision by saying ‘Doing so best protects investors. It promotes trust in markets. It’s not optional. It’s the law.’

FTX Recovers Over $5B in Assets

A bankruptcy attorney revealed that FTX has managed to locate over $5 billion worth of assets including cash, crypto, and other liquid assets. The announcement substantially raises the total that FTX claims it holds, after claiming it held just over $1 billion in December. The total amount FTX owes its creditors however is still unclear, as it could be anywhere between $1-$10Bn.

Hong Kong Reaffirms Commitment to Crypto

Hong Kong’s Finance Secretary reaffirmed the state’s commitment to crypto at a Web3 summit in Cyberport. Paul Chan highlighted Hong Kong’s rigorous standards, stating as certain crypto exchanges collapsed one after another, Hong Kong became a quality standing point for digital asset corporates. He added that Hong Kong has a robust regulatory framework for crypto that matches international standards.

Binance Registers in Sweden

The world’s largest exchange, Binance, has been registered as a financial institution in Sweden. The registration allows Binance to launch a Swedish website and market itself directly to Swedish consumers. Richard Teng, Binance’s Head of Europe and MENA said, ‘Binance continues to demonstrate its commitment to work closely with regulatory agencies to uphold global standards.’

Miss World El Salvador Contestant Dresses in Bitcoin

El Salvador’s Miss Universe contestant surprised viewers by featuring Bitcoin as part of her national costume. The costume displayed various symbols representative of the Central American nation while featuring the cryptocurrency, which became legal tender in September 2021. The pageant’s commentator responded by saying, “You don’t need a sash to walk around dressed as cash.”

That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.