Top Stories This Week
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 firm’s 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. Singh’s plea follows a number of Sam Bankman-Fried’s close associates reportedly agreeing to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors in recent months.
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.
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 exchange’s 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.
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
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 Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
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.”
“As the world’s 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 bank’s 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
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 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 business’s 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.
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