Written by

Bendik Norheim Schei

Head of Research

Archived Articles

26 Aug 2022

The Friday Focus: Issue 48

Weekly happenings in the crypto industry (Aug 19th - Aug 26th)

Crypto lenders are making headlines as usual, with Celsius now saying it has enough cash to last through the end of the year. Simultaneously, it’s fighting Prime Trust to return $17 million and accusing an ex-employee of fraud. Voyager got approved to pay out bonuses to retain employees amidst its bankruptcy, and FTX can end up buying BlockFi for as little as $15 million. Three Arrows Capital liquidators secured a key court decision to gain more insight into the remaining assets of the collapsed fund. On a more positive note, we’re seeing increased rates from lenders as the demand for borrowing is slowly picking up.

On the other hand, not much positive was reported from the mining industry. BIT Mining seeks to reassure investors as NYSE threatens to delist the company. Argo slashes its hashrate growth estimate by 42% but looks to raise $25-35 million to reach the reduced target. The sanctioned bitcoin mining firm BitRiver is reportedly losing another client as the previously undisclosed SBI Holdings leaves. The Japanese bank SBI is at least the second big name to emerge as ceasing work with BitRiver after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Russian firm in April.

Weekly happenings in the crypto industry (Aug 19th - Aug 26th)

Crypto lenders are making headlines as usual, with Celsius now saying it has enough cash to last through the end of the year. Simultaneously, it’s fighting Prime Trust to return $17 million and accusing an ex-employee of fraud. Voyager got approved to pay out bonuses to retain employees amidst its bankruptcy, and FTX can end up buying BlockFi for as little as $15 million. Three Arrows Capital liquidators secured a key court decision to gain more insight into the remaining assets of the collapsed fund. On a more positive note, we’re seeing increased rates from lenders as the demand for borrowing is slowly picking up.

On the other hand, not much positive was reported from the mining industry. BIT Mining seeks to reassure investors as NYSE threatens to delist the company. Argo slashes its hashrate growth estimate by 42% but looks to raise $25-35 million to reach the reduced target. The sanctioned bitcoin mining firm BitRiver is reportedly losing another client as the previously undisclosed SBI Holdings leaves. The Japanese bank SBI is at least the second big name to emerge as ceasing work with BitRiver after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Russian firm in April.

Talking about U.S. regulation, lawmaker Emmer has asked the Treasury Department to explain the Tornado Cash Sanctions, and the FDIC has ordered FTX US and four others to correct misleading insurance claims immediately.

In other regulatory news, South Africa’s central bank greenlights financial institutions to serve crypto clients, Australia unveils plans for crypto regulations unlike “anywhere else in the world”, and Afghan authorities shut down 16 crypto exchanges in just one week.

Stablecoin issuer Tether pushes further for transparency as its new auditor BDO Italy confirms a 58% decline in commercial paper holdings. In addition, Tether says it’s not freezing Tornado Cash addresses until the government tells it to.

Crypto exchange FTX supposedly grew revenue by 1000% last year, according to leaked financials. Coinbase was hit with a $5 million lawsuit over exchange crashes and alleged securities violations. Moving east, reports claim that Samsung will launch a crypto exchange in South Korea, and Thailand’s oldest bank, SCB, is abandoning its $500 million deal to acquire crypto exchange Bitkub.

In the TradFi scene, the SEC once again delayed its decision on a bitcoin ETF application, crypto ATM company Bitcoin Depot seeks to go public at an $885 million valuation, and CBOE has named a cohort of trading heavyweights expected to be equity partners in its revamped cryptocurrency-facing division.

That’s it for now - until next time!

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