25 Nov 2022

The Friday Focus: Issue 61

Details surrounding the FTX collapse seem to have reached a temporary plateau, with little new insight coming over the past week. Still, FTX largely dominates headlines directly or indirectly.
The Friday Focus SVG
Top storiesLet’s start with the news surrounding FTX first. FTX’s first bankruptcy hearing started this week. On the first day, FTX lawyers shared that they had agreed with Bahamas FTX liquidators to transfer the bankruptcy case to Delaware. Amid uncertainty on the legal fallout, a US senator pleads the FTX executives must be held accountable to the ‘fullest extent of the law.’ In more sensationalist FTX news, a leaked internal SBF letter apologizing to the FTX employees surfaced, and the rogue FTX funds were converted to bitcoin. With Sam Bankman-Fried out of the way, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) continues to play the crypto industry’s knight in shining armor. Binance allocates another $1B for its crypto recovery fund, Binance US will fill the void left by FTX in US politics with a new campaign PAC, and CZ confirms Binance will bid for crypto lender Voyager. CZ also took a twitter-stab at rivals Coinbase and Grayscale but later backtracked on the comments. The uncertainty is tense in the crypto industry following the FTX collapse. Genesis confirms hiring investment bank Moelis to help with the difficult situation. Bitcoin trustee Osprey publishes proof-of-reserves while the BTC trust mammoth Grayscale won’t. US senators ask Fidelity to reconsider bitcoin 401(k) offerings following the FTX collapse, and Wall Street banks are not looking to save struggling crypto firms. Despite the inopportune timing, crypto lender Matrixport looks to raise $100M at a $1.5B Valuation. And Ethereum developers have agreed on what could be included in the next upgrade – but not when. The policy news this week highlights the differing views on crypto and the difficulty of applying current regulations to the industry. The state of New York imposes a ban on mining, while El Salvador proposes a new bill to pave way for their bitcoin bonds. In the EU, Belgium says BTC, ETH, and other decentralized coins are not securities. In the neighboring Netherlands, Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev will remain in criminal custody, and disgraced crypto exchange Hodlnaut is put under investigation in Singapore. CBDC talks are ramping up. Bank of Japan is planning CBDC experiments with major banks, while the UK may need a digital pound, according to the Bank of England. And that’s all for this week. Until next time!
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