Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 6/28/23


This summer, the cryptospace seems set to party (not immediately, though).

The big guns are giving ETF applications another try with several hitting desks at the SEC.

That said, Binance.US’s customers can heave a sigh of relief (temporarily), and international financial institutions want to create CBDC networks.

Plus, the SBF and FTX drama continued.

These are the decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin Hit $31k, Rests at $30k Following Improved Stablecoin Exchange Flows

Bitcoin prices returned to bullish territory with a $31,137.69 high from a $26,668.79 low. As of 6/26/23, Bitcoin is at $30,242.59, with the new price levels indicating support, as institutional participation in the markets increased and stablecoin flows to centralized exchanges improved.

The Altcoins experienced some volatility with price jumps in the DeFi space.

Ethereum (ETH) is currently at $1,874.58, Polkadot (DOT) at $5.19, Solana at $16.64, and Avalanche (AVAX) at $13.41.

The Crypto Space Faced Increased Institutional Activity

Following BlackRock’s ETF announcement, things seem to be going in the right direction for the cryptospace, with increased interest from the big players.

Valkryie Investments, Bitwise Asset Management, and WisdomTree submitted ETF applications after previous denials by the SEC.

Although the SEC’s position per crypto is still unclear, things seem to be changing with the approval of the Volatility Shares 2x Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITX), which will launch this week.

In related news, Joseph Chalom, head of strategic ecosystem partnerships, indicated that the tokenization process might take a while. He reiterated that big players in the industry will play a critical role.

The Federal Reserve Chairman Made Positive Crypto Comments on Capitol Hill

Jerome Powell, the Fed Chairman, alluded to crypto’s “staying power” during a monetary policy congressional hearing.

Powell also indicated that the Fed sees ” stablecoins as a form of money”.

In related news, Caitlin Long, founder, and CEO of Custodia Bank accused the Fed and other regulators of a biased approach towards the crypto space that strongly favors institutions.

BitGo Cancelled Prime Trust Acquisition Plans, Nevada Regulator Ordered the Suspension of Operations

Barely two weeks after indicating interest in acquiring Prime Trust crypto custody firm, BitGo halted plans.

Following indications of insolvency, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division ordered the crypto trust company to suspend operations.

In related news, the TrueUSD stablecoin team indicated that it wasn’t affected by the ongoing situation after previously halting minting via Prime Trust.

Brian Armstrong Unveiled “Super App” Plans for Coinbase

Coinbase CEO at the “State of Crypto Summit” revealed his ultimate vision for the cryptocurrency exchange, indicating that it might become a “Super App” citing similar Asian success stories.

In related news, the Supreme Court ruled in Coinbase’s favor in two lawsuits brought against the exchange by former users. The apex court requested that district courts drop the lawsuits and that involved parties engage via arbitration to iron out differences.

Coinbase also integrated support for the USDC stablecoin on the Stellar blockchain,

Tether Integrated Kava, for Cosmos Native USDT Tokens

Tether revealed its integration with the Kava DeFi ecosystem for the Cosmos blockchain onramp.

Cosmos ecosystem users will use native USDT tokens via Kava, the blockchain’s first DeFi platform, come mid-July.

Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s CTO, also indicated that the stablecoin wasn’t in competition with the traditional banking system.

Ardoino reiterated that the USDT token enabled greenback adoption for underserved communities who don’t have access to dollar accounts.

In related news, Tether announced a 100,000 USDT public grant in support of Qubes OS, a security-oriented open-source operating system.

The BIS and IMF Unveiled CBDC Blueprints

No love was lost between international finance organizations and the cryptospace per CBDCs with the unveiling of plans and blueprints by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

An early release of the BIS’s annual report envisions a “Unified Ledger”, that allows cross-border settlements and transfers via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that talk to each other, which is not the case in the current system, which requires layers of infrastructure for communication.

The IMF’s version envisions several uses, including domestic and international token transfers and asset tokenization. The fund also indicated that blanket crypto bans were unworkable.

In related news, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) noted poor adherence to crypto travel and compliance rules introduced in June 2019 and updated on June 2022.

FTX Sued Hollywood “Networker”, Aimed for $700 Million Clawback

The FTX rabbit hole got deeper with revelations that the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange filed a complaint with a U.S Court, seeking to retrieve $700 million paid by former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to K5 Global and Michael Kives, its co-founder for access to Kive’s network of high net worth individuals and power brokers.

Kives is a former Hollywood casting agent and aide to Senator Hillary Clinton (D).

In related news, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan 4th District), Chairman of the United States House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee criticized the SEC for sharing minimal information in documents about SBF’s arrest.

Similarly, in what seems like a sign of things to come, an FTX creditor tokenized a $31,307 claim as collateral for a $7,500 loan on the Arcade DeFi platform.

Binance.US Enabled Temporary Withdrawal Measures

Following its suspension of withdrawals, the American arm of popular crypto exchange Binance informed its customers of the resumption of withdrawals and noted that the solution may not last.

The exchange also advised users to convert their holdings to stablecoins, citing crypto-only operational plans.

Binance.US’s market share dipped to 1.6%, from 8% at the start of the year, with looming issues with the SEC hovering in the shadows.