Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 8/28/23


Is the cryptospace a dark place with no scruples?

A former SEC chairman seems to think so.

That said, an analyst at J.P. Morgan thinks the worst of the current “crypto winter” is behind us.

Shopify entered the space with a Solana-based USDC integration.

SBFs’ troubles continued.

Plus, everyone should watch out for wallet address accuracy when making payments.

The DEA fell for a big one a few months ago (read on to find out).

These are your decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin Remains Bearish at $26k, Altcoins Continue to Slide Sideways

The markets continued their movements in the gray with a slight upward shift to a $26,786.90 high and a drop to a $25,786.81 low. As of 08/28/23, Bitcoin prices are currently at $26,106.54.

As for the altcoins, Ethereum (ETH) is currently at $1,650.54, Solana (SOL) at $20.56, Polkadot (DOT) at $4.53 and Avalanche (AVAX) at $10.23.

Ex-SEC Boss Warned Against Crypto Risks

John Reed, Stark, the former chairman of the SEC, warned in a social media post about the risks and dangers of the crypto market.

Stark indicated the slim margins of approvals for the recent Bitcoin ETF applications.

He also asserted that the crypto markets lacked transparency and adequate fundamentals.

J.P. Morgan: Worst of Bitcoin’s Price Reversal is Largely Over

Per media reports, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, a managing director with J.P. Morgan, indicated that the worst of the current Bitcoin price correction is behind the markets.

Panigirtzoglou allegedly said in the research note that recent regulatory interventions caused selloffs.

He also iterated in the report that the end of the bear phase in the near term is possible based on open interest from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Shopify USDC Payments Are Available on the Solana Blockchain

Shopify’s customers can now make payments in the USDC stablecoin following Shopify’s “Solana Pay” integration.

Customers can now pay merchants in real-time with connected wallets.

Judge Approved “Limited” Visitation Periods for Sam-Bankman Fried

Judge Lewis Kaplan granted meetings between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. following a request for weekday releases for legal consultations by Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

Aditya Bharadwaj, a former engineer at the FTX-linked Alameda Research, chronicled SBF’s rise and fall in a series of posts on “X” (formerly known as Twitter).

The bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange has had more than its fair share of troubles.

FTX had to suspend users from its claims portal following a cybersecurity breach at Kroll, the financial and risk advisory firm.

The incident also affected BlockFi and Genesis, other troubled digital asset entities.

A recent filing by FTX’s current management shows Galaxy Digital’s selection as asset manager.

Binance.US Partnered with MoonPay

Binance.US, the American arm of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, revealed a collaboration with a crypto-friendly payment ecosystem (MoonPay).

Users can purchase USDT tokens via several options, including cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

In related news, Binance global CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao refuted allegations of manipulation of the BNB native token following reports of the dumping of Binance’s Bitcoin reserves.

Binance also started internal investigations of low-capitalized altcoin projects to check price manipulation and “market-making” activities.

Western Union Announced XRP’s Integration

Things seem to be going smoothly for the XRP token and its parent company, Ripple Labs.

Western Union, the payments behemoth, announced integration with Ripple’s blockchain to enable faster payments.

Hikmet Ersek, Western Union’s CEO, revealed this during an earnings call.

The integration involves the deployment of xRapid, a tool developed by Ripple Labs to enhance payments and liquidity for financial institutions.

ARK Invest Applied for an Ethereum ETF

The Cathie Wood-backed ARK Invest continued to plow on with the filing of an Ethereum ETF application despite the SEC’s decision to delay its Bitcoin counterpart.

The application lists ETP behemoth 21 Shares as an adviser.

Grayscale Bitcoin ETF Suit Decision to be Expected This Week

Following a delay from the D.C. Court of Appeals, the ongoing legal tussle between crypto asset manager Grayscale and the SEC could reach another phase.

Grayscale sued the regulator after it refused to convert the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust” to an ETF last year.

Tether’s Transparency Report Showed $3.3 Billion “Liquidity Cushion”

According to the recently released transparency report by Tether, the USDT stablecoin issuer, $3.29 billion (approximately) is available in reserves.

The report showed $86.1 billion in assets, with $82.8 billion in total liabilities.

Coinbase Announced the Suspension of Six Tokens in September

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, announced the suspension of trading of six tokens. They include Voyager (VGX), Ooki (OOKI), BarnBridge (BOND), Multichain (MULTI), DerivaDAO (DDX) and Jupiter (JUP) tokens.

The exchange indicated the delisting will occur on September 7th, 2023.

Coinbase also revealed a partnership with Coinrule, an automated trading platform, and an equity stake acquisition in stablecoin issuer Circle as part of efforts to improve the adoption of the USDC stablecoin.

The cryptocurrency exchange acquired the stake for an undisclosed sum.

The move signaled the closure of the “Centre Consortium”, a joint self-regulatory effort for the stablecoin.

The USDC will be available on six new blockchains in the fall.

A Scammer Cheated the DEA of $50,000 in USDT Tokens

Media reports emerged of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) mistakenly sending $50,000 in USDT stablecoin tokens to a scammer in May.

The incident followed the seizure of $500,000 in USDT tokens. The DEA had intended to transfer the tokens to the U.S. Marshall for safekeeping.

The scammer noted a $45.36 test transfer and generated an address that resembled the Marshall’s.

Officials received an unnamed token in what seemed like a refund and mistakenly sent the USDT tokens.

Recovery has been difficult because of the fast conversion of the tokens to Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Investigations are still ongoing.