Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 1/15/24


The cryptospace finally has its day in the sun with the SEC approving all 11 applications (well, mostly).

  • That said, hackers are getting bolder with trickier attempts
  • The CFTC dug into DeFi
  • There are new opportunities for the PYUSD, PayPal’s stablecoin

These are your decentralized diaries!

If you’re wondering why we didn’t cover the ETF approval stories in this column, you will find the news here and throughout our other columns (so much is happening in the cryptospace right now).

Bitcoin Cooled Down at $42k

Things cooled down after the SEC Bitcoin ETF approvals, with Bitcoin prices hitting a $48,969.37 high and falling to a $41,705.42 low. Currently, Bitcoin is at $42,224.51 (as of 1/15/24).

The Altcoins are channeling too. Ethereum (ETH) is currently at $2,508.15, Solana (SOL) at $93.38, Avalanche (AVAX) at $35.33, Polkadot (DOT) at $7.41 and Chainlink (LINK) at $15.25.

Breaking: Bitfinex Prevents $15 Billion Fake Transaction Hack

Paolo Ardoino, the CEO at Bitfinex, just revealed the prevention of a $15 billion hacking attempt involving approximately 25.6 billion XRRP tokens. The hacker intended to move the amount in a fake transaction to trick the cryptocurrency exchange. The attack method, known as the “partial payments exploit” failed.

There are approximately 54 billion XRP tokens in circulation.

BitPay Added Support for Over 100 New Cryptocurrencies

BitPay, the premier crypto payment firm, announced support for over 100 cryptocurrencies. In a January 10th announcement, BitPay indicated the addition of several tokens, including active community-based ones like Binance Coin (BNB), Uniswap (UNI), Chainlink (LINK), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and more.

Additionally, BitPay revealed invoice upgrades. They include app and Web 3.0 wallet integrations, asset and balance detection capabilities, and an intuitive user interface.

The SEC Requested for Financial Statements from Ripple Labs

Ripple’s ongoing legal tussle with the SEC continued, with the regulator requesting the crypto firm’s 2022/2023 financial statements.

In a letter to Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, the SEC went beyond the request and asked that Ripple Labs answer additional questions about institutional sales of its XRP token.

A CFTC Report Took a Deep DeFi Dive

The Technical Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) voted 14-1 on January 8 to adopt the regulator’s 79-page DeFi report.

The report covered nine yards per DeFi, including DeFi, definitions, features and characteristics, peer review mechanism considerations (per policy), and solutions to money laundering and terrorism funding issues. Christy Goldsmith, a CFTC Commissioner and Technical Advisory Committee sponsor, indicated that the regulator would keep coming after DeFi projects.

OpenSea Unveiled Email Wallet Creation Functionality

OpenSea, the leading Web 3.0 NFT marketplace, launched a new feature that allows anyone with an email address to have a wallet within its ecosystem. Users can use the wallet to store NFTs and other digital assets.

Additionally, the wallet is similar to others in operation, like MetaMask and Trust Wallet.

An Aave Community Vote Approved PayPal’s Stablecoin Integration

On January 11, Aave, a DeFi lending ecosystem, voted on a community proposal to integrate the PYUSD, PayPal’s stablecoin.

The governance vote ended with 99.98% (approximately) approving the move. Trident Digital, a prominent digital asset firm, introduced the proposal on December 18th, 2023.

Celsius Network Went After Creditors

In a twist of fate, Celsius Network, the bankrupt crypto lending platform, turned on its heels. This time, the targets are customers who withdrew digital assets 90 days before its July 12th, 2022 bankruptcy declaration.

According to a January 9 filing, customers who withdrew over $100,000 within the period could face legal issues.

Additionally, the bankruptcy managers indicated that the customers either settle their claims or get a court order to avoid liability.

In related news, data from Arkham Intelligence, a premier blockchain data platform, shows the movement of tokens worth approximately $125 million to crypto exchanges as part of ongoing repayment efforts between January 8 and 12.

Vitalik Buterin Pushed to Increase the Ethereum Gas Limit by 33%

During a January 10 Reddit AMA session by the Ethereum Foundation research team, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the blockchain, called for a gas price increase to 40 million from the current 30 million units.

Buterin also indicated that the last gas limit increase occurred almost three years ago.

Genesis Creditors Disputed DCG‘s $700 Million Repayment Claims

Genesis, the bankrupt cryptocurrency brokerage’s battles may be far from over. Counterclaims from a creditor group emerged, challenging DCG’s claims of loan repayments.

The disagreement hovers around the methods of payment. Creditors assert that the partial repayment agreement only allows for Bitcoin and US Dollars to be used. Shares from the Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE) and the Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust (ETCG) were part of DCG’s payment methods.

In related news, Genesis Global Trading, Inc. settled with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) with an $8 million penalty and loss of its Bitlicense on January 12th.

Previously, an NYDFS investigation found evidence of weaknesses in its AML and cybersecurity programs. Also, Genesis Global Trading was not part of the Gemini Earn program.