Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 1/8/24

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The new year revved up with everyone fired up and ready to go!

  • That said, SBF can breathe easily (for now)
  • ICE added options to its crypto feed
  • An off-regulatory Bitcoin product is coming (where exactly is Gary Gensler, anyone?)
  • Binance resurrected (well, sort of)
  • Plus, how many Bitcoins does the U.S. Government have? (read on to find out)

As always, these are your decentralized diaries!


Bitcoin Ranges at $44k

Bitcoin prices continued teetering on the breakout edge to a $45,207.45 high from a $43, 244.08 low. Right now, Bitcoin is at $44,830.09 (as of 1/8/24).

The Altcoins hover (the DeFi space is all over the place). Ethereum (ETH) is at $2,262.16, Solana (SOL) is at $94.03, Avalanche (AVAX) at $34.20, Polkadot (DOT) at $7.19, and Chainlink (LINK) at $13.58.

Coinbase Responded to Allegations from Senator Elizabeth Warren

Following a December 19, 2023, press release from Elizabeth Warren going after Coinbase and the crypto community, the crypto exchange decided to clap back.

Posting on “X” (formerly known as Twitter), Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, said, “We responded to Senator Warren’s letter accusing Coinbase of hiring national security veterans as a way to fight bipartisan legislation.”

Additionally, he highlighted the excellent Coinbase track record of eliminating criminal activity within its ecosystem. Shirzard indicated that the success recorded by Coinbase is because it hires former national security and law enforcement veterans.

Warren had accused Coinbase, the Blockchain Association, and others of attempts to influence legislation by hiring former security officials.

Prosecutors Forego Second Trial for SBF 

In a surprising turn of events, prosecutors disclosed that Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, will not face a second trial. Federal prosecutors indicated in a December 29, 2023, letter to the Manhattan Court that the swift resolution of the case and the avoidance of prolonged legal proceedings is critical. 

Additionally, prosecutors said that much of the evidence in the second case had already been presented in the first case. In related news, the current management indicated it had filed a dozen lawsuits (coming up this year) as part of ongoing efforts to recover funds (worth approximately $16 billion).

Also, the management indicated progress per settlement efforts. On December 19, 2023, the management announced a settlement with liquidators involving its Bahamas business unit (FTX Digital Markets). Progress on the move depends on the Bahamian Supreme Court and the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Debtors must choose payment proceedings in Q2, 2024, or they will face exclusion from the Chapter 11 proceedings.

Crypto ETF Applicants Submitted Final Filings and More

As the crypto community and the rest of the world wait with bated breaths for the final approvals of several Bitcoin ETF applications, players finalized and submitted their amendments. Grayscale, BlackRock, Fidelity, and other applicants submitted their 19b-4 filings.  

The SEC propelled applicants toward cash redemptions in late December. The move prompted a flurry of S-1 form amendments. In related news, on December 19, 2023, 7RCC, an ESG-focused crypto firm, applied for a Spot Bitcoin & Carbon Credit Futures ETF.

ICE Enabled Options on its Crypto Data Feed

ICE, the exchange behemoth, indicated that it added options data to its crypto offering. The Cryptocurrency Data Feed is available on the ICE Consolidated Feed. ICE partnered with Blockstream, a Canadian-based blockchain data firm, to launch the crypto feed in 2018.

Receipts Depositary Corporation (RDC) Unveiled its Bitcoin Offering

The Receipts Depositary Corporation (RDC) unveiled a new solution. Its Bitcoin depository receipts will soon be available to institutional investors in a few weeks.  Additionally, RDC execs indicated that the product is exempt from regulatory approval per the U.S. Securities Act of 1933.

The RDC co-founders previously worked for the Citi depository receipts team.

Digital Currency Group Paid $700 Million of Genesis $1 Billion Debt

Digital Currency Group, the digital asset behemoth, indicted the successful repayment of $700 million of short-term debts on behalf of Genesis, its bankrupt crypto lender and business unit. DCG made the move as part of efforts to settle over $1 billion in debts owed to creditors by Genesis.

Binance Bounced Back

Despite its ongoing face-off with American regulators, Binance continued last year to grow with better-than-expected numbers. According to its December 28, 2023, end-of-year report, its assets exceeded $1.2 billion with a 170 million plus user base.

Additionally, Binance had 40 million new users in 2023 and recently added several tokens, including privacy coins, to its monitoring list. The exchange included Firo (FIRO), Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Horizen (ZEN) on the list.

The U.S. Government Has 215,000 Bitcoins

According to a December 18, 2023, BanklessTimes.com report, the American Government has 215,000 Bitcoins in its custody (worth approximately over $9.6 billion as of 1/8/24). The Government acquired the Bitcoins via seizures over several years.