Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 2/19/24


All hell is loose for CZ…

It seems that way (for now).

  • That said, (it seems) the Senators at the Virginia Capitol think crypto (really) isn’t that important;
  • Celsius is doing the right thing;
  • FTX’s creditors have an axe to grind with the exchange’s bankruptcy lawyer;
  • And Denton, Texas, has fallen in love with cryptocurrency mining;
  • Who can blame them?

These are your decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin is in the Green at $52k

Bitcoin is revving up after reaching a $48,406.50 support to a $52,820.07 high. Currently, Bitcoin is at $52,322.56 (as of 2/19/24).

The Altcoins are also on the loose. Ethereum (ETH) is at $2,908.71, Solana (SOL) at $112.41, Avalanche (AVAX) at $40.06, Chainlink (LINK) at $19.85 and Polkadot (DOT) at $7.80.

A Court Delayed Changpeng Zhao’s Sentencing to April

Things continued to go sideways for Changpeng CZ Zhao, the former CEO of Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange, with the postponement of his sentencing from February 23 to April 30. A Federal Court in Seattle did not reveal reasons for the decision. CZ, a UAE resident, will spend two more months in the United States.

According to a February 16 Bloomberg report, Sullivan & Cromwell, a New York law firm, is set to become the independent monitor for Binance Holdings Ltd. 

Also, Binance announced it will delist Monero (XRM), a top privacy coin, from February 20. Aragon (ANT), Multichain (MULTI), and Vai (VAI) also got the axe.

Bitfinex Announced its Celo Token Listing

Bitfinex, Tether’s sister company, revealed in a February 13 blog post the listing of the carbon-negative smart contract capable Celo token on its exchange platform.

The CELO/USD and CELO/USDT tokens are now tradable based on available liquidity.

A Virginia State Senate Subcommittee Proposed an Unexpected Crypto Agency Budget

The Virginia State Senate Subcommittee on General Government of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee proposed a $17,192 yearly budget for its newly formed Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Commission. The new agency will receive the allocated funds for 2025 and 2026.

Earlier, the State Senate had unanimously passed a favorable cryptocurrency mining bill.

The SEC Charged VanEck Associates for Disclosure Issues

According to a February 16 press release, the SEC revealed charges against VanEck Associates, the global investment behemoth. The regulator indicated that VanEck failed to disclose information about a social media influencer’s involvement in the launch of its Spot Bitcoin ETF.

VanEck consented to a $1.7 million settlement and issued a cease and desist order.

In related news, in its ongoing DEBT Box legal drama, the crypto lender requested that a Federal Judge deny the SEC’s request to dismiss the case.

Additionally, in a letter, several trade groups, including the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Financial Services Forum, and the American Bankers Association, urged the SEC to alter accounting guidance that will make it expensive for banks to offer crypto custodial services.

Current rules require public firms to list crypto tokens in custody as liabilities on their corporate balance sheets.

Celsius Paid Creditors $2 Billion

According to a February 16 court filing, Celsius, the bankrupt (and reemerging) crypto lender, is on its way to paying $3 billion to its creditors. Already, Celsius has paid 20,255.66 Bitcoin (BTC) and 301,338.77 Ethereum (ETH) tokens to 171,672 creditors.

A Fed Board Governor Made Positive DeFi, Stablecoin, Dollar Comments

At an event on February 15 in the Bahamas, Fed Gov. Christopher Waller indicated that DeFi and stablecoins could contribute positively to the global hegemony of the greenback.

In a speech, Waller argued against assertions about the dollar’s demise. He alluded to the fact that stablecoins and DeFi projects are intricately linked. Additionally, Christopher indicated that 99% of minted stablecoins are dollar-backed.

Waller said, “So it is likely that any expansion of trading in the DeFi world will simply strengthen the dominant role of the dollar.”

FTX‘s Creditors Sued its Bankruptcy Lawyers

In a plot twist, Sullivan & Cromwell, the bankruptcy law firm for FTX, was sued by its creditors.

Also, the class action lawsuit focuses on the relationships members of the firm had with FTX before its demise. According to the lawsuit, Ryne Miller, former general counsel at FTX, left S&C to become its legal chief. 

Miller (allegedly) helped S&C get several engagements from FTX, including the Voyager Digital bid and the LedgerX acquisition. Also, the suit alleged that S&C represented Emergent Fidelity Technologies, an SPV used by FTX (and disgraced former CEO, SBF) to buy Robinhood stock.

The lawsuit also mentioned the $180 million-plus income gained from S&C’s activities with FTX.

A Texas Nonprofit Utility Firm Offered Sweetheart Deals to Crypto Miners

According to a February 16 Denton Record-Chronicle report, Denton Municipal Electric (DME), a nonprofit utility firm, is negotiating with several unnamed cryptocurrency mining companies (for leases).

The moves come after Core Scientific, a formerly bankrupt miner, (already) partnered with DME. The deals will (reportedly) give Denton a $4.8 million gain (approximately).