Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 6/11/24

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The industry settled in with ongoing legislative discourses at the fore. However, things are far from settled, with the November elections looming over everything. That said, increased institutional participation showed signs of improved adoption.

The headlines:

  • Binance is moving on past Changpeng Zhao;
  • Tokenization was a hot topic at the Capitol;
  • Family offices are not (yet) sure of what to do with crypto;
  • Legal actions continued in full force;
  • FTX wants to preserve its capital base to pay investors;
  • And much more!

As always, these are your decentralized diaries!


Bitcoin Has a Support Level at $69k

From a $68,507.26 low, Bitcoin prices are (currently) at $69,968.89 (as of 6/10/24), down from a $71,907.85 high. Its dominance is up at 54.1%.

The altcoins are (also) in the green. Ethereum (ETH) is at $3,693.59, Solana (SOL) at $161.57, Avalanche (AVAX) at $32.89, Polkadot (DOT) at $6.54 and Chainlink (LINK) at $16.08.

Binance Re-enabled its Mastercard Crypto Purchase Option

In a June 6 post on its X (formerly Twitter) handle, premier exchange Binance announced the reinstatement of crypto purchases via Mastercard. The limit is $20,000 for US residents and €5,000 for those in the European Union.

In related news, Binance revealed the delisting of three tokens: NEM (XEM), Wrapped NXM (WNXM), and OMG Network (OMG). Additionally, users must withdraw their holdings on September 17.

The Tokenization Debate Reached Capitol Hill

Tokenization (again) came to the fore. Proponents and opponents aired their views (this time) on Capitol Hill at a June 5 House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets hearing. On one side of the argument, Nadine Chakar, the Managing Director and Global Head of DTCC Digital Assets highlighted the benefits of tokenization and the firm’s role in the process.

On the other hand, American University Washington College of Law Professor Hilary Allen underscored the fragility of public blockchains. She also iterated that public blockchains could be more efficient and handle high transaction volumes.

BNY Mellon: Family Offices Have Mixed Reactions to Crypto Investments

According to a recently released BNY Mellon report, family offices are (split) between crypto enthusiasm and hesitancy. 39% of surveyed family offices are either interested in investing in the industry or have (already) invested.

Furthermore, 74% cited regulatory issues as a roadblock to making an investment decision, with 80% of those outside America highlighting the factor.

Bakkt Unveiled Crypto ECN Launch Plans

Boutique crypto infrastructure firm Bakkt partnered with Crossover Markets to launch BakktX, its Electronic Communication Network (ECN) for institutions. Furthermore, BakktX will leverage Crossover’s infrastructure to provide institutional bespoke services to clients and professional traders with tailored services.

According to a June 7 Bloomberg report, NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is (reportedly) considering the sale or break up of Bakkt. ICE also (reportedly) hired a financial advisor to help with the decision.

The exchange operator has yet to make a decision.

FTX Pushed Back Against Ongoing Lawsuits

Amid repayment plans, bankrupt crypto exchange FTX urged a federal Judge to halt all ongoing legal actions against itself, former insiders, and VC firms. According to a June 4 Reuters report, several class action lawsuits challenge the former insiders and VC firms.

FTX asked the Miami Court to stop the lawsuits, arguing that their outcomes could hamper recovery and repayment efforts. Also, FTX settled its tax issues with the IRS, agreeing to pay $885 million instead of the $24 billion the taxman sought.

Core Scientific Rejected CoreWeave‘s $1 Billion Acquisition Proposal

Premier crypto miner Core Scientific rejected a $1 billion acquisition proposal from CoreWeave on June 3. CoreWeave’s buyout proposal valued the firm at $1.02 billion or $5.75 per share (in cash). Core Scientific’s board of directors rejected the offer. Both companies signed 12-year parallel agreements on the same day.

New York’s Attorney General Sued Two Crypto Firms

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a lawsuit against mining firm AWS Mining and crypto exchange NovaTech for their (alleged) role in a $1 billion pyramid scheme.

According to a June 6 press release, the AG alleged that the firms defrauded hundreds of thousands of investors, including 11,000 New York residents. She accused the firms of offering high returns to victims via social media platforms and WhatsApp messages.

Additionally, an investigation revealed that only $26 million of the $1 billion (allegedly) collected was traded on the NovaTech platform. The duo and their founders reportedly made weekly payments to victims to hide the scheme’s true nature. Things fell apart in 2023.

The New York AG also opposed a motion to dismiss charges in its ongoing legal battle with Digital Currency Group, its founder Barry Silbert, and former Genesis CEO Soichiro Moro.

Gensler-Crypto Exchange Disclosures are Not Enough

SEC Chair Gary Gensler hinted that disclosures by crypto exchanges won’t shield them from enforcement actions. In a June 5 CNBC interview, Gensler iterated that crypto exchanges’ disclosures do not provide immunity from enforcement actions. He hinted at previous reckless behavior from industry actors as a whole.

The SEC is closing its Salt Lake Regional Office (SLRO). The move follows its defeat in a lawsuit against Debt Box. In May, a Federal Judge ordered the regulator to pay over $1.8 million.

Consequently, the SEC’s Denver Regional Office will oversee the shuttered jurisdiction.