Goldman Sachs buying crypto firms, FTX news, 3AC and Celsius updates: Hodler’s Digest Dec.
Top Stories This Week
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been named in seven class action lawsuits filed since the fall of his crypto empire. These lawsuits, however, are separate from the numerous probes and investigations examining the crypto exchange and its founder, including a reported market manipulation probe by federal prosecutors. Another headline shows the United States House of Representatives has called on SBF to speak at a hearing on Dec. 13. Amid investigations by lawmakers and a flurry of civil litigation, SBF hired former federal prosecutor Mark Cohen to act as his defense attorney. A team of financial forensic investigators was also hired by FTX’s new management to track down the billions of dollars worth of missing customer crypto.
An order signed by a federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings of Three Arrows Capital has authorized subpoenas for the company’s former leadership, including co-founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies. Under the authorized subpoenas, Zhu and Davies are required to hand over any “recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers” related to the firm’s financial affairs or property. The founders will not be served on Twitter, as previously required by the advisory firm and liquidator in this case, Teneo.
Stablecoin issuer Circle will not merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Concord Acquisition due to a mutual decision by the two entities. Circle’s original plans, unveiled in July 2021, included going public via a merger with Concord. Between then and February 2022, Circle’s valuation grew from $4.5 billion to $9 billion. Circle still plans to go public at some point, however, according to comments from CEO Jeremy Allaire. The company had a profitable third quarter for 2022 amid the backdrop of the crypto bear market.
Bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius has been ordered to give back roughly $44 million to customers who kept their digital assets on the platform’s custody accounts. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn issued the ruling, expressing his wishes for a speedy resolution for creditors. The crypto return falls under certain specifications, only applying to assets that never interacted with Celsius’ Earn product and stayed in custody accounts.
Goldman Sachs wants to invest millions in crypto firms as the FTX meltdown has affected crypto market prices. Mathew McDermott, an executive at Goldman Sachs, said in a recent interview that big banks are seeing opportunities that are “priced more sensibly” and are already doing due diligence on some crypto companies. The FTX collapse also highlighted the need for more regulation within the industry, according to the executive.
Winners and Losers
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Axie Infinity (AXS) at 14.67%, EOS (EOS) at 9.38%, and Trust Wallet Token (TWT) at 7.83%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are 1inch Network (1INCH) at -12.41%, Chiliz (CHZ) at -11.13% and Helium (HNT) at -10.35%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“When you’re looking at countries like Iran and North Korea, from a U.S. perspective, crypto has in fact been comprehensively sanctioned.”
“Greed cannot be regulated.”
“I do not think the FTX collapse will spill into the real economy.”
“Stablecoins and CBDCs may coexist in some way in the future, depending on how restricted the regulations would be on stablecoins and the adoption rate of CBDCs.”
“It is kind of a no-brainer for Twitter to have payments, both fiat and crypto.”
“If the SEC had done the due diligence of thoroughly investigating the financials of FTX, there would have been a greater likelihood of exposing the crypto exchange for what it truly is: a house of car[d]s built on monopoly money printed out of thin air.”
Prediction of the Week
Bitcoin largely traded between $16,800 and $17,400 this week, showing some support around the $16,800 level, according to Cointelegraph’s BTC price index.
“We’re probably entering the final phase of the bear,” pseudonymous Twitter commentator Byzantine General said on Dec. 7 after noting declining Bitcoin perpetual futures trading volume and other points. “But that last phase can last pretty long,” he added. His tweets on the subject included accompanying charts.
FUD of the Week
In another setback for the crypto industry in Russia, the central bank is proposing to ban local miners from selling coins to the country’s population. The news comes just weeks after the Central Bank of the Russian Federation supported the idea of legalizing cryptocurrency mining in Russia through a draft bill introduced in mid-November 2022. Crypto sales, however, should be allowed only on foreign exchanges and to non-residents, according to the country’s central bank.
Nigeria has lowered the limits for cash withdrawals via banks and ATMs in another step to its transition to digital money systems. Citizens will only be able to withdraw $225 worth of nairas in cash each week total. Anything above those limits at banks would incur a fee. The country had prior restrictions in terms of cash withdrawals, but the limit was $338 daily per person. Since the launch of its central bank digital currency in 2021, Nigeria has seen minimal usage of the asset in the country.
Iran set to freeze bank accounts of women who refuse to wear a hijab
Iranian officials plan to financially penalize women who do not wear a hijab in public. Individuals who refuse to comply with two warnings could have their bank accounts frozen, lawmakers said on Dec. 6. Hossein Jalali, a member of the Cultural Commission of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, told Iranian media that “unveiled persons” would receive an SMS message advising them to observe the law, before entering a “warning phase” and having their bank accounts potentially frozen.
Best Cointelegraph Features
“An NFT of a diploma in your crypto wallet, for instance, would turn into a permanent academic certification.”
South Koreans are obsessed with technology. More than half the population plays video games, and crypto adoption is high — both of which are very promising signs that its plan to dominate the Metaverse will succeed.
Decentralized file-sharing services that Big Tech companies can’t control are the only way internet users will be able to maintain their freedom in the years ahead.
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