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Crypto: Terraform Labs Files for Bankruptcy, MetaMask and Consensys Stake Introduce ETH Staking, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
January 22 2024 11:49AM

Crypto market volatility causes $138 million liquidation in 24 hours

The crypto market starts the week with significant losses, highlighted by the sharp falls of Solana (COIN:SOLUSD), Ripple (COIN:XRPUSD), and Cardano (COIN:ADAUSD). Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), having lost the crucial support level of $41,000, affected other cryptocurrencies, resulting in over $138 million in liquidations, mainly of long positions, in the last 24 hours.

The selling pressure on Bitcoin is partly attributed to the sales of Grayscale’s GBTC ETF (AMEX:GBTC), while other Bitcoin ETFs, such as those from BlackRock (NASDAQ:IBIT) and Fidelity (AMEX:FBTC), show buying signals with net inflows of over $1 billion. The new Bitcoin ETFs, dubbed the “Newborn Nine,” have accumulated 95,000 BTC, reaching nearly $4 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Despite Bitcoin’s volatility, the positive performance of these ETFs suggests a preference of investors for regulated products, in contrast to the outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. Following the conversion of its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF, Grayscale Investments sold Bitcoin, sparking debates about its future price impact. The sale occurred due to investors migrating to ETFs with lower fees and withdrawals by some investors. Experts are divided: while Chris J. Terry predicts stability or a fall in Bitcoin’s price, Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital expects stabilization in six months, with flows into other Bitcoin funds.

Hong Kong prepares to launch first spot crypto ETFs in 2024

Gary Tiu of OSL anticipates that Hong Kong may launch its first spot crypto ETFs by mid-this year, with five to ten companies considering such a launch. Discussions include concerns about fees and integration with traditional financial institutions. HashKey and Venture Smart Financial Holdings also plan similar launches. Hong Kong regulators have revised policies to facilitate spot crypto ETFs, focusing on investor protection and the use of licensed platforms.

Terraform Labs declares bankruptcy following devaluation of stablecoin USTC

Terraform Labs, creator of the stablecoin USTC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware amid legal disputes, including actions by the SEC. The company maintains the ability to meet financial commitments and has assets and liabilities between $100 and $500 million. With cofounders and major entities among the creditors, CEO Chris Amani sees the bankruptcy as a measure to resolve legal issues and focus on ecosystem development. Terra tokens, including USTC (COIN:USTCUSD) and LUNC (COIN:LUNCUSD), experienced significant declines.

B. Riley under investigation in the US for dealings with Brian Kahn

The investment bank B. Riley (NASDAQ:RILY) is being investigated for its relations with Brian Kahn, a suspect in a criminal case of the US Department of Justice. The firm denies knowledge of the SEC’s investigation but promises full cooperation. B. Riley has invested in the Bitcoin mining sector, including deals with Iris Energy (NASDAQ:IREN) and Core Scientific (USOTC:CORZQ). A Bloomberg report suggests close ties between B. Riley and Kahn, citing Nomura’s involvement in financing Kahn’s acquisition, but clarifies that Nomura is not a target of the investigation.

Binance Labs persists with 25 new investments in 2023 despite regulatory challenges

In 2023, Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of Binance, made 25 new investments, focusing on DeFi, Web3 games, and infrastructure, despite challenges in the crypto market and loss of confidence in centralized entities. It invested in Radiant Capital, allocated $5 million in CRV for integration with the BNB Chain, $10 million in the Helio Protocol, $15 million in Xterioled, and in GOMBLE. It also invested in the Arkham Token. Despite a fine of $4.3 billion and leadership changes, Binance Labs continues to expand its investments.

Speculative surge in Dogecoin and Floki due to adoption expectations in X

Dogecoin (COIN:DOGEUSD) and Floki (COIN:FLOKIUST) recorded an increase of up to 12% before retracting, driven by speculation of adoption in the social app X. The trading volume of these tokens grew 200% over the weekend, and the futures contracts rose to a cumulative value of $430 million. Speculation revolves around the use of DOGE for payments and advertising in X, similar to Tesla’s payment initiatives with DOGE. There is no official confirmation yet on the adoption of DOGE as a payment option in X.

Ondo Finance expands to Asia-Pacific, broadening the market for tokenized securities

Ondo Finance, a leading company in tokenized securities, has opened its first office in the Asia-Pacific region. Holding 40% of the global market, Ondo offers tokenized products like OUSG, OMMF, and USDY, providing exposure to US financial assets. Nathan Allman, CEO of Ondo, highlights the growth of the crypto community in Asia-Pacific and the appreciation for high-quality US assets. Ashwin Khosa, formerly of Tether and Bitfinex, has been appointed vice president of business development in the region.

MetaMask and Consensys Stake launch Ethereum staking service for users

MetaMask, a renowned crypto wallet, is collaborating with Consensys Stake to enable users to stake 32 eth, about $80,000, to run validator nodes on the Ethereum network, now based on post-‘The Merge’ proof of stake. The partnership does not require pooling or specific hardware/software, and Consensys Staking already operates about 4% of the total eth staked. MetaMask promises about 4% annual yield, with a 10% fee, and offers pooled staking options with Lido and RocketPool.

Increase in trading of Trump collections and DeSantis support for crypto

The trading volume of Trump Series 1 increased by 248%, reaching $90,000, while his other collections suffered declines. The minimum price of these collections fell by 4%. Meanwhile, DeSantis suspended his candidacy, supporting Trump, citing the preference of Republican voters. He defends Bitcoin’s (COIN:BTCUSD) rights and opposes Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).