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Crypto: SBF Sentenced to 25 Years, DOGE and BCH Surge on Thursday, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
March 28 2024 2:14PM

Sam Bankman-Fried receives 25 years in high-profile trial

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, a verdict delivered by a court packed with spectators, marking a critical moment in the legal examination of the cryptocurrency sector. To be released at age 57, his conviction highlights the complexities and risks of the digital asset market. Wearing prison garb, he faced the decision of Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who weighed the pre-sentence report and disputes, reflecting the seriousness of his actions. This event, witnessed by an audience consisting of prosecutors, defenders, and an FBI agent, culminates a case of significant public interest and from the crypto community, emphasizing the substantial financial losses of investors, creditors, and customers, and dismissing the defense’s arguments about the amount of the losses. The decision not only underlines the magnitude of the fraud but also its devastating impact on the victims, including the harsh reality of suicides linked to the fall of FTX, bringing to light the need for greater accountability in the digital financial universe.

High demand in the sale of Solana from FTX’s property

The liquidation of 41 million Solana tokens (COIN:SOLUSD), valued at $7.5 billion, by the bankrupt FTX’s estate attracted significant interest. Galaxy Asset Management was selected to manage the sales efficiently in September 2023. Neptune Digital announced the acquisition of part of the tokens, with unlockings scheduled until 2028. Other participants like Galaxy Trading and FalconX are raising funds for bids, while Pantera and Phoenix also showed interest in acquiring the locked tokens.

MicroStrategy’s shares fall after Kerrisdale report

Shares of MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) plunged up to 14% during Thursday’s trading after Kerrisdale Capital, known for its short-selling operations, released a report betting against the company while it invests in Bitcoin. The report criticizes the excessive valuation of the shares compared to the actual value of the Bitcoin held by MicroStrategy, highlighting that the company holds more than 1% of all Bitcoins and questioning the sustainability of its cryptocurrency-based business model, especially now that Bitcoin is more accessible through ETPs and ETFs.

IBIT reaches new milestone while ARKB sees record entries on Wednesday

On Wednesday, the BlackRock Spot ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) surpassed 250,000 BTC in assets, reaching $17.7 billion in value just 11 weeks after its launch. This growth was driven by an addition of 4,702 BTC in a single day. Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, highlighted the unprecedented speed of this growth. Concurrently, the Fidelity ETF (AMEX:FBTC) surpassed $10 billion in assets, solidifying its position in the Bitcoin ETF market, while ARK Invest 21Shares (AMEX:ARKB) recorded record entries of $200 million. On the other hand, Grayscale’s higher-fee fund (AMEX:GBTC) continued its streak of substantial outflows, losing an additional $299.8 million to reach $14.7 billion in total outflows.

Bitcoin and gold shine in the first quarter of 2024

In early 2024, Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and gold posted significant gains, with Bitcoin increasing over 60% to more than $70,000 and gold rising over 7% to more than $2,200. Both assets approached their all-time highs, with a notable correlation of 0.88, indicating a growing perception of both as safe havens for investors. The recent influx of capital into gold ETFs, inspired by the success of Bitcoin ETFs, reflects a realignment of investments towards safe-haven assets.

Record expiry of Bitcoin contracts before halving

After a week of volatility, Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) rose 1.75% in the last 24 hours, fluctuating around $70,672, with the market awaiting the expiry of significant options. Meanwhile, other major tokens like XRP and BNB saw slight gains, SOL records a slight drop. ICP (COIN:ICPUSD) records a drop of -3.2% at the time of writing while DOGE and BCH are up about 15% and 5.3%, respectively. There is an expectation of correction if Bitcoin falls below $69,000, according to Fernando Pereira, analyst at Bitget: “BTC continues in its attempt for a weekly close, which will happen in 4 days, above 69 thousand dollars for the first time in its history. This close would mean a likely break of this resistance and continuation of upward movement, but if it fails, a ‘bull trap’ is very likely and further falls could occur before the halving.”

About $15 billion in Bitcoin futures contracts are set to expire on major exchanges, including CME and Binance, marking one of the largest expiries before the imminent BTC halving. At Derebit, this expiry constitutes almost 40% of its total contracts, highlighting unprecedented institutional interest and robust liquidity in the BTC market. Compared to the last halving in 2020, the current volume of open contracts signals a more mature and institutionalized Bitcoin market, especially with the introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Ethereum validator expansion raises capacity concerns

Following the Shapella update, Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) saw a 74% jump in the number of validators, raising questions about technical capacity and centralization risks, according to Fidelity Digital Assets. The possibility of withdrawals for validators has increased the attractiveness of validation, but has also heightened concerns about the necessary bandwidth and computational power to keep the network efficient. Fidelity warns of the potential departure of smaller validators and a possible tilt towards centralization in institutional data centers.

Dogecoin peaks with speculations about use on X

Dogecoin (COIN:DOGEUSD) saw its price climb to the highest level since 2021, driven by speculations about its adoption on the social media platform X. Discussions have centered on potential payment applications after the company acquired more licenses in the US. DOGE’s trading activity intensified, with trading volume doubling and futures contracts reaching nearly $2 billion, reflecting growing interest and investor expectations regarding its use on Elon Musk’s network. The token is up 15.22% priced at $0.218960 at the time of writing.

Anticipated increase of Bitcoin Cash before halving

The value of Bitcoin Cash (COIN:BCHUSD) saw a significant increase as its halving event approaches on April 4, where the reward per mined block will drop from 6.25 to 3.125 BCH. Interest in BCH futures surged, with open interest doubling to $500 million, indicating expectations of greater price volatility. The halving, an event that reduces the issuance of new coins, has historically preceded bullish phases in the market.

Ethena Labs plans distribution of 750 million ENA tokens

Ethena Labs announced the distribution of 750 million ENA tokens on April 2, equivalent to 5% of the total 15 billion. Intended for users of USDe, the protocol’s synthetic currency, the tokens will reward participant engagement. The amount received will depend on the “shards” accumulated by users until April 1. The airdrop event follows the Ethena Shard Campaign and the significant $20.5 million investment received by Ethena Labs.

Departure of OKX’s chief compliance officer after a short period

Patrick Donegan, responsible for anti-money laundering initiatives at OKX, the second-largest crypto platform, resigned after six months on the job, as revealed on his LinkedIn. With a 300-member team globally, Donegan, who took the position in August 2023 and stepped down in January 2024, is recognized for his expertise in AML regulations, developing policies, and fostering relationships with regulators. This move comes at a time when cryptocurrency exchanges are facing increasing regulatory scrutiny, exemplified by recent legal actions against KuCoin and Binance. Donegan also had a significant stint at Signature Bank, focused on crypto, as compliance director.

Google expands blockchain data integration

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) enhanced its search engine to display blockchain information from various platforms, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, allowing users to search for transaction details using specific addresses. Initially available for Ethereum, the feature was expanded to include the Ethereum Name Service, showing balances and transaction information in search results. The functionality now supports EVM-compatible networks like Arbitrum and Polygon but is not globally accessible.

US Treasury bond tokenization surpasses $1 billion

Over $1 billion in US Treasury bonds have been tokenized on blockchains like Ethereum and Polygon, data from, parent of 21Shares, reveals. With a 20% growth in one week, these tokenized bonds span 17 products, led by Franklin Templeton’s fund on Polygon. The recently launched BUIDL fund from BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) also saw a significant increase, reaching $245 million in assets, highlighting the growing acceptance of public blockchains for traditional financial assets.

Farcaster community launches layer 3 blockchain and DEGEN token

The vibrant Farcaster ecosystem community introduces its own layer 3 blockchain, led by pseudonymous founder Jacek and Syndicate. With the launch of the DEGEN token (COIN:DEGENUSD), the Degen network positions itself as innovative, offering one of the first community tokens with its own layer 3. Initiated as a movement within the decentralized social network Farcaster, this step represents the natural evolution after significant user engagement and transactions with the DEGEN token. The new network promises to be an experimental space for developers and users, drawing inspiration from the vibrant atmosphere of Las Vegas, focusing on exploration and fun rather than gambling.