SBF Testifies, Surge in ‘Buy Bitcoin’ Searches, and Other News: Hodler’s Digest, Oct. 22-28
Top Stories This Week
Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried testified in his ongoing criminal trial, denying any wrongdoing between FTX and Alameda Research. He admitted to making mistakes during the companies’ growth. Bankman-Fried denied directing his inner circle to make political donations and stated that FTX’s terms covered transactions between Alameda and the crypto exchange. The trial is expected to conclude soon.
Surge in ‘Buy Bitcoin’ Search Queries
Google searches for “buy Bitcoin” have surged worldwide, with an 826% increase in the UK. Other search terms related to buying Bitcoin, including “should I buy Bitcoin now?” and “can I buy Bitcoin on Fidelity?”, have also seen significant growth. The search term “is it a good time to buy Bitcoin?” saw a 110% worldwide increase in the last week.
US Court Mandates Grayscale Ruling Review
The US Court of Appeals has mandated the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to review Grayscale Investments’ application for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The court’s decision followed the SEC’s failure to present an appeal. While the SEC has approved investment vehicles linked to Bitcoin and Ether futures, it has not yet approved a spot crypto ETF for listing on US exchanges.
Coinbase Challenges SEC’s Authority
Coinbase has disputed the SEC’s authority in classifying its listed cryptocurrencies as securities. The exchange argued that the SEC’s definition of securities is too broad and that the cryptocurrencies it lists are not under the regulator’s purview. The SEC sued Coinbase for violating securities laws by not registering with the regulator.
Gemini Sues Genesis Over GBTC Shares
Gemini has filed a lawsuit against Genesis, a bankrupt crypto lender, over 62,086,586 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust used as collateral for loans made by Gemini users. The collateral is now worth $1.6 billion, but Genesis has disputed the action, preventing Gemini from distributing the proceeds.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin is priced at $34,143, Ether at $1,789, and XRP at $0.54. Among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, the top gainers of the week are Pepe, Mina, and FLOKI, while the top losers are Bitcoin SV, Toncoin, and Trust Wallet Token.
Most Memorable Quotations
“The witness [Sam Bankman-Fried] has an interesting way of responding to questions.”
– Lewis Kaplan, senior judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York
“When it comes to illicit finance, crypto is not the enemy – bad actors are.”
– Cynthia Lummis, US senator
“I should say, I am not a lawyer, I am just trying to answer based on my recollection. At the time [at] FTX, certain customers thought accounts would be sent to Alameda.”
– Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX
“Without prejudging any one asset, the vast majority of crypto assets likely meet the investment contract test, making them subject to the securities laws.”
– Gary Gensler, chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission
“I do not believe there has been a single serious conversation regarding a settlement between Ripple and the SEC. The SEC is pissed and embarrassed and wants $770M worth of flesh.”
– John Deaton, attorney
“He [Sam Bankman-Fried] thought he was going to take that money, and he would out-trade the market and put the money back and end up as a half-a-trillionaire, but it never works like that.”
– Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital
Prediction of the Week
Bitcoin is expected to hang around the $33,000-35,000 range for some time, according to a popular pseudonymous trader. The cryptocurrency has maintained its stability and continues to attract attention for its performance against other macro assets.
FUD of the Week
Phishing scammers have cloned the websites of Blockworks and Etherscan to deceive users into connecting their wallets to a crypto drainer. A fake news article about a multimillion-dollar exploit on Uniswap was posted on Reddit to further trick users.
UK Enables Seizure of Bitcoin Used for Crime
UK lawmakers have passed legislation allowing authorities to seize and freeze cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin used for illicit purposes. The bill expands authorities’ ability to crack down on the use of cryptocurrency in cybercrime, scams, and drug trafficking.
Scammers Clone Blockworks and Etherscan Websites
Phishing scammers have created clone websites of Blockworks and Etherscan to deceive users into connecting their wallets to a crypto drainer. The fake sites posted a fake news article about a supposed exploit on Uniswap and encouraged users to visit a fake Etherscan website to rescind approvals.
Kraken to Suspend Trading for Several Cryptocurrencies in Canada
Kraken will suspend trading for Tether, Dai, Wrapped Bitcoin, Wrapped Ether, and Wrapped Axelar in Canada. This move follows similar actions taken by other exchanges in 2023. OKX and Binance have both ceased operations in Canada.
Helsinki’s Crypto Fame
Helsinki has a rich history of cryptocurrency involvement, including the first exchange of Bitcoin for US dollars.
Australian Exchange Scandal, Bitget Gains Market Share, and China Lifts NFT Ban
Australian police have busted a money laundering scam worth $145 million. Bitget has gained market share in Q3, and China has lifted its ban on NFTs.
Blockchain Games in Q3 and Upland Token on ETH
Web3 games have received $2.3 billion so far this year. Ex-GTA developers’ studio has partnered with Immutable, and Brawlers is set to launch on the Epic Games Store.
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