Surviving Winters, Blaming Binance, Going to Shanghai and 20 Crypto Jokes
This week in crypto: a top financial services lawyer talked about what kind of businesses would survive the crypto winter, crypto boss Mike Novogratz said its time to cut costs and survive this ‘transition period’, Mark Cuban was looking to buy more bitcoin, Group One Trading took a “beneficial” position representing 13% of bitcoin bull Michael Saylor’s company MicroStrategy, and Ethereum developers planned to launch the Shanghai testnet by the end of February. The former president of FTX US said he would share more details regarding the exchange when the time is right, new revelations suggested close links between FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and some of his major backers, a lawyer said FTX recovered over $5 billion that may be used to repay creditors, and Bankman-Fried continued to blame Binance for the collapse of his crypto empire.
In the meantime, Wintermute paid its 36 British staff a total of $83 million in 2021, suggesting that it made 36 new millionaires, WazirX released its proof-of-reserves report showing that some 20% of holdings were in Shiba Inu, Wyre limited withdrawals for its clients to 90% of funds held in the account, Metropolitan Commercial Bank said it would “fully exit the crypto-asset related vertical”, and Coinbase reduced its headcount by a total of 950 employees or 20% of its workforce. Also, while Gemini’s Cameron Winklevoss wrote an open letter to the DCG board asking for the removal of CEO Barry Silbert, the latter’s crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group was “actively engaged” in talks with creditors. Meanwhile, software giant AhnLab released a crypto wallet, and Venom Foundation partnered with Iceberg Capital to reveal a $1 billion venture fund focused on blockchain and Web3 companies.
As all that was happening, El Salvador’s congress passed a law that would allow the nation to issue the Volcano Bonds, China’s digital yuan was set to expand into the world of wealth management, securities, and education, Argentina’s finance ministry was set to launch a draft bill that would essentially force citizens to declare their crypto holdings, a Russian professor claimed that “mass” crypto adoption was on its way in the country, and in Hong Kong, Financial Secretary said that the city would continue to work toward becoming a major crypto hub, while the financial regulator was expected to create a whitelist of tokens that retail users would be allowed to trade. The US DoJ retained control of the contested 56 million shares of Robinhood worth some $500 million, Bithumb was made the subject of a “special” tax investigation, Logan Paul dropped his lawsuit threat against Coffeezilla after being accused of running a crypto investment scam, and a security provider claimed that a “surge” in North Korean crypto hacks is coming in 2023.