Top Stories This Week
Binance crypto exchange saw 10 key execs leave in 2023. Here’s the list
A key talking point in the crypto community has been the ongoing exodus of executives from Binance amid growing regulatory troubles. Binance has seen the departure of 10 key executives from various departments in the first nine months of 2023. The latest to join the list is Helen Hai, executive vice president of Binance, who announced her resignation from her post on Sept. 6. On the same day, Gleb Kostarev, vice president of Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Australia and New Zealand at Binance, also announced his resignation, as did CIS general manager Vladimir Smerkis. Four top executives from Binance reportedly all left on the same day after Binance’s response to the United States Department of Justice investigation. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has hosed down recent rumors against his firm, assuring its balance sheet and employee retention remain robust despite the recent market uncertainty.
Nasdaq receives SEC approval for AI-based trade orders
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has approved Nasdaq’s request to operate its first AI-driven order type on Sept. 8. Called the dynamic midpoint extended life order (M-ELO), the new system expands on the M-ELO automated order type by making it “dynamic,” meaning it will use artificial intelligence to update and, essentially, recalibrate itself in real-time. The follow-on effect should be a significant acceleration of orders placed with the system. Nasdaq says the dynamic M-ELO demonstrated a “20.3% increase in fill rates and an 11.4% reduction in mark-outs” during its research and testing.
Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried lost an initial appeal to be released again on bail prior to his criminal trial. His lawyers had petitioned the court for temporary release, claiming the current measures to allow SBF to prepare for his trial were inadequate due to limited internet access. An appeals court denied the motion on Sept. 6, maintaining SBF’s detention at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. The former FTX CEO had his bail revoked on Aug. 11, following allegations of witness intimidation for leaking, to The New York Times, personal notes and diary entries from former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison. SBF has roughly four weeks to prepare for his Oct. 3 trial.
Following SEC delays, ARK Invest and 21Shares file for spot Ether ETF
ARK Invest and 21Shares requested the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to approve the listing of shares of a spot Ether ETF on the Cboe BZX Exchange. The investment vehicle, called the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF, will have crypto exchange Coinbase act as a custodian and will measure the performance of Ether based on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate. The proposal from ARK Invest and 21Shares is one of many spot crypto ETFs that will be reviewed by the SEC in the coming months. The U.S. regulator has been delaying decisions on crypto investments products lately, especially concerning Bitcoin spot ETF proposals.
Grayscale asks SEC to meet on ‘way forward’ for Bitcoin ETF conversion
Grayscale has told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it has no legal reasoning left to block the conversion of its flagship Bitcoin fund to a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF). The company’s lawyers sent a letter to the SEC requesting the pair meet to discuss the next steps following the regulator’s court loss regarding the conversion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) on Aug. 29. Grayscale added that it believes the SEC should conclude there are “no grounds” for treating the GBTC differently from Bitcoin futures ETFs whose filings “the Commission has previously approved.” According to Grayscale, its fund conversion application has been pending for nearly three times longer than the length of time stipulated by the SEC’s rules.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $25,871, Ether (ETH) at $1,635 and XRP at $0.50. The total market cap is at $1.04 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Synthetix (SNX) at 12.86%, Stellar (XLM) at 9.83% and Render (RNDR) at 9.09%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Gala (GALA) at -14.74%, Mantle (MNT) at -7.49% and Flare (FLR) at -7.06%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
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Most Memorable Quotations
“I feel bad that I have to tell people that the United States is probably not where they want to be, but the tide is turning.”
David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple
“I do think that the worlds of traditional and blockchain-based financial systems can co-exist, and likely will in the new future.”
Yida Gao, founder and managing general partner of Shima Capital
“DeFi is the future; the volume is somewhere between 5% to 10% of CeFi volumes, which is not small, right? […] The next bull run may very well make DeFi bigger than CeFi.”
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance
“ChatGPT will enable a bunch of people that have never had all this training to jump in, they can start right now and I start to worry about morphological design problems buried in there.”
Kang Li, chief security officer at Certik
“The Bitcoin Ordinal protocol is better designed for decentralization and security than the Ethereum NFT protocol. High-value NFTs will win on Bitcoin.”
Danny Yang, co-founder and CEO of Metagood
“Australia would have a regulated digital assets market. Instead, it is close to the end of 2023, and the government has no plan to implement these regulations.”
Andrew Bragg, Australian Senator
Prediction of the Week
Bitcoin price can hit $46K by 2024 halving — Interview with Filbfilb
Bitcoin has a chance to end 2023 at $35,000 despite heading lower in between, veteran pseudonymous analyst Filbfilb believes. In an interview with Cointelegraph, the co-founder of trading suite DecenTrader revealed some BTC price targets that should resonate with the long-term holder base.
Based on the previous cycles, Filbfilb sees a contraction of new emitted supply to market in advance of the halving. “Coupled by increased speculative demand, this dynamic is likely to repeat in my opinion,” he pointed out in reference to a possible reversal in price behavior due to the upcoming halving.
Regarding BTC price action in 2023 compared to other pre-halving years, the analyst notes that “there has been a failure to break the 100-week moving average thus far, which is a notable difference [compared to pre-halving years],” Filbfilb stated, adding that “assuming no black swan event, around $35,000 by the end of the year and possibly as high as $46,000 some time pre-halving in Q1 2024.”
FUD of the Week
United States regulators have finally taken steps to resolve an enforcement case against collapsed trading organization Mirror Trading International (MTI). A district court in Texas ordered MTI to pay $1.7 billion in restitution to victims for operating a fraudulent scheme involving digital assets and forex, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced on Sept. 7. MTI went into provisional liquidation in late 2020 after one of its directors allegedly escaped the country, grabbing roughly $1 billion in Bitcoin that investors had entrusted to the company.
Turkish crypto exchange Thodex CEO gets 11,000-year sentence for $2B scam
The former CEO of Turkish crypto exchange Thodex, Faruk Fatih Özer, was sentenced to 11,196 years in prison by a Turkish court on charges of “establishing, managing and being a member of an organization,” “qualified fraud” and “laundering of property values.” The court gave Özer and his two siblings the same jail sentence, along with a $5 million fine, local media reported. The Turkish crypto exchange was one of the largest digital asset trading platforms in the country before it abruptly imploded in 2021, halting services without prior notice, with Özer fleeing the country with users’ assets totaling $2 billion in crypto.
Stake hack of $41M was performed by North Korean group: FBI
The $41 million hack of crypto gambling site Stake was carried out by the North Korean hacking collective Lazarus Group, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation stated in an announcement. The group has stolen more than $200 million in crypto in 2023. Stake, a crypto gambling platform, was the victim of a cyberattack on Sept. 4 that drained over $41 million worth of cryptocurrency from its hot wallets. The Stake team stated that the hacker only obtained a small percentage of funds and that users would not be affected.
Big Questions: What’s with all the crypto deaths?
Stuffed down toilets, dismembered in suitcases — crypto has been the common denominator for several gruesome murders and mysterious deaths this year.
NFT collapse and monster egos feature in new Murakami exhibition
Famed Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s new exhibition comments on digital ego and the shaky status of the NFT industry.
Crypto lawyer Irina Heaver on death threats, lawsuit predictions: Hall of Flame
Irina Heaver moved to crypto after she could no longer “sit in the boardroom listening to that corporate bullshit.“
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