SBF legal fees, BTC market cap flips Meta, USDC climbs back to $1
Top stories this week
Sam Bankman-Fried is petitioning the court to prioritize repaying his attorney fees
Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is seeking to use FTX’s corporate insurance policies to cover his legal expenses, according to a March 15 court filing. Fried. The move would put the former CEO at the top of the FTX payout list. Another headline shows that Bankman-Fried’s inner circle received $3.2 billion in payments and loans from FTX-affiliated entities. The amounts exclude over $240 million spent on the purchase of luxury properties in the Bahamas, political and charitable donations, as well as “material transfers” to non-FTX subsidiaries. In another headline, FTX debtors reported $11.6 billion in claims and $4.8 billion in assets, meaning there is a $6.8 billion hole in the exchange’s balance sheet.
Signature Bank shut down by New York regulators for not providing data
Crypto-friendly Signature Bank was officially shut down and taken over by the New York Department of Financial Services on March 12 for “failure to provide consistent and reliable data.” The bank has been investigated by two US government agencies over whether it took adequate measures to monitor and detect potential money laundering by its customers. Former member of the US House of Representatives Barney Frank suggested that New York regulators shut down Signature as part of an apparent show of force against the crypto market.
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USDC bounces back towards the $1 peg after the Fed announcement
Circle’s stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), climbed back to its $1 peg following positive developments regarding Circle’s $3.3 billion worth of reserves held at Silicon Valley Bank and its new banking partners: redemptions of USDC will now be processed by Cross River Bank and BNY Mellon. The stablecoin was depegged from the US dollar on March 10 following the sudden collapse of SVB, triggering the depegging of many other stablecoins. Stablecoins’ depegging led to a surge in loan repayments over the weekend, allowing debtors to save more than $100 million on loans.
US Fed announces $25 billion in funding to stop banks
US federal regulators announced “decisive actions” that would “fully protect depositors” at both Silicon Valley Bank and the now-shuttered Signature Bank, including $25 billion worth of funds aimed at stopping banks and other depository companies. The Federal Reserve is investigating the failure of Silicon Valley Bank — including an internal investigation into how the Fed monitored and regulated the financial institution. Amid the sudden collapse, SVB’s UK arm was acquired by HSBC for 1 British pound ($1.21), with loans of 5.5 billion pounds ($6.7 billion) and deposits of 6.7 billion pounds ($8, 1 billion dollars).
Bitcoin market cap reverses tech giant Meta, widens gap on Visa
Despite a turbulent week for crypto following the decline of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, Bitcoin’s market cap has managed to turn it around with tech giant Meta. On March 14, Bitcoin’s market capitalization reached $471.86 billion, surpassing Meta’s $469 billion, according to data from Companies Market Cap. The leading cryptocurrency climbed to 11th place among the top assets by market capitalization, behind electric car maker Tesla. Bitcoin’s market cap has added over $190 billion by 2023, outperforming top Wall Street bank stocks, especially as fears of a global banking crisis mount.
Winners and losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $27,571Ether (ETH) on $1823 and XRP on $0.38. The total market value is at $1.18 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin winners of the week are Conflux (CFX) at 186.02%, Mask Network (MASK) of 120.56% and stacks (STX) of 102.97%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are UNUS SED LEO (LEO) at -2.22%, Tether (USDT) of -0.35% and Binance USD (BUSD) of -0.16%.
For more info on crypto prices, be sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
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Most memorable quotes
“The recent closures of financial institutions could be the opportunity for crypto to reach mass adoption.”
Johnny LiuCEO of KuCoin
“We believe that part of the future of finance will be blockchain-enabled, and we are already witnessing rapid change in the tokenization market.”
Drew Bradfordgeneral manager, markets at National Australia Bank
“Mass adoption by mainstream businesses and their consumers is just around the corner thanks to the latest developments in scaling and privacy technology.”
Mark SmargonCEO of Fuse Network
“Drop the blockchain/NFT/game to earn (P2E)/metaverse/Web3 talk. […] The [players] just want an entertaining gaming experience – not a science lesson.”
Peter Bergstromformer producer of Age of Empires and CEO of BitBlock Ventures
“We are going to have a credit crunch in the US and globally. […] You will be long gold and silver […] and you will be long Bitcoin.”
Michael Novogratzfounder and CEO of Galaxy Digital
“I think regulators are using crypto as a scapegoat for their own lapses in oversight of traditional banking.”
Cathie WoodCEO of ARK Invest
Prediction of the week
Bitcoin price hits $27,000 for new 9-month high as Fed injects $300B
Bitcoin hit new nine-month highs on March 17 as recent events in the US banking crisis boosted crypto markets. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD hitting $27,025 on Bitstamp before consolidation. A catalyst for fresh upside had arrived overnight in the form of Federal Reserve balance sheet data, which showed nearly $300 billion injected into the economy as part of the banking crisis.
Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading company Eight, saw specific levels up and down.
“Chopperino lands on Bitcoin, which means we’ll likely have some sideways structures,” he wrote on Twitter. “Needs $26K. If it holds, $28-30K is next. If it loses $26K, I’m guessing around $25K for some longs. Relatively easy to understand.”
FUD of the week
Euler Finance hacked for over $195 million in a flash loan attack
Lending protocol Eurler Finance encountered a flash loan attack on 13 March. The exploiter carried out multiple transactions, stealing nearly $196 million in stablecoins DAI and USDC, as well as staking Ether and bagging Bitcoin. The attack was called the biggest hack of 2023 so far. Some of the stolen funds began to be transferred to crypto mixer Tornado Cash shortly after a $1 million bounty was launched to identify the hacker. As of March 18, only a small portion of the funds had been recovered – around 3,000 Ether ($5.4 million).
Europol seizes $46 million from crypto mixes after $2.88 billion was allegedly laundered
Law enforcement agency Europol has seized assets of cryptocurrency mixer ChipMixer worth $46 million for its alleged involvement in money laundering activities. ChipMixer’s website has been shut down and four servers hosting the application have been seized. Europol claims that ChipMixer has laundered over 152,000 BTC ($2.88 billion) since its inception in 2017.
FBI, NY authorities investigate collapse of TerraUSD stablecoin
The US Department of Justice is reportedly investigating the collapse of the TerraClassicUSD (USTC) stablecoin, which contributed to a $40 billion wipeout of the Terra ecosystem last May. Former Terraform Labs employees have been questioned in recent weeks by US agencies, including the FBI. The investigation covers similar grounds to a lawsuit filed against Terraform Labs and its founder Do Kwon by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in February, including misleading investors.
Best Cointelegraph Features
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