Notes 2/3: Tether Ownership, Bitcoin Premium in Nigeria

One of the numerous mysteries in cryptocurrencies is the ownership of Tether – the world’s biggest stablecoin by market capitalization. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) yesterday provided some answers to that question. Their report claims 86% of Tether Holdings is controlled by four men.   Who Owned Tether Tokens?   The four men identified as Tether holders by WSJ are company insiders, who stand to … Continue reading Notes 2/3: Tether Ownership, Bitcoin Premium in Nigeria

Notes 2/2: Bitcoin Price

The Fed stuck to an expected script yesterday and announced a quarter percentage point hike in interest rates. The market’s response to the Fed’s announcement was enthusiastic. The S&P 500 closed with a 1% increase while the Nasdaq Composite advanced by 2% to 11816.32. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose by 6.92 points to 34092.96. Bitcoin prices also jumped. The biggest cryptocurrency by market … Continue reading Notes 2/2: Bitcoin Price

Notes 2/1: Fed Hike: A Done Deal?

All eyes and prices today are focused on the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The FOMC, which is convening after a January break, is widely expected to announce a quarter percentage point hike to interest rates. That figure represents a slowdown from the agency’s earlier aggressive stance that propelled interest rates from nearly zero at the beginning of last year to a range … Continue reading Notes 2/1: Fed Hike: A Done Deal?

Is This The Start of Another Bitcoin Price Bull Run?

Will bitcoin price continue its path to revival in February? The cryptocurrency’s price movement in the past month has chuffed its enthusiasts and traders, who are optimistic this might be the start of another bull run that culminates in a price record. They point to similar previous instances, when the cryptocurrency was left for dead but seemingly resuscitated itself. But they forget that the circumstances … Continue reading Is This The Start of Another Bitcoin Price Bull Run?

Notes 1/26: GBTC Shares Ownership, Bitcoin Price

Grayscale, issuer of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) – the most expensive and worthless Bitcoin investment product in public markets, is set to argue its case against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 7th. The investment firm has charged the agency with arbitrarily denying its application to convert GBTC into a Bitcoin ETF. Launched in 2013, the Trust was the first publicly traded … Continue reading Notes 1/26: GBTC Shares Ownership, Bitcoin Price

Shorting Tether

One of the reasons to invest in stablecoins is their de-pegging event. When stablecoins trade below their intended peg of 1:1 with a fiat currency, short traders can turn around and exchange them for the promised parity. In that respect, stablecoins are like money market funds. Over the years, Tether, the world’s biggest stablecoin by market capitalization, has lost its peg numerous times and traded … Continue reading Shorting Tether

Notes 1/24: Genesis Bankruptcy Filing

The crypto soap opera of miffed partners and questionable dealings continues with the latest revelations from Genesis’s bankruptcy filing. The crypto lending firm is claiming that Gemini, the crypto exchange that is one of its biggest creditors, violated terms of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and, therefore, its claim of almost $766 million should be voided altogether. Genesis gave collateral to Gemini in the form … Continue reading Notes 1/24: Genesis Bankruptcy Filing

Notes 1/22: Bitcoin Price Rises Again

It may be a piece of code but ‘pet rock’ Bitcoin has been going places. The cryptocurrency’s price has traversed the distance from $16,866 to $23,823, a gain of slightly more than 41%, in less than twenty days. As of this writing, bitcoin is changing hands at $22,381.15, down 3.23% from its price a day earlier.   An Improbable Ride   Bitcoin price has achieved its … Continue reading Notes 1/22: Bitcoin Price Rises Again

Notes 1/20: Genesis Bankruptcy Filing, FTX Tech

As expected, Digital Currency Group’s (DCG) lending arm Genesis Global Capital filed for bankruptcy last evening. Genesis was the biggest lender in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Its business model consisted of providing yield on cryptocurrencies from firms like BlockFi and Gemini by rehypothecating them to institutional borrowers. At its peak, the company had over $16 billion on its loan book in the middle of November of … Continue reading Notes 1/20: Genesis Bankruptcy Filing, FTX Tech

Notes 1/19: Binance Drinks Bitzlato, DCG Falls Apart

It was not the allegations of “rampant” wash trading. It was not the absence of proper audits or the *snigger* decentralized chief financial officer. It was not the presence of an unregulated stablecoin or a useless security token masquerading as a utility coin on its exchange. Eventually, it was Binance’s brush with crypto exchange Bitzlato that brought the world’s biggest crypto trading exchange by volume … Continue reading Notes 1/19: Binance Drinks Bitzlato, DCG Falls Apart

Notes 1/18: Trouble at DCG

The Wall Street Journal today has a long piece on Barry Silbert, founder of Digital Currency Group (DCG). As has been evident for some time now, problems are brewing at two of the firm’s most profitable businesses – Genesis and Grayscale. The former is one of the biggest trading and lending firms in crypto and the latter runs the world’s biggest publicly traded bitcoin instrument. … Continue reading Notes 1/18: Trouble at DCG

Staking Ether: A Risky Trade

Along with bitcoin price, prices for Ethereum’s ether also jumped last week. Depending on your data source, the world’s second biggest cryptocurrency’s price posted weekly gains of anywhere between 13% (at Messari) to 20% (at Coinmarketcap and Coingecko). Underlying that price increase was a corresponding surge in market valuations for tokens at liquid staking derivatives (LSD) platforms. Such venues multiply trading volumes and supply by … Continue reading Staking Ether: A Risky Trade

Notes 1/14: Bitcoin Price, A New Crypto Exchange

What came first? The narrative or the price? In Bitcoin’s case, it is the latter. After dithering in the $16,000 to $17,000 range for the last two months, the cryptocurrency’s price gathered pace and hurtled past successive milestones last week.  On Monday, Bitcoin was changing hands for $17,207. As of this writing, it is trading at $20,840.20, up almost 5% from its price a day … Continue reading Notes 1/14: Bitcoin Price, A New Crypto Exchange

Where Does Tether Get Its Revenues?

Where does Tether get its revenues? Over the years, the stablecoin claims to have made redemptions worth billions of dollars. At the same time, it has made investments and loans worth millions of dollars to crypto ventures on the side. It has 42 employees, per LinkedIn.   Where does it get the cash to manage these business activities? The company’s financials are a black box. … Continue reading Where Does Tether Get Its Revenues?

Notes 1/13: SEC Sues Gemini, Bitcoin Price

The public spat between cryptocurrency exchange Gemini and lending firm Genesis Capital took an unexpected turn yesterday after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued both parties for an unregistered sale of securities. The agency is pursuing a different approach from its earlier case against bankrupt lending firm Celsius, when it targeted the company’s token CEL as an unregistered security. In its complaint, the agency … Continue reading Notes 1/13: SEC Sues Gemini, Bitcoin Price

Notes 1/12: Binance Hires, Bitcoin Bonds

Binance is on a roll. After increasing its headcount by 5,000 people last year, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume plans to ramp up its hiring by between 15% to 30% this year, according to its chief executive officer and co-founder Changpeng Zhao or CZ as he is popularly known. Binance claims to have 8,000 employees currently, meaning it will hire somewhere between … Continue reading Notes 1/12: Binance Hires, Bitcoin Bonds

Notes 1/11: Bitcoin Futures Premium

The rally in Bitcoin price might have some more runway left.    Bitcoin futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) are displaying a “slight premium” – the first one since FTX fell in November 2022 – of 0.2% for bitcoin price in the short term, according to data from Arcane Research. There is good news all around. The cryptocurrency’s futures at Binance are also showing … Continue reading Notes 1/11: Bitcoin Futures Premium

Notes 1/10: More Winklevoss Drama: Will GBTC Become A Casualty?

Yesterday, I wrote about the open letter sent by Cameron Winklevoss to the Digital Currency Group (DCG). The letter accuses DCG of “beyond commingling” its assets with those of Genesis, the group’s lending arm responsible for yield in the Earn program. DCG is reported to have made a loan, in the form of a ten-year promissory note, to Genesis to help the latter cover its … Continue reading Notes 1/10: More Winklevoss Drama: Will GBTC Become A Casualty?

Notes 1/9: Binance’s Assets, GBTC Discount

December was a terrible month for Binance. Even as the exchange attempted to fashion order in a chaotic cryptocurrency ecosystem erupting with scandals daily, Binance found its own house unraveling. Investors are reported to have converted their holdings of Binance’s stablecoin BUSD to Tether’s USDT and Circle’s USDC. [There is a comment to be made here about the intelligence about said investors, but I shall … Continue reading Notes 1/9: Binance’s Assets, GBTC Discount

The Tether Redemption Conundrum

In the early days of the United States, private banks were allowed to issue money on the condition that it was backed by gold. This meant that customers could redeem their specie and notes for gold, which was considered a stable medium of exchange in an economy rife with fraudsters and hucksters issuing fake money. But a high redemption rate could eat into a bank’s … Continue reading The Tether Redemption Conundrum

Notes 1/5: Celsius Bankruptcy, BNB Burn

The Celsius bankruptcy case is back in the news. The crypto lending platform, which claimed to run a “sophisticated finance platform”, filed for bankruptcy last year amid the rough and tumble of a debilitating crypto winter. In a decision about the case today, Judge Martin Glenn wrote that the company’s contract with its users was “unambiguous” and that it had ownership rights to its customers … Continue reading Notes 1/5: Celsius Bankruptcy, BNB Burn