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 2/1: 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?

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

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 1/20: 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

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

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 1/10: 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

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

Notes 01/04: Bitcoin Price, Staking Tokens, and stBNB

Bitcoin price is loitering aimlessly in anticipation of crypto’s next big scandal. The cryptocurrency is changing hands at $16,820.90, up by almost 1 percent from its price a day ago, as of this writing. That’s decent range-bound performance from an asset whose credibility has been pummeled by numerous collapses in its ecosystem in the last six months. “You are not going to have a major … Continue reading Notes 01/04: Bitcoin Price, Staking Tokens, and stBNB

Notes 12/23: SBF’s Bail, Bitcoin Price, and Buffett’s Crypto Play

It took less than two months for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) and his merry band to turn from heroes to villains. Thanks to his generous marketing spend and numerous public sponsorships and appearances, SBF had become the face of cryptocurrencies.   Now he is a symbol of its excesses. After spending the night in a Bahamas prison and being extradited to the United … Continue reading Notes 12/23: SBF’s Bail, Bitcoin Price, and Buffett’s Crypto Play

Notes 12/22: FTT and BNB, Ether Prices Decline

Crypto observers say there is one more scandal – a massive one that will shake its foundations – yet to occur in its ecosystem. It might come to light soon enough with the arrest and extradition of disgraced FTX chief executive officer Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). After some spending a couple of nights in a Bahamas jail, he is back in the United States. His former … Continue reading Notes 12/22: FTT and BNB, Ether Prices Decline

Notes 12/19: Binance.US Buys Voyager’s Assets

Binance.us, the supposedly independent American arm of the world’s biggest exchange by trading volume, has bought troubled crypto broker Voyager Digital’s assets for $1.022 billion, according to reports. Voyager filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Binance’s purchase price is a slight decline from the $1.4 billion price that FTX was planning to pay for the assets, back in September. What Is Binance.US Buying? FTX had … Continue reading Notes 12/19: Binance.US Buys Voyager’s Assets

Notes 12/16: Binance’s Venture Funding

In popular myth, Binance has grown organically. The story goes that Binance conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017 and raised $15 million. From then on, retail investors are supposed to have powered the company’s profits, propelling it to become the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. This is also a favorite brag of CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ). He repeated it most recently … Continue reading Notes 12/16: Binance’s Venture Funding

Notes 12/15: CZ’s Simple Business, Bitcoin Price and Miners

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) made an entertaining appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning to distinguish his exchange from FTX – the latest poster child of crypto greed and dysfunction. CZ told the show’s hosts that Binance does not owe money to creditors and does not have venture investors. “We also don’t have loans to other people that we depend on,” he said, adding … Continue reading Notes 12/15: CZ’s Simple Business, Bitcoin Price and Miners

Notes 12/14: Tether Bumps Up Bitcoin Price, Tether Shorts, and SBF Drama

After mostly vegetating in the $16,000 to $17,000 range for the last month, bitcoin price sprang to life yesterday and today. Yesterday’s announcement of lower-than-expected reading of inflation figures was said to have boosted the cryptocurrency’s price. The positive sentiment seems to have carried over today and bitcoin broke past the $18,000 barrier for the first time since 8 Nov. As of this writing, it … Continue reading Notes 12/14: Tether Bumps Up Bitcoin Price, Tether Shorts, and SBF Drama

Notes 12/13: FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Is Arrested

We finally have respite from former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) media tour. The thirty-year-old boy genius’s repeated public appearances to “explain” his actions were finally cut short last evening after he was arrested by the Royal Bahamas Police Force based on charges filed by the Department of Justice. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has also filed a separate civil complaint against SBF. The list … Continue reading Notes 12/13: FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Is Arrested