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 1/13: 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 12/15: 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 12/12: Binance’s Problems Multiply

Over the weekend, the spotlight in cryptocurrencies shifted from FTX’s problems to those for Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. The exchange, which does not have a headquarters, is attempting to take charge of the crypto ecosystem after FTX’s shenanigans have left it without a representative. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has replaced FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried as the public face of cryptocurrencies. … Continue reading Notes 12/12: Binance’s Problems Multiply

Notes 12/8: GBTC Discount, Withdrawing Staked Ether

What to make of the action at Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) and Ethereum Trust (ETH)? Both are trading at deep discounts to the price of their underlying assets. There’s talk that they might be affected by the liquidity crisis afflicting crypto and that they might wind down soon. Why Does GBTC Trade at a Discount? Since their launch (GBTC in 2013 and ETH in … Continue reading Notes 12/8: GBTC Discount, Withdrawing Staked Ether

Notes 12/5: FTX and Alameda, Binance’s BNB Shorts

Recent reports have made clear that the crux of problems at FTX was its relationship with Alameda Research, FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) other company. The nature of that relationship is still unclear, however. Bankman-Fried has hinted at some aspects of that relationship in his interviews. But details are not forthcoming; Bankman-Fried claims to be an overworked CEO without much knowledge of his company’s financials. … Continue reading Notes 12/5: FTX and Alameda, Binance’s BNB Shorts

Notes 12/1: Bitcoin Price, Binance’s Simple Business Model, and Team SBF

Inflation data released this morning came in better than expected. The core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index rose 0.2%, less than September’s 0.3% increase. The overall PCE figures, which includes volatile food and energy prices, rose by 0.3%. The increase in inflation numbers on a yearly basis was 6%, again less than the 6.3% figure for September. Those numbers mean that the Fed’s aggressive interest … Continue reading Notes 12/1: Bitcoin Price, Binance’s Simple Business Model, and Team SBF

More Of The Same: SBF’s Appearance at The DealBook Conference

For investors and industry observers, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) appearance at the New York Times Dealbook conference this evening was an opportunity to make sense of the FTX train wreck. But the interview, which was punctuated by a brief loss of connection with Bahamas-based SBF, must have left them even more confused.   A Changed Persona. But Same Responses. SBF’s interview persona was … Continue reading More Of The Same: SBF’s Appearance at The DealBook Conference