Top Stories This Week
Judge grants SEC request to file motion for appeal in Ripple case
Judge Analisa Torres has granted a request from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to file a motion for leave to file an interlocutory appeal in its case against Ripple Labs. The decision allowed the SEC to file a motion, on Aug. 18, requesting permission to bring a case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Ripple will also be able to file an opposition to the motion. Torres ruled, on July 13, that Ripple’s XRP token is not a security when distributed in public sales, but the ruling considered XRP a security in institutional sales. The case against Ripple has been ongoing since December 2020, when the SEC sued Ripple and its executives over allegations of offering an unregistered security.
Bitcoin, Ether price slump leads to crypto bloodbath with $1B in liquidations
The Bitcoin and Ether price slide on Aug. 18 saw the top two cryptocurrencies fall to a two-month low and triggered a series of liquidations for thousands of derivative traders. The crypto bloodbath led to billions of dollars worth of hedged positions being liquidated, and several traders lost millions of dollars in a single trade. According to CoinGlass data, a total of 176,752 traders got liquidated within hours, indicating a rapid rise in price volatility just days after BTC and ETH recorded their lowest daily volatility in several years. The price function in the crypto market was attributed to several factors, including the SpaceX Bitcoin write-down and macroeconomic factors.
Bitcoin-friendly El Salvador sees bond returns soar to 70% in 2023
El Salvador, which adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender in 2021, has seen its dollar bond outperform the majority of the emerging markets with a 70% return in 2023. The massive rally of the bond has now drawn interest from several institutional giants, including JP Morgan, Eaton Vance and PGIM Fixed Income, prompting President Nayib Bukele to say, “I told you so.” Apart from the institutional giants, the likes of Lord Abbett & Co LLC, Neuberger Berman Group LLC and UBS Group AG have also added debt security since April. El Salvador paid $800 million in debt in full within the due maturing time at the start of this year, raising confidence in the country’s bonds again.
First EU spot Bitcoin ETF hits Euronext Amsterdam exchange
Europe welcomed its first-ever spot Bitcoin ETF after the long-awaited launch of Jacobi Asset Management’s Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF. The London-based digital asset management firm announced that its new investment product was going live on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange on Aug. 15, more than a year later than its planned launch in 2022. The new ETF is trading under the BCOIN ticker. Its launch marks a milestone for Europe, while United States regulators are yet to approve a number of similar spot Bitcoin ETF applications from major asset managers, including BlackRock and Fidelity. The new ETF is trading under the BCOIN ticker.
Coinbase wins NFA approval to offer Bitcoin and Ether futures in US
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has obtained approval from the National Futures Association (NFA) to offer investments in crypto futures to eligible customers in the United States. The approval enables Coinbase to introduce Bitcoin and Ether futures contracts through a derivatives exchange regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Following the decision, the exchange’s website displayed a link for joining an early access waiting list. Coinbase claims the global crypto derivatives market accounts for 75% of crypto trading volume worldwide.
Winners and Losers
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Sei (SEI) at 1948.54%, THORChain (RUNE) at 42.10%, and Akash Network (AKT) at 25.80%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Conflux (CFX) at -28.05%, Compound (COMP) at -23.83%, and Litecoin (LTC) at -22.99%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“We do transactions every day, we work for money, we save money, but no one teaches us about it. If you want to make a change, people and families need to learn about money.”
Roman Martínez, community leader at Bitcoin Beach
“The Canadian regulators have been collaborative, helpful. […] There’s a clear regulatory pathway. It’s allowed us to invest in the country.”
Mark Greenberg, managing director for Kraken Canada
“[X’s Community Notes is] the closest thing to an instantiation of ‘crypto values’ that we have seen in the mainstream world.”
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum
“Not only are we seeing growing demand for regulated custody solutions in the United States, but we’re also seeing the demand on a global scale.”
Mike Belshe, CEO of BitGo
“Evidence is piling up that we’re in the early stages of a new cycle. Risk assets like stocks [and] crypto have been sniffing this out all year.”
Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Delphi Digital
“Two significant catalysts are supporting Bitcoin and Ethereum prices into year-end: the potential SEC approval for a […] Bitcoin ETF and Ethereum’s EIP-4844 upgrade.”
Henrik Andersson, chief investment officer at Apollo Crypto
Prediction of the Week
BTC price nears $26K amid warning Bitcoin sell pressure can ‘double’
Bitcoin stayed near two-month lows at the Aug. 18 Wall Street open as markets came to terms with extreme liquidations.
Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC price action tracking sideways after a single daily candle spawned 8% losses. The largest cryptocurrency saw a cascade of liquidations across derivatives markets, with these accounting for an “outsized” majority amid relatively slack spot selling.
For popular pseudonymous trader and analyst Rekt Capital, the picture was bleak — a double-top formation for BTC/USD in 2023, and a complete lack of support from trend lines and moving averages during the breakdown.
“BTC formed its Higher High at ~$31000 on inclining volume. But price formed the second half of its Double Top on declining volume,” he wrote, warning that capitulation had likely not yet matched previous sell-offs. “In fact, current Seller Volume would need to probably double to reach those Seller Exhaustion volume levels that prompted price reversals in early & late March as well as mid-June.”
FUD of the Week
Shibarium denies bridge issues, calls it FUD
The team behind the newly released Shibarium mainnet has denied reports of bridge problems and asset losses, saying screenshots floating around the crypto community are false. According to Shytoshi Kusama, co-founder of the Shiba Inu ecosystem, a massive influx of transactions and user activity lead to technical difficulties in Shibarium, but funds in the protocol remain safe. First concerns about Shibarium surfaced in the crypto community after screenshots reportedly captured an internal conversation indicating the team was allegedly unable to recover assets bridged to the recently launched Shibarium network.
SwirlLend rugs on new Coinbase layer 2 Base as large number of scammers reported
Base, Coinbase’s new layer 2, has already seen an influx of bad actors. In the latest incident, crypto lender SwirlLend has apparently carried out a rug pull. PeckShield reported that SwirlLend transferred tokens from Base and Linea, bridging the crypto to Ethereum. It then created a new token and laundered 253.2 ETH through the Tornado Cash crypto mixer. SwirlLend has shut down its social media accounts and website. Its total value locked on Base has fallen from $784,300 to $49,200. Crypto trade surveillance firm Solidus Labs also found more than 500 scam tokens on Base.
FBI seizes almost $2M of crypto assets in 3 months
A public filing released by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows that the law enforcement agency seized around $1.7 million worth of digital assets from March to May. In particular, the FBI seized $147,000 in Bitcoin (BTC), $800,000 in Ether (ETH), $307,000 in Tether (USDT), 469,000 in Dai (DAI) and $20,000 in Monero (XMR). Assets were confiscated from a wide range of sources, including Binance exchange wallets. According to the FBI, the seizures of the assets were a result of various breaches in federal regulations.
Paying a ransom to cyberattackers can save lives and prevent huge losses. But it also encourages further attacks.
Big Questions: Did the NSA create Bitcoin?
“I would say it this way: They absolutely have the capability,” says a former NSA analyst.
Crypto projects and holders face harsh sentencing in China, digital yuan airdrops to revive local economies, and 3AC saga’s latest twist.
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