Last Updated : December 12, 2022 / 08:17 AM IST
Top cryptocurrency news on December 12: Sam Bankman-Fried to testify to US House Financial Committee, Coinbase asks users to switch to USD Coin
A daily round-up of the most interesting articles on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether to help jump-start the day
This Week in Coins: Bitcoin and Ethereum flat, rare jump in Axie Infinity
The crypto market this week was once again a mixed bag as the sector attempts to navigate the ongoing fallout from the FTX meltdown. Considering the declines some of the other main coins face, Bitcoin and Ethereum once more ended the week essentially flat.
As of December 11 morning, Bitcoin had increased over the previous seven days by less than 1 percent while Ethereum had decreased by 1.5 percent. The majority of the top 50 coins by market cap were in the red or if in the green, had increased by less than 2 percent during the previous week. As bulls and bears battled for control, Ethereum surged between $1,300 and $1,225 while Bitcoin fluctuated between around $17,300 and as low as $16,700.
The native AXS token of Axie Infinity, however, was a rare win over the last seven days. According to CoinGecko, the cryptocurrency has increased by a staggering 21 percent since last weekend and is currently being exchanged for about $8.50. Read more here
FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried to testify in front of US House Financial Committee
Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried has announced that he will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on December 13. In response to demands from committee chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), who had stated that his appearance was "imperative," Bankman-Fried tweeted on December 9 that he was "willing" to testify. He also stated that his contribution would be little because he now lacks access to the personal and professional information needed to support the testimony.
FTX, along with its sister entity Alameda Research and 130 other affiliated companies had last month declared bankruptcy, and Bankman-Fried stepped down from his position as CEO. Read details here
Coinbase announces free conversion of USDT to USD Coin
Coinbase, the second-largest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume, is encouraging its users to switch from Tether to Circle with zero-fee trades, which might herald the start of a new chapter in the competition for stablecoin supremacy.
The exchange wrote in a blog post that "the events of the past few weeks have put some stablecoins to the test, and we’ve seen a flight to safety. We believe that USD Coin (USDC) is a trusted and reputable stablecoin."
Centre, a consortium established to advance the widespread acceptance of stablecoins, is in charge of managing USDC, which was introduced in 2018. Take a look
Crypto.com releases proof-of-reserves information demonstrating complete client asset backing
Proof-of-reserves information from auditing company Mazars Group has demonstrated that cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com’s clients' assets are fully backed one-to-one, according to a statement made by the firm on December 9. This comes after competing exchange Binance on December 7 produced a comparable report from the same auditor that seemed to prove its reserves.
Mazars performed a similar comparison to Binance between customer balances and assets held at on-chain addresses on Crypto.com. It demonstrates that more than 100 percent of in-scope assets were under Crypto.com's ownership. According to Kris Marszalek, CEO of Crypto.com, "Providing audited Proof of Reserves is an important step for the entire industry to increase transparency and begin restoring trust,” Details here.
Also read: Will disclosing proof of reserves bring back trust to the crypto ecosystem?
Uniswap Foundation suggests modifying the governance and voting procedures of Crypto DEX
One of the most well-known platforms for decentralised cryptocurrency trading, Uniswap, which is managed by the Uniswap Foundation, is putting to vote a number of governance modifications it says will simplify voting in the so-called "decentralized autonomous organisation" or DAO.
According to a forum post by Devin Walsh, the executive director of the foundation, members of the Uniswap community will have the opportunity to vote on December 14 on a restructuring plan that will "improve efficiency and efficacy" for the DAO. The significant adjustment would be eliminating Uniswap governance's demand for off-chain "snapshot votes" that come before on-chain votes. Read more here
Back Door Loans
‘The Block’ and its CEO were secretly funded by Sam Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research
Crypto news outlet The Block revealed on December 9 that Sam Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research had been funding it covertly for the past two years. Following disclosure of the loans, The Block's CEO, Michael McCaffrey, has resigned and will also leave the company's board of directors. According to the outlet, McCaffrey was the only employee who was aware of the loans.
The Block said that from 2021 to this year, McCaffrey obtained three loans totalling $43 million. The first loan was made in 2021 for $12 million to buy out other investors in the media organisation, and McCaffrey then assumed the role of CEO. The third was for $16 million earlier this year for McCaffrey to buy personal real estate in the Bahamas, while the second was for $15 million in January to fund day-to-day operations, according to The Block. Read more here
Crypto brokerage firm FalconX reveals assets locked on FTX
FalconX has disclosed that a portion of its assets is held on the defunct FTX exchange. "18 percent of our unencumbered cash equivalents were represented by FalconX balances locked on FTX. This ratio was within our counterparty exposure limitations,” it said in a blog post. It declared that even if it has to write down such assets as a total loss, it will still be well-capitalised.
According to FalconX, it has no exposure to Genesis, Alameda, or BlockFi. "Recent occurrences have proven the effectiveness of our risk management strategy. We offer credit on our platform that is over-collateralised and market risk agnostic. We employ real-time risk monitoring, and we work within the constraints of our counterparty exposure restrictions,” the blog added. Read more here
Lawsuit claims Justin Bieber and Yuga Labs worked together to promote Boring Ape NFTs
The promotion of Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens (NFTs) while concealing their financial ties to Yuga Labs is alleged to have broken state and federal laws by a number of celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Madonna, Stephen Curry, and Paris Hilton, according to a class action lawsuit filed on December 8. No fewer than 37 co-defendants, including executives and members of the Yuga leadership, were listed in the lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in the Central District of California of the US District Court. Cryptocurrency payments start-up MoonPay, which is claimed to have facilitated such sponsorships, is also mentioned. Read more here
Withdrawals for some accounts are restricted by Binance, CEO calls it "just market behaviour"
Despite briefly blocking withdrawals for some profitable accounts, abnormal price swings on Binance, the largest crypto exchange by volume, prompted an internal review that resulted in CEO Changpeng Zhao's conclusion that the changes were "simply market behaviour."
At 3:10 am ET, the probe was disclosed on Binance's official Twitter account. Later, it came to the conclusion that neither stolen API keys nor compromised accounts were to blame for the strange price changes. There were five different trading pairs in play: Sun Token, Ardor, Osmosis, FUNToken, and Golem. Read more here