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Biweekly crypto round-up for November 2022 (Part 1)

Goodbye, FTX. Goodbye, Sam Bankman-Fried.

Just when we thought the crypto industry is making a slow recovery after Terra Luna’s implosion in May, another crisis is here – FTX’s shocking and sudden collapse. To add insult to injury, FTX suffered a major hack with over $600 million siphoned from the exchange’s crypto wallets on 11 November. What a dizzying week.

While FTX’s dramatic fall is all anyone could talk about at the moment, let’s take a look at some of the other notable and less depressing headlines made over the past 2 weeks.

Quick take

  • Hong Kong proposed allowing retail access to crypto trading and ETFs through public consultation.
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched Project Ubin+, a cross-border payments initiative using wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC).
  • Binance confirmed a $500 million equity investment in Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter deal to support free speech.
  • LBRY, Inc lost its legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which deemed LBRY Credit (LBC) as an unregistered security.
  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX – previously valued at $32 billion – collapsed into bankruptcy and dragged the broader crypto market into turmoil.
  • Bored Ape creator Yuga Labs acquired Beeple’s Web3 ecosystem WENEW and its flagship NFT collection 10KTF.

Key events

We’ve hand-picked some of the most relevant emerging stories in the crypto space to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Singapore Crypto

Government announcements and regulations

  • 1 Nov: Hong Kong to explore pro-crypto measures including retail crypto trading and ETFs through public consultation.
  • 1 Nov: South Korean legislators plan to impose stricter punishments on crypto fraud practices.
  • 1 Nov: MAS completed the first phase of its CBDC project.
  • 2 Nov: Singapore launched 2 new pilot projects with Standard Chartered, HSBC and others to explore the use of trade finance and wealth management.
  • 3 Nov: Singapore conducted institutional DeFi test on Ethereum and approved 2 stablecoin issuers – Paxos and Circle – to operate in the country.
  • 3 Nov: Singapore’s MAS launched Project Ubin+, an initiative for cross-border foreign exchange payments using wholesale CBDC.
  • 3 Nov: India’s crypto industry forms a new advocacy body, Bharat Web3 Association (BWA). Its leading members include Polygon, Hike, CoinSwitch Kuber and WazirX.
  • 4 Nov: Canada to launch a consultation on crypto, stablecoins and CBDCs as revealed in its new budget statement.
  • 4 Nov: Singapore approved an in-principle licence for Hong Kong-based crypto fund manager HashKey Capital.
  • 8 Nov: The Bank of Korea (BoK) tested cross-border remittances and NFT trading with CBDC.
  • 9 Nov: Abu Dhabi launched the Middle East, Asia and Africa blockchain association (MEAACBA), a new blockchain body backed by industry leaders in the region.
  • 11 Nov: New York Fed collaborated with the MAS to explore the efficiency of cross-border payments through wholesale CBDCs.
  • 11 Nov: The White House escalated its crypto regulation rhetoric after FTX imploded.
NTT Docomo

Investments

  • 1 Nov: Binance confirmed a $500 million investment in Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter acquisition.
  • 1 Nov: Private equity giant Apollo Global partnered with infrastructure provider Anchorage Digital to offer cryptocurrency custody services for institutional clients.
  • 2 Nov: Tharsis Labs, the core developer of Evmos – a leading Ethereum Virtual Machine-based blockchain in the Cosmos ecosystem – raised $27 million in token sale.
  • 3 Nov: Mastercard’s fintech innovation program onboarded 7 crypto and blockchain startups.
  • 3 Nov: Digital asset platform Bakkt Holdings (BKKT) agreed to acquire Apex Crypto for up to $200 million.
  • 4 Nov: Circle began moving reserves for its USDC stablecoin into a dedicated fund set up by BlackRock and registered with the SEC.
  • 7 Nov: Crypto exchange Coinmetro closed an interim funding round with $7 million euros, planning to scale up operations in US, UK and Europe with the capital.
  • 8 Nov: South Korean developer and publisher NCSOFT invested $15 million in Mysten Labs’ series B funding round to develop Web3 gaming infrastructure.
  • 9 Nov: Japan’s largest mobile phone operator NTT Docomo to invest up to $4 billion into Web3 technology.
  • 9 Nov: Compliance firm TRM Labs secured $70 million as demand for crypto crime mitigation rises.
  • 9 Nov: Cathie Wood’s investment house Ark Invest bought the dip and snapped up another $21.4 million of Coinbase stocks.
  • 9 Nov: Crypto payments startup Ramp obtained $70 million in a series B investment round.
  • 9 Nov: Digital asset exchange Archax raised $28.5 million in a series A funding round led by UK asset management giant Abrdn.
Yuga Labs 10KTF

NFTs, GameFi and metaverses

  • 1 Nov: Video game retailer GameStop added support for Web3 gaming NFTs minted via Immutable X on its marketplace.
  • 1 Nov: Move-to-earn game STEPN launched MOOAR, a new Ethereum and Solana NFT marketplace with a unique membership model and enforces creator-set royalties.
  • 2 Nov: OpenSea unveiled new theft detection and prevention features that identify scam links and block the resale of stolen assets.
  • 2 Nov: Warner Bros. collaborated with Daz 3D to launch Game of Thrones NFTs on Nifty’s.
  • 3 Nov: Instagram’s parent company Meta announced plan to introduce NFT creation, minting and trading tools on the app.
  • 3 Nov: Kraken debuted the beta version of its “gasless” NFT marketplace featuring 70 top-selling Ethereum and Solana NFT collections.
  • 3 Nov: American-owned F1 team Haas partnered with OpenSea for a racing NFT marketplace cross-promotion.
  • 3 Nov: Blockchain software company Alchemy launched Spearmint, an NFT allowlist and management platform for Ethereum and layer-2 projects such as Polygon, Arbitrum and Optimism.
  • 4 Nov: Square Enix, the creator of the successful Final Fantasy franchise, unveiled its first Ethereum NFT game, Symbiogenesis.
  • 4 Nov: ASICS announced the launch of the ASICS x Solana UI Collection, a line of custom-made running shoes that offers buyers a chance to win a limited edition ASICS x STEPN GT-2000 NFT.
  • 4 Nov: Blockchain startup Elrond rebrands itself as MultiversX, emphasising the company’s commitment to Metaverse development.
  • 10 Nov: OpenSea announced that it will continue enforcing creator royalties on NFTs despite losing market share to royalties-rejecting rival marketplaces.
  • 15 Nov: Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection, acquired Beeple’s WENEW and 10KTF NFT project.
  • 15 Nov: Nike released .SWOOSH, a Web3 platform that will offer Polygon-based NFT products.
Sam Bankman-Fried

Defaults, exploits and lawsuits

  • 1 Nov: Crypto exchange Coinbase voiced its support for Ripple in its legal battle with the SEC.
  • 2 Nov: Rubic, a cross-chain decentralised exchange (DEX) was exploited for over $1 million when an admin’s wallet address was compromised.
  • 2 Nov: Panama-based exchange Deribit halted withdrawals after hackers stole $28 million worth of Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDC.
  • 2 Nov: Skyward Finance was drained 1.1 million Near Protocol tokens worth approximately $3 million.
  • 3 Nov: Lending protocol TrueFi issued a notice of default to Invictus Capital for failing to repay a $1 million loan.
  • 3 Nov: Hedge fund manager Protocol Ventures to shutter and return investor cash.
  • 4 Nov: Web3 gaming CEO Gabriel Leydon’s Twitter was hacked, resulting in the theft of dozens of NFTs and around $30,000 worth of crypto.
  • 4 Nov: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an order against a fraudulent crypto trading firm Arbitraging.co.
  • 5 Nov: SEC filed charges against Trade Coin Club founder and 3 others for an alleged $295 million Bitcoin Ponzi scheme.
  • 5 Nov: Prolific phishing scammer Monkey Drainer’ has swiped $800,000 worth of CryptoPunks and Otherside NFTs.
  • 7 Nov: Bitcoin miner Iris Energy faced a $103 million default claim from mining rig manufacturer Bitmain Technologies.
  • 8 Nov: LBRY, Inc lost its court battle with SEC, which deemed the LBC token as a security.
  • 11 Nov: India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) froze an additional 150.22 BTC valued at $2.5 million in an ongoing money-laundering investigation against gaming app E-Nuggets.
  • 11 Nov: FTX filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy following the exchange’s epic collapse. Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO.
  • 12 Nov: California finance regulator suspended BlockFi’s lending licence after the crypto lender halted withdrawal.
  • 12 Nov: Hundreds of millions were also drained from FTX overnight in multiple unauthorised transfers.
Fidelity trading app

Digital banks and exchanges

  • 4 Nov: Investment giant Fidelity offered retail investors early access to its new Bitcoin trading app.
  • 4 Nov: OKX‘s native token pumped 25% as the exchange set up shop in Bahamas.
  • 4 Nov: Argentina-based fintech Uala enabled Bitcoin and Ethereum trading features.
  • 7 Nov: Crypto exchange Gemini expanded its offerings to 5 more European countries.
  • 8 Nov: Wintermute-backed DEX Bebop launched on Polygon.
  • 10 Nov: Crypto.‌com halted withdrawals of USDC and USDT on Solana.
  • 11 Nov: Coinbase laid off 60+ employees amid market downturn.
  • 11 Nov: BlockFi halted withdrawals following the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research.
  • 13 Nov: Crypto.com accidentally sent 320,000 ETH (approximately $400 million) to a wrong address at rival exchange Gate.io.
MetaMask wallet

Payments and wallets

  • 2 Nov: South African supermarket chain Pick n Pay now accepts Bitcoin payments from any Lightning Network-enabled wallet.
  • 9 Nov: MetaMask expanded blockchain interoperability by allowing token bridging across multiple blockchains with new decentralised app.
  • 10 Nov: While Twitter has yet to enable crypto payments, it has taken its first step in that direction by filing an application as a money transmitter.
  • 10 Nov: Subway trialled Bitcoin payments at 3 outlets in Germany, allowing customers to purchase sandwiches through the Lightning Network.
  • 14 Nov: Visa terminated its partnership with FTX and winded down the FTX-branded Visa debit cards.

Images: Getty Images

Top crypto news

The ongoing FTX saga: Its colossal downfall, implications and more

15 November 2022

FTX collapse

Image: Finder

Mega crypto exchange FTX and its 30-year-old former billionaire founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) have met their downfall.

FTX’s sudden collapse sent shockwaves across the entire cryptocurrency industry and bled the crypto market capitalisation by over $100 billion within a day. Bitcoin fell as low as $15,625 on 9 November, its lowest level since November 2020. This further spooked investors into a massive sell-off.

The dizzying downward spiral began with a leaked balance sheet from Alameda Research, a trading firm founded by SBF. This quickly raised questions and accelerated the discovery of various bombshell revelations. One of the most shocking exposé was FTX tapping into customer deposits to make risky bets, which set up its implosion.

Here’s a quick run-down of the ongoing saga:

  • 2 Nov: A leaked balance sheet from Alameda Research suggested that the trading firm held a lion’s share of FTT – the native token of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.
  • 5 Nov: Twitter account Whale Alert notified its users that approximately 23 million FTX tokens were moved to Binance, sparking fears about an incoming dump.
  • 6 Nov: Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison attempted to quell panic, tweeting that the leaked balance sheet was only for “a subset of our corporate entities” and that over $10 billion of other assets weren’t reflected in it.
  • 6 Nov: Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao announced that his exchange would liquidate all of its FTT holdings due to “recent revelations”.
  • 6 Nov: Ellison offered to buy Binance’s FTT holdings for $22 per share.
  • 7 Nov: FTX’s $6 billion bank run began as users scrambled to withdraw their assets from FTX.
  • 7 Nov: Sam Bankman-Fried attempted to calm the fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) with a series of tweets, saying a competitor “is trying to go after us with false rumors” and “assets are fine.”
  • 7 Nov: CZ turned down Alameda’s over-the-counter deal to purchase Binance’s FTX Token holdings.
  • 8 Nov: FTT price began to take a nose dive. The broader crypto markets also started to waiver.
  • 8 Nov: SBF confirmed FTX’s “liquidity crunch” and sought help from Binance. CZ followed up with the announcement saying Binance has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire FTX.
  • 9 Nov: Websites for FTX’s venture capital arm, FTX Ventures and Alameda, went dark.
  • 9 Nov: Binance officially backed out of the acquisition deal, citing the depth of FTX’s crisis to be “beyond our control or ability to help”.
  • 9 Nov: Crypto market in a sea of red. Crypto market capitalisation lost over $100 billion in 24 hours after CZ scrapped the FTX bailout deal.
  • 9 Nov: FTX website warned against deposits and halted withdrawals.
  • 10 Nov: Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital marked down its entire $213.5 million investments in FTX and FTX US to zero.
  • 10 Nov: SBF apologised over FTX meltdown.
  • 10 Nov: Japan’s financial regulator issued suspension orders to FTX Japan.
  • 10 Nov: FTX US resigned from the Crypto Council for Innovation.
  • 10 Nov: Bahamian securities regulator suspended FTX’s registration in the country and froze its assets.
  • 11 Nov: FTX opened withdrawals for users from the Bahamas. One Bahamian account exploited a loophole to help out users from different domiciles make their withdrawals using NFTs.
  • 11 Nov: California regulators to investigate FTX’s collapse.
  • 11 Nov: All Alameda Research employees resigned collectively after a group meeting.
  • 11 Nov: FTX tweeted that about 130 companies in FTX Group had started proceedings to file for bankruptcy in the US. SBF resigned as CEO and the position is succeeded by John Ray.
  • 11 Nov: FTX US suspended withdrawals.
  • 12 Nov: FTX suffered $659 million hack from wallet drains.
  • 13 Nov: FTX faced an investigation from The Royal Bahamas Police Force for possible criminal misconduct.
  • 14 Nov: Turkey’s financial authority announced an investigation against FTX.
  • 14 Nov: The Supreme Court of the Bahamas approved provisional liquidators to oversee the assets of FTX’s Bahamian entity FTX Digital Markets.
  • 14 Nov: FTX bankruptcy filings revealed that the exchange may have over 1 million creditors.
  • 14 Nov: FTX’s downfall under probe by the US attorney’s office in Manhattan, New York.
  • 15 Nov: Australia’s financial services regulator suspended the operation licence of FTX’s local entity.

Of course, FTX’s demise is not the end of crypto. But the carnage following its drama has undoubtedly inflicted a grievous wound on the crypto market that may take a long time to recover from. The FTX saga is still ongoing at the time of publication and further developments will be covered in our next crypto round-up.

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