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Crypto Flipsider News – Bitcoin’s Worst Quarter; Ethereum Hard Fork; FTX BlockFi Acquisition; BCBS Crypto Rules; CFTC Fraud Lawsuit

Read in the Digest:

  • Bitcoin drops below $19k to close worst quarter of the last eleven years.
  • Ethereum activates ‘Grey Glacier’ hard fork – ETH 2.0 deposits hit all-time high.
  • Crypto exchange FTX to purchase BlockFi lending protocol for $25 Million.
  • Basel Committee revises rules for banks engaging in crypto and blockchain.
  • CFTC sues South African man for involvement in $1.7 billion fraud scheme.

Bitcoin Drops Below $19k to Close Worst Quarter of the Last Eleven Years

As cryptocurrencies continue to battle the choppy market, Bitcoin, which managed to hold out above $20k for a week consecutively, succumbed to the bearish pressure and fell below $19k for the fourth time in June.

The 7 day price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: CoinMarketCap

The drop below $19k on June 30th saw Bitcoin break an undesirable record. On June 1st, Bitcoin (BTC) was trading $31.7k, the leading asset closed out June at a low of $19.8k, marking a 39.2% price drop over 30 days.

The 1 month price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: CoinMarketCap

With this, Bitcoin has broken an 11-year record for the worst single quarter, but not the kind enthusiasts will want to brag about. In Q2 of 2022, the price of Bitcoin declined by an earth-shattering 56.2%, dropping from a high of $46.8k to close the quarter out at just $19.8k.

The 3-month price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: CoinMarketCap

Flipsider:

Why You Should Care

With the price of Bitcoin being driven to a multi-year low by inflation pressure and the implosion of Terra Luna, investors are hoping that Bitcoin has found a bottom from which to finally chase the green.

Ethereum Activates ‘Grey Glacier’ Hard Fork – ETH 2.0 Deposits Hit All-Time High

Every day, Ethereum takes strides towards ‘the Merge’⁠—the much-anticipated transition from Proof of Work in a Proof of Stake model. On Thursday, June 30th, the Ethereum Foundation’s Tim Beiko announced the launch of a hard fork on the network

Dubbed “Gray Glacier,” the upgrade was activated at block 15,050,000 on June 30th. Gray Glacier introduces new parameters of the network’s difficulty bomb, pushing it back by 700,000 blocks, or roughly 100 days.

As the network inches closer to the Merge, on-chain data shows that Ether Deposits in ETH 2.0 (the PoS beacon chain) reached an all-time high in response to the upgrade on June 30th. 

On-chain data tracker Glassnode reported that the total value of ETH staked by investors on the Beacon chain has hit an all-time high of 12,976,933 ETH. 

Flipsider:

  • Despite building momentum ahead of the Ethereum mainnet merge, ETH has been one of the tokens being hit hardest as a result of the ongoing market crash, having lost 65% of its value over the last 60 days.

Why You Should Care

With Gray Glacier now live, the Ethereum mainnet merge is expected to take place in September.

Crypto Exchange FTX to Purchase BlockFi Lending Protocol for $25 Million

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX Digital Markets Ltd, co-founded by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, is reportedly close to finalizing an acquisition deal worth $25 million for crypto lender BlockFi Lending LLC.

The news comes just a week after we reported that the embattled crypto lending platform had received a $250 million revolving credit facility from FTX. According to an insider report, FTX will announce the deal’s completion before week’s end.

The $25 million acquisition of BlockFi represents 99% less than the crypto lender’s July 2021 $4.8 billion valuation. Debunking the reports, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince tweeted this afternoon: “I can 100% confirm that we aren’t being sold for $25M.”

While the community waits for official confirmation from either party, Canada-based Ledn is looking to challenge FTX’s $25 million bid for the acquisition of BlockFi. Ledn leads a $400 million funding round with an offering of $50 million equity contribution on the table.

Flipsider:

  • FTX recently canceled its intended acquisition of Celsius Network after it recorded a $2 billion shortfall in its balance sheet.

Why You Should Care

The devaluation and financial crisis facing BlockFi stems from the ongoing crypto winter that has weighed heavily on crypto firms across the board.

Basel Committee Revises Rules for Banks Engaging in Crypto and Blockchain

On Thursday, June 30th, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published a revised consultation on the capital requirements for crypto asset risk exposures. 

The global Basel Committee of banking regulators warned that Banks should take a more conservative approach and set aside capital to cover the risks of holding “unbacked” crypto assets on their books.

The report acknowledged the hedging of crypto assets, and classified them into traditional assets using DLT, stablecoins, and cryptocurrencies. Banks now have a 1% crypto exposure of tier capital.

For stablecoins to be earmarked as redeemable in Basel, issuers must provide weekly breakdowns of their backing assets. Additionally, the prices of the asset class must not drop below 99.9 cents for more than three days in a year – a regulation that finds many of the modern large-cap stablecoins wanting. 

Flipsider:

  • While some had hoped for more relaxed rules, the Basel Committee has instead made its crypto rules stricter, treating stablecoins as other extremely high-risk crypto assets.

Why You Should Care

The BCBS expressed that it will welcome public comments on its proposal until September 30th before proceeding to officialize the rules.

CFTC Sues South African Man for Involvement in $1.7 Billion Fraud Scheme

On June 30th, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed civil charges against a South African man, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg, and his company, Mirror Trading International (MTI), for running a fraudulent commodity pool. 

The United States regulators alleges that Steynberg was involved in a fraudulent scheme that duped investors out of bitcoin worth over $1.7 billion. The CFTC refers to the case as its “largest-ever fraud scheme case involving bitcoin.”

The accused is charged with fraudulently claiming 29,421 BTC through an international multilevel marketing scheme running from May 18th, 2018, through March 30th, 2021. 

The company claimed to own proprietary software that would generate substantial gains for investors who pooled their bitcoin with it, but no such “bot” existed. MTI filed for bankruptcy and insolvency in March 2021 when it became clear that it was under investigation.

Flipsider:

  • Although the CFTC claims that it is pursuing full restitution for affected investors, the agency has notified victims that compensation may not result in the full recovery of lost funds.

Why You Should Care

Crackdowns on fradulent crypto schemes are on the rise as authorities look to regulate the nascent crypto industry.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial legal or tax advice. Trading Forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs poses a considerable risk of loss

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