Bitcoin enjoys a respite from Crypto Winter
#Web3Weekly: Jan. 8–14, 2023
Bitcoin gave a ray of hope to investors even as fallout from Crypto Winter continued to be starkly evident in most of the week’s other big developments.
BTC saw a frenzied rally that accelerated late in the week. BTC leapt to a two-month high above $21,000 yesterday, up 23% for the week.
Both crypto and the stock market were helped by favorable data on U.S. inflation and consumer sentiment.
Following bitcoin’s strong performance, the global crypto market’s valuation hovered just shy of $1 trillion in recent trading. And on-chain data shows the average bitcoin purchase over the last five months is now showing a profit, according to the research firm Glassnode.
Of course, talking about token prices is one thing. The fortunes of companies that have built businesses atop bitcoin or other open-source crypto projects is a whole other matter.
The week’s other notable headlines loudly attest to this distinction:
- The Winklevoss brothers’ Gemini Trust terminated its partnership with Genesis Global Trading and escalated criticism of company founder Barry Silbert. Gemini accused Silbert of “bad faith stalling tactics” in returning almost $1 billion in customer funds it lent to his company. Meanwhile, federal regulators filed a civil complaint against both sides of the industry feud alleging they jointly offered unregistered securities to investors.
- Exchange layoffs: Coinbase and Crypto.com each announced they will lay off an additional 20% of their employees, citing pressures of the longer-term downturn in crypto.
- FTX’s attorney said the bankrupt exchange has recovered over $5 billion in assets that it may use to reimburse creditors. In its original bankruptcy filing, FTX said it could have up to $10 billion in liabilities, so it is still falling far short of making clients whole, as the lawyers say. But this does seem like a significant start.
- Binance now “dominates” crypto trading, and its founder CZ Zhao is the single most powerful person in the industry following rival FTX’s collapse, according to a new episode of Bloomberg’s crypto podcast.
- U.S. prosecutors arrested hacker Avraham “Avi” Eisenberg in Puerto Rico and charged him with fraud in connection with his $110 exploit of the Mango Markets exchange in October. Eisenberg is also being sued for civil penalties by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
- The Block reports that “a growing number” of venture capital firms in crypto complain their portfolio projects are postponing launch of their tokens due to fears over pricing, exchange fees, and increased regulation.
- MIT Technology Review reports that a national park in Congo has begun mining bitcoin with hydroelectric power to fund protection of its forests and wildlife.
- Bloomberg News reports that Apple is set to unveil a mixed-reality headset, dubbed Reality Pro, at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June after seven years of development.
- Are we too dumb for aliens to contact? A new paper suggests that Earth may not have given off enough signs of intelligent life, or that other civilizations may not be interested in contacting us due to a weak “technosignature.” Ouch.
That’s it for now. Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! If you would like to receive updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.
As ever, a brief disclaimer: This content is intended for journalistic purposes only, not as investment advice. For the latter, please DYOR and consult appropriate financial pros to make the most suitable choices for your individual needs.
Best wishes for a healthy and productive week ahead.