Hodler’s Digest, Aug. 27 – Sept. 2 – Cointelegraph Magazine
Top Stories This Week
Grayscale wins SEC lawsuit for Bitcoin ETF review
Crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments recently scored a big win in its battle against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
In an ongoing effort to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), the U.S. appeals court judge accepted Grayscale’s argument that the SEC’s rejection of its recent ETF application was unfair. The SEC had alleged that the GBTC didn’t have enough safe practices and fraud protection in place.
Judge Neomi Rao gave the green light to Grayscale’s request for a second review.Previously, Rao said that the SEC did not “offer any explanation” as to why Grayscale was in the wrong.
However, the victory doesn’t automatically mean Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF is a done deal. There’s still more to come…
BitBoy Crypto brand will no longer include YouTuber Ben Armstrong
The parent company of Hit Network, the folks behind the “BitBoy Crypto” brand, just gave the boot to its public face, Ben Armstrong.
The company alleged issues of substance abuse and financial damage as reasons behind the decision.
In a YouTube and social media announcement, Hit Network revealed that despite its efforts to support Armstrong during his struggle with addiction, it had decided to part ways with the influencer.
This follows Armstrong facing a series of lawsuits in recent times. He was in a class-action lawsuit where investors accused him and other influencers of promoting FTX without disclosing how much they were getting paid by the exchange.
Furthermore, during the lawsuit, there were claims that Armstrong threatened the plaintiff’s lawyers and even blew off a federal judge’s orders to show up in court. The case was put on hold in June.
SEC delays decision on 6 spot Bitcoin ETF applications
The SEC has chosen to postpone delivering a decision on six applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States. The commission has opted to extend its review period by an additional 45 days, pushing the eventual decision back until October. Shortly after the news broke, the SEC also put BlackRock, the biggest asset manager in the world, in the same delayed decision boat.
Bitwise withdraws Bitcoin and Ether Market Cap ETF application
In a surprising twist following the U.S. SEC’s announcement of delays, Bitwise has submitted a request to retract its application for its Bitcoin and Ether Market Cap Weight Strategy ETF. This application was originally submitted to the SEC on Aug. 3. It seems that Bitwise is taking a step back to reconsider its approach, despite the brief positive market sentiment that followed Grayscale’s recent SEC win.
Robinhood bought back Sam Bankman-Fried’s stake from US gov’t for $606M
Crypto and stock trading platform Robinhood scooped up more than 55 million shares of their own company that were previously owned by Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX. The purchase, which cost Robinhood roughly $606 million, was finalized this week after it filed the paperwork with the U.S. SEC. These shares originally held by Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang, a co-founder of FTX, through a company called Emergent Fidelity Technologies.
However, back in January, the U.S. Department of Justice seized these shares. The purchase has been in the works for a while. Robinhood’s board of directors gave it the green light in its Q4 2022 report, and an SEC filing from August confirmed that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved the purchase without any legal complications.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $25,610, Ether (ETH) at $1,618 and XRP (XRP) at $0.49. The total market cap is $1.03 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Toncoin (TON) at 33.90%, Iota (MIOTA) at 13.13% and Maker (MKR) at 12.33%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are KuCoin Token (KCS) at 15.53%, Hedera (HBAR) at 15.02% and Astar (ASTR) at 12.82%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
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Most Memorable Quotes
“There are many cases where transparency is a feature, but people do not want most transactions in the economy to be public.”
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase
“Now that the courts are starting to rein in the SEC a bit, I think there’s some hope that the industry is kind of igniting again in the U.S.”
Jeremy McLaughlin, partner at K&L Gates
“In the end, we will win. You can’t steal someone’s company they built on their identity and win.”
Ben Armstrong, former frontman of BitBoy Crypto
“I definitely do think we could see in this next cycle $100,000 cost per Bitcoin, and that’s based on if BTC were to capture even 2 to 5% of gold’s $13 trillion place in institutional portfolios.”
Sue Ennis, vice president of Hut 8
“We see limited downside for crypto markets over the near term.”
“I spoke to a guy the other day that has 80 altcoins in his portfolio. There’s no way an individual investor can stay across and know exactly what 80 different coins are doing at any one time.”
Ben Simpson, founder of Collective Shift
Prediction of the Week
Bitcoin risks ‘swift’ $23K dive after BTC price loses 11% in August
Data indicates that Bitcoin is on track for a retest of long-term support levels following a drop in BTC price as August came to a close. Reversing the gains witnessed the previous week, BTC/USD is now trading below $26,000 as of Sept. 1, according to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView.
Initially, market participants had reasons to be optimistic as Bitcoin held a key long-term trendline and maintained the $27,000 level. However, a decision by the U.S. SEC to delay several Bitcoin ETF applications caused a change in sentiment.Bitcoin swiftly shed $1,000 in value over just two hourly candles.
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Traders have been speculating over the movements. “On-chain data suggests that $BTC lacks strong support below the $25,400 mark,” popular pseudonymous trader Ali told X (formerly Twitter) subscribers.
On-chain monitoring resource Material Indicators delivered a similarly grim picture for BTC/USD on daily, weekly and even monthly timeframes. Using signals from one of its proprietary trading tools, Trend Precognition, Material Indicators advised that $24,750 needed to hold for bulls to have a chance at clinching a rebound.
FUD of the Week
Balancer exploited in nearly $900k after vulnerability warning.
The Ethereum automated market maker and decentralized finance protocol, Balancer, confirmed that it had fallen victim to an exploit, resulting in losses of nearly $900,000. This incident occurred shortly after it had disclosed a vulnerability that impacted several pools.
An Ethereum address allegedly belonging to the attacker has been revealed by blockchain security expert Meier Dolev. Following the exploit, the address received two transfers of Dai stablecoin worth $636,812 and $257,527, respectively, bringing its total balance to over $893,978.
“Balancer is aware of an exploit related to the vulnerability below,” the protocol’s team posted on X, adding that, while mitigation measures taken in recent days had drastically reduced risks, affected pools could not be paused. “To prevent further exploits, users must withdraw from affected LPs,” the team advised.
Brazilian crypto streamer loses money by accidentally exposing private key
A Brazilian cryptocurrency streamer is one of the latest victims of unsafe self-custody practices, reportedly losing thousands of dollars due to a private key accident. The owner of the Fraternidade Crypto channel, Ivan Bianco, unwittingly exposed his private key to a self-custodial cryptocurrency wallet during a livestream on YouTube.
In the middle of the livestream related to Bitcoin and blockchain games, Bianco apparently tried to access his passwords for the blockchain games platform Gala Games through a text file on his computer.
Unfortunately for the streamer, his Gala Games passwords were stored in the same text file as the seed phrase for his MetaMask wallet, which had a significant amount of Polygon (MATIC).
Exploits, hacks and scams stole almost $1B in 2023: Report
Cybersecurity firm CertiK reported that over $997 million was lost to flash loan attacks, exit scams and exploits in 2023. Malicious actors targeting the crypto space have taken more than $45 million in digital assets from their victims in the month of August alone and a total of $997 million year-to-date.
In the report, CertiK highlighted that exit scams took around $26 million, flash loan attacks took $6.4 million, and exploits took $13.5 million from their victims in August 2023. The cybersecurity firm confirmed that the total losses amounted to over $45 million.
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