Also today, can Bitcoin really hit $1 million in 90 days? This ex-Coinbase exec thinks so — and is putting his money where his mouth is.
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Bitcoin's bullish momentum is cooling down as the Federal Reserve prepares to decide whether it'll raise interest rates again. An increase of 0.25 percentage points is expected on Wednesday. All of this comes as the Crypto Fear and Greed Index — which measures sentiment among investors — reaches its highest level in a year. But the question on everyone's lips is whether BTC has the potential to crack $30,000. Reaching this level would see MicroStrategy break even on its investment of 132,500 BTC. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mike McGlone has claimed "the global banking calamity may mark Bitcoin's maturation from its birth following the great financial crisis." BTC has outperformed gold by a factor of 10x so far this year.
Ron DeSantis isn't a fan of digital dollars. The Florida governor — who is expected to run for president in 2024 — says he wants to ban CBDCs from the Sunshine State. Standing before a podium emblazoned with the phrase "Big Brother's Digital Dollar," he claimed a CBDC will "promote government-sanctioned surveillance." DeSantis then pointed to China's digital yuan as an example. His announcement is largely political theater. A digital dollar could still be 10 years away, and the Federal Reserve has expressed deep skepticism about the need for one. Nonetheless, it could be a fatal blow to the movement to create a CBDC in the U.S. DeSantis is now calling for other states to join his campaign against centralized digital currencies.
A former Coinbase executive believes hyperinflation in the U.S. will drive Bitcoin's price to $1 million within 90 days. And Balaji Srinivasan is prepared to put his money where his mouth is — by putting up $1 million in stablecoins against 1 BTC. If he's wrong, a pseudonymous Twitter personality called "James Medlock" could turn $28,000 into seven figures. All of this confused Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine. He tweeted: "Wait so a guy is betting that Bitcoin will be at $1m in 90 days by buying a Bitcoin at $1m now? Do I have this right? I'm not the world's greatest trader or anything but if you have $1m and you think Bitcoin will be worth $1m in 90 days the trade is to buy **40** of 'em."
Back in November 2017, the then CEO of Credit Suisse faced a backlash after he dismissed Bitcoin as a "bubble." BTC was trading at $7,000 back when Tidjane Thiam declared it had "unattractive characteristics." Fast forward five years, and some are now treating Bitcoin as a safe haven during the current banking crisis — with Credit Suisse being rescued by UBS in a cut-price deal. The irony hasn't been lost on Bitcoiners. Blockware's head analyst Joe Burnett wrote: "Over 5 years ago, the CEO of Credit Suisse called Bitcoin a bubble. Since then, BTC is up 318% and Credit Suisse just sold for ~1/5 the size of Dogecoin." For Bitcoiners, it seems like revenge is a dish best served cold.
As fat-fingered mistakes go, this was a big one. Back in May 2021, Crypto.com accidentally sent $7 million to an Australian couple owed a $66 refund. It took the exchange seven months to notice — and by then, they'd allegedly gone on a spending spree. A court in Melbourne has heard that $2 million of this cash is still missing — amid claims that some of it has gone offshore. Prosecutors fear Jatinder Singh still has access to this cash, and represents an "unacceptable" flight risk. But a judge has ruled that he can be bailed while he awaits trial — as long as he surrenders his passport. He has pleaded not guilty to theft, and the case will now proceed. His partner, Thevamanogari Manivel, was bailed last year.
A crypto YouTuber has been accused of threatening and harassing a lawyer. BitBoy Crypto has been named in a class action lawsuit that accuses him of promoting FTX without disclosing he had been paid. But the influencer, whose real name is Ben Armstrong, says he's never had dealings with SBF's empire. A judge has been told that BitBoy bombarded attorney Adam Moscowitz with "endless phone calls, tweets and emails." It's alleged that the YouTuber called his office 21 times in just 45 minutes, described Moskowitz as a "dumb motherf*****," and claimed his home address was being circulated on Reddit. Last night, BitBoy tweeted: "Adam Moskowitz and his law team have filed a document saying I’m threatening them lmao. It’s not a threat. It’s a promise bud. I’m coming for your license sir. Relentlessly. You made a big mistake. And you will pay for it."
Every crypto advert in Belgium will soon need to carry a mandatory warning that says: "Virtual currencies, real risks. The only guarantee in crypto is risk." Regulators say they're taking action after polls showed 43% of investors have been motivated by a desire to make money quickly. Crypto firms will also need to make sure that their ads are not misleading, and perceived advantages aren't given too much prominence. Research by Belgium's Financial Services and Markets Authority also uncovered another interesting statistic: the crypto winter and the dramatic collapse of FTX doesn't appear to have had too much of an impact in perceptions of digital assets. Only 7% said they will no longer trade virtual currencies as a direct result of the bear market and SBF's empire going bankrupt.
Flagstar Bank has successfully bid on Signature Bank's assets — but the deal excludes its $4 billion in deposits from crypto companies. That means it's going to get a lot harder for crypto firms to offer a fiat on-ramp for their customers. It could also create some nasty headaches when they're trying to do basic, day-to-day things like payroll. The announcement's not got down well. The Wall Street Journal claims the FDIC has "all but confirmed that it closed the bank over crypto." And David Marcus, who once led Facebook's doomed Diem project, tweeted: "I really hope we will understand how Signature Bank was selectively stripped of its digital assets business before being acquired."
North Korea might not have been behind the Euler Finance hack after all. On Saturday, those responsible sent 3,000 ETH — worth about $5.4 million — back to the DeFi protocol. And yesterday, the hackers sent a message that said: "We want to make this easy on all those affected. No intention of keeping what is not ours. Setting up secure communication. Let us come to an agreement." Euler had initially tried to appeal to the hacker by saying they could keep $20 million — and avoid prosecution if they returned the rest. But that offer doesn't necessarily mean all that much. Mango Markets had reached a similar agreement with Avraham Eisenberg, but he was slapped with charges by federal prosecutors anyway.
For a little while, it looked like FTX's new management and The Bahamas were playing nice. But not anymore. In a new filing that's bound to inflame tensions, executives from the exchange have asked a judge to kick Bahamian regulators off the bankruptcy case. Their attorneys argued that the company's Bahamian unit, FTX Digital Markets (FTX DM) "has no ownership interest" in property of FTX, Alameda Research, or any of the approximately 100 companies in Sam Bankman-Fried's empire. Bankman-Fried and FTX's offices were in The Bahamas, and he was arrested there at the request of the U.S. Justice Department. But it's claimed these offices "functioned as an offshore haven for a continuous fraudulent scheme."