Welcome to the Monthly Dispatch, where we bring you the biggest stories from the world of digital assets over the past month. During March we saw the arrest of Do Kwon, a USDC depeg, the banking crises deepen and so much more.
So, let’s dive in and recap the previous month’s biggest news.
Xapo Bank, a digital asset custody and storage provider, has announced it will enable faster Bitcoin payments with the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network is a second-layer payment protocol built on the Bitcoin blockchain, enabling faster and cheaper transactions. Xapo Bank customers will soon be able to send and receive Bitcoin transactions faster and with lower fees. This move by Xapo Bank is part of a growing trend in the cryptocurrency industry towards improving the scalability and usability of digital assets.
USDC, the second largest stablecoin by market cap, depegged from its 1:1 US Dollar peg owing to parent company Circle having $3.3 billion stuck in their partner bank- the now bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank. Circle has stated the situation has temporarily reduced the USDC reserves backing the stablecoin. However, they’ve assured users the funds are safe and they’re working on resolving the issue.
Bitcoin’s value rose as the US inflation rate increased in February 2023, reaching its highest level in almost three years. The inflation rate, which measures the rise in the cost of goods and services, surged by 1.7%, pushing investors to seek alternatives like Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation. With the cryptocurrency’s value rising by over 20% in the past month, analysts predict that Bitcoin could continue to serve as a haven for investors seeking to protect their wealth from the effects of inflation.
The sudden failure of two traditional banks has sent shockwaves through the financial world. Reportedly struggling, their overnight collapse caught many off guard, leading to chaos in financial markets. The situation has highlighted the fragility of traditional banking systems and raised questions about the need for more resilient alternatives, such as blockchain-based banking. With many investors and customers left reeling from the shock, global markets will feel the fallout effect from the collapse.
YouTube influencers may face a class-action lawsuit for falsely promoting FTX, an unregulated cryptocurrency exchange. The move follows a pattern of similar cases against BitConnect – now bankrupt – and seeks compensation for investors fooled by the lack of proper financial relationship disclosure by the YouTube influencers.
Reportedly, authorities arrested Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, in Montenegro on charges of tax evasion and money laundering. Kwon, an influential figure in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space, denies the allegations and is fighting extradition to South Korea, prompting concerns about the potential impact on the industry. This incident highlights the increasing regulatory scrutiny faced by the DeFi sector and emphasizes the importance of adopting responsible and compliant practices in the cryptocurrency industry.
Greenpeace’s latest art installation, the “Skull of Satoshi,” has become a viral sensation among Bitcoin enthusiasts. The skull-shaped sculpture made from electronic waste represents the cryptocurrency’s potential environmental impact. Greenpeace hopes to raise awareness about the issue and encourage sustainable practices. The artwork has sparked a wave of memes and discussions on social media, highlighting the power of art in spreading important messages.
On March 14, the U.S. government brought in almost $216 million from liquidating a portion of the 50,000 Bitcoin seized from James Zhong following his 2012 arrest for wire fraud and manipulation on Silk Road. The U.S. government will sell off the remaining 41,490 BTC over 4 phases within the year.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has launched a lawsuit against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao alleging that the company had been illegally trading Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin with U.S. persons since 2019. According to the CFTC’s suit, Binance failed to adhere to commodities exchange regulations and neglected to oversee its activities by deliberately transacting beyond the U.S. borders.
Trump’s NFT collection has seen a surge in activity, with sales rising 460% in the last 24 hours to total $185,785. The Price Floor reports that the current volume is 99.952 ETH, and 180 individual transactions have taken place; even the cheapest piece saw an increase from its baseline price of 25%. This 45000-piece set features characters such as Superman, wrestlers, soldiers and football players – all modelled after Donald Trump himself. It appears controversy around his indictment may drive this surge in demand for these unique digital assets.
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