Welcome to another edition of AsicZ’s Weekly Wednesday Roundup, where we siphon through news in the cryptoverse, unraveling threads of innovation, controversy, and pivotal developments. This week, the space has been a hotbed of activity, with narratives woven around the strategic mining maneuvers of Hut 8, the bullish outlook of Paul Tudor Jones amidst geopolitical tumult, and the courtroom dramas involving entities like Coinbase and Sam Bankman-Fried. From the financial projections of Arthur Hayes to the regulatory tussles and humanitarian efforts in the Israeli crypto industry, we traverse a myriad of stories that have sculpted the narrative this week. Let’s embark on this journey, summarizing the week’s most notable happenings and exploring the implications they may have on our digital future.
Canadian Bitcoin mining company Hut 8 has mined 111 Bitcoin in September 2023, elevating its self-mined BTC reserves to 9,366 coins. This activity comes amidst an ongoing merger deal with industrial miner, US Bitcoin (USBTC). Despite a nearly 60% drop in monthly mining volumes from 277 BTC in September 2022, Hut 8 has adhered to its HODL strategy, not selling any Bitcoin during the month and maintaining one of the largest self-mined BTC reserves among publicly traded firms. The merger with USBTC, which received approval from the Supreme Court of British Columbia in September 2023, is anticipated to form a new Bitcoin mining business named Hut 8 Corp, or “New Hut.”
Hedge fund magnate Paul Tudor Jones has expressed a preference for Bitcoin and gold amidst a backdrop of escalating geopolitical risk and surging U.S. government debt, which he perceives as deterrents to stock ownership. In a discussion on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Jones highlighted the precarious U.S. fiscal position, which he deemed the most fragile since World War II, and described the current geopolitical climate as potentially the most threatening he has ever witnessed. Despite his previously fluctuating stance on Bitcoin, influenced by regulatory and inflationary factors, Jones affirmed, “I love Bitcoin and gold,” signaling a sustained bullish outlook on these assets amidst the prevailing economic and geopolitical turbulence.
Arthur Hayes, BitMEX founder, has projected that Bitcoin could reach a price between $750,000 and $1 million by 2026. Hayes anticipates a major financial crisis, potentially as severe as the Great Depression, towards the end of the decade but foresees a significant bull market in stocks, real estate, crypto, and art before that occurs. He attributes this to the U.S. government’s tendency to intervene in economic crises with bailouts, perpetuating a cycle of central bank printing, which leads to inflation and prevents the economy from experiencing natural market cycles. Hayes predicts a “massive top” in 2026, followed by a severe economic downturn by the end of the decade. Despite this, he expects Bitcoin to experience a substantial rise in value, reaching new all-time highs.
Israeli crypto firms are grappling with the multifaceted challenges brought about by the ongoing war with Hamas. While few operational disruptions have been reported, employees are being called up for reserve duty and are engaging in volunteer activities, such as blood donation and providing food or clothing. The crisis has spurred the creation of Crypto Aid Israel, a campaign supported by various Israeli crypto firms, which has raised approximately $85,000 in 24 hours since its launch to assist citizens affected by the war. Despite the turmoil, many firms remain operational, albeit with adjustments to accommodate the current situation, and are providing support to employees affected by the violence. The war has not only significantly impacted the nation’s collective psyche but also the daily operations and employees of Israeli crypto companies.
Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, testified in the trial of FTX exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried, revealing that she committed fraud under his direction. Ellison, who has pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges, stated that she sent balance sheets, which made Alameda’s balances appear less risky to investors, at Bankman-Fried’s behest. She also disclosed that Alameda borrowed funds from FTX for its investments and that Bankman-Fried directed her to use FTX funds while ensuring enough liquidity to meet withdrawal requests. Ellison has been cooperating with the government since her guilty plea and is expected to provide a close look at the decision-making that led to FTX’s collapse last November.
Alameda Research, under the direction of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), reportedly minted over $38 billion worth of Tether (USDT) tokens in 2021, despite not having equivalent assets under management, according to on-chain data flagged by Coinbase director Conor Grogan. The minting was purportedly executed to capitalize on arbitrage opportunities related to the value of USDT across various trading pairs on different exchanges. SBF and former Alameda co-CEO Sam Trabucco have previously explained how Alameda profited from arbitrage opportunities by collecting premiums through its ability to create USDT tokens.
Binance has frozen accounts linked to Hamas militants, responding to requests from Israeli law enforcement. The freeze is specifically targeted towards Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, and not towards the general populace of Palestine. Yi He, Binance’s co-founder, emphasized that the freeze is aimed at Hamas, which is distinct from Palestine, and that the organization, not the country, is the problem due to its engagement in violent activities against civilians. Israeli officials, with Binance’s cooperation, have frozen the crypto accounts of Hamas militants, which were allegedly used to gather war-related funding via social media. Meanwhile, the local Web3 community in Israel has initiated a charity campaign, “Crypto Aid Israel,” to assist Israeli civilians impacted by the ongoing conflict, raising nearly $85,000 in crypto donations since its inception.
Binance’s Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI), aimed at supporting the digital asset industry following the FTX collapse, has reportedly spent only $15 million of its committed $1 billion in Binance USD (BUSD). The remaining $985 million was moved back to Binance’s corporate treasury, later converted from BUSD to Bitcoin and other assets due to growing regulatory concerns around stablecoins. While the IRI funded 14 projects three months after its launch, Binance has not disclosed the companies that received funding. The only publicly declared expense from Binance’s $1 billion IRI commitment was the acquisition of the South Korean crypto exchange Gopax. The IRI’s actual contributions versus its high capital commitments have raised questions amidst the industry’s scramble for funding.
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has filed an amicus brief supporting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its case against Coinbase. The NASAA argues that digital assets should not be considered “somehow special” and opposes Coinbase’s defense against the SEC, which accuses the exchange of violating federal securities laws. Coinbase has contended that its digital assets and services do not qualify as securities and that the SEC is overreaching. However, the NASAA asserts that the SEC’s position is consistent with its longstanding public stance and is within established law. The NASAA also challenges Coinbase’s claim that the digital asset industry is a significant portion of the American economy, stating that digital assets are not economically useful and that Coinbase overstates the size and significance of the industry.
Navigating through a week where the industry has witnessed strategic mining mergers, bullish Bitcoin projections amidst anticipated financial crises, rising tensions from wars and regulatory tussles, the importance of staying informed and strategically positioned cannot be overstated. At AsicZ, we not only provide you with the latest insights through our daily blog but also ensure you are empowered with sustainable mining solutions to navigate through volatile conditions. Visit AsicZ.com to access our extensive selection of mining equipment and invaluable tools such as our hosting and profitability calculators. We also offer an industry leading MaaS (Mining as a Service), with power rates below .03/kWh, ensuring your mining operations are both profitable and sustainable.
- Hut 8 Boosts Self-Mined Bitcoin Reserves to 9.4K Amid USBTC Merger
- Bitcoin (BTC) and Gold Favored by Paul Tudor Jones After Geopolitical Risk Rises
- Bitcoin Price Could Hit $750K to $1M by 2026 — Arthur Hayes
- Crypto Firms in Israel Scramble to Adjust to Life at War With Hamas
- SBF Trial Live: Caroline Ellison, Ex-Alameda CEO, Takes the Stand
- SBF’s Alameda Minted $38B USDT to Profit Off Arbitrage Trading: Coinbase Director
- Binance Freezes Hamas-Linked Accounts After Israeli Request
- Binance Tight-Lipped on Projects Funded by $1B Crypto Recovery Fund
- Securities Regulators Oppose Special Treatment of Crypto in Coinbase Case