Mooners and Shakers: Bitcoin dips after CFTC sues Binance; MicroStrategy buys more BTC; XRP up 6%
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US regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has slapped global crypto exchange Binance with a lawsuit, which has sent the price of Bitcoin and other cryptos a little lower today.
Also, MicroStrategy, founded by the biggest Bitcoin moonboy of them all – Michael Saylor – has bought 6,455 more BTC for US$150m. And, for some reason, that nearly always sinks the price of BTC. So thanks for that, Michael.
MicroStrategy repaid its $205M Silvergate loan at a 22% discount. As of 3/23/23, $MSTR acquired an additional ~6,455 bitcoins for ~$150M at an average of ~$23,238 per #bitcoin & held ~138,955 BTC acquired for ~$4.14B at an average of ~$29,817 per bitcoin. https://t.co/ALp9VLkTpt
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) March 27, 2023
Nevertheless, the dip hasn’t been overly alarming at this point and, in fact, at the time of writing, BTC seems to have stabilised just above the US$27k zone.
The CFTC has filed a lawsuit against Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ), alleging the exchange has wittingly offered unregistered crypto derivatives products in the US, and has thus violated federal law.
Maybe the SEC and Gary Gensler have taken an annual leave day off or something.
“Defendants have disregarded applicable federal laws while fostering Binance’s U.S. customer base because it has been profitable for them to do so,” claims the CFTC.
The crypto market is down a bit on the news, with the price of Bitcoin sinking below US$27k earlier. But is this just a case of a little bit more regulatory FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) swirled into the mix that will likely quickly blow over? Possibly.
Not quite sure what was going on with CZ’s initial cryptic tweet in response, which simply read: “4”.
— Don Pablo 🇦🇺 (@pablo_algoboss) March 27, 2023
Thankfully, the exchange boss added a far-more-detailed response several hours later, in which he noted:
“Today, the CFTC filed an unexpected and disappointing civil complaint, despite our working cooperatively with the CFTC for over two years.
“Upon an initial review, the complaint appears to contain an incomplete recitation of facts, and we do not agree with the characterization of many of the issues alleged in the complaint.”
In his statement CZ points to Binance’s adherence to compliance, registrations and licences and commitment “to transparency and cooperation with regulators and law enforcement – in the US and globally”. You can read more on that here.
Some in the crypto Twittering space, however, seem to think it’s the beginning of the end for Binance. VC Adam Cochran, for instance, wrote a mega thread on why he thinks this could be a “death blow” for the crypto industry’s biggest exchange, calling the CFTC “a different beast” from the SEC, with its cases often proving “fatal”.
Here’s his potential silver lining for a CFTC victory, however… ETH proven as a commodity, like BTC, and not a security, as well as an increase in clarity and transparency for the industry as a whole.
Plus – if this pushes more adoption on chain, diversifies the market to more exchanges rather than a monolith, and increases industry transparency – that's a good thing.
— Adam Cochran (adamscochran.eth) (@adamscochran) March 27, 2023
Cochran is certainly pushing a pessimistic narrative with regards to what happens to Binance from here. It’s a pretty big call to write off the exchange, especially as it’s a mega global beast that’s not just tied to the US market.
On another note, though, one thing’s for sure, the US regulatory crackdown on crypto companies has ramped up in a way the industry has never seen before.
And it’s interesting that it’s coinciding at a time of great uncertainty regarding US banks and the US economy and dollar. Is the US government concerned about a potentially increasing flight to Bitcoin as a safe haven? Popular crypto YouTuber Tyler Strejilevich certainly thinks so.
Pretty “coincidental” that the US Government has been attacking crypto like crazy these past 2 weeks since the banking crisis began
Almost as if they’re scared people might choose #BTC over banks
— Tyler Strejilevich (@TylerSCrypto) March 27, 2023
As you might expect, given the Binance news, the exchange’s native token BNB is one of the hardest-hit coins in the crypto majors today. Although, to be fair, it’s not bled out too badly at this point.
Bitcoin, as mentioned earlier, has managed to stem the bleeding on its paper cut for now pretty well, too, having clawed back a few hundred of those dodgy US dollars since we began tapping out this article.
Hang, on… what? XRP is up 6.4% amid all this Debbie Downer-ness, today? Yep. Okay, then we’d best bite… why?
We’re putting it down to this… some media traction around the XRP-friendly lawyer John Deaton suggesting that XRP’s price could surge if Ripple Labs wins its ongoing legal battle with US regulator the SEC.
It’s hardly an amazing new development or news, that. Nevertheless, the “XRP Army” digged it.
— XRPcryptowolf (@XRPcryptowolf) March 27, 2023
Sweeping a market-cap range of about US$7.8 billion to about US$410 million in the rest of the top 100, let’s find some of the biggest 24-hour gainers and losers at press time. (Stats accurate at time of publishing, based on CoinGecko.com data.)
• Flare (FLR), (market cap: US$459 million) +6%
• GMX (GMX), (mc: US$621 million) +4%
• NEO (NEO), (mc: US$894 million) +2%
• Maker (MKR), (mc: US$610 million) +1%
• Mina Protocol (MINA), (market cap: US$641 million) -10%
• SingularityNET (AGIX), (mc: US$488 million) -10%
• Stacks (STX), (mc: US$1.24 billion) -10%
• Arbitrum (ARB), (mc: US$1.48 billion) -9%
• Optimism (OP), (mc: US$651 million) -9%
Some pertinence and randomness that stuck with us on our morning moves through the Crypto Twitterverse.
I think before the SEC & CFTC start lobbing lawsuits, they should duke it between them as to what's a security and what's not.
— Coin Bureau (@coinbureau) March 28, 2023
When one door closes, other ones open.
Chinese banks court crypto firms in Hong Kong | The Straits Times https://t.co/1FALEWKRNV
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) March 27, 2023
JUST IN: G7 nations to work on tougher global #crypto regulations.
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) March 27, 2023
— Dennis Porter (@Dennis_Porter_) March 27, 2023
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) March 26, 2023