Crypto News Headlines (14-Jul-2023)

Payments-focused cryptocurrency XRP has surpassed BNB token to become the world’s four-largest digital asset by market cap.

As of writing, XRP boasted a market cap of $41.44 billion, with the tally surging 66% in the past 24 hours alone, according to CoinDesk data. While BNB’s market value rose 6.5% to $40.57 billion. XRP’s price surged from 47 cents to nearly 78 cents.

Ripple Lab’s partial victory in a long, drawn-out legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the sale of XRP has powered the cryptocurrency’s surge.

The now-defunct crypto lender Celsius has incurred a fine from the FTC for allegedly hoodwinking investors and “squandering billions in user deposits.” The company contended that it possessed “more than enough” assets to safeguard customer deposits, but according to the FTC, this was a spurious claim. The platform and its affiliated entities are indefinitely barred from managing customer assets, and three executives have been charged.

Per the FTC, the case against Alexander Mashinsky, former CEO and co-founder of Celsius, along with his fellow co-founders Shlomi Daniel Leon and Hanoch “Nuke” Goldstein, will advance in federal court since they haven’t reached a settlement. The FTC disclosed that these individuals, who held pivotal positions in the company, have opted not to settle the matter extrajudicially.

“Celsius touted a new business model but engaged in an old-fashioned swindle,” Samuel Levine, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stated. “Today’s action banning Celsius from handling people’s money and holding its executives accountable should make clear that emerging technologies are not above the law.”

Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, lashed out at the Biden administration’s “War on Crypto,” stating that it has alienated the younger demographic by attacking their financial interests.

What Happened: In a tweet on Thursday, Winklevoss said, “You can’t expect to win the youth vote when you attack their money.”

This criticism comes amid a recent poll conducted by The Economist and YouGov reveals that 2024 Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has higher favorability ratings than both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Alex Mashinsky, the ex-CEO of the collapsed crypto lender Celsius Network, will be released on bail after he was arrested and charged with fraud on Thursday.

Per court documents, Mashinsky has agreed to a $40 million personal recognizance bond, which has to be signed by his wife by Friday, July 14, and by another, yet to be identified financially responsible person before July 21.

Under the deal, Mashinsky is required to hand his travel documents to authorities, with his travels restricted to New York. Additionally, the crypto lender’s former CEO is barred from opening “any new financial, business, or personal bank accounts, lines of credit, or cryptocurrency accounts, without the approval of Pretrial Services,” reads the document.

Australian-based crypto investment firm Monochrome Asset Management has updated its application to offer a spot Bitcoin $31,222 exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) through its partner Vasco Trustees.

The ETF — Monochrome Bitcoin ETF — will be able to offer retail Australian investors direct exposure to Bitcoin and Ether (ETH), according to the firm’s July 14 announcement.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Monochrome CEO Jeff Yew explained that by obtaining a license, Australian retail investors would be exposed to Bitcoin within a formidable regulatory landscape:

“Through a Bitcoin ETF, it makes it possible for them to buy and use the asset class in however they see fit with the investment choices [and] in a regulated manner, and also operating within the regular regulatory perimeter.”

Cryptocurrencies across the board rallied along with crypto-related stocks after a federal judge ruled that the sale of Ripple’s XRP tokens on exchanges and through algorithms did not violate federal securities laws.

Bitcoin (BTC) pushed through $31,000 resistance, rising to $31,700 at press time, its highest level in over a year, according to CoinDesk data.

Several blockchain native tokens, such as Solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), and Cardano (ADA), all of which the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) deemed unregistered securities in previous lawsuits, rose about 15% on the news. XRP itself rose about 70% to $0.80.

The AI firm Anthropic recently unveiled its second iteration of Claude, rivaling the likes of Google’s Bard and Openai’s Chatgpt 4. Claude can handle substantial data, consuming nearly 75,000 words via Anthropic’s large language model. Therefore, our news desk put Claude to the test, supplying it with the top 40 cryptocurrency assets by market capitalization, along with the assets’ one-hour, 24-hour, and seven-day performance and daily volumes in a single prompt.

Before supplying Claude with the information, we prompted the chatbot with a statement: “I am going to provide you data on the top 40 cryptocurrency assets. I want you to act as a cryptocurrency expert and also use all the historical data you know to predict the prices of all 40 cryptocurrency assets by Jan. 1, 2024. Do you understand?” Claude confirmed its understanding, and we proceeded to feed it the aforementioned data.

“We see the trends today in a barbell layout,” said Shima Capital founder Yida Gao during an interview with CoinDesk. The traditional finance veteran who started up Shima Capital in 2021 outlined his firm’s view of the current, bear-market constrained crypto venture capital landscape.

“Infrastructure deals typically hold up well in crypto winter because they usually take longer to build the projects and also require much more talent, which is cheaper now,” said Gao. “On the other end of the barbell, we see that consumer apps, specifically gaming, continue to make up a large portion of our portfolio,” he continued. “People play more games in bear markets and, more importantly, tokenomics and digital assets fit nicely into a well-designed game.”

The crypto market cap jumped 5.7% in the last 24 hours, per Coingecko data, following a U.S. judge’s ruling that found XRP, the payment token powering the Ripple Labs ecosystem, is not a security in certain cases.

The total market cap of the niche has touched $1.3 trillion, adding $73.5 billion or trading 6% higher since yesterday.

On Thursday, the Southern District Court of New York ordered that programmatic sales of XRP to retail investors do not qualify as securities. However, institutional sales of XRP do qualify the coin as a security, per the court’s ruling.

The government of Indonesia is moving forward with its plans to launch a national cryptocurrency exchange, and expects to debut the platform in the coming weeks.

Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Supervisory Agency (CoFTRA), also known as Bappebti, is planning to launch the national crypto exchange in July 2023, the local news agency Tempo reported on July 14.

Bappebti head Didid Noordiatmoko reportedly said all cryptocurrency transactions will be only allowed to take plac using the upcoming national exchange.

“Yesterday we agreed on the stock exchange rules,” the official said, adding that the discussions involved regulation of Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. Didid also noted that trading on the exchange will be offered through an integrated application, which CoFTRA has already tested.