Crypto News Headlines (19-Dec-2022)

The collapse of Sam-Bankman Fried’s digital assets exchange, FTX, has had industry-wide ramifications, one of them being market makers increasing their share of crypto options trading volumes.

As of Friday, the notional value of the month-to-date interdealer flow on the institutional-grade, over-the-counter (OTC) communications platform Paradigm was $633 million, or 43.5% of the total crypto options trading volume of $1,455 million. That’s the highest since at least January this year.

“More buy-side takers (hedge funds/family offices/HNW) are sitting on the sidelines, and a higher proportion of Paradigm volumes is occurring between market makers,” Paradigm tweeted, adding that the options market fells more “interdealer” than before FTX’s meltdown.

It’s been a bearish past week, fueled by the hawkish Fed’s 50 basis point hike, wiping off nearly $62 billion from the cryptocurrency market, per data from Coingecko.

Metaverse and NFT-related cryptocurrencies have been no exception.

Cryptocurrencies powering the niche, including Flow (FLOW) and Apecoin (APE), have all posted significant double-digit losses over the past week.

FLOW, the token powering Flow Blockchain, an NFT-centric blockchain network, has lost 22% of its value over the past week and recorded a new monthly low of $0.74, per data from Coingecko.

Contrary to its weekly bearish price action, FLOW-based NFT trading volume has surged 27.27% to $1.185 million over the past week, according to data from CryptoSlam.

Shark Tank Star Kevin O’Leary Defends Support of Crypto Exchange FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, has defended his support of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). “This is America. The justice system provides the presumption of innocence unless proven otherwise,” he stressed. O’Leary also denied the accusation by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) that he perjured himself in a U.S. Senate hearing over why FTX failed.

Kevin O’Leary on FTX’s Collapse

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary defended his position as a spokesperson for the collapsed crypto exchange FTX in an interview with CNBC Friday. He also commented on Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) calling him a liar.

When asked why he did not stridently condemn former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), O’Leary replied:

This is America. The justice system provides the presumption of innocence unless proven otherwise.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has endorsed its global crypto banking rules for implementation by Jan. 1, 2025, according to an emailed statement on Friday.

An accompanying document by the committee, which is the primary global standard setter for the prudential regulation of banks, suggested that a bank’s exposure to certain crypto assets must not exceed 2% and should generally be lower than 1%. These particular assets are tokenized traditional assets including non-fungible tokens, stablecoins and unbacked crypto assets that don’t meet classification conditions. Meanwhile, those assets from the list above that do meet the criteria “are subject to capital requirements based on the risk weights of underlying exposures as set out in the existing Basel Framework.”

Karl Sebastian Greenwood, the co-founder of the multi-billion dollar fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin has pleaded guilty to multiple charges brought forward by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.

The DOJ announced on Dec. 16 that Greenwood submitted a guilty plea in a Manhattan federal court to charges of wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy with each charge carrying a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in jail.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Greenwood operated “one of the largest international fraud schemes ever perpetrated” and claimed he touted OneCoin as a “Bitcoin killer” when in reality the tokens were “entirely worthless.”

In Nigeria, a new bill in the works could let local regulators recognize cryptocurrencies as capital for investment, according to a Sunday report by local news outlet Punch.

If passed, the proposed Investments and Securities Act, 2007 (Amendment) Bill, will also define supervisory roles for the Central Bank of Nigeria and the securities and exchange commission (SEC) with respect to digital currencies, Babangida Ibrahim, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, told Punch.

Ibrahim did not specify a timeline for the passing of the bill.

Nigeria banned institutions from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions back in 2017. The SEC clarified in May that it saw digital currencies as securities that represent assets such as debt or equity claims on the issuer.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has suggested that U.S. federal agencies, such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), should “maybe” consider a ban on cryptocurrencies.

During an NBC “Meet the Press” session, he did also acknowledge, however, that this ban would be “very difficult” because the crypto industry could then go offshore.

Referring to the various regulators in the U.S., he said, “we want them to do what they need to do at the same time–maybe banning it, although banning it is very difficult because it will go offshore and who knows how that will work.”

Things could soon go from bad to worse for bitcoin (BTC) traders looking for bullish cues on technical charts.

The cryptocurrency’s 50-week simple moving average (SMA) is falling fast and looks set to cross below the 200-week SMA for the first time on record.

According to technical analysis theory, the bearish intersection of the two averages often referred to as the death cross, means the market is about to head into a tailspin.

Bitcoin has dropped 75% since reaching a record high of $69,000 in November last year. The bear market has proved to be more intense than the previous ones during which sellers failed to establish a foothold under the 200-day SMA.

Russian prosecutors are convinced that investigative authorities, among other government bodies, should be allowed to set up crypto wallets and be able to store and convert confiscated digital coins to fiat money, the business daily Kommersant reported.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has consistently advocated for recognizing digital assets as property that can be seized, if acquired criminally, Prosecutor Madina Dolgieva from the Office’s Main Judicial Department told participants in a round table discussion on e-justice.

During the meeting, organized by the Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building at the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, Dolgieva remarked that courts are still making conflicting decisions — while some recognize crypto as property, others don’t.

Tel Aviv’s Magistrate Court has reportedly issued a ruling allowing Israel’s government to seize all the crypto in more than 150 digital wallets that it has blacklisted for allegedly funding terrorist groups.

According to a Dec. 18 local Israeli media report, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz says the court’s Dec. 15 ruling has already allowed authorities to seize a further $33,500 from digital wallets linked to the Islamist militant group Hamas.

Prior to the court ruling, Israeli authorities had only been legally allowed to seize digital assets with direct links to terrorist activity but not additional funds in the same wallets. In December 2021, authorities seized $750,000 from the wallets.