Crypto News Headlines (27-Dec-2022)

Prices: Bitcoin held steady throughout the Christmas holiday weekend at about $16.9K; most other major cryptos were flat, although tinted more green than red.

Insights: In this last week of 2022, First Mover Asia is revisiting a few of CoinDesk’s best and most impactful stories from the past year. In a column last week, columnist David Z. Morris considered one of the upsides to the series of debacles that have deeply wounded the industry. Morris argues that investors’ growing uncertainties about crypto’s future will root out careless speculation and refocus attention on “good deals and ideas.”

While precious metals like gold and silver fluctuated in U.S. dollar value during the last year, gold and silver year-to-date price statistics show prices are pretty much the same as last year. Gold is down a touch during the last 12 months as it was trading for $1,810 per ounce and today it’s trading 0.71% lower at $1,797 per ounce. Silver was $23.04 per ounce and today it’s 2.95% higher in value at $23.72 an ounce.

Silver one year chart via Tradingview on Dec. 26, 2022.

2022 was an interesting year for gold as the precious metal reached a lifetime price high on March 8, 2022, as one ounce of gold reached $2,070 per unit. While silver tapped a high on the same day, the metal still has a long way to go before catching up to the $40 an ounce range reached in 2011. Silver came awfully close to surpassing the $27 per unit range on March 8, 2022.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban is still bullish on Bitcoin, saying that he wants the price to continue dropping.

“I want Bitcoin to go down a lot further so I can buy some more,” Cuban said in an appearance on comedian Bill Maher’s “Club Random” podcast.

The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks said that investing in gold wasn’t worth it, adding that he much preferred digital assets. Cuban, who is worth $6.25 billion, has long praised cryptocurrencies—particularly Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.

“Gold is a store of value and so is Bitcoin,” he said, after Maher suggested the comparison. “If everything went to hell in a hand basket and you had a gold bar you know what would happen? Someone would beat the fuck out of you or kill you and take your gold bar. It’s useless.”

450,000 Bitcoin (BTC) held on an exchange or in a hot wallet before 2022 have been transferred to cold storage during the course of the year.

Black swan occurrences have occurred on the market frequently during the past 12 months, and as a result, exchange reserves for about 550,000 BTC have been depleted. These reserves lost significant amounts of their size on several occasions. For instance, in December, Binance lost 90,000 BTC in seven days, FTX lost 70,000 BTC in two weeks, and in November, Coinbase lost 200,000 BTC in four days.

The orange line in the chart below represents the total BTC amount held on crypto exchanges since the beginning of the year.

The exchanges had just under $2.8 million in BTC at the beginning of the year and ended with about $2.25 million, a decline of almost 20%. Less than 12% of the total Bitcoin supply is represented by the exchanges’ current BTC reserves.

Octopus Network, a decentralized app chain network natively built on NEAR Protocol, has announced that it will be “refactoring” to adapt to current market conditions.

As part of its refactoring process, Octopus network will let go of roughly 40% of its team, which accounts for 12 out of 30 members. The remaining staff will also be subjected to a 20% salary cut, while its team token incentive will be suspended indefinitely.

According to Louis Liu, the founder of the Octopus Network, although he has lived through previous crypto winters, “this winter is very different from the others.” Liu said he anticipates that this current “crypto winter will last at least another year, perhaps much longer,” adding that “most Web3 startups will not survive.”

After months of speculation that DeGods and Y00ts, two of the top Solana non-fungible token (NFT) projects, would be leaving the SOL ecosystem, the team behind the projects confirmed the migration on Twitter on Sunday.

DeGods will be moving to Ethereum and Y00ts will be moving to Polygon in early Q1, the team said.

“There’s an argument to be made that [DeGods] has capped out on Solana,” the project’s leader Rohun Vora, known as Frank, said in a Monday Twitter Spaces. “It’s hard to accept, but it’s been tough to grow at the rate we want to grow. If Ethereum is where we have to go to keep growing, it’s what we have to do.”

Rhythm and blues (R&B) singer and music producer, Akon, reportedly promised to reimburse disillusioned supporters who have been waiting for refunds from his token of appreciation (TOA) campaign. The Senegalese-American artist also told TOA holders that he is prepared to use his own funds to ensure this promise is honored.

“I’m dead serious. I would do a world tour just to pay them all back,” the award-winning artist reportedly said.

Launched in 2019, Akon’s TOA was given to his early financial backers. The TOA was not only a precursor to the akoin cryptocurrency but it also reportedly gave supporters an opportunity to acquire the crypto. However, after more than two years of waiting, some early backers have lost faith and are now asking for refunds.

Nexo has denied reports that talks over the potential acquisition of troubled rival crypto lender Vauld have been terminated. In response, a person familiar with the matter tells Decrypt that any decision about Vauld’s future, as Nexo sees it, is in the hands of the firm’s creditor committee, not its former CEO.

Rumors that negotiations had collapse were sparked by an email sent by Vauld founder and CEO Darshan Bathija to the firm’s creditors, which said that discussions with Nexo “have unfortunately not come to fruition.”

After halting withdrawals from its platform at the beginning of June, Vauld filed for protection against creditors and lawsuits in a Singapore court, with the move being very similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the U.S. bankruptcy code. Vauld reportedly owed a total of $402 million to its creditors, including the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.

2022 will go down in history as one of the most atrocious and shocking for the cryptocurrency industry, which saw several major implosions, countless bankruptcies, fallouts, and everything in between.

Apart from the obvious – the massive price declines of cryptocurrency assets, Forbes estimated that several industry participants have lost their billionaire status, while others’ fortunes were wiped out to $0.

From Terra to FTX – Crypto Debacles

The macroeconomic factors have not been kind to the industry, with the massive global inflation running rampant, increasing interest rates, warnings of recessions, and an ongoing war in the middle of Europe, which started in February and is yet to see a conclusion.

Before the rise of centralized exchanges (CEXs), over-the-counter (OTC) trading was the go-to method to buy or sell cryptocurrency for many crypto investors. The FTX collapse could trigger a bigger demand for crypto OTC services as investors are looking for alternative methods to convert from and to fiat due to weaker trust in CEXs.

Cointelegraph spoke with BestChange, a Russian OTC crypto exchange aggregator, to learn more about the current state of OTC markets.

“The role of OTC is sometimes underestimated amid the all-encompassing marketing of centralized exchanges,” BestChange chief analyst Nikita Zuborev said. According to the exec, OTCs often act as an entry point to crypto for most users.