Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 20 September 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 27,210.26 (+1.67%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,643.12 (+0.32%)  


Crypto custody company Prime Trust has informed its employees of the potential layoff of 62 workers in the coming months, as disclosed in a document from Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation. The company, which filed for bankruptcy in August, has been struggling financially and previously faced allegations of failing to meet customer withdrawal requests and investing customer funds in a failed stablecoin project. In other news, the ether-to-bitcoin ratio hit a 14-month low as prominent Ethereum investors, including co-founder Vitalik Buterin, transferred substantial amounts of ether to crypto exchanges, possibly indicating a readiness to sell. Bitcoin, on the other hand, held above the $27,000 level, with market participants watching the Federal Reserve’s upcoming rate decision for potential impact on both crypto and traditional markets.

The head of the U.S. SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, David Hirsch, has cautioned that the agency will continue pursuing charges against cryptocurrency exchanges and DeFi projects that breach securities laws, indicating a sustained crackdown on non-compliance in the sector. Meanwhile, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has seen a significant 57% decline in Bitcoin trading volume in September due to mounting legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny, including potential charges from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Additionally, some Binance users in the EU have faced withdrawal restrictions as the platform’s payments partner, Paysafe, prepares to terminate support for EU customers, adding further complexities to the exchange’s situation. These events underscore the increasing regulatory pressure within the cryptocurrency industry, with the SEC’s determination to enforce regulations and hold entities accountable for violations becoming increasingly evident.

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, has contradicted previous statements made by Binance.US regarding the use of custody software provided by Binance’s international counterpart, Binance Holdings Ltd (BHL), which was later rebranded as Ceffu. CZ denied that Binance.US ever used Ceffu or Binance Custody, while lawyers for Binance.US previously indicated that they had used custody software from BHL. This contradiction comes in the midst of an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the transfer of assets from Binance.US overseas. In other news, the Balancer decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol has warned users to avoid its website following an attack on its frontend. The details of the attack are under investigation, and while Balancer has not officially confirmed if user funds were affected, reports suggest that around $238,000 in crypto has been stolen so far. Finally, Latvia’s central bank, Latvijas Banka, is taking a proactive approach to fintech innovation and emerging technologies by operating an “Innovation Hub” to assist companies with regulatory compliance and licensing processes, especially in areas such as cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence (AI). Unlike some neighboring countries, Latvia has yet to introduce specific cryptocurrency regulations, but its central bank is actively engaging with fintech firms to encourage responsible innovation.




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