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BlockFi Likely To File For Bankruptcy Due To Significant Exposure to FTX: WSJ

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BlockFi Likely To File For Bankruptcy Due To Significant Exposure to FTX: WSJ
  • Crypto lender BlockFi is reportedly preparing for a potential bankruptcy.
  • BlockFi is planning to lay off some of its employees. 
  • The lender had suspended withdrawals last week due to FTX’s liquidity issues.
  • Significant exposure to FTX was revealed earlier this week. 
  • FTX had bailed out BlockFi in July with a $400 million credit line.

New Jersey based crypto lender BlockFi is reportedly set to become the latest casualty of the crypto contagion triggered by the bankruptcy of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX. 

BlockFi preparing for a potential bankruptcy

According to a report published by The Wall Street Journal, BlockFi is planning to lay off some of its employees. The lender has been among the many firms operating in the crypto space who have had a difficult time dealing with the fallout of FTX’s bankruptcy. People familiar with the matter told WSJ that the crypto lender itself is now preparing to file for a potential bankruptcy. 

The signs of trouble became evident when the crypto lender suspended withdrawals and limited activity on its platform on 11 November. The company cited lack of clarity on the status of FTX and Alameda Research for this move. This prompted an enforcement action by California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), who suspended BlockFi’s lending license in the state for 30 days and launched an investigation into the company’s compliance with state laws. 

On 14 November, the crypto lender revealed “significant exposure” to FTX and associated corporate entities including Alameda Research.

While we will continue to work on recovering all obligations owed to BlockFi, we expect that the recovery of the obligations owed to us by FTX will be delayed as FTX works through the bankruptcy process.” the official website read.

Following Terra’s collapse in May which triggered this year’s infamous crypto contagion, a number of lenders and exchanges were drastically impacted. The insolvency of Three Arrows Capital left several firms struggling in its wake, including Voyager Digital, Celsius, and BlockFi. 

The aftermath saw uncertainty surrounding the crypto lender’s operations and its future. On 21 June, CEO Zac Prince announced the signing of a $250 million term sheet with none other than Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, who would later be dubbed crypto’s white knight. This was followed by a $400 million credit line extended by FTX to Prince’s firm. Ironically, the firm that saved BlockFi has now become the very reason that threatens it’s existence. 

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Ethereum

SushiSwap Will Run Out Of Money In 1.5 Years

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SushiSwap Will Run Out Of Money In 1.5 Years
  • The funds in SushiSwap’s treasury can only sustain it for another 1.5 years.
  • The decentralized exchange is currently burning through $5 million a year. 
  • CEO Jared Grey has proposed to divert all fees to the exchange’s treasury for one year.
  • A new tokenomics proposal is in the pipeline.  

Decentralized exchange (DEX) SushiSwap has seen an alarming depletion in its treasury. Mounting expenditures paired with uncertainty in the crypto market pose a threat to the decentralized exchange’s operation. Jared Grey, the CEO or “Head Chef” of SushiSwap has spent the past two months analyzing the exchange’s finances. The DEX used to operate with an annual runway of $9 million. That figure has been brought down to $5 million, but that still translates to a runway of just 1.5 years. Grey has come out with a controversial remedy for this situation.

Proposal to divert all of SushiSwap’s fees to the treasury

The Head Chef has proposed that the Kanpai i.e. the portion of the fees that are sent to the exchange’s treasury, be increased to 100%. This would effectively divert all fees from the exchange to the treasury at the expense of Sushi stakers. This diversion of funds would last for a year or until the DEX implements new tokenomics. The SushiSwap chief has indicated that new tokenomics are currently in the works and may come into effect between Q2 and Q3 of 2023. 

An additional benefit of Kanpai’s solution to the Treasury is the diversification of assets, which limits the need for market selling Sushi, which is a net positive for all stakeholders.”

Speaking on the native token SUSHI, Grey revealed that it is currently near full distribution of its supply, ruling out the possibility to use it to fund SushiSwap’s expenses. According to data from CoinMarketCap, the token is currently trading at $1.25. The price has taken a significant hit of 9.5% since the CEO’s proposal came out. Head Chef Jared Grey had posted the same proposal back in October, but it was withdrawn shortly after. It was reinstated following a thorough analysis of the DEX’s finances. 

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Ledger Taps iPod Designer For New Hardware Wallet Amid FTX Debacle

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Ledger Taps iPod Designer For New Hardware Wallet Amid FTX Debacle

Summary:

  • Apple iPod creator Tony Fadell worked on the design for Ledger’s new hardware wallet.
  • The so-called Ledger Stax wallet will feature an e-ink display for users to view NFTs and crypto transactions directly on the device.
  • Stax’s release was announced amid increased interest in self-custody solutions following FTX’s crash.

Ledger, a popular crypto hardware wallet company, teamed up with Tony Fadell for its Stax self-custody solution expected in Q1 2023. Fadell is credited for designing Apple’s iPod device. 

The wallet maker’s CEO and chairman Pascal Gauthier expanded on the approach taken by the company for its Stax hardware wallet. CTO Charles Guillemet affirmed that the aim was to achieve mass adoption with a device that features accessibility and self-custody security for crypto users. 

When we designed Ledger Stax, our biggest requirement from a security standpoint was to fulfill those 3 security properties while improving user experience. What we did was reuse our Ledger Nano security architecture, then we improved the trusted display property.

– Charles Guillemet, CTO.

Fadell designed the Stax hardware wallet with an e-ink display wrapped around the body of the device. Sources said users will be able to view their NFTs and transaction history from the interactive display. 

On the inside, there are built-in magnets to allow users to hold multiple devices securely together. Stax’s size is roughly the same as a regular credit card and features a USB-type C port. Ledger will offer its Stax wallet for $279 come 2023.

Ledger’s Key Timing

The company designs hardware wallets – crypto wallet solutions that allow users to directly manage their digital tokens and private keys. Following FTX’s crash in November, advocacy for self-custody among crypto participants and proponents alike increased. 

Notably, FTX was an investor in the hardware wallet maker before the centralized crypto exchange went belly up. Ledger was however not exposed to the bankrupt platform and was not included in the Chapter 11 filing. 

Ian Rogers, chief experience officer at the wallet maker, told CoinDesk that sales increased as the FTX spiraled down. “We were ready,” Roger said, disclosing that the company set a new record for product sales on November 14, three days after FTX filed for bankruptcy in Delaware on November 11. 

Ledger Taps iPod Designer For New Hardware Wallet Amid FTX Debacle 10
Stax Wallet

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Crypto Declared Dead Yet Again As Bitcoin Hits All-Time High In Long-Term Investor Holdings

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Crypto Declared Dead Yet Again As Bitcoin Hits All-Time High In Long-Term Investor Holdings
  • BTC Conviction is at an all-time high as long-term investors keep adding to their BTC stack unfazed by the recent news and fallouts according to data from Glassnode.
  • Crypto has been declared dead quite a few times as Fear and Uncertainty is at highs in the crypto industry.
  • Although low conviction holders may have left, sellers may still be here due to miner capitulation, taxes or inflation fears.

We have witnessed one of the most intense months in the crypto industry, with FTX’s fallout and other key players that followed, such as Genesis, Voyager, and BlockFi. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are at high levels within media outlets as Bitcoin is once again declared dead, and the BTC price dropped to levels as low as $15,700.

“Crypto is now dead: FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, collapsed last week, proving a lot of cool guys horribly wrong,”. Tweets like this were all over social media when one of the largest crypto exchanges, FTX, collapsed, taking many prominent players with them.

But amid all this uncertainty, long-term Bitcoin holders remain undeterred, and in fact, the pattern is as such that they are currently increasing their long-term Bitcoin holdings.

According to the GlassNodes chart, Bitcoin Hold Waves, this November marked an all-time high of BTC long-term holders, who are now at 66% percentage on the chart. The long-term holders, 3yr to 10 yr, have been holding at a rate like never before, as the percentage of their holdings keeps increasing.

Crypto Declared Dead Yet Again As Bitcoin Hits All-Time High In Long-Term Investor Holdings 13

FTX’s fallout did not move the BTC markets as much as expected, and this could be due to the low-conviction holders already selling and leaving the crypto industry. It is yet to be confirmed whether this is the bottom of the markets; however, it appears that “bad news” is not necessarily affecting BTC price as dramatically as before. This could be because there are no low-conviction sellers in the market currently.

This is not to say that sellers won’t be there in a further fallout due to other factors such as miner capitulation, taxes and inflation.

Bitcoin Miners Due Capitulation?

According to CryptoQuant analyst Kripto Mevsimi, a further miner capitulation is due to reappear. Mevsimi posted his last capitulation analysis on 6th of June 2022, when the price of BTC was $31,500 and within 1 to 2 days, the price became $18,000. According to him, hte same setup is now forming on the hash ribbon metric.

Crypto Declared Dead Yet Again As Bitcoin Hits All-Time High In Long-Term Investor Holdings 14

“So right now bitcoin difficulty is really high for miners so that means; costs are getting higher and doing business in this kind of environment is getting harder,”

“That’s why miners do not work in full force. If they have efficient- new generation mining machines, they put them into work but that’s all. Inflation is high and people feels effect of living costs, bitcoin price is declining, mining cost and difficulty is getting higher. Tough environment for miners.” wrote Kripto Mevsimi in his most recent blog post.

Kripto Mevsimi confirms that a change in mining difficulty could potentially help the situation.

According to data from BTC.com, mining difficulty is set to drop at 7.08% at the time of writing.

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