Top Stories This Week
BlackRock revises spot Bitcoin ETF to enable easier access for banks
BlackRock has revised its spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application to make it easier for Wall Street banks to participate by creating new shares in the fund with cash rather than just crypto. The new in-kind redemption “prepay” model will allow banking giants such as JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs to act as authorized participants for the fund, letting them circumvent restrictions that prevent them from holding Bitcoin or crypto directly on their balance sheets.
El Salvador expects to sell out Bitcoin ‘Freedom Visa’ by end of year
El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office says its $1 million Freedom Visa program has already received hundreds of inquiries since its launch on Dec. 7 and expects it to sell out before the end of 2023. Launched by the local government in partnership with stablecoin issuer Tether, the Freedom Visa is a citizenship-by-donation program that grants a residency visa and pathway to citizenship for 1,000 people willing to make a $1 million Bitcoin or Tether donation to the country. The program is limited to 1,000 slots per calendar year.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyer says FTX fraud trial was “almost impossible” to win: Report
The lawyer responsible for Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial defense has admitted that the case was “almost impossible” to win from the outset. During an interview, Stanford Law School professor David Mills said he recommended the legal defense of SBF admit to the allegations of witnesses and state prosecution and convince the jury that Bankman-Fried intended to save the company. Mills also disclosed that he had agreed to lend his expertise to Bankman-Fried’s defense at the behest of the FTX CEO’s parents, and described Bankman-Fried “as the worst person I’ve ever seen do a cross-examination.”
Yearn.finance pleads arb traders to return funds after $1.4M multisig mishap
Yearn.finance is hoping arbitrage traders will return $1.4 million in funds after a multisignature scripting error resulted in a large amount of the protocol’s treasury being drained. The error occurred while Yearn was converting its yVault LP-yCurve — earned from performance fees on vault harvests — into stablecoins on the decentralized exchange CoW Swap. Yearn suffered significant slippage when it received 779,958 DAI yVault tokens from the trade, resulting in a 63% drop in the liquidity pool value.
SEC pushes deadline for decision on Invesco Galaxy spot Ethereum ETF to 2024
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed its decision on whether to approve or reject a spot Ether ETF proposed by Invesco and Galaxy Digital. The companies filed the spot ETH ETF application in September. The proposed spot crypto investment vehicle is one of many being considered by the commission, which, to date, has never approved an ETF with direct exposure to Ether, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $42,222, Ether (ETH) at $2,250 and XRP at $0.62. The total market cap is at $1.6 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Bonk (BONK) at 131.38%, WOO Network (WOO) at 78.34% and Helium (HNT) at 77.66%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Terra Classic (LUNC) at -15.84%, Sei (SEI) at -14.48% and Pepe (PEPE) at -12.10%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Crypto kids fight Facebook for the soul of the Metaverse
Defying Obsolescence: How Blockchain Tech Could Redefine Artistic Expression
Most Memorable Quotations
“I’m a big fan of this stablecoin called Tether…I hold their treasuries. So I keep their treasuries, and they have a lot of treasuries.”
Howard Lutnick, CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald
“This [blockchain] can be leveraged to ensure proper recycling and handling of waste materials by tracking them from origin to destination.”
Dominic Williams, founder and chief scientist at Dfinity
“Digital currencies are the natural evolution of the world’s payment system, and Europe […] is paving the way for this inevitable shift.”
Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital
“I thought it was almost impossible to win a case when three or four founders are all saying you did it.”
David Mills, criminal trial attorney of Sam Bankman-Fried
“Our bipartisan bill is the toughest proposal on the table cracking down on crypto’s illicit use and giving regulators more tools in their toolbox.”
Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator
“We have to understand that the Central Bank is a scam. What Bitcoin represents is the return of money to its original creation, the private sector.”
Javier Milei, president of Argentina
Prediction of the week
‘No excuse’ not to long crypto: Arthur Hayes repeats $1M BTC price bet
Bitcoin and altcoins are a no-brainer bet in the current macro climate, Arthur Hayes says. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Dec. 14, the former CEO of exchange BitMEX said that investors have “no excuse” to short crypto.
Going long on crypto is the key to success as markets bet on the United States Federal Reserve lowering interest rates next year, Hayes argues. “At this point, there is no excuse not to be long crypto,” part of his post stated.
“How many more times must they tell you that the fiat in your pocket is a filthy piece of trash,” he wrote. Hayes further reiterated a longstanding $1 million BTC price prediction as a result of macro tides eroding the value of national currencies.
FUD of the Week
Ledger patches vulnerability after multiple DApps using connector library were compromised
The front end of multiple decentralized applications using Ledger’s connector were compromised on Dec. 14. Ledger announced that it had fixed the problem three hours after the initial reports about the attack. Protocols affected include Zapper, SushiSwap, Phantom, Balancer and Revoke.cash, stealing at least $484,000 in digital assets. The attacker utilized a phishing exploit to gain access to the computer of a former Ledger employee. The hack sparked criticism about Ledger’s security approach.
Bitcoin inscriptions added to US National Vulnerability Database
The National Vulnerability Database flagged Bitcoin’s inscriptions as a cybersecurity risk on Dec. 9, calling attention to the security flaw that enabled the development of the Ordinals Protocol in 2022. According to the database records, a datacarrier limit can be bypassed by masking data as code in some Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Knots versions. As one of its potential impacts, the vulnerability could result in large amounts of non-transactional data spamming the blockchain, potentially increasing network size and adversely affecting performance and fees.
SafeMoon falls 31% in five hours after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
The token of decentralized finance protocol SafeMoon has fallen 31% in five hours after the company behind it filed for bankruptcy. SafeMoon officially applied for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” on Dec. 14. The latest blow comes only a month after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged SafeMoon and its executives with violating securities laws in what the regulator described as “a massive fraudulent scheme.” Several former SafeMoon supporters expressed frustration on Reddit regarding the bankruptcy, alleging they were rug-pulled by the SafeMoon developers.
‘Account abstraction’ supercharges Ethereum wallets: Dummies guide
Sweden: The Death of Money?
Top Magazine Pieces of the Week
Terrorism & Israel-Gaza war weaponized to destroy crypto
Draconian anti-crypto legislation could soon be passed to solve a terrorism funding “crisis” that many argue is vastly overstated.
Korean crypto firm raises $140M, China’s $1.4T AI sector, Huobi battle: Asia Express
Line Next raises $140M, China’s AI market surpasses $1.4T, Sinohope stagnates due to stuck FTX deposit, and more!
J1mmy.eth once minted 420 Bored Apes… and had NFTs worth $150M: NFT Creator
NFT collector J1mmy.eth trades like Warren Buffett, his collection peaked at $150 million, and he once minted 420 Bored Apes with Pranksy.
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Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.