16 February

Bitcoin bolted past $24,000 for the first time in two weeks after surging more than 8% over the past 24 hours, likely the result of the type of short squeeze that historically has sent prices higher. The percentage increase was the largest since BTC jumped 10.5% on Sept. 9. Investors liquidated some $60 million of BTC short positions over the past 24 hours.

Crypto-related stocks also jumped, with both exchange Coinbase (COIN) and bitcoin miner ​​Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) increasing 15%. Business software company MicroStrategy (MSTR), a major BTC holder, recently rose more than 9%.

I think today was a reflection of some of the regulatory fears – and immediate fears around BUSD – easing.”

The proposed rule would require SEC-registered investment advisers to put all of their clients’ assets, including crypto assets, into “qualified custodians.” Those custodians have to come from a narrow list of regulated financial institutions. In the good-news category for the digital assets sector: The state-chartered trusts that many crypto businesses use for custody, such as Coinbase’s Custody Trust Co. and BitGo, may still be able to qualify in that role.

After today’s SEC proposed rulemaking, we are confident that [Coinbase Custody Trust Co.] will remain a qualified custodian.

Coinbase’s trust is chartered by New York, and it maintains custody for a significant swath of crypto investors’ assets in the U.S. The company advertises on its website that customers can store their assets in ‘segregated cold storage with a Qualified Custodian.’ Similarly, crypto bank Anchorage Digital was quick to assure crypto investors of its unique role in the industry as the holder of a federal charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

But SEC Commissioner Mark Uyeda seemed to hit on one of the potentially alarming pieces of the agency’s proposal for the industry: the way it potentially cuts out the crypto exchanges. ‘Because crypto assets trade on platforms that are not qualified custodians, an adviser that trades crypto assets on a platform would violate the proposed rule. This approach appears to mask a policy decision to block access to crypto as an asset class.’

The proposal is now open for a 60-day comment period in which all the above points will be deeply discussed, and no SEC proposal is guaranteed to finish as a final rule.”

See Also: Former Paxos Exec: Regulators Failed to Address Crypto Collapses, Now They’re Going After ‘On-Ramps’
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Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem, has started a $2 billion initiative to back Web3 and blockchain technology startups in the region. The Hub71+ Digital Assets ecosystem initiative will also provide startups access to a wide range of programs and potential corporate, government and investment partners, according to a press release on Wednesday.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has long been positive on the crypto industry. The city’s international financial center introduced digital asset regulation back in 2018.”

See Also: European Commission launches blockchain regulatory sandbox for 20 projects annually through 2026
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“Celsius announced Wednesday that it has selected Novawulf Digital Management, a digital asset investment firm, to help bring its high-profile bankruptcy case to a close. The plan calls for the creation of a new company that would be managed by NovaWulf. NovaWulf would ​​also make a direct cash contribution of between $45 million to $55 million to the new venture.

The new venture would prevent debtors from assuming significant costs associated with liquidating customer assets and winding down the company, the plan states. Celsius estimated that over 85% of the bankrupt lender’s customers would be able to recover around 70% of their claims in liquid crypto.

The Debtors believe that the NovaWulf plan provides the best method to distribute the Debtors’ liquid crypto assets and maximize the value of the Debtors’ illiquid assets through a new company run by experienced asset managers.

The new company would be completely owned by Celsius’ Earn creditors, and ownership in the company would be distributed as a token that would trade on a network called Provenance Blockchain through a regulated broker-dealer. Under the new company, NovaWulf would bolster Celsius’ mining business to the benefit of equity holders, with $50 million set aside. The mining section of the new company would have over 120 mining rigs and would pay dividends to equity holders.”

“Arbitrum is currently the fourth-largest blockchain in terms of the total value locked (TVL), according to DefiLlama. Its $1.49 billion TVL is nearly double that of its main competitor, Optimism, which uses similar technology to scale Ethereum. Arbitrum owes much of its recent growth to GMX, a decentralized spot and perpetual exchange that launched in September 2021 and has since grown precipitously. GMX currently accounts for about 30% of Arbitrum’s entire TVL.

Transaction fees on Optimism and Arbitrum currently average around 20 cents and 14 cents, respectively, according to data from Blockworks. In comparison, average transaction fees on Ethereum are over 75 cents. In recent months, layer 2 projects have consistently seen higher combined transaction volumes than Ethereum’s base chain, according to L2beat.

Arbitrum and Optimism remain the largest rollups today, but they will face stiff competition in the coming months from a new cohort of upcoming zkEVMs – a more advanced breed of rollups that uses zero-knowledge cryptography to improve fees and security.”

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The signers were revealed to be Stanford University’s Andreas Paepcke and Larry Kramer, who put up $200,000 and $500,000, respectively. Bankman-Fried’s parents are both Stanford instructors. Paepcke is a senior research scientist while Kramer is a former dean of Stanford Law School.

Kramer told CoinDesk it was his friendship with Bankman-Fried’s parents, Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman, that led him to post bail for the now-disgraced former FTX CEO.

My actions are in my personal capacity, and I have no business dealings or interest in this matter other than to help our loyal and steadfast friends.”

See Also: US Prosecutors Ask Judge to ‘Prohibit’ Bankman-Fried From Using Phones, Internet