Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Schiffgold founder Peter Schiff has made bleak predictions about BTC and ETH. He said “the need to sell BTC to pay the bills will only get worse as the recession deepens”, adding that BTC is set to crash to $20,000 and ETH to $1,000. Billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller has an opposing view, saying that in an inflationary bull market, he’d rather own BTC than gold (though the reverse would be true in a bear market). He added that he would be “very surprised” if blockchain wasn’t “a real force in our economy” in five to 10 years.
Crypto exchange Huobi has announced Ivy Blocks, a new investment arm that will provide financial aid and other support for projects in seed stages. Ivy Blocks will have a multi-million dollar war chest to achieve its goal and will launch three core services: an asset management platform for DeFi projects, an innovation-led incubation division, and a research-driven crypto platform. Already, Ivy Blocks has over one billion assets under management from already incubated firms, including automated market maker Capricorn Finance.
Terra founder Do Kwon has called whistleblower Fatman accusations that he had cashed out $2.7 billion a few months before the UST de-pegging “categorically false”. He pointed to “two contradictory claims”: that his wallets had been doxxed and he still owned “most of his LUNA through the airdrop”, or that he had “dumped all his tokens to make billions”. He added that for the past two years, all he’d earned was “a nominal cash salary from TFL” and that he had “deferred taking most of” his founders tokens because he did not need it and did not want to “cause unnecessary finger-pointing of ‘he has too much’.”
Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had been “asking questions” about the BNB exchange token but it had not been subpoenaed yet. Speaking at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2022, he said Binance was in regular contact with authorities. In accordance with its policy, however, the SEC has declined to comment on the presence of a probe. Binance is separately being investigated by the Justice Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.
Crypto lending service Celsius announced early today that it would pause withdrawals, citing “extreme market conditions”. It also said it would pause its swap and transfer products, and did not indicate when it would resume withdrawals. This came after Celsius had informed non-accredited investors they could no longer transfer funds, and had replaced its CFO following former CFO Yaron Shalem’s 2021 arrest by Israeli police. After the news broke, Celsius’ CEL token fell by over 50%.
Since founding Crypto for the Homeless (CFTHL) in 2019, Pennsylvania-based pharmacist Kenneth Kim’s non-profit has fed over 5,000 homeless people worldwide, thanks to crypto donations and a hardworking volunteer network. Kim said he chose crypto for its decentralized nature, after “really bad experiences with PayPal” that saw accounts frozen or shut down for various reasons. Volunteers buy and hand-deliver hot meals to the homeless in their respective regions, provide receipts of their purchases and photos of the homeless receiving the food, and are then reimbursed in the cryptocurrency of their choice.
Show me the money
BTC has plunged by as much as 12% to $23,981 — its lowest level in about 18 months — as Friday’s shock US inflation data continues to affect global risk assets. At the same time, crypto long liquidations hit approximately $437 million today, the most since 11 May and the fourth day that the tally has exceeded $250 million. Altcoins fared worse than BTC: ETH fell by as much as 20% to its lowest level since Jan last year, while AVAX and DOGE saw similar percentage declines and SOL fell by up to 19%.