Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) has acquired $1.5 billion worth of BTC to bolster its UST reserves, thanks to a $1 billion OTC swap with crypto prime broker Genesis for $1 billion in UST, as well as the purchase of $500 million in BTC from crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. This brings LFG closer to its goal of accumulating $10 billion in BTC to back UST, which Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon has said is expected to be reached by the end of Q3. Now holding around $3.5 billion in BTC, the UST Forex Reserve is among the world’s top 10 BTC holders.
A federal judge has ordered BitMEX’s three co-founders to pay a total of $30 million for operating an illegal crypto derivatives platform and flouting laws on money laundering, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Each of the co-founders — Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed — must pay a $10 million penalty after pleading guilty in Feb to violating the Bank Secrecy Act for running a crypto spot and derivatives trading platform without the necessary protections against money laundering.
DeFi crypto exchange Uniswap has claimed it can provide more liquidity than its larger, centralized rivals Binance and Coinbase, due to its incentives for liquidity providers to offer traders better pricing. According to Uniswap Labs, the latest version of the exchange, Uniswap v3, allows traders to make large trades at their preferred prices more easily than on centralized exchanges. Uniswap v3 is now the largest dex by trading volume, with over $1.7 billion in assets changing hands over the past 24 hours. By the same metric, Binance is the largest cex ($22.2 billion).
Elon Musk has secured $7.139 billion to fund his acquisition of Twitter, with Binance committing to invest $500 million. Other contributors include pro-crypto firms like Sequoia Capital Fund ($800 million), AH Capital Management ($400 million) and Fidelity (over $300 million). The largest funding commitment, however, came from Oracle Corp. co-founder and Tesla board member Larry Ellison, who agreed to invest $1 billion. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the exchange hoped “to be able to play a role in bringing social media and Web3 together, and broadening the use and adoption of crypto and blockchain technology”.
The US SEC has signed off on the second BTC futures ETF (exchange-traded fund) filed by Valkyrie Investments under the Securities Act of 1933 (the ’33 Act) — the same regulation spot BTC ETF hopefuls have tried to take advantage of, albeit unsuccessfully. The SEC had previously cited differences between the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the ’40 Act) and the ’33 Act to justify its denial of spot BTC ETFs, and many crypto firm execs believe such ETFs won’t launch for at least another year or so. Meanwhile, Valkyrie hopes to bring its Bitcoin Futures Fund (XBTO) to market, though it did not reveal a launch date.
Show me the money
Major cryptocurrencies have experienced a sudden crash that has wiped out approximately $100 billion from the combined crypto market in a matter of minutes. In the last 24 hours, BTC has fallen by 8.02% to $36,307.19 and ETH 6.61% to $2,727.69, while ETH rivals SOL, ADA and AVAX were down 10.27%, 8.66% and 12.88% respectively. In the same period, XRP and LUNA saw a respective decline of 4.84% and 5.81%.
The sudden crash occurred amid a stock market sell-off led by tech firms, following the Federal Reserve’s hawkish 50 basis point rate hike. Sam Kopelman, crypto exchange Luno’s UK manager, said BTC could “slip back into the previously found $36,000 — $37,000 range”, adding that crypto market participants were “climbing down the risk ladder” this year by selling their smaller tokens for “blue-chip” tokens like BTC.