Three Arrows Default Notice, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Ready for ETF, Goldman Sachs Bites Coinbase + More News

Michael Sonnenshein. Source: a video screenshot, Bloomberg Technology / YouTube

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.


Investments news

  • After announcing that it might do so, Voyager Digital Ltd.’s operating subsidiary, Voyager Digital LLC, has issued a notice of default to major crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) for failure to make the required payments on its previously disclosed loan of BTC 15,250 and USDC 350m. Voyager intends to pursue recovery from 3AC and is in discussions with the advisors as to legal remedies available, they said.
  • The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is operationally ready to convert to an exchange-traded fund (ETF) “the moment we are given the appropriate regulatory approvals,” Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments, said, adding that, for this conversion, the firm has selected partners such as the BNY Mellon bank and the EY consultancy, among others. The deadline for the US Securities and Exchange Commission to approve or reject Grayscale’s application is July 6.
  • Crypto lending platform BlockFi announced increases in deposit rates across a range of cryptos and lowered withdrawal fees on some coins while ending a policy allowing one free withdrawal per month, both new policies being effective July 1.
  • Crypto investment firm Morgan Creek Digital is attempting to raise USD 250m from investors to purchase a majority stake in crypto lender BlockFi, CoinDesk reported, citing a leaked investor call. Additionally, crypto exchange FTX is in talks to acquire a stake in BlockFi as well, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing undisclosed people familiar with the matter.
  • Banking giant Goldman Sachs is looking to raise USD 2bn from investors to buy up distressed assets from troubled crypto lender Celsius (CEL), CoinDesk reported, citing undisclosed people familiar with the matter.
  • Also, Celsius has hired restructuring consultants from advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal to advise on a possible bankruptcy filing, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing undisclosed people familiar with the matter.
  • Crypto exchange Unizen has announced a USD 200m capital commitment by alternative investment group Global Emerging Markets (GEM), “to accelerate adoption, expand the firm, and bolster innovation.” The exchange said it is aiming to combine the functionality of centralized exchanges (CEXes) and decentralized exchanges (DEXes) in order to meet the needs of both retail and institutional traders.
  • FTT DAO, the community-led ecosystem decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) started by the fans of FTX and its token, FTT, has received FTT 250,000 (USD 6.7m) in community donations to help kick-start its activities. The donation should be used as an ecosystem fund, while FTT DAO plans to support upcoming community-led projects across areas such as crypto education, DeFi, and “effective altruism for the FTT community.”
  • Digital asset service provider Flowdesk raised USD 30m to create a Market-Making-as-a-Service (MMaaS) product.

Exchanges news

  • Goldman Sachs analysts downgraded Coinbase shares to a sell rating, citing “continued downdraft in crypto prices,” and stressed that the exchange “will need to make substantial reductions in its cost base in order to stem the resulting cash burn as retail trading activity dries up,” Bloomberg reported.
  • Publicly listed Australian crypto payments operator Banxa is laying off 30% of its staff as falling trading volumes hit revenue. It is preparing for a crypto winter that its chief executive predicts will last for another year, the Financial Review reported.
  • Bitpanda announced that they are letting go of part of their team due to the changing market sentiment. Similar to other crypto platforms cutting staff, they set up a Talent Hub for the people who were fired in order to help them find their next employment.
  • Bybit said it is now settling its options trading market in the USD coin (USDC) stablecoin. Bybit’s portfolio margin account supports tether (USDT), USDC, bitcoin (BTC), and ether (ETH) as collateral, with more assets to be added soon, they said.

Economics news

  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said in its Annual Economic Report 2022 that the priority for central banks is to restore low and stable inflation, seeking to minimize the hit to economic activity, thereby safeguarding financial stability. Engineering such a “soft landing” has historically been difficult, and the starting conditions today make it challenging, the BIS said, adding: “Stagflation dangers loom large, as a combination of lingering disruptions from the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, soaring commodity prices, and financial vulnerabilities cloud the outlook.”

CBDCs news

  • Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ali Salehabadi said the country is preparing to roll out a pilot version of its first central bank digital currency (CBDC), named Crypto-Rial, in around two months, per the Iran Front Page. The CBDC is solely designed to “replace the banknotes that the people currently possess,” per the report.

Legal news

  • Crypto lender Nexo (NEXO) issued a cease and desist letter to an anonymous Twitter account that styles itself as “Otteroooo”, which had claimed that Nexo’s co-founders had stolen funds from a charity. In a separate blog post, the lender called this “yet another smear campaign against Nexo” aimed at “profiting from short positions in a distressed market.”

Regulation news

  • Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, praised “leaders from the crypto/token space” for being “fully committed to building a secure and sustainable innovation solving real problems, and identifying real-economy opportunities” in a LinkedIn post. Only a few days previously he had stated that the city would be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on bad behavior in the crypto industry.

NFTs news

  • Digital asset financial services ecosystem Matrixport announced the launch of Warm and Cold custody services for NFTs via its third-party institutional custody service, Cactus Custody, to provide institutions the ability to store and manage their NFT and cryptoassets in one place.

DeFi news

  • DeFi protocol PancakeSwap announced the launch of their CAKE Prediction Market, where users can predict if the price of CAKE, the protocol’s native token, will be higher or lower.

Career news

  • Blockchain solutions provider Ripple (XRP) announced a new office in Toronto, their first in Canada, that will serve as a key engineering hub. The company plans to initially hire 50 engineers in Toronto with the goal to expand to hundreds of blockchain software engineers including applied machine learning scientists, data scientists, and product managers, they said.
  • Crypto hedge fund ARK36 appointed its first fintech advisory board consultants, including US Senior Leaders Frank Thorwald, Mark Moore, and Wayne Christian. The fintech advisory board will assist the ARK36 team in developing trading algorithms and conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses on specific tokens, and it will provide advice on working with Sovereign and Institutional Funds and projects, they said.

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