SEC, Ripple case nears conclusion, Grayscale withdraws ETF filing, and more: Hodler’s Digest, May 5-11

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The SEC’s final move on the Ripple case, Grayscale withdraws futures ETH filing, and dormant BTC wallet wakes up.

by Editorial Staff 6 min May 11, 2024

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Top Stories This Week

​​SEC files final response in Ripple XRP case

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a remedies brief challenging Ripple’s position over penalties in their ongoing legal battle. The SEC seeks substantial fines against Ripple following Judge Torres’ ruling that XRP isn’t a security in programmatic sales. Ripple contends that any fines shouldn’t exceed $10 million, citing the absence of fraudulent intent. On the other hand, the agency insists Ripple misinterpreted the court’s order and downplayed its liability. Both parties are now awaiting a final ruling. Ripple chief legal officer Stuart Alderoty criticized the SEC, arguing that its reputation continues to decline.

Grayscale withdraws its Ether futures ETF application

Grayscale has withdrawn its 19b-4 application for an Ether futures exchange-traded fund just three weeks before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was set to decide on it. On May 7, the cryptocurrency asset manager filed a notice of withdrawal for the Grayscale Ethereum Futures Trust with the SEC, which was scheduled to make a decision on May 30. Traders rushed to short Ether after the announcement. Analysts believe the futures ETF application was a “trojan horse” to corner the agency into approving its spot Ether ETF proposal. As May 23 approaches, analysts are more skeptical about the SEC’s approval of a spot Ether ETF.

Satoshi-era dormant Bitcoin address wakes up after 10 years

A dormant Bitcoin address containing 687 BTC ($43.9 million), dating back to the era when Satoshi Nakamoto was still active, has woken up after 10 years. On May 6, it transferred its holdings to two different wallets, sparking curiosity among the crypto community. While speculation often links these wallets to Satoshi themself, experts believe they are more likely owned by early miners or buyers. Notably, 1.75 million Bitcoin wallets have remained inactive for over a decade, holding approximately $121 billion worth of BTC at current prices.

FTX proposes ‘billions in compensation,’ but not everyone’s happy

FTX has proposed a new plan to compensate creditors affected by its 2022 collapse, offering to repay all claims plus additional compensation for the time value of their investments. This plan, which needs approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, offers a 118% recovery for claims under $50,000, covering 98% of its creditors. However, the compensation is based on the value of assets at the time of FTX’s bankruptcy in November 2022, not current prices, despite a significant 280% rise in Bitcoin’s price since then. The proposal has upset some investors, who are arguing for reimbursement at current market prices.

Nigerian officials proposed secret crypto settlement, claims Binance CEO

Binance was allegedly pressured by Nigerian officials to enter into a $3-million settlement regarding compliance issues. Reports reveal that a Nigerian official demanded crypto payments to resolve matters related to Binance’s adherence to Nigerian crypto regulations. The exchange is said to have declined the payment demand through its local legal representation and to have continued the settlement negotiations. The relationship between the exchange and local authorities has recently escalated with the detention of Binance executives.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $60,848, Ether (ETH) at $2,932 and XRP (XRP) at $0.49. The total market cap is at $2.26 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Akash Network (AKT) at 38.34%, Render (RNDR) at 36.04% and Toncoin (TON) at 23.60%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Core (CORE) at -19.24%, Wormhole (W) at -17.98% and Lido DAO (LDO) at -15.87%.

For more information on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Crypto is a small piece of our overall markets. But it’s an outsized piece of the scams and frauds and problems in our markets.”

Gary Gensler, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

“Digital assets have emerged as a significant issue in the upcoming election.”

Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association

“If you would have asked me 20 years ago if the central bank business model [was] destroyable or not, I would have said no. Now I am not so sure anymore.”

Joachim Nagel, president of the Bundesbank and member of the European Central Bank

“More of the same from the SEC — failing to faithfully apply the law and trying to pull the wool over the Judge’s eyes.”

Stuart Alderoty, chief legal officer at Ripple

“We are pleased to be in a position to propose a Chapter 11 plan that contemplates the return of 100% of bankruptcy claim amounts plus interest for non-governmental creditors.”

John J. Ray III, chief restructuring officer and CEO of FTX

“The [digital] asset industry needs to get its act together and adapt to the laws that apply to it, not the other way around.”

John Reed Stark, former official for the U.S. SEC

Prediction of the week

Bitcoin price to ‘sustain’ $265K level once boring consolidation ends — Analysts

Bitcoin’s price could continue its uptrend and triple its market cap, propelling its price above $260,000, according to the founder and CEO of on-chain and market analytics firm CryptoQuant, Ki Young Ju.

“Bitcoin network fundamentals could support a market cap three times its current size compared to the last cyclical top,” Young Ju explained in a May 8 post on X.

Young Ju was referring to a chart comparing BTC’s price and the associated hash rate to market capitalization ratio, highlighting the crypto’s ongoing volatility and the resilience of the Bitcoin network.

The chart reveals that Bitcoin’s hash rate-to-market cap ratio has increased significantly in 2024, which suggests a possible increase in market activity and investor interest.

FUD of the Week

Trader loses 7-figure sum due to 0L Network hard fork

A pseudonymous trader known as NN allegedly lost over $1 million in cryptocurrency due to an unauthorized hard fork of the 0L Network. According to a May 8 post on X, the trader claimed the team behind the network decided to implement a hard fork to address a “rogue core” member. This action resulted in the destruction of 4% of the total supply and wiped out several wallets, including those of traders like NN, who had purchased 147 million Libra tokens back in February 2023, valued at $1.47 million at the time.

Ex-Digitex Futures Exchange CEO pleads guilty to violating Bank Secrecy Act

Adam Todd, founder and former CEO of Digitex Futures Exchange, pleaded guilty in federal court to failing to establish an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program at the firm. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced on May 7 that Todd admitted to “willfully causing” the exchange to violate the Bank Secrecy Act. Indicted in February, Todd operated an unregistered futures platform for U.S. customers between 2018 and 2022 without implementing AML and Know Your Customer (KYC) programs. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Ethereum L2 Eclipse CEO steps down amid sexual misconduct claims

Neel Somani, founder and CEO of Ethereum layer-2 blockchain Eclipse, announced he is “temporarily reducing” his role as the public face of the firm due to sexual misconduct allegations. In a May 9 post on X, he denied the accusations, emphasizing their falsity and stating, “I never sexually assaulted or harassed any woman.” Somani said Eclipse’s leadership will manage responsibilities, while he works to clear his name.

Top Magazine Pieces of the Week

What do crypto market makers actually do? Liquidity or manipulation

Market makers face tough ethical choices in a world where they’re often blamed for manipulating markets.

‘Sic AI’s on each other’ to solve artificial intelligence threat: David Brin, author

Uplift and The Postman author David Brin has devised a clever plan to keep AIs from going rogue. But can we pull it off?

Buy altcoins now, but sell before ‘mid-2025’: Charles Edwards, X Hall of Flame

Charles Edwards’ altcoin analysis suggests the start of this cycle “has played out like a textbook,” but traders will need an altcoin exit strategy.


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Editorial Staff

Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.

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