Crypto Three Things (11/23)

Wednesday, Nov 23rd 2022

Commentary

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt



1) FTX Funds Missing: Substantial amounts of FTX’s money have been spent on items unrelated to the business and are now missing, an insolvency practitioner told the Delaware bankruptcy court during the first hearing of the failed exchange’s Chapter 11 case. About $300M have been spent on purchases of “homes and vacation properties used by the senior executives,” including a $16.1M beach house sold to signatories Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents, who are now seeking to return the property.

Titan’s Takeaway: More clues in the con will likely be uncovered as the long and complex trial gets underway. Sam Bankman-Fried still maintains that FTX's failure was more concerned with “oversight failure” rather than anything criminal. But that defense won’t last long as more clues are unveiled about how Bankman-Fried enriched himself at his customers' expense.

2) New York Limits Crypto Mining: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new law that set a two-year moratorium on new and reactivated fossil-fuel power plants used to mine digital assets. In a press release, Hochul said the move was necessary “to prioritize the protection of our environment.” The so-called proof-of-work mining was first targeted by the state in June when lawmakers passed a bill that sought to curb intensive energy consumption by miners.

Titan’s Takeaway: The law is now a reality after a months-long clash between sustainability groups and business circles. We’ll have to wait and see how the industry’s growth in the state will be affected. However, it does leave an option to co-locate mining facilities at renewable generators.

3) Binance Chief Goes Fundraising: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao visited the Middle East last week and met with investors in Abu Dhabi. The move was intended to help Zhao raise fresh cash for Binance’s industry recovery fund that will seek to provide liquidity for cash-strapped crypto projects. While the talks were private, Bloomberg reported that Zhao held meetings with entities affiliated with UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed, who oversees an extensive business network.

Titan’s Takeaway: With the fund’s launch at least several weeks away, we can only speculate on its size and focus. As those two get unveiled, we’ll also discover the level of investor interest among the elite in the heat of crypto’s most intense moments.

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