Just over six months after FTX’s dramatic collapse, the crypto industry can finally begin analyzing the effects of the debacle. The quick ripple effect to other crypto businesses drained liquidity from the industry and prolonged the crypto winter, with Silvergate Bank, BlockFi and Genesis Global Capital among those hit by the exchange’s collapse.
FTX’s bankruptcy has also affected the crypto regulatory landscape, with authorities cracking down on firms — employing controversial methods in some cases — to avoid a deepening blend of traditional finance with cryptocurrencies.
Companies that closed their United States operations citing regulatory pressure in the past months included Bittrex, Nexo and Unbanked, to name a few. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said this week that China stands to benefit most from restrictive crypto policies in the U.S., but only time will tell if this is true.
Companies are also reviewing their business operations due to increased regulatory scrutiny. In response to crypto firms being debanked, Binance has even considered buying a bank in the past months, said its CEO Chanpeng Zhao. Now, the crypto exchange is gearing up for a layoff that will boost its compliance and regulatory capabilities.
While the industry digests the recent events, FTX’s new management claims FTX 2.0 could be launched as soon as next year, hopefully in time to join the club of crypto companies striving to remain in business after November 2022.
This week’s Crypto Biz also looks at Tether’s Bitcoin (BTC) mining operations in Latin America, Tabi’s funding round and Nvidia’s efforts to power the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) machines.
Buying a bank won’t solve crypto’s debanking issue — Binance CEO
Binance is unlikely to buy up any banking institutions, but it plans to make minority investments in financial institutions that will “hopefully influence them to be more crypto-friendly,” commented Zhao on the growing worry of crypto companies being debanked. The collapse of several U.S. banks in 2023 has prompted concerns that the pool of crypto-friendly banks is shrinking. Former key banking partners, Silvergate, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, have all capitulated this year. The exchange is also reportedly exploring a solution to reduce counterparty risk by allowing institutional clients to keep their trading collateral at a bank instead of on the crypto platform.
Tether moves into Bitcoin mining in Uruguay
Stablecoin issuer Tether has announced it will launch Bitcoin mining operations in Uruguay in collaboration with a local licensed company. According to Tether, the venture would utilize renewable energy sources aimed at “sustainable” Bitcoin mining and planned to hire additional team members. The mining announcement followed Tether’s plan to “regularly allocate up to 15%” of its profits into BTC purchases. Tether cited Uruguay’s capability of generating 94% of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower, and its reliable grid. Job listings on its website also suggested expansion into South Africa and Brazil.
Nvidia introduces AI supercomputer to create ChatGPT successors
Nvidia continues to push forward in the race to develop AI tools and applications as the company revealed plans to release more products. Its CEO Jensen Huang recently unveiled a new AI supercomputer platform called DGX GH200 that will aid tech companies in developing successors to the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT. Big Tech firms such as Microsoft, Meta and Alphabet are anticipated to be among some of the pioneering users of the supercomputer equipment. Also developing its own AI chip is Microsoft, which claims it intends to deal with the rising costs of development for in-house and OpenAI projects.
BNB NFT marketplace Tabi raises $10 million in angel funding
Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace Tabi, previously known as Treasureland, has completed a $10 million angel funding round seeded by venture capital firms Animoca Brands, Draper Dragon, Hashkey Capital, Infinity Crypto Ventures and Youbi Capital. Along with NFT trading and launchpad features, Tabi converts users’ on-chain activities into “experience points,” which can be exchanged for future airdrop rewards and earnings. The protocol also contains a gaming platform aggregating blockchain game transactions and entertainment. Funds will be primarily used to develop Tabi’s gaming ecosystem and construct an on-chain identity protocol.