Crypto Markets Today: Exposed Alameda Research Loans to Media Site The Block and Its CEO Adds to FTX’s Miseries

Crypto media site The Block was secretly funded over the last two years by Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, according to a report by Axios. The Block confirmed the report on Friday.

This article originally appeared in Crypto Markets Today, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today's crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

  • The Block’s CEO, Michael McCaffrey, immediately resigned after the loans came to light. He will also step down from The Block's board.
  • No one at the company had any knowledge of the loans except for McCaffrey, according to the company.
  • McCaffrey received three loans for a total of $43 million from 2021 through this year, The Block confirmed.
    • The first loan was for $12 million in 2021 to buy out other investors in the media company, at which time McCaffrey took over as CEO.
    • The second was for $15 million in January to fund day-to-day operations.
    • The third was for $16 million earlier this year for McCaffrey to purchase personal real estate in the Bahamas.
  • Bobby Moran, The Block’s chief revenue officer, will be stepping into the role of CEO effective immediately, according to the report.
  • “From our own experience, we have seen no evidence that Mike ever sought to improperly influence the newsroom or research teams, particularly in their coverage of SBF, FTX and Alameda Research,” Moran said in a statement.
  • Frank Chaparro, an editor-at-large at The Block, said in a tweet that he was "gutted by this news,” which was briefed to the company Friday afternoon, adding that McCaffrey "kept every single one of us in the dark."
  • The Block is a competitor to CoinDesk.

Token Roundup

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH): BTC, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was trading around $17,140, roughly flat over the past 24 hours. BTC has been hovering at the $17,000 mark for 10 consecutive days. Ether followed a similar pattern, sliding 0.8% to $1,260 as of publication time. (FET): The blockchain-based project focused on artificial intelligence (AI) was the top performer this week among the 167 digital assets in the CoinDesk Market Index (CMI). Its native token FET’s price jumped from 6 cents at the start of the week to now 11 cents, surging 80% in the five days since Sunday and 36% in the past 24 hours alone at the time of publication. The price jump came after the release of an upgrade to the wallet with features, including “more easy-to-use messaging,” “fewer server interactions” and “faster load times.”

(CoinDesk Indices)

FTX Token (FTT): The native cryptocurrency of the failed FTX crypto exchange surged Friday after the platform's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, came out in support of an exchange revival plan proposed by a crypto influencer Ran Neuner. The FTT token surged as much as 47% to $1.97, its highest level since Nov. 16, after Bankman-Fried's tweet at 08:18 UTC, TradingView data show. The token has since settled back to $1.64.

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BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices; gold is COMEX spot price. Prices as of about 4 p.m. ET

Crypto Market Analysis: Bitcoin's in the Doldrums as Investors Eye FTX Hearing, FOMC Meeting

By Glenn Williams Jr.

Both bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) were essentially flat over the last week, with the two largest cryptocurrencies by market value trading .005% and .006% higher than the last recorded price on Dec. 2. Volume for both has been stable, with trading activity falling slightly below their respective 20-day moving averages.

BTC appears to be bumping up against potential resistance at current levels. A look at the asset’s Volume Profile Visible Range (VPVR) indicator indicates high levels of price agreement at current levels, which can lead to static price movement. If BTC breaks above this level, the next high volume node appears at the $20,000 level.

ETH’s price, since hitting a short-term bottom on Nov. 22, is showing the early makings of a potential uptrend, with prices up 12% since that day. A distinction between ETH and BTC’s recent price action is that ETH has pushed past a high volume node at $1,200 with the next stop above being at $1,340.

Bitcoin 12/9/22 (TradingView)

Read the full technical take here.

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