First Mover Americas: Justin Sun Rises

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Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain, has put himself forward as beleaguered crypto exchange FTX’s savior. Sam Bankman-Fried’s firm is once again staring down the barrel after rival exchange Binance said it was walking away from the deal to acquire FTX after it scrutinized FTX’s books. Without volunteering any details, Sun tweeted that he is “putting together a solution with FTX." Tron’s native token TRX momentarily surged 4,000% from 6 cents to $2.50 following the news. The network’s algorithmic stablecoin USDD, however, has lost its dollar peg, recently trading at 98 cents, with Sun speculating Alameda Research, the liquidity-strapped sister company of FTX, might have sold its USDD holdings, kickstarting the stablecoin's deviation.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index showed that consumer prices rose 7.7% in October from a year earlier, below both the 8.2% growth in September and the 8% increase analysts had estimated. The price of bitcoin (BTC), which has been hammered in the past few days by fears of contagion from the calamity surrounding FTX and Alameda Research, jumped 6% in the minutes after the report. The speculation is that a slower pace of inflation will allow the Federal Reserve to ease off in its campaign to tighten monetary policy – theoretically a positive for risky assets like cryptocurrencies. Ether (ETH), meanwhile, was trading at $1,291, up from earlier lows.

FTX used customer funds to prop up sister firm Alameda Research in May, according to a Reuters report, citing people familiar with the matter. CEO Sam Bankman-Fried transferred at least $4 billion from FTX to support his trading firm Alameda after it suffered a series of losses. Part of this $4 billion was customer deposits though the exact proportion couldn’t be determined. Among Alameda’s losses was a $500 million loan agreed with crypto lender Voyager Digital, which filed for bankruptcy later.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows SOL futures basis or the difference between the spot price and the futures price.
  • The short-term basis tanked to an annualized 355% early Thursday, hinting at record bearish sentiment.
  • "There is panic in the SOL market," Gregoire Magadini, director of derivatives at Amberdata, said.

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