First Mover Americas: Mr. Bankman-Fried Must Go to Washington

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Following up on the unfolding of crypto exchange FTX, the Senate Banking Committee said it wants Sam Bankman-Fried, the exchange’s founder and former CEO, to appear in person next week to discuss the collapse of the exchange. If he doesn’t voluntarily testify, the committee will subpoena him, according to a letter from its leaders on Wednesday. “FTX’s collapse has caused real financial harm to consumers, and effects have spilled over into other parts of the crypto industry. The American people need answers about Sam Bankman-Fried’s misconduct at FTX," the lawmakers said in a statement.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said the SEC is fine going after crypto with its current authority. Gensler said he isn’t waiting for new powers from Congress to enforce securities laws against crypto companies, though he added that it would be good to have more money and additional reach beyond U.S. borders. Gensler declined to talk specifically about the failed crypto exchange FTX in an interview on Yahoo Finance.

The Bank of Spain has plans to start a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. On Monday, it asked financial institutions and tech providers to submit proposals for the initiative by Jan. 31. The program seeks to simulate the use of a CBDC in wholesale transactions, the bank said in an official statement. A wholesale CBDC would be used in the transfers of funds between banks and financial institutions, as opposed to a retail CBDC, which would be used by the public for everyday purchases.

Chart of the Day

(Source: CryptoQuant)
  • Bitcoin whales have been reducing their holdings, blockchain data shows, and a reversal of that trend might need to happen before a big price rally can begin.
  • The chart shows bitcoin's UTXO value bands – the distribution of all unspent transaction outputs. The indicator shows behaviors of whales (large investors, pink area) or retail investors separated by the number of coins they hold, along with price actions.
  • Whales, represented by the UTXO value band of 1,000 BTC to 10,000 BTC, have decreased their holdings by 367,000 BTC since June.
  • "We will need to see whales increasing their holdings for a price rally to be sustainable. An upward trend in bitcoin prices is typically related to large holders accumulating bitcoin," CryptoQuant said.

– Omkar Godbole

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