Last Week in Review: US regulators shut down two banks, and Bitcoin rallies
The highlights from last week’s headline grabbers. All the important news, numbers and events from the crypto industry in easy-to-read, digestible news bites.
News from the block
🏦 Banking crisis in the US as regulators shut down Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank
- Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) went under last week in one of the largest collapses in the US financial sector since the 2008 financial crisis. Soon after SVB’s closure, regulators also shut down operations at Signature Bank.
- Ultimately, SVB was crippled by a bank run, where panicked depositors withdrew funds at an untenable rate for the bank to meet withdrawal requests.
- On Sunday evening, the Federal Reserve released a joint statement announcing that all depositors at SVB and Signature will be able to access their funds on Monday 13 March. “Today we are taking decisive actions to protect the U.S. economy by strengthening public confidence in our banking system,” the Fed, Treasury and FDIC said.
- Bitcoin rallied 15% in the hours following the announcement.
🗽 US government sent $1 billion in BTC to an exchange
- The US government sent $1 billion worth of seized Bitcoin to an exchange, leaving investors wondering whether it’s planning to sell the coins on the open market.
- Previously, Bitcoin seized in raids like the one on Silk Road was sold on auction rather than an exchange.
- The move spooked investors as a sale of this magnitude could put significant downward pressure on the price of Bitcoin.
- “There should be a quicker bounce back if there’s sell pressure, given the larger amount of push [in] the market today compared with the weaker hands and greater leverage [that characterizsed the market] a year ago,” Conor Ryder, a researcher at crypto markets analysis firm Kaiko, told CoinDesk.
🦧 German financial regulator says NFTs are not securities, but could be
- BaFin, Germany’s financial regulator, says it’s yet to find non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that qualify as securities, but doesn’t rule out the possibility in future, as reported by Blockworks.
- To qualify as a security in Germany, investments must have membership rights or contractual claims, and they must be transferable and tradeable.
- “With the currently observed use of NFT, in particular for the tokenization of digital works of art, the qualification as a financial instrument in the form of an investment or a debt security is not necessary,” BaFin said.
🥵 USDC stablecoin briefly depegged and dropped to all-time lows
- USDC, a stablecoin tied 1:1 to the US Dollar, lost its peg on Saturday, falling more than 10% to an all-time low of 88 cents.
- The depegging was part of the fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, where the company behind USDC, Circle, kept $3.3 billion of its reserves. DAI, another stablecoin, which keeps half of its reserves in USDC, also lost its peg in the aftermath.
- Trust in a stablecoin such as USDC rests on the assumption that every USDC in circulation is backed by $1. In other words, every token should be redeemable for US Dollars upon request. This trust was challenged when investors learned about the situation at SVB and started doubting Circle’s ability to redeem USDC for Dollars, leading to a massive sell-off of the stablecoin.
- “The $3.3B USDC reserve deposit held at Silicon Valley Bank, about 8% of the USDC total reserve, will be fully available when U.S. banks open tomorrow morning,” Circle said on Monday, after US governing bodies announced that all depositors at Silvergate and SVB will be made whole.
- USDC is currently trading at parity with the Dollar.
🤞 Solo Bitcoin miner lucked out on a $148,000 block
- A small-time Bitcoin miner, representing about 0.002% of the network’s total computational power, bagged a block on the Bitcoin blockchain and was rewarded $148,000 for his efforts.
- The miner produced a valid hash for a block and received a reward of 6.25 BTC and a fee reward of around 0.63 BTC, worth about $148,000, according to Decrypt.
- “A miner of this size will solve a block on average about once every 10 months,” Twitter user @ckpooldev tweeted. “They’ve only been mining solo for the last 2 days so has been very lucky.”
Why we need more women in crypto
- Women are consistently underrepresented in finance and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Crypto and decentralised finance (DeFi) sit at the cross-section of these sectors.
- Nearly one in three women plan to invest in cryptocurrency in the next year.
- “If female investors have any weakness, it’s their mistaken belief that they are not good investors,” says Meghan Railey co-founder and CFO of Optas Capital.
- Read the full article HERE.
Crunching the numbers
77% – The percentage of Circle reserves collateralised with short-dated US Treasury Bills.
80% – The shuttered Signature Bank claimed that more than 80% of its deposits were from law firms, accounting firms, health care companies, manufacturers and real estate management companies, despite various parties being quick to link the bank’s demise to its close ties with crypto companies.
95 million – The number of non-zero Ethereum wallets, an average increase of 39% over the last three years.
47% – The percentage increase in the price of Bitcoin since the beginning of 2023, despite, or because of, recent events.
The crypto time capsule
13 years ago.
What’s the difference between Solana and Ethereum?
Read how the two networks compare as we take a peek under the hood of each. More HERE.
Worth a watch
Are you too late to buy Bitcoin? Short answer: No. The longer version HERE.