Argentinians Seek Shelter in Stablecoins after Economy Minister Resignation

Argentinians have taken refuge in stablecoins after the nation’s economy minister Martin Guzman resigned over the weekend attributed to the financial crisis crushing the South American country, reports said.

Due to the continuous inflation, Devaluation continues to undermine the Argentine peso (ARS). Three leading crypto exchanges have seen a trend where consumers are looking for hedges, for instance, the peso depreciated by nearly 15% against various stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and MakerDAO (DAI) on leading local crypto exchanges after Guzman resigned. 

Therefore, according to reports, Argentinians purchase stablecoins two to three times more than is the case on a typical weekend. Per the report:

“Argentine exchange Buenbit recorded a 300% increase in trading on Sunday compared to the same day in previous weeks.”

Sebastian Serrano, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Ripio, noted that Argentinians have resorted to the crypto market if uncertain news emerges. Serrano added:

“Whenever there is one of these news stories in Argentina, because of the 24/7 nature of crypto, it is the first market where Argentina starts to look for a price for the U.S. dollar. This drives volumes up.” 

With inflation hitting 60% on a year-over-year basis, Guzman’s resignation was fuelled by the lack of a precise economic direction as differences between the president and vice president took centre stage. 

As a result, Argentinians have been seeking shelter in digital assets despite the nation recently halting crypto operations undertaken by financial institutions. 

Depending on different regulations, crypto usage is speculated to continue rising in Argentina because cryptocurrency is deemed a hedge against a cyclical economic crisis that includes hyperinflation, recession, and repeated currency devaluations.

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British Army Recovers Twitter & YouTube Accounts following Crypto Scam Hack

The British Army became the latest culprit of crypto scams engulfing the market after hackers breached its YouTube and Twitter accounts on July 3. 

Despite regaining control, the army’s accounts were used to post non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies after being briefly hacked. The British Army tweeted:

“Apologies for the temporary interruption to our feed. We will conduct a full investigation and learn from this incident. Thanks for following us and normal service will now resume.”

Following the breach, various NFT posts were made on the British Army’s Twitter feed, which had been renamed Bapesclan. 

On the other hand, the hackers changed the army’s YouTube account to Ark Invest and shared crypto videos. 

With 177,000 subscribers on YouTube and 362,000 followers on Twitter, the hackers wanted to capitalize on the army’s large following, but their plans were thwarted, and investigations are underway.

The Ministry of Defence stated:

“The breach of the Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts that occurred earlier today has been resolved and an investigation is underway. The Army takes information security extremely seriously and until their investigation is complete it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

In 2020, Twitter went haywire after news of a Bitcoin scam hack targeting multiple high-profile figures such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Jeff Bezos broke out. 

It was later established that Graham Ivan Clark was the teenage hacker behind the Twitter hack after he pleaded guilty in a Florida court, Blockchain.News reported. 

Despite the percentage of crypto transaction volumes used for crime reduction, more needs to be done to stem scams in this sector, given that hacking is becoming rampant. 

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Coinbase Plans Expansion into Europe amid Market Downturn

Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc has announced its plans to expand its operations in the European Union and the United Kingdom despite the ongoing market downturn. 


According to an update shared by Nana Murugesan (VP of Business Development and International), and Tom Duff Gordon (VP of International Policy), the plan to expand its reach in the EU aligns with its overall goal of powering economic freedom through cryptocurrencies across the board.

The executives outlined that the company currently has a presence in some key economies, including the UK, Ireland, and Germany. They also unveiled plans that the exchange is in the process of expanding in France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. In a bid to achieve these moves of expansion, they noted that CEO, Brian Armstrong as well as some members of the Coinbase executives are in the UK talking to policymakers. 

The exchange commended the landmark agreement on Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) reached by the key EU bodies on July 30. According to Murugesan and Gordon, the regulatory clarity will help the exchange to build the complete suite of its products in the region.

“The EU is setting measured regulatory standards for crypto assets, which should provide renewed impetus for other jurisdictions to reflect on their own approaches to regulation and Travel Rule implementation,” the duo wrote in the blog post, “During market downturns, the temptation can be to shy away from international expansion. We first entered the UK and EU during the bear market in 2015, a move that paid off significantly during the bull run a few years from then. We’ll keep building around the world, and doing everything we can to grow the crypto-economy.”

While Coinbase exchange outlined its current investments in the region including Qredo and Euler, it said its commitment to building a functional landscape in the EU and UK will be comprehensive across the bloc. 

The plans for expansion are one of Coinbase’s first attempts to shrug off the effect of the ongoing market onslaught which pushed it to lay off 18% of its global workforce back in June.

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Babel Finance Hires Restructuring Specialist Houlihan Lokey: Sources

Babel Finance, a Hong Kong Bitcoin financial services company offering lending and asset management services, has hired U.S. investment banking firm Houlihan Lokey, a specialist with wide experience in restructuring and acquisitions to advise in distressed fund situations. People with familiar sources have disclosed the development.

“Babel is looking at restructuring. They’ve hired Houlihan Lokey or are in the process of hiring them. They’re in the process of signing an engagement letter,” one source said.

Another source also stated: “They [Babel] are the next major crypto firm to have some kind of some kind of outcome over the next couple of weeks, whether it’s sorting out and getting buy-in from creditors or declaring insolvency or default.”

The appointment of Houlihan Lokey would prove valuable to Babel, particularly during these difficult times, and will help to ensure that the firm continues offering first-class services to its customers.

The move comes after two weeks ago, Babel suspended customer withdrawals amid liquidity concerns.  

On June 17, Babel Finance halted withdrawals and redemption of crypto assets citing “unusual liquidity pressures” amid the current extreme volatility facing the crypto market.

A few days later, Babel’s team stated that they conducted an emergency evaluation of the firm’s business operations to understand its liquidity status of the company. The team also said they addressed the company’s liquidity situation after reaching agreements with major counterparties on the repayment of borrowed funds back to the lenders to ease short-term liquidity.

“Babel Finance will actively fulfill its legal responsibilities to customers and strive to avoid further transmission and diffusion of liquidity risks,” the firm further stated.

Crypto Lending Crisis

Even as Babel Finance reassures its clients and investors that its financial situation is sound, its dramatic incident is another case that has put the stability of the lending market in the spotlight.

Babel’s troubles come at a time when the crypto market is experiencing severe distress triggered by the plunge of the Terra ecosystem in May, followed by liquidity crisis facing Celsius Network and Three Arrows Capital.

Recently, Celsius Network, a major crypto lending platform, hired attorneys specialized in business restructuring from the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP to advise on potential solutions to its growing financial problems.

On 13th June, Celsius halted all withdrawals, swaps, and transfers between accounts due to ‘extreme market conditions.’

While Celsius was first looking for potential financing options from investors, it later decided to consider financial restructuring.

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KuCoin CEO Quashes Rumours of FUD as its Exchange Might Halt Withdrawals

Over the weekend, the Chief Executive Officer of KuCoin Exchange Johnny Lyu allayed all Fears, Uncertainties, and Doubts (FUD) related to rumours spreading on Twitter as the trading platform may halt withdrawals due to the distress by the ongoing market meltdown in market.


Talking to Twitter, Lyu said there is absolutely no plan to halt withdrawals and that, unlike the claims that the firm is having liquidity issues, it has no exposure to crypto projects and companies that are struggling at the moment including LUNA, and Three Arrows Capital (3AC) amongst others.

“Be aware of FUDs! Not sure who’s spreading these sheer rumours, and what their intentions are, but #KuCoin does not have any exposure to LUNA, 3AC, Babel, etc. No “immense suffer” from any “coin collapse”, no plan to halt withdrawal, everything on KuCoin is operating well,” Lyu said in his short Twitter thread.

In a bid to further exert his stance that the exchange is faring well, the CEO shared the company’s milestones as the trying times the ecosystem is facing gain momentum. Lyu implied that the exchange has sufficient liquidity, going by its massive valuation of $10 billion following the $150 million raised back in May. 

KuCoin is more active in this bear market and comes off as one of the fear exchanges after Binance and BitGet which has announced plans to continually hire before the end of the year, Lyu added. Slamming those spreading unverified information, Lyu said the company’s performance report for the first quarter of the year will soon be released.

“Being transparent is always one of our key principles. We will soon publish our 2022 H1 review report where you can know more about our operations. For FUDers who intentionally spread unverified info., KuCoin reserves the right to take legal action. Don’t FUD, BUIDL,” he said.

Justifiably so, a lot of crypto-linked companies, including Three Arrows Capital (3AC), and Babel Finance are currently highly distressed currently.

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OpenSea Co-Founder Alex Atallah Sets to Leave Company by the End of July

Alex Atallah, one of the co-founders of OpenSea of the largest Non-Fungible Token (NFT) marketplace in the Web3.0 ecosystem, has announced he will be leaving the company as an active manager by the end of July. (82).jpg

Atallah who alongside CEO, Devin Finzer built OpenSea back in 2017 has been a very crucial part of the company’s progress, having played a wide range of roles, including community and marketing, Product development, and the likes.

While he has fixed a July 30 deadline as his last day, Atallah said he is confident in the leaders that the company has onboarded to take over all of the functions he was overseeing prior to this time. Attalah affirmed that he trusts new leaders, such as Ryan Foutty who took over business development and partnerships and Whitney Steele who took over marketing amongst others, noting that while they started off on the right footing, he is excited about their plans for the future.

OpenSea started with just about 100 collections back in March 2018 with the firm recording just about $500,000 in transaction volume. At present, the marketplace has millions of collections listed, and as of January this year, it recorded a $3.5 billion monthly Ethereum (ETH) trading volume as reported by Blockchain.News.

While OpenSea has had its fair share of legal woes, the firm has not stopped seeing massive traction in its rate of onboarding new users. At a time this year, the firm went on a hiring run to relieve its overwhelmed engineers. The company raised $300 million earlier this year to raise its valuation to $13.3 billion.

Despite his departure from the active role in the outfit, Attalah confirmed that as a part of the board, he would still be contributing to the progress of the firm as a member of the board. Post-OpenSea, Attalah said he will focus on his passion which is to build something from 0 to 1.

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Finblox Raises Withdrawal Limit, Exploring Lawsuit against 3AC

Finblox, a crypto-staking platform based in Hong Kong, announced that it has increased its daily withdrawal limit to $3,000.

Two weeks ago, the firm imposed a withdrawal limit of $1,500 monthly and suspended rewards due to uncertainty facing Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC).

Peter Hoang, Finblox CEO, talked about the development: “We are doing everything in our power to restore faith in our platform, unlock the access to the users’ funds affected by this market event and complete the return to normal operations.”

Finblox has reinstated its platform’s yield generation, payouts, and referral program rewards. The firm further said it plans to raise a daily withdrawal limit of $50,000 for verified users next week.

On June 16, Three Arrows Capital faced insolvency fears after incurring at least $400 million in liquidations. 3AC was liquidated by crypto lending firms and is currently being expected to repay loans to lenders and other counterparties.

Finblox, one of its counterparties, said it has sent several demands to Three Arrows Capital, requesting for the entire loan to be repaid in full. So far, Finbox said it is seeking legal remedies to enable it to recover funds from 3AC.

3AC’s Woes Hit Multiple Firms

The recent fall in crypto prices has wiped out billions of dollars in value and sent the entire market capitalization under US$900 billion.

The price plunged after the collapse of Terraform Labs’ TerraUSD stablecoin and its affiliate cryptocurrency Luna in early May, both of which Three Arrows Capital was exposed to as a critical backer of Terraform.

The impact of 3AC has been wide-ranging. Last week, crypto broker Voyager Digital issued a notice of default to 3AC after the crypto hedge fund failed to repay a loan of US$350 million in USDC stablecoin and 15,250 Bitcoin worth US$324 million.

BlockFi said it had liquidated some of 3AC’s positions earlier this month. Three Arrows Capital had borrowed funds from BlockFi but was unable to meet the margin call.

The collapse of 3AC has also dragged crypto broker Genesis Trading into financial poverty. Genesis Trading, a crypto brokerage firm based in New York, is facing “hundreds of millions” of dollars in potential losses because of its exposure to Three Arrows Capital.

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Voyager Digital Suspends Crypto Trading, Deposits, And Withdrawals

Voyager Digital, a cryptocurrency brokerage firm, announced last Friday that it has suspended all customer trading, deposits, withdrawals and loyalty rewards.

“This was a tremendously difficult decision, but we believe it is the right one given current market conditions. This decision gives us additional time to continue exploring strategic alternatives with various interested parties while preserving the value of the Voyager platform we have built together. We will provide additional information at the appropriate time,” said Stephen Ehrlich, CEO of lending firm Voyager Digital.

Voyager has been facing financial challenges that have adversely affected its operations. On June 22, the lending firm revealed that it had huge exposure to the crypto hedge fund firm Three Arrows Capital (3AC). Last week, Voyager issued a notice of default to the struggling crypto hedge fund for failure to repay its loans.

The loans totalled about $665 million, consisting of 15,250 BTC ($294 million) and $350 million in USDC. Voyager said that it had requested Three Arrows Capital to repay $25 million in USDC by June 24, and repay the entire balance of USDC and BTC by June 27.

Since 3AC defaulted, Voyager recently disclosed plans to pursue all means to recover its funds from the crypto hedge fund firm, including through a court-ordered liquidation process in the British Virgin Islands.

Voyager recently secured over $500 million loans in form of $200 million in USDC and $294 million worth 15,000 BTC from Alameda Research, a quantitative trading firm owned by FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried, to mitigate its $665 million exposure and weather the crypto winter.

So far, Voyager has received access to the $75 million part of the FTX loan, but it seems that was not enough to keep its business operating as usual. The firm looks forward to accessing more funds whenever available. 

The Fragile Crypto Market

The ongoing crash of cryptocurrencies has left several market players in the industry facing financial difficulties.

Bitcoin and altcoins have plunged hard as the market experiences new realities triggered by interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and the collapse of TerraUSD stablecoin and its sister cryptocurrency Luna.

On June 12, crypto lender Celsius suspended all account withdrawals, citing “extreme market conditions.” Reports showed that Celsius invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the illiquid token derivative called Staked ether, or stETH, another controversial cryptocurrency that caused damage in the digital asset market, after the fall of TerraUSD.

A prominent crypto lending firm BlockFi also has been facing financial struggles as it had significant exposure to Three Arrows Capital. The crypto lender recently announced massive job cuts and its valuation dramatically reduced from $5 billion to $1 billion. Last week, BlockFi secured a $250 million revolving line of credit from FTX to bail out its business.

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GBTC’s Discount to NAV Hits New Record Low after SEC Declining its Bitcoin Spot ETF Application

The shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) saw a new record low of -31% last Thursday, June 30; that is, GBTC’s discount hit -31%, its lowest point in history.

The discount means the market price of GBTC shares is over 31% lower than its net asset value (the value of the underlying Bitcoin).

Before the news regarding U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ‘s rejecting Grayscale’s application to turn its GBTC instrument into an ETF last Wednesday, the GBTC discount was 28.4%.

Investors in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) face more losses as the popular investment product widens its record discount.

GBTC has long been an investment product of choice for several institutional investors, providing them exposure to Bitcoin without the need to buy the underlying asset.

However, the offering has many drawbacks, including a six-month lockup period and an annual management fee of 2%.

There are several factors behind the poor performance of GBTC. The current discount potentially means a weakening interest in the asset, as there is more GBTC supply than demand. This indicates a bearish signal of broader institutional sentiment towards Bitcoin. Furthermore, new competitive products in the market, like Canadian Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), also give new alternatives to investors.

GBTC’s record low comes as Bitcoin struggles below the $20,000 mark. The crypto market has extended its losses as several major crypto coins are in a bloodbath. Bitcoin was trading at $19,080 per coin during the Asia trading sessions on Monday local time. Wider cryptocurrencies have further plunged as investors maintained a panic selling after the recent liquidation of crypto hedge fund- Three Arrows Capital (3AC).

Further Road Ahead

Grayscale considers the conversion of GBTC into a Bitcoin ETF as the best solution. The company recently said it is “100% committed” to turning the investment product into a Bitcoin ETF. However, it appears that the regulatory environment in the U.S. is still not ready.

Last week, Grayscale sued the SEC a few hours after the regulator rejected its application to convert its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust product (GBTC) to an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Last Wednesday, the SEC turned down Grayscale’s application for a spot Bitcoin ETF, citing the investment management firm’s failure to answer questions about market manipulation concerns. The regulator is concerned investors would lack adequate protections under the Grayscale proposal.

In the past, Grayscale had piled pressure on the regulator to side with its application. In early May, Grayscale met privately with the SEC to persuade the watchdog to approve the conversion of its GBTC into an ETF.

Converting the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a NYSE-traded exchange-traded fund (ETF) would widen access to Bitcoin, enhance protections, and unlock up to $8 billion in value for investors. And a discount would disappear upon conversion, that is, according to Grayscale.

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Three Arrows Capital Files for Chapter 15 Bankruptcy in the US

The embattled cryptocurrency hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital (3AC) has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the United States of America as it looks to preserve its assets in the country. - 2022-07-04T105927.295.jpg

According to the filing lodged with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan), creditors will not be able to seize the firm’s assets in the US with this move.

A court in the British Virgin Islands ordered the liquidation of Three Arrows Capital last week as the company was unable to meet its obligation to creditors such as BlockFi, and Voyager Capital.

The woes of Three Arrows Capital were ignited by the collapse of LUNA-UST which the company has a significant amount of exposure.

The entire event of the two tokens fueled a market onslaught that many projects are yet to recover from today. The ongoing liquidation of 3AC is being handled by Teneo Restructuring, and without legal protection such as the Chapter 15 Bankruptcy that 3AC is filing, the firm might enlist the company’s assets around the world as this is the process it started its functions with according to sources close to the matter.

The bankruptcy case is tagged Three Arrows Capital Ltd and Russell Crumpler, 22-10920, and the company is being represented by the law firm Latham & Watkins. 

Three Arrows Capital was one of the first and most celebrated crypto hedge funds that were founded by Credit Suisse traders, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies. At its peak this year, the firm had about $10 billion in Assets Under Management (AUM) in March according to data from Nansen. In the wake of its challenges, Voyager Digital has issued a notice of default to the company, claiming 3AC has not been able to repay a loan worth $650 million.

It is unclear if 3AC and its founders will be subjected to any legal reprimand from authorities as to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) accused the firm of sharing false information while it was operating in the country.

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