Crypto Veteran Sam Bankman-Fried Seen After Signing Stringent Bond Terms.
This week’s headline news was the sighting of crypto veteran Sam Bankman-Fried after he and his parents signed a $250 million bond agreement. The former cryptocurrency mogul is charged with $10 billion in fraud charges, sparking a lot of social media controversy.
Sam Bankman-Fried Spotted After Tight Bond Terms Signed
Liquidity provider Lit Capital tweeted photos of Sam Bankman-Fried after he and his family signed a bond of $250 million, allowing them to remain together in their five-bedroom house in Palo Alto. Bankman-Fried was accompanied by his parents Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried, as well as several FBI employees.
A bond agreement is a noncash acknowledgement bond, which must be signed by two family members or parents.
The release of Sam Bankman-Fried is conditional on his receiving substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, and wearing a monitoring bracelet. He is also prohibited from carrying a gun or spending more than $1,000, except for legal fees. If the conditions of the bond agreement are violated, the court will confiscate the five-bedroom house in Palo Alto.
Investors Wary of BNB After FTT, a Token Created by Sam Bankman-Fried
The collapse of the Bankman-Fried crypto empire in November 2022 was closely linked to a token named FTT, created by the now-defunct FTX exchange. Leaked financial statements revealed that FTX affiliates make up a significant portion of the leaked financial statements, while Alameda Research’s illiquid FTT made up the balance sheet. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted that Binance would sell its FTT holdings, causing a banking panic on FTX and a sharp drop in FTT’s value. Later, the SEC declared the token a security.
This week, investors speculated about whether Binance’s BNB token could also be considered a security. The crypto community affirmed the utility of BNB on BNB Smart Chain, which was distinguished from FTT, which lost its utility following the FTX crash.
Investor concerns were compounded when a court ruled that LBC (the native token of content distribution platform LBRY) was a security. The SEC is also battling Ripple Labs and two of its executives for offering XRP unregistered as a security in 2020.
Decentralized Applications See a 74% Drop in TVL
With the SEC facing difficulties in dealing with centralized cryptocurrency issuers and in civilly charging Sam Bankman-Fried, this year the decentralized financial industry suffered a similar setback.
The total value locked (TVL) in so-called layer one decentralized applications (dApps) dropped sharply following the May 2022 crash in TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin, which shook investor confidence in cryptocurrency.
So-called layer two protocols Arbitrum and Optimism fared better, with Arbitrum’s NFTs gaining recognition in 2022. These layer-two chains, also known as digests, execute transactions off the main chain and compress the selected bits so they can be pushed up to the main chain in one batch.
On the bright side, software library downloads per week from dApp developers increased tenfold between 2019 and 2021. Despite this spike in developer interest, DeFi’s total TVL dropped from $211.4 million to $25 billion.
Countering DeFi’s downtrend were an increase in NFT trading volume of 0.41% and an increase in unique traders of 876%. NFT sales rose 10.6%, according to various Web 2 companies that began integrating Web 3 technologies into their products. Twitter now has NFT avatars and PayPal supports them. Web3 users can also use the MetaMask wallet.
Even though their foundations were shaken due to the collapse of TerraUSD in 2022, stablecoins issued by centralized companies performed well in 2022.
Paxos-issued stablecoins, Binance USD and Pax Dollar, had a combined circulation of $20 billion. USDC