VeChain Zone Quicknews: Bitcoin Coinbase SEC Oh My! BTC Freefall Continues, Coinbase Slashes Workforce, SEC Investigates Exchanges

3 min read

…Plus More VechainZone Quicknews On Celsius Spike (and Collapse), Opensea Move

  • Altcoin marketplace turmoil continues as Bitcoin continues to flounder even as whales continue to accumulate.
  • Coinbase continues to hemorrhage cash and slashes workforce to try and stop the bleeding.
  • SEC flexes its muscles by digging into potential insider trading at crypto exchanges (don’t think this is the only way the US government seeks to dampen digital coin interest).
  • Celsius in massive – but VERY short-lived – spike, followed by quick retracing.
  • OpenSea has migrated to a new protocol in search of numerous customer benefits

Read more details below:

Bitcoin Investors See $21-22K As New Interest Level – FED to Announce New Interest Rate

The major storyline of 2022 so far, the freefall of Bitcoin, continues, with the world’s largest crypto having lost 58% of its value since January 1st. With Bitcoin trading at an 18-month low, hovering below $21,000 at the time of writing, investors have identified the $21-22k range as a new interest level.

Despite the rampant downtrend, retail buyers have persisted in their accumulation of $BTC. On-chain data from Santiment shows that Bitcoin whales are of a similar mind to investors in having a more profound interest in Bitcoin at the $21K-$22k level.

As Bitcoin dipped under $21k, whales went on an accumulation spree. Santiment reports that Bitcoin whales executed over 12,960 transactions with values of over $100k–the largest amount of Bitcoin bought in a single day since May 2021.

Despite the seemingly unending downtrend, Bitcoin has one positive to cling to: investors haven’t given on hopes of recovery.

Coinbase Lays Off 18% of Staff Ahead of Upcoming Crypto Winter

One of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, Coinbase, has become the latest in a slew of crypto firms to announce job cuts. Coinbase announced the lay offs of 1,100 staff, which makes up 18% of its workforce, citing premature growth as the main reason for the decision.

According to the CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong, the harsh crypto environment and the looming threat of a potential crypto winter were partilar motivators leading the exchange to take this “difficult decision.” By cutting down its workforce, Coinbase is hoping to stay healthy during the economic downturn.

Employees were clued in to their impending lay offs as they found themselves locked out of their work emails. Armstrong explained that this was to done as a precautionary measure to “ensure not even a single person made a rash decision that harmed the business.”

While their contracts were terminated with immediate effect, they will not be left out of pocket, as they will receive at least 14 weeks of severance pay. Coinbase has felt the brunt of the crypto market downturn for some time, posting a net loss of $430 million in the first quarter of 2022 amidst fears of bankruptcy.

The job cuts being undertaken by crypto firms are largely being fueled by the ongoing situation as the cryptocurrency markets endure their deepest period of correction in over two years.

SEC Opens Investigations into Insider Trading at Crypto Exchanges

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly opened investigations to ascertain whether or not crypto exchanges have put adequate measures in place to prevent insider trading.

The SEC chair Gary Gensler has previously expressed concerns about insider trading at exchanges and, according to reports, at least one major crypto exchange has received a letter requesting detailed information about the safeguards in place within the platform.

In an interview in May, Gensler spoke on the challenges of tackling insider trading at crypto exchanges. He explained that, by facilitating insider trading, these exchanges were “trading against their customers often because they’re market-marking against their customers.”

It remains uncertain which exchanges have received these queries, and no official statements have been released by parties on either side.

Celsius (CEL) Spikes 600% as the Team Hires Lawyers for Restructuring

Despite the recent concerns around the platform’s liquidity and its suspension of withdrawals, the native token of Celsius has spiked by more than 600% to reach its highest price point since April at $1.17, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Celsius (CEL) traded as low as $0.18 before jumping by more than 600% in the matter of minutes. The explosive breakout was short-lived though, as CEL retraced in the succeeding hours to trade as low as $0.317. As of this writing, Celsius trades at $0.5409, marking gains of 54.9% over the last 24 hours.

As financial issues continue to mount for Celsius Network, the team behind the project has hired restructuring lawyers from the Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP law group to advise on possible solutions.

In addition to weighing up financial restructuring, the Celsius Network has also sought out potential financing options from investors. The hires come in the wake of Celsius’ latest move which saw it suspend withdrawals and transfers across all platforms.

The Celsius Network team continues to assure investors that they are working to resolve the issues which led to the suspension of withdrawals.

OpenSea Launches on Seaport to Improve NFT Trading Quality

Leading NFT marketplace OpenSea has migrated from the Wyvern protocol to Seaport, a new Web 3.0 marketplace protocol designed to improve trading quality and reduce gas fees.

OpenSea announced its migration to the game-changing Seaport on June 14th. Seaport offers improvements such as lower gas fees, diversified NFT provisioning, the elimination of initialization fees, creation of new accounts, and more customer-friendly signature accounts.

According to OpenSea, users will save an estimated 35% on gas fees by transacting on Seaport, while analysis pegs the potential savings at more than $460 million (138,000 ETH) in 2023.

Users will be enabled to make “Collection Offers”, which means they can make offers on all of the NFT collections. They will also be able to make “Trait Offers”, allowing them to make offers on a collection of items with specific qualities.

Seaport gives NFT traders the opportunity to access new features, creating a launchpad that could scale OpenSea’s operations.

Via this site