Last week’s biggest crypto news with a special bonus deal inside.
Last Weeks Biggest Crypto News
Last week in the crypto world we saw Paul Tudor Jones holding onto his bitcoin, two bankrupt crypto firms entering liquidation, and Ledger suffering a PR disaster with its new key recovery service.
Paul Tudor Jones Still Holding his Bitcoin
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones revealed last week that he is still holding the bitcoin he bought in 2020, and will do so for life as an alternative to cash and traditional investments.
Jones came out as a Bitcoin acolyte in 2020 as the US government began its mass money printing program to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, which he dubbed the “great monetary inflation,” stating that Bitcoin was his bet as the “fastest horse” in the race for protection against the decreasing value of the dollar.
While many would have assumed Jones sold at the peak in 2021, it seems he is instead happy to HODL, telling CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that he has not been put off by Bitcoin’s price drop since the last peak:
“From the beginning, I’ve always said I want to have a small allocation to it because it’s the only thing humans can’t adjust the supply in. So I’m sticking with it, and I’m going to always stick with it as a small diversification in my portfolio.”
It’s highly likely that Jones’ holding makes up one of the one million on-chain addresses that hold at least one bitcoin, a benchmark that was crossed last week. The number of addresses holding at least one bitcoin has been steadily increasing since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009, but has seen a surge in the past two years, with more than 90,000 addresses adding a whole bitcoin, or more, since the drop to $15,500 in November.
BlockFi and Voyager Enter Liquidation
Two of the crypto platforms hit hardest by last year’s crypto contagion have entered liquidation after plans to resuscitate them expired. BlockFi and Voyager Digital may have taken very different routes, but both have ended up treading the path to dissolution, although this means that creditors can look forward to getting their claims paid out, at least in part… read more
BlockFi was the first to announce a move into liquidation, having failed to attract a buyer in the six months since it fell into bankruptcy. Its creditors got a boost earlier this month when a judge ruled that customers of its vanilla custody service were entitled to a share of $300 million as the funds were still technically theirs, compared to those who had transferred them to interest-earning accounts. BlockFi has 660,000 client accounts, with the top 50 creditors owed $1.3 billion, although BlockFi believes that certain classes of claims could potentially see recoveries “as high as 100%.”
However, this depends in large part on the outcome of a $648 million lawsuit that BlockFi has filed against an investment vehicle owned by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, a victory which is of course far from certain.
Voyager Digital’s route through bankruptcy has been much more complex; FTX was slated to buy it out but this deal collapsed when FTX itself did, leaving the second bidder, Binance.US, to seal the deal. However, Binance.US pulled out following a lawsuit from the CFTC, leaving Voyager Digital with no choice but to enter liquidation.
Voyager Digital has about $630 million to pay off claims of around $1.8 billion, but another FTX-related lawsuit is also in play here; FTX’s trading arm, Alameda Research, has sued Voyager Digital in an attempt to claw back a $445 million loan repayment. Voyager Digital’s creditors will receive an initial payout of around 35% of their claim, but repayments will jump to over 70% of the claim amount if it is is successful.
Ledger Suffers PR Disaster With ‘Recover’ Service
Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger endured a PR disaster this week when it announced the launch of Ledger Recover, a subscription service that allows remote storage of a wallet’s seed key in case of loss.
While the concept itself isn’t terrible, and will in fact appeal to those less well-versed in the importance of seed key storage, the concept of a seed key leaving the device had the crypto community up in arms, and caused a huge backlash. Ledger’s actions in the wake of the criticism brought back memories of how it handled a series of data breaches in 2020, an episode it had only just recovered from.
Ledger is one of the two biggest hardware wallet makers in the crypto space, thanks to its Ledger Nano which allowed it to hoover up customers in the crypto boom years. However, in 2020 it suffered, denied and eventually admitted to a catalogue of data breaches that saw the personal details of hundreds of thousands of customers leaked online. The backlash against the company, in particular its continual denials followed by an inadequate apology when it did finally admit the breaches, led to a persistent PR nightmare; every tweet was bombarded with angry accusations from customers. Eventually, Ledger took to hiding negative replies and then removing the ability to reply to tweets altogether, which merely exacerbated the problem.
Fast forward to 2023. Time has healed the wounds felt by customers, allowing Ledger to launch its Ledger Stax wallet without fear of reprisals. It has even re-enabled replies to its tweets, and looks to be well on the path to recovery. And so to last week. Ledger clearly felt that there was a gap in the market for crypto users who want to hand the responsibility of their seed key (essentially the master key to their Ledger device) to a trusted third party rather than risk losing it themselves. The key will be split into pieces and stored with three separate crypto storage firms, with the user able to request the key if anything happens to their device.
Ledger’s mistake wasn’t in the product, but the message. Since its first wallet hit the shelves in 2015, Ledger has prided itself on the promise that the seed key to a Ledger device will never leave the device, which is the cornerstone of self-custody. And now here it was offering customers the chance to undermine this cornerstone for a monthly fee. Ledger also failed to make clear that the service was an opt-in subscription service, with screenshots flying around Twitter suggesting that the feature was coming in a mandatory upgrade. It wasn’t long before the grievances from 2020 resurfaced, with many asking why they should trust Ledger with their seed key when the company couldn’t even secure their personal data.
In full panic mode, Ledger hastily put together several explanatory tweet threads and even an AMA with its technical team, but they then made another blunder by hiding pages of negative tweets. The company insisted that this was because of an automatic ‘abuse’ filter, but this didn’t wash with the community, who again accused it of whitewashing criticism.
Ledger’s inability to control the narrative over what should have been an exciting moment shows that they somehow didn’t learn the lessons from 2020…but at least they haven’t banned replies. Yet.
- Bitcoin mining company Marathon and Bitcoin protocol research company Brink last week announced a $1 million fund to aid Bitcoin Core development.
- Coinbase has criticized the SEC for issuing a “resounding maybe” over whether it plans to regulate the crypto sector independently.
- The UK Treasury Committee wants the government to treat crypto investing as a form of gambling rather than a form of financial service.
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Born on a blockchain with “HODL” as a middle name, the crypto-savvy Jordan Huxley guides our readers through the digital world of crypto with insightful guides and informative content, unveiling the power of crypto in his own, unique way. Get the latest updates on blockchain-related tech, advancements, news, and events with Jordan and our team of crypto gambling gurus on the Punt Casino Blog.