Standard Chartered: Bitcoin could plunge 70% to $5,000

Bitcoin could drop to $5,000 next year in a market surprise that investors are under-pricing, according to Standard Chartered, CNBC report.

If that level is reached, it would mark a roughly 70% plunge from Monday’s price of just over $17,000 for one bitcoin.

In a note entitled “The financial-market surprises of 2023,” Standard Chartered outlined a number of possible scenarios that “we feel are under-priced by the markets.”

Eric Robertsen, global head of research at Standard Chartered Bank, said in the note Sunday:

Yields plunge along with technology shares, and while the Bitcoin sell-off decelerates, the damage has been done. More and more crypto firms and exchanges find themselves with insufficient liquidity, leading to further bankruptcies and a collapse in investor confidence in digital assets.

Robertsen said the somewhat extreme scenarios “have a non-zero probability of occurring in the year ahead, and ... fall materially outside of the market consensus or our own baseline views.”

UK Completes Its Plan for Crypto Regulation

The UK Treasury is reportedly finalizing a framework for the regulation of the cryptocurrency industry, Investing.com reports.

According to The Financial Times, the country’s financial authorities are currently putting the finishing touches on the significant crypto regulation. This includes prohibitions on international businesses selling to the UK, strategies for dealing with business failures, and regulations for product advertising.

A Treasury spokesperson stated:

The UK is committed to creating a regulatory environment in which firms can innovate, while crucially maintaining financial stability and regulatory standards so that people and businesses can use new technologies both reliably and safely.

The United Kingdom’s new move of crypto regulation occurred amidst the entire cryptocurrency industry suffering from the collapse of one of the leading exchanges, FTX. “Ministers will shortly launch a consultation on the new regulatory regime,” as per the report

Crypto Lender Genesis Allegedly Owes $900m to Gemini’s Clients

Cointelegraph reports that Crypto lender Genesis and its parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG) allegedly owe $900 million to Gemini’s clients, according to a Financial Times report disclosed on Dec. 3, citing people familiar with the matter.

The issue derives from the FTX dramatic collapse in November. Crypto exchange Gemini operates a product called Gemini Earn in partnership with Genesis, offering investors the opportunity to earn 8% in interest by lending out their crypto, including Bitcoin and stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies.

On Nov. 16, Genesis announced it had temporarily suspended withdrawals citing “unprecedented market turmoil,” days after disclosing around $175 million worth of funds stuck in an FTX trading account. Genesis is reportedly facing difficulties raising money for its lending unit but refuted speculation of its “imminent” bankruptcy.

Also on Nov. 16, Gemini Earn started experiencing issues with deposits, according to the exchange status page. The product remains unavailable at the time of writing, while all other Gemini services, including the exchange trading engine and the Gemini Credit Card, remain available.

Gemini has formed a creditor’s committee and is working to recoup the funds from Genesis and DCG, noted the report. In an effort to restore clients’ trust amid fears of contagious spread following FTX’s fall, Gemini announced on Nov. 29 its Trust Center, a dashboard showing metrics for funds held by Gemini and on the exchange’s behalf.

Brazil's Congress Moves to Regulate Crypto Payments

Brazil's Congress has passed a bill that would regulate the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment throughout the country, potentially providing a boost toward the adoption of digital assets in the South American nation, Decrypt report.

What this means is that banks, if they chose, could soon begin offering crypto payment services, facilitating the use of crypto for buying and selling ordinary goods, in the same way that consumers currently use credit cards or other similar services.

Some banks in Brazil are already today experimenting with crypto custody, such as the Brazilian subsidiary of the Spanish banking giant Santander, which has plans to begin offering crypto trading services as well. Other banks like Itaú, one of Brazil's largest private banks, plans to launch its own asset tokenization platform. None, however, have yet developed a service to process payments in crypto.

Amazon Approves Eight-Episode TV Series on FTX Collapse

An eight-episode limited series about the FTX scandal from Joe and Anthony Russo’s production company, AGBO, has been set up at Amazon, Variety reports.

David Weil is set to write the pilot and executive produce, while an individual with knowledge of the project says that the Russos are in talks to direct in addition to executive producing. Other executive producers include Mike Larocca, Angela Russo-Otstot, and Scott Nemes for AGBO as well as Natalie Laine Williams.

Amazon is hoping to put the show into production in spring 2023.

According to sources, the Amazon series will be based on “insider reporting” by a number of journalists who have covered FTX and Bankman-Fried, though exactly what source material the show will draw from is currently under wraps. Sources also note that there have been discussions with multiple Marvel actors with whom the Russos worked in the past about joining the show in key roles, but all of those talks are preliminary at this time.

Crypto Lender BlockFi Files For Bankruptcy

Crypto lender BlockFi filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, days after suspending withdrawals amid the ongoing fallout from exchange FTX's bankruptcy filing, Coindesk reports.

The company said it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, indicating it hoped to restructure, continuing operations in the meantime. BlockFi has about $257 million in cash on hand. A Bermuda-based affiliate is also filing for liquidation, a similar process.

According to the company's petition, BlockFi's executives estimate the company has more than 100,000 creditors, and checked off the ranges. Executives estimate the company has between $1 billion and $10 billion in both assets and liabilities.

The company's largest creditors include West Realm Shires Inc., the legal name for FTX US, which has a $275 million unsecured claim, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has a $30 million unsecured claim. The majority of the other top 50 creditors' names were not shared.

BlockFi's largest creditor is Ankura Trust Company, which the lender appears to have hired in February and now has a $730 million unsecured claim.