Bitcoin rally falters as JPMorgan acquires First Republic Bank, Binance alleges ChatGPT smear campaign

Bitcoin rally falters as JPMorgan acquires First Republic Bank, Binance alleges ChatGPT smear campaign
Bitcoin falls from $30,000 as the US financial crises deepens. Credit: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

Bitcoin falls as JPMorgan gobbles up First Republic

Punters have attributed Bitcoin’s recent rally to its potential as a hedge against financial instability in traditional finance, but JPMorgan’s acquisition of First Republic Bank could end that narrative.

The price of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency fell to above $28,000 on Monday, down from just under $30,000 last week.

JP Morgan’s acquisition of First Republic follows the banking meltdown of March when Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapsed. However, in contrast to those lenders, First Republic’s lacked significant crypto ties.

Bitcoin rallied last week on the back of the news of First Republic’s financial woes.

“It’s unclear whether the banking crisis narrative can continue to be a boon for bitcoin,” Alex Thorn, head of firm-wide research at Galaxy, told CNBC.

The news comes after Bitcoin transactions reached new all-time highs on a seven-day moving average on Saturday. In that period, over 408,000 transactions took place on the blockchain, up from the previous 406,000 record.

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MicroStrategy slashes impairment fees tenfold amid Bitcoin rally

Leading Bitcoin accumulator MicroStrategy cut its impairment losses tenfold in the first quarter, owing to the cryptocurrency rallying at the start of the year.

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MicroStrategy paid out $18.9 million in impairment writedowns this quarter, compared to $197.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The company, founded by vocal Bitcoin advocate Michael Saylor, has accumulated the largest private holding of Bitcoin worldwide at 140,000 BTC. It has added 7,500 BTC to the pile since January.

Poloniex agrees to pay $7.59 mil to OFAC over sanctions violations

Poloniex will pay $7.59 million to the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control for alleged sanctions violations incurred between 2014 and 2019.

OFAC claimed Monday 66,000 illegal transactions were conducted on the Poloniex platform which allowed users from sanctioned nations such as Cuba, Iran, and Syria to trade on the US-based entity.

The payment will settle the potential civil liability for those apparent violations. OFAC praised onetime owner Circle for its “substantial cooperation” with the investigation and its work to improve Poloniex’s sanctions compliance programme.

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Binance alleges ChatGPT smear campaign

A Binance spokesperson told Fortune that someone is using AI software ChatGPT to discredit the company with misinformation.

The smear campaign saw ChatGPT returned responses that Binance founder Changpeng Zhao had ties to the China National Petroleum Corporation, and cited dead links and a fake LinkedIn page as its sources, according to the exchange’s spokesperson.

Binance’s investigation stemmed from complaints from several US Congressional offices. ChatGPT has been criticised for its potential to be used to spread misinformation.

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A16z urges UK to take ‘nuanced’ approach to crypto regulations

Venture capital firm a16z urged the UK to take a “more nuanced approach” to crypto regulation and to not emulate the US.

The comments were made as a consultation for a regulatory framework for digital assets in Britain closed on Sunday. The firm wrote a letter to the UK Treasury in response to a consultation paper released by the government in February.

A16z pointed towards the need for government bodies to deepen their understanding of blockchain technology, and work not to hinder elements of decentralisation in their proposed framework.

US regulations were another major point in the letter, with a16z warning the UK against adopting restrictive rules that target software and protocols, as has taken place in America.

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