First Mover Americas: Grayscale Explores Options to Return Portion of GBTC

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Dec. 19, 2022.

AccessTimeIconDec 19, 2022 at 1:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 22, 2022 at 1:58 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Grayscale Investments is exploring options to return a portion of capital of its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) if the Securities and Exchange Commission refuses to approve its spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund. One option is to offer tender for up to 20% of outstanding GBTC shares, which are currently trading at a 49% discount to net asset value. Grayscale has been knocked back multiple times in its mission to convert its bitcoin trust into an ETF, with the SEC citing a lack of regulatory oversight in a brief earlier this month.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried will no longer contest extradition to the U.S. from the Bahamas. Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas following a U.S. request Dec. 12, after the crypto exchange's Nov. 11 bankruptcy filing. He faces charges from the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, including allegations that he misused customer funds and misled investors. After being refused bail, Bankman-Fried faced being held at the jail until an extradition hearing on Feb. 8 in conditions known to be dangerous and overcrowded.

Former BitMEX CEO Alexander Hoeptner has sued the cryptocurrency derivatives platform for $3.4 million for breach of contract and wrongful termination. Hoeptner joined the Seychelles-registered exchange in January 2021 at a time when top officers at HDR Global Trading Limited, the owner and operator of BitMEX, were embroiled in a lawsuit that accused the founders of facilitating unregistered trading. It was previously reported that Hoeptner left the company in October 2022, without further details. Hoeptner now claims that he received a letter of termination citing misuse of funds and failure to perform duties, among other things.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows the dollar amount stolen/swindled through hacks and exploits from January to November.
  • More than $3.6 billion in funds have been drained, making 2022 a record-setting year for hacking activity.
  • More than 80% of that amount has been stolen from decentralized finance attacks.

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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

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