Crypto Markets Today: Bitcoin Holds Strength Above $21K, Congress' FTX Problem
ALSO: Crypto bank Silvergate reports a fourth-quarter loss of $1 billion. Equities closed mixed after big banks’ 4Q earnings reports.
More than one in three of the 535 senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress showed up to the new session with FTX baggage, having received campaign support from one of the senior executives of the fraud-ridden crypto giant, according to the latest report by CoinDesk's Jesse Hamilton, Cheyenne Ligon and Elizabeth Napolitano.
This article originally appeared in Crypto Markets Today, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today's crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.
- CoinDesk has identified 196 members of the new Congress – many of whom were just sworn in last week – who took cash from Sam Bankman-Fried or other senior executives at FTX, a crypto exchange that filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware in November after CoinDesk revealed unusually close ties between FTX and Alameda Research, an affiliated hedge fund. The names in Congress range from the heights of both chambers, including new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to recipients new to high-level politics.
- After the lawmakers received the money, it became clear – according to the work of journalists, the criminal charges and admissions of guilt from FTX insiders – that the funds sprang from this colossal financial swindle. CoinDesk reached out to all 196 lawmakers to ask what they would do with the money.
- Most of the politicians who responded said they handed it over to charities to remove the taint of the contributions from executives such as former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried, whose federal fraud charges also include an accusation that he violated campaign-finance laws. Others have revealed they had conversations with the U.S. Department of Justice about setting aside the money until it can be dropped into a fund to compensate FTX victims.
- Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) was among dozens of current or incoming members of Congress who took FTX contributions, in his case the full limit of $2,900 directly from Bankman-Fried.
- "I don't know the gentleman – never talked to him,” Correa told CoinDesk. But Correa said he intended to donate that same amount to his alma mater, California State University, Fullerton, “to support their Dreamer education fund."
Bitcoin (BTC): The largest cryptocurrency by market value was recently trading above $21,300, roughly flat for the day but up more than 23% over the past seven days. The driving force behind the upturn remains unclear, although a number of indicators offer at least a partial explanation.
Equities closed mixed as traders navigated fourth-quarter earnings reports from banks including Goldman Sachs. Crypto bank Silvergate Capital (SI) reported a net loss of $1 billion for the fourth quarter on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 1.1%, while the S&P 500 slid 0.2%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 0.1%.
Ether (ETH): The second-largest cryptocurrency followed BTC’s trajectory, trading flat Tuesday at $1,590. Ether’s price has risen 19% over the past week.
Crypto Market Analysis: Fear Abates as Bitcoin Enters New Level of Support
By Glenn Williams Jr.
"Whale" investors are not moving BTC onto exchanges as they often do during dramatic price surges.
Given their size, whales – investors holding at least 1,000 bitcoin – can significantly affect markets through their buying and selling.
Whales' recent lack of movement indicates they do not view the recent rally as a selling opportunity. This trend still bears monitoring but appears to be positive for long investors.
- Listen 🎧: Today’s "CoinDesk Markets Daily" podcast discusses the latest market movements and a look at lessons from bitcoin miners.
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