First Mover Americas: Did Binance Make Honest Error With Customers' Funds?

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Jan. 25, 2023.

AccessTimeIconJan 25, 2023 at 1:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 25, 2023 at 2:37 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.

Latest Prices

−31.9 2.9%
−317.5 1.4%
−79.4 4.9%
S&P 500 futures
−32.8 0.8%
FTSE 100
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Treasury Yield 10 Years
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

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The crypto market slid in the past 24 hours as traders likely took profits after weeks of an uptrend. Ether and dogecoin (DOGE) led the declines among major tokens, as each token fell more than 5%, Cardano's ADA and Polygon's MATIC both dropped 4%, while bitcoin lost 1.6%, CoinDesk data shows. The drops caused upward of $173 million in longs, or bets on higher token prices, to be liquidated. Ether futures saw $86 million in liquidations, while traders of bitcoin futures lost $46 million, according to data source Coinglass.

Binance mistakenly kept collateral for some of the crypto assets it issues in the same wallet as funds belonging to its customers, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The exchange issued 94 so-called Binance-peg tokens (B-Tokens), and reserves for almost half of those are stored in a cold wallet called Binance 8. The wallet contains more tokens than required for the number of B-Tokens issued. The issue is, when collateral is pooled together and used for trading, it’s locked up, and clients or holders of assets may not be able to withdraw if the pool is reduced, Laurent Kssis, a crypto trading adviser at CEC Capital, said in a note to CoinDesk. “In essence this means that there is no segregation of assets between clients' funds and any collateral used,” Kssis said. “This could lead to the owner(s) not being able to withdraw due to lack of funds or liquidity by the exchange.

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has set a date to begin hearing oral arguments in Grayscale Investment’s appeal of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to deny the conversion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an exchange-traded fund, according to a court order filed Monday, CNBC reported. The arguments will take place on March 7, which is sooner than Grayscale had expected. In a tweet on Tuesday, Grayscale said that “we previously anticipated oral arguments to be as soon as Q2 2023, so having them scheduled to begin on March 7 is welcome news.” Grayscale is a sister company of CoinDesk.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows ether's daily price action and shifts in the 50-day and 10-day simple moving averages of the cryptocurrency's price since November.
  • The 50-day SMA is about to top the 100-day SMA, confirming what is known as a bull cross – a closely followed positive technical signal that suggests strengthening of upward momentum and more gains ahead.
  • Some observers argue that crossovers lag prices and are unreliable as standalone indicators.
  • Ether has rallied nearly 30% this month and recently hit a four-month high of $1,680.

Omkar Godbole

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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.