First Mover Americas: Binance Returns to South Korea Via GOPAX

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Feb. 3, 2023.

AccessTimeIconFeb 2, 2023 at 1:49 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 3, 2023 at 4:24 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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Binance has acquired a majority stake in South Korean crypto exchange GOPAX, the firm said on Friday. The acquisition sees the world's largest crypto exchange by trading volume re-enter South Korea's market, having closed its affiliate there in December 2020 due to low usage. Terms for the deal were not disclosed. Binance's investment in GOPAX came via the Industry Recovery Initiative, which Binance leads and committed $1 billion to in November, after the collapse of FTX.

Shares of Silvergate Capital (SI) fell sharply after the market closed on Thursday after Bloomberg reported the U.S. Department of Justice’s fraud unit was looking into the crypto bank’s dealings with the now-bankrupt FTX and Alameda Research. The criminal investigation is looking at Silvergate’s hosting of accounts tied to FTX and Alameda, according to people familiar with the matter speaking to Bloomberg. Silvergate hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing and the investigation could end without any charges being brought, according to Bloomberg.

Proposals to subpoena FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, his immediate family and senior staff of the bankrupt crypto exchange have been opposed by the U.S. Trustee, a branch of the Department of Justice dealing with bankruptcy. The plans, set to be discussed at a Wednesday hearing, would duplicate any independent examination of the exchange’s downfall, U.S. Trustee Andrew Vara said in a legal filing made Thursday. An independent examiner has yet to be appointed.

Chart of the Day

CoinDesk - Unknown
  • The chart shows the percentage of stablecoins that smart money wallets hold in their portfolio over time.
  • The recent decline suggests "crypto native money is adding risk," according to Ilan Solot, co-head of digital assets at London-based Marex Solutions.
  • In other words, smart money is again accumulating coins and using stablecoins to fund purchases.
  • "There is still a lot of dry powder. The indicator is at 25% now, down from 40% at the start of the year, but far from the almost fully invested reading from early 2021," Solot said in an email.

– Omkar Godbole

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

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

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