Published On: Mon, Nov 27th, 2023

What happened in crypto this weekend?

What happened in crypto this weekend?
What happened in crypto this weekend?

Bitcoin to become talking point in U.S. Republican debate

Vivek Ramaswamy, a United States presidential candidate and Bitcoin advocate, has assured that Bitcoin (BTC) will be a talking point at the Republican Debate in the months leading up to the 2024 presidential election.

“If they [the moderators] don’t bring [Bitcoin] up I will, absolutely,” Ramaswamy said in a Nov. 25 interview on What Bitcoin Did.

“I’ve already told the moderators in the Republican party this should be a topic we need to be talking about. If they don’t do it, I will,” he added.

However, Ramaswamy acknowledged an action plan to adopt Bitcoin goes against the interests of the U.S. government, which views decentralized currencies as a “threat” to its establishment.

Ramaswamy used this point to highlight a common misconception among Bitcoin lobbyists that U.S. lawmakers need to be educated about Bitcoin before they see its benefits:

“The problem isn’t that they [the U.S. government] don’t know what Bitcoin represents, it’s that they do and that’s actually what creates the anaphylactic response.”

The Bitcoiner said much of his presidential campaign will be focused on restoring three constitutional principles in the country — the freedom to code, freedom for self-reliance and freedom to innovate.

The three Republican presidential debates will occur on Aug. 23, Sept. 27, and Nov. 8, where he will be up against former U.S. President Donald Trump, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, and North Dakota governor Doug Burgum.

Trump has previously expressed dislike toward the cryptocurrency industry despite owning Ethereum (ETH) and issuing a nonfungible token collection.

DeSantis, on the other hand, has vowed to protect Bitcoin and is strongly opposed to issuing a central bank digital currency.

Current U.S. president Joe Biden and pro-Bitcoiner Robert F. Kennedy Jr are among the candidates looking to represent the Democrats in the 2024 election.

Kyber claws back $4.7 million from $46 million exploit

The team behind Kyber Network, a blockchain-based liquidity hub, has recovered $4.67 million from the $46 million exploit that took place across Nov. 22 and Nov. 23.

Kyber explained on Nov. 26 that they had been in contact with the operators of the frontrun bots that extracted about $5.7 million specifically from KyberSwap pools on Polygon and Avalanche.

It was part of a bounty deal to return 90% of the funds across all of the exploits, allowing the hackers to keep the remaining 10%, according to a Nov. 25 on-chain message on the Polygon network.

“The same bounty is offered to the owner of this wallet and we can set aside the funds for the bounty to distribute directly to users and confirm that we will not pursue any legal action against the owner of this wallet.”

The funds returned to the KyberSwap deployer address on Polygon came in the form of various wrapped tokens, such as wrapped-Ether (wETH) and wrapped-MATIC (wMATIC), in addition to USD Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT).

Related: KyberSwap announces potential vulnerability, tells LPs to withdraw ASAP

Kyber said it will continue to support law enforcement and cybersecurity on track down and recovery of user funds from the perpetrator of the exploit attack.

Decentralized finance pundit Doug Colkitt said the attacker used an “infinite money glitch” to carry out a “complex and carefully engineered smart contract exploit” across several networks that implement KyberSwap pools.

Millions of funds were also swiped on Ethereum and layer-2 networks Arbitrum, Optimism and Base.

Grayscale’s GBTC discount hits lowest level since July 2021

Grayscale’s Bitcoin (BTC) investment vehicle, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is trading at its lowest discount since July 2021 as spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continue to inch toward potential approval in the United States.

The latest data from YCharts shows GBTC’s discount to Bitcoin’s net asset value (NAV) narrowed to 8.06% on Nov. 24.

Discount or Premium to NAV is a percentage that measures the amount that a mutual fund or ETF is trading below its net asset value. The metric typically tracks how far away a security is trading from its true value.

Data shows that GBTC’s discount began to narrow when BlackRock and several other financial institutions filed for spot Bitcoin ETF applications in mid-June, where the discount fell from 44% on June 15 to 26.7% by July 5.

Since then, the figure has continued to narrow.

GBTC discount to NAV ratio over the last three years. Source: YCharts

GBTC’s discount hovered around 11.9% on Nov. 21 but narrowed further amid news that Grayscale and BlackRock met with the U.S. securities regulator on Nov. 20 detailing how the firms would issue their respective spot BTC ETFs.

Bloomberg ETF analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart estimate 90% approval odds by Jan. 10, 2024.

Shutting Argentina’s central bank is ‘non-negotiable,’ says  President-elect Milei

Argentina’s incoming President Javier Milei has doubled down on his promise to close the country’s central bank, stressing that it is “not a negotiable” decision to help curtail Argentina’s triple-digit inflation crisis.

Milei’s comments were made on Nov. 24 to address the “false rumors” that he wouldn’t follow through with his signature campaign pledge after signs emerged that he is picking a more moderate Cabinet than expected.

“Given the false rumors spread, we wish to clarify that the closure of the Central Bank of Argentina Republic (BCRA) is not a negotiable matter,” said Milei, representing Argentina’s Freedom Advances party.

Translated version of Milei’s Nov. 24 letter addressing rumors that he won’t shut the country’s central bank using Google Translate. Source: Office of President Javier Milei

Milei’s cabinet will consist of eight ministries — which is a fair slicing from the 19 ministries under the previous government — but not as low as many industry pundits expected, according to a Nov. 22 article by the Buenos Aires Times.

The economist also wants to move away from the Argentine peso — currently has the fourth highest annual inflation rate in the world at 122% — and move to the U.S. dollar.

Despite being considered Bitcoin-friendly, Milei hasn’t signaled any intention to incorporate any new Bitcoin or cryptocurrency policies in Argentina.

However, Bitcoin entrepreneur Samson Mow — who served as an advisor to El Salvador when it made Bitcoin legal tender — said he plans to meet with Milei early next year to construct a Bitcoin adoption plan, according to a Nov. 23 article by Forbes.

Milei was elected as Argentina’s president on Nov. 19, beating the country’s minister of economy Sergio Massa after obtaining more than 55% of votes. His presidency will commence on Dec. 10.

Other news

Former Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has opposed the United States government’s efforts to block his return to the United Arab Emirates to be with his family while awaiting sentencing following his guilty plea. His lawyers urged a U.S. district judge to reject the proposed alteration of his bail conditions, as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) put forth in a Nov. 23 filing.

Cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex has announced it is taking immediate action by suspending all digital asset trading in Thailand as part of its efforts to comply with regulations. Customers must directly contact the exchange if they wish to withdraw funds or assets.

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