Here’s a quick breakdown of the biggest news stories and developments in the cryptocurrency sector for September 15, 2022.
1. FTX is reportedly in the lead to buy Voyager’s assets
The FTX cryptocurrency exchange is reportedly in the lead to acquire the assets of bankrupt cryptocurrency lending firm Voyager. CoinDesk cites a source familiar with the matter as saying that FTX submitted the highest bid at an auction to acquire Voyager’s assets amidst a bidding war with Wave Financial. However, there’s still a possibility that higher bids could arrive in the coming days.
Voyager halted withdrawals from its platform in July and filed for bankruptcy shortly after. The company had provided an uncollateralized loan of over $650 million to crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which defaulted on the loan. It also faced large amounts of withdrawal requests from customers, who were spooked by the collapse of Celsius and several other cryptocurrency lending firms.
2. Binance Labs increases its investment into Aptos
Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, has increased its investment into the Aptos blockchain project. Binance Labs’ investment into Aptos adds to an investment the firm already made in March, with Binance Labs head Yi He stating that the “technological competitiveness” of the Aptos team could result in highly scalable blockchain infrastructure that would support novel web 3 use cases.
The Aptos project hasn’t launched their mainnet yet. They’re currently running the Aptos Incentivized Testnet 3 (AIT-3), which is focused on testing the platform’s governance and upgradeability features. Users that participate in the testnet as node operators can earn Aptos token rewards if they reach specified milestones.
3. Bitcoin-friendly El Salvador president Nayib Bukele will run for re-election
El Salvador president Nayib Bukele says he will be running for re-election to pursue a second consecutive term after his current term expires in 2024. In September 2021, El Salvador’s supreme court ruled that a president is allowed to serve two consecutive terms, despite the country’s constitution forbidding a president from being re-elected after finishing their term.
Bukele, who has received criticism from the international community for undermining democratic checks and balances, is known to cryptocurrency enthusiasts for his staunch support of Bitcoin. He advocated for El Salvador to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, with the policy officially coming into effect almost exactly one year ago.
The country has also been buying Bitcoin, but the investment currently isn’t showing the best performance. El Salvador has spent an estimated $106.3 million to acquire Bitcoin. The country’s BTC holdings, which are estimated at 2,301 BTC, are currently worth $45.2 million.
4. Compound Treasury launches lending product for institutions
Compound Treasury, which provides liquidity and yield products powered by the DeFi protocol Compound, has announced that institutional players can now provide their digital assets as collateral to borrow funds.
At launch, the feature allows institutions to borrow USD or the USD Coin stablecoin by using BTC, ETH or supported ERC-20 tokens as collateral. According to the Compound Treasury team, the product sources liquidity both from Compound Treasury clients and the Compound protocol itself.
Compound Treasury VP Reid Cuming commented on the new solution:
“Compound Treasury can now address demand for liquidity with a simple, reliable borrowing solution, while continuing to provide the same trusted service we’ve delivered to clients earning interest over the past year.”
5. ETH price tanks after the Merge
The ETH market has been dominated by sellers after the historic Merge upgrade went live and moved the network to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. The price of ETH, which was at around $1,650 when the upgrade was completed, has tumbled down to about $1,460.
The price action is mostly in line with the rest of the cryptocurrency market. The total market cap has declined by 0.8% in the last 24 hours, and is just below the $1 trillion milestone. The recent downward move extends a streak of negative price action in the markets for ETH, which has seen its price drop by 22.5% in the last month. BTC has fallen by 17% in the same time period.