New FTX CEO explores restarting exchange as Genesis’ lending unit folds

New FTX CEO explores restarting exchange as Genesis’ lending unit folds

Data from CryptoCompare shows that the price of Bitcoin kept on rising over the past seven days, surging from around $20,500 to a high near the $23,000 mark. The cryptocurrency has since corrected slightly and is now trading at $22,800.

Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, traded in a similar way, starting the week at $1,450 and quickly moving up to $1,650, before dropping to a level slightly below that mark.

Over the past week, it was revealed that FTX’s new chief executive officer, John J Ray, established a task force to explore restarting, the company’s main international exchange, as he works to return money to the failed company’s customers and creditors.

Ray has explained that “everything is on the table” and that “if there is a path forward on that, then we will not only explore that, we’ll do it.” The new FTX CEO said he would look into whether reviving would recover more value for the company’s customers than simply liquidating its assets or selling the platform.

The CEO’s new task is now to find any remaining sources of value that can help make up for the shortfall at FTX, the size of which has not been revealed. John J Ray has experience in restructuring struggling companies, and is famous for returning billions to Enron’s creditors.

Ray’s forensics team is reportedly combing through more than 30 terabytes of FTX’s data to find information that could lead them to find more money for creditors. Last week, FTX disclosed it found $5 billion of liquid assets and a $4.6 billion investment portfolio.

While FTX’s new CEO considers restarting the exchange, cryptocurrency lender Genesis,  which is part of cryptocurrency conglomerate Digital Currency Group, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Manhattan federal court. The firm listed over 100,000 creditors and aggregate liabilities ranging from $1.2 billion to $11 billion.

Three separate petitions were filed for Genesis’ holdings companies. In a statement, the firm noted the companies were only involved in Genesis’ lending business, with its derivatives and spot trading businesses continuing unhindered.

Nexo, another cryptocurrency lender, was also in the news this week, after it agreed to pay $45 million in penalties to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) after failing to register the offer and sale of its Earn Interest Product.

Binance to allow institutions to keep crypto collateral off exchange

 In the wake of FTX’s collapse, confidence in centralized institutions in the cryptocurrency space was severely shaken. In response, leading exchange Binance is set to allow institutional investors to keep their collateralized digital assets used for leveraged positions off of its platform.

The exchange will enable investors to deposit collateral with Binance Custody, which will securely store the funds in cold storage. Once the trades are completed, the institutional investors’ assets will be made accessible again. This feature, known as Binance Mirror, replicates the funds held in cold storage on institutions’ Binance accounts.

While new features were being launched, Bitcoin’s price recovery has allowed miners to power up their rigs once again, in a move that helped the computing power securing the network rise once again.

Low cryptocurrency prices and high energy prices had been hindering miners since last year, with some large-scale operations struggling to repay mounting debt and being on the verge of bankruptcy.

The recent jump in computing power is the second-largest since August 2021, follows a 13.5% surge in early October, after energy costs declined due to a drop in temperatures in cryptocurrency mining hubs in the US.

Meanwhile, Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has said it will halt operations in Japan over the volatile market conditions. Coinbase Japan users will have until February 16 to withdraw their fiat and cryptocurrency holdings.

Iran and Russia cooperate on gold-backed cryptocurrency

Iran and Russia are reportedly working together to create a new gold-backed cryptocurrency, that could become the “token of the Persian Gulf region” and would be used as a payment method for foreign trade.

The Central Bank of Iran is said to be cooperating with the Russian government on the issuance of this stablecoin, which would track the value of gold. Alexander Brazhnikov, executive director of the Russian Association of Crypto Industry and Blockchain, stated that this token would be stablecoin tracking the value of the precious metal.

The goal of the stablecoin is to make cross-border transactions easier by providing an alternative to traditional fiat currencies like the US dollar, Russian Ruble, and Iranian Rial.

Francisco Memoria is a content creator at CryptoCompare who’s in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. His work has been published in numerous reputable industry publications. Francisco holds various cryptocurrencies.

Featured image via Unsplash.