First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Steady Below $30K as SBF Goes Back to Jail

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin was holding steady just below $30,000.

Insights: The sad saga of Sam Bankman-Fried continues with a judge on Friday revoking the former FTX CEO’s bail. CoinDesk columnist David Morris explained why the decision was almost inevitable.

Update: Judge Lewis Kaplan has now revoked Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail and returned him to jail.

Prices

1,226

−0.1 0.0%

$29,347

−59.3 0.2%

$1,847

−1.3 0.1%

S&P 500
4,464.05

−4.8 0.1%

Gold
$1,946

+31.3 1.6%

Nikkei 225
32,473.65

+269.3 0.8%

BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

CoinDesk Market Index (CMI)
1,226

−0.1 0.0%

Bitcoin (BTC)
$29,347

−59.3 0.2%

Ethereum (ETH)
$1,847

−1.3 0.1%

S&P 500
4,464.05

−4.8 0.1%

Gold
$1,946

+31.3 1.6%

Nikkei 225
32,473.65

+269.3 0.8%

BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Bitcoin (BTC) was holding steady just below $30,000.

“The price stability is a positive sign, indicating consolidation around these levels that can potentially support another leg up,” Joe DiPasquale, CEO of the crypto hedge fund BitBull Capital, told CoinDesk in an email on Sunday.

DiPasquale said was still digesting last week’s announcement by PayPal of its own new stablecoin linked to the U.S. dollar.

“This is a major set forward since it’s the first issuance of its kind by a traditional, global payments service with hundreds of millions of users,” DiPasquale said. “We believe such developments are likely to shape the market behavior moving forward, even if the general response is relatively muted at this point.”

Insights

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Almost Unavoidable Return to Jail

This story by CoinDesk columnist David Morris was published shortly before Judge Lewis Kaplan revoked Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail and returned him to jail.

Sam Bankman-Fried spent 2021 and much of 2022 talking himself into the role of a cryptocurrency mogul. A court hearing today will decide whether he has now talked himself from cushy house arrest back into a concrete and steel jail cell.

The immediate trigger for today’s hearing in the courtroom of District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan was Bankman-Fried’s sharing of the private diary of Caroline Ellison, who Bankman-Fried installed as nominal CEO of FTX and later allegedly ordered to engage in fraud. Prosecutors claim the goal of the leak was to discredit or intimidate Ellison ahead of the trial, when she is expected to testify as a cooperating witness.

But this is merely the straw that broke the camel’s back: Sam Bankman-Fried has been using deceptive public arguments and back-door private communications to manipulate his trial since the moment of FTX’s collapse.

He gave seemingly innumerable interviews and public appearances in the weeks before his arrest. During his house arrest, he has continued to give interviews proclaiming his innocence, though lower-profile. Well before releasing Ellison’s diary, he also allegedly reached out to many of those expected to testify against him.

Important events.

2 p.m. HKT/SGT(6 a.m. UTC): Germany wholesale price index (July/MoM/YoY)

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here is the most recent episode of “First Mover” on CoinDesk TV:

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was slated to attend a court hearing today. Matrixport’s Bitcoin Greed and Fear Index, which has a solid track record of marking trend reversals, is signaling a bull revival in bitcoin. Innovating Capital general partner Anthony Georgiades shared his crypto markets outlook. Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael discussed the crypto trading firm’s latest quarterly results. Smart Token Labs chief strategy officer Mathew Sweezey also joins the conversation.

Headlines

A Bitcoin Warning Signal Blares From Surging Interest in Shiba Inu: Open interest or the dollar amount locked in open SHIB futures contracts has topped $100 million for the first time since February.

Sam Bankman-Fried Jailed Ahead of Trial: Bankman-Fried was accused of leaking former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s diary to the New York Times.

Cathie Wood’s Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF Application Decision Pushed Out by SEC: The regulator is reviewing more than a dozen spot bitcoin and ether future ETF applications.

Edited by James Rubin.

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