"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." Friedrich Nietzsche
Ahlan wa sahlan, and welcome to the 57 th edition of CoinMENA's weekly newsletter, Kalam Crypto. BTC and ETH are ripping into the new year up over 25% year to date. But as you know, short-term price movement is not our focus here at CoinMENA as we have a low time preference and believe in the long-term value of digital assets! This week, Metamask to enable ETH staking, new USDT swap feature, the Winklevoss Twins’ beef with DCG’s Barry Silbert escalates, and of course, more FTX drama. All that and more, so let's dive into this week's letter, and talk crypto:
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Global News 🌍
Metamask to enable ETH staking: MetaMask, the popular browser-based and mobile wallet announced a partnership with liquid staking providers Lido and Rocket Pool to allow its users to stake cryptocurrency through their platform directly. Staking cryptocurrencies involves locking a certain amount of cryptocurrency in a wallet or staking platform in order to participate in the validation of transactions. In return for staking their crypto assets, users receive a portion of transaction fees or inflation rewards. For Ethereum, these rewards will not be withdrawable until the Shanghai upgrade in March. According to ultrasound.money, users can now earn up to 7.5% APY on their staked ETH.
GBTC takeover? Osprey Funds, a digital assets-focused investment manager, is trying to take over the management of Grayscale's bitcoin trust (GBTC). The CEO of Osprey, Greg King, in an open letter addressed to the CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), which is the parent company of Grayscale Investments. GBTC has $12 billion in assets and imposes a 2% management fee, which is increasingly called out as unreasonable by the standards of passive crypto products. If appointed as GBTC's manager, Osprey plans to slash GBTC's management fee by 75% to 0.49% a year and plans to implement a redemption program as soon as possible. GBTC has been trading at a nearly 40% discount to its net asset value this week. To read more about how investing in GBTC is not the same as investing in BTC, check out our CEO Talal Tabbaa's recent blog post.
🤦♂️Face Palm of the week:
The liquidators got liquidated: As the FTX drama continues to get more ridiculous, we felt it warrants creating a new segment in Kalam Crypto specifically to address it. This week, FTX liquidators somehow found $5 billion in cash, liquid cryptocurrency, and liquid investment securities. Then in a move that either makes you want to laugh or cry or both, the liquidators themselves got liquidated and lost about 4 BTC (about ~$72,000) on the DeFi lending platform Aave. While trying to consolidate wallets, they mistakenly sold some assets which were being used as collateral, triggering an auto liquidation. The liquidators literally got liquidated. To top it all off, SBF started a substack, and to the surprise of nobody, is blaming everything and everyone but himself for the collapse of FTX.
Beef of the week 🥩
Gemini escalate dispute with DCG: In an open letter to the board of Digital Currency Group (DCG), Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of Gemini, called on the board to remove CEO Barry Silbert, alleging fraud against DCG and its portfolio company Genesis. In the letter, published as a Tweet, Winklevoss claims that Genesis has defrauded Gemini and more than 340,000 of its users. He also alleges that they made false statements and misrepresentations about Genesis's solvency and financial health. He claims they lied in order to mislead lenders into believing that DCG had absorbed massive losses that Genesis incurred from the Three Arrows Capital (3AC) collapse and induce lenders to continue making loans to Genesis, to buy time to dig themselves out of the hole they created. A DCG spokesperson called Winklevoss’s letter “another desperate and unconstructive publicity stunt.” Then in a move that surprised both parties, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stepped in and pressed charges on both Genesis and Gemini for selling unlicensed securities.
CoinMENA News 🗞
🆕New Feature Alert: Users can now swap their digital assets directly for USDT with our latest feature! In addition, enjoy a sleek new trading page design with a simpler trading experience on the app.
Stay tuned for an upcoming offer 👀 Spoiler: It’s one of the most favorite offers of our users where they SAVE BIG! Follow our Instagram and Twitter accounts to be the first to know when it’s announced!
Tweet of the week 🐥
Quiz Corner ✅
Last week’s question: Bitcoin was the only form of cryptocurrency until the year:
Answer: 2011. Litecoin (LTC) was launched on October 13, 2011.
This week’s question: What determines the price of bitcoin?
World economy and politics
Supply and demand
See the answer in next week’s newsletter.