July 15, 2024
Crypto events

In the year 2023, the crypto industry witnessed a series of events that left a long-lasting impact on the crypto landscape. From the start of the Spot Bitcoin ETF mania to the increase in regulatory enforcement on major crypto organizations, 2023 was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for crypto enthusiasts and institutional investors alike. So here are the top 5 events that shook the crypto industry to its core in 2023.

Blackrock Spot Bitcoin ETF Rocks Crypto

The world’s largest asset management company, BlackRock was the first major traditional investment firm to apply for a Spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). BlackRock submitted its application for a Spot Bitcoin ETF to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 15, 2023. 

Following the asset management firm’s application, various companies like Grayscale, Ark Invest, WisdomTree, VanEck, and others followed suit. Despite consistent approval delays by the US SEC, BlackRock utilized the time to revise its Spot Bitcoin ETF filing, incorporating cash redemptions to improve the fund’s approval odds. 

Sam Bankman-Fried Fraud Conviction

Founder and former CEO of failed crypto exchange, FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of all seven counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering on November 2, 2023. 

The 31-year-old billionaire was convicted unanimously by the jury for misappropriating billions of dollars of customer funds and defrauding lenders to subsidiary company, Alameda Research. Bankman-Fried could potentially face a maximum of 115 years in prison. His sentencing date is scheduled for March 28, 2024. 

CZ Resignation From Binance Causes A Stir In Crypto Community

One of the most shocking events of 2023, saw the founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao officially stepping down from his role as the CEO of Binance on November 21, 2023. 

The former Binance CEO pleaded guilty to breaking US anti-money laundering laws and resigned as part of a $4.3 billion settlement by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

CZ has also been restricted from leaving the United States until his court case is over as the court believes his vast resources make him a potential flight risk. And returning to Dubai which does not share an extradition treaty with the US could make things problematic.

Crypto total market cap chart from Tradingview.com (Crypto events)

Total market cap draws down to $1.6 trillion  | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on Tradingview.com

XRP Ruling In SEC Case

Coming as a major victory in a three-year-long legal battle between Ripple and the SEC, US District Judge Analisa Torres ruled in favor of Ripple on July 13, 2023. The ruling declared that programmatic sales of XRP did not qualify as a security. 

This decision offered much-needed regulatory clarity for XRP, enabling the cryptocurrency to resume trading on major crypto exchanges that had delisted it during the SEC’s 2020 lawsuit.

Grayscale And Coinbase Rage Against The SEC

On August 29, 2023, world-leading crypto asset management company Grayscale won its lawsuit against the US SEC. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gave a final ruling to the regulatory agency to terminate its rejection of the asset management’s Spot Bitcoin ETF application. 

On a similar note, Coinbase, one of the largest US crypto exchanges, filed a lawsuit against the SEC in April 2023 aiming to compel the regulator to provide regulatory clarity for the crypto industry. 

Subsequently, the SEC sued Coinbase on June 6, 2023, alleging that the crypto exchange had violated securities laws by operating as an unregistered broker. As a result, Coinbase formally requested the court to dismiss the SEC’s case against it. However, the case is still ongoing.

Featured image from University of California, chart from Tradingview.com

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