Weekly Cryptocurrency News. March 1

Here comes Friday, March 1st. As the ongoing week elapses, we can focus on the industry highlights over the past few days.

Coinbase $0 balance error resolved

The renowned crypto exchange has fixed a bug that caused some users to witness zero balance in their accounts.

CEO Brian Armstrong said the problem occurred “due to a surge in traffic”. Meanwhile, market players were unable to buy and sell assets during this period.

According to a status update on the Coinbase official website, the issues began on February 28 around 9:40 a.m. Pacific Time. It took 12 hours to recover the platform. 

Coinbase’s failure coincided with Bitcoin’s meteoric surge up to $64,000, which was accompanied by a high volume of its liquidations. As per crypto data analytics platform Coinglass, $800 million worth of positions have been forcibly closed over the past 24 hours. 

The price of the first-ever crypto tops $62,800 at the time of writing, amounting to a trading volume of $100B, according to CoinGecko.

Let us remind you that in October 2023, Binance temporarily froze the withdrawal of funds amid technical issues. 

Spot bitcoin ETFs boast record-setting $673M daily net inflows

As early as Feb. 28, aggregate inflows into spot bitcoin ETFs surpassed a whopping $673.4m mark, generating over $7.6 billion in trading since the approval on Jan. 11.

The previous ATH of $655.2 billion was captured on the first trading day.

Out of the $673.4m, $612.1m came from BlackRock’s IBIT (iShares Bitcoin Trust). Such skyrocketing values are being recorded for the first time ever.

Fidelity’s FBTC attracted $245.2 million, while ARK Invest’s ARKB raised $23.8 million.

Analysts at K33 Research pointed out that assets under management (AUM) in IBIT topped 150,000 BTC whereas FBTC exceeded 100,000 BTC.

The AUM of GBTC’s competitors reached 330,000 BTC ($20.7 billion). Over the previous two trading sessions, the figure climbed by 30,754 BTC ($1.9 billion).

CoinEx teases bitcoin halving promo video

Cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx has launched an advertising campaign dubbed Less is More, dedicated to the upcoming bitcoin halving scheduled for April 2024.

What’s more, CoinEx has put up billboards in Istanbul and Manila, in addition to releasing a teaser about the event in question. The CEX is to upload a full video to X (formerly Twitter) and its YouTube channel on March 2.

“Bitcoin crossed the historic USD 63,000 price threshold for the first time since December 2021. The first crypto keeps gaining momentum so we help it grab the world attention. Halving has historically been a key accelerator for the bullish sentiment. We will be sharing new details on our social media,” CoinEx representatives commented.

In fact, CoinEx is a CEX that offers spot and futures trading for 893 cryptocurrencies. Since 2017, the platform is up and running, serving more than 5 million users across 200 different countries.

Gemini to pay a $37M fine and refund $1.1B to customers

Another well-known CEX has pledged to return $1.1 billion to users of the staking program called ‘Earn’ as part of a lawsuit settlement by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS or NYSDFS).

Under the settlement agreement reached, the Winklevoss twins’ start-up is also to pay $40m to now-bankrupt Genesis Global Capital (GGC), a crypto lender, as well as to settle a $37m fine for failing “to conduct due diligence”.

To ensure the payout, Gemini agreed to go through bankruptcy proceedings. The DFS reserved the right to file additional lawsuits should the exchange default.

Launched on February 1, 2021, the Earn program  allowed Gemini customers to lend the GGC cryptocurrency. In return, users received interest income.

In the view of the regulator, the CEX did not properly supervise the partner’s activities, despite warranties stating otherwise. Back in December 2022, GGC defaulted on about $1B in loans. Two months later, the firm ended up filing for insolvency.

“Gemini failed to conduct due diligence on an unregulated third party, later accused of massive fraud, harming Earn customers who were suddenly unable to access their assets after Genesis Global Capital experienced a financial meltdown,” DFS Superintendent Adrienne A.Harris said in a statement.

More than 200,000 victims are involved, nearly 50,000 of whom are residents of New York City, the regulator added.

The DFS also clarified that its investigation found “significant failures” by Gemini that jeopardized the company’s financial wellbeing. The regulator also alleged numerous shortcomings in the exchange’s management and compliance.

Notably, Gemini obtained a license from the DFS in 2015 to conduct virtual asset business as a trust company. As for the Gemini’s partner, GGC, it did not have BitLicense. 

The holder of the approval for in-house operation was another Digital Currency Group subsidiary that did not participate in Earn. In January 2024, Genesis Global Trading abandoned BitLicense and ceased operations as part of an agreement reached with the agency. 

As far as you remember, this month, the New York Attorney General’s office (NYAG) tripled the size of the alleged fraud to more than $3b in a case against Gemini, Genesis and Digital Currency Group.

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