A crypto market vibe-check

A crypto market vibe-check

Crypto tech innovation maintains momentum despite the downmarket. This week, Ledger launched the Stax hardware wallet, developed by the designer of the iPod. [Image via Ledger]

There’s never a dull moment on the blockchain. Here’s what you need to know this week:

Blockchain adoption continues amid crypto winter. New projects and partnerships emerge, even as prices hover near lows.

The crypto industry slams SBF’s “apology tour.” What prominent voices are saying about the disgraced former CEO’s media blitz. 

Noteworthy numbers. The price of Ledger’s brand-new hardware wallet and other figures to know this week.


Crypto tech innovation keeps pace despite downmarket

The last few weeks have been chaotic for the crypto industry, with FTX’s collapse prompting a lot of fear and uncertainty about the current state of the crypto market. But as innovators and tech developers keep their eyes on the future of the industry, there continue to be plenty of signs of progress ranging from global adoption to new use cases. Let’s take a closer look at some recent notable developments.

  • Stripe has launched a fiat-to-crypto onramp for web3 developers, making crypto payments simple for users. The payments processing giant last week announced an embeddable onramp that can easily integrate into a DEX, NFT platform, or decentralized app. With just 10 lines of code, developers can instantly add a way for users to move their fiat currency into crypto. The onramp is already being used with Audius, the blockchain music streaming service, and Magic Eden, a Solana NFT marketplace.

  • NEAR Protocol has partnered with one of Latin America’s largest food companies for a blockchain-based loyalty program. The Near Foundation announced a partnership with Grupo Nutresa for an open-source loyalty program that uses NEAR’s carbon-neutral blockchain. Grupo Nutresa, which sells products in 78 countries, will streamline its disparate collection of existing loyalty programs into a single one supported by NEAR wallet. The new program is expected to launch early next year, with a goal of reaching one million users across Latin America.

  • Warner Music Group is expanding its music NFT offerings. WMG announced a partnership with Polygon-based marketplace LGND Music that will enable the music giant to sell songs as NFTs. The deal will include Spinnin’ Records, which is home to electronic music names like David Guetta and Tiesto. Beyond the collectible appeal, an oft-touted benefit of NFTs for artists is automatic, smart contract-enabled royalty payments every time their work is resold.

  • Crypto markets are showing signs of resilience, despite turbulence. In the days following initial rumors of FTX’s insolvency, Bitcoin tumbled 30% and the overall crypto market cap fell from above $1 trillion to below $800 billion. But even as the situation continues to evolve, crypto markets have staged a modest recovery in the last few weeks. Bitcoin has risen 10% since Nov. 21, hovering around $17,000, and ETH has gained 13% in that same time span.

Why it matters… While crypto remains in the depths of a bear market and many coins are down more than 80% from their all-time highs, innovators are still building, and institutions are still investing in the future of the space. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Goldman Sachs intends to spend tens of millions of dollars to buy and invest in crypto companies now that valuations are lower. As the investing giant’s head of digital assets put it: “We do see some really interesting opportunities, priced much more sensibly.”


The crypto industry slams SBF’s ‘apology tour.’ Here’s what prominent voices are saying.

For the last month, the ongoing news of FTX’s collapse has been inescapable. One key reason is that the firm’s disgraced former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, continues to give extensive interviews to major national outlets, even as they ask probing questions.

So far, SBF’s ‘apology tour,’ as Bloomberg dubbed it — during which he’s often given jargon-filled, noncommittal answers about the collapse of FTX — has generally been met with frustration, anger, and skepticism from the crypto community, some of whom suspect the motivation is PR maneuvering to deflect legal culpability, while others are simply curious why he is not yet in custody.

As SBF continues to give eye-brow-raising responses — including, this week, to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, who summoned him to testify before congress — about FTX’s demise, crypto leaders and publications have voiced growing outrage about the situation. Let’s take a closer look.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong rebuked SBF’s “accounting error” narrative over the weekend. 

  • In a pair of tweets, Armstrong said, “I don’t care how messy your accounting is (or how rich you are) — you’re definitely going to notice if you find an extra $8B to spend. Even the most gullible person should not believe Sam’s claim this was an accounting error. It’s stolen customer money used in his hedge fund, plain and simple.”

Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novagratz, whose firm had a $78 million exposure to FTX, called SBF “delusional.”

  • In a conversation with Bloomberg, the head of the crypto asset manager (which oversees roughly $2 billion) said, “Having watched two interviews, the word delusional kept coming to mind … The reality is that Sam and his cohorts perpetrated a fraud. He stole money from people, people should go to jail.”

On Friday, Rep. Maxine Waters requested SBF return from the Bahamas to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services on Dec. 13.

  • The former FTX CEO, however, rebuffed the invitation, saying he is still in the process of “learning and reviewing what happened.”

  • Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal criticized SBF’s response, saying: “Our elected representatives exercise great restraint in communicating their expectations. And still this fraudster insults their authority. What a disgrace.” 

  • Rep. Waters, the chair of the committee, subsequently told Bankman-Fried that it is “imperative” he attend given that “the collapse of FTX has harmed over one million people,” and cited his media interviews as evidence that his explanation didn’t seem entirely credible: “it’s clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony.”  

Crypto-focused publications like CoinDesk and The Block, meanwhile, have dug deep into the SBF story and pulled no punches in their assessments. 

  • CoinDesk, whose reporting on FTX exposed issues at the company that ultimately prompted its collapse, published an op-ed titled “Sam Bankman-Fried’s Self-Incrimination Tour” which pointed out the legal implications of his media blitz: “SBF has repeatedly seemed to admit to … specific corrupt practices at FTX and Alameda … These statements – in his own words, and on the public record ­– could prove extremely harmful to him in a courtroom.” 

  • In another opinion piece, CoinDesk declared, “FTX’s Collapse Was a Crime, Not an Accident,” and argued that SBF is “a con man and fraudster of historic proportions” while going on to criticize some of the post-collapse coverage he has received in outlets like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. 

  • In a wide-ranging, two-hour interview with SBF on The Block’s podcast, The Scoop, host Frank Chaparro drilled into specifics about how customer funds moved between Alameda Research and FTX, how auditors were not able to spot issues, and why top executives were extended large personal lines of credit.


$2 million

The amount raised by BTC mining firm Gridless in a round led by Jack Dorsey’s Block. Gridless builds mining sites in rural East Africa that operate near renewable energy sources, like hydropower stations, and use excess generated energy to power the mines.


The retail price of Ledger’s new hardware wallet, the Ledger Stax, which was designed by iPod creator Tony Fadell. The Stax contains magnets so that multiple wallets can be stacked atop one another, and its interface will be able to display NFTs.


Bitcoin’s share of cryptocurrency’s total market cap, a percentage that has largely remained stagnant amid the recent turmoil. Typically in times of industry distress, BTC’s dominance rises, but its plateau could indicate that some investors are deciding to keep assets in cash instead.


Brian Armstrong discusses a dramatic month in crypto, and more of the latest Coinbase news

  • Brian Armstrong recently chatted with Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, about the dramatic events that have unfolded in the crypto space over the last month, and why they're still as bullish as ever on the future of the industry. That conversation, which took place at a16z’s Founders Summit conference, is now available through Coinbase's Around the Block podcast, and can also be found on the podcast web3 with a16z crypto

  • The Around the Block podcast is also out with a new episode which examines whether the United States is losing the battle to be the best place for crypto projects to list their tokens on exchanges like Coinbase. This week’s episode is hosted by Coinbase’s VP of Business Development for Ecosystem and Listings, Dan Kim. 

  • The safety of customer funds is a top priority at Coinbase. In this blog post, Coinbase’s Digital Asset & Protocol Security Team explains the full review process it uses to assess a native blockchain asset before adding it to our centralized exchange.


What is FUD?


Filecoin’s latest blockchain upgrade


A decentralized exchange app


An acronym that stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt


A global agency that specializes in crypto deregulation

Find the answer below.

Trivia Answer


An acronym that stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt