Five Things to Know in Crypto Today: Crypto Market Jumps 53% in Q1
- Crypto market cap jumped by 52.6% in Q1 to end the quarter at $1,154 billion.
- Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse targeted SEC Chair Gary Gensler as investors await SEC v Ripple court rulings.
- Trump NFTs surge in value in response to Trump indictment.
Crypto Market Brushes Aside White House and Regulatory Scrutiny
The total crypto market cap surged by 52.6% to end the first quarter of 2023 at $1,154 billion.
Intensifying White House and regulatory scrutiny failed to derail a bullish start to 2023. Easing fears of FTX contagion fueled a January breakout, with a Fed-induced banking crisis driving demand for cryptos in March.
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and the Swiss government intervention to prevent the demise of Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) supported a crypto market cap look at $1,200 billion before easing back.
Bitcoin (BTC) and the broader market gave depositors an alternative to fiat deposits amidst increased banking sector jitters. US government efforts to calm investor nerves by guaranteeing deposits failed to reverse gains from March.
SEC and CFTC activity failed to affect investor sentiment, despite regulators targeting leading crypto platforms, including Binance, Coinbase (COIN), and Kraken.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse Targets SEC Chair, Gary Gensler
On Friday, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse targeted SEC Chair Gary Gensler, saying,
“For the Chair of the SEC to assert that he dictates what is a security – and not the legislation from which his agency derives its power – is beyond comprehension. It’s time for elected officials in the US to take notice.”
On Monday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance, CZ, and Binance executives. Notably, the filing labeled bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), and litecoin (LTC) commodities.
The language contradicted the views of SEC Chair Gary Gensler, who called all cryptos, except for BTC, securities.
Ripple counsel Stuart Alderoty had this to say about Gensler’s sweeping statement that all cryptos except BTC are securities,
“Chair Gensler has again proclaimed that every cryptocurrency, except BTC, is an unregistered security. He now must recuse himself from voting on any enforcement case that raises that issue since he has prejudged the outcome. Antoniu v. SEC (8th Cir. 1989).”
In April, Gary Gensler will deliver testimony at a subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill. A grilling could be on the cards, with disagreements between the CFTC and SEC on crypto categorization likely to draw scrutiny.
Trump Indictment Drives Demand for Trump NFTs
On Thursday, a Manhattan grand jury indicted former US President Trump. Trump is the first former US President to face criminal charges.
While the global financial markets showed little reaction to the news, the NFT marketplace gave Trump supporters a place to voice their views on the indictment.
According to Cryptoslam, total Trump NFT transfers jumped from 75 to 191 on Thursday, March 30. Notably, total sales jumped from $59,989 to $164,760. However, the upswing was short-lived, with NFT transfers sliding back to 83 on Friday.
US Government Floods the Market with 41,500 BTC
On March 14, the US government offloaded 9,861 BTC. According to the filing, the US government seized approximately 51,680.33 BTC worth more than $3.4 billion at the time of seizure.
The funds came from illegal activity on Silk Road, an online “darknet” black market. Bitcoin was the only form of payment on the Silk Road platform.
This year, the US government plans to sell 41,491 BTC in four batches. Net proceeds from the March 14 sale totaled $215.52 million.
BTC gained 2.28% on March 14 before falling 1.67% the following day. The offload did not impact investor sentiment, with BTC maintaining its bullish trend.
Elon Musk Calls for $258 Billion Lawsuit Dismissal
On Friday, Elon Musk reportedly sought to have a $258 billion lawsuit thrown out.
Tesla (TSLA) and Musk lawyers labeled the lawsuit “fanciful work of fiction.”
In June 2022, dogecoin (DOGE) investors filed a $258 billion lawsuit against Elon Musk, Tesla Inc., and SpaceX for promoting DOGE.