The latest unmanned launch of SpaceX's Starship craft ended up going off with a bang on Saturday. After the rocket successfully cleared the launchpad, the mission seemed to be proceeding well until the separation stage. However, on separating from the Super Heavy booster, Starship then destroyed it while firing up its engines.
The Starship was able to continue on its journey for a short distance but, according to SpaceX:
"The booster experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly shortly after stage separation while Starship's engines fired for several minutes on its way to space."
So what has been 'blowing up' and what has just been destroyed in the crypto world this week? Read on to find out...
Possibly beating Starship to the moon could be bitcoin, at least according to a report from Matrixport. A confluence of influencing factors is on the horizon, which could come together to create the perfect storm for the number one cryptocurrency next year. But is this astronomy or just astrology?
Down to earth with a bump, however, is Worldcoin, which saw its WLD token fall 40% following news that CEO Sam Altman had been fired as CEO of his more famous other company, OpenAI.
While we are down, let's deal with the AI-inspired GROK token, which also fell 40%, when its creator was labeled a former scammer. Also accused of being a scammer is Ethereum head honcho, Vitalik Buterin, who has been keeping pretty quiet since the release of some telephone conversations recorded in 2015.
Never mind the scams, prominent crypto users in Sweden are reportedly being targeted in violent attacks by criminals... and scams.
On to exchanges, starting with the decentralized kind. Thorchain's killer feature of cross-chain swaps of native assets has seen it quickly rise to become the third-largest DEX, nearly tripling its token value. Meanwhile, dYdX unveiled its version 4 iteration, which now runs on its own Cosmos-powered standalone blockchain.
Binance has partnered with Thailand's Gulf Energy to launch a registered centralized crypto exchange in the country. And in South Korea, Bithumb wants to cleanse itself of recent troubles and regain some customer respect, with a planned IPO on the local stock exchange.
It wouldn't be a Sunday Review without some mention of FTX/SBF. This week, the defunct exchange is considered ripe for resurrection by some, although former staff have already moved on to build a 'morally-superior' exchange. Meanwhile the company is being sued by a former employee of its charity division, and suing Bybit to claw back customer funds.
Another longstanding shoo-in for the Sunday Review has been the U.S. SEC, and it doesn't disappoint this week either. The regulator publicly congratulated itself on a bumper year for its anti-crypto crusade, leading some to question whether chair Gary Gensler has political aspirations. However, it couldn't find the decency to just approve one of these spot bitcoin ETF applications already, although using such delaying tactics may just be painting itself into a corner.
The global 'Securities Commission' commission, has urged for greater consistency of crypto regulations across jurisdictions. It says the risks of regulatory arbitrage can be reduced if countries all just pull in the same direction. Meanwhile, the EU has called for 'less regulation and more action', after realizing that being the number one regulator is no use if there is no market left to regulate.
We launched our new Banking and CBDC newsletter, to round up all the latest news and context into one digestible read. This week: Singapore and Kazakstan launch CBDC pilots, Mastercard doesn't think CBDCs will catch on, JPMorgan launches multi-chain fund tokenization platform, and Commerzbank gets crypto custody license in Germany.
Branching out into some more diverse use cases for blockchain technology, Game7 published the most comprehensive deep-dive yet into the state of Web3 gaming. K-pop fans can now control the careers of their idols by buying into NFTs that act as governance tokens, arguably leaving the decision-making process to those who know best.
Finally, Aave's blockchain-based social media platform, Lens, implemented a whole bunch of updates with its V2 launch. And of course, we would like to congratulate Aave on its recent gender reassignment to become the much more feminine Avara. Avara bought itself a nice new wallet to celebrate.