WuBlockchain Weekly: Tether Invests $500 Million in Mining and Top10 News
Colin Wu . 2023-11-17 . Data
1. US Inflation Data

a. US October Unadjusted CPI Year-on-Year Rate at 3.2% link

In October, the U.S. seasonally adjusted CPI had an annual rate of 3.2%, slightly below the expected 3.3%, and down from the previous value of 3.7%. The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, had an annual rate of 4% in October, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month’s value of 4.1%.

According to Ian Lyngen, an analyst at the Bank of Montreal in Canada, this CPI report is good news for the Federal Reserve. It demonstrates that monetary policy remains effective, and its impact on the real economy is lagging. This rules out the possibility of a rate hike in December and strengthens the view that the Fed’s last rate hike in this cycle was in July of this year. The focus will now shift to how long the Fed will try to delay any rate cuts. The CME data shows that the probability of the Fed maintaining interest rates in the current range of 5.25% to 5.5% in December has risen to 100%, up from 86% the previous day.

b. US October PPI Year-on-Year Rate Announced at 1.3% link

The U.S. Producer Price Index (PPI) for October had an annual rate of 1.3%, which was below the expected 1.9% and down from the previous value of 2.2%. The monthly PPI for October was -0.5%, contrary to the expected 0.1%, and down from the previous month’s value of 0.5%. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, had an annual rate of 2.4% in October, below the expected 2.7%, and unchanged from the previous month’s value of 2.7%. The monthly core PPI was 0%, below the expected 0.3%, and the same as the previous month’s value of 0.3%.

Analysts point out that the U.S. PPI index recorded its largest drop since April 2020 in October, further indicating a weakening of inflation pressures in the overall economy. However, as the U.S. enters the holiday shopping season, this decline is unlikely to be sustained.

2. BlackRock Submits S-1 Application for its Ethereum Spot ETF link

According to the SEC official website, on November 15th, BlackRock submitted its S-1 application for its Ethereum spot ETF. An S-1 application refers to the registration statement that a company submits to the SEC and is an important step in the listing process. Previously, Nasdaq had submitted BlackRock’s proposed Ethereum spot ETF application to the SEC, which will use Coinbase Custody Trust Company as the custodian.

3. Deutsche Bank Granted Cryptocurrency Custody License link

On November 15th, Commerzbank was granted a cryptocurrency custody license, allowing the bank to establish a wide range of digital asset services, particularly in the realm of cryptocurrencies. The bank stated that its initial step is to create a secure, reliable, and fully compliant platform to support its institutional clients by offering cryptocurrency custody based on blockchain technology. Commerzbank is the fourth-largest bank in Germany, serving 26,000 corporate clients and nearly 11 million private and small business customers.

Joana Cotar, a member of the German Bundestag, federal parliament, has recently declared her support for recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender in Germany. Cotar’s position also includes a clear stance against the digital Euro. She sees bitcoin as a more suitable digital asset for the country, primarily due to its decentralized nature and potential to enhance financial freedom and privacy.

4. Tether Plans to Invest Approximately $500 Million in Bitcoin Mining Over the Next 6 Months link

On November 16th, Tether’s new CEO, Ardoino, stated in an interview that the company plans to invest approximately $500 million in becoming one of the world’s top Bitcoin miners over the next six months. They plan to achieve this goal by constructing their own mining facilities and investing in other companies. Ardoino mentioned that Tether is building Bitcoin mining farms in Uruguay, Paraguay, and El Salvador, with each farm having a capacity between 40 to 70 megawatts. Their aim is to increase their share of the total Bitcoin network hashrate to 1%, but he didn’t specify a timeline for achieving this goal. In an email statement, Ardoino added that Tether expects its direct mining operations’ electricity generation capacity to reach 120 megawatts by the end of 2023 and 450 megawatts by the end of 2025.

5. South Korea’s Second-Largest Crypto Exchange, Bithumb, is Exploring an IPO link

On November 12th, according to Edaily, South Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, is attempting an IPO. They chose Samsung Securities as their underwriter at the end of last month, with a target listing date set for the second half of 2025, preferably on the Nasdaq in the United States. Bithumb holds a market share of around 10%, while South Korea’s largest exchange, Upbit, has a market share of around 85%. Unlike Upbit, Bithumb has faced several scandals and has often been investigated by regulatory authorities in South Korea.

6. Binance’s Weekly Summary

a. US Court Issues Protective Order on Disclosure Information in SEC vs. Binance Lawsuit link

On November 14th, according to Cryptonews, a U.S. court has approved a protective order that will govern the production, use, and disclosure of all information and materials provided by either party in the SEC’s lawsuit against Binance and its CEO, CZ. The order allows either party to designate discovery materials they consider confidential, covering non-public business secrets, financial information, and more. Previously, Binance US had sought a protective order to oppose the SEC’s broad discovery requests, claiming they were overly broad and unreasonable.

b. Binance Research Report: Gaming, Payments, and Trading Platforms Lead Financing Over the Past Year link

On November 15th, Binance Research released a funding research report covering the past year. The top three sectors for funding were gaming, payments, and trading platforms. There were six unicorn projects, including Ramp, LayerZero, and Copper. The most active venture capitalists (VCs) included Coinbase, Hashkey, Shima, Polygon, and DWF. Polychain and Coinbase were the top co-investors, with a total of 40 deals.

c. Jennifer Hicks, Senior Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Binance, Resigns link

On November 17th, Jennifer Hicks, Senior Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Officer at Binance, has left the company. Jennifer Hicks joined Binance in December 2021 and held roles as Senior Manager of Intelligence and Investigations, Senior Investigator for Sanctions and Counterterrorism Financing Risk, and Senior AML Officer during her time with the company. Before joining Binance, Jennifer Hicks worked as a Senior Cybercrime Investigator at Chainalysis.

7. Crypto com’s Weekly Summary

a. Crypto.com Launches Crypto Derivative Product ‘Strike Options’ link

On November 13th, Crypto.com announced the launch of its crypto derivative product called “Strike Options.” Strike Options allows users to profit within 20 minutes by predicting whether the price of the underlying asset will be above the strike price at expiration. The trading is expressed as a simple yes/no decision. Strike Options is a CFTC-regulated product and is currently available for BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH as underlying assets, with plans to add more in the future.

b. Crypto.com Secures License from Dubai Virtual Asset Service Provider link

On November 14th, Crypto.com announced that its Dubai entity, CRO DAX Middle East FZE, has been granted a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license by the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). This license allows the entity to engage in specific virtual asset service activities, including exchange services, proprietary trading, management and investment services, and lending services.

8. FTX’s Weekly Summary

a. FTX Files Lawsuit Against Crypto Exchange Bybit to Recover $953 Million in Assets link

On November 11th, it was reported by Bloomberg that the bankruptcy trustee for FTX is suing cryptocurrency exchange Bybit and two affiliated companies to recover approximately $9.53 billion in cash and digital assets. These assets were withdrawn about a year ago before the cryptocurrency exchange, led by Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), filed for bankruptcy protection. The lawsuit, filed in a Delaware court on Friday, alleges that Bybit’s investment arm, Mirana Corp., had special “VIP” privileges that most FTX customers did not have, and it used these special privileges to withdraw most of its assets from the FTX platform in November 2022 before FTX collapsed. Mirana withdrew $327 million before FTX suspended withdrawals and allegedly pressured FTX employees to meet its withdrawal requests. Under U.S. bankruptcy law, assets withdrawn, especially those withdrawn shortly before a company’s bankruptcy, may be subject to recovery and redistribution.

b. Former FTX General Counsel Can Sun Introduces New Crypto Exchange ‘Backpack,’ Plans to Raise Funds with a Valuation of $100 Million link

On November 12th, it was reported by The Wall Street Journal that Can Sun, the former Chief Legal Officer of FTX who served as a key witness in the criminal trial of SBF, is now leading a Dubai-based startup called Trek Labs, which has launched a new cryptocurrency exchange called Backpack. Trek Labs obtained a license from the Dubai cryptocurrency regulator last month. Sun is collaborating with former FTX employees, including Armani Ferrante and other former FTX executives, and plans to raise funds with an estimated valuation of $100 million. During the FTX trial, Sun denied knowledge of a fraudulent scheme involving FTX executives and stated that he resigned after discovering significant discrepancies on FTX’s balance sheet.

9. Boya Interactive Seeks Shareholder Authorization to Purchase Up to $100 Million in Cryptocurrency, Mainly BTC and ETH link

On November 14th, Hong Kong-listed company Boyaa Interactive announced that it plans to potentially purchase cryptocurrencies with a total amount not exceeding $100 million over a 12-month period, starting from the date when the ordinary resolution regarding authorization and potential cryptocurrency purchases was formally approved at the extraordinary general meeting of shareholders. The planned purchases are expected to focus on BTC and ETH, with approximately $45 million allocated to each, and an additional $10 million for the purchase of USDT and USDC. The purchases will be conducted on regulated and licensed trading platforms in the public market, including but not limited to HashKey Exchange. Boyaa Interactive claims to be the largest developer and operator of chess and card games in China and has formed a team to vigorously promote Web3 game development.

10. Disney Collaborates with Dapper Labs to Launch NFT App ‘Disney Pinnacle’ link

On November 14th, Disney announced a collaboration with Dapper Labs, the developer behind NBA Top Shot, to launch a mobile-based NFT application called Disney Pinnacle. Disney Pinnacle will offer badge-inspired digital collectibles, which will be minted as NFTs on the Flow blockchain. According to Rachel Rogers, Senior Product Manager at Dapper, the official release will initially be available on the Apple App Store and then rolled out on web browsers and the Google Play Store.


  • Bazooka Tango, a Web3 game studio, announced the completion of a $5 million funding round. link
  • Ordinals’ project Taproot Wizards raised $7.5 million in a funding round led by Standard Crypto. link
  • CFX Labs announced the completion of a $9.5 million seed funding round. link
  • Asset management company Superstate, which utilizes blockchain technology, completed a $14 million Series A funding round. link
  • Modular zkEVM project Kakarot announced the completion of a seed funding round. link
  • Blockchain.com secured a $110 million strategic growth Series E funding round led by Kingsway Capital. link
  • South Korean pop music startup Modhaus raised $8 million in a Series A funding round, with Sfermion leading the investment. link
  • Fnality completed a $95 million Series B funding round, with Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas leading the investment. link
  • Almond FinTech announced the completion of a $7 million funding round. link

Learn more, check out crypto-fundraising.info.

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