Bitcoin Remains Calm Amid Negative Headlines, IV Hits Two-Year Low

Bullet Points:
• Bitcoin’s annualized seven-day implied volatility (IV) has hit a two-year low of 38.2%.
• Analysts attribute the lack of volatility to the macro outlook being “extremely constructive”, with inflation falling and the decline in oil making the Ukraine war less relevant.
• Despite negative headlines, Bitcoin has risen 9% since BlockFi declared bankruptcy and 3% this week despite Binance coming under scrutiny.

Article:
The bitcoin (BTC) market has been surprisingly tranquil recently, with the annualized seven-day implied volatility (IV) dropping to its lowest level in two years. The IV, which measures the options market’s forecast of a likely movement in the underlying asset, had peaked at 145% on Nov. 9 but has since declined to 38.2%. Analysts are scrambling to explain the unexpected tranquility, especially in light of the FTX contagion fears and overall macroeconomic uncertainty.

Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at Matrixport, believes that the decreasing volatility is not out of the ordinary. He says that the macro outlook is extremely constructive, with inflation falling and oil prices declining, thus making the Ukraine war less relevant. He also points out that the FTX headlines will now have less of an impact on the market, with investigations taking care of the details in the background.

Despite the negative headlines surrounding the crypto space, Bitcoin has managed to remain unaffected. In fact, since crypto lender BlockFi declared bankruptcy on Nov. 28, Bitcoin has risen 9%. Even when Binance came under scrutiny earlier this week due to customers withdrawing large sums of coins, Bitcoin still managed to gain 3% this week.

It appears that traders are no longer affected by the FTX collapse and have instead opted to buy options to hedge against any potential losses. This could explain why Bitcoin’s implied volatility has dropped to its lowest level since October 2020. With the macro outlook being so promising, it’s likely that the cryptocurrency’s tranquility won’t be ending anytime soon.

FTX Seeks Bankruptcy Court Aid in $450M Robinhood Stock Battle

• FTX is seeking help from a U.S. bankruptcy court to fight over ownership of $450 million in Robinhood Markets (HOOD) stock.
• The stock is held by a corporate entity organized in Antigua and Barbuda and 90% controlled by former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
• FTX has asked the judge overseeing the bankruptcy case to keep the shares frozen while they figure out how to repay all their creditors.

FTX, a crypto exchange, has requested assistance from a U.S. bankruptcy court as they battle over ownership of approximately $450 million worth of stock in Robinhood Markets (HOOD). This stock is held by a corporate entity organized in Antigua and Barbuda, Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd., and 90% of it is controlled by former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. As the battle ensues, three parties have attempted to get control of these shares: BlockFi, Yonathan Ben Shimon, and Bankman-Fried.

In response, the bankruptcy estate of FTX has asked ED&F Man Capital Markets, the brokerage where the shares are parked, to freeze the stock around the time the Chapter 11 case began on Nov. 11th. FTX has determined that Emergent only “nominally” owns the shares and that they truly belong to FTX. The filing states that “Emergent is a special-purpose holding company that appears to have no other business.”

In the filing, FTX has asked the judge to keep the shares frozen while they figure out how to repay all their creditors. FTX argues that since multiple prepetition creditors and Bankman-Fried himself are all trying to obtain possession of the Robinhood Shares, the asset should be frozen until the court can resolve the issues in a fair manner.

This battle over ownership of the Robinhood Shares reflects a much larger issue that FTX is facing. With the help of the U.S. bankruptcy court, FTX is hoping to resolve this issue and be able to repay all their creditors in a fair and equitable manner. It remains to be seen how the judge will respond to FTX’s request.

Crypto Investment Scam Busted in Italy, Albania; 15M Euros Seized

• Italian and Albanian law enforcement authorities have busted a cryptocurrency investment scam estimated to have netted 15 million euros.
• Assets worth 3 million euros were seized and more than 160 electronic devices were confiscated by a joint investigation team.
• Victims of the scam were asked to create an account and transfer an initial sum, which showed an immediate financial gain.

Italian and Albanian law enforcement authorities have recently busted a large cryptocurrency investment scam that is estimated to have netted 15 million euros (US$16 million). The operation was carried out by a joint investigation team, Eurojust, the European Union’s cross-border agency for fighting organized crime. Police officers seized assets worth 3 million euros, as well as more than 160 electronic devices including computers, servers, digital video recorders and a cellphone.

The organized crime group behind the scam ran a call center in Tirana, Albania. Victims were contacted by the perpetrators posing as brokers and were proposed advantageous investments in cryptocurrencies with zero risk. The victims were encouraged to invest larger sums, often their entire economic capital, and were subsequently locked out once the larger deposits were made.

The crypto market has seen a decline this year, however this has not stopped criminals from taking advantage of the situation. Crypto investment scams have become increasingly popular and they target victims seeking to make sizable short-term financial gains. In the U.K., crypto tactical advisers have been stationed in police departments to investigate and seize digital assets linked to crime.

Eurojust was unable to provide further details on the case as the investigation is still ongoing. However, the agency stated that it is committed to tackling cross-border financial crime and will continue to work with law enforcement authorities in Italy and Albania to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Solve the Crypto 2023 Series Crossword & Win 5ESK!

• CoinDesk is releasing a Crypto 2023 series crossword created by professional puzzle maker Myles Mellor.
• Participants can submit completed crosswords to opinion@coindesk.com.
• Results of the crossword will be released on Thursday, Dec. 15, 48 hours after publication.

CoinDesk is proud to announce the launch of the Crypto 2023 series crossword, created by Myles Mellor, a professional puzzle maker. This crossword is the first in a series of engaging activities for readers of CoinDesk, designed to bring the world of cryptocurrency to life.

Participants who complete the crossword will be eligible to receive a reward of 5ESK. To submit their solutions, they can email opinion@coindesk.com, and the results will be released on Thursday, Dec. 15, 48 hours after publication.

The Crypto 2023 series crossword is the latest in a series of exciting activities that CoinDesk has introduced over the years. From the Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin to the Bitcoin Price Index and the Crypto Price Index, CoinDesk has created a variety of engaging activities to help readers stay up-to-date on the latest news in the crypto space.

The Crypto 2023 series crossword is just the beginning of a series of exciting activities that CoinDesk will be introducing over the next few years. As the crypto space continues to expand and evolve, CoinDesk will be there to provide readers with the latest news, insights, and activities designed to keep them up-to-date on the latest developments.

CoinDesk is committed to creating an engaging and rewarding experience for its readers and is excited to launch the Crypto 2023 series crossword. Participants can submit their solutions to opinion@coindesk.com and will be eligible to receive a reward of 5ESK. The results will be released on Thursday, Dec. 15, 48 hours after publication.