- Bitcoin hits $23,900.
- Sam Bankman-Fried seeks access to crypto assets.
- South Korea to monitor crypto transactions.
Bitcoin reached a high of $23,900 over the weekend, which was last seen on August 17. The largest cryptocurrency has since pulled back to around $23,200. Since the start of the year, Bitcoin has seen a 40% increase in value, while Ether has risen by 30%. This recent rally in the crypto market was led by normal volumes in Bitcoin, with many altcoins also performing well. Despite the positive trend, a correction and profit-taking should not be ruled out, especially if the market falls below the $23,000 level. The Fear and Greed Index, which measures the sentiment of the crypto market, changed from "neutral" to "greed" over the weekend.
Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried are requesting access to the assets and cryptocurrencies held by his former company, FTX. They argue that there is no evidence linking him to any previous unauthorized transactions. Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO of FTX in November when the company filed for bankruptcy, and is currently facing multiple federal criminal charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. As a condition of his bail, Bankman-Fried is prohibited from accessing the cryptocurrencies held by FTX and its affiliated trading arm, Alameda Research, due to concerns about illicit transfers from Alameda wallets. Bankman-Fried's lawyer, Mark Cohen, stated in a letter to the presiding judge in FTX's bankruptcy case that the bar includes any crypto purchased with FTX or Alameda that Bankman-Fried has not accessed or transferred.
South Korea's Ministry of Justice is taking measures to prevent money laundering in the crypto market. The ministry plans to use third-party software to monitor transaction history, extract information on transactions, and check the source of funds. By the second half of the year, they hope to develop their own system. Last October, South Korean police signed an agreement with local crypto exchanges, including Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Corbit, and Gopax, to cooperate in criminal investigations involving cryptocurrency. Bithumb is currently under investigation for tax evasion and price manipulation.
The chart shows that gold bottomed out in early November and rose thereafter, leading the bull revival in the crypto market by nearly two months. However, the rally in gold has stalled in recent days, causing concern for crypto bulls. According to Singapore-based QCP Capital, the $1,890-$1,900 support level for gold is crucial for the crypto uptrend to persist. QCP noted that the USD is starting to show massive positive divergence, which is a worry for the crypto market as both gold and USD drive crypto prices.