DeFi DeBrief #20: $900 million 💸

Welcome to issue #20 of the DeFi DeBrief, your weekly digest of the biggest news in DeFi.


  • Gemini chases stuck funds
  • Is SBF up to his old tricks? 
  • Binance x Apple Pay


Onwards 👇



Gemini CEO pens open letter about blocked funds ✍️

One dark cloud still hung over crypto at the end of last year.

Reports suggested that DCG (the holding company of Genesis, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, and CoinDesk) was in a precarious financial position.

Then, on Monday this week, Cameron Winklevoss — CEO of crypto exchange Gemini — penned an open letter to Barry Silbert, DCG CEO, highlighting that January 2nd “marks 47 days since Genesis halted withdrawals.”

Gemini currently has $900 million of customer funds stuck with Genesis, which it lent to the firm to power the ‘Gemini Earn’ product.

The letter shows the situation could be far from a resolution.

Why should you care?

One of the biggest industry risks in the first part of this year is ongoing contagion from the multiple blowups of 2022.

Genesis and DCG remain at the centre of speculation, with several commentators viewing them as the next potential dominoes. If they fall, it could lead to the unravelling of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, alongside further contagion.

That’s why eyes will stay focused on the saga until we see a resolution. But once we do, there should be clearer skies ahead for all.



Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty 🤔

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has pleaded not guilty to eight criminal charges, including fraud and money laundering.

The charges relate to the collapse of FTX. And his plea comes even though both the CEO of Alameda Research (a hedge fund with close ties to FTX) and an FTX co-founder have pleaded guilty to similar charges.

And to keep suspicions high: just as Bankman-Fried secured bail, funds started moving from crypto wallets associated with Alameda Research.

But SBF denied any involvement.



Binance integrates Apple and Google Pay 📱

Binance users can now buy crypto directly in-app using Apple or Google Pay, opening the door to 25m Google Pay users and 43.9m Apple Pay users. 

Users will have to pay a 2% transaction fee for the convenience. But the simplicity of the solution, coupled with Binance’s sizable user base, means this move could hasten crypto adoption across the world.



Five short reads catching our eye this week:

  1. The Surge is Ethereum’s next big upgrade
  2. China to launch national NFT marketplace
  3. Is this how FTX managed to steal client funds?
  4. Top-5 takeaways from Messari’s 168-page crypto report
  5. DefiLlama’s 37-page ‘DeFi Year in Review’ report



  • BTC: $16,869.46 (1.28%, 7 days)
  • ETH: $1,250.84 (4.61%, 7 days)
  • TVL in DeFi: $39.57bn 
  • Fear & Greed: 29 (fear)


*Data last updated at 08:00 on 4th January.





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