Onchain: The SEC v Kim K, Celsius endgame, Credit Suisse teeters

The SEC v Kim

Story One

The SEC goes after big Kimmy

Of all the on-the-nose celebrity crypto endorsements of the 2020/21 bull cycle, surely the most grotesque was Kim Kardashian putting the 300 million-strong heft of her Instagram account behind a straight-up scam called EthereumMax.

I know zero standard, money-grabbing trash is kinda a Kardashian brand value, but she may as well have been peddling flesh-eating bacteria for weight loss. The SEC evidently (eventually) agreed and sued her, adding Kim to a list of official reprobates that also includes Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled, Steven Seagal and T.I.

This week Kim settled with the SEC for $2 million – along with a promise not to shill any crypto projects for three years. By SEC standards this is a fair whack, but Kim is thought to be worth around US$1.8 billion, so this is basically the equivalent of a mid-range speeding fine.

We can argue about the chilling effect that this might have on the influencer economy at large (and whether that’s a good thing), but hopefully we can all agree that having crypto synonymized with garbage like EthereumMax is not in the best interests of the industry as a whole.

Story Two

Celsius heads towards the light

One of the more high profile casualties of the CeFi meltdown, Celsius is now officially making its slow shuffle off this mortal coil.

Controversial CEO Alex Mashinsky resigned last week, which coincided with reports that he pulled US$10 million out of the company a few weeks before the whole thing collapsed back in May. Given the company went under with an estimated US$2.9 billion hole in its balance sheets we can probably assume that Alex had a reasonable sense the writing was on the wall and that cashing out in that sort of situation is a Bad Thing To Do.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the bear market’s answer to Robin Hood (a company he owns 7.6% of), is rumoured to be front and centre among the bidders for Celsius’ distressed assets, which he’ll add to the pile of Voyager Digital detritus that he picked up for US$1.4 billion last week. What SBF plans to do with all this plunder is open to question, but if the market comes roaring back any time soon the guy could end up giving Elon a run for his money.

Overheard on Twitter

Macro and Bloomberg baboonery will probably be next cycle's bear market PTSD

It matters now because we're trading a correlated basket of garbage

But when the time is right, abandon all pretence of sophistication

50 IQ season, memes, and ponzinomics are core crypto skills


Story Three

Credit Suisse puts on its best CeFi hat

Yeah yeah, this ain’t precisely crypto related but right now everything is so correlated it may as well be. Also, isn’t it just nice to see a titan of TradFi sweating for once?

Anyway, the Twittertariat got itself into a right lather over the weekend after Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Koerner published a memo that described the bank as being at a “critical moment”.

Intended to reassure the market, it did exactly the opposite and set off a collapse in the share price and an expansive round of “what if…” contagion theorems that in many cases led to the end of humanity as we know it. (Well, perhaps not, but at the least a very nasty global financial meltdown.) Attention was particularly paid to the fact that CS was supposed to have some US$900 billion in leveraged positions versus US$40 billion in equity. And they call crypto bad etc etc.

Those numbers probably aren’t accurate and wouldn’t tell the full story even if they were. But what it does reveal is a global financial system on absolute tenterhooks, ready for catastrophe and all swirled up by the hyperspeed currents of speculation and misinformation unleashed by social media. What a time to be alive.

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