Crypto Spotlight - Binance, Revolut, FTX, and $GRT dominate today’s news

Crypto continues on its path of ascension, leaving many surprised at how well the industry has held onto last month's gains. The recent capital inflow is primarily down to institutional investment, which accounts for roughly 85% of the recent spike in total crypto market capitalization. 

Today’s news is dominated by the biggest financial names in crypto, companies that can’t seem to keep out of the crypto news cycle, for better or worse. In today’s crypto spotlight, we take a look at big news relating to Revolut, Binance, FTX, and The Graph, as well as document the potential conclusion to the ongoing Binance/WazirX feud.

  • International digital banking firm Revolut announced via email its intentions to offer crypto staking to customers in their primary markets of Great Britain and Europe. Revolut, which has approximately 25 million users, is launching the service this week. The first tokens consumers will gain access to are Polkadot (DOT), Tezos (XTZ), Cardano (ADA), and Ethereum (ETH), with returns reaching up to 11.65%. Revolut has been offering crypto services since 2017 but has slowly stepped up its range of offerings since then. It started by simply providing a platform to buy and sell crypto, but has swiftly evolved, now facilitating customer transfers of their digital assets to other wallets and platforms elsewhere. Then, in late 2022, Revolut added a crypto spending feature, allowing customers to use it for everyday purchases. Finally, It got approval to offer crypto services in the U.K from the FCA in September last year
  • Binance plans to suspend USD withdrawals/deposits for customers outside America starting Wednesday, Feb. 8. A peculiar point to note is that the world’s largest crypto exchange gave no reason as to why the decision was made. Following the announcement, Millions worth of digital assets flowed out of Binance after the announcement. Also, it’s worth noting that the company has stated that only 0.01% of its monthly active users use USD bank transfers and added that they are working to restart the service ASAP.
  • Indexing protocol The Graph’s native token GRT hit a $1 billion market cap again on Sunday after 2 years. The rise is a testament to the platform’s rapid and substantial growth over the course of 2022, particularly during Q4. The token began to soar at the start of the new year after declining sharply in H2 2022. It is now trading at roughly $0.17, up 94% over the last week as of writing. $GRT reached an impressive $5 billion in market value in 2021 before spiraling along with the rest of the market later that year.
  • Signature Bank, a financial institution with a reputation for dealing with cryptocurrency firms, faces a lawsuit for its involvement in the operations of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. Statistica Capital has claimed that Signature Bank had knowledge of and facilitated the notorious FTX fraud. In particular, the bank permitted the intertwining of FTX client funds within its blockchain payments platform, Signet. Statistica explicitly stated that it advised Signature Bank the funds were supposed to go to FTX, but the bank ignored them and facilitated the transfer to Alameda Research, the trading company owned by the former CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried.
  • Indian crypto exchange WazirX has rebuked the claims made by Binance are untrue and it is seeking recourse to protect its legal rights. The feud is over who actually controls WazirX and went public last year after Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced on Twitter that they did not own the company, leading to WazirX founder Nischal Shetty swiftly refuting the claim. Both parties have attempted to work out the ownership issue so that customer assets would not become collateral damage. In late January Zhao gave WazirX a final chance to retract the ownership claims or stop using Binance by February 3rd. Later that day, WazirX's decision became clear, as they began transferring assets out of Binance. In a Tuesday's blog by the Indian exchange, WazirX said its users should not worry and that the transfer of funds was successful. Users can continue to trade, deposit, and withdraw their funds as usual.