Crypto Biz: Value of X halves, CME rises among top Bitcoin futures exchanges, and other news

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The crypto industry continues to anticipate the approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States as more investment managers file amended applications with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The high level of anticipation has even caused the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to leap positions among derivatives exchanges in terms of Bitcoin (BTC) open interest, overtaking traditional crypto exchanges and highlighting the demand for a spot Bitcoin product. The CME also saw its cash-settled futures contracts exceed 100,000 BTC in volume recently.

In the week’s negative developments, the SEC charged SafeMoon and three of its executives with fraud and unregistered securities sales concerning the SafeMoon (SFM) token.

According to the SEC allegations, SafeMoon executives withdrew assets worth $200 million from the project and misappropriated investor funds despite promising that funds would be locked in a liquidity pool. Two executives were arrested.

This week’s Crypto Biz also features Circle’s decision to discontinue consumer accounts, while X’s (formerly Twitter) valuation has nosedived a year after Elon Musk took it over.

Circle to phase out consumer accounts, but business and Mint will remain

Stablecoin issuer Circle will close out consumer or individual accounts on Nov. 30, according to emails received by its customers over the previous days. On the morning of Oct. 31, Circle customers allegedly received an email announcing that individual accounts were being closed “as part of Circle’s strategic review.” According to the message, “wiring and minting functionalities” would no longer be supported. In an email to Cointelegraph, a Circle representative confirmed that the accounts are being shut down but that business and institutional accounts will remain open.

CME becomes second-largest Bitcoin futures exchange as open interest surges

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a regulated derivatives exchange that lists Bitcoin futures, now stands just behind Binance in terms of notional open interest to rank second in the list of BTC futures exchanges. The CME’s open interest hit $3.58 billion on Oct. 30, pushing the regulated derivatives exchange platform to jump two positions from the previous week. The CME overtook Bybit and OKX with $2.6 billion and $1.78 billion in open interest, respectively, and is just a few million away from Binance’s $3.9 billion.

Bitcoin Futures Exchange rankings by open interest on Oct. 30. Source: Coinglass

X is now worth half of the $44 billion Elon Musk paid for it: Report

Elon Musk’s social media platform, X, is worth less than half of what the tech billionaire bought it for in October 2022, an internal memo has reportedly revealed. According to an Oct. 30 report from Bloomberg, restricted stock units recently paid to employees of the company were valued at $45 a share, which puts the company’s value at around $19 billion — less than half of the $44 billion that Musk paid for the company on Oct. 27, 2022. Musk has made a series of controversial moves since taking over the platform, including rebranding it to X, changing many of its content rules and laying off approximately 80% of the company’s workforce.

Worldcoin claims 4 million app downloads and 1 million active users

Iris-scanning project Worldcoin has reached a new milestone, as its mobile World App has now been downloaded over 4 million times, according to a Nov. 1 blog post from the project’s team. If CoinGecko eventually confirms this number, it could place World App in sixth place in CoinGecko’s list of most downloaded software wallets. Each user who goes through iris verification receives 25 Worldcoin (WLD) tokens, worth approximately $46.50 currently. The project has become popular in developing markets like Argentina, as some participants have seen registering and then selling the coins as a quick way to make a few extra bucks.

World App now has more than 1 million monthly active users, 4 million downloads and 22 million transactions. Not bad for six months pic.twitter.com/pagXxTfc8E

— Tools For Humanity (@tfh_technology) November 1, 2023

Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse on the business behind blockchain and crypto, delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.

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