There are concerns that cryptocurrency exchange FTX is facing a liquidity crisis as its native token plummets.

At the time of writing (7am UK) FTX Token had (FTT) fallen 22% in the previous 24 hours to $17.14 – although it had regained 9% in the last hour – leaving it 35% down over the course of a week.

There are suggestions that the drop is linked to recent reports from CoinDesk that a notable portion of its sister investment fund Alameda Research’s balance sheet was made up of FTT and Solana’s SOL token. Around 60% of FTT’s supply is currently held on exchanges.

Since then there has been an exodus of stablecoins from FTX – more than $450 million in a week – while rival Binance has seen an inflow of more than $400m in the same time period.

Users have reported delays on fiat currency withdrawals from FTX, but the exchange says there is no risk of withdrawals being halted.

FTX is backed by world-leading VCs Temasek, BlackRock, Coinbase Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

Its CEO Sam Bankman-Fried blamed the turbulence on Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao, who has said that he plans to liquidate any remaining FTT on Binance’s books – reported to be worth more than $500m.

“A competitor is trying to go after us with false rumors,” he tweeted. “FTX is fine. Assets are fine. FTX has enough to cover all client holdings.

“We don’t invest client assets (even in treasuries)… we have a long history of safeguarding client assets, and that remains true today.

“I’d love it,  @cz_binance, if we could work together for the ecosystem.”

Coinmetro plots UK expansion with €7m raise

Coinmetro, one of Europe’s fastest-growing digital currency exchanges, has raised €7 million in an ‘interim’ funding round which values the company at €180m. 

The exchange says it has provided customers jaded by some of the more established cryptocurrency platforms with a community-driven platform that drove 300% growth in the US last year off the back of seed investment.

Coinmetro plans to use the capital injection to further scale up operations in the US, UK and across Europe, as well as developing a series of passive income products to help customers contest a period of both high inflation and interest rates. 

The new funding is a forerunner to a Series A round currently set to take place in Q1 of 2023 and comes from three angel investors as well as more than 100 existing shareholders.

Representing a 4% stake in the business, a large proportion of these shareholders are also clients of Coinmetro.

“After a peculiar year for cryptocurrencies, as indeed for most currencies, we are expecting further volatility ahead, but there is growth to be had for those that understand the market dynamics and can see where the next phase of crypto’s evolution will come from,” said CEO Kevin Murcko. 

“We have no shortage of ideas and are looking forward to making them real for our growing community over the months and years to come. This latest funding round gives us the financial clout to do just that. It’s a testament to our vision that we have succeeded in doing so during a bear market.”

In August 2022, the platform introduced a swap widget, with which users can buy into their whole multi-currency portfolio in one simple trade, without needing to buy each coin or token individually.

Cryptocurrency shorts

James Zhong has pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges related to executing a scheme to steal 50,676 Bitcoin from Silk Road. The US Department of Justice has revealed it seized the crypto in late 2001 – worth roughly $3.36 billion at the time and $1bn today – from a floor safe and “single-board computer that was submerged under blankets in a popcorn tin”.

Six teachers have sold out NFTs related to educational content they have produced for Animoca Brands subsidiary TinyTap. They sold at auction for around 139 ETH – $228,000 at the time of sale – with around 68 ETH ($110,000) going to the teachers. Each publisher NFT represents co-publishing rights to one TinyTap course, with NFT buyers becoming co-publishers alongside TinyTap and the teachers. The latter will receive 10% of publishing revenue while they are also entitled to royalties generated from the secondary sale of the NFTs.

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has virtually addressed members of the European Commission on the digital euro. “Public sector representatives have a duty to ensure that the financial system is open, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of all groups – so let us envision that better future and build a digital euro that works for all Europeans.”

Crypto exchange has launched Gate Pay. Billed as a secure and free-to-use crypto payment technology, it supports 21 cryptocurrencies for micro-payments at present, with plans to increase to 130 in the future.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the 21,600 coins is at $983 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 4.9% decrease in the last 24 hours.

For round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments, click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.