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First Mover Asia: Silicon Valley Bank Failure Highlights Small Banks’ Vulnerability; Bitcoin Soars Past $22.5K

After a tense Thursday and Friday, crypto investors were reassured by Federal regulators’ decision to fully restore Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) deposits and Circle’s pledge to replace any USDC reserves.

Bitcoin traded at $22,482, up 9.3% in 24 hours. The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation took down SIVB, a major technological player, after clients withdrew their money in droves, sending the largest cryptocurrency below $20,000 early Friday (UTC). The second-largest U.S. failure was SIVB.

On Sunday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome H. Powell, and FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg announced that Yellen had “approved actions enabling the FDIC to complete actions in a manner that fully protects all depositors” at SIVB after considering FDIC and Federal Reserve recommendations and consulting with President Joe Biden.

.In a weekly report, Mark Connors, head of research at crypto asset manager 3iQ, called the agencies’ action “risk asset friendly at first blush” but cautioned, “Too many moving parts and M2 [monetary aggregate of currency and coins, savings deposits and shares in mutual money market funds] STILL contracting.”

Connors added: “The Fed maintains market control. Guaranteeing overnight bank deposits in 2008 is what they announced tonight.”

Ether rose 9.6% to $1,614, up from Saturday. Several major cryptocurrencies that suffered last week due to SIVB’s fall rallied over the weekend, with their biggest gains on Sunday. APT, Aptos’ layer 1 protocol token, and ADA, Cardano’s native coin, rose over 13% and 11%, respectively. .

Circle Internet Finance, a payments technology business, announced on Saturday that it will “fill any gap” in the assets supporting its stablecoin USDC if Silicon Valley Bank did not release its $3.3 billion cash reserve. Circle pledged to “stand behind USDC and offset any gap utilizing business resources, engaging external finance if necessary” in a blog post. Before the announcement, the stablecoin dropped to $0.88 but was trading above $.99 cents.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq and S&P 500 fell 1.8% and 1.4%, respectively, amid banking sector concerns. The S&P fell 5%, its lowest week since September 2022. 3iQ’s Connors said that long-term regulatory action to protect consumers’ funds would continue a “game of regulatory whack-a-mole” that would accelerate stablecoin regulation and banks consolidation.

 

Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.