Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to all charges in court and Bitcoin price slightly higher

The Bitcoin price has moved slightly higher over the past 24 hours and is currently hovering around $16.9ki at the time of writing. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap has been trading sideways between $16.5k and $17ki for some time now. Both bulls and bears are finding it difficult to make a big move, and market forces appear to be fairly balanced. Altcoins were also slightly higher. More on that later.

The now infamous founder of the FTX exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, alias SBF, appeared before a US court yesterday for the first time. Despite mountains of evidence of wrongdoing directly related to him at both Alameda Research and FTX, he decided to plead not guilty for all charges. More on that later.

Former China-based crypto exchange Huobi has announced layoffs of more than 20% of its workforce. This development on the exchange follows other crypto companies that have let go of a large part of their employees since the start of this bear market. However, the exchange also faces some fears of insolvency, but management has played down these concerns. Cryptocurrency lender Genesis has also announced a major layoff of more than 30% of its employees.

According to Galaxy Research, 2023 could be a testing year for Venture Capital (VC) investments in the crypto sector. These big money capitalists have spent a whopping $30 billion in crypto investments in 2022 alone. But with weak forecasts for the current year, their investments may drop sharply in value this year.

Fabio Panetta, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), believes that the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) should be accelerated. He also believes that this development will slow down the development of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. However, the question is whether this will really be the case, as a CBDC is simply the same fiat currency (in this case the Euro) in a new (digital) form. In principle, this new form does nothing to the strength and/or value of the euro.

Bitcoin price slightly higher at $16.9k

Bitcoin continues to trade sideways and is currently at the $16.9k level. The cryptocurrency is doing everything it can to maintain its current level and has shown little volatility for over a month.

In the last 36 hours, BTC started trading at around $16.85k. It traded sideways for a short time before embarking on a price decline. The pace of price decline has been very slow and finally the bears were able to post a 24-hour low of around $16.7k at 14 yesterday. From that moment, the price started to show some upward momentum. It came back above $16.8k within a few hours and stayed there before moving further back to its starting point. Yesterday it looked like it was going to end in another stalemate, but the bulls had the last word. It briefly rose to $17k and then quickly fell to $16.9k. At the time of writing, the Bitcoin price is just above that level.

Bitcoin has shown record low volatility in recent weeks. The price currently feels happy between $16.5k and $17k. This is a narrow trading range for a currency as volatile as BTC. So a sharp move up or down cannot be ruled out at the end of a prolonged stalemate like this. The bears still have a slight edge at the moment, but the bulls can also achieve something in the short term.

Bitcoin’s total market capitalization was around $326 billion and its share of the crypto market was 41.60%.

Bitcoin rate

Altcoins are following Bitcoin a bit

Other cryptocurrencies were broadly flat to slightly higher at the end of the last 36 hours following Bitcoin. The biggest changes were seen in Ethereum (ETH, 1.5%), Cardano (ADA, 1.5%), Polkadot (DOT, 2%) and Ethereum Classic (ETC, 11.3%).

ETC price chart

In other news….

Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all charges

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. The founder somehow imagines that he still has a chance of being acquitted rather than pleading guilty, which could result in a reduced sentence. He currently faces up to 115 years in prison for the eight serious charges brought against him.

However, it will probably end in disaster for him. His former associates Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang have both turned on him. They are currently working with the FBI on a plea deal in exchange for a reduced sentence.

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