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SBF Takes the Stand as Bitcoin Celebrates its 15th Birthday 

SBF testified in court, didn’t go as planned

The controversial figure took the stand over three days, recounting to the judge and jury his time presiding over FTX.  

Cryptocurrency’s highest-profile criminal case peaked last week, with Sam Bankman-Fried testifying in court for the first time. The move was an uncertain one, as SBF and his lawyers had “ummed” and “ahhed” whether he should take the stand at his own trial for the weeks prior. Concerns surrounding his mental well-being surfaced, as the defense claimed SBF was not receiving enough Adderall to treat his ADHD.  

However, the team eventually decided to put SBF before the judge and jury, in what many described as a Hail Mary move. The strategy intended to convince just one jury member that SBF wasn’t a malicious criminal, but rather, his actions were that of a man who got too big for his boots. Muchalike when the crypto goliath FTX collapsed in November 2022, things didn’t exactly go to plan.

“I don’t recall” was a common feature of SBF’s testimony, as he was cross-examined by Danielle Sassoon, the assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Often, SBF went off on tangents unrelated to the line of questioning – so much so that eventually Judge Kaplan was forced to ask him to reign it in. 

And SBF’s previous status as a crypto celebrity – one of the big reasons the community is so invested in his criminal case – has returned to haunt him. Being a public figure generally means making many public statements, and the prosecution had pages upon pages of contradictory evidence. Often, SBF would claim that he didn’t remember saying or doing something, only for a document to be presented that proved he did.  

Ultimately, SBF testifying in his own criminal trial would always be a bit of a long shot. And while it appears the move may have backfired, it is too early to tell whether he may have managed to sway even one member of the jury. This trial will ultimately come down to how the jury perceives Bankman-Fried’s intent – and the community eagerly awaits its outcome. 

Veteran trader Peter Brandt predicts Bitcoin all-time high in Q3 2024

An impressive 2023 has seen Bitcoin believers turn their attention to next year’s Bitcoin halving and potential spot ETF approval.  

The crypto market has been in a long, icy winter since 2022 – but Bitcoin seems to have missed the memo. The blue-chip digital currency has enjoyed a stellar 2023, with BTC up over 100% since early January. There are several factors behind Bitcoin’s resurgence, but there has been a clear shift in public and institutional perception of the asset. With traditional financial giants demonstrating significant interest in a spot ETF, many are starting to recognise BTC is a store of value akin to digital gold, rather than a mode of payment like many of its competitors. This distinction, as CEO of BlackRock Larry Fink said, means Bitcoin has become the “flight to quality” of the crypto market. 

Veteran trader Peter Brandt has jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon, posting a tweet that suggests Bitcoin will hit its all-time high by Q3 2024. And with September well and truly in the rearview mirror, it should be noted that this is less than a year away from potentially coming to fruition. If his prediction were to come true, this would be e a 100%+ gain for Bitcoin over the next 8-10 months.

Brandt’s primary rationale for his prediction is the previous bull runs of Bitcoin over a 20 to 30- month timeframe. The timing also matches up with the upcoming Bitcoin halving event, scheduled for sometime in 2024. This in-built economic function of the network results in Bitcoin miners receiving less BTC for every successfully “mined” block. The reward will drop from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC sometime next year.  

The community is preparing for the next Bitcoin halving by accumulating BTC, and the coin gained nearly 30% through October. Each previous halving has been followed by a new all-time high for Satoshi Nakamoto’s coin, so it will be interesting to see if BTC can repeat this effort come 2024. 

Bitcoin Whitepaper celebrates its 15th birthday

Bitcoin’s whitepaper kick-started the trillion-dollar crypto industry we see today.  

Happy birthday dear Bitcoin, happy birthday to you! Today marks the 15th birthday of the Bitcoin whitepaper, drafted by Satoshi Nakamoto way back on Halloween in 2008. The anonymous developer(s) of the crypto industry’s most-important blockchain was far from the first to consider the idea of a decentralised, distributed ledger with a peer-to-peer network. But Nakamoto’s thesis, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, was the first to outline a truly actionable framework for such a system.

Bitcoin has come a long way since the whitepaper was released in 2008. The blockchain’s native coin, BTC, was first minted by Nakamoto a few months later in January 2009, valued at just a fraction of a cent. The genesis block of the chain is inscribed with the text “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”, highlighting Nakamoto’s dissatisfaction with the current banking system. 

Hal Finney was the first to ever receive a Bitcoin after Nakamoto sent him 10 Bitcoins on the 12 of January 2009. The first real-world example of BTC being used for payment happened a year later, with programmer Laszlo Hanyecz purchasing two pizzas from Papa John’s for 10,000 BTC.  

The very first halving event for Bitcoin took place in 2012, after the first 210,000 blocks had been mined. At the time, the reward for successfully verifying a block was reduced from 50 to 25 BTC.    

Today, the coin has moved away from its original concept as an international, peerless payment system. It has become more like virtual gold, an inflation-proof asset for investors to hedge against market downturns and store value. Due to this and its supply economics, the price of a single BTC is now worth more $34,500 (AUD $54,497). So just a little bit more valuable than its opening price of about $0.001 AUD! 

Celestia mainnet goes live and launches highly anticipated TIA token

Celestia has been in the works for over four years, with TIA launching at about USD $2.40.  

Celestia has been one of the most anticipated projects in recent memory, with the “modular blockchain” finally going live for the first time on the 31st of October. While the current iteration of the network is far from complete, it already promises to contribute significantly to the overall crypto ecosystem. As a modular chain, Celestia’s primary purpose is to solve scalability issues by focussing on and improving just one blockchain function.

The key to Celestia’s framework is its data availability sampling (DAS), which allows its network to validate a set of data based on just one piece of information (or sample). This makes it incredibly useful to L2 solutions and rollups like Arbitrum – who have long supported the project – that have huge backlogs of data. Rather than being weighed down by having to parse through all this data to verify new transactions, these chains can now outsource this service to Celestia’s DAS, which can quickly and efficiently perform these tasks. 

Celestia has already partnered with several big players in the industry – including Cosmos SDK, OP Stack, Arbitrum Orbit, Crescent and Polaris. The team behind the new project is just as impressive as its ambitions, comprising John Adler (creator of Optimistic Rollups), Nick White (Co-founder of Harmony), Ismail Khoffi (engineer at Tendermint) and Mustafa Al-Bassam (co-founder of Chainspace).  

The total supply of the chain’s native token, TIA, will be 1 billion, with about 6% of this airdropped to 580,000 community members. Whether the project’s potential will be reflected in the value of TIA remains to be seen. Still, one thing’s for sure – modular blockchains are necessary in the current DeFi environment. Celestia could be just the solution we need. 

You can buy Celestia (TIA) with Swyftx. 

Written by

Ben Knight