Top 10 most popular news stories of the year


Join us as we look at Cointelegraph’s most successful articles of 2023, from presidential candidates in the United States vowing to ban central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the court ruling that XRP isn’t a security, to bankruptcies and ETF filings.

These articles reflect the heartbeat of the crypto space over the past year, offering a snapshot of the subjects that resonated most with our readers.

#1 Ron DeSantis vows to ban CBDCs in the US if elected president 

The U.S. presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has reaffirmed his opposition to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), pledging to ban them in the U.S. if elected.

Speaking at the Family Leadership Summit on July 14, DeSantis declared, “On day one, we will nix central bank digital currency. Done. Dead. Not happening in this country.” He previously signed a bill in Florida prohibiting federal CBDCs and foreign CBDCs, citing concerns about power shifts.

While opponents fear privacy threats, others see CBDCs as a blockchain adoption tool. The U.S. Federal Reserve currently has no immediate plans for a digital dollar, but the landscape may change post-2024 elections.

CBDC projects surged globally, with 100+ countries researching and 39+ nations implementing pilots, proof-of-concepts, or related initiatives, as per Cointelegraph’s CBDC database.

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#2 Breaking: Judge rules XRP is not a security in SEC’s case against Ripple 

On July 13th, the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York granted a partial victory to Ripple Labs in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) case dating back to 2020.

Judge Analisa Torres ruled that (XRP) is not a security when traded on digital asset exchanges but is a security when sold to institutional investors. Initially, the SEC fought to restrict Ripple’s token offering due to its alleged unregistered security status.

The case, ongoing since December 2020, witnessed a surge in the price of (XRP) from $0.45 to $0.61 within minutes of the news. At the time of writing, the (XRP) price is $0.63.

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#3 More than 186 US banks well-positioned for collapse, SVB analysis reveals 

An analysis by economists, sparked by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) on March 10, highlighted the vulnerability of nearly 190 U.S. banks to potential runs. Factors such as rising interest rates, a substantial share of uninsured deposits, and losses in long-term assets were revealed as threats to the banks’ stability.

The study suggests that if only half of uninsured depositors decide to withdraw, around 190 banks could face potential risks, with up to $300 billion in insured deposits at stake.

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#4 SEC lawsuits: 68 cryptocurrencies are now seen as securities by the SEC

As a result of its numerous lawsuits, the SEC expanded its classification of cryptocurrencies as securities to include at least 68 digital assets.

Combined, the lawsuits brought against Binance and Coinbase introduced 23 cryptocurrencies to the SEC’s list, totaling over $100 billion in market value. Notable additions include (BNB), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), and Decentraland (MANA).

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has commented that “everything other than Bitcoin” falls under the agency’s remit. This legal scrutiny covers approximately 10% of the total crypto market capitalization, indicating the SEC’s increasing involvement in regulating the crypto space.

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#5 Former Coinbase CTO makes $2M bet on Bitcoin’s performance 

Former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan placed a $2 million bet on Bitcoin’s (BTC) performance, and predicted it would reach $1 million within 90 days due to hyperinflation in the United States.

The wager was initiated on March 17, with Srinivasan accepting the bet against pseudonymous Twitter user James Medlock. The terms involve a 40:1 odds scenario, with Medlock risking $1 million worth of USD Coin (USDC) and 1 (BTC) if Bitcoin falls short of $1 million by June 17. Bitcoin did not reach the anticipated price point within that time frame.

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#6 BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF now listed on Nasdaq trade clearing firm — Bloomberg analyst

BlackRock’s proposed iShares spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) was listed on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which suggests the potential for approval by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas commented that such a listing could be part of the process before launching a crypto ETF, viewing it positively for SEC approval. The SEC has until Jan. 10, 2024, to decide on BlackRock’s application. If approved, it may open the door for other spot crypto ETFs.

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#7 Here’s how ChatGPT-4 spends $100 in crypto trading

Cointelegraph conducted a crypto-trading experiment with OpenAI’s GPT-4 version of its artificial intelligence (AI) ChatGPT, in which it allocated $100 to various cryptocurrencies based on its learned insights.

The AI recommended distributing the funds as follows: $50 to (BTC), $25 to (ETH), $15 to Cosmos (ATOM), and $10 to “NFT and Web3-related projects.” For its heavy position in (BTC), it cited Bitcoin’s “safe-haven” status amid financial instability and potential trajectory toward $100,000.

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#8 Genesis is planning to file for bankruptcy: Report

On Jan. 18 reports surfaced that Genesis Global Capital, a cryptocurrency lending firm and subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, was preparing to file for bankruptcy due to liquidity issues.

The bankruptcy filing followed the U.S. SEC’s charges against Genesis and crypto exchange Gemini for offering unregistered securities through the Gemini “Earn” program. Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss claimed that Genesis owed the exchange $900 million.

Genesis faced liquidity challenges linked to the collapse of Three Arrows Capital and the bankruptcy of FTX, where Genesis held approximately $175 million.

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#9 Mark Cuban loses $870K in hot wallet hack 

In September, the billionaire investor Mark Cuban reportedly lost nearly $900,000 in crypto from one of his hot wallets.

Blockchain sleuths spotted the hack, with assets like USD Coin (USDC), Tether (USDT), and Lido Staked Ether (stETH) being withdrawn in a 10-minute window. Cuban then confirmed the hack but stated he wasn’t sure how it happened.

This was not the first time Cuban has suffered losses in the crypto market, having suffered from a “rug pull” in June 2021.

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#10 Missing ‘Bitcoin Millionaire’ and ONFO coin co-creator found dead: Report

Dr. John Forsyth, co-founder of the ONFO coin crypto project, was found dead with an apparent gunshot wound about a week after he was reported missing.

Forsyth, an emergency room doctor and crypto advocate, went missing on May 21, which led his family to raise concerns. On May 30, his body was discovered less than a mile away from the hospital where he worked. Forsyth co-founded ONFO coin in 2020, a referral-based crypto project, with his brother Richard.

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Magazine: DeFi’s billion-dollar secret: The insiders responsible for hacks