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Crypto Markets Today: Galaxy Digital Expands Brokerage Services With GK8 Acquisition

Mike Novogratz's cryptocurrency-focused, financial-services firm Galaxy Digital has won an auction to buy self-custody platform GK8 from embattled crypto lender Celsius Network, Galaxy said in a press release Friday.

This article originally appeared in Crypto Markets Today, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today's crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

  • Celsius had put a few of its assets up for sale after filing for bankruptcy in July following a downturn in the crypto market.

  • Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Galaxy spokesman Michael Wursthorn said the price was materially less than what Celsius had paid a year ago. Celsius had acquired GK8 in November 2021 for $115 million, as reported.

  • Galaxy's aim with the acquisition is to expand its prime brokerage offering. Around 40 people would be joining Galaxy's team, including blockchain engineers and cryptographers.

  • Expand Galaxy's global footprint with a new office in Tel Aviv, Israel, is a major outcome of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval. “Adding GK8 to our prime offering at this pivotal moment for our industry also highlights our continued willingness to take advantage of strategic opportunities to grow Galaxy in a sustainable manner,” Novogratz, founder and CEO of Galaxy, said in the release.

  • Previously, in August, Galaxy abandoned its plan to buy crypto custody specialist BitGo for $1.2 billion. At the time Galaxy said BitGo had failed to provide financial statements by a deadline of July 31. The cancellation of the deal prompted BitGo to sue Galaxy for damages in September.

Other News

Liquidators for Three Arrows Capital have seized $35.6 million from the collapsed crypto hedge fund’s bank accounts in Singapore, according to a presentation used in a court hearing on Friday. The money seized by Teneo – the New York-based liquidation firm appointed by a British Virgin Islands court – is the largest chunk of money obtained since Three Arrows imploded in July, leaving a $3.5 billion debt in its wake.

An unknown group of attackers were able to drain some $15 million in liquidity from BNB Chain-based staking platform Helio on Friday morning after exploiting an oracle issue on the protocol, on-chain data shows. The Helio exploit came hours after the decentralized finance protocol Ankr was attacked for $5 million. The Ankr attacker was able to mint 6 quadrillion aBNBc tokens, which they eventually turned into roughly 5 million USDC, as CoinDesk reported.

U.S. economy added an unexpected robust 263,000 jobs in November. Bitcoin was recently hovering near $17,000, recovering from an earlier slide on the news, whereas equities were mixed following the strong job report. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.12% and 0.18%, respectively, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1%. Data from crypto analysis firm IntoTheBlock shows bitcoin's 30-day correlation with the S&P 500 dropped to -0.8, hitting its lowest point since May 2019. “The contrast between crypto's internal troubles and macro's positive tailwinds have led the two to become negatively correlated,” Lucas Outumuro, head of research at IntoTheBlock, wrote in a Friday note.

Altcoin Roundup

(CoinDesk and Highcharts.com)
(CoinDesk and Highcharts.com)
  • Trader Joe: Avalanche-based decentralized exchange (DEX) Trader Joe will soon deploy on Ethereum scaling system Arbitrum. Trader Joe is the largest DEX and lending service on Avalanche, locking up over $95 million worth of tokens as of Friday. This is the first time Trader Joe will be deployed on a separate network. JOE, the native token of the Trader Joe platform, was recently surging 13% to 19 cents over the past 24 hours.

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