this week on crypto twitter
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried continued to hold the industry’s attention hostage after a public back-and-forth between Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and yet more sparring with Binance’s CEO.

The Twitter chat with Maxine Waters, who is also chair of the House Financial Services Committee, actually kicked off last week, with the California politician inviting SBF to testify before the committee and even complimenting his “candid” discussion around the collapse of FTX. 


It wasn’t until this week, though, that her tone changed. “It is imperative that you attend our hearing on the 13th,” wrote Waters. 

The hearing, first announced days after FTX’s bankruptcy filing in November, is expected to unpack a bit more about how one of the industry’s largest crypto exchanges collapsed, leaving millions of investors without access to their money. 

After SBF’s waffling, claiming that he didn’t have enough information to be of use, Waters reminded viewers at home that a subpoena was “definitely on the table” should the former crypto founder fail to appear. 

This seemed to have been enough to convince SBF to continue the candid discussion. 

"I still do not have access to much of my data—professional or personal," he tweeted. "So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won't be as helpful as I'd like. But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th."


It didn’t end there for SBF, either. 

After Binance’s CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao called SBF’s behavior “unhinged” after CZ backed out of last month’s FTX buyout, the former Jane Street trader was quick to fire back. 

“You won,” he tweeted. “There's no need to lie, now, about the buyout.”

Also, it turns out that working at Jane Street doesn’t quite have the same veneer as many previously thought. Well, at least in terms of where the “top-tier engineers” go. 

Crypto’s latest fascination: Artificial intelligence

If the bottom wasn’t already in, crypto’s latest obsession with ChatGPT may have finally signaled its arrival.


With Bitcoin and Ethereum trading sideways and volumes drying up, Twitternauts spent much of the week forcing a robot to answer the industry’s biggest questions. 

Perhaps if the technology were launched a bit earlier, Sam wouldn’t be scrambling to communicate with investors accurately. 

Crypto developers also spent the week getting OpenAI’s ChatGPT to spin up code for various crypto staples, like mixers, decentralized exchanges, and wallets. 

Crypto Twitter even got the robot to flip Trump, historically anti-Bitcoin, to wax poetic about the market’s largest orange coin. 


Stablecoin titans face off

This week, Coinbase also rolled out a minor update to its platform (and a major move in the stablecoin wars).

The San Francisco-based crypto exchange is now offering zero-fee conversions for investors looking to swap from Tether’s USDT to Circle’s USDC. 

Don't forget: Coinbase is part of a two-firm consortium with Circle called Centre that launched the USDC stablecoin back in 2018.

The move comes on the heels of Circle’s less-than-bullish financial year, with the firm postponing its plans to go public. Thus, adding this new incentive to hop out of the market’s largest stablecoin and into Circle’s offering comes across as a pretty clear attempt to shore up the firm’s position in the market. 

For some, though, the move came across as “desperate.”

Coinbase's strategy also created a minor premium for USDT’s dollar peg and an opportunity for Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino to do a bit of gloating. 


Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.