This Week on Crypto Twitter: Sam Bankman-Fried “Willing to Testify,” Crypto’s New Underlying Signal, Stablecoin Wars Raging

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 even more sparring with the Binance CEO.

The Twitter chat with Maxine Waters, who is also the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, actually Kicked out last week, with the California politician calling on SBF to testify before the committee and even complimenting his “candid” discussion of FTX’s collapse.

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

The hearingfirst announced just days after FTX filed for bankruptcy in November, it should reveal more about how one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry collapsed, leaving millions of investors without access to their money.

After SBF chatter, claiming he didn’t have enough information to be of any use, Waters reminded viewers at home that a subpoena was “definitely on the table” if the former cryptocurrency founder didn’t show up.

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

“I still don’t have access to a lot of my data, professional or personal,” she said tweeted. “So there’s a limit to what I can say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like. But since the committee still thinks it would be helpful, I’m willing to testify on the 13th.”

That’s not all for SBF either.

After Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao called SBF’s behavior “upset” after CZ pulled out of last month’s FTX acquisition, the former Jane Street trader was quick to return fire.

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

Also, it turns out that working on Jane Street doesn’t quite have the same patina that many previously thought. Well, at least in terms of where “high level engineers” go.

Crypto’s Latest Appeal: Artificial Intelligence

If the bottom hadn’t already hit, Crypto’s latest obsession with ChatGPT may have finally signaled its arrival.

With bitcoins And Ethereum trading sideways and volume running low, Twitternauts spent much of the week forcing a bot to answer the industry’s biggest questions.

Maybe if the technology had launched a little earlier, Sam wouldn’t have bothered to communicate accurately with investors.

Cryptocurrency developers also spent the week getting OpenAI’s ChatGPT to run code for various cryptocurrency outlets, such as mixers, decentralized exchanges, and wallets.

Crypto Twitter even got the bot to flip the historically anti-Bitcoin Trump to get poetic about the biggest orange coin in the market.

The stablecoin titans face off

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

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

Don’t forget: Coinbase is part of a consortium of two companies with Circle called Center that launched the USDC stablecoin in 2018.

The move comes on the heels of Circle’s less-than-bullish financial year, with the company postponing its plans to go public. Therefore, the addition of this new incentive to exit the largest stablecoin in the market and in Circle’s offering comes as a clear attempt to strengthen the company’s position in the market.

For some, however, the move seemed “desperate”.

Coinbase’s strategy also created a smaller premium to the USDT dollar peg and an opportunity for Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino to gloat a bit.

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