Bitcoin Tops $38,000 For First Time This Year In Hectic Crypto Week

Bitcoin hit a 2023 high in a week that saw problems at Binance and HTX.

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Bitcoin hit a 2023 high at the end of a week that saw chaos at other cryptocurrencies. 

The price of Bitcoin briefly went over $38,000 on Friday, the first time it's done so this year. This is the first time the cryptocurrency saw those numbers since last summer, and it's been rallying since a dip in the back half of 2022. 

Coinbase, too, reached a 2023 high at the end of the week, at its highest level since spring 2022. But while it's a promising time for some investors, the crypto world has had shakeups this week. 

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Two cryptocurrency platforms were hacked, according to CNBC, with a possible $115 million stolen. The affected platforms are the HTX digital currency exchange, which used to be known as Huobi, and the blockchain bridge Heco Chain. Both are linked to entrepreneur Justin Sun. 

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HTX said it would "fully compensate for any losses incurred due to the hot wallet attack," according to CNBC, and is working on finding the source of the hack. 

Meanwhile, Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), pleaded guilty to federal charges related to money laundering, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday. The plea came with an agreement to pay more than $4 billion.

"Binance became the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in part because of the crimes it committed – now it is paying one of the largest corporate penalties in U.S. history," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. 

The DOJ's statement also included apparent warnings to other crypto platforms, highlighting the work the department has done to crack down on the industry. 

"The message here should be clear: using new technology to break the law does not make you a disruptor, it makes you a criminal," Garland continued. 

"Any institution, wherever located, that wants to reap the benefits of the U.S. financial system must also play by the rules that keep us all safe from terrorists, foreign adversaries, and crime or face the consequences," Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen said in the same announcement. 

Binance users pulled over $1 billion off the exchange since the news came out, CNBC reported

Of course, this all comes in the wake of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried being found guilty of fraud earlier this month, making it a largely chaotic month for the crypto world. 

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Alexandra Svokos
Senior Digital Editor

Alexandra Svokos is the senior digital editor of Kiplinger. She holds an MBA from NYU Stern in finance and management and a BA in economics and creative writing from Columbia University. Alexandra has a decade of experience in journalism, specializing in online newsrooms. She previously served as the senior editor of digital for ABC News, where she directed daily news coverage across topics through major events of the early 2020s for the network's website. Before that, she pioneered politics and election coverage for Elite Daily and went on to serve as the senior news editor for that group. 

Alexandra was recognized with an "Up & Comer" award at the 2018 Folio: Top Women in Media awards, and she was asked twice by the Nieman Journalism Lab to contribute to their annual journalism predictions feature. She has also been asked to speak on panels and give presentations on the future of media, including by the Center for Communication and Twipe.