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Crypto This Friday: SBF Convicted of Fraud, Block and Coinbase Exceed 3Q Estimates, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
November 03 2023 10:17AM

Sam Bankman-Fried convicted of fraud

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, was quickly convicted of massive frauds, with the jury deliberating in less than a day. Tried in Manhattan and presided over by Judge Kaplan, he faces up to 20 years per charge. This legal milestone highlights the seriousness of his illicit actions and their broad implications for the cryptocurrency industry. Judge Lewis Kaplan has set the sentencing date for March. FTX claims prices have risen by 57%, reflecting the appreciation of AI assets held by the bankrupt exchange. This increase signals a potential larger recovery for creditors in the bankruptcy process. The return ratio of FTX claims exceeds that of other failed crypto companies, increasing expectations for compensation among investors.

SEC seeks expedited trial against Terraform Labs and Do Kwon

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has urged the court to swiftly decide on charges of fraud and unregistered securities offerings against Terraform Labs and Do Kwon. The regulatory agency claims that Kwon’s involvement in Terraform’s violations is undeniable, citing catastrophic market losses for investors, including Americans. In contrast, Terraform Labs and Kwon’s defense has sought to dismantle the SEC’s claims, arguing that the agency has failed to prove securities law violations or fraudulent acts, even after extensive investigation and evidence discovery. This legal showdown is happening concurrently with the trial of Terraform co-founder Daniel Shin in South Korea, where he blames Kwon’s mismanagement for Terra’s collapse.

US labor market deviations and Bitcoin’s unexpected response

US employment data for October revealed an unexpected slight increase in the unemployment rate, rising to 3.9%, contrary to expectations. Additionally, the increase in payrolls was lower than anticipated, suggesting a slowdown in employment growth. Interestingly, Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) remained above $34,000 despite the mixed economic outlook. The expectation now is for a possible modest increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve in December.

Fidelity sees Bitcoin as ‘exponential gold’ and experts anticipate impact of SEC decision

Jurrien Timmer of Fidelity sees Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) as “exponential gold,” potentially superior to gold in inflation resistance. He points out that Bitcoin has a distinct risk-return dynamic and acts as protection against currency depreciation, despite its high volatility and potential recovery. Expectations for a Bitcoin ETF by the SEC are high, but analysts, including Laurent Kssis and Martin Leinweber, warn of a possible price drop if the SEC rejects the proposal, although other events like the Bitcoin halving may mitigate the impact.

Robust growth for Block despite challenging economic climate

Block (NYSE:SQ) reported increased revenue and profits in the third quarter, driven by the success of its Cash App and Square platforms, which have outperformed current economic challenges. On November 2nd, the San Francisco-based company announced a 24% jump in net revenue, reaching $5.62 billion. Even without Bitcoin revenue, there was a 16% increase in revenue to $3.19 billion. Despite a net loss of $29 million, revenue growth from subscriptions and the popularity of Cash App highlight the company’s expansion and resilience. Shares are up more than 11% during Friday’s trading. Bitcoin revenue (COIN:BTCUSD), defined as “the total value of bitcoin sold to customers,” grew by 37% to $2.42 billion, with Cash App generating $45 million in gross Bitcoin profit.

Coinbase exceeds expectations in 3Q despite falling trading volume

In the recent quarter, Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN) exceeded analysts’ estimates, reporting just one cent loss per share and revenue of $674 million, contrary to the forecast of a 55-cent loss per share and $651 million in revenue. However, there was a significant decrease in trading volume. Despite financial strength, the company’s shares fell 4.5% in pre-market trading, following a previous 8.7% increase. Coinbase also faces regulatory challenges and growing competition that could affect the sustainability of its long-term revenues.

Confiscation of 30 thousand Ether linked to drug trafficking

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) seized 30,000 Ether (COIN:ETHUSD), valued at $54 million, linked to illegal drug sales in New Jersey. The funds were traced back to Christopher Castelluzo, a convicted drug dealer who bought Ether in an ICO in 2014 with illegally obtained Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD). Even while incarcerated, he attempted to launder the Ether but was thwarted after authorities intercepted his phone calls. The civil action seeks to recover funds obtained through illicit means, demonstrating the government’s commitment to combating financial crime.

Singapore warns that phishing scam on WhatsApp compromises accounts

Singapore police have warned of a sophisticated scam that captures WhatsApp accounts through fraudulent QR codes. The scheme allows hackers to access and manipulate contacts, requesting financial transfers. Phishing in cryptocurrencies, with its anonymous nature, exacerbates the risk, making fund recovery nearly impossible.

Lazarus “KandyKorn” malware targets blockchain engineers on macOS

It has been discovered that the “KandyKorn” malware, linked to North Korean hackers Lazarus, targets cryptocurrency engineers on macOS. Elastic Security Labs revealed its stealthy functions: data collection, file management, and command execution. The infection starts with corrupted files distributed on Discord, tricking users into installing harmful ZIP files under the guise of an arbitrage bot. This scam highlights Lazarus’s sophistication and growing threat to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) systems.

Trademark conflict: Federal Reserve claims rights against Bitcoin Magazine

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has demanded that Bitcoin Magazine cease using the ‘FEDNOW’ trademark on its products, alleging trademark infringement and potential consumer confusion. Bitcoin Magazine is defending itself, arguing that its use of the trademark constitutes parody and political criticism, invoking freedom of speech protection and refusing to give up its position.

SafeMoon reacts to SEC investigation and reaffirms commitment to users

SafeMoon, a decentralized finance project under SEC scrutiny for possible fraud, is assessing the situation and aims to resolve it swiftly. In a statement via X, the team emphasized its ongoing dedication to users and project progress, despite the recent cyberattack that caused a $8.9 million loss in Binance Coin (COIN:BNBUSD). Analyses suggest that the exploited security breach may have been a critical point for law enforcement investigations.

Ripple and National Bank of Georgia launch pilot for digital currency

The National Bank of Georgia has partnered with Ripple (COIN:XRPUSD), which was chosen to be the technology provider for the central bank’s new digital currency, the Digital Lari. Ripple was highlighted for its proven technical expertise and step-by-step approach to CBDC development. The project aims to modernize financial transactions in Georgia and align the country with global digital initiatives.

BitGo and Copper create strategic alliance in the crypto asset custody market

Cryptocurrency custody companies BitGo and Copper are unifying their custody settlement networks, allowing secure trading on multiple cryptocurrency exchanges directly from cold storage. The integration of BitGo’s Go Network with Copper’s ClearLoop system makes it easier for customers to conduct secure operations on leading platforms, aiming for a robust institutional-level service.

Cardano rises during Summit

During the CardanoSummit2023, the ADA cryptocurrency (COIN:ADAUSD) rose by 19%, surpassing the 200DMA mark after a six-month decline. While developers seek to strengthen the ecosystem, investors are questioning whether it is still the right time to enter the market. ADA is trading at $0.3164, with a 2.1% decrease in the last 24 hours.

Solana reveals positive impact on loyalty and payments sector at Breakpoint conference

During the Solana Breakpoint event in Amsterdam, renowned brands reported success with Solana’s Web3 solutions, highlighting significant advancements in loyalty and payments. Boba Guys, inspired by Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), shared how their Solana-powered loyalty app generated valuable data and increased customer returns. With an 800% ROI, the app encouraged higher customer frequency and spending. Furthermore, Solana Pay’s integration with Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) suggests growing acceptance of Web3 payments among traditional retailers.

Derivio opens its platform on zkSync Era with a focus on DeFi derivatives

Derivio, a decentralized exchange platform for derivatives, has been launched on the zkSync Era network, offering high-speed, low-cost trading of perpetual futures, options, and more. Co-founder Michael Ho highlights a commitment to a “secure and efficient on-chain derivatives system,” targeting $1 billion in daily trading volume within six months. Derivio, which is part of the Binance Labs incubation program, promises to use its innovative system to boost funds and improve market liquidity.

Treehouse expands services in Web3 with acquisition of NFT Origins

Singapore-based Treehouse, specializing in Web3 data, has acquired NFT Origins to enhance its NFT analysis tools. With the acquisition, Origins’ technology and team join Treehouse, bringing advanced features such as NFT wallet monitoring and analytical APIs. Treehouse, which has already raised $18 million in initial funding, remains open to future acquisitions and mergers, aiming to strengthen its position in the NFT ecosystem.

Revolution in the insurance market: Blockchain explosion predicted by 2032

DataHorizzon Research estimates that the application of blockchain in the insurance sector, valued at $1.8 million in 2022, will skyrocket to $98.9 million by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 49.7%. The adoption of this technology promises more agile and secure processes, with transparency and automation of manual procedures. Major industry players are already beginning to adapt to this innovation, contributing to technological advancement and increased security through data decentralization, making them nearly immune to failures or isolated cyberattacks.