Jump Trading, a Chicago-based quantitative trading firm, lost $206 million in the collapse of crypto derivatives exchange FTX, according to Michael Lewis’ book Going Infinite, which references private documents uncovered by ex-FTX COO Constance Wang. Nearly half of the $8.7 billion owed to over 10 million FTX account holders was concentrated in the 50 biggest accounts, though the real names of around half of the list were concealed, according to the book. Many disguised accounts were traced back to FTX employees, including Wang, who faced personal losses amounting to around $25 million.
XRP enthusiast Alex Cobb has shared some fascinating insights into how XRP could make a big difference in international money transfers – giving a more significant threat to the traditional money transfer system. To give you a clear picture, Cobb mentioned that XRP can handle 293 million transactions daily.
Alex Cobb Reveals XRP’s Lightning-Fast Transactions with 293 Million a Day
In a recent tweet, XRP advocate Alex Cobb shared some remarkable insights into the capabilities of the XRP Ledger (XRPL) blockchain. Alex Cobb mentioned that XRP can handle 3,400 transactions every second.
Breaking this down means 204,000 transactions in a minute, 12.24 million transactions in an hour, and 293 million transactions daily.
These vast numbers suggest that XRP has the potential to be a game-changer in the world of global payments, especially for banks worldwide.
Cobb himself stressed that XRP is meant to be a valuable asset for banks worldwide, saying, “XRP is designed to be a helpful tool for banks.”
Daniel Keller Challenges High Transaction Claims
However, not everyone agrees with these numbers. Daniel Keller, an XRPL ambassador and the Chief Technology Officer at Eminence, has raised some critical questions.
Keller has clarified that the 3,400 TPS figure is more like a theoretical maximum possible under ideal conditions in a lab. In the real world, where things are imperfect, XRP may not always perform at that level.
When asked about the typical speed of XRP transactions in real life, Keller said, based on his experience and data, it usually falls between 500 and 700 transactions per second.
It’s also good to note that Ripple’s CTO David Schwartz recently confirmed this view, with the XRP blockchain’s capability increasing from 1,500 to 3,400 transactions per second.
As cryptocurrency keeps evolving, XRP’s role in transforming international payments remains a topic of great interest.
In recent times, Binance, the global blockchain juggernaut, has just saved innocent victims from crypto scammers. The Binance Investigations team has relentlessly pursued crypto-fraud criminal networks in two operations. These efforts demonstrate Binance’s commitment to user security and its vital role in protecting the digital asset ecosystem. We all think the SEC should acknowledge the industry efforts for combating cyber crimes and bring clear crypto rules to safeguard user assets.
Binance’s Two Massive Operations Showed They Combat Scammers
In the first operation, hailed to target the pig butchering scam, five principal members were arrested, and assets valued at around THB 10 billion (approximately $277 million) were seized. These assets included luxury cars, homes, land, and other high-value items. This operation exposed a prevalent scam that primarily preys on novice investors.
In the second operation, Binance collaborated with Thai law enforcement to unravel a large-scale crypto scam orchestrated by a transnational criminal network. It is one of the most massive operations ever as the scammers were spread across 30 locations, including Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Udon Thani provinces.
Binance’s provision of crucial intelligence, including dispatching an investigator to aid in securing an arrest warrant, empowered the Royal Thai Police to confiscate illicit assets, including 16 luxury residences, 12 top-tier vehicles, and THB 16 million (around $440,000) in cash. This operation further highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in combating cybercrime.
The impact was Noteworthy!
CCIB Inspector of the Cyber Support Unit, High-Tech Crime Division Lieutenant Colonel Thanatus Kangruambutr said: “We appreciate Binance’s significant contribution to the disruption of this criminal group. Thailand has lost hundreds of millions to crypto scammers.
Notably, these successful operations not only resulted in significant arrests but also led to the confiscating of substantial assets, delivering a decisive blow to criminal networks engaged in crypto scams. Binance’s active involvement and provision of crucial intelligence were instrumental in the success of these operations, showcasing the company’s commitment to enhancing user security and upholding regulatory compliance in the digital asset ecosystem.
NexGami secures $2M in seed funding, propelling the gamefi leader to a $20M valuation and paving the way for a transformative gaming experience.
Vancouver, Canada – NexGami, a pioneering force in the vibrant landscape of gamefi, is ecstatic to announce the successful completion of a $2 million seed funding round, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s journey. This landmark achievement has propelled NexGami to a post-investment valuation of $20 million, demonstrating the robust faith that investors have in the company’s vision and potential.
The seed round saw the enthusiastic participation of a consortium of renowned investment institutions and forward-thinking angel investors, reaffirming the widespread industry confidence in NexGami. Among the distinguished contributors to this round were Polygon Ventures, Fundamental Labs, and Ledger Capital, alongside other prominent entities.
Brice Bian, Founder and CEO of NexGami, expressed profound gratitude for the unwavering support of the investors, stating, “This funding represents a critical catalyst in advancing our vision. It positions us to welcome one million users into the gamefi ecosystem by 2024.”
One of the most exciting aspects of this development is the strategic alignment of NexGami’s platform within the dynamic Polygon gaming ecosystem. This development underscores NexGami’s commitment to delivering seamless integration solutions and enhancing the gaming experience for users within the Polygon network.
NexGami is poised to revolutionize the gaming world by bridging the gap between traditional gaming and the burgeoning gamefi space. By integrating blockchain technology and decentralized finance elements, NexGami aims to usher in the next million gamers into the gamefi realm by 2024. The company is dedicated to fostering a thriving ecosystem within the eSports industry, providing gamers with exciting new opportunities and experiences.
NexGami stands at the forefront of innovation in the web3 sector, driven by a mission to empower the next generation of gamers and reshape the gaming landscape. With a steadfast commitment to the eSports industry, NexGami is poised to redefine gaming by offering a seamless bridge between traditional gaming and the exciting world of gamefi.
For more information about NexGami, please visit our website: https://www.nexgami.com.
Digital asset investment products experienced a surge in inflows last week, breaking a six-week dry spell. According to CoinShares, a total of $21 million flowed into these products, driven largely by bitcoin investment products, which saw net inflows of $20.4 million. The influx of funds was attributed to steadily rising bitcoin prices, which have increased in the wake of Elon Musk’s recent endorsement of the cryptocurrency. Last week’s inflows represent a sharp recovery from the outflows that had plagued the digital asset market over the past few weeks.
The anonymous exploiter(s) responsible for the hack of the FTX exchange last November has shown signs of life. An eye-popping 2,500 Ether (ETH)—worth a staggering $4 million—has been moved to new addresses. This comes as FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is days away from facing trial on fraud charges in the U.S.
Blockchain analytics firm SpotOnChain was the first to detect the movement, reporting that the wallet linked to the FTX exploit began transactions for the first time in nearly a year. This activity occurred during the early hours of September 30, a Saturday—an interesting choice given weekends often see lower trading volumes, thus maximizing the potential impact on crypto markets.
The Sophisticated Moves
The 2,500 ETH was not simply transferred in one go. The funds were split and routed through a labyrinthine series of transactions. 700 ETH passed through the Thorchain Router, while 1,200 ETH was moved via the Railgun privacy tool. An additional 550 ETH was placed in an intermediate wallet.
Thorchain is known for enabling cross-chain swaps without revealing wallet addresses. In contrast, Railgun is a privacy wallet that shields transactions, making it difficult for watchdogs to trace the exact use of the funds.
Despite these eyebrow-raising movements, an astronomical 12,500 ETH—equivalent to around $21 million—remains dormant in the original wallet. Given this latest activity, the crypto community is abuzz with speculation over when and if these remaining funds will spring into action.
The FTX Backstory: From Bankruptcy to Courtrooms
Last November 11, FTX’s accounts were drained of an astonishing $600 million worth of cryptocurrencies just hours after the exchange filed for bankruptcy, and Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down as its leader. The identity of the attacker(s) has never been confirmed, although rumors persist that it might have been an inside job.
This hacking incident resurfaces just days before Bankman-Fried faces trial for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud charges in the U.S. The trial is expected to be a high-stakes affair, as former FTX and Alameda Research executives who have pleaded guilty are slated to testify against Bankman-Fried.
After the hack, the stolen funds were moved to 12 different crypto wallets, each containing 15,000 ETH. The 2,500 ETH transferred today are part of these initial stash locations. Shortly after the exploit, some 21,500 ETH were converted into DAI stablecoin, while a colossal 288,000 ETH remained untouched in addresses linked to the attacker.
Gemini, the prominent cryptocurrency platform run by the Winklevoss twins, has publicly expressed their dismay over a recent article from the New York Post. According to the platform, the story in question paints a misleading picture of the infamous Gemini Earn program.
Setting the Record Straight
The heart of the controversy revolves around a hefty sum of $282 million. The New York Post had put forth claims regarding this amount, which Gemini has since refuted. Contrary to the story’s insinuations, this money was neither linked to the private accounts of founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss nor related to the resources of their investment entity, Winklevoss Capital.
Gemini clarified that this sum belonged to users of the Earn program. The funds had been pulled back from Genesis, another entity associated with the cryptocurrency market, to fortify a protective measure known as a “liquidity reserve.”
A Protective Move Amidst Market Chaos
During the turbulent market phases throughout 2022, Gemini made a calculated move to enhance this liquidity reserve. This action ensured that users’ funds within the Earn program faced reduced exposure, particularly when Genesis suspended redemptions later that year. Looking back, the decision evidently shielded Gemini Earn users from potential financial setbacks amounting to millions, said the company.
Gemini has shown concern over the portrayal of this protective measure. They believe that their decision, which safeguarded substantial user funds, has been presented out of context, hinting at a possible manipulation of public sentiment. The company—predictably—pointed a finger at Barry Silbert and DCG for being the driving force behind this skewed narrative, especially given Silbert’s ongoing legal complications.
Gemini emphasized their openness to transparent communication and highlighted that the Post could have avoided the blunder had they sought clarity directly from the source. Instead, the hurried publication of a possibly skewed story reflects poorly on the tabloid’s commitment to its readership.
Crypto custody tech company Fireblocks has acquired tokenization firm BlockFold for an undisclosed amount, although sources suggest the figure is $10 million, to expand its capabilities in tokenization. The move will allow traditional assets to be traded on the blockchain, including token customization, orchestration, distribution, and advisory. According to Boston Consulting Group, the market for tokenized assets could reach up to $16 trillion by 2030. The acquisition is aimed at servicing the financial industry’s largest institutions.
It’s just 20 days, and Ripple abandons a $15M deal? The deal was seen as Ripple’s masterstroke as the Fortress Trust deal could have boosted Ripple’s regulatory licenses and standing in the US. Is the delayed crypto bill the cause, or is any significant change expected in today’s party? Let’s see what made Ripple change his mind at a time when the US govt shutdown is nearing. A change to boost adoption and without license in US regions, they are limiting XRP’s reach.
Ripple Adandons $15M Deal but Stays as Investor
Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, confirmed this unexpected turn of events through a tweet, stating that although they had signed a letter of intent for the acquisition, they have now chosen not to proceed with the complete acquisition. However, Ripple will remain an investor in Fortress Trust.
Is it a Security Breach That Triggers Reevaluation
One of the significant reasons behind the cancellation of the deal is the recent security breach at Fortress Trust. On September 7, the company disclosed that four of its customers were affected by a hack that compromised one of its third-party vendors and cloud tools. Initially downplaying the incident, Fortress founder and CEO Scott Purcell admitted to a substantial loss of $12 million to $15 million in cryptocurrency due to the breach.
Ripple Steps In to Cover Loss
In response to the security breach, Ripple extended financial assistance to Fortress Trust, covering the multi-million-dollar loss. Notably, this information was not included in the initial acquisition announcement. So, if you think Ripple may face losses, certainly not. Bloomberg Reports suggest that Ripple is likely to recoup the $15 million it provided to Fortress Trust, as the company plans to reimburse Ripple once it retrieves funds from the third party involved in the hack.
Ripple’s internal Issues?
Purcell spilled the beans on Ripple’s decision in his Bloomberg interview that internal divisions played a role in the breakdown of the acquisition deal. Some employees also reportedly expressed reservations about the plan, potentially contributing to the decision to withdraw from the acquisition.
Potential Implications for Other Companies
Ripple’s decision to pull out of the deal could have ramifications for other companies associated with Fortress Trust. Swan Bitcoin, currently engaged in a joint venture with BitGo to establish a Bitcoin-only trust company in the U.S., may see a shift in its business operations as its direct association with Fortress Trust through Ripple ceases.
Legal Battles Persist for Ripple
Despite this recent twist, Ripple grapples with a high-profile legal battle against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ripple’s native token, XRP, has experienced a modest 0.3% boost in the last 24 hours, maintaining its position as the fifth-largest cryptocurrency in the market, trading at $0.5056.
The Uniswap Foundation has put forward a proposal to request $62.37 million to support the growth of the ecosystem. The funds will be allocated to developer support, research funding, and other initiatives aimed at enhancing the platform. The proposal is set to be voted on on October 4, after which the funds will be distributed to the various projects. Uniswap also revealed plans to further develop the Hooks ecosystem, which has been gaining popularity within the community. The proposal marks a significant step forward in Uniswap’s continued efforts to expand its platform and support its users.
The post Avantis Labs Raises $4 Million in Seed Funding for Decentralized Exchange! appeared first on Coinpedia Fintech News
Avantis Labs has secured $4 million in seed funding in a round led by Pantera Capital. Other participants include the Founders Fund and Coinbase’s Base Ecosystem Fund, among others. The protocol aims to offer investors the ability to trade cryptocurrencies and real-world assets (RWAs) with up to 100x leverage on its decentralized exchange. This move further bolsters the adoption and utility of decentralized exchanges as more investors seek exposure to cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
Binance CEO Teases Justin Sun Over Huobi’s Name Change Amid $7.9 Million Hack, Offers Hand In Tracking Stolen Assets
Crypto exchanges often find themselves struggling with hackers. But amidst the challenges, there’s always room for a little banter, especially when it comes from industry giants. Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, the CEO of Binance, couldn’t resist taking a playful jab at Justin Sun, the founder of Huobi Global, after the latter’s exchange faced a hack of over $7.9 million. The incident came just a week after Huobi underwent a rebranding, changing its name to HTX—a move that many noted bore a striking resemblance to another major exchange, FTX-now bankrupt.
Binance Wants To Support HTX In Tracking Stolen Funds
HTX, previously known as Huobi, suffered a security breach resulting in a loss of 500 ether (ETH), valued at approximately $8 million. The breach, which took place on Sunday, was promptly detected. Justin Sun, HTX adviser and founder of Tron, assured that HTX has compensated for the losses and all funds remain secure. He shared this update on the social media platform X, previously recognized as Twitter.
A recognized hot wallet from Huobi conveyed a message in Chinese to the attacker. The message indicates that the exchange is aware of the attacker’s identity and has proposed allowing them to retain 5% of the siphoned funds as a “white-hat reward.” However, this is contingent upon the attacker returning the other 95%.
Sun said, “$8 million represents a relatively small sum in comparison to the $3 billion worth of assets held by our users. It also amounts to just two weeks’ revenue for the HTX platform. As a result, all funds are secure, and trading operations have continued as usual. We promptly addressed and resolved all issues, restoring the platform to its normal state without delay.”
In a cheeky tweet, CZ remarked, “A week after you rename your exchange after FTX”. The aim was clear: the name change might have brought with it some unexpected and unwanted attention.
However, CZ extended Binance’s willingness to assist in the aftermath of the hack. “Jokes aside, our security team will help in tracking hacker funds in all cases where we can,” he added.
Huobi’s HTX Name Brings Attention
On the 10th anniversary, cryptocurrency exchange Huobi underwent a rebranding, transitioning from “Huobi” to “HTX.” This move has drawn significant attention on social media due to its resemblance to the name of the now-bankrupt exchange, FTX. The parallels to FTX, whose founder Sam Bankman-Fried is currently facing 13 fraud-related charges, have raised eyebrows and sparked discussions among users.
One observer commented on X, wondering about Huobi’s transition to HTX and mentioning it reminded them of FTX. Another user on X debated the decision, suggesting that the first thing on everyone’s mind would be the similarity between FTX and HTX. This user also expressed doubt over why a brand would choose such a name, especially after FTX’s downfall in 2022.
A hot wallet belonging to HTX, formerly known as Huobi, was reportedly attacked, resulting in a loss of $7.9 million. The cyberattack was confirmed by cybersecurity firm Cyber Alerts, which reported that the attackers targeted the wallet, which contains cryptocurrencies that are available for immediate transactions. The identity of the attacker remains unknown, but HTX informed them via Etherscan that their true identity had been confirmed, requesting a return of funds and offering a 5% “white hat” bonus valid until October 2, 2023. It is unclear whether the hacker will comply with the request.
A North Korean hacking group, the Lazarus Group, holds around $47 million in cryptocurrency, primarily Bitcoin, according to data collated on Dune Analytics. Surprisingly, the group does not hold any privacy coins, which are much harder to trace. The group has been implicated in a number of attacks, including the Stake.com hack and the CoinEx attack, which resulted in the loss of at least $55 million. However, according to Chainalysis, North Korea-linked hackers will be responsible for 80% fewer crypto thefts in 2023 than in the previous year. US federal authorities recently warned of the “significant risk” of Lazarus Group attacking healthcare and public health sector entities.
Crypto exchange FTX has filed a lawsuit against former employees of Salameda to recover $157.3 million. The Hong Kong-incorporated entity was controlled by FTX’s ex-CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, and allegedly participated in fraudulently withdrawing assets from FTX in the days leading up to its November 2022 bankruptcy filing. The filing also alleges that the defendants exploited their connections to FTX personnel to ensure they were prioritized over other customers. This is not the first time FTX has attempted to recover payments from related parties, with Bankman-Fried and his executives, parents, and philanthropic arm all previous targets.
The Optimism Foundation recently unloaded a whopping 116 million OP tokens, valued at $157 million, in a private & planned sale citing ‘treasury management purposes.’ The transaction, while planned, has rekindled the ongoing debate about the true essence of decentralization in the crypto-sphere.
The sale of the tokens was conducted privately and involved seven undisclosed buyers. The tokens were drawn from an unallocated section of Optimism’s treasury, which is still flush with around $1.25 billion, according to DefiLlama data.
The buyers can delegate the newly acquired tokens to third parties, enabling them to participate in blockchain governance. This feature has raised eyebrows, considering the potential to disrupt the power dynamics in the Optimism ecosystem.
Financials and Market Response
Despite the successful sale, OP tokens haven’t enjoyed a bullish phase. The current trading price is $1.35, registering a 2.19% dip in the last 24 hours. Additionally, the circulating supply of OP tokens is 18.59%, which begs questions about the scarcity and demand of these tokens.
Earlier this week, Optimism also issued its third community airdrop, distributing 19.4 million tokens among over 31,000 users. However, a further 570 million tokens have been earmarked for future airdrops, adding another layer of complexity to the tokenomics of OP.
The Controversy: A Question of Governance?
The token sale hasn’t gone down well with everyone in the crypto community. A tweet by crypto influencer Hsaka critiqued the process, highlighting the absence of a community vote in the decision to sell the tokens. “In a truly decentralized world, there would have been a vote for this sale,” Hsaka tweeted, along with a hypothetical voting scenario illustrating how the community could have blocked the sale.
Another Twitter user pointed out that the tokens were sold to seven anonymous investment funds with a lock-in period of two years, raising further questions about the transparency and decision-making process within the Optimism community.
The Optimism Foundation made a lot of money from its big token sale but also upset some people who care about shared decision-making. In a world where everyone is supposed to have a say, ignoring that is against the principles of decentralization.
San Francisco’s blockchain powerhouse Ripple Labs has made headlines with an eye-catching series of high-volume XRP transfers. The latest data indicates that Ripple moved 105 million XRP tokens, equivalent to roughly $52.8 million in fiat, through two major transactions. Let’s delve into the intricacies of these transfers and what they might mean for Ripple and the larger crypto ecosystem.
According to Whale Alert, the first transaction saw 75 million XRP transferred to an “unknown” wallet. The second transaction involved a sum of 30 million XRP being moved to Bitstamp, a popular crypto exchange.
Both transactions were later confirmed to be initiated by Ripple Labs. Bithomp, an analytics platform focusing on XRP, detailed that the second transfer was also associated with a wallet linked to Ripple.
Digging Deeper into Redistribution
The 75 million XRP was initially transferred to one of Ripple’s own wallets. Subsequently, 46 million XRP were moved to another anonymous wallet. This pattern could suggest an Over-The-Counter (OTC) trade, a commonly used mechanism for large-volume transactions to minimize slippage or a strategic redistribution of assets by Ripple.
The Mysterious 100 Million XRP Inflow
Adding a layer of complexity to this narrative, over the weekend, Ripple received a staggering 100 million XRP from an unknown source. This source was later revealed to be the Canadian SideShift crypto exchange. The motivations for this inflow are still unclear, yet it mirrors past instances when major exchanges like Binance transferred substantial amounts to Ripple. Neither party has commented on these transfers, deepening the intrigue.
Impact on XRP Prices
Since the news broke, XRP has witnessed a positive price movement. After an initial drop, the cryptocurrency rebounded, resulting in a net gain of 3.96% since Monday. As of this writing, XRP is trading at $0.50896 on Bitstamp.
Ripple’s 105 million XRP transactions have created a buzz that’s impossible to ignore. While the reasons behind these transfers and their impact on the crypto market remain to be fully understood, what’s clear is that Ripple continues to be a dominant force in the blockchain landscape, keeping investors and analysts on their toes.
Optimism, a layer 2 network built on the Ethereum network, has announced its third OP token airdrop, worth $26 million, to 31,870 addresses that participated in delegation activities of its DAO, the Optimism Collective. The rewards were based on the number of tokens delegated by a user and the duration for which they were held. A minimum threshold of 18,000 units was set, and to ensure a fair distribution, rewards were capped at 10,000 OP tokens for each address. The airdrop was aimed at increasing engagement on the platform and rewarding user participation.
Bastion, a startup co-founded by former a16z Crypto executives, has raised $25 million in a seed round led by a16z Crypto. The firm aims to simplify the process for companies to adopt blockchain-based technology and onboard Web3 users. Bastion plans to use the funding to hire regulatory and compliance executives. The co-founders, Nassim Eddequiouaq and Riyaz Faizullabhoy, previously worked in Meta’s security infrastructure for the blockchain sector for two years. Other investors in the round included Laser Digital Ventures, Robot Ventures, Packy McCormick, and Not Boring Capital.
The post OKX Sets a New Record: Burns 6.14 Million OKB Tokens in the 21st Repurchase! appeared first on Coinpedia Fintech News
Crypto exchange OKX has conducted its 21st repurchase and burning of its native token OKB, with approximately 6.14 million tokens burned, worth around $255 million. This has set a new record for the value of OKB burned. OKX had previously stated that the token would be burned based on seasonal market and operating performance but had not disclosed specific rules around the process. The exchange has been regularly burning OKB since May 2019 as part of its efforts to increase the token’s value and stabilize its market.
Retool, a cybersecurity firm, has revealed that approximately $15 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from Fortress Trust, along with 26 other cryptocurrency accounts, due to a hack. The attacker was able to gain control of the Google account, which gave them access to the Google Authenticator cloud sync function. This allowed the attacker to control the data stored on Google Authenticator, resulting in unauthorized access to the various cryptocurrency accounts. This highlights the vulnerability of cloud-based services, demonstrating the importance of taking appropriate security measures to protect sensitive data.
Celsius and Core Scientific Cores, two crypto mining companies, have tentatively agreed to settle their long-running legal dispute for $45 million. Celsus will pay $14 million in cash, with the remainder settled through adjusted claims. However, this settlement still needs approval from judges in Texas and New York, where both companies filed for bankruptcy.
The filing read, “After months of negotiations, Celsius and [Core Scientific] have now consensually resolved their long-running disputes and agreed to a global settlement that will fully resolve this litigation. The Settlement also resolves the protracted and expensive litigation with Core and cuts off the significant costs that would have been incurred if the Parties were to fully litigate their claims against each other in two bankruptcy courts.”
The dispute began in October 2022 when Core Scientific claimed Celsus hadn’t paid its bills, while Celsus argued that Core Scientific hadn’t used mining rigs as agreed in their contract. Both firms separately filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US, Core Scientific in Texas in December 2022, and Celsus in New York in July 2022.
Adam Sullivan, CEO of Core Scientific said, “We are pleased to resolve all existing litigation related to Celsius Mining. With unwavering focus, we continue to deliver on our commitment to enhance the operational excellence of the organization and emerge from our restructuring process later this year even stronger. Executing our three-year roadmap to drive growth, we plan to expand our two operational Texas data centers to provide sufficient capacity for us to remain one of the largest and most efficient Bitcoin producers at scale in North America.”
Importantly, this legal dispute is separate from the criminal charges against former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky and former Chief Revenue Officer Roni Cohen-Pavon. Mashinsky faces charges related to fraud and market manipulation, while Cohen-Pavon pleaded guilty to four charges in September and awaits sentencing in December.
Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun has confirmed that he transferred $815 million worth of TrueUSD (TUSD) into his JustLend platform. The TUSD was eventually replaced by WSTUSDT and deposited into JustLend. This move resulted in a 21.5% increase in JustLend’s total value locked (TVL) within 24 hours. Sun claimed that the transactions were his personal funds and had nothing to do with HTX’s business. The transfer, however, has raised speculation among cryptocurrency enthusiasts about the motives behind Sun’s move. This comes after Sun was recently linked to a controversy involving another cryptocurrency platform, Poly Network, where he was accused of defrauding $610 million.
The post Coinbase Earns $1 Million from Ethereum crash, doesn’t Compensate Victims! appeared first on Coinpedia Fintech News
Coinbase, the largest U.S. exchange, has reportedly made a profit of around $1 million due to the recent Ethereum price crash. Market participants and observers have said that Coinbase is sitting on this inadvertent windfall and has not surrendered it to the victims. It is not currently obligated to do so. The incident occurred due to a bug in Ethereum’s network and led to a temporary crash in the cryptocurrency’s price. Coinbase stopped trading for a few minutes during the incident and has since resumed normal operations. The incident highlights the need for exchanges to have proper risk management systems in place to avoid such situations in the future.
Crypto mining providers Celsius and Core Scientific have reached a $45 million tentative settlement to resolve a long-standing legal dispute. Celsius will pay $14 million in cash and the rest in adjusted claims. The settlement must be approved by judges in Texas and New York, where Core and Celsius filed for bankruptcy, respectively. The deal also involves Celsius acquiring Cedarvale, an 85-acre Texas mining site. Celsius had filed claims for $312 million after Core powered down its mining rigs in January, citing unpaid dues. The settlement ends expensive litigation between the firms.
Stoner Cats 2 LLC, the entity behind the animated series, has agreed to pay a $1 million settlement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC charged the company with illegally raising about $8 million from the sale of more than 10,000 NFTs within a mere 35 minutes on July 27, 2021. Notably, the settlement comes without any admission or denial of wrongdoing on Stoner Cats 2 LLC’s part.
Stuart Alderoty, the Chief Legal Officer of Ripple Labs Inc., expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of the SEC’s actions. While Alderoty didn’t comment on the specifics of the Stoner Cats case, he did state that settlements to “avoid a crushing SEC process without admitting or denying anything” are not legally binding. He inferred that when the SEC is taken to court, it continues to lose.
What the SEC Has to Say?
According to Gurbir Grewal, Director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC, the criteria for labeling an asset a “security” revolves around its economic substance rather than its external attributes or labeling. The message from the SEC seems clear: It doesn’t matter if your offering is as cute as a kitten or as wild as a chinchilla; if it looks like a security and acts like a security, the SEC will treat it as such.
James K. Filan, a former Federal Prosecutor, and Bill Morgan, an Australian Lawyer and Digital Asset enthusiast, both critiqued the SEC’s approach. They argue that the regulatory body is more burdensome than protective, especially in a market it doesn’t fully understand. He also applauded that Ripple fought and got a ‘not security’ status for its token XRP.
What Makes NFTs Securities?
Mike Selig, a Crypto & Finreg lawyer, highlighted several factors contributing to the SEC’s viewpoint:
- Rights Reservation: Unlike Creative Commons Zero – CCO – (no rights reserved), the Stoner Cats NFTs reserved all commercial rights to the underlying intellectual property, a key variable in determining them as securities.
- Marketing Strategy: The issuer promoted the NFTs as an investment that would increase in value with the success of an associated animated series—echoing the ICO boom that swept the crypto industry in 2017.
- Royalties: The issuer received a 2.5% royalty on secondary sales, which, according to the SEC, incentivized the issuer to boost secondary trading.
The Stoner Cats 2 LLC case has ignited renewed scrutiny on whether NFTs are the ICOs of this new crypto era. Legal experts argue that Ripple’s resistance against the SEC’s regulations has at least set a single token aside as a non-security, but the general mood suggests that the SEC is far from finished in tightening its regulatory grip on crypto-assets.
In the world driven by Fiat currencies, Bitcoin is the pioneering force that brought the concept of decentralized finance to the forefront. With its fixed supply cap of 21 million coins, Bitcoin introduced the world to digital scarcity. But as we inch closer to this cap, a pressing question emerges: What happens when all these coins are mined? This article delves deep into the implications of this eventuality, not just within the crypto realm but also in the broader macroeconomic landscape.
Understanding Bitcoin Mining:
Bitcoin mining is the process by which new Bitcoins are introduced into circulation and is also a critical component of the maintenance and development of the blockchain ledger. Miners use powerful computers to solve complex mathematical problems, and upon successfully solving these problems, they get the right to add a new block to the blockchain. For this service, they are rewarded with newly minted Bitcoins.
Mining serves two primary purposes:
- It allows for creating new Bitcoins at a controlled and diminishing rate.
- It secures the Bitcoin network by validating and confirming transactions, ensuring their authenticity, and preventing double-spending.
The Essence of Bitcoin Mining:
Bitcoin mining is the backbone of the Bitcoin network. Miners validate and record transactions on the blockchain, ensuring the network’s security and integrity. As a reward, they receive bitcoins. This reward, however, isn’t constant.
Matthew Crowder from Trader University explains that the reward consists of the block subsidy and transaction fees. The block subsidy started at 50 BTC and undergoes a “halving” approximately every four years. As of now, it stands at 6.25 BTC. This predictable reduction ensures that Bitcoin remains scarce and valuable.
The Phenomenon of Halving:
Approximately every four years (or technically, every 210,000 blocks), the reward given to Bitcoin miners for processing transactions is cut in half. This process is known as “Bitcoin Halving.” It’s a deliberate mechanism coded into the Bitcoin protocol to control inflation.
The immediate effect of halving is that miners receive 50% fewer Bitcoins for verifying transactions. This can impact their profitability, especially if the price of Bitcoin doesn’t increase proportionally. Over time, as the reward decreases, the transaction fees become a more significant portion of miners’ income.
Historically, halvings have led to significant price surges. The reduced supply of new Bitcoins entering the market, combined with steady or increasing demand, often leads to upward price pressure. However, other macroeconomic factors can also influence the price, so while halvings are significant, they’re not the sole determinant of Bitcoin’s price.
The Future: All Bitcoins Mined
Once all 21 million Bitcoins are mined, the network will no longer provide Bitcoin rewards for mining. However, since transactions will continue, miners can still earn fees. The Bitcoin protocol may also undergo changes or updates that could introduce new dynamics to the mining process. This may lead to multiple implications for Miners, such as:
1. Transaction Fees as the New Incentive:
- The Current Landscape: As of now, miners are rewarded with the block subsidy and transaction fees. The block subsidy, which started at 50 BTC, undergoes a “halving” approximately every four years. As Matthew Crowder from Trader University highlighted, this subsidy is on a predictable decline, and by design, it will eventually reach zero.
- The Shift to Transaction Fees: Once the block subsidy is fully phased out, transaction fees will become the sole incentive for miners. This could lead to concerns about these fees skyrocketing, making Bitcoin transactions expensive. However, it’s essential to understand that the Bitcoin ecosystem isn’t static.
- Off-chain Solutions: Technologies like the Lightning Network are being developed to handle transactions off the main Bitcoin blockchain, offering faster and cheaper transaction solutions. This alleviates potential fee hikes and ensures that Bitcoin remains scalable and usable for everyday transactions.
Lightning network capacity is on an ascending trend, with its current capacity at 4,728 BTC.
2. Network Security:
- Historical Perspective: One of the most significant achievements of the Bitcoin network has been its increasing hash rate. As Crowder pointed out, despite the periodic halvings, the hash rate (indicative of the network’s security) has consistently risen. This is a testament to Bitcoin’s robust security mechanisms, and the trust miners have in the network’s future.
- The Role of Transaction Fees: As the last Bitcoin is mined, the increasing value of transaction fees, especially if Bitcoin’s price continues its upward trajectory, will play a pivotal role in incentivizing miners. Miners won’t just abandon the network; the transaction fees, especially during periods of high network activity, can be substantial.
- Decentralization and Security: The decentralized nature of Bitcoin ensures that no single entity has control, making it resistant to attacks. The collective effort of miners worldwide, driven by economic incentives, will continue to uphold this security.
3. Economic Implications:
Bitcoin’s Appreciating Value: Crowder emphasized the historical trend in which Bitcoin’s increasing fiat value compensated for the decreasing block subsidy. For instance, while 50 BTC was once worth $500, today, even with a much smaller block subsidy, the value in fiat terms is significantly higher due to Bitcoin’s appreciation.
Bitcoin as a Global Reserve Currency: Unlike traditional fiat currencies, which are inflationary due to central banks’ ability to print more money, Bitcoin has a fixed supply. This makes it inherently deflationary. As the supply of new bitcoins entering the market stops, and assuming demand remains constant or increases, the value of Bitcoin is likely to rise.
In a world where Bitcoin becomes a dominant store of value or medium of exchange, its deflationary nature could encourage saving over spending. This starkly contrasts to inflationary economies, where money loses value over time, encouraging spending or investment.
This could lead to a shift in global trade dynamics. Countries with significant Bitcoin holdings might experience increased economic power, while those reliant on fiat currency manipulation might find their influence waning.
4. The Rising Debt in the Bitcoin Industry:
The Bitcoin mining industry is at a crossroads. As the next halving event in 2024 approaches, miners are grappling with increasing operational costs and a looming reduction in block rewards. This situation is further complicated by the rising debt burdens many miners face.
The global mining industry’s debt ranges between $4.5 billion to $6 billion. This debt encompasses senior debt, loans collateralized by mining rigs, and Bitcoin-backed loans. Notably, 12 major public mining companies had outstanding loans totaling around $2 billion at the end of the first quarter.
This surge in borrowing was partly fueled by miners relocating to North America from China after China’s domestic mining ban in 2021. The US capital market, more accessible than China’s, has facilitated this debt financing.
With reduced revenue and increasing operational costs, repaying the accumulated debt becomes daunting. Miners might struggle to meet their debt obligations, especially if Bitcoin’s price doesn’t rise proportionally to offset the reduced block rewards.
Implications of Carrying Forward Debts Post All Bitcoins Mined:
- Reduced Revenue Streams: Once all Bitcoins are mined, miners will rely solely on transaction fees for revenue. If these fees don’t suffice to cover operational costs and debt repayments, miners could face significant financial strain.
- Asset Liquidation: Miners might be forced to liquidate assets, including mining equipment or any Bitcoin holdings, to meet debt obligations. This could flood the market with mining hardware, reducing its value and potentially causing a temporary drop in Bitcoin’s price if miners sell large amounts.
- Shift in Mining Dynamics: Miners might prioritize transactions with higher fees to maximize revenue, potentially leading to longer confirmation times for low-fee transactions. This could change the user experience and utility of the Bitcoin network.
- Potential for Debt Restructuring: Given the unique challenges of the post-mining era, there might be initiatives from financial institutions to restructure debts for miners, offering more favorable terms or extended repayment periods.
On-Chain Data Insights
Hash Rate Over Time
The hash rate measures the total computational power used for mining on the Bitcoin network.
A higher hash rate indicates increased participation and security for the network. It’s a testament to the trust and commitment miners have in the network’s future. Historically, the hash rate has shown a consistent rise, especially around halving events.
While the hash rate might experience short-term fluctuations due to reduced block rewards, the increasing value of transaction fees and Bitcoin’s price appreciation could sustain or even boost the hash rate in the long run.
Miner revenue combines block rewards and transaction fees, providing a comprehensive view of miners’ earnings. It offers insights into the economic incentives for miners to continue their operations. As block rewards decrease due to halvings, transaction fees have become a more significant portion of this revenue.
With block rewards phased out, transaction fees will dominate miner revenue. The sustainability of mining operations will hinge on the balance between transaction fee rates and network activity.
The mempool size indicates the total number of unconfirmed transactions in the Bitcoin network. It provides insights into network congestion and potential transaction wait times. Periods of high network activity can lead to a rising mempool, indicating potential congestion.
As transaction fees become the primary miner incentive, a consistently high mempool might lead to increased fees. However, off-chain solutions and protocol optimizations could alleviate potential congestion.
Mining difficulty measures how challenging it is to find a new block on the Bitcoin network. It ensures that blocks are found at a consistent rate, maintaining the network’s rhythm and security. Mining difficulty adjusts based on network activity and has generally increased over time, reflecting growing competition among miners.
The difficulty might stabilize or even decrease if miner participation drops due to reduced incentives. However, the interplay between transaction fees and Bitcoin’s value could keep the network competitive and have difficulty adjusting upwards.
Historically, each Bitcoin halving has been accompanied by significant price surges. While predicting the exact price is challenging due to various external factors, many analysts believe that the scarcity induced by halvings could drive Bitcoin’s price upwards.
By the time of the last halving, which is expected to occur in 2140, Bitcoin might have reached unprecedented value, potentially solidifying its position as a global reserve asset.
Coinpedia’s Bitcoin price prediction analysis suggests that by 2030, Bitcoin’s price could range between $277,751 to $347,783. The next significant milestone for Bitcoin is the fourth halving, expected in March 2024.
This event will reduce the miner’s block reward to 3.125 BTC per new block. Historical trends suggest that Bitcoin’s price might create a new high post this halving, potentially reaching up to $74,967.
Yet, history has shown that with challenges come innovations. The Bitcoin community, miners, and stakeholders worldwide will undoubtedly navigate these complexities, ensuring that Bitcoin’s legacy as a revolutionary financial instrument endures. The road ahead is uncertain, but the resilience and adaptability of the Bitcoin ecosystem give us reason for optimism.
Ripple Labs, led by CEO Brad Garlinghouse, has transferred totaling 132 million XRP in the past 24 hours. Notable crypto transaction monitor, Whale Alert, spotlighted these moves, igniting a frenzy of speculation within industry chat rooms. While the larger transfer, involving 100 million XRP, appears to circulate within Ripple’s wallets, a substantial sum of 32 million XRP found its way to the Bitstamp exchange.
The Tale of the 132 Million XRP Transfers
The crypto watchdog, Whale Alert, blew the whistle on two colossal XRP transactions that had community chat rooms humming with theories faster than you can say “blockchain.” Ripple Labs initiated a mammoth 100 million XRP transfer to an anonymous address, only for the XRP to make a U-turn back into another of Ripple’s own wallets. To add to the saga, 32 million XRP were sent directly to the Bitstamp exchange.
The community, predictably, has its eyebrows raised and asked questions. One comment struck a particularly resonant chord, asking, “Do I smell settlement?” only to receive a counter-reply, “No, you smell sell-off.” For those keeping track, XRP’s price slipped to $0.4732 after these moves, casting a slight pall over the crypto.
Institutional Play: A Gamble or Long-Term Strategy?
Meanwhile, CoinShares’ recent weekly report revealed a $0.7 million inflow into XRP-based products from institutional investors—echoing the inflow seen over the past month. Are the big guns looking past Ripple’s current courtroom battles, seeing a long-term golden goose? Or is this a risky gamble that could backfire?
Acquisition and Responsibility: The Fortress Trust Move
Adding another layer of complexity, Ripple announced its acquisition of blockchain startup Fortress Trust, even taking on the liability of a recent security incident impacting the latter’s customer base. While many in the industry applaud the acquisition as a sign of Ripple’s maturity, questions about its financing remain. Some community members ponder whether the firm leveraged its XRP holdings to underwrite the deal—a move that could signal a complex financial strategy or stoke further skepticism.
As Ripple and its flagship cryptocurrency, XRP, stand at a crossroads, one thing is clear: The decisions being made today will have a far-reaching impact on the crypto-landscape of tomorrow.
Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming firm Animoca Brands has raised $20 million through the issuance of new ordinary shares for A$4.50 per share. As part of the funding round, the company has awarded investors a free-attaching utility token warrant on a 1:1 basis. The capital will be used to develop Animoca Brands’ gaming and blockchain initiatives, including its non-fungible token (NFT) platform, which allows players to own unique game assets. Animoca Brands has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Formula 1, Sesame Street, and Garfield.
Ripple, the blockchain company, is making significant strides in Europe, signaling its commitment to both crypto education and strengthening its European connections. In a recent development, Ripple has expanded its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) program by forging partnerships with four prominent European universities: IE University in Spain, the University of Trento in Italy, EPITA in France, and Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.
This initiative aims to advance blockchain research and education across Europe. Is this move to only educate the folks or the firm is strengthening its ties with Europe as the US is getting a bit hard on crypto rules?
Investing in Europe’s Blockchain Future
Notably, over the past five years, UBRI has invested over $11 million in its partner institutions in Europe, contributing to the region’s emergence as a global blockchain hub. This move reflects Ripple’s commitment to equip the next generation with practical skills for real-world blockchain applications.
IE University, one of Ripple’s partner institutions, is planning to host a three-day virtual workshop focused on asset regulation for students, as part of their collaboration with UBRI.
“We are delighted to partner with Ripple’s #UBRI and IE University is proud to help prepare the next generation of leaders toward a crypto- and blockchain-enabled economy with the support of #UBRI for years to come.”
Eric van Miltenburg, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Ripple, highlighted the importance of this blockchain research initiative. The firm aims to equip the next generation with practical skills to harness the potential of blockchain for real-world applications.
UBRI’s Global Expansion
Ripple initially launched its UBRI program in Japan in 2019. Notably, the number of young people in Japan using cryptocurrencies has surged, primarily among individuals in their twenties, according to recent statistics. While there may not be a direct link between the UBRI program and this trend, it raises questions about its role in piquing the interest of young people in volatile assets.
One thing is clear; Ripple’s approach is focused on the long term, as it continues to expand its global footprint.
By extending its UBRI program into Europe, Ripple is not only fostering blockchain research and education but also strengthening its ties with the continent, positioning itself strategically in the evolving crypto landscape.