NY sues crypto firms, FTX’s Nishad faces 75 years in jail, and Grayscale’s new BTC filing: Hodler’s Digest, Oct. 15-21

Keep an eye on the lawsuit against Gemini, Genesis and Digital Currency Group, Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial, and Grayscale’s new Bitcoin ETF filing.

by Editorial Staff 7 min October 21, 2023
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Top Stories This Week

Grayscale files for new spot Bitcoin ETF on NYSE Arca

Major cryptocurrency investment firm Grayscale Investments has filed a new application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a new spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The new filing aligns with Grayscale’s ongoing effort to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF, according to a statement from the firm. The news comes weeks after Grayscale won an SEC lawsuit for its spot Bitcoin ETF review, with a court of appeals ordering the SEC to explain why it rejected Grayscale’s application in June 2023. The company also filed with the SEC to list an Ether futures ETF in September.

New York Attorney General sues Gemini, Genesis, DGC for allegedly defrauding investors

New York’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against cryptocurrency firms Gemini, Genesis and Digital Currency Group (DCG) for allegedly defrauding more than 23,000 investors through the Gemini Earn investment program. The suit claims that Gemini assured investors that the program was a low-risk investment, while investigations carried out by the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James found that Genesis’ financials “were risky.” The lawsuit also charges Genesis’ former CEO, Soichiro Moro, and its parent company’s CEO, Barry Silbert, with defrauding investors by attempting to conceal more than $1.1 billion in losses. In addition, the court case looks to ban Gemini, Genesis and DCG from operating in the financial investment industry in New York.

Former FTX engineering director faces up to 75 years in prison following guilty plea

Nishad Singh, the former engineering director at now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, faces up to 75 years in prison for charges related to defrauding users of the crypto exchange. He pleaded guilty to fraud charges as part of his cooperation agreement with the U.S. prosecutors. During his testimony this week, Singh said that when liquidity issues at FTX began in November 2022, he felt “suicidal for some days” while dealing with alleged inconsistencies between the exchange’s public statements and its activities behind the scenes. Singh also claimed that Bankman-Fried had the habit of deciding on purchases through Alameda Research by himself.

Binance shutting down European Visa debit card in December

Binance Visa debit card services will close down in the European Economic Area in December, marking the latest setback for Binance. The termination of the card services was announced a day after the exchange restored euro deposits and withdrawals, which had been unavailable for a month after payments processor Paysafe dropped the exchange. Binance is still not onboarding new users in the United Kingdom due to the loss of a third-party service provider.

Elon Musk, Mark Cuban team up to contest SEC trial strategies

Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and others have collaboratively submitted a shared amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States to raise concerns about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approach to conducting internal proceedings without the inclusion of juries. The context of this legal challenge centers around the SEC vs. Jarkesy case. George Jarkesy argues that the SEC’s internal adjudication process, which lacks a jury and is overseen by an administrative law judge appointed by the commission, contradicts his Seventh Amendment rights. Effectively resulting in a single entity fulfilling the roles of judge, jury and enforcer.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $29,590, Ether (ETH) at $1,607 and XRP at $0.52. The total market cap is at $1.12 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Bitcoin SV (BSV) at 59.00%, Stacks (STX) at 25.91% and MX TOKEN (MX) at 25.26%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Conflux (CFX) at -8.03%, Frax Share (FXS) and Sui (SUI) at -6.35%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

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Most Memorable Quotations

“We are all part of a bigger game, and Bitcoin is one of the strongest levers in that.”

Edward Snowden, technologist and whistleblower

“Using publicly available information to learn is not stealing. Nor is it an invasion of privacy, conversion, negligence, unfair competition, or copyright infringement.”

Google

“I felt betrayed, something I’d put in blood, sweat and tears for five years turning out so horrible.”

Nishad Singh, former engineering director of FTX

“The games funded 2 years ago are going live over the next 12 months. We will see hits.”

Robbie Ferguson, co-founder and president of Immutable

“After extensive DAO forum discussion followed by community vote, the sunsetting of the Lido on Solana protocol was approved by Lido token holders and the process will begin shortly.”

Lido Finance

“Any innovation — especially this one with financial impact, cultural value and status — will attract questioning during its downs.”

Anjali Young, co-founder of Collab.Land

Prediction of the Week 

BTC price hits 2-month high amid bet Bitcoin will break $32K ‘soon’

On Oct. 20, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView captured new two-month Bitcoin highs of $30,233 on Bitstamp. BTC price showed continued strength during the Asia trading session on the same day, with a slight comedown taking the spot price back below $29,500.

With volatility still evident, market participants argued that a weekly candle close was needed in order to establish the rally’s true staying power. For Keith Alan, co-founder of monitoring resource Material Indicators, the 100-week moving average (MA) at $28,627 was of particular importance.

“This move is one to watch, but what I’m watching for right now is to see if this Weekly candle closes above the 100-Week MA and if next week’s candle can stay above it with no wicks below,” Alan wrote in part of an X post on the day. “Some might consider that a confirmation of a bull breakout, but this market is known for squeezes and fake outs so I’m looking for more confirmations. For me BTC will also need to take out prior resistance at $30.5k, $31.5k and ultimately $33k to call a bull breakout confirmed and validated.”

FUD of the Week 

Fantom Foundation hot wallet hacked for $550K

The Fantom Foundation, the developer of the Fantom network, has been hacked for over $550,000 worth of cryptocurrency. The foundation confirmed the attack on X, claiming that most of the funds stolen belonged to other users and that 99% of the foundation’s funds remain safe. Blockchain security researchers initially reported that the attacker stole approximately $7 million in crypto. The Fantom Foundation later released an official statement saying that some of the wallets labeled “Fantom: Foundation wallet” were mislabeled by block explorers and that not all the stolen funds were from the foundation.

TrueCoin’s third-party vendor breach potentially leaks TUSD user data

TrueUSD (TUSD) announced a potential leak of certain Know Your Customer (KYC) and transaction history data after one of TrueCoin’s third-party vendors was compromised. The company was the operator of the TUSD stablecoin until July 13, 2023. The impact of the attack and the resultant data leak is yet to be identified, as the total number of users’ data was not revealed during the announcement. Data collected from such breaches — names, email addresses and phone numbers, among others — are typically used for phishing attacks. Attackers reach out to unwary investors by mimicking various crypto services, often promising high profits in short amounts of time.

Web3 game project allegedly hired actors to pose as executives in $1.6M exit scam

The development team for gaming project FinSoul carried out an alleged exit scam, siphoning away $1.6 million from investors through market manipulation, according to a recent report from blockchain security platform CertiK shared with Cointelegraph. The FinSoul team allegedly hired paid actors to pretend to be its executives, then raised funds for the sole purpose of developing a gaming platform. However, instead of actually creating the platform, the FinSoul team allegedly transferred $1.6 million in bridged Tether from investors to itself. Blockchain data indicates developers then laundered the funds through cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash.

Big Questions: What did Satoshi Nakamoto think about ZK-proofs?

What was once a passing interest of Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, zero-knowledge-proof technology is now a major part of the crypto world.

Ethereum restaking: Blockchain innovation or dangerous house of cards?

“Restaking” involves reusing staked Ether to earn fees and rewards. The restaked tokens can then help secure and validate other protocols. But many fear restaking could disrupt Ethereum’s chain itself.

Bitmain’s revenge, Hong Kong’s crypto rollercoaster: Asia Express

Bitmain allegedly fires staff for speaking out against salary cuts, Hong Kong investors lose faith in crypto after JPEX scandal, Bitget gets a new crypto credit card and more.

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Editorial Staff

Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.