Bankman-Fried declared guilty, Bitcoin reclaims $35K, SEC targets PayPal and SafeMoon | Weekly Recap

This week, the jury declared FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of all charges leveled against him. The market also sustained a bullish run, while the SEC continued its industry-wide crackdown.

Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty

  • After 18 days of trial, Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of all seven charges, triggering a reaction from the crypto community. 
  • The verdict, scheduled for March 28, 2024, has created anticipation within the scene.
  • Pro-crypto attorney John Deaton asserts that Bankman-Fried could face 30 to 40 years. Meanwhile, David Lesperance, Managing Director at Lesperance & Associates, sees a possible 20 year sentence.
  • Bankman-Fried’s associates, Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh, are likely to face sentencing, according to Bloomberg.
  • These allies may avoid significant prison time, potentially serving in minimum security facilities for non-violent offenders.

Bitcoin sustains rally, holds above $35K

    Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a bullish surge a couple of weeks ago, mainly driven by hopes for a spot ETF approval. This surge spilled into the new week.
    At the start of the week, BTC clinched $34,000. Despite this, an important indicator still pointed to significant volatility in the asset.
    Data from Santiment showed a considerable drop in whale activity and social engagement related to Bitcoin.
    Nonetheless, BTC further reclaimed $35K on Nov. 1 amid a sustained run. The asset aimed for the $36K level shortly after, rallying to a yearly high of $35,984 on Nov. 2 before facing resistance.
    Amid the uptrend over the past few weeks, CoinShares’ latest market report revealed that $326 million flowed into crypto investment products this year, marking the largest inflow since July 2022.
    Bitcoin aims to seal a position above $35K, occasionally reclaiming and dropping below the level. 

US SEC targets SafeMoon and PayPal 

  • This week, PayPal and the team behind crypto project SafeMoon came under the radar of the U.S. SEC.
  • The regulatory body issued a subpoena to PayPal for the issuance of its PYUSD stablecoin, requesting certain documents from the company. PayPal confirmed that it is cooperating with the agency.
  • On Nov. 1, the SEC charged SafeMoon’s executives Braden John Karony, Kyle Nagy, and Thomas Smith with fraud and money laundering related to SafeMoon.
  • The SEC alleges that the team marketed SafeMoon as unregistered crypto asset securities.
  • The agency accused them of artificially inflating SafeMoon’s market cap to $5.7 billion through tactics like wash trading.

Terraform cases continue

  • This week, Daniel Shin, co-founder of Terraform Labs, denied any involvement in Terra’s collapse amid charges of fraud and embezzlement in South Korea.
  • Shin’s legal team asserted in a South Korean court that fellow co-founder Do Kwon was solely responsible for Terra’s downfall.
  • Meanwhile, in the U.S., Terraform Labs made a bold move by seeking an early dismissal of the multibillion-dollar securities fraud lawsuit filed against them by the SEC in February.
  • Their argument hinges on the claim that the SEC failed to provide substantial evidence that Terraform Labs engaged in the trading of unregistered securities.
  • However, the SEC had plans of its own. Reports suggested that the agency is aggressively pursuing a summary judgment regarding all allegations against Do Kwon and Terraform Labs.
  • The SEC’s objective is to bypass a full trial, emphasizing the presence of crystal clear, undisputed facts in its lawsuit.

MicroStrategy buys more Bitcoin 

    MicroStrategy continued its relentless crypto accumulation, adding a hefty 155 BTC to its portfolio in October 2023, worth $5.3 million.
    The latest acquisition brings their total BTC holdings to an impressive 158,400, valued at over $5.6 billion, as per their Q3 2023 earnings report.
    Phong Le, MicroStrategy’s CEO and President, asserted that the company is in a prime position to benefit from Bitcoin’s momentum and the growth of their Business Intelligence (BI) business.

OpenSea confirms layoffs

    Devin Finzer, OpenSea co-founder and CEO, disclosed job cuts on Nov. 3 via social media.
    The move is part of “OpenSea 2.0” as the digital collectible trading hub moves to its dominance within the non-fungible token (NFT) market.
    Updates from OpenSea follow a turbulent period after former head of product Nathanial Christain was convicted of insider trading under fraud and money laundering charges.

Yuga Labs, Magic Eden team up

    Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Magic Eden, are collaborating to launch an Ethereum NFT marketplace that will ensure creators receive their right royalties.
    Magic Eden will be responsible for sharing a portion of secondary market sales proceeds from their NFT collections with Yuga Labs.
    Magic Eden is expanding its support for the Solana-powered compressed NFTs (cNFTs). The cNFTs feature make it easier for creators to mint NFTs on the Solana network.

Avi Eisenberg trial rescheduled

  • The trial for Avi Eisenberg, the crypto trader accused of a $110 million fraud, has been pushed back to April 2024. The trial was initially scheduled to kick off next month.
  • The government agreed to postpone the trial until April 8, 2024, a decision approved by the judge on Nov. 4, 2023.
  • Eisenberg is accused of commodities manipulation and wire fraud, specifically for deploying a highly profitable trading strategy against the Solana-based Mango Markets in October 2022. 

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2023-11-05 19:44