Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 10/23/23



SBF’s dreams were big.

So former friends and associates say and testify.

Former employees of Ethereum’s largest firm sued ConsesnSys CEO Joseph Lubin and Tether’s new CEO has promised real-time updates per Proof-of-Reserves.

Plus, the New York Attorney General set her sights on three industry players (read on to find out).

These are your decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin Topped $30k as the Bulls Returned, the Altcoins are in the Green

Things are sunny for Bitcoin prices, as the token moved from a $28,110.19 low to a $30,951.27 high. The previous resistance is now a support level, with prices at $30,916.04 (as of 10/23/23).

The altcoins are in similar territory. Ethereum (ETH) is at $1,678.81, Solana (SOL) at $29.03, Polkadot (DOT) at $4.11, Avalanche (AVAX) at $9.98 and Chainlink (LINK) at $10.20.

The SBF Trial Revealed Sordid Details

The details of the alleged financial misappropriations of Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, continued with the rabbit hole going deeper.

Witness testimony started with Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering.

Singh admitted to having received funds from Alameda Research for illegal political contributions.

He admitted to signing bank checks for the activities.

Further testimony from Singh exposed endorsement deals worth over $1 billion, including the infamous purchase of naming rights to the Miami Heat arena and celebrity endorsements.

Peter Easton, an accounting Professor at the University of Notre Dame, provided expert testimony.

His analysis exposed the FTX-Alameda relationship and an $8 billion shortfall, with deposit obligations worth $11 billion against $2 billion of available cash.

Investigations indicated the alleged use of customer funds for several purchases, including the Bahamian-based Modulo Capital.

Further testimony from Paige Owens, an FBI accountant, provided insights into the donations.

Can Sun, former General Counsel to FTX, testified that he received a balance sheet with the shortfall and instructions from Bankman-Fried to provide “theoretical” justifications as cover.

The stage seems set for the prosecution to rest its case.

The FBI Charged 6 in $30 Million Illegal Money Transmitting Business

The FBI charged six individuals for converting $30 million in Bitcoins to fiat in the Southern District of New York.

The filing linked a yet-to-be-named with drug dealing and others with hacking.

Former ConsenSys Employees Sued its CEO Over Equity Claims

Joseph Lubin, CEO at ConsesnSys, a blockchain solutions firm, got sued by 27 former employees over equity claims.

The employees allege he promised them equity in the so-called company “hub equity” in exchange for below-par salaries.

Lubin transferred Core assets, including MetaMask, the popular Web 3.0 wallet, and the Infura development ecosystem from a Swiss-based entity to a Delaware one in 2020.

The suit alleges that the transfer occurred without the consent and that the asset valuations favored Lubin.

ConsenSys is the largest company within the Ethereum ecosystem.

The SEC Ended its Legal Battle Against Ripple Execs

Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple Labs, and Christian Larsen, its Chairman, had their day in the sun as the SEC filed to drop charges against the duo.

The regulator had charged both with aiding and abetting the institutional sales of the XRP token, and the corporate case against Ripple Labs is ongoing.

Chainalysis: Global Crypto Usage Down 22% YoY

According to Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis firm, global crypto usage is down 22%, corresponding to global trends.

The report identified a $38.5 billion decline in transaction volume for Ukraine and $41 billion for Russia because of the related conflict.

Tether‘s New CEO Revealed Plans to Publish Live Reserves

Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s new CEO, noted during a Bloomberg interview that the stablecoin issuer will publish live on-chain reserve data as part of efforts to dispel doubts.

Binance.US Suspended Fiat Withdrawals

Binance.US., the American arm of the cryptocurrency exchange behemoth, updated its terms of use to indicate the conversion of fiat to stablecoins as the only means of withdrawal.

This follows legal actions from the SEC against BAM Trading Services (its operator) and Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the Binance global CEO.

The Binance “Q3 State of Crypto: Market Pulse” report noted an 8.6% QoQ drop in market capitalization with increased institutional adoption.

Reddit Moderators Faced Insider Trading Accusations

Users of the popular social networking website Reddit were up in arms over token dumping allegations by administrators.

Additionally, they charged moderators with insider trading on “X” and offered transaction logs as evidence.

New York’s Attorney General Accused Gemini, Genesis, and DCG of Fraud

New York prosecutors sued Gemini, bankrupt crypto lending firm Genesis, and Digital Currency Group (DCG), its parent company.

The Attorney General accused the trio of defrauding more than 230,000 people of more than $1 billion.

Gemini lent Genesis monies that were swallowed up in losses during the failures of several crypto firms.

Letitia James accused the Winklevoss-owned Gemini of foreknowledge of the unsecured nature of the transactions.

James is seeking the proscription of all three firms from the New York financial industry.