Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 2/5/24


Happy New Month!

Has the cryptospace (finally) matured? It looks like an on-again, off-again thing with sparks flying everywhere!

  • That said, FTX may be gone forever;
  • Brinks has gone pro-crypto;
  • There’s a new scam in town for Mac users (read on to find out details) …

These are your decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin Holds Steady at $43k

Everything seems to be moving toward a break-out as Bitcoin prices hit a $41,879.19 low as support, then reached a $43,838.95 high to settle at $43,320.72 (as of 2/5/2024).

The altcoins are steady. Ethereum (ETH) is at $2,323.04, Solana (SOL) at $97.98, Avalanche (AVAX) at $37.79, Chainlink (LINK) at $19.52 and Polkadot (DOT) at $6.91.

FTX will Pay Everyone But Won’t Reopen

There’s a silver lining for FTX creditors. During a hearing at the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Lawyers indicated that despite plans to reimburse creditors, the cryptocurrency exchange will not resume business.

Also, according to a February 3 filing in the same court, FTX indicated interest in selling off its 8% stake in Anthropic, the AI darling. Based on Anthropic’s December 2023 $18 billion valuation, FTX could get around $1.5 billion (approximately).

Additionally, a February 1st Bloomberg report indicated that the Department of Justice iterated that it charged three people in Federal Court for stealing $400 million via a SIM-swapping attack. The funds were (reportedly) from FTX.

A Court Almost Sanctioned The SEC in the DEBT Box Case

In Utah, things didn’t go as planned for the SEC. The regulator filed to drop charges in its ongoing case against Digital Licensing Inc., doing business as DEBT Box. Last year, the SEC obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the crypto firm, slamming scam allegations worth $49 million.

It later emerged (allegedly) that the SEC fabricated evidence against DEBT Box, with the courts indicating that the regulator acted in bad faith. DEBT Box filed for sanctions against the SEC, alluding to the loss of confidence and business for the firm and Jason Anderson, its owner.

Vitalik Buterin Charged Crypto Developers to be Careful When Integrating AI Functions in Their Projects

In a January 30 blog post, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, charged developers to proceed (cautiously) when deploying AI features in crypto projects. Buterin warned that the nature of AI technologies poses risks to crypto projects, iterating that overreliance on technology leads to new problems for blockchains.

Additionally, Vitalik indicated that open-source systems were open to attacks while closed systems remained (somewhat) protected.

Brinks Revealed its Tokenization Partnership And Investment in BitGo

Brinks, the all-American secure logistics and transportation firm, revealed its partnership with BitGo, a boutique crypto trust firm. The Goldman-backed Brinks is now BitGo’s storage and logistics partner.

Also, both parties announced a strategic investment by Brinks in BitGo by Brinks for an undisclosed sum. The boards of both companies remain unchanged.

The Department of Justice Charged a Suspect in the BTC-e Money Laundering Case

According to a February 1 statement from the DoJ, Aliaksandr Klimenka, a Belarusian/Cypriot, has been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money service business in the United States. Additionally, the DoJ charged Klimenka with (allegedly) controlling BTC-e, a cryptocurrency exchange, Soft-FX, a tech company, and FX Open, a financial firm, to commit the crimes.

Klimenka was on the run until December 21, 2023, when he was captured in Latvia by local law enforcement officers at the request of the American Government. Subsequently, authorities extradited him to the US, where he is (currently) standing trial.

Kaspersky Issued a Mac-Focused Crypto Theft Alert

Kaspersky, the Russian cybersecurity firm, issued a cybersecurity alert regarding a macOS backdoor that targets the crypto wallets of users with versions 13.6 and above.

The Trojan horse is (reportedly) integrated with activators for pirated software. Also, the infected versions of the software replace original versions of crypto wallets and siphon tokens from them after stealing their keys. The Trojan also used DNS records to deploy scripts.

Celsius is on The Rebound, Set to Pay $3 Billion in Debts

Things are (definitely) looking up for Celsius Network, the cryptocurrency lending firm. After a court approved its reorganization plan late last year, the firm has indicated readiness to repay its creditors. According to a January 31 press release, Celsius will pay creditors in Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens alongside the shares of Ionic Digital, a crypto mining spinoff.

Additionally, Hut 8, a Canadian Bitcoin mining firm, will manage Ionic’s operations.

Genesis Entered a $21 Million Settlement Deal with the SEC

According to a January 21 court filing, Genesis Global Holdco, the bankrupt cryptocurrency trading firm, revealed a settlement proposal with the SEC. The move comes thirteen months after the regulator charged Genesis and Gemini with selling unregistered securities via the Gemini Earn program.

Additionally, Genesis has proposed February 14, a court date, to present its settlement motion and obtain approval.

According to the terms of the deal between the SEC and Genesis, the regulator will drop the charges against the exchange for a $21 million settlement. In related news, Genesis intends to present a reorganization plan on February 14.