Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 4/1/24

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The crypto industry continued to push frontiers beyond normal (as they usually are) with regulatory authorities doing what they can to catch up.

Meanwhile, in the news:

  • SBF Judge Kaplan sentenced the former FTX CEO to 25 years;
  • Consensys pushed for Ethereum ETF approval;
  • Tether bolstered its Bitcoin holdings;
  • Hacking losses dropped slightly YoY;
  • Google faced privacy issues over wallet balance searches;

And game cheaters had it coming for them;

As always, these are your decentralized diaries!


Bitcoin is Bearish at $68k

Bitcoin prices are currently (bearish) at $68,540.10 from a $71,727.68 high (as of 4/1/24). Dominance is (currently) at 52.2% (according to Coinmarketcap).

The Altcoins are (also) swaying. Ethereum (ETH) is at $3,433.02, Solana (SOL) at $189.34, Avalanche (AVAX) is at $50.85, Polkadot (DOT) is at $9.03, and Chainlink (LINK) is at $17.99.

SBF Got 25 Years

On March 28, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former FTX CEO, received a 300-month sentence (a total of 25 years).

Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, indicated that crypto’s recent boom had nothing to do with repayments.

Also, a court docket entry suggested that SBF could have his sentence reduced slightly because of time served.

In related news, FTX (is set to) sell off about 66% of its stake in Athropic.
FTX will sell $884 million worth of the stock to several parties, including ATIC Third International Investment Co, a UAE firm linked with the Mubadala Sovereign Wealth Fund and Jane Street.

Consensys Pushed for Ethereum ETF Approval in Letter to the SEC

Following the SEC’s request for public comments per its Spot Ether ETF approval process, Consensys, the firm behind the MetaMask wallet, wrote a letter.

In its comment letter, the blockchain infrastructure firm urged the regulator to approve Spot Ether ETFs, arguing that Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake (PoS) is safer than Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism.

Two House Chairs Asked Gary Gensler Some Ethereum-Related Questions

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the Chairmen of the House Agriculture and Finance Committees asked Gary Gensler, the SEC Chair, some questions about the operations of Prometheum, Inc.

Prometheum had (previously) applied to become a crypto broker-dealer.

Its focus: ETH.

In a letter, the Chairmen, and 46 other House members, asked Gensler about Ether’s classification as a security.

The letter also considered how a Special Purpose Broker-Dealer (SPBD) like Prometheum could handle Ether-backed instruments.

If the SEC approves its application, Prometheum will become the first Ether-focused SPBD in America.

Tron Pushed Back Against the SEC

The Justin Sun-linked Tron blockchain (hit back) in its ongoing legal battle with the SEC. The Tron Foundation filed to dismiss the charges levied against itself, Justin Sun, and the BitTorrent Foundation.

Additionally, the Foundation iterated in its filing that the regulator had (gone beyond) its boundaries. The Foundation also alluded to the fact that the SEC was going after mostly foreign activities.

In related news, Stuart Alderoty, the Chief Legal Officer of Ripple Labs, indicated that the SEC was looking for $2 billion in fines as part of ongoing negotiations.

Alderoty also iterated that the SEC intended to harm Ripple and the industry.

Tether Expanded its Bitcoin Portfolio with an 8,888 BTC Purchase

Tether continued to push the frontiers of its Bitcoin holdings with an additional 8,888 tokens worth $608.17 million (approximately). The purchase was (rather) low-key, but transfers showed token movements from the Bitfinex crypto exchange to a Tether-linked Bitcoin wallet.

Custodia Bank Lost its Fed Master Account Lawsuit

In a rather (surprising) twist of fate, (crypto-friendly) Custodia Bank lost its lawsuit challenging the Fed over the rejection of its master account application.

Judge Scott Skavdahl, of the District Court for the District of Wyoming, sided with the central bank. In his ruling, Skavdahl said that the Fed has the final say over master accounts.

Furthermore, he iterated that federal laws do not make it compulsory for every eligible depository institution to have a master account.

ImmunefiCrypto Hacking-Related Losses Dropped by 24% in Q1 2024

Things are looking up for the industry, as data from Immunefi, a boutique crypto security firm, shows that hacking incidents reduced in the first quarter of the year.

According to a recently released report, crypto hacking losses (reduced) to $336.3 million, compared with $437.5 million YoY. Also, 46 hacking cases and 15 fraud-related activities occurred in the same period.

A UK Judge Ordered a Global Asset Freeze Against Craig Wright

Following losing his legal claim over his self-acclaimed identification as Satoshi, Craig Wright got hit with a $7.6 million (approximately) asset freeze worldwide. Judge James Mellor granted a request from the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) to freeze Wright’s assets following (alleged) attempts to move shares overseas.

Consequently, Wright is (now) required to disclose all assets above $30,000 and to maintain his asset values at their current levels.

Google‘s Wallet Search Feature Catalyzed Privacy Concerns

As crypto adoption continues to rise, a recent move by Google to enable wallet balance search by users has generated some heat.

Privacy-oriented crypto users are (generally) uncomfortable with a recent feature update by the search engine that allows anyone to view wallet balances.

Game Cheaters Became Crypto Malware Targets

All is not well for cheaters of popular games. Cheats are now the targets of crypto-malware.

Those involving popular games such as Call of Duty are now prime.

Criminals now target users with malware. Their crypto wallets got drained if they were infected.

Consequently, the situation has created an unlikely scenario in normal times: gaming companies are (reportedly) working with cheat providers to resolve the situation.