Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 4/15/24


Crypto compliance is still an ongoing journey, with regulatory efforts keeping pace with evolving innovations. That said, many actors still found ways to dodge restrictions.

Here are the headlines:

  • Chainlink unveiled a new app for cross-chain token transfers;
  • The SEC came back (again) with enforcement plans against Uniswap;
  • Russia (seemingly) found loopholes to work against sanctions;
  • There’s hope for Voyager Digital’s creditors;
  • Plus, March was a sunny month for crypto projects, with institutional investors leading the charge;
  • And, SBF wants to remain in Brooklyn. Will he be able to overturn his conviction? Time will tell!

Of course, these are your decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin Recovered from Geopolitical Storms at $66k

Following rising tensions in the Middle East, Bitcoin prices slid to a $60,919.11 low and recovered to $66,192.25 (as of 4/15/24). Bitcoin’s dominance is strong at 53.9% ahead of the upcoming halving event (according to Coinmarketcap).

The altcoins also reacted similarly.

Ethereum (ETH) is at $3,243.20, Solana (SOL) at $154.07, Avalanche (AVAX) at $37.75, Pokadot (DOT) at $7.12, Chainlink (LINK) at $14.44) and Cardano (ADA) at 0.4918.

Following the notice from the SEC, Uniswap (UNI) recovered (marginally) to $7.90.

Chainlink Unveiled a New Bridging App

On April 11, the Oracle-focused blockchain Chainlink launched Transporter, a bridging app. Chainlink built Transporter on its cross-chain interoperability protocol (CCIP). 

Users can move tokens and messages across several blockchains, including Arbitrum, Avalanche, BNB Chain, and Ethereum. Partnered with MetaMask

Web-based crypto wallet revealed the integration of the MetaMask Web 3 wallet with Pay, its niche payment platform. 

The cooperation enables payments between both ecosystems.

The SEC Sent a Wells Notice to Uniswap

Uniswap, the premier decentralized exchange, received a Wells Notice from the SEC. The notice is a preliminary move by the regulator and a precursor to legal action. Uniswap indicated it would fight back.

In related news, the SEC postponed its decision to allow options trading on spot Bitcoin ETFs. 

According to an April 8 filing, the regulator delayed its decision regarding an NYSE proposal to enable options trading on the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB), the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), and others.

The Ethereum Foundation Recognized the Alvara ERC-7621 Token Standard

The Ethereum Foundation recognized ERC-7621, a new protocol linked with the Alvara Protocol. 

Integrating the ERC standard to draft status will (soon) enable key features, including Basket Token Standard (BTS) operations, fungible BTS LP tokens, and more.

Similarly, the EIP 3074 could be a part of the upcoming Pectra upgrade and feature a social recovery tool for private keys. 

Voyager Digital Secured $484 Million as Part of Creditor Repayment Plans

According to an April 9 filing, Voyager Digital secured $484 million in settlements and claims with several parties, including FTX, D&O insurance, and Three Arrows Capital (3AC). 

FTX released $445 million, 3AC $20.43 million (out of a $675 million claim amid ongoing litigation), and $14.35 million from D&O Insurance. 

All figures are approximate.

KuCoin: Crypto Projects Received $1.6 Billion from Institutional Investors in March

March was a great month for crypto projects, according to KuCoin’s recently released market insights report. 

Crypto financing grew 50% last month to $1.6 billion, with 180 projects receiving inflows (per the report).

Treasury-Russia Uses Tether to Evade Sanctions

In his April 9 testimony to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill, Wally Adeyemo, the Treasury Deputy Secretary, iterated that Russia was deploying alternative means to bypass sanctions, including using the USDT stablecoin.

According to an April 9 DL News report, Tether’s CEO Paolo Ardoino indicated that its $500 million mining project is almost completed on the eve of Bitcoin’s halving.

In related news, the Celo Blockchain revealed the addition of the USDT as a gas fee payment token following a governance vote. 

The Celo Foundation (also) partnered with Rarible to launch the Celosphere, a new NFT marketplace.

Several Federal Lawmakers were After Effective Stablecoin Legislation

According to an April 11 Punchbowl News report, several lawmakers met up per stablecoin regulation. 

High-level members of the House Financial Services Committee (Rep. Patrick McHenry (R) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D)) met with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) about the issue.

IRS: Crypto Tax Crimes are on the Increase

Tax season (brought) a rise in tax crimes. 

In an April 12 CNBC interview, Guy Ficco, the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Chief, indicated that crypto-related tax crimes have (been) rising, referring to the Title 26 tax code, which involves federal income tax issues. 

Also, Ficco iterated that there would be (expectedly) more crimes and that the tax man would have an adequate response.

A Court Sentenced a Cybersecurity Engineer to Three Years for Stealing from Two DeFi Projects

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero for the Southern District of New York sentenced Shakeeb Ahmed, the cybersecurity engineer accused of (reportedly) hacking the Nirvana and Crema DeFi platforms, to three years. 

Prosecutors had accused Ahmed of stealing $12.6 million (approximately) from both platforms. 

The case is the first smart contract conviction for the industry.

SBF Requested for an Extended Stay at Brooklyn Jail

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO at FTX, filed a request to remain in Brooklyn jail, at least for now. 

According to the filing, Bankman-Fried wants to be close to his lawyers as preparations are underway to appeal his sentence.

PancakeSwap Partnered with Orbs to Enable Limit Orders

Premier decentralized exchange PancakeSwap revealed its partnership with Orbs, a leading blockchain infrastructure firm, to enable limit orders. Also, users can deploy the divisible order feature within the Orbs ecosystem. This reduces larger orders to smaller ones.