Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 4/8/24

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Industry maturity (a rare occurrence) unfolded with the sector getting into gear.

Institutional players dictated the pace of events. Only time will tell how far the impact will go.

Meanwhile, in the news:

  • Binance is getting tough on compliance;
  • The PayPal PYUSD is going places;
  •  The SEC opened the Ethereum ETF comment period;
  • Google sued some (alleged) scammers (you might want to read that story);
  • Plus, there’s a new insurance policy to cover legal costs for crypto theft and fraud ;

As always, these are your decentralized diaries!


Breaking: The Bitcoin Bull Run Resumes at $72k

The crypto bull run resumed (after some hesitation) with Bitcoin hitting $72,539.27 from a $64,559.90 low (as of 4/8/24). With the upcoming halving event, Bitcoin’s dominance is (currently) at 52.8% (according to Coinmarketcap).

The altcoins are (also) revving. Ethereum (ETH) is at $3,646.84, Solana (SOL) at $182.34, Avalanche (AVAX) at $50.43, Polkadot (DOT) at $8.96, Chainlink (LINK) at $18.59 and Cardano (ADA) at $0.6082.

Binance Revealed Stricter Compliance Measures

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance revealed that accounts without KYC verification will be restricted. Consequently, only verified users will have access to their subaccounts.

In related news, Binance indicated that a (discover) feature will soon be available for its copy trading platform.

PayPal Enabled PYUSD Stablecoin Access for Xoom Users

The adoption of the PYUSD and the PayPal stablecoin continued, with the e-commerce giant revealing support via the Xoom payments platform.

Additionally, Xoom’s American customers can (now) convert their PYUSD holdings via the PayPal Cryptocurrency Hub.

ZenLedger Partnered with MetaMask to Solve Tax Issues

Blockchain-focused ZenLedger and MetaMask, the popular Web 3 wallet, revealed a collaboration that provides access to tax reporting solutions.

Also, the cooperation gives users access to one-click tax tools.

BlackRock Added Goldman Sachs, Citi, and Others to its Bitcoin ETF

According to an April 5 filing with the SEC, investment behemoth BlackRock added several finance titans as Authorized Participants for its Bitcoin ETF.

The filing included Citadel, Citi, Goldman Sachs, UBS, and others. BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF (now) has nine authorized participants.

A Court Sentenced OneCoin’s Former Compliance Chief to Four Years

New York District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos sentenced Irina Dilkinska, the former head of compliance of the defunct OneCoin crypto scam, to four years in prison. The former legal chief was also ordered to forfeit $111,400,000.

The US Court for the Southern District of New York convicted Dilkinska of wire fraud and money laundering after pleading guilty last year.

The CFPB Highlighted Crypto Gaming Risks in a New Report

Virtual economies have certain crypto risks. At least, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) thinks so.

According to a report released on April 4, the agency iterated that emerging (crypto) metaverse ecosystems should be scrutinized.

Also, the “Banking in video games and virtual worlds” report indicated that gaming developers are interested in digital assets because of their real-world value outside virtual scenarios.

Three Crypto Groups Showed Support for Tornado Cash Founder in Amicus Briefs

In a (massive) show of support from the crypto community, the Blockchain Association, Coin Center, and the DeFi Education Fund filed Amicus Briefs bolstering Roman Storm’s legal filing to drop the case against him.

The Government alleged that Storm and Roman Semenov, a Russian national, transferred funds on behalf of the public, among other indictments.

The SEC Opened the Public Comment Period for Ethereum ETF Applications

Following Ethereum ETF applications from Fidelity, Grayscale, and Bitwise, the SEC opened the public comment window. The move for the three-week comment period comes amid heightened skepticism of (likely) approval following previous successes per Bitcoin ETFs.

Google Sued Alleged Crypto Scammers

On April 4, Google filed a lawsuit against a group of (alleged) crypto scammers. The search engine giant accused the group of conning over 100,000 people globally by uploading fake cryptocurrency exchange and investment apps to Google Play and by other means.

Also, the suit indicated that at least 8,700 American users (approximately) were affected.

Marathon Digital Unveiled Noise Reduction Plans for its Texas Mining Facility

Following protests from residents of Grandbury, Texas, Marathon Digital revealed plans to lower noise levels at its crypto mining facility.

The plans (reportedly) include the immersion of (some) mining rigs, tree planting, the construction of a sound barrier, and more.

Genesis Digital Assets Limited partnered with Lonestar Dream to launch a 36 MW data center in West Texas.

The Court of Appeals Ruled in Favor of Coinbase

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase scored a court win with a ruling in its favor. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sent the case back to the New York District Court to determine its dismissal.

In related news, the cryptocurrency exchange partnered with Lightspark to enable seamless integrations with the Bitcoin Lightning network.

A UK InsurTech Launched a Legal Cost Policy for Stolen Crypto Tokens

Across the pond in the United Kingdom, M2 Recovery, a niche firm, launched an insurance policy covering up to $316,000 of the legal expenses and costs associated with recovering the loss of digital assets due to fraud or theft.

Niche brokers McGill and Partners and insurers Lloyds of London worked with M2 Recovery to develop the policy.

Fantom Introduced the USDC Token to its Ecosystem

The Fantom Foundation, the entity behind the Fantom smart contract blockchain, launched a bridged iteration of the USDC stablecoin (USDC.e).

Consequently, the stablecoin is available within the Fantom ecosystem via Wormhole, an Ethereum network bridge.

Also, Circle, the USDC issuer, supports the move.