Saylor gets sued, FBI warns about DeFi exploits and Crypto.com drops $495M sponsorship: Hodler’s Digest, Aug. 28-Sept. 3
Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Top Stories This Week
MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor faces charges of evading United States income taxes he allegedly incurred while living in Washington, DC. The office of the region’s attorney general, Karl Racine, has sued Saylor and MicroStrategy on claims that the firm helped Saylor evade over $25 million in DC income tax. The charges, stemming in part from an amendment to DC’s False Claims Act encouraging whistleblowers to report tax evasion, mean Saylor could see $75 million in penalties.
Crypto.com has decided not to go through with a $495 million sponsorship agreement in response to possible regulatory issues. The sponsorship deal with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) would have seen Crypto.com advertised in the UEFA Champions League for five seasons. The crypto exchange was reportedly in sponsorship talks after the Champions League removed Gazprom, an energy company owned by the Russian state, as a sponsor. Crypto.com already has several high-profile advertising efforts under its belt, such as a commercial starring American actor Matt Damon.
Indonesia could have a crypto bourse, also known as a crypto exchange, constructed by its government before 2023 arrives. Initially unveiled in late 2021, the crypto bourse’s completion has taken longer than expected, but the government aims to get things right instead of rushing a launch. “We will make sure that every requirement, procedure and the necessary steps have been taken,” Jerry Sambuaga, Indonesia’s deputy trade minister, told DealStreetAsia.
Tether and Bitfinex are still locked in a lawsuit that began in 2019 alleging that the USDT stablecoin was used to manipulate the cryptocurrency market. The legal team for Tether and Bitfinex is seeking that the plaintiff‘s legal counsel, the law firm Roche Freedman, be let go from the case due to the firm’s involvement with Kyle Roche — the subject of a recent CryptoLeaks video claiming he misused privileged information to “harm” Ava Labs competitors in exchange for AVAX tokens. Kyle Roche recently moved to dismiss himself from multiple legal cases, including the one involving defendant Bitfinex and Tether. However, the defendant still wants the Roche Freedman firm out of the lawsuit completely, in addition to requesting that their private information be destroyed or returned by Roche Freedman.
Central African Republic court says new $60,000 citizenship-by-crypto-investment program is unconstitutional
In July, the Central African Republic (CAR) launched its Sango hub — a new crypto-focused initiative aimed at expanding the adoption of Bitcoin and creating a special economic zone in the Metaverse. The initiative also included the creation of a Bitcoin-backed digital asset called Sango that also allowed foreign nationals to purchase citizenship in the country for $60,000 in crypto, with an equivalent amount of Sango tokens held in collateral for five years. The CAR’s Constitutional Court deemed the efforts unconstitutional, however, noting that citizenship does not have a price tag.
Winners and Losers
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Celsius (CEL) at 36.41%, eCash (XEC) at 20.70% and Lido DAO (LDO) at 18.05%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Helium (HNT) at -24.47%, Avalanche (AVAX) at -10.41% and Arweave (AR) at -9.92%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“Building new things is not for the faint hearted.”
Neil Dundon, founder of CryptoRecruit
“Ethereum is about permissionless innovation, free enterprise, property rights, globalization.”
Ryan Berckmans, member of the Ethereum community
“We eventually came round to the idea at Coinbase that we’re going to have to be agnostic to every chain and token that is coming out. We can’t sit here in our ivory tower only focused on one asset.”
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase
“I feel that [crypto] cannot be partisan.”
Tom Emmer, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
“Most of crypto is still junk, actually. I mean, with the exception of, I would say, a few dozen tokens, everything else that has been mentioned is either noise or, frankly, it’s just gonna go away.”
Umar Farooq, head of Onyx, JPMorgan’s digital assets unit
“Cryptocurrencies have taken a life of their own outside of the distributed ledger — and this is the source of the crypto world’s problems.”
Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Prediction of the Week
For most of this week, Bitcoin could not decide whether it wanted to stay above or below $20,000, trading north and south of the level numerous times, according to Cointelegraph’s BTC price index.
In a Friday tweet, pseudonymous Twitter user “il Capo Of Crypto” noted that a possible short squeeze could occur if BTC rose above the $20,700-to-$20,800 price zone. Pending a break of this level, Bitcoin could then hit between $22,500 and $23,000. On the flip side, dropping below $19,500 would likely take the squeeze off the table, especially if the asset continued to drop below $19,000.
FUD of the Week
This week, a public service announcement from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cautioned the public over a proliferation of decentralized finance (DeFi) exploits, stating that those interested in DeFi should be careful. The agency also noted that DeFi platforms should conduct code audits to check for weaknesses. Dwarfing totals from 2020 and 2021 combined, nefarious actors have pilfered more than $1.6 billion via DeFi exploits so far in 2022 per data from CertiK, a blockchain security company.
British citizen Christopher Hamilton, alleged accomplice of Ruja Ignatova, could see extradition to the U.S. thanks to a ruling from a judge in the United Kingdom. However, the move still requires approval from a U.K. government executive authority. Hamilton allegedly had a hand in the $4 billion OneCoin Ponzi scheme connected to Ruja Ignatova, aka the “Cryptoqueen.” In June, the FBI added Ignatova to the list of its ten most sought-after fugitives. Charges against Hamilton include laundering $105 million in connection to the Ponzi scheme.
The crypto and technology sectors are often riddled with tech traps and scams. One particular effort, ongoing since 2019, is particularly tricky. A certain type of malware named “Nitrokod” sits hidden within counterfeit computer apps and starts mining Monero (XMR), but only after a few days have passed. The malware lies within convincing versions of fake apps, such as a Google Translate app that boasts numerous positive reviews online. An official Google Translate desktop app does not even exist, however, but this malware-infused app has become a top search result. Nitrokod malware has affected over 100,000 devices spanning almost a dozen countries.
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