Chibi Finance allegedly executes $1M rug pull on Arbitrum, CHIBI plummets 98%

https://coinjournal.net/news/chibi-finance-allegedly-executes-1m-rug-pull-on-arbitrum-chib-plummets-98/

  • Chibi Finance has allegedly executed a $1M rug pull on Layer 2 blockchain Arbitrum.
  • The team has vanished and their social media accounts are inaccessible.
  • Security platform Peckshield says the team channeled the funds via Tornado Cash.

Arbitrum-based DeFi project Chibi Finance has disappeared into thin air with $1 million in what is reported to be a potential rug pull.

Chibi Finance, which went live only recently on Arbitrum’s Layer 2 network, is said to have drained its liquidity pool, vanishing with 555 ether (ETH). At current market prices, that’s about $1 million worth of user deposits.

Chibi Finance latest in rug pulls

According to an alert by blockchain security and data analystic firm PeckShield, the Chibi Finance team withdrew staked tokens by converting them to ETH and then funneling them to the Ethereum network via the crypto mixing service Tornado Cash.

The Chibi Finance team has allegedly also “disappeared” with the DeFi projects social media accounts on Twitter and Telegram deleted. The platform’s website is also offline.

Chibi Finance’s apparent rug pull adds to the recent spate of bad actors in the Arbitrum and Ethereum ecosystems. In April, zkSync project Merlin allegedly siphoned off $2 million from its users. Meanwhile, Arbitrum-based Swaprun vanished in May, with close to $3 million of user funds in another rug pull.

CHIBI, the native Chibi Finance token, has plummeted following the news. After trading above $1.62 on Monday, CHIB price fell sharply on Tuesday morning to almost zero. Data from CoinGecko shows the crypto token has lost 98.7% of its value in the past 24 hours and currently hovers near $0.017.

The post Chibi Finance allegedly executes $1M rug pull on Arbitrum, CHIBI plummets 98% appeared first on CoinJournal.

Chibi Finance Rug Pulls Users for $1M, CHIBI Falls 98%

https://www.coindesk.com/tech/2023/06/27/chibi-finance-rug-pulls-users-for-1m-chibi-falls-98/

A “rug pull” is a colloquial term for a type of crypto scam that typically see the developer, or developers, gain legitimacy on social media, hype up a project and raise a significant sum of money only to drain liquidity after that project’s tokens are first offered to the public.

Chibi Finance: Arbitrum-Based DeFi Project Allegedly Performs $1M Rug Pull

https://www.bsc.news/post/chibi-finance-arbitrum-based-defi-project-allegedly-performs-1m-rug-pull

Chibi Finance, an Arbitrum-based DeFi project, allegedly carried out a rug pull, taking around $1 million in user deposits. The team vanished, using Tornado Cash to hide transactions, emphasizing the need for caution and research in the DeFi space.

Chibi Finance Performs $1M Rug Pull

Rug pulls in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) space are inevitable. The most recent incident involves Chibi Finance, an Arbitrum-based DeFi project that allegedly made off with approximately $1 million in user deposits.

Security experts at PeckShield conducted an on-chain analysis, revealing that 555 ether (ETH) had been drained from Chibi Finance’s liquidity pools. The project’s team reportedly withdrew tokens staked by users, converting them into ether and bridging the funds from the Arbitrum network to Ethereum. 

According to Peckshield, the team utilized Tornado Cash, a popular Ethereum mixing service, to hide traces of the transaction. 

Adding to the suspicion, Chibi Finance’s team disappeared overnight, deleting their social media accounts and rendering their website inaccessible. The project has remained silent, refusing to comment on the allegations.

This incident highlights the importance of conducting thorough research and exercising caution when participating in DeFi projects. While the promise of decentralized finance is exciting, users must remain vigilant and scrutinize the credibility and track record of the projects they engage with. Only by fostering a culture of trust and accountability can the DeFi space mature and thrive.

Disclaimer: Overall it is vital to proceed with caution when purchasing tokens that have just been listed. For those who have not already read our articles on safety in the BSC it is crucial to reference the following items, HERE and HERE.

This is a paid press release, BSC.News does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products, or other materials on this page. The project team has purchased this advertisement article for $1500. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company. BSC.News is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods, or services mentioned in the press release.

Disclaimer: Overall it is vital to proceed with caution when purchasing tokens that have just been listed. For those who have not already read our articles on safety in the BSC it is crucial to reference the following items, HERE and HERE.

This is a paid press release, BSC.News does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products, or other materials on this page. The project team has purchased this advertisement article for $2500. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company. BSC.News is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods, or services mentioned in the press release.

Disclaimer: This is a paid Ask Me Anything (AMA), BSC.News does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products, or other materials on this page. The project team has purchased this advertisement AMA for $2000 Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company. BSC.News is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods, or services mentioned in the AMA.

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Related News

Coinbase Cloud plugs into Chainlink oracle network to improve smart contract reliability

https://cointelegraph.com/news/coinbase-cloud-plugs-into-chainlink-oracle-network-to-improve-smart-contract-reliability

Coinbase Cloud will lend its infrastructure as a new node operator to blockchain oracle network Chainlink in a partnership that is set to improve decentralization and smart contract reliability. 

The American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s cloud service will leverage its global infrastructure and experience managing blockchain data to bolster the security and reliability of the Chainlink network.

Coinbase Cloud’s infrastructure already services a number of leading blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, Algorand and Aptos. Chainlink node operators are integral to the network, and responsible for connecting smart contracts on different blockchains to data and systems.

Related: Google Cloud broadens Web3 startup program with 11 blockchain firms

Chainlink essentially creates a bridge between Web2 and Web3 by sourcing, formatting and transmitting data to smart contracts. A prime example is Chainlink’s provision of decentralized price feeds which secures an estimated $22 billion in value locked in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, including Synthetix, Aave, Compound and dYdX.

Coinbase Cloud group product manager Kai Zhao highlighted the importance of node operators across the cryptocurrency ecosystem, ensuring security and reliability of smart contracts:

“By building decentralized Oracles, we are helping to create a more decentralized and trustworthy future for blockchain technology. We believe onchain is the next online, and we look forward to working with Chainlink to further this future.”

Chainlink Labs global head of CeFi, Sales & Strategy William Reilly added that the latest node operator would add experience and robust infrastructure to the oracle network, which will benefit a broad array of Web3 products, service and applications:

“Their involvement will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of decentralized applications, further propelling the blockchain industry to new heights.”

Coinbase signaled its intent to become a central pillar in the wider Web3 ecosystem in 2021, with Coinbase chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee highlighting the company’s ambition to become the Amazon Web Services (AWS) of the cryptocurrency space.

Coinbase Cloud is central to this gambit and its suite of products is powering a number of services across the ecosystem. The service was born of Coinbase’s acquisition of Bison Trails, which offered blockchain infrastructure provider in early 2021.

Coinbase Cloud’s Node platform allows users to create and manage Web3 applications while the firm also launched its own Ethereum layer-2 network called Base in February 2022.

Magazine: Joe Lubin: The truth about ETH founders split and ‘Crypto Google’

Ripples splashes $250 million on Metaco acquisition

https://www.theblock.co/post/231140/ripples-acquires-metaco?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

San Francisco-based crypto company Ripple today announced an audacious swoop for Swiss custody firm Metaco in a deal worth $250 million.

For Ripple, an enterprise blockchain and payments specialist, the move signals an expansion into providing crypto custody services for institutional investors. The company plans to start offering customers tools to custody, issue and settle tokenized assets, according to today’s announcement.

The transaction — which was financed through a mix of cash and Ripple equity — will see Ripple become the sole shareholder of Metaco, but the firm will still operate as a standalone brand. Its founder and CEO Adrien Treccani will continue to lead the business.

“Metaco is a proven leader in institutional digital asset custody with an exceptional executive bench and a truly unmatched customer track record,” said Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, in a statement. “Bringing on Metaco is monumental for our growing product suite and expanding global footprint.”

Founded in Switzerland in 2015, Metaco serves a range of clients including global custodians, large banks, financial institutions and other corporates. Its core crypto custody product, Harmonize, helps investors manage custody, trading, tokenization, staking and smart contract management across the DeFi ecosystem.

Hunting for deals

Metaco is already live across a number of markets, including Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Ripple, meanwhile, boasts customers in over 55 countries and can offer its payment services in over 70 markets globally.

News of the acquisition comes with Ripple still locked in a years-long feud with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2020, the SEC accused Ripple of raising $1.3 billion through the sale of XRP, a token, and also sued CEO Garlinghouse and co-founder Christian Larsen. A decision from a federal judge settling the dispute could come as soon as the first half of this year.

CEO Garlinghouse had signalled as far back as May 2022, however, that the company had a “a very strong balance sheet” and may seek out M&A opportunities, in an interview with CNBC.

Monica Long, Ripple’s president, said in a statement today that Ripple “is uniquely positioned to address the growing institutional crypto custody market, expected to reach nearly $10 trillion by 2030.”

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Leading Enterprise Crypto Company Ripple Acquires Custody Provider Metaco for $250M

https://thenewscrypto.com/leading-enterprise-crypto-company-ripple-acquires-custody-provider-metaco-for-250m/

With this seminal acquisition, Ripple takes on the growing institutional crypto custody market, expected to reach $10T by 2030

LONDON & LAUSANNE, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ripple, the leader in enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions, announced today it has acquired Metaco, a Swiss-based provider of digital asset custody and tokenization technology. Diversifying into custody solutions is a milestone in Ripple’s business and product strategy, bringing new revenue opportunities to the company.

Ripple and Metaco share strong crypto DNA, top-tier institutional customers, and a long history of working with regulated entities to create secure enterprise-grade solutions. With this acquisition, Ripple will expand its enterprise offerings, providing customers with the technology to custody, issue, and settle any type of tokenized asset. Metaco will dramatically accelerate its growth trajectory through access to Ripple’s established base of hundreds of customers, capital to address new demand, and resources to continue delivering on its commitment to banking and institutional clients.

“Metaco is a proven leader in institutional digital asset custody with an exceptional executive bench and a truly unmatched customer track record,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “Through the strength of our balance sheet and financial position, Ripple will continue pressing our advantage in the areas critical to crypto infrastructure. Bringing on Metaco is monumental for our growing product suite and expanding global footprint.”

Best known for its flagship payments products, Ripple was the first company to address the multi-trillion dollar pain points in cross-border payments utilizing blockchain and cryptocurrency. The company focused on solving the hardest problems – such as building blockchain-enabled payments infrastructure from the ground up – before expanding its product offerings to address new use cases like liquidity management and tokenization, including Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Today, Ripple serves hundreds of customers in over 55 countries and 6 continents with payout capabilities in 70+ markets.

Metaco offers secure and versatile mission-critical custody infrastructure for institutions to scale new business models in the crypto economy. Its primary offering Harmonize is the institutional standard for digital asset custody and tokenization infrastructure, chosen by the world’s largest global custodians, top-tier banks, financial institutions and corporates. Metaco’s technology solutions are currently offered across various jurisdictions, including Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines, among others.

“As the go-to provider for traditional finance companies looking to integrate crypto and blockchain solutions, Ripple is uniquely positioned to address the growing institutional crypto custody market, expected to reach $10T by 2030. Custody is a key facet of the infrastructure required for enterprise crypto services. Adding these capabilities to Ripple’s already growing product solutions means we can continue to support customers as they look to utilize crypto and blockchain for real-world use cases across all phases of adoption,” said Monica Long, President at Ripple.

Adrien Treccani, Founder and CEO at Metaco, said, “Our mission has always been to enable institutions to thrive in the digital asset economy with the help of our core infrastructure and expertise, and we are delighted to join forces with the team at Ripple, who share that passion. This deal will enable Metaco to leverage Ripple’s scale and market strength to reach our goals and deliver value to our clients at a faster pace. We look forward to continuing to serve unprecedented levels of institutional demand with the utmost excellence in delivery, as our clients have come to expect.”

Ripple will become the sole shareholder of Metaco, which will continue to operate as an independent brand and business unit led by Founder and CEO Adrien Treccani.

About Metaco

Founded in 2015 in Switzerland, Metaco is an enterprise technology company whose mission is to enable financial and non-financial institutions to securely build their digital asset operations. The company’s core product, Harmonize™, is a mission-critical orchestration platform for digital assets. From asset-agnostic custody and trading to tokenization, staking and smart contract management, the platform seamlessly connects institutions to the broad universe of decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized applications (Web3 Dapps). Metaco has established itself as the institutional standard for digital asset infrastructure, trusted by the world’s largest global custodians, banks, regulated exchanges, and corporates. Its software and technology solutions enable institutions to store, trade, issue and manage any type of digital asset — such as crypto and digital currencies, digital securities, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – with the highest possible security and agility.

About Ripple

Ripple is a crypto solutions company that transforms how the world moves, manages and tokenizes value. Ripple’s business solutions are faster, more transparent, and more cost-effective – solving inefficiencies that have long defined the status quo. And together with partners and the larger developer community, we identify use cases where crypto technology will inspire new business models and create opportunity for more people. With every solution, we’re realizing a more sustainable global economy and planet – increasing access to inclusive and scalable financial systems while leveraging carbon-neutral blockchain technology and a green digital asset, XRP. This is how we deliver on our mission to build crypto solutions for a world without economic borders.

Contacts

Ripple

Megan Katz

press@ripple.com

Metaco

Dan Colceriu – press@metaco.com
Noel Cheung – metaco@ashburycommunications.com

Bancor Perks for Liquidity Providers Broke Securities Laws: Lawsuit

https://blockworks.co/news/bancor-liquidity-lawsuit-securities

A new class action lawsuit, helmed by Hoppin Grinsell, has been filed against BProtocol Foundation and Bancor DAO.

“The lawsuit alleges that Defendants violated federal securities laws and various state laws by offering and selling investment contracts to Bancor liquidity providers, without registering under applicable federal securities laws as an exchange or brokerdealer, and without a registration statement in effect for the securities it offered and sold,” a press release for the lawsuit said.

When Bancor, a DeFi liquidity protocol, rolled out the second version of the investment product, it introduced impermanent loss protection — insurance for losses caused by value differences between automated market makers and spot markets.

The function attracted liquidity providers (LPs) to the protocol, which led to over $2.3 billion worth of crypto assets invested in it.

But “the quantity of the crypto assets held by Bancor was insufficient to meet its obligations to LPs. If a sufficiently large number of LPs withdrew their investments at the same time, the protocol would crumble, much like a run on the bank,” the lawsuit alleges.

In 2022, after withdrawals triggered a payment obligation from the liquidity providers, Bancor suspended the impermanent loss protection, leaving the providers to incur “the very losses that Defendants had promised to ‘100% protect’ against.”

Blockworks at the time reported that Bancor temporarily paused its impermanent loss protection feature due to “hostile market conditions” and “manipulative behavior.” Mark Richardson, Bancor product architect said “it would be difficult to imagine the protocol withstanding such a large flight of liquidity all at once.”

Through conferences and interviews, Bancor and its representatives targeted US investors, the lawsuit alleges. Representatives for the protocol used condoms and t-shirts to advertise to potential investors.

In 2021, a New York City court dismissed a class action suit against Bancor and BProtocol Foundation, which alleged that the protocol offered unregistered security offerings.

Hoppin Grinsell and Bancor did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 


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DeFi protocol Bancor faces class action lawsuit over ‘permanent loss protection’

https://ourbitcoinnews.com/defi-protocol-bancor-faces-class-action-lawsuit-over-permanent-loss-protection/

Class Action Lawsuit Over Loss Protection Feature

The co-founders of Bancor, which provides DeFi (decentralized finance) liquidity solutions, and DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) were filed a class action lawsuit by investors on the 11th.

The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Texas, USA, claiming that Bancor deceived investors about its “permanent loss protection” function and caused damage to them.

In addition, although Bancor is ostensibly operated by “Bancor DAO,” an autonomous decentralized organization, the defendant actually controls most of Bancor, including capital, employees, and code management. He also said that

The defendants are Guy Benartzi, co-founder of Bancor and others, as well as the BProtocol Foundation and the Bancor DAO.

What is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)?

Refers to a decentralized organization that functions autonomously. Abbreviation for “Decentralized Autonomous Organization”. Unlike general companies, there is no central administrator like a manager. Operation and management is performed by participating members and algorithms.

▶Cryptocurrency Glossary

Complaint content

The “permanent loss protection” that is particularly problematic this time was an insurance function that compensates for losses that may occur when cryptocurrencies are deposited in liquidity pools.

When providing liquidity (staking) with a pair of two tokens, when one token rises (plunges), the holding ratio may fluctuate in order to balance the pool. Therefore, there is a risk that the amount of user assets will be lower than at the time of deposit.

Bancor has launched a function to compensate for this risk from version 2 in 2020, attracting investment.

In addition, version 3, which was launched in May 2022, promised immediate “100% protection” against losses and “the most competitive return anywhere”. In June, however, the risks materialized with a surge in withdrawals. Bancor has said it has “suspended” its loss protection.

The plaintiff alleges that other investors in the same situation as the plaintiff suffered losses totaling tens of millions of dollars.

Bancor said at the time that the suspension of loss protection was influenced by the collapse of “two large centralized organizations.”

Around this time, the collapse of the old Terra ecosystem was triggering a chain of defaults in the cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius and cryptocurrency VC Three Arrows Capital (3AC) were facing a financial crisis.

As a result, there was a sudden withdrawal of funds from Bancor, and it seems that loss protection became impossible.

Sued for securities law violations

In addition, plaintiffs also allege that Bancor’s liquidity provider program was a “binding investment agreement.” For this reason, the company also sued for violations of securities laws and securities exchange laws, seeking damages.

Plaintiff alleges that:

Securities laws are meant to warn investors about dangers such as those seen at Bancor and its liquidity program.

Bancor’s liquidity provision program is a binding investment contract and a security under the laws of the United States.

Had the defendants registered as securities and complied with disclosure requirements, plaintiffs and other investors would have avoided investing in Bancor’s program and would have avoided a loss of nearly 50% of their investment.

The post DeFi protocol Bancor faces class action lawsuit over ‘permanent loss protection’ appeared first on Our Bitcoin News.

Bancor DAO hit with class-action suit over impermanent loss protection promises

https://cointelegraph.com/news/bancor-dao-hit-with-class-action-suit-over-impermanent-loss-protection-promises

A group of investors has filed a class action suit against the Bancor decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), its operator BProtocol Foundation and its founders in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs claim, among other things, that Bancor deceived investors about its impermanent loss protection (ILP) mechanism for liquidity providers and was an unregistered security. 

According to the suit, Bancor’s v2.1 investment product, introduced in October 2020 and the second to feature ILP, operated at a deficit that the defendants were aware of and tried to cover by launching a new product, v3, that promised “some of the most competitive returns anywhere … without asking users to take on any risk.”

Impermanent loss occurs within the automated market maker model of decentralized finance (DeFi) when a liquidity provider deposits assets into a pool and one of the tokens involved loses value against another in the pool. It is called impermanent because trading conditions may restore the value of the token later. The loss is not realized unless the investor withdraws the token from the pool.

Related: Zircon Finance launches mainnet to mitigate impermanent loss on Moonriver

On June 19, 2022, Bancor experienced a spike in withdrawals, leading to a “pause” in ILP. Investors could still withdraw their assets, but they experienced the losses ILP was meant to prevent. This led to “losses approaching 50% of their LP [Liquidity Provider] Program investment,” amounting to tens of millions of dollars to U.S. retail investors, according to the suit.

In addition, the plaintiffs alleged that the founders of the DAO retained control of it:

“Though Bancor is purportedly run by a decentralized autonomous organization (“Bancor DAO”), Defendants retain near-total control over Bancor, both directly (control over its capital, employees, and code) and indirectly (domination and manipulation of the Bancor DAO).”

They also claim that Bancor’s LP Program “is a binding investment contract and a security under U.S. law.” Moreover:

“Had Defendants complied with applicable registration and disclosure requirements, Plaintiffs and other class members would not have invested in the LP Program.”

The plaintiffs make six charges against the defendants of violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and Exchange Act of 1934, as well as breach of contract and unjust enrichment. They are demanding restitution, damages and interest.

Magazine: The legal dangers of getting involved with DAOs

Class Action Lawsuit Accuses Bancor Protocol of Misleading Investors

https://beincrypto.com/class-action-lawsuit-bancor-misleading-investors/

A class action lawsuit is underway against the founders of Bancor Protocol. Plaintiffs accuse the exchange of misleading investors and causing significant financial losses.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the founders of Bancor Protocol, an automated crypto asset exchange. Plaintiffs allege they mislead investors and caused substantial financial losses. A group of plaintiffs, alongside others in a similar situation, has collectively filed a lawsuit against the founders of Bancor Protocol, as well as BProtocol Foundation and Bancor DAO.

Bancor Protocol Systems

The plaintiffs assert that the defendants lured them with promises of risk-free investments. They allegedly did this to compensate for undisclosed deficits within their online crypto asset exchange. Not only were these promises false, according to the lawsuit, but those who made them knew quite well they were bogus.

The founders of Bancor Protocol, who established the BProtocol Foundation in 2017, introduced an automated method for trading crypto assets. The protocol acts as an “automated market maker” (AMM), pooling investors’ crypto assets to create a functional exchange.

In return, investors are offered a share of the fees collected from traders on the platform.

Allegations of Misleading Pitches and Financial Losses

While Bancor Protocol is purportedly governed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) called Bancor DAO, the lawsuit claims that the defendants retained significant control over the platform’s operations. This extended not only to its capital, employees, and code but also involved manipulation and domination of the Bancor DAO, effectively granting the defendants near-total control.

To attract liquidity providers (LPs) and remain competitive, Bancor Protocol sought ample liquidity across diverse crypto assets.

Defendants introduced different versions of Bancor, with Version 2.1 prominently featuring “impermanent loss protection” as an enticing feature for LPs. This protection aimed to safeguard LPs against losses incurred when depositing assets into the exchange. As a result, Bancor Protocol successfully attracted over $2.3 billion worth of crypto assets.

With the “impermanent loss protection” feature, investors believed their funds were safe.

However, the lawsuit alleges that Version 2.1’s implementation exacerbated weaknesses within the protocol. Defendants were allegedly aware of these shortfalls and the related risks but hid them from LPs while trying to get around the problem through increased liquidity and undisclosed analyses.

Nevertheless, these efforts failed to cover the impermanent loss protection guarantee, allegedly resulting in severe financial losses for LPs.

Bancor DAO: Not So Decentralized?

In May 2022, Bancor Protocol launched Version 3 with an enhanced investment program known as the LP Program. Defendants marketed the program to LPs, offering “100% protection” against impermanent loss and claiming consistent payment coverage for previous versions.

However, just 19 days after the program’s launch, large withdrawal requests triggered payment obligations that the defendants allegedly failed to honor. This caused substantial financial harm to investors, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs argue that the LP Program constitutes a binding investment contract and a security under US law. They contend that the defendants could have complied with relevant registration and disclosure requirements.

They and other class members would thus have avoided losses amounting to nearly 50% of their investments. As a result, the plaintiffs have asked for damages, restitution, and other forms of relief.

The post Class Action Lawsuit Accuses Bancor Protocol of Misleading Investors appeared first on BeInCrypto.

Mysten Labs’ Sui activates mainnet, entering competitive Layer 1 space

https://www.theblock.co/post/229236/mysten-labs-sui-mainnet?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Sui launched its mainnet, ending a multi-year development process for the newest Layer 1 blockchain in the crypto arena.

The network went live according to an update from the project’s Discord server that was made at 11.30 UTC, referencing a genesis blob. With the mainnet release, Sui’s native asset will shortly be available for trading on various exchanges, such as Binance, OKX, Bybit, and Kucoin.

Sui enters a competitive landscape of high-performance Layer 1 blockchains, including Solana, Aptos and Sei. The Sui team asserts that more than 200 decentralized applications, encompassing NFTs, DeFi, social media, and gaming, are set to go live on tthe network in the coming weeks.

“Today is a milestone for the entire Sui community. For the first time, builders and users have access to a Layer 1 blockchain that allows developers to build freely, without being inhibited by complex infrastructure, and unlocks endless possibilities for users across the world,” stated Greg Siourounis, managing director of the Sui Foundation.

Mysten Labs, the developer of Sui, raised $300 million in a September 2022 funding round, valuing the project at over $2 billion last year. The Series B round was led by FTX Ventures, the venture arm of Sam Bankman-Fried’s now-defunct crypto exchange FTX. Just this month, the now-bankrupt FTX sold its stake in Mysten Labs for $96 million.

What is Sui?

Sui is a highly scalable blockchain designed to support decentralized applications with block finality of less than half a second. Sui achieved a throughput rate of more than 300,000 transactions per second (TPS) with 100 validators on testnet, the team shared. It’s the second blockchain to launch from the two Move programming language spinoffs of Meta’s Diem project, with Aptos — which launched in October 2022 — being the first.

The proof-of-stake network utilizes Narwhal and Bullshark, two high-throughput mempool and consensus engines developed by Mysten Labs. These engines represent the state of the art in terms of performance. “Sui is horizontally scalable to support a wide range of application development with unrivaled speed at low cost and latency. It can take advantage of more machines per validator to increase its performance,” a spokesperson for Sui told The Block.

Sui has a focus on offering a user-friendly experience for smart contract developers while emphasizing composability, according to the team.

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Dubai Reprimands 3AC Founders’ New Crypto Exchange

https://blockworks.co/news/dubai-3ac-crypto-exchange-opnx

Co-founders of controversial (and bankrupt) crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital have been taken to task over allegedly promoting their new exchange OPNX without securing a local license in Dubai.

They were called out by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) of Dubai for allegedly promoting their crypto exchange, OPNX, while not ensuring proper restrictions for local residents.

It appears VARA caught wind of OPNX soliciting and collecting personal data from the public in February, according to a notice published Tuesday. As a result, the regulator issued a cease and desist order to the founders last month.

“OPNX launched the exchange on opnx.com, providing VA Exchange services — a regulated activity under the VARA regime — without securing any regulatory licences, and as such operating in contravention of local laws,” VARA said.

Even after applying some restrictions, UAE residents still appeared to have access to OPNX’s promotions and marketing communication. 

OPNX, short for Open Exchange, is the latest brainchild of 3AC co-founders Kyle Davies and Su Zhu, alongside the two founders of bankrupt exchange CoinFLEX. All four received the written reprimand from Dubai’s VARA, as well as OPNX CEO Leslie Lamb.

The founders claim that OPNX, which went live on April 4, has raised $25 million in investment capital

After their crypto hedge fund went bust in June last year, Davies and Zhu relocated from Singapore to Dubai, where they were reportedly looking to establish a new operational hub.

Leslie Lamb told Blockworks that OPNX was launched in Hong Kong, and the exchange had taken measures to prevent UAE residents from accessing and signing up for the site.

“To confirm, we have no Dubai or UAE customers and do full KYC on all users,” she told Blockworks in a LinkedIn message.

“We have responded and cooperated with VARA every step of the way and they have invited us to meet with them and discuss the requirements for applying for a VARA license.”

OPNX hopes to not only be a venue for trading crypto, but also crypto-related bankruptcy claims. There’s supposedly a $20 billion market for crypto claims out there that OPNX wants to tap. 

Its focus is on bankrupt asset claims, allowing creditors to “unleash their locked claims directly into crypto or use them as margin capital,” according to its website.

The authority’s crackdown on OPNX reflects the trend of emirate regulators adopting a more rigorous stance towards cryptocurrencies amid efforts to establish the region as an industry hot spot.


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3AC founders run into fresh trouble in Dubai over new exchange OPNX

https://cointelegraph.com/news/3ac-founders-run-into-fresh-trouble-in-dubai-over-new-exchange-opnx

The co-founders of failed crypto hedge fund Three Arrow Capital, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, have run into fresh trouble over operating and promoting their new digital-asset exchange OPNX without the required local license in Dubai.

According to a report published in Bloomberg, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) sent a written notice to Zhu and Davies along with two other executives of OPNX. The digital asset regulatory body, in a statement to Bloomberg, said they are still investigating the activities of the newly found exchange and reportedly assured corrective measures would be taken against the firm for violating laws.

The regulator reportedly claimed that OPNX has been engaged in marketing the exchange in the country through social media platforms without establishing warranted restrictions for residents of Dubai/UAE. VARA first discovered the exchange in February through its marketing advertisements to lure customers even before the launch of the exchange.

The latest written reprimand from VARA comes after two cease-and-desist notices from the authorities in February and March. VARA said that despite the notices, they didn’t hear back from OPNX and issued an “investor and marketplace alert” against the exchange just days after its launch on April 4.

OPNX’s launch and its association with the former founders of the failed crypto hedge fund have always been a talking point in the crypto industry. The crypto community was baffled to see Zhu and Davies promoting a new venture and raising funds for the same, even though they are currently under investigation for the downfall of 3AC.

Zhu and Davies have reportedly backed away from any further association with OPNX and reportedly told Bloomberg that “while Kyle and I helped contribute the initial ideas for OPNX, Leslie is very much the CEO and we aren’t involved in the day-to-day.”

Related: OPNX quips about its early dismal volume after reporting 90,000% surge

OPNX association with former 3AC founders has not helped its cause when it comes to fundraising. On April 24, OPNX chief Leslie Lamb blasted a number of venture capital firms on Twitter after some reportedly backed out of the venture. The exchange has earlier claimed that it was backed by the likes of AppWorks, Susquehanna (SIG), DRW, MIAX Group, China Merchant Bank International, and Token Bay Capital.

Magazine: Crypto regulation — Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?

Binance warns crypto mogul Justin Sun against SUI token grab

https://www.theblock.co/post/228905/binance-cz-justin-sun-sui

Binance boss Changpeng Zhao today warned fellow crypto mogul Justin Sun that the exchange operator would take action against him if he tried to farm SUI tokens. But Sun quickly apologized for what he described as inadvertent actions and reversed them.

Earlier today, Sun transferred a total of over 115 million TrueUSD (TUSD) stablecoins on Binance, according to Whale Alert tweets. TUSD is one of two tokens — the other is BNB — that can be staked on Binance Launchpool to farm SUI, the native token of Mysten Labs’ Sui Network, Binance announced today. Yield farming is the process of earning tokens by providing liquidity to DeFi protocols.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao noticed the huge transfers of TUSD, and tweeted that if Sun used any of those tokens to grab the Sui tokens available via Launchpool, Binance would “take action against it.”

“Binance Launchpool is meant as airdrops for our retail users, not just for a few whales,” Zhao said, adding, “On the bright side, blockchains are transparent.”

Justin Sun’s response

Sun was quick to clarify that the TUSD transfer was made to provide liquidity. He added, however, that some of these stablecoins were “inadvertently” used to participate in exchange campaigns — which would have yielded SUI token rewards — and that the action will be reversed.

Sun said Tron DAO Ventures, a partner market maker of TUSD, deposited the tokens to Binance for market-making purposes. “Regrettably, some of our team members were not fully aware of the intended purpose for these funds and inadvertently used a portion of them to participate in exchange campaigns,” Sun tweeted. “Upon realizing this error, we immediately contacted the exchange team and arranged for a full refund of the funds.”

“We sincerely apologize for this oversight,” Sun added.

Binance Launchpool was created in September 2020 during the rise of DeFi. The platform allows users to earn newly launched tokens in return for staking BNB and other tokens. Launchpool is different from Binance Launchpad, which is essentially a platform for purchasing new tokens.

‘Only miscommunication’

This appears to be the first time that Zhao has publicly made such a threat against Sun. The two executives have enjoyed a close relationship over the years. Sun told The Block that this episode was “only miscommunication.”

“I have texted CZ and he understands it,” Sun said.

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Nigeria’s SEC Mulls Allowing Tokenized Equity, Property But Not Crypto: Bloomberg

https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/05/01/nigerias-sec-mulls-allowing-tokenized-equity-property-but-not-crypto-bloomberg/

“We always like to start, as a regulator, with a very simple clear proposal before we go into the complex ones,” Abdulkadir Abbas, head of securities and investment services at the Abuja-based commission reportedly said.

Gemini looks to mediation in hope of swift resolution to Earn debacle

https://www.theblock.co/post/228894/gemini-earn-mediation-dcg?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Gemini, the crypto exchange business run by the Winklevoss twins, is hoping mediation will produce a swift resolution to negotiations with Digital Currency Group about returning funds to customers.

In an update on April 28, Gemini said that DCG, DCG’s bankrupt lending arm Genesis Global, the Unsecured Creditors Committee (UCC), the Creditor Committee and Gemini itself had “agreed to start a 30-day mediation process to drive to a final resolution as soon as possible,” adding that “an order from Bankruptcy Judge Lane directing the mediation is expected to be entered as early as Monday.”

Some 340,000 customers of Gemini Earn, the now-terminated yield generating product, have been stuck in limbo since late last year after DCG’s Genesis Global paused withdrawals in November. Genesis Global later filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with more than $3.5 billion owed to creditors. By far the largest claim belonged to Gemini Trust Company, which was owed $766 million in funds that had been lent out through the Gemini Earn program.

Gemini and DCG reached an agreement in February that would see DCG restructuring debts, as well as contributing equity in Genesis Global Trading, another unit, to its bankrupt lending arm, with Gemini contributing up to $100 million.

Deadline day

But there are still details to hash out. On April 21, the UCC presented a revised term sheet to DCG after an investigation.

In Friday’s update, Gemini said the agreed-to mediation “will be narrowly focused on DCG’s economic contribution to the bankruptcy estate for the benefit of all creditors, including Earn users, and is designed to bring resolution to the Genesis bankruptcy plan.”

Gemini said the mediation process will involve two meetings before May 8, adding that $630 million owed to Gemini by DCG is due by May 9-11. “If DCG is unable to pay and/or restructure its debt, DCG risks defaulting on its obligations. So while the mediation is scheduled for up to 30 days, the parties are expected to work expeditiously towards agreement in the immediate window,” Gemini said.

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Gemini ‘supportive’ of Genesis mediation, but frustrated over pacing

https://cointelegraph.com/news/gemini-supportive-of-genesis-mediation-but-frustrated-over-pacing

Crypto lender Genesis and its key creditor group have agreed to a 30-day mediation process in an attempt to move forward with a final restructuring plan, though one company is expressing “frustration” over the pace of progress.

On April 30, Gemini tweeted that Genesis, its parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG), its Unsecured Creditors Committee (UCC) and Gemini have agreed to a 30-day mediation process in court on April 28. 

Gemini said its aim is to “drive to a final resolution as soon as possible, and that it was “supportive” of mediation. Gemini however added it had “expressed our frustration” regarding “the pace of progress among the parties and the need for urgency.”

The mediation is to move forward on a proposed bankruptcy exit plan submitted in February that expected creditors to recover 80% of lost funds. The plan is backed by DCG but the UCC opposed the restructuring deal wanting better terms.

Genesis is slated to next appear in bankruptcy court on May 4. Sean O’Neal, a lawyer for Genesis, said in court on April 30 that it hopes to have two mediation sessions before May 8 with the deal’s final terms made public after the mediation period.

A mediator will need to be selected by Genesis and the UCC. O’Neal said potential mediators have started to be contacted and the process will be outlined to the court once one is selected.

Related: Binance.US, Alameda, Voyager Digital and the SEC — the ongoing court saga

On April 25, DCG expressed its thoughts on the matter when Genesis filed its motion for mediation.

The crypto conglomerate said the settlement would “prolong the court process” due to the renewed demands and added it was “difficult to understand the rationale” of Genesis creditors as they had given “limited engagement” since the plan proposed in February.

Genesis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a New York District Court in January, estimating its liabilities were between $1 billion and $10 billion with assets in the same range.

The crypto lender was one of several firms hit by liquidity issues in the wake of the collapse of FTX.

Magazine: Whatever happened to EOS? Community shoots for unlikely comeback

Terra Co-Founder Daniel Shin Indicted in South Korea: Bloomberg

https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/04/25/terra-co-founder-daniel-shin-indicted-by-south-korea-bloomberg/

Shin’s lawyer Kim Ji-dong said he has “nothing to do with the … collapse as he left the company two years before the fallout,” according to the report. “He voluntarily returned to South Korea immediately after the collapse, and has been faithfully cooperating with the probe for over 10 months, hoping to contribute to fact finding.”

Terra co-founder Daniel Shin and nine others formally charged by South Korea

https://www.theblock.co/post/228098/daniel-shin-terra-co-founder-charged?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

South Korean prosecutors indicted Terraform Labs co-founder Shin Hyun-Seung (aka Daniel Shin) and nine others on multiple charges, including violations of capital markets law.

The formal charges come after months of investigation into the Terra ecosystem’s dramatic implosion last year, which wiped out tens of billions in investor wealth. Bringing the charges, the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office said Tuesday that Terra was bound to fail because it was a “fictitious” project and its algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD was not feasible from the beginning.

Two related Terra tokens collapsed last May: luna and TerraUSD, which was often known by its ticker UST. Unlike normal asset-backed stablecoins, UST was backed by luna, whose price was set by the market. The Prosecutors’ Office said the algorithm that helped keep UST at a stable price was impossible to get right.

The 10 people charged caused “astronomical damage” for investors while taking 463 billion won ($347 million) in profit, according to the prosecutors. Korean authorities are actively tracking these illegal gains and have frozen 247 billion won in assets so far, they said.

Daniel Shin’s assets frozen

The frozen assets are part of a “restitution” request that was accepted in court to compensate victims and not part of a “forfeiture” request that was recently rejected to put the money into the national treasury.

The indictment comes a day after the Seoul Southern District Court ruled that Terra Classic — as luna was renamed following its implosion — is not a security, per Korea’s Capital Markets Act. Still, prosecutors have called for the Supreme Court of Korea to rule on the matter.

Shin’s lawyers reiterated today that he split from the Terra project in 2020 and hasn’t had involvement in operations since. Prosecutors’ “premise that Shin continued with the business despite warnings from financial authorities is incorrect,” Shin’s lawyers told Korea Daily.

Shin co-founded Terraform with Do Kwon

Shin is not currently in custody, after a South Korean court in December rejected a request to arrest him, saying he wasn’t likely to destroy evidence or pose a flight risk. He will remain free for now, pending trial. 

Shin’s co-founder Do Kwon, on the other hand, was recently detained in Montenegro for attempting to travel with falsified documents and last week was officially charged.

Kwon is also wanted by Korea and the U.S., where the Securities and Exchange Commission sued him and Terraform Labs. Lawyers for Kwon recently requested a U.S. court to dismiss the SEC’s charges, partly for lack of jurisdiction.

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

$190B Ontario pension says no to crypto after FTX investment loss

https://cointelegraph.com/news/190b-ontario-pension-says-no-to-crypto-after-ftx-investment-collapse

The Onatario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) has decided to steer its investment away from cryptocurrencies. 

The decision comes after the OTPP — which manages over $190 billion in assets  — lost the entirety of its $95 million investment in crypto exchange FTX after it went bust in November 2022.

OTPP was one of the many backers of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange and had invested twice: Once during the bull market in 2021 and again during exchange’s Series C funding round in early 2022.

OTPP chief executive Jo Taylor said in an interview with Financial Times that it’d be unwise for the pension fund to rush into another crypto investment. Taylor said that they are still processing what happened with the exchange and they would be much more cautious before investing in emerging assets like digital currencies. The pension fund is responsible for offering pensions to over 330,000 teachers and school workers.

“We took our time and did a lot of due diligence on the business. It didn’t turn out the way we thought. We weren’t necessarily shown all the information we needed to know to make a balanced decision.”

The pension fund is now looking to direct its investment toward more traditional markets such as real estate and is aiming to gain exposure to private credit sector. The investment plan provider is looking to invest 10 billion Canadian dollars ($7.4 billion) over the next three years to build their portfolio in the mentioned domains.

Related: Virginia county wants to put pension funds into DeFi yield farming

Apart from OTPP, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), another prominent pension fund, lost its entire investment of $154.7 million in troubled cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network. Celsius was one among many crypto lenders that went under during the crypto contagion in the second quarter of 2022.

The dramatic collapse of the then third -argest crypto exchange FTX had a drastic impact on the entire ecosystem. The confidence of investors and venture capitalists in the crypto ecosystem reached a low point while crypto funding dried up. It also flipped the crypto ecosystem’s narrative on mass adoption and attracted regulatory scrutiny from around the world.

Magazine: Green consumers want supply chain transparency via blockchain

TransUnion to deliver credit scores for public blockchain apps

https://www.ledgerinsights.com/transunion-credit-scores-public-blockchain/

Yesterday credit rating company TransUnion announced it will make off-chain credit scores available for DeFi lending on public blockchain. The solution is in partnership with blockchain startup Spring Labs, in which Transunion is an investor, and Quadrata, a Spring Labs spinoff that provides digital identity passports and KYC solutions.

To date, most DeFi lending has been over-collateralized with cryptocurrencies. However, DeFi lending is increasingly expanding beyond this, triggering the need for credit scores.

“Credit scoring is an important tool for lenders to help mitigate risk regardless of the platform being used,” said Jason Laky, EVP of financial services at TransUnion. “This partnership with Spring Labs and Quadrata will allow for DeFi lenders to have access to this critical information when making their lending decisions.”

Spring Labs claims the process supports the provision of credit data while maintaining privacy over the consumer’s identity on the blockchain. The data is delivered directly to the consumer, and then the user shares a subset with the lending application. 

The announcement explicitly states that the individual requests a credit score. The emphasis is likely because of the privacy objectives. However, it’s also noteworthy that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing TransUnion over ‘digital dark patterns’ which the CFPB alleges ‘dupe Americans into subscription plans’.

Meanwhile, Spring Labs was founded to expand the amount of data available for consumer credit profiles. Its original goal was to encourage more financial data to be shared by telecoms firms, insurers and utilities using privacy preserving solutions built on a permissioned blockchain. Apart from developing Quadrata, it has been involved in other data exchange networks, such as one that prevents solar panel loan fraud. It has raised a total of $63 million in funding, including from Transunion and GM Ventures.

DCG Crypto Exchange Luno Leaves Singapore After 35% Job Cuts

https://blockworks.co/news/luno-singapore-dcg-crypto-exchange

Digital Currency Group’s crypto exchange Luno is winding down services in Singapore, one of its key markets.

The move is part of a regular reassessment of its “global strategy and presence,” Luno said in a blog post. The London-headquartered firm informed Singapore’s central bank and financial regulatory authority that it no longer wants a permit to operate in the city-state.

“… It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly. It’s always been our mission to put the power of crypto in everyone’s hands. This is still true,” Luno said.

“As a key financial hub in the region and an innovator in financial technology, Singapore has the potential to lead the way in using crypto to build a fair and robust financial system. We can’t wait to watch its journey and are proud to have been a part of it.”

Luno was granted in-principle approval from financial regulators in Singapore in April 2022, allowing it to offer crypto-related services to local investors. “Our operations in other regions are not impacted by this decision,” Luno said.

The firm advised customers to withdraw their cryptocurrency and Singapore dollars from Luno wallets by June 19.

Several crypto companies including Coinbase and Binance have either applied or have signaled intent to apply for licenses to operate in Singapore, a region initially considered crypto-friendly. 

But Singapore has taken a tougher stance on the digital asset industry after a series of high-profile crypto failures associated with the city-state. Its financial watchdog also mulled limiting retail participation in crypto and placing rules on the use of leverage.

In contrast, Hong Kong is gearing up to become a digital asset hub despite mainland China’s prohibitive attitude to the industry.

Luno, founded in 2013, has previously counted regional Singapore and Cape Town as regional hubs. While it’s now leaving Singapore, the exchange is expanding services in South Africa.

Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group (DCG) acquired Luno in Sept. 2020. DCG, which also owns Grayscale, CoinDesk, Genesis and Foundry, participated in Luno’s 2014 seed round.

DCG was at the center of a crisis earlier this year when crypto broker Genesis froze customer withdrawals, filing for bankruptcy in January. The crypto conglomerate recently halted dividend payments to preserve liquidity and reported an annual loss of $1.1 billion last year.

Luno downsized in the same month, reducing the size of its overall team by 35% due to “an incredibly tough year for the broader tech industry” and the crypto market.


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Shaquille O’Neal Served in FTX Case, Ending 3-Month ‘Sideshow’

https://blockworks.co/news/shaq-oneal-ftx-lawsuit

NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has finally been served by lawyers representing investors in a class-action lawsuit against FTX celebrity endorsers.

O’Neal was handed official legal documents outside his Texas residence at 4pm local time on Sunday. Adam Moskowitz, managing partner and class-action co-counsel at The Moskowitz Law Firm, confirmed the serving to Blockworks in an email.

“The good news is his home video cameras recorded our service and we made it very clear that he is not to destroy and/or erase any of these security tapes because they must be preserved for our lawsuit,” he said.

As of last week, O’Neal was the last remaining defendant named in the suit to be served. O’Neal joins Tom Brady, Larry David, Gisele Bündchen, Stephen Curry and Kevin O’Leary, among others.

The development ends a three-month hunt to serve the former basketball superstar over his role in endorsing the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX.

FTX pushed sweeping marketing campaigns, including Super Bowl ads, celebrity endorsements and naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena. Some promotions reportedly promised investors greater returns than a typical deposit account.

Shaquille O’Neal still lives on FTX’s Twitter timeline

The lawsuit was filed by a retail investor on behalf of other FTX users who’d been influenced to use the platform by celebrities. O’Neal’s “FTX: I Am All In” commercial, cited by Garrison, was created by New York advertising agency Dentsu McGarrybowen and global partnership firm Wasserman.

FTX filed for bankruptcy last November following $8-billion wave of withdrawals, which quickly led to allegations of severe mismanagement and fraud. Former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to federal charges and awaits trial later this year, while close associates have struck plea deals to cooperate with the US government.

Lawyers had until Monday to hand over official legal documents to O’Neal after Judge Michael Moore, presiding, issued a deadline after denying a request to serve the celebrity via Twitter.

“We took Judge Moore’s instructions very seriously and are glad to finally end this silly sideshow,” Moskowitz said. Blockworks attempted to contact O’Neal via his philanthropy website but did not immediately receive a response.


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Want alpha sent directly to your inbox? Get degen trade ideas, governance updates, token performance, can’t-miss tweets and more from Blockworks Research’s Daily Debrief.

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Shaquille O’Neal finally served in FTX class action after three-month chase

https://www.theblock.co/post/226583/shaq-served-ftx-class-action

Shaq has been served. After three months of chasing basketball great Shaquille O’Neal, lawyers handling a class action lawsuit served the basketball star and one-time FTX promoter outside his Atlanta home on Sunday.

O’Neal is among more than a dozen celebrities and sports teams who are being sued for promoting FTX, the now-bankrupt crypto exchange. He had at one point been so supportive of FTX that the company dubbed him “Shaqtoshi,” referencing Satoshi Nakamoto, the name of the person who apparently wrote the white paper on Bitcoin.

Lawyers have been hunting him down for three months. O’Neal has been hiding in plain sight. He appears regularly on TV, has his own podcast and is a touring DJ under the name “DJ Diesel.” Still, process servers struggled to give O’Neal official notice that he is the target of a lawsuit. 

Lawyers finally served O’Neal at his home on Sunday afternoon, and say the exchange was captured on video. The case was filed by Oklahoma man Edwin Garrison, an FTX customer, and is being handled by attorneys Adam Moskowitz and David Boies. The news was first shared with The Block.

“We just served personally Shaquille O’Neal outside his house with a copy of our complaint at 4pm,” Moskowitz said in an email. “We took Judge Moore’s instructions very seriously and are glad to finally end this silly sideshow.”

Desperation in the hunt for O’Neal

Lawyers had been so desperate to find O’Neal ahead of a Monday deadline that they asked a judge to allow them to serve O’Neal via Twitter, Instagram and email. After that request was denied, Moskowitz’s firm resorted to tweeting at him from outside the TNT studios in Atlanta, where O’Neal is a fixture on “The NBA on TNT.” 

The exchange between O’Neal and a process server was captured on video, lawyers say, though it has yet to be released. O’Neal did not respond to a request for comment. 

“His home video cameras recorded our service and we have made it very clear, he is not to destroy and/or erase any of these security tapes, because they must be preserved for our lawsuit,” Moskowitz said. “Mr. O’Neal will now be required to appear in federal court and explain to his millions of followers his ‘FTX: I Am All In’ false advertising campaign.”

Other celebrities targeted in the lawsuit include football star Tom Brady and “Seinfeld” creator Larry David. O’Neal, who Moskowitz said had “been hiding and driving away from our process servers for the past three months,” was the final figure to be served on Sunday.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Threats & tough times serving celebs

The lengthy struggle to serve O’Neal was so dramatic that lawyers claim one process server gave up after he received a text message that seemingly threatened his wife, Beth Shaw. 

“Shaq lives in the Bahamas u stupid fuck give Beth Shaw my regards,” the text message said, according to court filings. It is not clear who sent the message.

The case illustrates how difficult it can be to serve a celebrity, even one who often appears in public. O’Neal has homes in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, California and the Bahamas, according to court filings. Lawyers had focused on his Texas residence because O’Neal is expanding his Big Chicken restaurant franchise there. 

O’Neal has sought to distance himself from FTX in the wake of the company’s collapse. I was just a paid spokesperson for a commercial,” O’Neal said after the company went bankrupt.

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to criminal fraud charges, while three other executives from the company pleaded guilty in federal court. 

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

U.S. Congress to introduce new draft bill for stablecoins

https://cointelegraph.com/news/u-s-congress-to-introduce-new-draft-bill-for-stablecoins

A new draft bill providing a framework for stablecoins in the United States was published on the House of Representatives’ document repository, a few days before a hearing on the topic on April 19. The draft puts the Federal Reserve in charge of non-bank stablecoin issuers, such as crypto firms Tether and Circle, respectively issuers of Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). 

Stablecoins are a class of cryptocurrencies that attempt to offer investors price stability by being backed by specific assets or using algorithms to adjust their supply based on demand. Stablecoins were introduced in 2014 with the release of the BitUSD.

According to the document, insured depository institutions seeking to issue stablecoins would fall under the appropriate Federal banking agency supervision, while non-bank institutions would be subject to the Federal Reserve oversight. Failure to register could result in up to five years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Issuers out of the United States would have to seek registration to do business in the country.

Among the factors for approval are the ability of the applicant to maintain reserves backing the stablecoins with U.S. dollars or Federal Reserve notes, Treasury bills with maturity of 90 days or less, repurchase agreements with maturity of 7 days or less backed by Treasury bills with maturity of 90 days or less, as well as central bank reserve deposits.

Additionally, issuers must demonstrate technical expertise and established governance, as well as the benefits of offering financial inclusion and innovation through stablecoins.

On a Twitter thread, Circle’s CEO Jeremy Allaire said that “there is clearly the need for deep, bi-partisan support for laws that ensure that digital dollars on the internet are safely issued, backed and operated.” Cointelegraph reached out to Tether, but did not receive an immediate response.

Also, as part of the drafted legislation is a two-year ban on issuing, creating or originating stablecoins not backed by real assets. It also establishes that the Treasury Department would conduct a study regarding “endogenously collateralized stablecoins.”

As per the document definition, endogenously stablecoins “relies solely on the value of another digital asset created or maintained by the same originator to maintain the fixed price.”

The draft further allows the U.S. government to establish standards for interoperability between stablecoins. It also determines that the Congress and the White House would support a Federal Reserve’s study about the issuance of a digital dollar.

Magazine: Unstablecoins: Depegging, bank runs and other risks loom