Sam Bankman-Fried’s Life in Prison, Tornado Cash’s Turmoil, and a $3B BTC Whale: Hodler’s Digest, Aug 20-26
The Week in Review
This week, there were some major developments in the world of cryptocurrency. Tornado Cash, a popular crypto mixer, faced charges of money laundering and sanctions violations. Meanwhile, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was revealed to be struggling in prison, surviving on a meager diet and low on medication. Additionally, a mysterious Bitcoin wallet that had accumulated $3 billion in just three months was identified. Prime Trust, the parent company of Prime Trust custodian, also suffered major losses due to investments in TerraUSD. And a Pepe holder took advantage of a dip in the market and purchased $529,000 worth of tokens.
Tornado Cash Co-Founders Charged with Money Laundering and Sanctions Violations
United States officials have brought charges against the co-founders of Tornado Cash, Roman Storm and Roman Semenov. The charges include conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit sanctions violations, and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. These charges carry a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison. Tornado Cash, a popular crypto mixer, has been accused of laundering over $1 billion in ill-gotten gains. The mixer has also been implicated in various hacking incidents, including those involving the Lazarus Group, a North Korean-linked hacking collective.
Sam Bankman-Fried is Low on Meds, Living on $3 Peanut Butter in Prison
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, is reportedly facing difficult conditions in prison. He is currently surviving on a diet of bread with peanut butter, as it is the only option that accommodates his vegan diet. Bankman-Fried is also running low on his supply of prescription medication. His lawyers have appealed for better treatment and have been granted permission for him to meet with his legal team outside of jail with 48 hours’ notice. Bankman-Fried is expected to go on trial in October.
Mystery Solved: Bitcoin Wallet Accruing $3B in 3 Months is Identified
A mysterious Bitcoin wallet that rapidly climbed the ranks to become the third-largest holder of Bitcoin in the world in just three months has been identified as Robinhood: Jump Trading Custody. The wallet received its first Bitcoin on March 8 and went on to accumulate a staggering 118,000 BTC, worth $3.08 billion. The wallet’s rapid growth caught the attention of many in the crypto community, but its identity remained unknown until now.
Prime Trust Parent Company Lost $8M Investing in TerraUSD
The parent company of Prime Trust, a crypto custodian, has reported losses of approximately $8 million due to investments in TerraUSD. The company attributed these losses to the collapse of the algorithmic stablecoin in May 2022. The investment, along with increased spending during the collapse of FTX, contributed to the company’s bankruptcy filing. Prime Trust owes over $85 million in fiat and $69.5 million in crypto to its clients. The collapse of the Terra ecosystem had a major impact on the market, affecting several firms in the crypto industry.
PEPE Whale Seizes Dip Opportunity, Buys $529K Worth of Tokens
A Pepe holder took advantage of a market dip and purchased 640 billion Pepe tokens for 320 Ether, valued at $529,000. The price of the meme-themed token had dropped by approximately 15% due to concerns about potential developer manipulation and recent changes to a multisig wallet. The whale made the purchase at an average price of $0.000001163 per token. The value of Pepe had been in decline, but this purchase demonstrates confidence in its potential for future growth.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) was priced at $26,040, Ether (ETH) at $1,653, and XRP at $0.52. The total market cap stood at $1.05 trillion. Among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, the biggest gainers of the week were Bone ShibaSwap (BONE) with an 18.58% increase, Sui (SUI) with a 12.86% increase, and Toncoin (TON) with an 11.97% increase. The top three losers of the week were Pepe (PEPE) with a 21.07% decrease, XDC Network (XDC) with a 9.62% decrease, and ApeCoin (APE) with an 8.35% decrease.
Most Memorable Quotations
“If history were to repeat itself, the next halving would see bitcoin rising to $35k before the halving and $148k after.” – Pantera Capital
“A new computing era has begun. Companies worldwide are transitioning from general-purpose to accelerated computing and generative AI.” – Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA
“Some of the people who currently think that there should not be effective law enforcement on-chain would feel differently if they got hacked, defrauded, or lost their private keys.” – Mike Kanovitz, CEO of Jurat
“You could never underestimate the damage the SEC’s lawsuit has caused – not only against Ripple – but #XRP. Three years of adoption – that’s what it’s caused.” – John Deaton, pro-XRP lawyer
“AI will never replace human creativity because it will always lack the essential spark that drives the most talented artists to do their best work, which is intention.” – Neal Mohan, CEO of YouTube
“Blockchain and AI can certainly co-exist – they’re both pillars of Web3.” – Aydin Kilic, CEO of Hive Digital Technologies
Prediction of the Week
Bitcoin ‘Overconfidence Reigns’ but Bulls Must Reclaim $27.8K – Trader
A popular pseudonymous analyst known as CryptoCon believes that Bitcoin needs to reclaim a key moving average to regain its bullish status. Specifically, the 20-week exponential moving average (EMA), currently at $27,750, must be won back as support for the uptrend to be secure. CryptoCon argues that this moving average is critical for Bitcoin’s bullish momentum and compares the current price action to the rebound from the 2018 cycle lows.
FUD of the Week
Chinese Official Sentenced to Life in Prison for Bitcoin Mining, Corruption
A Chinese government official has been sentenced to life in prison for conducting illegitimate business operations, including running a $329 million Bitcoin mining enterprise. The official, Xiao Yi, also faced charges of corruption for covering up the mining operation by fabricating statistical reports and adjusting electricity consumption classifications. His facility’s electricity consumption accounted for 10% of the city of Fuzhou’s total electricity consumption from 2017 to 2020.
FBI Flags 6 Bitcoin Wallets Linked to North Korea, Urges Vigilance in Crypto Firms
The FBI has identified six Bitcoin wallets linked to North Korean state-backed hacking group Lazarus. These wallets contain 1,580 BTC, worth $40 million, allegedly obtained through various cryptocurrency hacks over the past year. Lazarus Group has been involved in multiple crypto-related exploits and is believed to have stolen nearly $2 billion in crypto funds since 2018. The FBI warns crypto firms to remain vigilant regarding threats from this hacking group.
OpenSea Manager Accused of Insider Trading Sentenced to 3 Months in Prison, $50K Fine
Nathaniel Chastain, a former product manager at OpenSea, has been sentenced to three months in prison and fined $50,000 for wire fraud and money laundering related to insider trading on the platform. Chastain used his insider knowledge to profit from the trading of NFTs on OpenSea. He purchased 45 NFTs before they were featured on the platform and later resold them for personal gain.
Recursive Inscriptions: Bitcoin ‘Supercomputer’ and BTC DeFi Coming Soon
Some experts believe that the integration of ordinals and recursive inscriptions could enhance the capabilities of the Bitcoin network, making it a strong competitor to smart contract platforms. However, achieving this goal will not be easy and will require substantial development and innovation.
AI Eye: Get Better Results Being Nice to ChatGPT, AI Fake Child Porn Debate, Amazon’s AI Reviews
Recent developments in the field of AI include research suggesting that being polite to AI models like ChatGPT can yield better results. There has also been a debate surrounding the use of AI to generate fake child pornography, raising concerns about the ethical implications of such technology. Additionally, Amazon has implemented AI-powered product reviews to enhance customer experience.
NFT Collector: Giant Swan’s Gothic VR Dreamscapes… Royalty Nightmare on OpenSea
A story of creativity and success in the world of NFTs is that of Giant Swan, an artist who went from crying in his car to putting the first 3D object on the blockchain. However, the NFT market has also experienced a race to the bottom in terms of royalties, with artists’ earnings diminishing due to the saturation of the OpenSea platform.
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