Hodler’s Digest, March 17-23 – Cointelegraph Magazine


Top Stories This Week

SEC is attempting to classify Ether as a security

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly issued numerous subpoenas to companies as part of its efforts to classify Ether as a security. 

According to a recent report, an SEC investigation into the Ethereum Foundation could potentially grant the commission regulatory jurisdiction to label the digital asset as a security.

The foundation suggested via GitHub that it may be under investigation “from a state authority.”

Meanwhile, several U.S.-based companies reportedly received requests from the SEC to provide documents and financial records related to dealings with the Ethereum Foundation.

Celsius seeks to claw back $2B in customer withdrawals

Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius is reportedly aiming to recover $2 billion from major customers who withdrew from the platform just before its bankruptcy in July 2022. 

According to a recent report, a Celsius bankruptcy oversight committee has begun contacting customers who withdrew more than $100,000 prior to its downfall, with the goal of using potential returned funds to pay back customers who did not withdraw from the platform in time. 

The committee will offer clawback-affected customers a “favorable rate” if they decide to settle, with the threat of litigation if funds are not returned.

In addition, customers who settle will have their notional digital assets adjusted based on their July 2022 value, near the nadir of the crypto bear market.

SEC hit with sanctions for its ‘gross abuse of power’ in Debt Box case

A United States district court imposed sanctions on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for acting in “bad faith” in a lawsuit it brought against Debt Box

The SEC initially filed a motion to dismiss without prejudice, but that was denied by Judge Robert J. Shelby, who slammed the regulator for intentionally lying to the court about evidence it obtained to secure a temporary restraining order and freeze of Debt Box’s assets last August. 

In its lawsuit, the SEC claimed Debt Box perpetrated a $50-million fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme amid its operations as a software mining license provider, alleging that Debt Box had already sent $720,000 overseas and would flee to the United Arab Emirates and secretly transfer more assets with it if it was notified of the order.

Shelby concluded the SEC misrepresented evidence and that the $720,000 transfer was instead sent within the United States.

Binance offers $5M reward for insider trading tip-offs

Crypto exchange Binance announced that it will offer a $100,000-to-$5,000,000 reward for those who provide them with reports on potential insider trading or corruption within the exchange. 

On March 16, Binance announced it would list the Solana-based memecoin, Book of Meme (BOME). The token was paired with Bitcoin, Tether, First Digital USD and the Turkish lira. 

Ahead of the Binance listing, a crypto whale bought 314 million BOME tokens for $2.3 million on the Raydium decentralized exchange at an average price of $0.0074. After the listing, the value of the tokens pumped to a high of $0.026, making the tokens worth around $8 million. 

After the listing, the trade was flagged, sparking community discussions, with some alleging that this was an insider trade.

On Reddit, a community member asked if they thought it was a lucky trade or an insider tip, while another floated the idea that the trader could be an insider from Binance.

SBF says proposed 50-year sentence casts him as ‘depraved super-villain’

Lawyers representing former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried stated that a proposed maximum sentence of 50 years in prison for the founder invokes a “medieval” view of punishment and doesn’t accurately reflect the severity of his crimes

On March 19, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young, wrote to Judge Lewis Kaplan in response to the government’s sentencing proposal, handed down on March 15.

“With marked hostility, the memorandum distorts reality to support its precious ‘loss’ narrative and casts Sam as a depraved super-villain,” they stated.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $65,744, Ether (ETH) at $3,516 and XRP at $0.64. The total market cap is at $2.51 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Ondo (ONDO) at 37.73%, Jupiter (JUP) at 35.27% and Fantom (FTM) at 33.59%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Bonk (BONK) at -31.09%, dogwifhat (WIF) at -27.28% and Near Protocol (NEAR) at -26.12%. For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Customers still will never be in the same position they would have been had they not crossed paths with Mr. Bankman-Fried and his so-called brand of ‘altruism.’”

John Ray III, restructuring officer and CEO of FTX

“Am I sorry for a company going bankrupt? No. Like, companies go bankrupt all the time.”

Kyle Davies, co-founder of Three Arrows Capital

Read also


Is Ethereum left and Bitcoin right?


The value of a legacy: Hunting down Satoshi’s Bitcoin

“People can do what they want with their money but sending money to a ‘memecoin presale’ that has a 99.9% chance of rugging is actually just dumb as hell.”

Anthony Sassano, independent Ethereum educator

“I guess it’s that time of the cycle where everyone freaks out about Cardano’s potential and roadmap, so they throw a wave of FUD at us.”

Charles Hoskinson, founder of Cardano

“Dogecoin’s enduring popularity and the active community support suggest that it has transcended its origins as a meme to become a staple of the cryptocurrency world.”

Coinbase, cryptocurrency exchange

“It will be interesting to watch what, if any, excuse the SEC uses if it were to delay or deny an ETH ETF, given it has already informed the market on ETH being outside its jurisdiction.”

Brian Quintenz, former commissioner of the CFTC

Prediction of the Week

Key Ethereum price metric targets $5.4K ETH in 2024

Ether’s price could reach the $5,400 mark in 2024, according to a technical price indicator used by traders to assess whether a cryptocurrency is overbought or oversold.  

On March 22, Ether’s price was currently trading around the $3,500 mark, approximately 27% away from its all-time high of $4,891 reached on Nov. 16, 2021, according to CoinMarketCap data

According to pseudonymous CryptoQuant-verified author Binhdangg, Ether could surpass $5,400 in the high-risk scenario based on the Mayer multiple oscillator, which is a ratio based on comparing Ether’s current price with its 200-day moving average. 

Its price could reach the upper band of the indicator, but that could be much higher than $5,400, Bitfinex analysts told Cointelegraph:

“We expect it to reach oversold condition this year based on the fact that there is a cyclical behavior of the asset to oscillate between the overbought and oversold bands of the indicator. However, this is a dynamic moving average-based deviation, and the upper band may be far above the $5,400 level by the time the price reaches those levels.”

FUD of the Week

Hacker moves $10M from 2023 phishing incident to Tornado Cash

On March 21, blockchain security firm CertiK flagged an account linked to the $24 million hack transferring 3,700 ETH to Tornado Cash. The funds were taken from a crypto whale in a phishing incident on Sept. 6.

Read also


North Korean crypto hacking: Separating fact from fiction


Slumdog billionaire 2: ‘Top 10… brings no satisfaction’ says Polygon’s Sandeep Nailwal

At the time, the investor lost $24 million in staked ETH on the liquid staking provider Rocket Pool. The hack was done in two transactions: One took 9,579 stETH, while the other drained 4,851 rETH from the crypto whale.

Scam Sniffer, an anti-scam project, said that the victim signed an “Increase Allowance” transaction, which enabled token approvals for the hacker. With smart contracts, the feature allows third parties to spend ERC-20 tokens belonging to others if given approval.

Old Dolomite exchange contract suffers $1.8M loss from approval exploit

An old contract previously used by the Dolomite crypto exchange has been exploited for approximately $1.8 million, according to a March 20 report from blockchain security platform CertiK and seen by Cointelegraph. 

The exploit affected users who previously authorized approvals to the contract, and the development team recommended revoking approvals to the Ethereum Dolomite address that begins with 0xe2466. 

The development team claimed that users who only interacted with the current version on Arbitrum would not be affected. 

They also disabled the faulty contract in an effort to protect users who had not yet become victims of the attack. Even so, the team argued that users should revoke approvals to this contract.

Top Magazine Pieces of the Week

Bitcoin ETFs make Coinbase a ‘honeypot’ for hackers and governments: Trezor CEO

After 10 years of Trezor’s hard wallets, Coinbase’s dominance across retail and the Bitcoin ETFs poses a threat to self-custody.

Why boomers ‘like’ AI pics on Facebook, mind-reading AI breakthrough: AI Eye

AI mind-reading technology has taken a giant leap forward thanks to MindEye 2 from Stability AI and Princeton. Also, boomers love AI bullshit, and we’re all going to live longer.

Web3 Gamer: Gods Unchained app drops crypto, Kings of Fighters Arena review

Gods Unchained’s executive producer says complying with Apple and Google’s app store policies and their refusal to accept crypto was a total nightmare. Meanwhile, The Kings of Fighters Arena is a very slick mobile fighting game.

Ciaran Lyons

Ciaran Lyons is an Australian crypto journalist. He’s also a standup comedian and has been a radio and TV presenter on Triple J, SBS and The Project.

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