Showing posts with label bitcoin news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bitcoin news. Show all posts

Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads 'NOT Guilty' - The Twisted Way He May ACTUALLY Be Found INNOCENT...

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering on Tuesday. From what you hear in the press, you would reasonably assume there is a mountain of evidence against him - so is Sam crazy? 

Well, he may not be as crazy as it sounds. 

Why Risk More Years in Prison Instead of Negotiating? To Get ZERO Years in Prison...

Approximately 97% of cases are resolved with a plea deal. Sam, like most defendants, had the option to negotiate how long he would stay in prison, in exchange for pleading guilty. 

We don't know what that deal would have been, but with the charges against him, it's reasonable to think he could have reduced his time behind bars by 10+ years. Turning this down is not a decision someone takes lightly. 

If you choose to be among the 3% of people to go to trial, you must be confident that you can win.

Why Sam Believes the Jury Will find Him INNOCENT...

What Sam and his legal team believe they can prove to a jury revolves around the fact that there is no FTX'- there's two of them, completely separate companies, functioning independently. 

No country in the world charges people with crimes committed in foreign nations with foreign victims.  Bankman-Fried can only be charged with crimes he committed while in the US or against US citizens.

This also reminds me of when after his arrest in the Bahamas, he said he planned on fighting being extradited to the United States, then suddenly reversed this and fully cooperated to insure his trial would take place in the US.

Bankman-Fried's Defense is NOT that He Did Not Break The Law, But Rather that Any Alleged Wrongdoing Occurred Outside the US and Involved Foreign Victims...

Meaning that the alleged crimes were committed by a separate, foreign entity and involved funds belonging to users of FTX International. 

Structurally, the companies remained separate, there were no (known) shared accounts, no fiat or crypto spilling from one to the other. The company/exchange for US citizens had its own website at www.FTX.us - then there was FTX International at www.FTX.com.

If someone from the US attempted to sign up on the FTX international site, they would simply get an error message redirecting them to the US site.

With everything separate, it would have been easy for Sam to simply leave all funds related to FTX US alone, and this is exactly what Sam claims happened. 

So Far, There's No Evidence Saying Otherwise...

In every interview, Sam said that 'all funds in FTX US  were "never touched" and they could give users access to it right now if they wanted to.  This statement is included in the testimony he was planning to give Congress, under oath, but he was arrested the day before that was set to happen. 

But let's forget what Sam has to say, he's a proven liar on other related matters. -  what's been found since he lost control of the company? 

John J. Ray is the acting CEO of FTX appointed to oversee the company being dismantled in the bankruptcy process, and he is no fan of Bankman-Fried.

When testifying to Congress a couple weeks ago, he shared in his opening statements his belief that FTX US funds were involved, but later, during the portion where he takes questions from lawmakers, he was asked what they had found so far - and so far, nothing. 

In a previous report, an insider at the company shared that the new CEO believes they just need to dig deeper to find proof that Bankman-Fried did misuse FTX US funds - he just did a better job at hiding it compared to FTX International. It's reasonable to assume that, and the investigation isn't over - but Sam, the one person who would know, just pleaded innocent in court. 

Sam May Have Viewed US Funds as 'Off Limits' From The Start...

Ryan Miller, a member of FTX US's legal team used to work for the person in charge of regulating FTX, the current head of the SEC, Chairman Gary Gensler.  By the time this all happened, he had been with FTX for nearly a year, tasked with being the contact between the company and regulators. 

Sam's mom was a lawyer at one of the top firms in the US with clients like Exxon, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Universal Pictures, Sony and more. His father is considered one of the leading experts in tax law, tax shelters, and tax compliance, and teaches law at Stanford.

Between Miller, someone from the world of financial regulation, and his parents, who would surely advise him of the additional rules and risks attached to US investor funds, it's believable that Sam may have just considered this portion of his businesses off-limits. 

Did Sam Plead Innocent Because he Knows They Won't Find Records of Him Misusing US Funds?

This is the big question. 

Keep in mind, however, that Sam's original lawyers dropped him shortly after FTX's collapse due to his "incessant and disruptive tweeting" when he kept ignoring their advice to stop publicly speaking about the matter. 

Sam clearly believes he has a talent for persuading people, and maybe he once did, but the more he spoke publicly to audiences already suspicious of him, the more hated he became. I'm not sure if Sam ever really accepted that this tactic was a failure and he should have listened to his lawyers. 

So is Sam continuing to be a nightmare client for any legal team to represent? He may be pleading innocent because he believes he's so smart, he can just confuse a jury into thinking he's innocent. 

Or, does he know prosecutors will fail to find the evidence they need to prove the charges against him?


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Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News


This is NOT Normal: MAJOR Finance & Investment Firms QUIETLY Moving in to Crypto...

Crypto investments

For those of us who have been around awhile, it takes more than another bear market to change our long term expectations for cryptocurrencies. 

I've been through three crashes - the first one really had me questioning things, the second time I was more willing to ride it out, 'hopeful but not certain' was my outlook on crypto's future. In both cases the crashes were followed by hitting new all time highs, and this pattern wasn't new, it's what Bitcoin historically had always done, and more recently, the top altcoins were included as well. 

So, this time around I feel like I'm just waiting... for our largest bull run yet. Not wondering if it's coming - waiting for it to get here.

Some of the Biggest Names in Investing and Wall Street are Quietly Preparing for a Crypto Boom...

Thankfully, it looks like I'm not the only one making this prediction. In fact, the biggest firms from the world of investing and Wall Street seem to be anticipating this too.

Keep in mind, the firms I'm about to mention don't throw millions at something because one or two executives believe it will pay off - before they invest, teams of analysts with specialists covering multiple aspects, and algorithms pumping out multiple models of possible outcomes, are involved.

Let's look at some of what is happening quietly behind the scenes right now - and ask yourself: does it seem like they see something coming?

Major Investment Firms:

Between just these 2 firms you're looking at over $2 TRILLION in assets under management, twice the size of the entire crypto market currently. 

● The world's largest global investment banking and investment management firm, Goldman Sachs, is quietly talking to multiple crypto startups that were hit hard by the bear market and investing to become part-owners of, or buying them out completely.

● The second largest global investment banking and investment management firm, Morgan Stanley, is currently creating their "digital-asset infrastructure," giving their 2 million+ clients access to the crypto market. While development started before the bear market hit, they say it never slowed down as they remain "focused on building."

When these firms enter a sector, countless smaller ones follow. 

Payment Processors:

The big 3 are all in.

● Visa is "propelling innovation to deliver even more access and value to the crypto ecosystem" and recently filed a series of trademark applications for crypto wallets, NFTs, and metaverse-related products.

● Mastercard is launching a program to enable mainstream banks to offer crypto trading to their customers.

● Even American Express, which in 2021 said they were "watching the space evolve" but had "no plans to announce" involvement in cryptocurrencies, began preparing for something, specifics still unknown, but real enough to have them file eight trademark applications for tech processing crypto and NFT transactions.

In addition to this, both Visa and Mastercard will expand their current role of providing cards that allow people to spend crypto anywhere that accepts their credit cards.  This has become a standard offering from most major exchanges now, and accounts for over $1 billion in transactions for Visa alone. 


Start-Ups:

When it comes to startups, those that truly serve a purpose are not struggling to find funding. Here are some of the projects that held investment rounds over just the last month - all hit their targets:

● Aztec Network, an Ethereum security layer geared towards privacy, successful raised $100 million in a  round led by prominent venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from A Capital, King River, and Variant, and others.

● Singapore-based crypto firm Amber Group closed a $300 million Series C led by Fenbushi Capital US. Nillion, a decentralized file storage network, raised $20 million in its latest funding round led by Distributed Global.



● Fleek, a developer platform for crypto companies, secured $25 million led by Polychain Capital, along with Coinbase Ventures, Digital Currency Group, and Protocol Labs.

● Tax and accounting software for digital assets, Bitwave, closed a $15 million Series A co-led by Hack VC and Blockchain Capital.

● Blocknative, a company building web3 infrastructure, also secured $15 million in its Series A led by Blockchain Capital and a few other investors.

There's only one reason any firm would be investing in new companies that could still be years away from seeing profits - again, the long term outlook.

The Path from Here, to There...

The road from bear to bull market is surprisingly short and straight - plus, following the collapse of FTX, a come-back for crypto also means washing off  some of the mud currently splattered on crypto's public image.  But all of this is doable, here's how it will go;

Crypto regulations are coming, discussing if you're for or against this is officially a waste of time - we're getting them.

However, the industry has gotten smarter over the last few years and regulations no longer mean a 'crack down' on crypto. 

As politicians began considering passing finance laws specific to crypto assets, the crypto industry became major Washington DC influencers, and almost overnight began supporting pro-crypto politicians campaigns at such large amounts that crypto is outspending the industries that have typically spent the most for decades, the defense industry and pharmaceutical companies.

Until recently we were truly were at risk of tech-illiterate politicians passing poorly-written regulations that could bring everything to a halt, that no longer longer seems possible. 
This level of involvement has given the industry a place at the table with lawmakers.

If you're outside of the US thinking this doesn't involve you, I wouldn't count on that.  Some regulations will address the situation FTX is in, requiring exchanges to prove the assets they hold and auditing their total value regularly.  It wouldn't surprise me if US companies and investors could only do business with foreign firms that follow similar guidelines - setting a standard that will quickly become global.

Over the span of just a few days:  Crypto's current public image gets fixed as politicians pat themselves on the back for 'fixing crypto' with 'new investor protections'.  The largest investment firms have citied the lack of these regulations as the only reason they haven't yet gotten involved - so now the floodgates open. 

I believe the next bull market doesn't just set new all-time highs for the top cryptocurrencies, but does it at record speed as well - Bitcoin gaining $10,000 per week for 5 weeks would get us past it's previous high, and it wouldn't surprise me if that's how it went.

Remember - there's never been so many people and companies aware of what a Bitcoin bull run can do, and it will be a lot harder to justify sitting it out.

In Closing...

There's nothing fun about a bear market, except looking forward to it ending. Based on current indicators, it seems we may have a lot to look forward to!

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Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News


What Took so Long for Sam Bankman-Fried to Face CRIMINAL CHARGES?

While watching Sam Bankman-Fried's recent media appearances, a theory entered my head - a gut feeling, but a strong one saying "He's been told he has nothing to worry about" and the more I listened with this theory in mind, the more convinced I became. 

Take a look for yourself and tell me if you see a man in fear of spending years in a federal prison - I don't think anyone could hide how stressful that possibility would be, but at no point did Sam show he was feeling any significant amount of stress. Not in some delusional way either - I don't believe his lack of stress comes from him being detached from reality, pretending everything is fine.

What I do see, is someone who believes the worst case scenario isn't going to happen...


These interviews seem like nothing more than an attempt to salvage his public image.   His strategy is more obvious than he seems to be aware of, as uses a classic pity-educing method of 'beating himself up', expressing regret, and taking some blame... but not too much. 

When it comes to blame, he seems to think he found the magic ratio of blame to excuses, as anytime he takes responsibility for doing something wrong, it comes with a reminder that he would never had made these mistakes if he knew the details of Alameda Research's trading positions at the time.

Even if we were to believe he wasn't pro-actively staying up-to-date on the business of Alameda Research, staying completely in the dark would actually be hard to do as the people operating Alameda literally live with him.

While it was met with disbelief every time he said it, he remained firm on not knowing vital details about Alameda Research, even though it is a company he created, that he has majority ownership of, and is holding a massive amount of the funds from investors he brought in.  I doubt his pitch to investors was 'put a few million in to this company, which I have nothing to do with'. 

My point is, he isn't making these public appearances to claim innocence, or even explain what happened. He's making them with the goal of getting people to say "Sam's a good guy who just made some mistakes".

I can't help but think that the only way being liked becomes more important than being free, is if he's already convinced his freedom isn't at risk.

But in order to objective, i'm open to the possibility that I'm just misreading him.  So I set aside any of my own opinions and 'gut feelings' and re-examined the situation strictly looking at the facts to see if I come to the same conclusion in the end.

Starting with some things worth a deeper look.

Sam's parents are not typical lawyers, and after learning more about them I think it's time to question how involved in FTX Sam's parents may be... 

Those who graduate from Stanford law school are considered among the top of the legal field - so you can imagine what it takes to be hired to teach those students - both of Sam's parents worked as Stanford Law professors. 

What kind of law do they specialize in? The kind that someone in Sam's position would be hiring right now.

The mother worked at Paul Weiss, one of the top firms in the US with clients like Exxon, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Universal Pictures, Sony and more. She is one of the founders of a "secretive Silicon Valley PAC that supports Democratic candidates" called Mind The Gap. 

Sam's father is considered one of the leading experts in tax law, tax shelters, and tax compliance, according to his Stanford bio page. I found this video uploaded by Stanford Law School featuring him speaking on the topic.

In other words, Sam Bankman-Fried was born with the perfect legal team already in the room.

If anyone could make sure Sam's actions stayed within legal grey areas or completely unenforceable by US regulators, it's them.

On this note, Sam has repeated in every interview that none of these questionable actions were done with funds from the US version of FTX. There indeed was a completely separate site for US investors, and if someone from the US tried to access the FTX for the rest of the world, they would find themselves blocked from signing up.

Sam remaining in the Bahamas doesn't help him avoid anything, the Bahamas does have an extradition treaty with the US, so if US regulators charged him with a crime, the government in the Bahamas would arrest Sam and put him on an airplane.  Most seem to believe he's 'obviously guilty' - so why hasn't he been extradited?

But his parents weren't his only source for guidance...


Gary Gensler is the head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. A man named Ryne Miller was Gensler's lead counsel at his previous role as CFTC Chairman.

Ryne Miller has been working at FTX for a little over one year - now he's their general legal council.

"His industry expertise and leadership will be critical as we forge cooperative working relationships with U.S. regulators" FTX said in an official press release at the time. In that same statement, Ryne Miller confirms he will be "working alongside U.S. regulators" for FTX's benefit.


These are the people who helped make sure the US branch of FTX stayed completely separate from FTX International...


FTX international is registered in Antigua and Barbuda, a small island with no capital gains tax, no wealth or inheritance taxes, and no personal income tax.

In every interview Sam has stated that the US version of FTX could open up to users immediately, and they will find all of their funds there untouched. If true, it's likely Sam violated no US laws.

If only his non-US company broke any laws, and none of it's victims were US citizens - the US justice system isn't interested.

Innocent in the only jurisdiction that matters - and that is how Sam stays out of prison...

Unfortunately, internationally, anything goes.  There is no organization that would take the lead on a case like this. There is no International police force that investigates financial crimes, and no International court for white-collar criminals.

All Sam has to do is not set foot in any of the countries with laws he violated, with citizens who had funds in FTX international, and Sam remains a free man... probably.

One Remaining Risk...


One thing Sam and those advising him may have not planned for was how big of a story this has become, and the pressure this could put on people, including those he thought were on his side. 

It's important to keep in mind how past high-profile villains who managed to anger the public were eventually taken down.

Mafia leaders were often arrested for tax violations.  More recently, disgraced Therenos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, who raised billions for a 'revolutionary' blood testing device that never worked wasn't arrested for spending years promoting her fake invention - she's in prison for wire fraud.


When powerful people in government really want to lock someone up, they find a way...


Someone like Sam, whos legitimate business involves international transactions, seeking investors, receiving investments, operating websites, etc, has probably violated the law. 

It could have been done unknowingly, or by mistake - but that doesn't matter when investigators with warrants giving them access to everything are digging for anything they can use. 


Are there any signs that the US government is attempting to build a case against Sam?


There may be, but note that the following is pure speculation.   Sam's former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, who he appointed Alameda Research CEO has reportedly left Hong Kong for the US, and was  spotted yesterday in New York City.

A twitter user recognized her and snapped a picture of her inside a coffee shop.

This coffee shop is a short walk from the FBI's New York office - causing some to speculate if those around Sam are being offered immunity from any potential future charges, in exchange for sharing what they know as they attempt to find something to charge him with.

While it does appear to be Caroline, she may be in NYC for some other reason. Or she could be there to speak to the FBI and still have nothing to offer them.

Just saying - don't get your hopes up.

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Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News

UPDATES As We Begin Week 3 of the FTX / Sam Bankman Fried Saga - HACKED or NOT + More Collateral Damage + Bankruptcy Docs Give FTX's TOTAL Debt...

FTX Logo

Official bankruptcy court filings state that FTX owes more than $3 billion to its top 50 creditors. The largest single loan listed in the document is over $226 million, with the rest of the total debt owed falling somewhere between $21 million and $203 million.

The "hack"...

As things unfolded last week a significant number of tokens were moved from the official storage wallets of FTX. It's not surprising that some would suspect a "inside job," but former FTX employees are spreading rumors that the same authorities from the Bahamas government who are investigating the company for possible legal violations are also the thieves.

Analytics firm Chainalysis is tracking the funds that originated from the FTX exchange and say the funds are now being traded from Ethereum to Bitcoin. The FTX hacker once held 228,523 ETH, making them one of the top Ether wallets globally.

...but was there actually no hacker at all?!

To be fair, the rumors started because no one was coming forward to say otherwise.  Millions in crypto gets moved, with no legitimate entity claiming responsibility, the logical conclusion is a hack. 

After coming forward, the Bahamas government confirmed they were indeed behind it - but it wasn't corrupt officials stealing funds. Regulators in the Bahamas officially state they are in possession of the funds which were taken as part of a seizure of assets - to prevent anyone at FTX from doing anything with them.

It all seemed settled, then we learned - this isn't what happened either.

The actual story with the FTX "hack"...

Basically "all of the above".

Some funds were sized by regulators in the Bahamas.  Some funds were stolen. 

Chainalysis tweeted this summary:
"Reports that the funds stolen from FTX were actually sent to the Securities Commission of The Bahamas are incorrect. Some funds were stolen, and other funds were sent to the regulators."
This was confirmed again as FTX tweeted to alert other exchanges to keep an eye out for hacked funds hitting their platforms, so they could then freeze the account before the hackers can make any trades. 

Collateral Damage...

In related news, Solana is "facing difficulties" following the collapse of FTX, due to their strong ties with FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, which invested in nine Solana projects since December 2020.

So far, Solana has lost over 60% of its value since the FTX saga began, and users have removed about an equal percentage from the total staked supply. In response, Tether announced they will be taking $1 billion USDT it had on the Solana blockchain and moving it to the Ethereum blockchain, as they don't foresee the supply being needed on the Solana blockchain in the near future.

While there's no shortage of die-hard Solana supporters posting that they're taking this opportunity to load up on SOL tokens at a discount, others are saying there's still a big hit to come, with FTX rumored to a large amount of Solana tokens that they will probably be forced to put on the market. 

Sam Bankman-Fried...

Last week he was direct messaging journalists, claiming he has plans to raise billions to make FTX customers 'whole' again - causing the newly appointed FTX CEO (installed to oversee the bankruptcy) to come out clarifying Sam has no role with the company, and isn't authorized to raise funds or speak on FTX's behalf, even calling Sam 'delusional'. 

It seems he caught on that he was doing himself more bad than good, today is day 5 of silence. 

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News 

"Sam Who?" | Non-Profits he Funded, Politicians he Donated to, and Investors who Traded with Sam Bankman-Fried are All DISAVOWING and CUTTING TIES....

Sam Bankman-Fried FTX FTT Crypto News

One of the most interesting things to watch in the Sam Bankman-Fried (aka SBF) fallout are those who previously praised him, now trying to figure out why they ever said things that sound completely insane today.

In all fairness, while Sam's wrongdoings were deliberate and dishonest - blaming everyone who once worked with, or once simply liked the guy is going a step too far, in my opinion. If the accusations we've heard are true, you can be sure very few people knew the truth

Sam had accumulated a sizeable list of endorsements, and it wasn't made up of a bunch of easily scammed or gullible people...

Even the person who begun FTX's downfall first believed they were legit.  Binance CEO 'CZ' started the avalanche that would burry Sam and FTX by sending out of tweet when he lost confidence in the company - but before that, he trusted Sam and FTX enough to have $2 billion of his assets tied up in their FTX's official token, FTT.

Earning trust within an industry can be a chain reaction, where getting 'in' with one person who is more established than yourself can lead to a dozen more if you play your cards right.  So who was the first 'big name' in crypto to publicly link themselves with Sam? I have no idea, and they aren't to blame for this anyway.

While researching another story I came across this, the only organization that I've seen address the situation by adding disclaimers to their old write-ups about Sam.

The organization is called 80,000 Hours, and they say their goal is to 'provide research and support to help students and graduates switch into careers that effectively tackle the world’s most pressing problems' 80,000 hours refers to the average time someone will spend working in their chosen career in their entire lifetime. 

What was a page on their site containing 10 paragraphs of pure praise for SBF, now begins with a statement:

 Our statement regarding the collapse of FTX

The collapse of FTX is likely to cause a tremendous amount of harm – to customers, employees, and many others who have relied on FTX. We are deeply concerned about those affected and, along with our community, are grappling with how to respond.

Though we do not know for sure whether anything illegal happened, we unequivocally condemn any immoral or illegal actions that may have taken place.

Prior to this, we had celebrated Sam Bankman-Fried’s apparent success, had held him up as a positive example of someone pursuing a high-impact career, and had written about how we encouraged him to use a strategy of earning to give (for example, on this page). We feel shaken by recent events, and are not sure exactly what to say or think.

In the meantime, we will start by removing instances on our site where Sam was highlighted as a positive example of someone pursuing a high-impact career, since, to say the least, we no longer endorse that. We are leaving up discussions of Sam in places that seem important for transparency, for example this blog post on the growth of effective altruism in 2021, and this user story.

In the coming weeks and months we will be thinking hard about what we should do going forward and ways in which we should have acted differently.

If you are out there trying the best you can to use your career to help solve the world’s most pressing problems with honesty and integrity, we also want to say we support and value you.

We are following the situation closely and hope to write more soon.

Many associated with Sam almost instantly came out to say they "had no way of knowing" - and while they are probably telling the truth, there's still something refreshing about someone taking a bit of time to reflect and review.

The non-profit organizations SBF worked with will easily be able to distance themselves - no one expects them to turn down donations from a company that (at the time) had a clean reputation. 

Those with a potential nightmare ahead of them are the politicians who took campaign donations, and the already-wealthy athletes and actors who used their influence to encourage their fans and the general public to invest via FTX.

Celebs who publicly endorsed FTX include NFL star quarterback Tom Brady, NBA MVPs Shaq and Stephen Curry, 'Shark Tank' star Kevin O' Leary, and actor and Seinfeld' producer Larry David - all of whom have a net worth of over $100 million (Larry David tops the list with an estimated $500 million).

Now they're all sharing the blame with SBF in a just-filed lawsuit that argues Sam, and the celebs who promoted him, are responsible for paying back the billions in lost FTX user funds...

The athletes and actors will predictably claim ignorance, but will then have to explain why they would endorse something they didn't understand - it's not like they needed the money.

Kevin O' Leary, and a few crypto 'influencers' will have an even larger challenge of explaining how they are self-proclaimed 'expert investors', but were unable to spot any red flags

The lawsuit includes every celeb who endorsed FTX along with Sam himself as former users seek to recoup lost funds.  The case if filed in the Florida court system with no date yet for initial hearings.

No one is miscalculating the situation worse than Sam himself...

Sam chimed in briefly a couple times over the past week, with statements like "I didn't want to do sketchy stuff, there are huge negative effects from it, and I didn't mean to".

Then, while he no longer holds any position at FTX, and is under investigation for multiple serious criminal offenses, he shared his goal of raising another $8 billion to "make customers whole" - apparently forgetting this ended with him unable to raise anything, and that's when he had an exchange to sell.

The new FTX CEO, appointed to oversee the company bankruptcy, and previously known for cleaning up the massive Enron bankruptcy, John Ray, was forced to counter Sam's actions with an announcement reminding people Sam is "not employed" with FTX any longer, and therefore, "does not speak for" the company in any capacity, and stated that Sam seems 'delusional'. 

With the 'clean up' team in place, and authorized to access everything FTX controls - the deep dive that will expose anything still unknown is now underway.

[ WHAT DO YOU THINK? Have we heard the worst of it? Or will more be uncovered? Share your thoughts by Tweeting us at @TheCryptoPress

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Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News



Binance CEO's 3 Reasons for Investing in Musk's Twitter Buyout...

Binance twitter investment

Why did Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter include $500 million from Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world?

The exchange platform's creator and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, well known by his alias CZ, explained the decision today.

CZ gave three reasons for why Binance was backing Musk's Twitter campaign...

First, to support international freedom of expression. That is exactly how he sees the social network. He said, "That is something incredibly significant."

Second, Binance likes supporting "excellent entrepreneurs." The CEO of Binance believes that Elon Musk, the founder of firms like Tesla and SpaceX, is a fantastic businessman.

Third, the potential for Twitter to develop into a "super app". Musk himself had previously made a comment about this. Zhao likens WeChat, a Chinese platform that combines a social network, a commerce site, and a way to make payments, to Twitter.

“We want to help bring Twitter to Web3 and help solve problems like charging for subscriptions. Something that could be done very easily globally using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.” Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance added.

CZ rushed in as soon as Musk announced his desire to buy the social network, making little effort to keep their $500 million contribution to the buyout a secret.

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Author: Oliver Redding
Seattle Newsdesk  / Breaking Crypto News

UK's New Prime Minister a CRYPTO BULL, Who Wants to See "UK a Global Hub for Crypto"...

Rishi Sunak Crypto Bull UK Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak, a well-known crypto bull and former UK Finance Minister, will soon succeed Liz Truss as the country's leader.

Only Sunak received endorsements from more than 100 legislators. Because he was the only MP qualified to run, he automatically won the election.

Graham Brady, a party official, declared, "I can confirm that we have received one valid nomination, and Rishi Sunak is therefore elected as leader of the Conservative Party,"

Sunak is the third prime minister in the last 7 weeks...

The first had resigned due to controversy. then in just 45 days after taking office, departing Liz Truss was removed from her leadership post following the swift failure of her ambitious plan to lower taxes on the country's richest earners.

Instead of improve the economy, it got worse fast - mortgage rates skyrocketed and the pound fell sharply, making her unpopular with the vast majority of Britons.

It's fair to say Sunak has a huge challenge ahead, and a large mess to clean up.

He's made his stance on crypto crystal-clear...

Rishi, who is only 42 years old, belongs to the first generation to have grown with the internet, and is generally more comfortable with new technologies.

Just months ago in to his prior position as chancellor of the Exchequer (or Head of the Treasury) Sunak said, "It’s my ambition to make the UK a global hub for crypto asset technology"

He elaborated in a press release from his office on the topic of crypto, which said "the government can ensure financial stability and high regulatory standards so that these new technologies can ultimately be used both reliably and safely". 

He thinks stablecoins ought to be a "recognized form of payment" since they might provide consumers a "more efficient" way to pay.

Sunak takes office tomorrow,  Tuesday, October 25.

This is the most powerful government position a known crypto supporter has held. 

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News 

Mastercard's New Program to Give MILLIONS of People Access to Crypto Trading - Through their Existing Bank...

Mastercard crypto banks

Today, Mastercard announced their goal of supporting more financial institutions in offering cryptocurrency trading.

People are still optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies despite the present bear market. According to Jorn Lambert, chief digital officer at Mastercard, "there is still a high desire for cryptocurrencies among clients".

“There’s a lot of consumers out there that are really interested in this, and intrigued by crypto, but would feel a lot more confident if those services were offered by their financial institutions... It’s a little scary to some people still.” Mastercard’s chief digital officer, Jorn Lambert, told CNBC.

Is the dream of escaping banks dead?

Many in the cryptocurrency community view blockchain technology as a way to liberate people from banks, now every major banking institution seems to be aggressively moving to take positions within the crypto market.

According to Mastercard, many people prefer having their bank involved. They claim that when they surveyed customers, almost 60% of those surveyed stated they were willing to own cryptocurrency in the future but preferred to do so through their current bank.

Mastercard's bold offer to banks: We're ready to handle every major concern...

Large investment banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan already have specialized crypto teams, but still haven't offered a way for their clients to buy cryptocurrency - but they may be more likely to begin if all they need to do is trust Mastercard, rather than directly partner with an exchange.

Mastercard says that if a bank chooses them to handle crypto offerings to customers, they will handle both security and regulatory compliance - the two main concerns that have held many intuitions back. 

Opening to a new market usually comes with a new load of liabilities - but with Mastercard taking responsibility for them adhering to crypto compliance guidelines, confirming transactions, and offering anti-money-laundering and identity monitoring services, there's not many reasons left to say no.

Bad News for existing exchanges... maybe...

The program will involve Mastercard routing orders to Paxos, an exchange they've already been working closely with - so if banks do embrace this Mastercard model, it may take a bite out of the pool of potential future users of Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, and other exchanges operating in the U.S.

However, if successful, Mastercard's program will likely inspire banks to create their own, similar partnerships directly with crypto exchanges. 

The pilot program will launch in the first quarter of 2023. There is currently no information on which banks will participate.


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Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk
Breaking Crypto News

European Union TAKES THE LEAD from USA - 27 Nation Alliance Proposes Regulatory Standards for Cryptocurrency...

The European Union's Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation is progressing towards completion fast, and by all indications will become law in the 27 countries that make up the European Union, possibly before the end of the year.

The response from the crypto industry as well as critics has been generally positive, with many believing the law has found the right balance between protecting consumers from scammers and other criminal conduct, empowering enforcers to go after those criminals, all while acknowledging the future potential of the technology and the importance of allowing legitimate use to proceed with as little interference as possible. 

Europe Takes The Lead After Biden Administration Fails to Show Ability to Understand Crypto Market...

The EU clearly plans to take the lead when it comes to setting the world regulatory standards of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In online crypto communities some European traders are now suggesting that "the US should just follow our lead". 

This new determination to be the standard-setters seems to have ignited when the Biden administration shared their "first comprehensive framework for the responsible development of digital assets" - which basically asked government agencies to submit answers to their  completely open ended question of what they believe they need to properly regulate the industry, this warned the rest of the world that current US leadership appears to be unqualified to regulate crypto (and probably all tech) as senior citizens fill many of the vital roles. 

White House seems "only focused on the risks and not the opportunities" that the cryptocurrency sector has to offer....

Both Biden and officials appointed by him seem to have taken media clickbait articles as fact, and often remarks focus on addressing only the negative aspects in the crypto world.

But law isn't just about stopping the bad guys, it's also about protecting the good ones. Which is why lawmakers shouldn't be looking at anything but hard data and reality to form their opinions.

In reality, about 2.1% of crypto is being used for illegal purposes like money laundering or purchases of items found on the darkweb, according to the firm that works with the FBI analyzing blockchain data for illegal activity, Chainalysis.

According to the UN, as much as 5% of ALL global currency is being used to facilitate something illegal, meaning Fiat currency, specifically paper cash, remains the preferred format of currency in the criminal underworld.

The European Union recently just slipped in harsh new rules regarding Dollar-pegged stablecoins...

The current draft version of the bill aims to reduce the market cap, and limit the number of transactions using dollar-pegged stablecoins like USDT, USDC, BUSD, etc.

The current version of Europe's proposed regulations would limit USD pegged stablecoin transactions to no more than $200 million in total value each day, or a total of 1 million transactions of any amount.  

These limits are ALREADY exceeded on most days, so what are traders expected to do at this point? Well, to be clear, these limits are only on stablecoins pegged to the dollar - stablecoins\pegged to the Euro will be free from any limits on their usage.

Currently 75% of all transactions in crypto involve a US dollar pegged stablecoin...


With this, the US loses an opportunity they could have sized that potentially could help maintain the strength of the Dollar for decades to come, at least according to some opinions.

If Europe implements what is currently proposed the US loses an opportunity they could have sized that potentially could help maintain the strength of the Dollar for decades to come, at least according to some opinions. A government made up of more tech-savy leaders would know to pass regulations requiring companies issuing stablecoins to actually hold a US dollar for each coin issued.

The US may learn the hard way - either take the lead and "set the standard" yourself, or expect when other nations do it they will make sure their own interests are served first...

How the US could still be first to implement comprehensive crypto regulations...

It may look like the US is too far behind now to catch up, but it would be even more unrealistic to believe the EU has nothing but smooth sailing ahead.

Even slower than US officials, is the European Union trying to agree on new laws. Hardly surprising when you consider how long it can take for differences to be resolved between parties within the same nation - imagine trying to get consensus from 27 governments.

There are some major flaws in the he most current version of the EU's 'Markets in Crypto Assets' regulatory proposal...

The best example of a 'major flaw' contained within the EU's propose regulations is how it would start requiring wallet providers to KYC (Know Your Customer) and obtain the legal ID of anyone using their software, even though wallet providers are never in possession of, or can even access your crypto. 

The best analogy is expecting manufactures of real wallets used for paper money and credit cards to ID buyers because 'you never know - they could use it to hold a credit card they just stole one day'. In both cases even if the allegations were 100% confirmed - the wallet-makers have no way of accessing what is inside of it.


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Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP // Breaking Crypto News

Sam Bankman-Fried on Becoming one Of The Youngest Crypto Billionares in the World...

Five years ago Sam Bankman-Fried didn't own any Bitcoin, but now, he’s one of the youngest billionaires in the world thanks to the cryptocurrency. 

As the founder of FTX, he's become and one of the most powerful people in the young and fast-growing crypto industry.

Bankman-Fried, who has been touted by some as the next Warren Buffett, even still drives his old Toyota Corolla. 

Here he tells his journey to $1 billion, and his plans to give it all away. 

Video courtesy of CNBC

Traders Who Shorted Ethereum Are Having a Bad Day - Over $110 MILLION in ETH Shorts Now LIQUIDATED as Gains Near 10%...

Ethereum up

Be glad you didn't bet against ETH. If you did, my condolences.

ETH's price surge began at a time a lot of people thought it would continue going down, now these leveraged positions are being liquidated at a rapid pace.

Total liquidations in the past 24 hours have reached close to $200 million...

Most occurred on Ethereum short positions, with more than than $110 million worth of liquidated assets. Notably, the largest in the overall market was a $2 million BTCUSD position that occurred on Bybit.

Other exchanges experiencing large liquidations include OKEx, Binance, ByBit, FTX, CoinEX, Huobi, and Bitmex, among others. OKEX reported up to 75% of short positions being liquidated for a total of $4.28 million, followed by Binance with $3.36 million in total liquidations.

The Ethereum community will likely prefer the upcoming update to a proof-of-stake system. Even as the Merge approaches, the price of the coin continues to fluctuate. Today's view is more optimistic, but the preceding days were not particularly inspiring.

From August 30 to September 5, the ETH price ranged between $1533 and $1577. It saw a slight increase above that threshold on September 6, however, that was the day when Bellatrix was upgraded. After the surge, the price fell to $1560 the following day, September 7, but ended at $1629.

It is not unexpected, given these price fluctuations, that liquidations are currently pushing the limits of the markets. A large portion of traders cannot maintain their positions, and exchanges are going to close them.

Things are abnormally unpredictable right now, play it smart...

While many would argue the smartest play is simply not using any leverage, the reality is that advice will be ignored by many people regardless.  So, at least meet in the middle, and perhaps use a bit less leverage than you normally would, and set stop losses so you always sell before you liquidate your positions. 

Even while many experts believe that the best move is to avoid using any kind of leverage at all, the fact of the matter is, many people are going to disregard that advice regardless.

At the very least, come to a compromise and consider using less leverage than you typically would. If you're not using stop losses so you always sell before you liquidate your positions, start using them now (you already should have been, in any market condition).

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Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk Breaking Crypto News



ETHEREUM Creator talks BITCOIN: His Two Biggest Concerns for Its Future...

Vitalik Buterin on Bitcoin

In an interview before the Ethereum network finally migrates to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, the co-creator of that protocol, Vitalik Buterin, criticized the Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism,he claimed to be "concerned" about the safety of Bitcoin in that regard.

THE COMPUTER SCIENTIST EXPLAINED THE "TWO REASONS" WHY HE IS WORRIED ABOUT BITCOIN'S FUTURE...


First is a long-term concern for the security of the network, referring to the situation that Bitcoin mining will experience when new BTC are no longer issued, approximately in the year 2140. Vitalik said that "it will come entirely from transaction fees." "And Bitcoin is simply failing to earn the level of fee revenue required to secure what could be a multi-billion dollar system," he noted.

For that year, miners' earnings are expected to depend only on commissions. Thankfully, there's more than a century left before that.

His second issue revolves around the Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism used to verify transactions, he insists that it is less than what Proof-of-stake(PoS) can offer if measured per dollar spent in transaction fees. 

However, he clarified that he's aware there's no sign this will ever happen: "the migration of Bitcoin out of Proof of Work appears to be politically unfeasible," referring to those in the Bitcoin developer community who raised the possibility of Bitcoin one day changing from PoW to PoS were met with overwhelming resistance.

One of the main reasons the Bitcoin community is against changing to PoS, is that they believe PoS based tokens give too much power to large stakeholders...

Buterin addresses this, saying; "They are based on the misconception that PoW and PoS are governance mechanisms, when in fact they are consensus mechanisms. All they do is help the network agree on the correct chain. A block that violates the protocol rules (if it tries to print more coins than the protocol rules allow, for example) will not be accepted by the network, no matter how many miners or participants support it."

Ironically, he's sharing these opinions while Ethereum itself is on the verge of switching from PoW to PoS...

Perhaps this is a subtle way to address concerns some may have about Ethereum's upcoming change -  he's addressing them, but as a hypothetical Bitcoin migration to PoS. 

"The funny thing is that bitcoiners (who tend to be the most pro-PoW) should understand this well, as the Bitcoin civil wars in 2017 very well demonstrated that miners are quite powerless in the governance process," he suggested. "In PoS, it's exactly the same: the participants don't choose the rules, they just execute them and help order the transactions." 

However, Ethereum Developers faced virtually no resistance from the community when proposing the change to PoS, with the exception of miners whos concerns were based on their personal profits, not the overall wellbeing of the network. 

Ethereum makes the move from PoW to PoS later this month, maybe.  There's been too many delays to count, and I've learned Ethereum 2.0 is a "I'll believe it when I see it' thing now.

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Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk
Breaking Crypto News


Mosques and Schools RAIDED By POLICE in Iran, as they Hunt Down... Bitcoin Miners!?

Iran bitcoin miners

The Iranian police force in the nation's capitol of Tehran have taken nearly 10,000 illegally running Bitcoin mining devices since March of this year.

The police action comes after Iranian officials ordered they crack down on Bitcoin miners due to the country's electrical infrastructure failing. Leaders there have blamed cryptocurrency mining leading to an increase in the demand for electricity as one of the causes for recent blackouts.

The most current Iranian government ruling on mining, which is still in effect, says that mining farms may only be powered by renewable energy sources, and not connected to the public grid.

The most recent amended version of the `law is more lenient than earlier versions, since it permits hiring power providers from other parts of Iran.

"Majority" Located in Schools and Mosques...

According to the director of the Tehran Electricity Distribution Company, majority of the seizures occurred in mosques and schools.

This is because most Mosques and Schools in the country are enrolled in incentive programs that give them free, or extremely discounted electricity.  Once you own the mining rigs the only expense miners  have to deal with are power costs, so taking advantage of locations like these makes mining an "all profit" venture.

Iran's mining industry has been on a wild ride full of ups and downs.  It's been allowed, it's been banned, and currently the rule is 'allowed, but with permission' which has miners needing to obtain the government's approval, and operate within government provided limitations.

We do not know if those who were found to be illegally mining will face any punishment beyond the loss of their hardware.

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Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk Breaking Crypto News


Michael Saylor Still Pushing Bitcoin after Stepping Down as CEO of MicroStrategy - Tells Elon Musk to "BUY MORE"...


Michael Saylor, a well-known Bitcoin advocate who had earlier announced his resignation as MicroStrategy CEO, responded to Elon Musk's ironic tweet about wanting to buy the Manchester United football team coin.

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Saylor responded to Musk saying he'd 'prefer' if he bought more Bitcoin.

A better response would be something including reasons to buy Bitcoin, besides pleasing Michael Saylor... but okay.

Musk said in February 2021 that Tesla had purchased BTC for $1.5 billion and had begun taking it as payment for its electric vehicles. However, the payment method was removed in April due to contentious concerns about Bitcoin miners and the effects they were having on the environment.   

In spite of this, Tesla kept all of that Bitcoin until recently. In the second quarter of 2022, the corporation sold off 75% of its Bitcoin, leaving only $218 million in the cryptocurrency's balance. The corporation purchased Bitcoin for $31,620 and sold it for almost $29,000 per unit.

Musk says he hasn't sold any of his privately owned crypto...

Musk did clarify, though, that he was not selling his personal cryptocurrency holdings, only those that belonged to Tesla, the company. 

Musk has mentioned owning Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the coin he says he continues to buy more of, Dogecoin.

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Author: Oliver Redding
Seattle Newsdesk  / Breaking Crypto News

New Data Shows Majority of Transactions were TOTALLY LEGAL on Now-Banned Crypto 'Mixer' Tornado Cash...

Tornado Cash

Last week we covered news that the US Treasury Department had sanctioned Ethereum's controversial transaction mixer, Tornado Cash, for allegedly enabling money laundering.

This was only the second time the US government has taken such an action against a crypto mixing site.

However, a deep analysis of blockchain transaction data is showing the platform was mostly used for completely legal activities...

In fact, just over 30% of the funds sent to that protocol were used for money laundering, at least according to one blockchain analytics firm. 

Slowmist, which included their findings in a report on blockchain security, using the first 6 months of 2022, they found Tornado Cash received total deposits of 955,277 ETH (worth $1.7 Billion at current prices), with 300,160 ETH being related to potential illegal activity. 

This means that there's no (known) legal issues with approximately 70% of the operations of the platform.

If you read the US Treasury Department's press release announcing the sanction against Tornado Cash, you would have the impression that the site was built for, and only used for illegal purposes.  They described it as “A virtual currency mixer that launders the proceeds of cybercrimes, including those committed against victims in the United States."

For some perspective: If true, the study shows Tornado Cash may equally as popular with criminals as printed US Currency...

If we go by the estimates of Harvard University Professor of Economics Kenneth Rogoff - up to 34% of printed money is currently being used to facilitate illegal transactions.

But if I had to guess what primary factor was in the US government deciding to officially act against Tornado Cash, it would be the news that North Korean hackers, aka the 'Lazarus Group' were also using the mixer to launder crypto the have been obtaining through various, always illegal methods. 

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News

Hotbit Exchange DOWN After Authorities Freeze Funds - Company Says: Ex-Employee's Actions Elsewhere Triggered the Investigation, They Are NOT Involved, will soon be CLEARED...

Hotbit down

As a user myself, Hotbit is a fairly good exchange... when it's up.

But I would by lying if I said this wasn't getting annoying. For the second time now it appears users will be locked out for a potential extended period of time, possibly lasting weeks, or months.

Last time (see our coverage here) hackers gained access to their servers, but not access to withdraw any user funds.  It seems like this angered them, so they decided to destroy everything they did have access to - which was basically the entire exchange system.  They were down for weeks.

This time time it wasn't a security breach, but a much wilder explanation:

"The reason is that a former Hotbit management employee who left Hotbit in April this year was involved in a project last year(which was against Hotbit's internal principles and of which Hotbit was unknown) that law enforcement authorities now think is suspected of violating criminal laws. So, a number of Hotbit senior managers have been subpoenaed by law enforcement since the end of July and are assisting in the investigation. Furthermore, law enforcement has frozen some funds of Hotbit, which has prevented Hotbit from running normally.

Hotbit and the rest employees of Hotbit's management are not involved in the project and have no knowledge of the illegal information involved in the project. However, we are still actively cooperating with the law enforcement authorities in their investigations and are continuously communicating with them through our lawyers and applying for the release of the frozen assets. The assets of all users are safe on Hotbit."

As far as when users can access their funds, Hotbit clearly does not know, only saying "Hotbit will resume normal service as soon as the assets are unfrozen" whenever that may be. 

Funds are safe...

Last time I was ready to hear it was all another exit scam and that my funds were gone for good, then the site came back and everything was still in my wallet. So, with fingers crossed, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt this time. 

According to Hotbit "All user’s assets and data on Hotbit are secure and correct" and they shared this link for more details on how user funds will be handled.  

There is mention of a 'compensation plan' for users, but no details on what that would be based on. 

Those with staked assets and investment product deposits will supposedly continue to earn like normal during this downtime. 

Users with concerns are invited to contact them here.

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Author: Adam Lee
Asia News Desk Breaking Crypto News

US Senate Wants to Know Why Google and Apple REPEATEDLY FAILED to Stop Crypto-Stealing FAKE Apps in their App Stores...

Crypto scam apps

Sherrod Brown, chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, has asked Apple and Google CEOs Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai to explain why bitcoin (BTC) scams are so prevalent on their platforms.

Brown is requesting information regarding the processes that Google and Apple employ to approve the programs that they provide in their app stores, as many have turned out to be bogus apps meant to steal cryptocurrency from users. Brown further notes that once a scam has been identified, users who downloaded it do not receive notifications of illicit activities.

There have also been several instances of Google search results including 'sponsored results' that were actually decoy phishing sites; this is something we first heard about years ago and continue to hear about every few months.

Brown cites a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report that warns about the growth of fake mobile applications. Scammers have used this method to steal $42 million worth of cryptocurrencies over the past few months. The letter, posted on the official US Senate website reads:

“According to the FBI, in one case, cybercriminals defrauded at least two dozen investors by creating a mobile app that used the name and logo of a real trading platform. Investors downloaded the app and deposited cryptocurrencies into wallets. Ultimately, the app was fake and the victims of the scam were unable to withdraw funds from their accounts.”

In Apple's case, where their App Store is literally the only way to install any app to the iPad or iPhone, they defend this monopoly saying it's actually beneficial to the consumer, because they can screen and deny any potentially malicious apps.

Experts recommend always downloading crypto-related software from official websites. Take the time to read user ratings and comments when on Google Play or the App Store, especially for products with a low download volume.

The executives have until August 10 to respond, but it is unclear what consequences corporations may face if they do not comply with Senate inquiries.

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Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk
Breaking Crypto News


Get $40 Bitcoin for $20 NOW: Click here!


The SURPRISING Oil-Rich Middle Eastern Country That Declared: Bitcoin Mining Allowed, If Powered By 100% Renewable Energy...

Iran Bitcoin Mining

In an unexpected move from a country that makes most of it's money from oil exports, Iran, which has a love-hate relationship with Bitcoin mining, once again allows mining farms to function normally - provided that it is supplied from renewable sources.

Since December of last year, Bitcoin mining has been prohibited in the country. Due to its seasons of extreme heat or cold, they needed to increase the amount of available power on energy grid, forcing crypto miners to shut down was among their first moves to do so.

Midway through the previous year, mining farms were granted permits on the condition that they utilize on-site generators to at least lower the energy taken from public power system. But a few weeks later, access to public electricity was again prohibited.

Now, the Iranian government has lifted the ban, with the stipulation that electricity must be provided only from renewable sources.

 Typically, miners love the chance to switch to renewables, as electricity generated from renewable sources is less expensive than electricity generated from traditional fuels. As a result, Bitcoin mining farms can reduce their production costs and boost their profitability by utilizing renewable energy.

This is not limited to renewable energy that miners produce themselves through technologies like solar; they can can also buy from power companies as long as they're purchasing energy generated renewably.

We expect an increase in hashpower coming from the country whose government is still on a list of countries with which most western governments don't do business with, because of ties to terrorist groups.

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Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk Breaking Crypto News