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Crypto can get weird: The 5 strangest stories of the industry in 2022

From Terra to FTX, 2022 has given us many bizarre crypto tales. Whereas buyers have been enduring a bear market that noticed the crypto trade sink under the $1 trillion market capitalization mark, adoption within the house has been rising, and previous mysteries have been lastly solved.

From the unimaginable brief squeeze of a bankrupt firm’s token to previous anti-crypto arguments utilized by a serious central financial institution, we’re getting bizarre with 5 tales the perfect fiction writers couldn’t dream up.

“Comedic rapper” charged over Bitfinex hack

Again in 2016, widespread cryptocurrency trade Bitfinex suffered a serious safety breach that noticed attackers steal 119,756 Bitcoin (BTC), value roughly $72 million on the time. It was one of many largest crypto hacks in historical past, and though Bitfinex continued working, its fame was broken for years to return.

This yr, Heather Morgan, identified by her rap identify “Razzlekhan,” and her husband Ilya Lichtenstein have been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly conspiring to launder crypto related to the Bitfinex hack.

Throughout a court docket look in New York, the pair proclaimed their innocence and have been launched on multimillion-dollar bonds. The bizarre a part of this story is the small print surrounding Morgan’s work as a “comedic rapper” and social media influencer. Considered one of her songs even says it’s devoted to “the entrepreneurs and hackers, all of the misfits and good slackers.”

Morgan, who calls herself the “crocodile of Wall Avenue,” was labeled a grasp of “deceit and deception” by federal authorities. Whereas her house was being searched, Morgan allegedly requested federal brokers for permission to retrieve her cat from below the mattress and, whereas doing so, tried to lock her telephone.

Morgan and Lichtenstein reportedly traveled to Ukraine in 2019 to achieve false identities and create pretend passports, and have “established monetary accounts” in Ukraine and Russia.

She was a daily contributor to Forbes. The day earlier than the Bitfinex hack, she posted an image subsequent to Lichtenstein with a caption saying she’s going to “at all times love stepping into bother w/ this loopy man.”

Commenting on Morgan and Lichtenstein’s arrest, Dymtro Volkov, head of world improvements at crypto trade CEX.io, instructed Cointelegraph that with the correct technical sources, “it’s doable to trace the movement of most funds transferring on a blockchain community” and that “hiding an enormous quantity of stolen funds is definitely fairly a posh activity.”

Notably, the pair isn’t being charged with the hack however laundering the stolen funds. The sordid particulars of the story have even caught the curiosity of filmmakers. Hulu is producing a true-crime restricted collection about Morgan’s life, and Netflix has ordered a docuseries on the story.

Bankrupt Celsius Community’s CEL token surges 4,000%

Shortly after cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Community filed for chapter, the worth of its native utility token, CEL (CEL), jumped by greater than 4,100%. In solely two months, the worth climbed from a backside of $0.093 to a close to $4 excessive.

The surge got here amid rumors that Ripple, an organization engaged in a authorized battle with the USA Securities and Trade Fee, may take over Celsius’ property. Different rumors steered Goldman Sachs deliberate to accumulate Celsius for $2 billion.

Merchants organized a large brief squeeze. Quick squeezes happen when an asset’s value rises out of the blue, forcing brief sellers to purchase again the asset at a better value to shut their positions.

The brief squeeze was doable as a result of a freeze on Celsius token transfers considerably lowered the circulating provide of CEL.

https://cointelegraph.com/historical/?utm_source=CT&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=navigation
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On the time of the brief squeeze, Cointelegraph reported that FTX had about 5.1 million CEL tokens, amounting to 90% of the full circulating provide on exchanges.

It’s presently believed merchants on FTX pulled off the brief squeeze, however deleted tweets counsel that the origins of the motion will not be totally understood, and a few consider Alameda Analysis was immediately concerned. We do know that at the least some merchants are nonetheless trying to get a CEL brief squeeze going once more, even after the token dropped to $0.50.

Binance’s letter of intent

Binance’s stunning letter of intent to accumulate the collapsing FTX trade is one other bizarre story of 2022. On the time, many in crypto believed FTX was a solvent, well-run firm. When Binance introduced its intent to liquidate its holdings of FTX Token (FTT) following hypothesis concerning the solvency of FTX, what was seen as a rivalry between Binance and FTX quickly became a possible buyout nobody was anticipating.

As FTX’s solvency was hardly being questioned, CEO Sam Bankman-Fried introduced an “settlement on a strategic transaction” with Binance. It was a bizarre and sudden revelation as a result of, till that time, Bankman-Fried had dismissed issues concerning the solvency of FTX.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao added to these issues when he tweeted, “This afternoon, FTX requested for our assist. There’s a important liquidity crunch. To guard customers, we signed a non-binding LOI, intending to completely purchase FTX.com and assist cowl the liquidity crunch. We will probably be conducting a full DD within the coming days”.

The deal fell by means of the following day after Binance performed its due diligence, with the explanations turning into clear quickly after.

European Central Financial institution spreads FUD

In late November, the European Central Financial institution (ECB) printed a weblog put up by which it argued that Bitcoin’s restoration from $17,000 to $20,000 was possible an “artificially induced final gasp earlier than the street to irrelevance.”

The ECB mentioned that Bitcoin is “hardly ever used for authorized transactions” and that “actual Bitcoin transactions are cumbersome, sluggish and costly.” The central financial institution daringly wrote that Bitcoin has by no means been used “to any important extent for real-world authorized transactions.”

Associated: Probably the most eco-friendly blockchain networks in 2022

Based on the ECB, Bitcoin has benefited from “waves of latest buyers” whereas not being appropriate as an funding. It doesn’t generate money movement or dividends, nor can it’s productively used or “present social advantages.”

The assertion argues that blockchain know-how has “created restricted worth for society” and that the “Bitcoin system is an unprecedented polluter.” It additionally steered that cryptocurrency promotion bears a “reputational danger for banks.”

Each level the ECB introduced up has been used to assault the cryptocurrency group, and each single level has been rebuffed.

The ECB has recycled a number of crypto myths which have been used to carry the trade again. The put up comes because the ECB accelerates progress on creating a digital euro. One of many put up’s authors, Ulrich Bindseil, has authored quite a few posts on central financial institution digital currencies.

Moreover the recycled myths, what’s bizarre is the ECB’s unclear angle, as many don’t contemplate CBDCs to be competing with cryptocurrencies, which are sometimes seen as a option to exit the shortcomings of fiat forex methods.

Talking to Cointelegraph, Anton Bukov, co-founder of 1inch Community, mentioned the ECB’s put up was good for the cryptocurrency group, because it means the “authorities got here to the second and even third stage of Gandhi’s thought: First they ignore you, then they giggle at you, then they battle you, you then win.”

Central African Republic’s crypto plan

The Central African Republic (CAR) grew to become the second nation to undertake Bitcoin as a authorized tender earlier this yr, permitting round 5 million residents to make use of the flagship cryptocurrency alongside the nation’s fiat forex, the Central African CFA franc.

The transfer got here after Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra signed a invoice into legislation establishing a regulatory framework for Bitcoin as authorized tender. Whereas the crypto group initially celebrated the transfer, the bizarre facet of this quickly grew to become obvious.

Though the CAR is a mineral-rich nation, its individuals are among the many poorest on this planet. It has been devastated by a decade-long civil warfare, and it’s estimated that 9 out of 10 residents don’t even have entry to the web. CAR’s choice was accompanied by little to no rationalization, with President Touadéra tweeting a easy “extra to observe.”

The tweet was referring to an anouncement concerning the nation’s “visionary” plan to create a “improbable alternative for anybody who believes in crypto investing.” That chance is the Sango challenge, which seems to now be an preliminary coin providing for the nation’s CBDC.

The challenge claims that the nation’s treasury may have a devoted Bitcoin reserve and permit residents to have a “voice and likelihood to form the longer term” by means of a governance system. Citizenship may be acquired by locking mounted collateral in Sango. Different advantages embody e-residency, land possession and 0% earnings tax for digital property.

Whereas attracting overseas funding is an clever transfer from CAR, a Bitcoin-based preliminary coin providing from a war-torn nation is a bizarre growth. CEX.io’s Volkov instructed Cointelegraph that cryptocurrencies are “properly positioned to assist rising economies fill gaps within the companies their home monetary methods are missing” and will assist join home monetary methods to international markets. Volkov added that the transfer could assist the nation’s financial system:

“Making crypto authorized tender, or at the least making a authorized framework that defines its utilization, permits monetary firms to introduce low-cost and quick monetary companies that clients can entry even with unreliable entry to the web.”

He additionally mentioned cryptocurrencies can have a “massively constructive impact on nations with creating monetary methods trying to take part within the international financial system.”

The tales lined on this article make it clear how unpredictable the cryptocurrency house may be throughout bear and bull markets. If something, anybody following what’s occurring is having fun with a rollercoaster trip they are going to always remember.

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