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Despite the euphoria surrounding the Ethereum Merge in recent days, the price of the crypto market’s biggest assets, Bitcoin and Ether, has fallen this week. Bitcoin traded slightly above $20,000 and Ether just below $1,500 on Saturday.
Project founders and managers have experienced more turbulence than cryptocurrency traders.
No stone will be left unturned
Indian regulators are concerned that crypto exchanges are not in compliance with the country’s foreign exchange laws.
According to some reports, Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber, which was valued at around $1.9 billion last year, has been raided by the Enforcement Directorate [ED] as the exchange allegedly violated forex laws by acquiring shares worth over ₹20 billion . . There were also claims that the company did not follow certain Know-Your-Customer [KYC] protocols.
A spokesperson for the company said that CoinSwitch Kuber emphasized transparency and engagement. Some of the notable investors in CoinSwitch Kuber include Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase Ventures.
Shocking crime statistics
Technology research company Elliptic has confirmed that there has indeed been a huge amount of financial crime around the world. The company’s newly released 2022 NFT Report revealed that fraudsters stole more than $100 million in NFTs between July 2021 and July 2022. More than 4,600 NFTs were stolen last month alone, breaking a new record.
However, it’s not just lone wolf hackers or civilian fraudsters behind NFT theft.
“NFT-based services are under increasing threat from sanctioned entities and state-sponsored exploits. This was highlighted by the robbery of $540 million from Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge by North Korea’s Lazarus Group and the holding of NFTs by US-sanctioned crypto asset exchange Chatex. More than $160,000 worth of digital assets originating from sanctioned entities were used to purchase NFTs,” Elliptic said in a report.
Another open abuse by fraudsters and hackers is the Discord server or social media channels of NFT projects, even though the account administrators use multi-factor authentication.
The report noted that although criminal acts represented a small proportion of total NFT trades, the information could greatly damage the image of the NFT market and corrupt legitimate trading users.
Accused of theft
Crypto investors and regulators around the world are watching the case of crypto lender Celsius Network LLC., which suddenly froze transfers and withdrawals on its platform on June 12 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy about a month later.
On Tuesday this week, Celsius sued his former investment manager Jason Stone and his company KeyFi Inc., alleging that his failure to invest assets in a competent manner resulted in “many tens of millions of dollars” in losses.
KeyFi, meanwhile, previously sued Celsius for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme, among other allegations.
According to court documents, Mr. Stone worked with Celsius for less than a year, until March 2021.
However, the crypto community wants to hear more from Celsius founder and CEO Alex Mashinsky. The CEO, once a frequent tweeter who has vocally disagreed with Celsius’ critics and skeptics, has not tweeted since roughly July 19. Celsius’ lawsuit could go a long way in showing the industry what accountability looks like in the cryptocurrency world — if it ever happens.