BTC-“Volatility to Continue”

Despite a second halt of the Terra blockchain by its validators, the protocol’s LUNA and UST tokens remain available to trade on FTX and other minor exchanges as of late morning Asia time.

FTX and China-focused exchange continue to trade the Luna token.

Between its USD and USDT trading pairs, FTX has nearly $445 million in volume during the last 24 hours according to CoinGecko.

Meanwhile, reports $84 million in volume during the last 24-hours for Luna.

Thai-based exchange Bitazza was trading both Luna and UST up until early this morning Asia time, then pulled the plug on both.

UST continues to be traded at FTX and KuCoin, with $678 million in volume during the last 24 hours at FTX and $248 million at KuCoin.

Binance and many other major exchanges halted trading of Luna and UST as both tokens neared the $0 point and the Terra blockchain was shut down the first time.

It’s unclear if the Terra blockchain will ever be restarted, meaning that the trades may never be settled and traders unable to cash out.

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Europol, is now offering a reward of up to €5,000 ($5,200) for any information that could lead to the arrest of Ruja Ignatova, suspected of masterminding one of the largest scams in crypto history, Onecoin.

Onecoin ‘Crypto Queen’ Ruja Ignatova Listed Among Europe’s Most Wanted

The announcement describes Ignatova, a doctor of law, as the “driving force and intellectual inventor of the alleged cryptocurrency Onecoin.” She is suspected of inducing investors all over the world to put money into “this actually worthless ‘currency’,” Europol notes.

The agency also points out that the fraud-related losses to the Ponzi scheme that have been established so far are in the upper double-digit million range, while also acknowledging that the total damage caused on a global scale is likely to amount to several billion U.S. dollars. Europol explains:

The wanted person’s whereabouts have been unknown since 25 October 2017, and she has not appeared in public since this date, neither in connection with OneCoin nor otherwise.

Coinbase stock closed today up by nearly 9%, despite America’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange having a very rough week. The stock closed the trading day at $58.50, up 8.9% in 24 hours.

Coinbase, which trades as COIN on the NASDAQ, closed yesterday at $53.72, following some difficult news: the San Francisco-based exchange yesterday ​​posted a quarterly loss of $430 million, and pulled in only $1.17 billion in revenue for Q1.

In Q4 2021, it took in $2.5 billion; analysts had predicted it would rake in $1.5 billion Q1 2022. Not only that, but monthly transacting users (people using the exchange to buy and sell digital assets) dropped significantly, too—from 11.4 last quarter to 9.2 million in Q1.

Coinbase stock was all over the place today: at one point it dipped as low as $41.85—40% lower than its closing price. That’s the kind of volatility you see with altcoins, not equities.

A joint body tasked with coordinating crypto regulation globally is sorely needed and could become a reality within the next year, according to Ashley Alder, chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), an association of market regulators.

Alder was speaking at an online conference organized by the think tank Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF). Alder, who is also the CEO of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, said the growth of digital currency markets and their increasing connection to mainstream finance has made crypto a top focus area for regulators around the world.

“Crypto has obviously rocketed up the agenda,” Alder said, adding that crypto is now one of the three ‘C’s’ that represent the top focus area for regulators, alongside COVID and climate change.

The financial world is focused on crypto this week as markets crashed, exacerbated by the collapse of the stablecoin TerraUSD (UST). Early Thursday, bitcoin was trading at a 16-month low.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has acquired a substantial 7.6% stake in the popular online brokerage, Robinhood.

The news was well-received by the market, with Robinhood’s stock price initially soaring over 30% in after-hours trading. At the time of writing, the price has settled to a 24% overall gain.

According to a securities filing made with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday, Bankman-Fried purchased a total of $648 million in Robinhood shares at an average price of $11.52. The purchases disclosed by Bankman-Fried reportedly began in mid-March and continued until Wednesday.

In the securities filing, Bankman-Fried made it clear that he had “no intention of taking any action toward changing or influencing the control of [Robinhood],” and that the move was simply because he saw Robinhood as an “attractive investment.”

Robinhood’s communications team took to Twitter to emulate what Bankman-Fried said in his securities filing — tweeting to their 82,000 followers, “Of course we think it is an attractive investment too.”

A New York man was arrested and charged with fraud on Thursday morning for his role in an alleged crypto investing scheme that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says duped investors out of $59 million.

Eddy Alexandre, 50, of Valley Stream, N.Y., is the CEO of EminiFX, a cryptocurrency and forex trading platform. Authorities say that, beginning last September, Alexandre founded and ran EminiFX and convinced “hundreds of individual investors” to invest with him.

According to Alexandre’s social media profiles, he is a cybersecurity engineer with nearly 30 years of experience, most recently as a senior IT professional at WarnerMedia.

According to the criminal complaint, Alexandre told investors he could double their money within five months, promising 5% weekly returns he allegedly generated through secretive robo-advising technology.

Authorities claim Alexandre did not invest the “vast majority of investor funds entrusted to him [and] sustained losses on the limited portion of funds that he did invest.”

An Africa-focused crypto startup, Mara, has raised $23 million in funding for building a so-called pan-African cryptocurrency exchange, a report has said. Participating in the startup’s capital raise were Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research, Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, and Infinite Capital.

According to a report by Venture Beat, the funding round also attracted angel investors like Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi. In addition, about 100 crypto investors are said to have participated in the round.

In his comments following Mara’s successful fundraise, the startup’s CEO Chi Nnandi is quoted in the report suggesting that the upcoming platform would enhance Africa’s competitiveness. He explained:

A decentralized alternative (which will include but not be limited to finance, art, ownership, infrastructure, and business as a whole) will give Sub-Saharan Africans an alternative to these tired systems. Through this digital financial system — through this freedom — the region will find itself in a much stronger competitive position before other parts of the world.

The world’s largest crypto exchange Binance today announced that it has delisted both LUNA and stablecoin UST. The Terra ecosystem tokens were removed from both margin and spot markets at 12:40 am UTC today.

On Thursday, Binance warned users about delisting the LUNA and Tether (USDT) trading pair if the price of LUNA fell below $0.005.

Earlier this week, Binance had also temporarily halted the withdrawals of UST and LUNA owing to network congestion caused by the high volume of pending withdrawals.

LUNA, Terra’s native governance and staking token plummeted 99.97% yesterday and currently trades at $0.00005395 accordion to data from CoinMarketCap.

The Terra blockchain halted after the terra token (LUNA) fell in value to below 2 cents on Thursday.

According to a tweet from Terraform Labs, the company behind the Terra ecosystem which includes the LUNA governance token and several algorithmic stablecoins, the price of LUNA fell too low to “prevent governance attacks,” citing LUNA inflation as one factor. LUNA fell in price from nearly $120 in early April to between 1 and 2 cents on Thursday.

LUNA’s price plummeted over 80 dollars in three days. TerraUSD (UST), one of the paired stablecoins, broke its peg on Monday, dropping to 37 cents at press time.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has donated $4 million worth of USD Coin (USDC) to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to support the development of a pandemic detection tool.

The capital, which equates to roughly 5.3 million Australian dollars, is part of Buterin’s self-described “moonshot anti-COVID effort” dubbed Balvi Filantropic Fund in partnership with the Shiba Inu (SHIB) memecoin project and Crypto Relief.

The funds will further support the development of the Shiba Inu Open-Source Intelligence- (OISNT)-based EPIWATCH tool, which utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and open-source data to create early pandemic warning signs.

Created by Kirby Institute professor and biosecurity research head Raina MacIntyre, the tool scans millions of items of publicly available online data, including social media and news reports to detect any changes that could suggest increasing health concerns.

Buterin emphasized the importance of sharing data in a decentralized and open manner to speed up pandemic detection:

“Open analysis of public data is an excellent alternative to more intrusive forms of monitoring, which are also often only available to governments and other high bidders but closed to the public.”