Crypto News Headlines (01-May-2023)

Crypto price tracking site CoinMarketCap is diving into the world of reality TV, releasing a competition show called “Killer Whales” that draws inspiration from the popular TV series “Shark Tank.”

In partnership with Web3 entertainment company Hello Labs, the new program will allow entrepreneurs to pitch their projects to the “Killer Whale” judges made up of entrepreneurs, influencers and founders of Web3 companies. Hello Labs was founded by Paul Caslin, producer of the MTV VMA Awards.

“Killer Whales is a fun and exciting opportunity to bring the entrepreneurial energy of the Web3 space to homes all over the world,” said Jonathan Isaac, chief marketing officer at CoinMarketCap, in a press release.

As of today, April 30, 2023, the total value locked into liquid staking protocols such as Lido Finance, Coinbase’s Wrapped Staked Ether, Rocket Pool, Frax, Stakewise, Stakehound, Ankr,, and Bitfrost is just over $16 billion.

According to 30-day statistics, six out of the top ten protocols, ranked by value locked, have experienced gains over the past month, with four of them showing double-digit growth. At present, Lido dominates the $16 billion market, holding 73.6% or 6,206,101 of the 8,431,605 ethereum locked in liquid staking protocols.

Ethereum’s Liquid Staking Protocols Attract 400,000 Ether After Shapella Upgrade

Data shows that just after the Shapella upgrade, 400,735 ethereum worth $763,600,542 using today’s ether exchange rates has been added to the liquid staking cache. Lido’s 30-day metrics show an increase of 5.50% while Coinbase’s liquid staking platform saw a loss of 0.64% over the last month.

A new meme coin is born.

Pepe (PEPE), launched just two weeks ago, has now entered the market’s top 100 largest cryptocurrencies, with a market capitalization of $582 million.

The PEPE token pumped 111% in the last 24 hours and is up 304% over the week, according to CoinGecko.

PEPE is an ERC-20 token with a supply of 420.69 trillion tokens, joining the ranks of so-called meme coins, or tokens based on internet memes and popular culture references.

While there have been several Pepe the Frog NFTs and tokens released over the years, the most recent PEPE token has been especially fortuitous in capturing the market’s attention.

On April 28, Venmo, a popular mobile payment platform owned by PayPal, announced that in the coming weeks, it will enable a new feature allowing users to transfer cryptocurrencies on and off the platform. This move is seen as part of Venmo’s continuous efforts to cater to the growing demand for crypto-based services among its user base.

According to a press release, the new feature will offer more options and flexibility to move and manage cryptocurrencies. It is expected to be active starting May 2023, giving users an additional layer of convenience when handling their digital assets.

Dropping in to announce a new feature of ours: crypto transfersGet started now.

The crypto exchange’s head of business operations Conor Grogan, an avid ChatGPT user, shared a screenshot of the results in an April 30 tweet — showing that ChatGPT states there be a 15% chance that Bitcoin (BTC) will “fade to irrelevancy” with prices falling over 99.99% by 2035.

Meanwhile, the chatbot assigned a 20% chance of Ether (ETH) becoming irrelevant and approaching near-zero price levels by 2035.

ChatGPT was even less confident about Litecoin (LTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE), however, attributing probabilities of 35% and 45% respectively for the coins to go to near zero.

The Coinbase executive concluded that ChatGPT is “generally” a “big fan” of Bitcoin but remains “more skeptical” when it comes to altcoins.

GPT is generally a big fan of Bitcoin; more skeptical of altcoins and their staying power— Conor (@jconorgrogan) April 30, 2023

Tron founder Justin Sun tweeted on Monday that he has arranged a full refund of a $56 million transfer to exchange platform Binance after a warning from the latter against a potential token grab of the new SUI token.

After the substantial transfer made in TrueUSD (TUSD) got flagged by Whale Alert early Monday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter to say his platform has warned Sun it will take action if he used any of the funds to buy up large amounts of SUI tokens from Binance’s Launchpool.

“Binance LaunchPool are meant as air drops for our retail users, not just for a few whales,” Zhao said.

Crypto assets can be used in certain scenarios, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev commented during an economic forum in Moscow. Speaking at the “Banks. Transformation. Economy. 2.0” conference, he was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying:

Of course, crypto is generally evil. I believe that people who invest their savings there take a very big risk … But there may be individual situations in which crypto can be used.

Moiseev made it clear he was referring to Russian foreign trade activities, which are currently restricted by Western sanctions. He also reminded that a draft law designed to regulate this matter is still under consideration in the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament.

Gary James Harmon of Ohio was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for stealing 712 Bitcoin that belonged to his brother, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced.

Harmon pleaded guilty to criminal charges in January, faced with one count each of wire fraud and obstruction of justice, carrying a maximum sentence of 40 years combined.

The 712 Bitcoin in question—worth over $21 million at today’s prices—was taken by Harmon after the arrest of his brother in February 2020. According to the Justice Department, the funds were worth around $4.8 million at the time they were taken.

Block, a financial services and technology company owned by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has announced it has completed the prototype design of its new five-nanometre (5nm) Bitcoin (BTC) mining chip — which it claims is key to decentralizing the supply of Bitcoin mining rigs.

According to a blog post published on April 28, Block explained that developing Bitcoin mining ASIC rigs is both financially and technically challenging. The result of this has been “the excessive concentration of custom bitcoin mining silicon” in the hands of a select few companies. Block deems this centralization harmful to both miners and the Bitcoin network as a whole.

Notably, the San Francisco headquartered company wrote that it plans to make Bitcoin mining technology “open source” where possible by selling standalone ASICs and other hardware components to “optimize innovation and maximize the size of the Bitcoin mining hardware ecosystem.”

The United States securities regulator has handed down nearly $4 million in fines to crypto exchange Coinme for allegedly offering unregistered securities and giving “misleading statements” on its crypto token UpToken (UP).

On April 28 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it settled charges against Coinme, its subsidiary Up Global SEZC and the CEO of both firms, Neil Bergquist.

Up Global agreed to pay a $3.52 million penalty, for which Coinme was also liable. Separate penalties against Coinme and Bergquist of $250,000 and $150,000 respectively were also leveled, which both have agreed to pay.