Crypto News Headlines (08-Nov-2022)

The Financial Action Task Force said it has not changed the way it monitors digital assets after Al Jazeera reported that the intergovernmental organization for tacking money laundering and financing of terrorism is getting ready to “conduct annual checks to ensure countries are enforcing anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules on crypto providers.”

The FATF declined to comment on “speculation in media reports,” but it told CoinDesk that it has not changed the “manner or frequency of its assessments” of virtual assets defined under Recommendation R.15. All countries must prioritize the swift and effective implementation of crypto regulations to make sure they aren’t misused by criminals, it said.

“This Recommendation continues to be assessed and rated as part of countries’ mutual evaluation or follow up reports,” the FATF press team said in an email to CoinDesk.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday that James Zhong pleaded guilty on Friday “to committing wire fraud in September 2012 when he unlawfully obtained over 50,000 bitcoin from the Silk Road dark web internet marketplace.” The Justice Department also announced a “historic $3.36 billion cryptocurrency seizure” in connection to the case.

The DOJ explained that law enforcement conducted a search at Zhong’s house in Gainesville, Georgia, on Nov. 9, 2021, and “seized approximately 50,676.17851897 bitcoin, then valued at over $3.36 billion,” elaborating:

This seizure was then the largest cryptocurrency seizure in the history of the U.S. Department of Justice and today remains the department’s second-largest financial seizure ever.

The BitDAO community can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Alameda Research, the trading firm founded by crypto billionaire and FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, has fulfilled BitDAO’s request for proof of funds after the price of the DAO’s native BIT token suddenly dropped 20% in the early hours of Tuesday.

Alameda purchased 100 million BIT tokens in November last year by swapping 3.36 million FTT tokens.

According to BitDAO, which holds its corresponding FTT tokens in the DAO’s treasury, the agreement also included a public commitment not to sell each other’s tokens until November 2024. The price of BIT plunged from about $0.41 to $0.30 early on Tuesday, raising concerns that Alameda may have breached this agreement, prompting BitDAO to ask the trading firm for proof that it was still holding the 100 million BIT tokens.

PeckShieldAlert tweeted that about 7,499 ETH has been transferred to Tornado Cash from Deribit exploiter via an intermediary address.

#PeckShieldAlert ~7,499 $ETH (~$11.8M) has been transferred to Tornado Cash from @DeribitExchange exploiters via an intermediary address 0x3…e2d

— PeckShieldAlert (@PeckShieldAlert) November 7, 2022

The number of funds moved to Tornado Cash is roughly equal to all stolen ETH on the hacker’s address, as its balance amounts to 7,501 ETH. The hacker initially sent 9,080 ETH to the address on November 2.

Deribit formally disclosed that a hot wallet breach on their network resulted in the loss of $28 million in various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Following the attack, the exchange was forced to freeze all withdrawals while guaranteeing to pay for all losses to assure adequate security.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has announced that an individual has pled guilty to wire fraud charges connected to “unlawfully obtained” Bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace in 2012.

In a Nov. 7 announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice said James Zhong pled guilty to wire fraud charges related to executing a scheme to steal roughly 50,676 Bitcoin

BTC tickers down $19,715  from Silk Road. Authorities seized the Bitcoin from Zhong’s home in the state of Georgia in November 2021, at which time the total value of the crypto was roughly $3.36 billion.

“James Zhong committed wire fraud over a decade ago when he stole approximately 50,000 Bitcoin from Silk Road,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “For almost ten years, the whereabouts of this massive chunk of missing Bitcoin had ballooned into an over $3.3 billion mystery.”

Solana’s SOL token was one of the biggest losers in digital-asset markets on Monday, and crypto analysts speculated there might be a connection to the recent drama surrounding Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange and his trading firm, Alameda Research.

One theory is that Alameda might try to dump its SOL tokens in a bid to raise fresh liquidity.

“The large amounts of SOL and Solana ecosystem tokens held by Alameda could get sold off in a worst-case scenario and underline the close links between FTX/Alameda and Solana,” said Riyad Carey, research analyst at crypto data firm Kaiko.

The SOL token plunged 4.7% in the past 24 hours.

On Nov. 7, 2022, the bitcoin mining firm Iris Energy updated investors concerning October’s operations and the company noted it currently operates a hashrate of around 3.9 exahash per second (EH/s). The bitcoin mining company also said its “Mackenzie expansion” in British Columbia, Canada, from 50 megawatts (MW) to 80MW is “on track for energization by the end Q4 2022.” Also, the firm’s Childress facility in Texas is still in the construction and energization phase and operations continue on that end.

However, a Form 6-K SEC filing registered in November indicates that two lenders are alleging the company defaulted on $103 million in equipment loans. The loans are being held by two special-purpose vehicles (SPV) and the lenders have sent a “purported acceleration notice” for the alleged defaults. Iris Energy said that a large fraction of its exahash is unaffected by the SPV’s purported acceleration notice. Iris Energy’s SEC filing states:

2.4 EH/s of miners and all of the group’s data center capacity and development pipeline are unaffected by the limited recourse equipment financing arrangements or purported acceleration notice.

Elon Musk-fueled meme coin rally appears to have finally ended.

Dogecoin/link and Shiba Inu (SHIB) have posted significant losses over the past 24 hours, per data from Coingecko. 

DOGE has lost over 12.3% in value over the past 24 hours and trades at around $0.10, according to data from Coingecko. Despite today’s heavy losses, DOGE is still up 67.5% over the past 30 days.

Intense trading for the canine-crypto pumped its daily trading volumes across multiple exchanges to $2.3 billion, a 30% jump over the previous day.

With a market capitalization slightly above $14 billion, DOGE is still the 8th-largest cryptocurrency. If the downturn continues, however, it could drop its ranking to layer-1 blockchain Cardano (ADA).

Helios is an Ethereum light client built in Rust that offers trustless access to Ethereum. Data from an unreliable centralized RPC source is converted by Helios into a verifiably secure local RPC. Without maintaining a complete node, it collaborates with centralized RPCs to provide authenticity verification.

The recent conversion to Proof of Stake enabled Ethereum to introduce its light client protocol, which opened up novel opportunities for efficiently communicating with the blockchain and verifying RPC endpoints with the least amount of hardware.

The Ethereum light client is a solution that syncs in around two seconds needs no storage, and offers trustless access to Ethereum. It has an execution layer and a consensus layer, much like any other Ethereum client. Helios securely connects two levels, unlike the majority of clients, so that users only need to install and execute one piece of software.

Australia’s market regulator has released a list of the “top-10 ways to spot a crypto scam,” amid a detected rise in crypto-related investment scams this year.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) public advisory statement was published as part of Scams Awareness Week 2022, an initiative that teaches Australians how to identify all forms of scams. The campaign takes place between Nov. 7 to 11.

ASIC said that Australians had already lost more through “investment scams” in 2022 than the total $701 million figure in 2021, while ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court attributed cryptocurrencies to the steep incline in investment scams over the last two to three years:

“The main driver of the increase was cryptocurrency investment scams, where losses increased by 270%. The ACCC have advised that losses to crypto scams have increased further in 2022.”