- Crypto Exchange Kraken to End Japan Operations
Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken said it will exit Japan and de-register from the Financial Services Agency (JFSA) as of Jan. 31.
The decision was prompted by “current market conditions in Japan in combination with a weak crypto market globally,” the company said in a blog post.
Kraken users in the country have until the end of next month to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings, with the option of transferring crypto to another wallet or wiring Japanese yen to a local bank.
The exchange’s co-founder, Jesse Powell, departed from his role as CEO in September to be replaced by former COO Dave Ripley. The company cut 30% of its global workforce two months later as the crypto market continued to stagnate following the collapse of rival exchange FTX.
Kraken will now prioritize resources and investments to ensure the long-term stability of the exchange, the blog post said.
- FBI Renews Warning About Pig Butchering Crypto Scam Sweeping the Country
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has renewed its warning about the “pig butchering” cryptocurrency investment scam. Frank Fisher, public affairs specialist at the FBI’s Albuquerque division, warned that the pig butchering crypto scam “is sweeping the country,” CNN reported Monday, quoting him as saying:
Be very careful when you go on social media and dating apps and somebody starts developing a relationship with you, and wants you to start investing … Don’t get butchered.
In pig butchering schemes, scammers “fatten up the pig by getting the victim to think that they’re investing in something and get them to move money into cryptocurrency,” explained district attorney Jeff Rosen of Santa Clara County, California. He added that criminals in the pig butchering schemes “fatten up” their victims’ digital wallets and then steal the money.
- Bitcoin Miner Argo Blockchain Sells Texas Facility to Galaxy Digital for $65M
Bitcoin mining company Argo Blockchain announced it has entered into definitive agreements with Galaxy Digital Holdings that will see the miner sell its Helios facility in Dickens County, Texas.
The deal, which will also see Galaxy host Argo’s mining machines located at Helios, is worth $65 million (£54 million), Argo Blockchain said in a press release Wednesday.
In addition, Galaxy will provide Argo with a new asset-backed loan in an aggregate principal amount of $35 million (£29 million) with an initial term of 36 months, using 23,619 Bitmain S19J Pro mining machines currently operating at Helios and certain machines located at Argo’s data centers in Canada as collateral.
- Elon Musk Imposter Hacks UK Cabinet Minister’s Account, Promotes Crypto Scam
On Christmas Day, another parliament member of the United Kingdom was targeted in a Twitter crypto scam. Education Secretary Gillian Keegan found her Twitter pic changed to Elon Musk’s current profile picture.
As the cyber attack took place at 7:30 PM on Christmas Day, the first thing the hacker did was reply to the real Elon Musk’s tweet: “Thank you for another great year! This feels a lot like Christmas.”
On top of that, the hacker went on to post a couple of tweets inviting crypto enthusiasts to a fake event, which included a “free crypto giveaway” in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and the real Elon Musk’s beloved canine coin Dogecoin (DOGE). The hoax portrayed Elon Musk smiling and wearing a bandana, while the headline “Tesla X Twitter: First Event” was meant to be as eye-catching as it gets.
- Executives from $1.5B South Korean crypto exchange fraud jailed
Six executives involved in the $1.5 billion (2 trillion won) South Korean crypto exchange fraud V Global have received prison sentences of up to eight years — but three were not detained so they could fight certain charges in court.
V Global operated between July 2020 and April 2021, roping in around 50,000 investors by promising 300% returns alongside sizable payments for referring new customers.
According to a translation of Dec. 26 reports from South Korean media outlets such as Economist.co.kr, two high-ranking execs, named Mr.Yang and Mr. Oh, got eight years and three years apiece for their role in defrauding investors.
- Crypto Investment Firm Midas Shutting Down Platform Following Losses
Midas Investments, an investment firm that focused on DeFi yields, is shutting down its platform following significant losses experienced in 2022, according to a blog post from CEO and founder Iakov “Trevor” Levin.
Levin wrote that this past spring, the Midas DeFi portfolio lost $50 million, or 20% of its $250 million in assets under management (AUM), and that after the collapse of Celsius and FTX, its platform experienced over 60% of AUM being withdrawn.
“Based on this situation and current CeFi market conditions, we have reached the difficult decision to close the platform,” Levin wrote.
The company now aims to focus on a new project that “aligns with our vision for” centralized decentralized finance (CeDeFi), according to Levin.
- Publicly-Listed Bitcoin Miner Argo Blockchain Suspends Nasdaq Trading
On Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, the publicly-listed bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain (Nasdaq: ARBK) announced that it has requested the suspension of trading its shares via Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange as well.
Argo detailed that it believes trading will resume after the company makes an important announcement on Dec. 28. Argo disclosed that the announcement is “expected to be released before [the] opening of trading on Wednesday.”
Argo is one of many bitcoin mining operations that has suffered a great deal financially from the crypto winter. During the first week of Nov. 2022, Argo’s stock was downgraded by the financial institution Canaccord Genuity and Jefferies analysts.
- Cryptocurrency Company Abra Begins Plan To Cut Costs And Restructure The Business
A crypto investment management firm Abra begins cutting costs and reorganizing its business as a stepping stone against the bear market, according to Blockworks citing people familiar with the matter.
Steps taken by top Abra executives include minor layoffs in the company’s sales, sales, and research departments, the sources said.
Measures taken by top Abra executives include several layoffs in the company’s sales, business, and research divisions, the sources said. This is especially so, however, because senior company officials may also be on the list for layoffs.
Reportedly, Michael Maizels, Abra’s head of research, was among those laid off in the past few months, as was Robin Malik, the company’s head of over-the-counter (OTC) trading. The cuts are still going strong in the bear market, not related to employee performance.
- Solana Tumbles Again, Bringing Crypto Token’s 2022 Plunge to 94%
Solana, the cryptocurrency backed by fallen crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried, tumbled on Wednesday amid concerns that large holders may be about to offload the token.
Solana dropped as much as 12% on Wednesday and was trading 8.8% lower as of 8:40 a.m. in London. Other tokens saw modest declines, with Ether slipping 1.3% and Bitcoin down 0.3%.
While other so-called altcoins have suffered steep declines this year, Solana has been pummeled by the bankruptcies of Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX and his hedge fund Alameda Research, which had backed the token. The coin has lost 94% of its value in 2022.
“General confidence in Solana’s future has taken a hit given its close connection with SBF,” said Martin Lee, data journalist at blockchain research firm Nansen, using Bankman-Fried’s initials..
- Wife of Hal Finney announces Bitcoin charity event
She said that the event seeks to raise funds to provide assistance for victims of ALS.
Fran Finney, the wife of crypto pioneer Hal Finney, has announced a charity event to benefit victims of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Discussing the event on Twitter, Finney encouraged Bitcoin BTC tickers down $16,676 users to run a half marathon and share their experiences on social media between Jan. 1 and Jan. 10, 2023 to help raise funds to fight the disease.
The announcement was made by Fran Finney, using Hal Finney’s official Twitter account. The account had previously been reactivated by her in order to save it from Twitter’s purge of old accounts.