Bankman-Fried verdict, Bitcoin reclaims $35K

This week, the jury declared FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of all charges leveled against him. The market also sustained a bullish run, while the SEC continued its industry-wide crackdown.

Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty

  • After 18 days of trial, Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of all seven charges, triggering a reaction from the crypto community. 
  • The verdict, scheduled for March 28, 2024, has created anticipation within the scene.
  • Pro-crypto attorney John Deaton asserts that Bankman-Fried could face 30 to 40 years. Meanwhile, David Lesperance, Managing Director at Lesperance & Associates, sees a possible 20 year sentence.
  • Bankman-Fried’s associates, Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh, are likely to face sentencing, according to Bloomberg.
  • These allies may avoid significant prison time, potentially serving in minimum security facilities for non-violent offenders.

Bitcoin sustains rally, holds above $35K

  • Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a bullish surge a couple of weeks ago, mainly driven by hopes for a spot ETF approval. This surge spilled into the new week.
  • At the start of the week, BTC clinched $34,000. Despite this, an important indicator still pointed to significant volatility in the asset.
  • Data from Santiment showed a considerable drop in whale activity and social engagement related to Bitcoin.
  • Nonetheless, BTC further reclaimed $35K on Nov. 1 amid a sustained run. The asset aimed for the $36K level shortly after, rallying to a yearly high of $35,984 on Nov. 2 before facing resistance.
  • Amid the uptrend over the past few weeks, CoinShares’ latest market report revealed that $326 million flowed into crypto investment products this year, marking the largest inflow since July 2022.
  • Bitcoin aims to seal a position above $35K, occasionally reclaiming and dropping below the level. 

US SEC targets SafeMoon and PayPal 

  • This week, PayPal and the team behind crypto project SafeMoon came under the radar of the U.S. SEC.
  • The regulatory body issued a subpoena to PayPal for the issuance of its PYUSD stablecoin, requesting certain documents from the company. PayPal confirmed that it is cooperating with the agency.
  • On Nov. 1, the SEC charged SafeMoon’s executives Braden John Karony, Kyle Nagy, and Thomas Smith with fraud and money laundering related to SafeMoon.
  • The SEC alleges that the team marketed SafeMoon as unregistered crypto asset securities.
  • The agency accused them of artificially inflating SafeMoon’s market cap to $5.7 billion through tactics like wash trading.

Terraform cases continue

  • This week, Daniel Shin, co-founder of Terraform Labs, denied any involvement in Terra’s collapse amid charges of fraud and embezzlement in South Korea.
  • Shin’s legal team asserted in a South Korean court that fellow co-founder Do Kwon was solely responsible for Terra’s downfall.
  • Meanwhile, in the U.S., Terraform Labs made a bold move by seeking an early dismissal of the multibillion-dollar securities fraud lawsuit filed against them by the SEC in February.
  • Their argument hinges on the claim that the SEC failed to provide substantial evidence that Terraform Labs engaged in the trading of unregistered securities.
  • However, the SEC had plans of its own. Reports suggested that the agency is aggressively pursuing a summary judgment regarding all allegations against Do Kwon and Terraform Labs.
  • The SEC’s objective is to bypass a full trial, emphasizing the presence of crystal clear, undisputed facts in its lawsuit.

MicroStrategy buys more Bitcoin 

  • MicroStrategy continued its relentless crypto accumulation, adding a hefty 155 BTC to its portfolio in October 2023, worth $5.3 million.
  • The latest acquisition brings their total BTC holdings to an impressive 158,400, valued at over $5.6 billion, as per their Q3 2023 earnings report.
  • Phong Le, MicroStrategy’s CEO and President, asserted that the company is in a prime position to benefit from Bitcoin’s momentum and the growth of their Business Intelligence (BI) business.

OpenSea confirms layoffs

  • Devin Finzer, OpenSea co-founder and CEO, disclosed job cuts on Nov. 3 via social media.
  • The move is part of “OpenSea 2.0” as the digital collectible trading hub moves to expand its dominance within the non-fungible token (NFT) market.
  • Updates from OpenSea follow a turbulent period after former head of product Nathanial Christain was convicted of insider trading under fraud and money laundering charges.

Yuga Labs, Magic Eden team up

  • Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Magic Eden, are collaborating to launch an Ethereum NFT marketplace that will ensure creators receive their right royalties.
  • Magic Eden will be responsible for sharing a portion of secondary market sales proceeds from their NFT collections with Yuga Labs.
  • Magic Eden is expanding its support for the Solana-powered compressed NFTs (cNFTs). The cNFTs feature make it easier for creators to mint NFTs on the Solana network.

Avi Eisenberg trial rescheduled

  • The trial for Avi Eisenberg, the crypto trader accused of a $110 million fraud, has been pushed back to April 2024. The trial was initially scheduled to kick off next month.
  • The government agreed to postpone the trial until April 8, 2024, a decision approved by the judge on Nov. 4, 2023.
  • Eisenberg is accused of commodities manipulation and wire fraud, specifically for deploying a highly profitable trading strategy against the Solana-based Mango Markets in October 2022. 

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