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Weekly Crypto News: Craig Wright, SEC, Gas Fees, Binance, Immutable Passport, Coinbase, France

Every week, Le Coin Hebdo brings you the latest news on crypto, NFTs, DeFi & GameFi! 📰

Craig Wright Presents New Evidence in Satoshi Nakamoto Identity Lawsuit

The highly anticipated trial of Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, has been rescheduled for February 2024 after the introduction of new evidence.

During a recent hearing, Judge Edward James Mellor allowed Wright to present 97 additional documents, allegedly found on USB drives at his home. These documents include LaTex files, which are said to have been used to write the Bitcoin whitepaper. However, this move is controversial, with Bitcoin Core developers accusing Wright of fabricating evidence and manipulating metadata.

Wright, who has publicly claimed to be Nakamoto since 2016, has also filed lawsuits against 13 key Bitcoin Core developers, accusing them of infringing his copyright on the Bitcoin whitepaper.

Judge Mellor has recently granted additional financial protection to Bitcoin Core developers, requiring Wright to deposit an additional £800,000 (approximately $1 million) by January 5th. This sum aims to ensure that the developers’ legal fees are covered in the event that Wright loses the lawsuit.

This trial represents a crucial moment in Bitcoin’s history, with potential implications for copyright recognition and the identity of the mysterious creator of the cryptocurrency.

SEC Admits Distorting Facts to Freeze Crypto Company’s Assets

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has admitted to not being ‘accurate and truthful’ in its statements regarding a crypto mining software company, Debt Box. This admission follows accusations of creating a ‘false narrative’ to justify freezing the company’s assets. The SEC has acknowledged lacking precision and honesty, including falsely claiming that Debt Box had closed bank accounts and was considering moving to the United Arab Emirates. This error led to a misrepresentation of facts in court, affecting the obtaining of a temporary restraining order.

Regrets and Corrective Measures by the SEC

In response to this situation, the SEC has expressed deep regrets and has taken steps to prevent the repetition of such errors. Gurbir Grewal, Director of Enforcement at the SEC, apologized on behalf of the commission and announced additional training for the Enforcement Division starting in January 2024. Although the SEC pleaded that its staff did not act in bad faith, Judge Robert Shelby, presiding over the case, suggested that the commission may still face sanctions for its inaccurate statements.

Record Rise in Gas Fees on EVM and BTC Blockchains Due to Inscriptions

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains are experiencing an unprecedented increase in gas fees, mainly due to a surge in inscription activity. On December 16th, 2023, gas expenditures for these inscriptions reached a historical peak of $8.3 million. Avalanche and Arbitrum One networks are particularly affected, with $5.6 million and $2.1 million spent on gas in a single day, respectively. This surge in gas fees significantly affects the performance and accessibility of these blockchains, with notable repercussions on users and transactions.

Similarly, a similar trend is observed on the Bitcoin network, where inscription activity has also increased. This surge has led to an increase in transaction fees, reaching up to $37 per transaction.

Binance & CZ Reach Settlement Approved by U.S. Court

The U.S. court has approved a settlement agreement between cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). As part of this settlement, Binance is fined $2.7 billion, while Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the former CEO of Binance, has to personally pay $150 million. This decision follows years of investigations into alleged violations of anti-money laundering laws and CFTC regulations by Binance.

In response to this judgment, Binance is committed to strengthening its Know Your Customer (KYC) measures and implementing a formalized corporate governance structure. Additionally, Samuel Lim, former Chief Compliance Officer at Binance, has been fined $1.5 million for his role in the company’s violations.

Immutable Passport: Immutable’s Innovative Wallet

Immutable, a key player in the Web3 gaming industry, has launched Immutable Passport, an innovative wallet infrastructure that simplifies wallet creation and recovery for users. This innovation allows users to log in through their Google, Apple, or email accounts, making access to Web3 games more accessible and user-friendly.

At launch, Immutable Passport is integrated into five popular games and applications, including Gods Unchained and Blocklete Golf, reaching over 500,000 users. In addition to facilitating login, Immutable has also introduced an interactive dashboard to enhance the user experience, allowing easy management of funds and in-game items.

To ensure security, Immutable uses Magic’s software development kit to generate a secure private key during the first login. This key is then encrypted and stored in an Amazon Web Services Hardware Security Module (HSM), ensuring that neither Immutable nor Magic has access to users’ funds. This non-custodial approach enhances users’ security and trust, although concerns remain regarding phishing and hacking risks.

Coinbase Expands Presence in France as PSAN

Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchange platforms, has made a major breakthrough by obtaining registration as a Prestataire de Services sur les Actifs Numériques (PSAN) from the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF). This registration marks a turning point for Coinbase, allowing it to offer a comprehensive range of cryptographic services in France. These services include the custody of digital assets, buying and selling crypto against fiat currencies, and trading. This expansion comes at a time when approximately 10% of French people own cryptocurrencies, and 24% are considering acquiring them.

In Brief

  • Bitcoin Spot ETFs: a market threat according to Arthur Hayes
  • Industry giants invest $78 million to support pro-crypto candidates in the U.S.
  • Phantom prepares to integrate Bitcoin network into its wallet
  • Binance and a former AMF executive under investigation for illegal conflicts of interest?
  • Silk Road case: U.S. court confirms seizure of 69,370 Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Three Arrows Capital founders face freeze of over $1 billion
  • El Salvador adopts law offering citizenship to BTC donors
  • Elon Musk announces integrated payment services coming to X in 2024
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