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Weekly News Recap in Crypto

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Former Alameda Engineer Reveals Behind-the-Scenes of FTX Fiasco

Aditya Baradwaj, a former engineer at Alameda Research, provides a fascinating glimpse into the complex personality and grand ambitions of Samuel Bankman-Fried (SBF), particularly regarding the ‘FTX fiasco.’

While discussing SBF’s altruistic vision, ranging from vaccine factory projects to ambitions in biotechnology research, Baradwaj highlights the disconnect between these lofty dreams and harsh reality. None of the ambitious projects materialized, leaving FTX in a state of financial ruin, impacting investors, customers, and employees.

The contradiction between SBF’s apparent passion for decentralization and his KYC-focused cryptocurrency exchange has also garnered attention. The reality contrasts with SBF’s dreams, marked by allegations of poor risk management, overwhelming technical debt, and reckless spending, resulting in billions in financial losses.

SBF’s ambitions seem to extend beyond cryptocurrencies, as he discussed hypothetical future technologies like iterated embryo selection and the importance of preventing China from leading fundamental biotech research.

Binance Limits SEPA Withdrawals and Deposits in Europe

Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange platform, is facing issues with withdrawals in Europe related to transfers via the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

The platform has temporarily suspended euro withdrawals and deposits via SEPA without providing a specific timeline for the restoration of these transactions. This change comes shortly after a similar announcement regarding their banking partner Paysafe and has raised concerns among users unable to transfer or sell their funds in euros.

Adding to the problems, Binance had already experienced previous difficulties such as the suspension of Bitcoin withdrawals and the announcement that Paysafe, their partner for euro transactions, would end its support.

While Binance attempts to reassure users by stating that the SEPA suspension is temporary and expected until September 25th, these successive incidents raise questions about the stability and reliability of the platform, especially for European users.

Coinbase Acquires Stake in Circle, Modifying USDC Stablecoin Governance

Coinbase and Circle, two pillars of the industry, have revealed a major overhaul of their collaboration on August 21st. Previously united in co-managing the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin through the Centre Consortium, the two companies have now indicated that this consortium will no longer function as an autonomous entity.

In the future, Circle will take on a broader range of operational functions, including key management for smart contracts and ensuring compliance with regulations.

In addition to this change, Coinbase is set to acquire a stake in Circle, further strengthening their shared economic and strategic visions. While financial details remain undisclosed, this move could have significant implications for the future of USDC, currently the second-largest stablecoin in terms of market capitalization.

As for its future expansion, USDC is planned to be deployed on six new blockchains in the coming months. Although specific networks have not been disclosed, previous communications have indicated an upcoming launch of USDC on platforms like Polkadot, Optimism, Near, Arbitrum, and Cosmos.

From Anonymity to the Third-Largest BTC Fortune: Who Is Behind the $3 Billion Wallet?

In just three months and two weeks, an anonymous Bitcoin wallet has become the third-largest BTC holder in the world, with an estimated $3.08 billion worth of bitcoins.

The wallet, which began accumulating Bitcoins on May 8th, now contains around 118,000 BTC. This rapid ascent has fueled numerous speculations within the crypto community, including the idea that these funds could be held by a major cryptocurrency exchange.

Rumors regarding the wallet owner’s identity are widespread, ranging from speculation that it is a cryptocurrency exchange to bolder theories pointing to BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.

Chinese journalist Colin Wu and on-chain analyst Arkham Intelligence each have their own theories, suggesting respectively that the Gemini and Robinhood exchanges could be behind this mysterious wallet.

Scandal Hits PEPE Memecoin: Creators Involved in $16.8 Million Rug Pull

The PEPE memecoin, which experienced rapid success since its launch last spring, faces a major crisis of confidence following a rug pull orchestrated by some of its creators.

A colossal amount of 16 trillion PEPE tokens, equivalent to approximately $16.8 million, was transferred to centralized exchange platforms, triggering alarms within the community.

The project’s official Twitter account confirmed that this malicious action was carried out by several team members, highlighting internal conflicts and motivations driven by greed.

The revelation of this rug pull has led to a rapid decline in the value of PEPE, despite assurances from the official Twitter account that the multisig wallet is now ‘in good hands.’ The project had already been hindered in its development by these same malicious actors, who had impeded progress in donations and token purchases with multisig tokens.

News in Brief

  • Recap of the 2023 Surfin’ Bitcoin edition in Biarritz
  • North Korean hackers steal $2 billion in crypto
  • Bitget imposes KYC on all users
  • Binance discontinues crypto debit card services in Latin America and the Middle East
  • Base acquires governance of Optimism
  • PancakeSwap v3 now deployed on Ethereum layer 2: Linea
  • OnlyFans invests heavily in ETH
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