In the world of cryptocurrencies, there have been significant developments and events this week. Friend.tech, a platform in the cryptoverse, experienced a surge in revenue, fees, and activity, surpassing other platforms like Arbitrum and Optimism. However, it also faced a major privacy breach, resulting in the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information of over 101,000 individuals.
Shiba Inu’s Shibarium network, on the other hand, made progress towards a public relaunch after a failed debut earlier this month. The organizers and co-founder of Wistaverse announced a virtual rally in support of Julian Assange, which they described as pioneering in the metaverse. Additionally, K-pop giant Blackpink was set to go live on Roblox, providing a new immersive experience for their fans. Meanwhile, China was proposing to transplant its traditional social credit system into the metaverse.
In other news, several significant developments took place within various cryptocurrency platforms. Ledn partnered with Parallel to offer fiat-free real estate purchases in the Cayman Islands, while Momentum Capital secured a $10 million investment from Canada’s BM Fund. Binance, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, faced challenges with fiat withdrawals in Europe due to SEPA transfer issues. As a result, it decided to close its Binance Card in Latin America and the Middle East. However, Binance Pay, its crypto payments processor, was launched in Brazil. The exchange also faced criticism for its alleged involvement in facilitating transfers to and from blacklisted Russian lenders. Additionally, Binance reported a 100.5% increase in “pig butchering scam” cases reported to them compared to the previous year.
FTX, another cryptocurrency firm, hired Galaxy to handle its crypto holdings through selling, staking, and hedging. Bitstamp announced the termination of its ethereum staking service for US users due to regulatory reasons. Coinbase made changes to its debt buyback program based on moderate demand, while Gemini filed a response to the US SEC lawsuit, seeking the dismissal of allegations over unregistered securities.
Additionally, there were several legal actions and lawsuits within the crypto space. Titan Global Capital Management agreed to comply with the SEC cease-and-desist order and pay fines exceeding $1 million. Glow Token filed a lawsuit against Crypto.com over a recent fraud incident, while a group of investors filed a class action lawsuit against Atomic Wallet for failing to disclose information about a hack. Bart Stephens, co-founder of Blockchain Capital, took legal action against the hacker who stole $6.3 million worth of crypto from him. Furthermore, Exactly Protocol offered a $700,000 bounty for information leading to the arrest of the hacker.
In the realm of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the Reserve Bank of Australia stated that its CBDC is still “some years away.” In Russia, MTS and PSB started testing the digital ruble, with entrepreneurs using the CBDC for payment of services. The Russian Central Bank also announced plans to classify the digital ruble as a “high-quality liquid asset.” Meanwhile, the Central African Republic revealed plans to tokenize its land and natural assets.
Several notable incidents related to crime and police investigations occurred this week. The FBI alerted crypto firms about potential attempts by North Korean hackers to cash out over $40 million in stolen BTC. Ukrainian police officers received training from EU officials on crypto crime investigation. Brazilian police requested courts to freeze the crypto holdings of suspected fraudsters as part of a “mega operation.” In addition, two developers who worked on Tornado Cash were charged by the US Department of Justice, former OpenSea Head of Product Nate Chastain received a 3-month prison sentence for NFT insider trading, the former owner of Beitar Jerusalem was accused by Israeli police of orchestrating a $290 million crypto scam, and a former US corrections officer was arrested for targeting law enforcement and first responders in a crypto-related investment scheme.
To add a touch of humor, several crypto-related jokes were shared on social media platforms, highlighting the ups and downs of the crypto market and its community.