4 January

“Sam Bankman-Fried, who stands accused on eight different counts including wire fraud and campaign finance violations, pleaded not guilty to all charges Tuesday afternoon. His not guilty plea today was expected.

Today’s plea, which Bankman-Fried can change, at least for now sets up an October trial where prosecutors will spell out how they believe he violated federal laws in defrauding his customers, investors and lenders, as well as charges with respect to campaign finance regulations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon told the court that the prosecution expected the bulk of its discovery to be completed within the coming weeks.

On the government’s behalf, Sassoon [also] asked the court to modify the conditions of Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions, requesting that he be prohibited from accessing or transferring any assets tied to FTX or its affiliated entities. She referenced last week’s discovery that several Alameda wallets had begun moving thousands of dollars worth of crypto into other wallets. ‘This money is now inaccessible for the purposes of government seizure.’

Judge Kaplan also granted Bankman-Fried’s application to seal the names of the two additional co-signers who, in addition to his parents, guaranteed his $250 million bail bond. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers had argued that there were safety and privacy concerns with revealing the names of the co-signers.”

See Also: Bahamas-FTX Dispute Heats Up as Bankman-Fried Prepares for Trial

Governance tokens of top liquid staking products rally as Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade is set to “de-risk” ether staking by opening ETH withdrawals. The [March] upgrade, known as Shanghai, will include code allowing withdrawals of ether staked in the Beacon Chain since December 2020, finally giving participants a timeline for reclaiming their ether.

As withdrawals are enabled, many believe more users will stake their ETH.

Ether has a staking ratio of 14%, the lowest among layer 1 coins. Therefore, there is plenty of room for growth in the ether stake rate – the amount of ether staked relative to the cryptocurrency’s total supply – and adoption of liquid staking protocols.”

See Also: Ethereum transactions 338% higher in 2022 but Bitcoin remains most searched
See Also: Crypto exchange adoption boosts ENS registrations to over 2.2M in 2022
See Also: Vitalik Buterin highlights what he’s bullish about for 2023
See Also: Erik Voorhees tips $40K BTC by June, but little consensus among pundits

“According to the statement from agencies that also included the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), issuing digital tokens or holding them on their own balance sheets ‘is highly likely to be inconsistent with safe and sound banking practices.’ The three regulators said they have ‘significant safety and soundness concerns with business models that are concentrated in crypto-asset-related activities.’

The U.S. banking regulators have maintained a careful resistance to cryptocurrency getting a significant toehold in the traditional financial system. They’ve allowed some custody operations among lenders, and the OCC briefly extended provisional charters to crypto trust banks, but the rules at the agencies now hold that a lender must get approval in advance before getting into any new business involving this sector.”

See Also: Turkey to use blockchain-based digital identity for online public services

Cameron Winklevoss blasted Silbert in an open letter posted to Twitter, alleging crypto broker Genesis Global Capital and its parent company, DCG, owe Gemini’s clients $900 million. The letter alleges Gemini has awaited word on a repayment agreement for six weeks to no avail.

Winklevoss also accused DCG CEO Barry Silbert of using $1.675 billion in money Winklevoss claimed DCG “owes” Genesis and using it for purposes that helped other DCG ventures instead of repaying creditors.

You took this money – the money of schoolteachers – fo fuel greedy share buybacks, illiquid venture investments, and kamikaze Grayscale NAV trades that ballooned the fee-generating AUM of your Trust, all at the expense of creditors and all for your own personal gain.

Silbert responded, tweeting that DCG delivered to Genesis and Gemini’s advisers a proposal on Dec. 29, 2022, and has not had any response.

Winklevoss’ letter comes as his company faces major financial headwinds, including a lawsuit against the firm’s Earn product alleging fraud and securities law violations and a mob of angry Earn customers who have been unable to access their accounts.”

See Also: Genesis-DCG Loan Leads to Class Action Arbitration Case From Gemini Clients

“Unsellable launched last month and acquires “worthless” NFTs for the cost of gas plus a few bucks. The site functions as instant liquidity for otherwise, as the name suggests, unsellable NFTs, providing a quick way for NFT investors to capture their losses. The service has so far purchased over 9,300 NFTs.

Think of us as Web3 junk removal.”

See Also: Public filings reveal a $3B crypto trader who still lives with his mom

Binance is solvent, liquid and stable, which is evident in the exchange’s more than $55 billion in verifiable cold wallet addresses, Bernstein said in a research report Monday. The crypto exchange can also “pass the test of withdrawals” as it did when $6 billion of customer funds were withdrawn on Dec. 13, the report said.

Bernstein says Binance faces two challenges. First, it has an offshore holding company based out of the Cayman Islands, which means it must take “progressive steps moving towards an on-shore structure.” Second, following the demise of crypto exchange FTX, it is now a “virtual monopoly in global crypto trading.” While it can’t do much about its monopolistic position, competition may now emerge from decentralized exchanges, as traders could diversify their activities toward self-custody and decentralized trading platforms.”

See Also: DeFi Protocol Sushi to Shutter Lending Product to Focus on DEX
See Also: Former Bithumb Chairman Acquitted in $100M Fraud Case
See Also: The “DEAD or DYING” Coins of Crypto (Video)

“Final Fantasy creator Square Enix is set to double down on blockchain game development despite turbulence in the crypto market, according to a Jan. 1 letter from the Japanese company’s president, Yosuke Matsuda. Out of 15 paragraphs, seven were about blockchain gaming, showing that blockchain gaming is a major focus of the company’s investing strategy going forward.

Symbiogenesis is a new franchise by SQUARE ENIX, which brings real game utility ⚔ to 10000 collectible NFT artworks.

Matsuda stated that “blockchain entertainment” is the investment field his team will be most focused on in the medium term, to which they have devoted ‘aggressive investment and business development efforts.’ Matsuda finished off the letter by stating that Square Enix has multiple blockchain games under development and will be announcing more over the course of 2023.”