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BitBoy founder threatens class action lawsuit against Celsius

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BitBoy founder threatens class action lawsuit against Celsius

Just two weeks after appearing in an ask me anything (AMA) with Celsius founder Alex Mashinsky, crypto Youtuber Ben Armstrong has announced he intends to file a class action lawsuit against the lending platform and its chief executive.

Armstrong made legal threats via Twitter on June 15, and has since provided more detail in multiple threads. His issue is centered on being unable to pay down loans with existing funds on the platform, and instead having to deposit new funds to pay the loans off:

“[Our account rep] told us we had enough money in our account to pay off a loan. But we can’t use money in our account. We HAVE TO SEND CELSIUS MORE MONEY TO PAY IT OFF.”

“Imagine an insolvent company that you can’t withdraw your money from ASKING YOU TO SEND THEM MORE MONEY,” he added.

Armstrong stated that he is currently working through the process of getting all “disclosures, documents, loan details, etc” put together while speaking to attorneys to explore the best ways to go about the class action. Co-plaintiffs are yet to be added as Armstrong hasn’t “officially began moving” yet.

BitBoy Crypto is the second most subscribed crypto YouTube account with roughly 1.45 million subscribers and primarily provides commentary on market news/events. The channel is only behind Coin Bureau and its 2.07 million subscribers, although BitBoy Crypto has plenty of detractors too, some of whom allege that he has been paid to promote dubious crypto assets in the past.

Armstrong’s sentiments towards Celsius have swung wildly from just two weeks ago, when he was featured on the  ask me anything (AMA) session with Mashinsky on Celsius’ YouTube channel.

And today I’m the victim. Kicking myself for wondering how I let this get so bad and so far,” he said.

Celsius is battling either insolvency or it’s experiencing severe liquidity troubles as a result of the crypto market plunge. The firm paused withdrawals on June 13, and also reportedly shifted around $320 million worth of assets to pay down loans and avoid liquidation on decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms such as AAVE.

One issue to a potential lawsuit however, is if Celsius files for bankruptcy it will trigger a provision called “automatic stay”, which would prevent creditors from pursuing collection activity against the firm.

Celsius has reportedly onboarded restructuring lawyers from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to find potential solutions for its financial troubles, however Armstrong claims that these types of lawyers “specialize in MOSTLY preparing companies for bankruptcy.”

“Even if Celsius does file bankruptcy, we have discovered some potential workarounds to still do a class action lawsuit (not effected by bankruptcy). Unfortunately I have to keep that one close to the vest for now,” he said.

Related: DeFi contagion fears and rumors of Celsius and 3AC insolvency could weigh on NEXO price

In terms of recouping funds from Celsius, there does at least appear to be a potential option for users with less than $25,000 on the platform to obtain their assets in the immediate future. Joshua Browder, the founder of robot lawyer DoNotPay tweeted a step-by-step strategy on June 15 on how users might be able to get funds back:

“As of right now, these exchanges have not yet filed for bankruptcy protection. Therefore, they are subject to small claims court judgements. Small claims court cases typically take 1-2 months. As long as this drags on longer than that, this strategy will work.”

2. To file a small claims lawsuit, the first step is to send a demand letter.

The demand letter should say 1) how much you are owed 2) why you think you are owed the money.

For Celsius specifically, you should mail it (return receipt requested) to:

— Joshua Browder (@jbrowder1) June 15, 2022

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Crypto Exchange Zipmex Moves to Release Some BTC, ETH Holdings This Week

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Crypto Exchange Zipmex Moves to Release Some BTC, ETH Holdings This Week

Shortly after resuming withdrawals for some altcoins, Asian crypto exchange Zipmex announced that it will be easing withdrawal amounts of Bitcoin and Ether later this week.

The statement comes after the platform had assured its users on August 4 that it is “committed to resuming all services on the Zipmex platform ASAP and to rebuild confidence and alleviate customer concerns.”

August 11, 16 earmarked for release

Zipmex, a cryptocurrency exchange with offices in Singapore and Thailand, announced a temporary halt to client withdrawals from the platform back on July 20. While the exchange blamed falling crypto asset prices and loan defaults by industry heavyweights for the decision, it said it will resume withdrawals less than 24 hours after suspending operations.

Now, despite the exchange’s battle with Babel and Celsius, it intends to release a specific amount of ETH and BTC on August 11 and 16, respectively.

Zipmex is planning to release a specific amount of ETH and BTC on 11 and 16 August respectively. We’re working hard to release the balance of Z Wallet holdings ASAP.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support.

Zipmex Team

#Zipmex pic.twitter.com/moywJffXau

— ZIPMEX (@zipmex) August 8, 2022

Previously on August 2, 100% of users’ SOL was released, 100% of XRP was announced for release on August 4, and Zipmex said it will make 100% of ADA available on August 9, 2022. Stablecoins, on the other hand, will remain inaccessible for the time being.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, Zipmex has requested bankruptcy protection to address its financial concerns by way of a moratorium for five of its businesses. While the hearing is to take place on August 15, it is crucial to reiterate that Zipmex has raised a total of $62.9 million in investment over the course of 6 rounds. As per Crunchbase, Coinbase and B Capital Group were the most recent investors.

That said, co-founder Akalarp Yimwilai had also stated on Twitter last month that the “primary objective at this stage is to raise funds and open up Z Wallet as soon as possible.”

We reiterate that we have an audit trail and written evidence on all sequence of events. However, our primary objective at this stage is to raise funds and open up Z Wallet as soon as possible.

— Akalarp Yimwilai (@akalarp) July 29, 2022

Will the Singapore court go the Vauld way?

Just last week, the High Court of Singapore granted the troubled cryptocurrency lender Vauld a three-month moratorium period. As a result, the corporation will be effectively protected from any prospective legal action from creditors during this time. Therefore, a similar route for Zipmex will allow the platform to resolve its liquidity issues and re-enable its Z wallet.

Just to reiterate, Zipmex Asia Pte Ltd, Zipmex Pte Ltd, Thailand-based Zipmex Company Limited, PT Zipmex Exchange Indonesia, and Zipmex Australia Pty Ltd are among the businesses asking for assistance under Section 64 of Singapore’s Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018. According to Singaporean legislation, these businesses must be given an automatic moratorium for 30 days or until the court issues a ruling.

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Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Dave Portnoy’s SafeMoon position is down 94%, claims he’s being sued by project

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Dave Portnoy’s SafeMoon position is down 94%, claims he’s being sued by project

The Barstool Sports founder panic-sold Bitcoin in 2020 and has expressed fleeting interest in digital assets ever since.

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Dave Portnoy's SafeMoon position is down 94%, claims he's being sued by project

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has watched his investment in SafeMoon (SAFEMOON) crash by over 94%, proving to crypto enthusiasts that he is, in fact, capable of hodling during the bear market. 

The stock trader and media personality took to Twitter on Monday to lament his $40,000 investment in the memecoin, which has fallen to just $2,370.94 after he didn’t withdraw a single token. “Still holding by the way,” Portnoy said. “Diamond hands.”

I put 40k into @safemoon I haven’t withdrawn any. It’s not worth 2.3k. And I’m being sued. https://t.co/qRAyBegQMm

— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) August 8, 2022

Portnoy claimed that he’s also being sued by SafeMoon, possibly for “trashing” the project on his show, but didn’t elaborate much further. In a separate tweet, Portnoy shared a screenshot of SafeMoon’s sales manager expressing displeasure with the Barstool Sports frontman for giving the company “a bad look and unfair representation.” Portnoy “mentioned his SafeMoon losses on air but failed to mention he hasn’t upgraded his holdings to V2 yet,” the manager said.

And let’s not forget when @safemoon themselves complained about me trashing them. pic.twitter.com/1Fg2i9lijC

— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) August 8, 2022

Portnoy is no stranger to cryptocurrencies, having bought Bitcoin (BTC) in August 2020 only to sell it one week later due to volatility. He later expressed regret over his lack of conviction and went on to make several additional bets on cryptos, which included SafeMoon.

Related: Dogecoin founder speaks out against ‘meme coins’

As far as prices go, SafeMoon is down over 99% from its all-time high of $0.00001399 in April 2021, according to CoinMarketCap. The coin has a lifetime return on investment of negative 86%. 

SafeMoon was audited in May 2021 by blockchain security firm HashEx. At the time, the firm identified 12 smart contract vulnerabilities, including a “temporary ownership renounce” that made it especially prone to a rug pull.

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Circle freezes blacklisted Tornado Cash smart contract addresses

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Circle freezes blacklisted Tornado Cash smart contract addresses

Stablecoin issuers can blacklist interactions with the Tornado Cash DApp on the Ethereum smart contract level.

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Circle freezes blacklisted Tornado Cash smart contract addresses

Crypto data aggregator Dune Analytics said that, on Monday, Circle, the issuer of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, froze over 75,000 USDC worth of funds linked to the 44 Tornado Cash addresses sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list. Tornado Cash is a decentralized application, or DApp, used to obfuscate the trail of previous cryptocurrency transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. 

All U.S. persons and entities are prohibited from interacting with the virtual currency mixer’s USDC and Ethereum smart contract addresses on the SDN list. Penalties for willful noncompliance can range from fines of $50,000 to $10,000,000 and 10 to 30 years imprisonment. An estimated $437 million worth of assets, consisting of stablecoins, Ethereum, and wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), are currently held in Tornado Cash’s smart contract addresses. As a result, issuers are expected to take steps to prevent the transaction or redemption of such assets. 

Both the entities behind USDC and Tether can freeze their stablecoin transfers to and from Tornado Cash on the Ethereum smart contract level. Meanwhile, Palo Alto, California-based BitGo, would also, theoretically, need to restrict access to Tornado Cash to comply with such sanctions. One possible method is suspending the redemption of Tornado Cash-linked WBTC.

As told by pseudonymous DeFi educator BowTiedIguana, the new Tornado Cash sanctions apply across the board for U.S. individuals and entities. Simple interactions such as Gitcoin donations, working for the project, running or downloading its software, visiting its website, and depositing/withdrawing from smart contracts could be interpreted as violations. 

Circle just frozen 75,000 USDC belonging to unsuspecting Tornado users, as well as 149 USDC donated to the project. pic.twitter.com/GBS41FtZvB

— banteg (@bantg) August 8, 2022

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