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BitMEX co-founder Benjamin Delo avoids jail, receives 30 months probation

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BitMEX co-founder Benjamin Delo avoids jail, receives 30 months probation

Delo was allowed to leave the country to travel to Hong Kong where he is a resident, bringing to a close his part in the legal saga which began in 2020.

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BitMEX co-founder Benjamin Delo avoids jail, receives 30 months probation

Benjamin Delo the co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX has been sentenced to 30 months probation for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which is an anti-money laundering law.

The sentence, handed down at a federal court in New York on June 15th, follows his guilty plea to charges in February of “willfully failing to establish, implement and maintain an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program” in his role at BitMEX.

Prosecutors had argued Delo should serve a year in prison or at least receive a two-year probation along with six months of home detention, as was given to former CEO Arthur Hayes in May.

For Delo, his lesser sentence closes the legal saga which started in October 2020 which also saw co-founders Hayes and Samuel Reed along with BitMEX’s first official employee Gregory (Greg) Dwyer charged with similar violations.

Judge John Koeltl called Delo’s violations “very serious” and said that heo knew BitMEX was breaking U.S. laws by not implementing an AML and know your customer (KYC) system.

Judge Koeltl noted however that the exchange did later take steps to rectify the issue and become compliant.

“When I look back, I see a fundamental failure to address a flaw in our systems,” Delo told the court, adding he deeply regrets the actions that brought him in contact with the justice system and vowed that it would be his last brush with it.

A citizen of the United Kingdom residing in Hong Kong, Judge Koeltl ordered Delo be allowed to serve his probationary sentence in Hong Kong.

Related: The CFTC’s action against Gemini is bad news for Bitcoin ETFs

Judge Koeltl also took into consideration the fact that Delo paid a $10 million fine settling a court order from May in a civil case brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for violating aspects of the Commodity Exchange Act.

A spokesperson for Delo’s legal team said after the sentencing hearing they’re pleased the court rejected “the government’s cynical attempt to exaggerate the seriousness of the Bank Secrecy Act charge in this case.”

Delo’s lawyers said he intends to soon leave the U.S. for Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Australian-born former BitMEX head of business development Greg Dwyer, who currently resides in Bermua, is in talks with the New York federal court to extend a deadline for filing pre-trial documentation according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

A letter sent to the court by Dwyer’s lawyer said “the parties continue to engage in discussions regarding a possible resolution to the matter.”

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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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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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