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SEC Indicts Ian Balina For 2018 Unregistered SPRK ICO

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SEC Indicts Ian Balina For 2018 Unregistered SPRK ICO

Summary:

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Ian Balina, CEO of Token Metrics
  • Balina is accused of conducting an initial coin offering for the Sparkster (SPRK) token in 2018.
  • The watchdog insists that the $30 million ICO was unregistered and in violation of the Securities Acts.
  • SEC prosecutors have targeted several crypto participants and projects over allegedly illegal operations. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against crypto influencer and Token Metrics CEO Ian Balina over an initial coin offering (ICO) for the Sparkster (SPRK) token in 2018. 

SEC prosecutors filed that Balina’s and Sparkster’s activities at the time violated securities law, per Monday’s filing. 

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[DB] SEC Charges Ian Balina for Promoting Unregistered ICO’s: Court Filing

— db (@tier10k) September 19, 2022

Balina served as a crypto promoter for the SPRK token between April and July 2018. SPRK was a token launched by software development startup Sparker, LTD domiciled in the Cayman Islands. 

Sparkerster offered its SPRK token to investors in the form of an initial coin offering (ICO). An ICO as the name suggests involves offering a fixed amount of tokens for sale at the early stages of a project or company. 

Crypto Investors can scoop up these tokens in the same way that traditional investors buy company stocks during an initial public offering (IPO). Proceeds from an ICO are usually deployed towards developing the company’s blockchain network or project. 

In turn, the buyers receive tokens as a sort of stake in the project. These tokens are then locked up for a period of time before investors can decide to sell, usually for a higher price than the ICO price.

SEC Indicts Ian Balina For 2018 Unregistered SPRK ICO 8
Ian Balina

The SPRK token raised an estimated $30 million from some 4000 investors in the U.S. and around the world. Balina who shilled the tokens via his social media accounts and promoted the ICO sale also signed a contract with Sparkerter, per the SEC’s filing

The crypto influencer allegedly invested about $5 million in the software startup and received a 30% bonus on SPRK tokens. Balina then offered some of the SPRK tokens he received to a pool of around 50 investors including U.S. residents.

SEC prosecutors charged both Sparkster and Ian Balina for selling unregistered securities as neither entity filed an application with the commission. The watchdog filed that the actions of Ian Balina and Sparkster during the SPRK ICO violated several sections of established securities laws.

Ian Balina Joins Forsage On SEC Crypto List

The charges against Balina and Sparkster over the SPRK ICO join several charges levied by the SEC against illicit digital asset activities. SEC prosecutors also charged 11 individuals in connection to the $300 million Forsage crypto debacle.

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Ethereum

Indian Crypto Exchange WazirX Lays Off 40% Of Its Staff Citing The Ongoing Crypto Winter: Report 

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Indian Crypto Exchange WazirX Lays Off 40% Of Its Staff Citing The Ongoing Crypto Winter: Report 
  • Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX has reportedly laid off 40% of its staff, Coindesk report adds
  • In a statement shared with the crypto news outlet, the exchange cites the prolonged crypto winter as its reason for slashing its workforce by 40%. 

Per a Coindesk report, Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX has slashed its workforce by 40%, citing the ongoing crypto market phase. 

WazirX Cuts 40% of Its Workforce

In a statement shared with Coindesk, WazirX, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in India, has decided to lay off 40% of its staff, citing extreme crypto winter conditions. The company has reportedly laid off 50–70 people, three people familiar with the matter told Coindesk.

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The statement later adds that these employees will be paid for additional 45 days, and after that, the workers are not expected to attend the company anymore.

WazirX, which is dubbed as one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in India, has cited the prolonged crypto winter as its primary reason, leading the firm to slash its workforce by almost 40%.

“The crypto market has been in the grip of a bear market because of the current global economic slowdown. The Indian crypto industry has had its unique problems concerning taxes, regulations, and banking access. This has led to a dramatic fall in volumes on all Indian crypto exchanges. ” The statement reportedly added

The firm further stated that it prioritises consumer protection and its decision to lay off 40% of its staff has been taken to “weather the ongoing crypto winter phase.”

“As India’s No. 1 exchange, our priority is to be financially stable and to continue serving our customers,” the company said. To achieve this, we’ve had to reduce our staff to weather the crypto winter. This situation is similar to the trying times the industry faced in 2018. At that time, we doubled down and built our innovative P2P engine. The crypto industry operates in cycles, and the bear market is inevitably followed by a spectacular bull market. We will continue to focus on our customers’ needs and continue to build. “We are confident that we will come out stronger when the bull market arrives,” the statement later adds

With WazirX slashing its workforce by 40%, the firm has joined the growing league of cryptocurrency exchanges that have recently decided to lay off their employees to stay afloat during the ongoing crypto winter phase. Crypto exchange Coinbase had earlier cut back on its workforce, citing the prolonged crypto winter. Similarly, exchanges like Bybit, Gemini, BitPanda, BlockFi, and Robinhood have also slashed their workforce to sustain the ongoing bearish crypto market phase.

Image: WazirX/Twitter

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Cardano’s Founder Charles Hoskinson Picks On Solana’s Recent Network Outage On Twitter

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Cardano’s Founder Charles Hoskinson Picks On Solana’s Recent Network Outage On Twitter
  • Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson was seen making fun of Solana’s recent network outage.
  • Solana went through another crypto network meltdown today, leading Hoskinson to mock its recent network performance.

The founder of Cardano cryptocurrency, Charles Hoskinson, took to Twitter to share a funny crypto meme that mocked Solana’s recent network outage.

Charles Hoskinson Trolls Solana’s Recent Network Outage

Solana, dubbed as a potential Ethereum killer, experienced another network outage today that ended up disrupting the network’s day-to-day transactional output. The blockchain took to Twitter to announce that its developers are currently examining the potential causes of the outage, leading the crypto community to share an array of opinions on Solana’s frequent network upheavals.

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Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano cryptocurrency, was also noted mocking Solana’s recent network outage. The ADA founder retweeted Solana’s network disruption tweet by sharing a crypto meme, picking on the chain’s constant network meltdowns.

Hoskinson’s tweet was met with a hint of criticism on crypto Twitter. Several users were quick to point out Hoskinson’s habit of making fun of other blockchain platforms. Some of the users also urged the Cardano founder to stop picking on other blockchain platforms when they encounter occasional network issues.

What did you get from mocking other chains?

— Aduck (@nonkatian) October 1, 2022

Charles you often speak about other crypto leaders attacking you on cardano and how we should work together ,so first step is not pick on crypto platforms when they go down as everybody is building stuff like you and others.This is not the right way for leader to behave.

— Manish Shukla (@maanav6427) October 1, 2022

Solana Encounters Another Network Outage Today

Solana experienced another network outage today, resulting in the blockchain’s disrupted transactional volume. The Solana team took to Twitter to announce the network outage issue, adding that the blockchain is temporarily unable to process transactions.

This isn’t the first time Solana has experienced significant network downtime issues. The blockchain has reported multiple network outages throughout 2022, leading investors to question the blockchain’s structure and functionalities.

It’s not a chain… It’s pretty much a centralised ponzi database with such glaring security flaws that you are probably safer to just leave your money in a bank.

— RobinSG (@kaptinspudz) October 1, 2022

However, at press time, the network has resolved its network outage problem and is currently up and running again.

Validator operators successfully completed a cluster restart of Mainnet Beta at 7 AM UTC.

Network operators an dapps will continue to restore client services over the next several hours.

— Solana Status (@SolanaStatus) October 1, 2022

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Uniswap Labs To Raise Venture Capital at $1B Valuation

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Uniswap Labs To Raise Venture Capital at $1B Valuation
  • Uniswap Labs is gearing up to raise over $100 million in a new round of funding as it expands into new products and services.
  • The decentralized exchange commands 64% of all DEX volumes, according to DeFi Llama.
  • Uni’s new funding is indicative of the company’s ambitious plans

Uniswap Labs is gearing up to raise over $100 million in a new round of funding as it expands into new products and services, according to four sources familiar with the matter as reported by TechCrunch, and continues to gain mindshare among traders.

The company is currently seeking investors including Polychain and one of Singapore’s sovereign funds to raise an equity round of $100 million to $200 million at a valuation of about $1 billion.

The deliberations of the round haven’t reached final stages, so terms of the deal may change, sources cautioned.

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Uni’s new funding is indicative of the company’s ambitious plans to expand its offerings. The decentralized exchange commands 64% of all DEX volumes, according to DeFi Llama. And the exchange protocol’s token has a market cap of nearly $5 billion despite the market downturn. (During the peak bull cycle last year, Uni’s market cap exceeded $22.5 billion.)

In recent months, Uniswap Labs has shared plans to add “several new products.” One of the new offerings will allow customers to trade NFTs on Uniswap from a number of marketplaces, Uniswap Labs COO Mary-Catherine Lader told Decrypt.

Lader told TechCrunch in an earlier interview that their mission is “to unlock universal ownership and exchange.” If you can embed the ability to swap value and have people join the community and exchange value with your project, or your company or organization — that’s a powerful way to allow more people to engage in this ownership.

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