Top Stories This Week
- United States officials pressed charges against the co-founders of crypto mixer Tornado Cash on Aug. 23.
- Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, is reportedly having a tough time behind bars.
- The mysterious Bitcoin wallet that surged up the ranks to become the third-largest holder of Bitcoin has been identified as Robinhood: Jump Trading Custody.
- The parent company of crypto custodian Prime Trust has reported losing roughly $8 million in client and treasury funds through TerraUSD investments.
- A Pepe holder bought 640 billion Pepe tokens for $529,000 after the price of the frog-themed memecoin dropped.
Tornado Cash co-founders charged with money laundering, sanctions violations
United States officials pressed charges against the co-founders of crypto mixer Tornado Cash on Aug. 23. Roman Storm and Roman Semenov were both charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit sanctions violations and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Storm was arrested and released on bail a few days later, while Semenov was added to the U.S. list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. Combined, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison. The third Tornado Cash co-founder, Alexey Pertsev, was arrested in the Netherlands on money laundering charges in August 2022. The law enforcement actions are a continuation of a U.S. government crackdown on Tornado Cash that began last year due to its alleged role in laundering funds of the Lazarus Group, a North Korean-linked hacking collective. Tornado Cash has been implicated in several other hacks as well. All told, the mixer has laundered over $1 billion in ill-gotten gains, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges.
Sam Bankman-Fried is low on meds, living on $3 peanut butter in prison
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appears to be having a tough time behind bars, eating only bread with peanut butter to accommodate his vegan diet while exhausting his supply of prescription medication. In the same hearing where Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to seven fraud-related charges, his lawyers pleaded for the former FTX CEO to receive better treatment inside Brooklyn’s notorious Metropolitan Detention Center. Also this week, Bankman-Fried was granted permission to meet with his legal team outside of jail with 48 hours’ notice. Every day, he will have roughly seven hours to prepare for his upcoming trial expected to begin in October.
Mystery solved: Bitcoin wallet accruing $3B in 3 months is identified
The mysterious Bitcoin wallet that surged up the ranks to become the third-largest holder of Bitcoin in the world in just over three months, has been identified. Blockchain intelligence platform Arkham Intelligence labeled the wallet as Robinhood: Jump Trading Custody. According to data from crypto statistics platform BitInfoCharts, the wallet address first received Bitcoin on March 8. Over the course of the next three months and two weeks, the wallet had accrued a staggering 118,000 BTC — worth $3.08 billion at current prices. The current largest Bitcoin wallets in the world, according to BitInfoCharts, are reportedly owned by Binance and Bitfinex — as Bitcoin cold wallets.
Prime Trust parent company lost $8M investing in TerraUSD
The parent company of crypto custodian Prime Trust — currently involved in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings — has reported losing roughly $8 million in client and treasury funds through TerraUSD investments, presumably when the algorithmic stablecoin collapsed in May 2022. The company described the investment as well as a ramping up of spending in October and November 2022 — in the midst of FTX’s collapse — as contributing to its bankruptcy filing. Court documents show Prime Trust owed more than $85 million in fiat and $69.5 million in crypto to its clients. The collapse of the Terra ecosystem triggered a major market crash in 2022, affecting several firms including FTX, BlockFi, Celsius Network and Voyager Digital.
PEPE whale seizes dip opportunity, buys $529K worth of tokens
A Pepe holder bought 640 billion Pepe tokens for 320 Ether valued at $529,000 after the price of the frog-themed memecoin dropped by approximately 15% due to recent changes to a multisig wallet and concerns about potential developer manipulation. According to on-chain analytics platform Lookonchain, the whale purchased PEPE at an average price of $0.000001163. The value of the once-popular memecoin plunged after changes related to the amount of signatures required to sign transactions led to worries about a potential “rug pull,” which was later confirmed by one of the project’s co-founders.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $26,040, Ether (ETH) at $1,653 and XRP at $0.52. The total market cap is at $1.05 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Bone ShibaSwap (BONE) at 18.58%, Sui (SUI) at 12.86% and Toncoin (TON) at 11.97%. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Pepe (PEPE) at -21.07%, XDC Network (XDC) at -9.62% and ApeCoin (APE) at -8.35%. For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.