Blockchain and Crypto News

Don’t miss real-time updates

Decentral Block Post

Access real-time blockchain and cryptocurrency news updates from around the globe.

Justin Sun vs. SEC, Do Kwon arrested, 180M player game taps Polygon: Asia Express

Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.

Chinese crypto billionaire sued by SEC

On Mar. 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, announced charges against Chinese blockchain personality and billionaire Sun Yuchen — better known as Justin Sun — and three of his wholly-owned companies Tron Foundation Limited, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd., and Rainberry Inc. (formerly known as BitTorrent).

The complaint alleges that Sun and his companies “fraudulently” manipulated the secondary market for Tron (TRX) tokens through “extensive wash trading”, citing more than 600,000 such trades, and paying celebrities to promote TRX and BitTorrent (BTT) tokens with zero disclosure.

Multiple prominent American celebrities, such as Lindsay Lohan and Jake Paul, were named as defendants in their alleged roles in promoting TRX and BTT without proper disclosure. Some have since settled with the SEC. In addition, the SEC alleges that bounty programs and airdrops used to promote TRX and BTT were unregistered investments. Gary Gensler, chairman of the SEC, commented:

“As alleged, Sun and his companies not only targeted U.S. investors in their unregistered offers and sales, generating millions in illegal proceeds at the expense of investors, but they also coordinated wash trading on an unregistered trading platform to create the misleading appearance of active trading in TRX.” 

"Thx for your support & advice on how to take #TRON to the next level!," wrote Sun on Twitter following a $4.5M dinner with American billionaire investor Warren Buffet.
Continue reading

Justin Sun vs. SEC, Do Kwon arrested, 180M player game taps Polygon: Asia Express

Chinese crypto billionaire Justin Sun sued by SEC, Do Kwon busted in Casino Royale location, game with 180 million players embraces Polygon.

Arbitrum airdrop sells-off at listing, but traders remain bullish on ARB

The official Arbitrum airdrop page crashed right after the claiming process began around 9 a.m. EST. Some users still managed to claim it through alternative methods like Arbiscan. In the first two hours, the market witnessed a massive sell-off of the token as its price declined from over $10.29 to lows of $1.

At ByBit, the token started trading for $7.50, but dropped to $1.50 within minutes. At the time of writing, the token was trading at $1.33.

Only one address successfully sold the token at $10.29 through the ARB/USDC pool on Uniswap, bagging $64,340 for 6,250 tokens. A few others were able to sell for $4.50, however, the price dropped quickly below $1.50 as more sellers arrived. 

ARB/USDC trades on Uniswap. Source: GeckoTerminal

Nansen data shows that out of 6.03 million ARB claimed by “smart money” wallets, $5.01 million were moved to a centralized or a decentralized exchange, most likely to sell. The analytics firm puts “smart money” tags on addresses that trade in significant size and are usually active.

Flow of ARB token across “smart money” wallets. Source: Nansen

While some smart money accounts added 3.45 million from DEXs. Overall, the amount moved to exchanges was 150% larger than inflows to the wallets, suggesting a massive sell-off.

Continue reading

Bitcoin erases Fed losses as traders eye $40K BTC price target

Bitcoin (BTC) returned to near $29,000 on March 23 as bulls ignored news of a fresh United States regulatory crackdown.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Bitcoin shrugs off Coinbase, Do Kwon arrest

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD gaining almost 8% versus its overnight lows to challenge nine-month highs on Bitstamp.

The pair kept the volatility coming as the dust settled on the prior day’s interest rate decision and associated commentary from the Federal Reserve.

Despite Fed Chair Jerome Powell giving mixed signals over how and if rate hikes would continue, crypto market commentators argued that the sudden drop that Bitcoin witnessed had been over-the-top.

“Make sure to remember the panic and calls for lower next time you get a dip during a HTF uptrend,” popular trader Crypto Chase wrote in part of Twitter analysis.

Continue reading

Why is Litecoin price up today?

Litecoin (LTC) emerged as one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies on March 23, surpassing its top-ranking rivals Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). 

Litecoin attracts Bitcoin and Ethereum investors

LTC price rallied 5.5% to reach an intraday high of around $92.50. In comparison, the total crypto market capitalization (TOTAL) has risen 2.25% to $1.14 trillion, with BTC and ETH rising 1.79% and 1.42%, respectively.

The Federal Reserve's 25 basis points (bps) rate hike on March 22 appears to be the key driver behind Litecoin beating its crypto rivals over the past 24 hours.

Notably, LTC price rallied over 15% versus BTC and about 14.5% versus ETH since the Fed announcement.

LTC/ETH and LTC/BTC daily price chart. Source: TradingView

One reason could be that Litecoin has relatively underperformed the cryptocurrency market in March, dropping over 6.5% month-to-date (MTD) versus the crypto market's 9.35% gains.

Continue reading

Investors have more work to do in ensuring the success of Web3: PBW2023

At Paris Blockchain Week 2023, a group of Web3 professionals discussed how this new paradigm is disrupting traditional business models and creating opportunities for startups and investors.

Ledger CEO: The collapse of banks is a ‘crash course to Bitcoin’ | PBW 2023

Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier said that anyone trying to centralize crypto will fail, saying that centralization and crypto are "two magnets that’s just not going to stick together."

Breaking: Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon reportedly arrested in Montenegro

The former blockchain executive is wanted by Interpol for his role in the $40 billion collapse of the Terra Luna ecosystem during May 2022.

US enforcement agencies are turning up the heat on crypto-related crime

How governments decide to go after crimes committed with crypto could color the industry’s public perception and how the space is regulated.

US enforcement agencies are turning up the heat on crypto-related crime

On the evening of Jan. 7, Anatoly Legkodymov, founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato, was arrested in Miami. The following day, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed a complaint in federal court charging him with “conducting a money transmitting business that transported and transmitted illicit funds.” According to the DOJ, Bitzlato failed to meet U.S. regulatory safeguards, including Anti-Money Laundering requirements. 

Less than a month earlier, former FTX CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas. In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “The Justice Department has filed charges alleging that Samuel Bankman-Fried perpetrated a range of offenses in a global scheme to deceive and defraud customers and lenders of FTX and Alameda, as well as a conspiracy to defraud the United States government.”

Garland stated, “The U.S. Department of Justice will aggressively investigate and prosecute alleged criminal wrongdoing in the financial system and violations of federal elections laws.” But is it really a new day? Will U.S. law enforcement be able to go after alleged crypto criminals at home and abroad?

According to Oberheiden PC attorney Alina Veneziano, who represents executive clients under criminal investigation against U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenas and DOJ fraud allegations, the answer is yes.

“Attempts to reign in this new, unrestrained industry were inevitable,” Veneziano tells Magazine. She believes that federal government agencies are increasing their investigative efforts toward crypto crime and will utilize all the tools at their disposal — subpoenas, summons and inter-governmental sharing of information.

Crypto Enforcement Action
Continue reading

How blockchain can help reimagine a new state in Africa

Eche Emole, the co-founder of Afropolitan, explains how the nation-state experiment has failed, especially in Africa, and how blockchain can be used to reimagine a new state.

Ethereum faces 6-month lows versus Bitcoin — Will ETH price rebound?

Ethereum’s native token, Ether (ETH), continues its multimonth downtrend against Bitcoin (BTC) in March, rising 5.5% versus the latter’s 19.5% gains on a month-to-date timeframe.

Bitcoin overshadows Ethereum amid banking crisis

As of March 23, the ETH/BTC pair was down about 9% month-to-date to 0.0633 while staying on course to record its worst month since September 2022, when it fell 11.75%.

ETH/BTC monthly price chart. Source: TradingView

From a fundamental perspective, traders preferred Bitcoin over Ether, hoping it would protect them from the ongoing banking turmoil in the U.S. and other parts of the world. The narrative gained momentum in recent weeks as Wall Street investors like Cathie Wood see Bitcoin as a potential “flight to safety” asset.

As a result of the growing speculation, Bitcoin outperformed traditional assets after March 8, when signs of trouble appeared at Silicon Valley Bank. In doing so, BTC also fared better than the altcoin market combined, including Ethereum.

Bitcoin, S&P 500, gold and altcoin market performances in March. Source: TradingView 

ETH paints bullish fractal vs. BTC

However, from a technical perspective, Ethereum is positioned for a comeback versus Bitcoin.

Continue reading

Chainalysis breaks down how scammers adapt during the bear market

As crypto traders became wary of making investment decisions amid the Terra collapse in 2022, scammers shifted to free giveaways and romance scams.

Aussie crypto exchange hints interest in Hong Kong base, but it’ll depend

The CEO of Independent Reserve says Hong Kong's "friendly" licensing regime makes it a worthy destination to set up shop, but there are other factors to consider.

Xapo Bank to enable USDC deposits and withdrawals

According to the Bitcoin custodian, utilizing the USDC stablecoin will allow members to deposit and withdraw funds without fees.

Arbitrum’s ARB token signifies the start of airdrop season — Here are 5 to look out for

Arbitrum developers announced an airdrop of its governance token, ARB, to eligible users and DAOs on the Ethereum Layer-2 platform. An average user received around 625 ARB tokens, which corresponds to around $625 to $1,250, according to pre-launch trading prices and popular estimations.

The prospect of earning free money has instilled excitement around users looking to hunt the next airdrop opportunity. The airdrop farming activity also benefits the protocols by attracting liquidity and usage to the platform. The strategy is working well for both protocol developers and users.

Moreover, the team's sale of a protocol’s token invokes securities laws, inducing significant legal risk for the developing teams. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that future protocols will use the same strategy to decentralize their protocols.

Here are five potential airdrop opportunities for this year.

zkSync Era

zkSync Era is a Layer-2 rollup on Ethereum based on the zero-knowledge (ZK) proof technology. Experts, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, have argued that zk-based EVM-compatible rollups could be a game-changer technology with high scalability and throughput, leading to mass adoption.

Continue reading

Deloitte dives into immersive experiences as more industries turn to Web3

The Big 4 accounting firm is betting on immersive experiences and other Web3 solutions to address various corporate needs.

Ethereum price at $1.4K was a bargain, and a rally toward $2K looks like the next step

Ether's price (ETH) reached $1,400 on March 10, which proved to be a bargain as the cryptocurrency rallied 27.1% until March 21, at the time of writing. However, the three reasons that supported the price gain, including correlation with tech stocks, its increasing total value locked and its deflationary token economics, all suggest that the path to $2,000 is set in stone. 

There are numerous explanations for Ether's 19.4% decline over the past six months. The Shanghai hard fork upgrade was delayed from March to early April and after Shanghai, Ethereum's roadmap includes the "Surge," "Verge," "Purge," and "Splurge" updates. In reality, the longer these intermediate steps to achieve scalability take, the greater the likelihood that competing networks will demonstrate efficacy and possibly establish a competitive advantage.

Another potentially concerning issue on the minds of investors is the real chance of price impact when validators are finally able to unlock their 32 ETH deposits following the completion of the Shappela hard fork. While it is impossible to predict how many of the 16 million ETH currently staked on the Beacon Chain will be sold on the market. There is a compelling argument in favor of the transition to liquid staking platforms, as they can use liquid staking derivatives on other decentralized finance networks without sacrificing their staking yield.

Traders could construct a narrative based on regulatory uncertainty, especially after SEC Chairman Gary Gensler's September 2022 statement that proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies could be subject to securities laws. In February 2023, the SEC reached an agreement compelling the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken to cease offering crypto staking services to U.S.-based clients and the exchange also paid $30 million in disgorgement.

Correlation versus application-focused tech companies

To understand why Ether gained 15% in less than three days after briefly trading below $1,400 on March 10, traders must switch from a price-based analysis to a market capitalization comparison. On March 10, Ethereum’s market cap closed at $175 billion.

Continue reading

Bitcoin price whipsaws as Fed says rate hikes may not be ‘appropriate’

Bitcoin (BTC) saw heavy volatility on March 22 as the United States Federal Reserve hinted that it might stop interest rate hikes.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Powell on rates: “‘May’ and ‘some’ instead of ‘ongoing’”

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed sharp moves both up and down for BTC/USD as the Fed hiked by an anticipated 25 basis points.

During a press conference, Fed Chair Jerome Powell appeared to play down the ongoing U.S. banking crisis and its aftermath while hinting that the day’s interest rate hike may be the last.

In prepared remarks, Powell said that the Fed believes that “events in the banking system over the past two weeks are likely to result in tighter credit conditions for households and businesses, which would in turn affect economic outcomes.”

“It is too soon to determine the extent of these effects, and therefore too soon to tell how monetary policy should respond,” he stated.

Continue reading

French lawmakers propose ban on crypto influencer promotions

According to the proposal, individuals caught violating these prohibitions could face a two-year prison sentence and a 30,000 euro fine.