Hodler’s Digest, March 24-30 – Cointelegraph Magazine

Top Stories This Week

Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison

Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried will serve 25 years in prison following a sentencing hearing in federal court. On March 28, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced Bankman-Fried to 240 months and 60 months for his conviction on seven felony charges. Judge Kaplan found that SBF also committed witness tampering based on the events that led him to revoke bail in August 2023 and perjury based on his testimony at trial over FTX user funds. SBF was the first person tied to FTX and Alameda Research to face prison time.

Fidelity files S-1 application with US SEC for spot ETH ETF with staking

Fidelity filed an S-1 application with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 27 to create a spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF). As expected from an earlier filing, the ETF will give Fidelity the option to stake part of the ETH it holds. Fidelity Digital Asset Services, which is affiliated with sponsor FD Funds Management, would serve as custodian of the trust’s ETH. The SEC has pushed back the approval deadline for other ETH ETFs to May 23. There are eight applicants for spot ETH EFTs awaiting an SEC decision.

SEC can proceed with Coinbase lawsuit: Court ruling

A United States court has denied Coinbase’s motion to dismiss the SEC’s case against the exchange. The decision, made by U.S. District Judge Katherine Failla, allows the commission to pursue its lawsuit against Coinbase. The SEC sued Coinbase in June 2023, saying the crypto exchange violated federal securities laws by listing 13 tokens it alleged were securities. The firm was seeking an order to drop the case, questioning the SEC’s authority over crypto exchanges.

Ripple Labs chief legal officer Stuart Alderoty said the U.S. SEC asked a federal judge for a $2-billion penalty against the blockchain firm. Alderoty said the firm planned to file a response to the SEC request in April but claimed the regulator “trades in statements that are false, mischaracterized and designed to mislead.” Filed by the SEC in December 2020, the lawsuit against Ripple, its CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen alleged the firm raised $1.3 billion in unregistered securities through sales of XRP tokens.

Canadian authorities move to seize assets tied to QuadrigaCX CEO

The director of civil forfeiture in the Canadian province of British Columbia has made an unexplained wealth order to confiscate cash, 45 gold bars and luxury items found in a safe deposit box linked to a co-founder of the QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange. An unexplained wealth order is a type of court order that compels a person to explain how they acquired their assets. According to documents submitted to the British Columbia Supreme Court, the assets are allegedly the proceeds of criminal activities. QuadrigaCX became insolvent in February 2019, shortly after its co-founder, Gerald Cotten, died in India, taking the private keys to QuadrigaCX’s offline storage systems to the grave.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $69,437, Ether (ETH) at $3,482 and XRP at $0.62. The total market cap is at $2.62 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Core (CORE) at 105.58%, Dogwifhat (WIF) at 80.50% and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) at 48.69%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are KuCoin Token (KCS) at -20.67%, Fantom (FTM) at -14.00% and Bittensor (TAO) at -11.27%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Read also


Owner of seven-trait CryptoPunk Seedphrase partners with Sotheby’s: NFT Collector


Tornado Cash 2.0: The race to build safe and legal coin mixers

Most Memorable Quotations

“When not lying, [Sam Bankman-Fried] was evasive, hair splitting, trying to get the prosecutors to rephrase questions for him. I’ve been doing this job for close for 30 years. I’ve never seen a performance like that.”

Lewis Kaplan, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

“Yes, over time, we continue to see greater adoption of nonprofits accepting cryptocurrency donations. The market has become too big to ignore.”

Alex Wilson, co-founder of The Giving Block

“I’m very bullish on the long-term viability of Bitcoin.”

Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock

“Demand for Bitcoin is fast outstripping the new supply, and this is something we’ve never really had in previous cycles.”

Simon Peters, market analyst at eToro

“Ripple is well-positioned to pay a significant civil penalty.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

“The [spot Ether ETF] case is just as strong as it was for spot #Bitcoin ETFs.”

Craig Salm, chief legal officer at Grayscale

Prediction of the week

Bitcoin gears up for a ‘massive’ short squeeze, price could go ‘vertical’

As Bitcoin toes around the $70,000 price mark, there’s speculation that short-sellers are feeling the pressure due to diminishing downtrends and quicker-moving uptrends, potentially driving Bitcoin’s price to $80,000, according to an analyst.

“This is a textbook sign that shorts are being squeezed as we hit fresh all-time high territory,” trading resource The Kobeissi Letter stated in a March 26 X post.

The Kobeissi Letter explained the main factor for the BTC short squeeze is the margin between institutional long positions and hedge fund short positions is “at a record high.”

If Bitcoin price reaches $71,000, $156.18 million in short positions will be liquidated, per CoinGlass data. A climb to $75,000 will liquidate $3.85 billion in short positions.

FUD of the Week

US Justice Department charges KuCoin and two founders with violating AML laws

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officials unsealed an indictment against crypto exchange KuCoin and two of its founders for “conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business” and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. The DOJ criminal charges were announced in parallel to a civil enforcement case from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which charged KuCoin “with multiple violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations” on March 26. According to the DOJ, KuCoin received more than $5 billion and sent more than $4 billion of “suspicious and criminal funds.”

Munchables hacker returns $62.8M Ether without ransom

Ethereum-based nonfungible token game Munchables reported a hack on March 26 that drained over 17,400 ETH from the GameFi app. Pseudonymous blockchain investigator ZachXBT claimed the exploit stemmed from the Munchables team hiring a North Korean developer known by the alias “Werewolves0943.” Nearly eight hours later, the hacker returned $62.8 million worth of Ether stolen without demanding a ransom.

US lawmakers demand SEC clarify position on Prometheum’s plans for Ether

U.S. lawmakers, including House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry and Vice Chair French Hill, are urging SEC Chair Gary Gensler to address crypto firm Prometheum’s intention to offer institutional custody services for Ether. According to lawmakers, the announcement is at odds with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) stance on recognizing ETH as a “non-security digital asset” under its purview.

Read also


When worlds collide: Joining Web3 and crypto from Web2


Despite the bad rap, NFTs can be a force for good

Top Magazine Pieces of the Week

5 dangers to beware when apeing into Solana memecoins

Inept developers, presale teams running off with the funds, rug pulls and sentiment collapsing are just some of the dangers of memecoins.

Creating ‘good’ AGI that won’t kill us all: Crypto’s Artificial Superintelligence Alliance

SingularityNET and the Artificial Superintelligence Alliance aim to wrest control of AGI away from Big Tech.

‘SEAL 911’ team of white hats formed to fight crypto hacks in real time

If you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them. Maybe you can hire, the SEAL team of white hat hackers.

Editorial Staff

Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.

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