Summary of Past Week Articles March 24, 2023

March 27, 2023 • 4 minutes read

SEC Charges A-List Celebrities for Cryptocurrency Promotion:

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil charges against eight celebrities for illegally promoting two cryptocurrencies without disclosing that it was a paid promotion.

The SEC has unveiled charges against celebrities Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Akon, Ne-Yo, Lil Yachty, Soulja Boy, Austin Mahone, and Kendra Lust. 

In a recent news release, the SEC raised charges against celebrities who were promoting the cryptocurrencies BitTorrent (BTT) and Tronix (TRX). According to the suit, Justin Sun, a crypto entrepreneur, had sold all of the cryptocurrencies to celebrities.

The group of celebrities was accused of illegally promoting BTT and TRX crypto assets without disclosing that they were actually compensated for doing so.

Justin Sun, the crypto entrepreneur who sold them the cryptocurrencies, is also facing charges of fraud. Not only that but the SEC has also filed unregistered security charges against his three wholly-owned companies, Rainberry Inc, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd, and Tron Foundation Limited.

According to the SEC, Sun paid celebrities who have a large online following to promote BTT and TRX and directed them to not publicly disclose that they were compensated for it.

Apart from Soulja Boy and Austin Mahone, all celebrities involved in the charges have paid a combined total of $400,000 to settle. However, they did so without admitting or denying the SEC findings.

Venezuelan President Maduro Purges Mafia Influences from Government Crypto Regulators:

Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, claims to have “purged mafia influences” from the government’s crypto regulators after funds went missing.

Venezuela’s President Maduro has green-lighted the arrest of Joselit Ramírez, the head of Superintendencia Nacional de Criptomonedas (Sunacrip). Sunacrip is a Venezuelan government body tasked with supervising crypto-related policies.

In the past, Ramírez helped Maduro launch the state-run crypto asset, Petro (PTR), along with the Patria crypto remittance platform.

Several other high-ranking officials in addition to Ramírez have also been arrested.

According to a televised address Maduro made, the former chief of Sunacrip, Ramírez, was being investigated over the disappearance of around $3 million of public funds. 

Apparently, the investigation into Ramírez and the missing funds has been going on since October 2022. The Venezuelan President alleges that the corruption-powered mafias were detected in Sunacrip, as well as other government bodies.

SEC Threatens a Lawsuit Against Coinbase for Securities Violations:

Coinbase, a US-based crypto exchange, is facing a lawsuit from the SEC over securities regulations, which include the Coinbase Wallet, staking, and listing of assets.

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a Wells notice on Wednesday to Coinbase. The notice alleges that the trading platform could be in violation of US securities laws.

A Wells notice is often issued by the regulator prior to taking legal notice and it has recently been sent out to a number of US crypto companies. In addition to Coinbase, Paxos, a financial firm from New York has also received a Wells notice over its issuance of Binance USD (BUSD). The SEC alleges that the BUSD is unregistered security.

According to the CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, the SEC has known about the staking service for a long time and had never objected to it in the past. Coinbase’s Chief Legal Office, Paul Grewal, says that the company is confident in the legality of its assets and services.

Founder of Terra Luna Has Been Arrested in Montenegro – A Developing Story:

Filip Adzic, the Minister of Internal Affairs, announced that Luna Terra’s founder and crypto fugitive, Do Kwon, has been arrested in Montenegro.

In a recent tweet, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Montenegro announced that an individual suspected of being Do Kwon had been arrested at the Podgorica airport. The Minister also added that the founder and CEO of Terraform Labs had been arrested with falsified documents and the police are still waiting on an official identity confirmation.

Do Kwon’s company was behind the crashed stabled coin TerraUSD and cryptocurrency Luna. 

TerraUSD was supposed to hold a constant value of $1, but the stablecoin lost its dollar peg in May of last year. By purchasing $2B of UST, Terraform Labs managed to partially repair the peg. However, in the process, the company hyperinflated Luna and crashed both the price of UST and Luna.

The unprecedented crash of the Terra ecosystem has wiped out around $40 billion from the crypto market. In the process, the crash delivered massive losses to millions of investors around the world.

Prior to his apprehension in Montenegro, Do Kwon was believed to have been hiding in Serbia.

A Hacked Account from a Circle Employee Promises USDC Airdrop: 

The Twitter account of one of Circle’s top executives had been hacked and promised a USDC airdrop.

Dante Disparte, the Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy for Circle experienced a Twitter hack. The hacker(s) promised a USDC airdrop, saying that USDC holders would receive a bonus after stablecoin’s newly de-peg status.

According to the hacker, a “one-time bonus” would come in the form of an airdrop to USDC users. However, Circle CEO, Jeremy Allaire was quick to warn the crypto community of the hack and the false news.

Prior to the official alerts from Circle, many individuals in the crypto community identified phishing attempts. The hacker was trying to actively spread misinformation as those in the community tried to warn others to avoid the scam.

Vote-to-Earn Model Combines With Meme Coins to form Love Hate Inu: 

A new voting crypto platform, Love Hate Inu, combines the power of the vote-to-earn (V2E) model with the world of meme coins

Love Hate Inu, a revolutionary new platform, is encouraging members to actively engage in topics, polls, and surveys. In turn, it rewards them for sharing their valuable opinions.

Love Hate Inu is built on a robust Ethereum blockchain network and the platform strives for ultimate transparency, legitimacy, and security. It also wants to ensure that all results are completely tamper-proof.

The presale has garnered the attention of investors worldwide and the platform has managed to raise $1.38 million in only a matter of weeks. Love Hate Inu says that its goal is to usher in a new area of utility for meme coins.

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