The recent Crypto update encompasses a bribery scandal involving Sam Bankman-Fried, clarification from Binance regarding account freezes, a Chinese court’s decision on crypto lending, and the return of stolen assets following a security breach on Huobi.
Bribery Scandal Involving Sam Bankman-Fried
During an FTX trial, Caroline Ellison, co-founder of FTX-linked hedge fund Alameda Research, disclosed that her colleague, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, allegedly paid $150 million in bribes to Chinese government officials in 2021.
This amount surpasses the initially disclosed $40 million. Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives attempted various methods to unfreeze the assets, including paying a bribe recorded as “the thing” in future Alameda balance sheets. The SEC’s decision on this matter falls outside the scope of the ongoing FTX trial, with a separate trial regarding the bribery charges scheduled for March 11, 2024.
Binance Clarifies Account Freezes
Yi He, co-founder of Binance, addressed concerns about account freezes in response to reports that Binance had frozen accounts of suspected Hamas militants based on Israeli law enforcement requests.
Yi He clarified that Binance only freezes accounts of users suspected of violating international sanctions. She emphasized that Binance would not freeze assets of ordinary users and noted that international regulations guide their actions.
Chinese Court Rules on Crypto Lending
A Chinese court has ruled that crypto lending contracts are not protected by law due to the illegality of the underlying asset. The case involved a loan of 80,000 USDT for stablecoin trading, which the defendant defaulted on.
The court found that virtual currency-related activities violating public order and good customs are invalid, and the resulting losses are the responsibility of the involved parties.
Return of Stolen Assets on Huobi
Huobi, rebranded as HTX, recently experienced a security breach in which 5,000 Ether (approximately $8 million) was stolen. In a positive turn of events, the hacker responsible for the incident also returned all the stolen funds.
Justin Sun, the de-facto owner of HTX, expressed gratitude to the industry for its assistance. The hacker also received a white hat bonus of 250 ETH. Huobi had previously faced concerns when it rebranded, as its new name closely resembled the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX.
These recent developments also reflect the dynamic and evolving nature of the cryptocurrency industry. Encompassing legal issues, security incidents, and ethical dilemmas.