Ex-Coinbase Manager Charged With Insider Trading, Layoffs at Blockchain.Com, KuCoin Raises USD 10M + More News

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Source: Adobe/Bits and Splits

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news. 

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Legal news

  • Ishan Wahi, 32, a former product manager at Coinbase, Nikhil Wahi, 26, and Sameer Ramani, 33, have been charged with wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading in cryptocurrency assets by using confidential Coinbase information about which cryptoassets were scheduled to be listed on Coinbase’s exchanges, the US Attorney’s Office announced. Ishan Wahi and Nikhil Wahi were arrested this morning. Ramani remains at large. Ishan Wahi worked at Coinbase since October 2020, per the announcement. As a result of the insider trading scheme, Nikhil Wahi and Ramani collectively generated realized and unrealized gains totaling at least approximately USD 1.5m, it added.
  • Finland’s Customs have sold their confiscated bitcoin (BTC), raising EUR 46.5m (USD 47.5m) via two brokers for a total of BTC 1,889.1, per Bloomberg. The stake, which was confiscated in raids before 2018, was valued at almost USD 130m at the height of the crypto boom last year, they added.
  • Crypto lender Vauld announced they have filed an application in the Singapore Courts to seek a moratorium order for their subsidiary Defi Payments for a period of 6 months, which would prohibit any proceedings against the company. They stated that this is due to “financial challenges” and is intended to give them “breathing time” for restructuring purposes.

Career news

  • Crypto platform Blockchain.com confirmed to Cryptonews.com that it is cutting 25% of its workforce (around 150 people) due to the harsh bear market conditions and the need to absorb financial losses. The news was first reported by Coindesk.
  • Metaverse and NFT company Animoca Brands announced the appointment of several new personnel to senior management positions, including Alan Lau (formerly CEO of insurance firm WeSure) as Chief Business Officer and Minh Do (formerly Chief Resource Officer of Animoca Brands) as Co-chief Operating Officer. Management appointments also include Joanne Chan (formerly of financial and global information services company Gerson Lehrman Group), as Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Benny Ho (formerly of tech giant Tencent) as Head of Business Development, Brian Chan (previously at advisor McKinsey & Company) as Vice President of Operations and Projects, and Kenneth Shek (previously of professional services company Accenture) as Director of Project Management.
  • Bitcoin applications ecosystem project Trust Machines announced that Dan Held has joined the company as an advisor. Held was previously the Director of Growth Marketing at crypto exchange Kraken, as well as the Director of Product for Blockchain.com.
  • Bitcoin non-profit Btrust announced it has selected Vladimir Fomene as the founding member of its Africa Open Source Cohort. The cohort is their first step in achieving their goal to locate, educate and remunerate bitcoin developers in the global south, they added.
  • Crypto-dedicated payment services provider BCB Group announced the hiring of Noah Sharp as the new Deputy CEO. Sharp was previously Chief Banking Officer at payments solutions provider Paysafe.

Exchanges news

  • KuCoin announced that it secured a strategic investment of USD 10m from quantitative trading firm Susquehanna International Group (SIG). The two parties will also collaborate in blockchain startup incubation, they added.
  • Turkish crypto exchange BtcTurk announced it has joined The Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) and will provide it with USD 210,000 in funding. The COPA is a non-profit organization that aims to encourage the development and adoption of crypto technologies.
  • Gemini announced they have registered as a Virtual Asset Service Provider by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Regulation news

  • Representatives from the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) met to swap crypto policy insights on stablecoins and other issues during the EU–US Joint Financial Regulatory Forum in Brussels. Participants “took stock of discussions around the development of potential central bank digital currencies,” they said.
  • Leaders of the US House Financial Services Committee are eyeing July 27 to advance a bipartisan bill focused on stablecoins, Bloomberg reported, citing three undisclosed people familiar with the matter. The current draft of the bill would mandate that stablecoin issuers maintain 100% reserves and would bar them from lending stablecoins to customers, it added.

NFTs news

  • NFT platform PREMINT, which was recently the victim of a hack, announced that it would be compensating victims of the incident, having taken a snapshot of the floor price of the stolen NFTs in order to transfer ethereum (ETH) to the affected wallets in the next 7 days. They clarified, however, that this is a one-time action for this specific event and only for the wallets on their list.

Stablecoins news

Blockchains news

  • Blockchain company Matter Labs said it plans to launch its privacy and scaling solution, the zero-knowledge rollup zkSync 2.0, to Ethereum’s mainnet in 100 days. The solution aims to decrease Ethereum’s high fees and increase the network’s transaction capacity.
  • Meme crypto project Dogecoin (DOGE) announced the launch of its newest version, Dogecoin Core 1.14.6, which includes a “good number of improvements under the hood and some nice new features in the UI [user interface]”, per the announcement.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin miner Compass Mining announced its hosting partnership with digital infrastructure provider Compute North at its Granbury, Texas, USA, data center for 75 MW. The development will start in August, and Compass expects to deploy 25,000 ASICs there, they added.

Politics news

  • US President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and will isolate at the White House, while continuing to carry out all of his duties fully during that time, said in a statement the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Payments news

  • Crypto.com App has launched Google Pay in-app crypto purchase feature, the announcement said. Users need to first add their credit/debit card to their Google Pay, after which they can purchase 250+ coins in the Crypto.com App. The exchange also announced today that Apple Pay top-ups are now available to users with an Australia-issued Crypto.com Visa Card.

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