UseTheBitcoin Weekly News Roundup (APR 22nd – APR 26th, 2024)

Stay in the loop with our weekly crypto digest as we get you up to speed on the hottest trends and events in the crypto space.

Here’s what happened in crypto this week:

Runes Protocol Launches On Bitcoin, Sending Fees Sky High

Bitcoin builder Casey Rodarmor launched a new creation called Runes, which allows people to “etch” and mint tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain. Runes minters have already paid 78.7 BTC in fees to buy the rarest tokens, suggesting that the Runes protocol could benefit Bitcoin’s economy. However, the success of the projects will depend on what happens with them in the future.

According to Rune Alpha data, 10,650 Runes have already been etched within the Bitcoin network as of this writing. Along the line are 2,524,774 transactions from 183,249 holders.

ZKasino Controversy

The blockchain-based gambling project ZKasino has come under fire for diverting $33 million worth of user funds to the staking protocol Lido, contrary to its initial promise of returning the funds to investors. The sudden change in plans has sparked outrage among users, who accuse ZKasino of reneging on its commitments and engaging in deceptive practices.

The project’s decision to move user funds without prior notification has raised questions about its integrity and transparency, leading to allegations of an exit scam.

At UseTheBitcoin, we only cover the most legit airdrops happening in crypto. So stay tuned on our Airdrops page for the best and safest airdrops you can participate in!

Two SEC Lawyers Resign After Agency Censured For Abuse Of Power In Crypto Case

Michael Welsh and Joseph Watkins, two lawyers from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), have resigned following a federal judge’s sanctions against the agency for committing a “gross abuse of power” in its case against Utah-based crypto company Debt Box, according to a report from Bloomberg.

In July last year, DEBT Box and its founders were accused of stealing over $49 million from investors. Welsh and Watkins argued that the crypto firm was moving money offshore, petitioning Judge Shelby and the court to freeze assets. The motion was granted, and DEBT Box was placed in receivership as an extra measure.

However, Judge Shelby overturned his ruling after further evaluating the commission’s argument, which found that the duo made incorrect statements in court. The Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Gurbir Grewal, later apologized for apparent misconduct, while the court decided that DEBT Box was due monetary compensation to foot legal fees.

Presidential Candiate RFK Jr. To Put The Entire US Budget On Blockchain If Elected This Year

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wants to put the entire US budget on blockchain if elected in 2024.

“I’m going to put the entire US budget on blockchain so that any American—every American—can look at every budget item anytime, 24 hours a day.”

In theory, such public spending disclosure would increase transparency and accountability in how the federal government spends taxpayer money.

RFK Jr.’s recent comments continue his ongoing campaign to promote crypto as a strategy to boost the nation’s economy. For example, last July, he made a forward-thinking proposal to use Bitcoin reserves to support the value of the US dollar.

Philippine SEC Orders Removal Of Binance From Google And Apple App Stores

Binance-controlled applications on Google’s Play Store and Apple App Store could soon be removed for Philippine-based users after the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) banned several crypto trading platforms, including Binance, in 2023.

SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino emphasized the threat posed by Binance’s platforms, stating that selling unregistered securities and operating as an unregistered broker violates the country’s Securities Regulation Code. Aquino stressed that removing these applications is crucial to prevent further proliferation of illegal activities and to safeguard the investing public from potential economic harm.

This move follows previous efforts by the SEC, including a request to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to block access to Binance’s websites in the Philippines. The SEC has been actively warning the public against investing in and using Binance since November 2023, signaling growing regulatory scrutiny over the platform’s operations in the country.

BlackRock Tokenizes On Hedera, HBAR Pumps 80%

When BlackRock acts, we listen. In partnership with Archax and Ownera, BlackRock has just tokenized their ICS US Treasury money market fund on Hedera.

Archax is the UK’s first registered crypto exchange broker and custodian, and Ownera is an institutional-grade blockchain for digital assets.

BlackRock’s money market fund and existing offerings are available directly on the Archax platform and through connected networks for professional and institutional clients.

Money market funds provide a suitable investment vehicle for investors, providing a safe, liquid, and stable investment option for anyone looking to preserve capital and manage cash effectively. Additionally, it brings the advantage of institutional stability and yield, making it a crucial value addition for real-world assets (RWAs).

US SEC Delays Spot Ethereum ETF Applications (Again)

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is delaying decisions on the next steps for two proposed spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) proposed by Grayscale and Franklin Templeton.

In its recent filing, the securities regulator said that it finds it appropriate to delay its decision so that it will have enough time to consider Franklin Templeton’s application.

The recent delays come exactly one month ahead of the long-anticipated final May 23rd deadline for the agency to decide on VanEck’s Ethereum ETF application. Many had anticipated that the market regulator would approve spot Ethereum ETFs by this deadline. However, these hopes have dissipated over the past month.

Ripple Labs Opposes $2B SEC Fine, Says Penalties Should Not Exceed $10M

Ripple filed an opposition to the US SEC’s motion for remedies and entry of final judgment. In the document dated March 22nd, Ripple clearly stated that the agency had failed to prove that any injunction or disgorgement was warranted in the case. The firm also argued that the relevant factors in its case warrant a low penalty not exceeding $10 million.

This filing follows the SEC’s motion of remedies against the firm last month, in which the regulator demanded approximately $2 billion in penalties. The remedies were split into a disgorgement, a civil penalty, and a prejudgement interest.

Ripple has also challenged the SEC to justify its call for an injunction by proving that “Ripple will likely violate the law in the future.” According to Ripple, a mere possibility of future violations does not suffice for injunctive relief. Additionally, Ripple argues that its pre-ruling institutional sales “did not show reckless disregard of the law.”

Tesla Reveals None Of Their Bitcoin Was Sold In Q1 2024

According to Teslas’s Q1 Quarterly Update Deck, the company’s total revenue declined by 15.3% between Q4 2023 and Q1 2024, falling from $25.1 billion to $21.3 billion. Tesla’s gross profit plunged from $4.4 billion to $3.6 billion over the past two quarters.

However, despite the decreased revenue, the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer’s remaining 9,720 BTC remains intact.

US Prosecutors Seek Three-Year Sentence For Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ)

The woes haunting Binance have appeared unending for the past year. After facing hefty fines in the US and pressure from Nigeria to follow suit, alongside a growing number of countries prohibiting its platform, the ex-CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) now awaits sentencing in the US.

According to documents recently filed by DOJ attorneys, Zhao should serve 36 months in prison and pay a $50 million fine. Under federal guidelines, Zhao should receive a maximum prison sentence of up to 18 months. However, prosecutors argued this “would not adequately reflect the seriousness of Zhao’s offense or offer adequate specific or general deterrence.”

The former Binance CEO penned a letter to the judge overseeing his case, expressing remorse for his actions and accepting full responsibility for his “poor decisions.”

Hong Kong’s Bitcoin And Ethereum ETFs Officially Approved To Begin Trading On April 30th

Hong Kong has officially cleared the way for six crypto-based spot ETFs to begin trading on April 30th. These include: 

  • Bosera Hashkey Bitcoin ETF
  • Bosera Hashkey Ether ETF
  • China AMC Bitcoin ETF
  • China AMC Ether ETF
  • Harvest Bitcoin Spot ETF
  • Harvest Ether Spot ETF

Just earlier this month, Hong Kong approved several crypto ETFs managed by China Asset Management, Harvest Global, Bosera, and HashKey.

Iconic “Buy Bitcoin” Sign Shown Behind Janet Yellen Fetches $1M At Auction

A simple “Buy Bitcoin” scribbled on a pad of yellow paper unexpectedly became the center of attention during then-Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s televised Congressional testimony in 2017.

Christian Langalis, an intern at Cato Institute at the time, was responsible for the photobombing incident, which caused him to be escorted out of the House Financial Services inquiry. Little did he know that the stunt would become an iconic moment, as the sign unexpectedly became the rallying cry of the Bitcoin community.

In an attempt to cash in on his fame years ago, Langalis placed the iconic yellow pad for auction at Scarce City. According to Bloomberg, the item “Ink Drawing on Legal Pad” was sold for 16 BTC or over $1 million at the sale’s prevailing exchange rates.

Final Thoughts

So that’s it for this week!

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Have a fantastic week ahead!


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