- "Founder and Majority Owner of Bitzlato, a Cryptocurrency Exchange, Charged with Unlicensed Money Transmitting", U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Three Arrows Capital founders seek funding for an exchange to enable customers to trade claims against firms 3AC helped to bankrupt
The group is seeking $25 million to create a cryptocurrency exchange they're calling "GTX" for now — which they write in the pitch deck is "because G comes after F".
Not only that, but the exchange plans to focus on claims trading — that is, the trading of claims held by creditors against debtors who are undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, like FTX, Celsius, BlockFi, or Mt. Gox (throwback!). The fact that 3AC was a major catalyst in kicking off the string of bankruptcies we saw throughout 2022 was not lost on observers, with Nic Carter of the Castle Island venture capital firm commenting that the endeavor "is akin to arsonists returning to the scene of the crime and offering to charge their victims for buckets of water".
According to NFT GOD, not only did the hackers drain his crypto wallet of his NFTs and crypto, including his beloved Mutant Ape, but they also hijacked his accounts to send out phishing links to his substantial followers.
The person who purchased the stolen ape (for 16.65 ETH, ~$25,800) said he was willing to sell the ape back to NFT GOD for the same price they paid for it, which seemed to be taken as good news by NFT GOD.
Security firm SlowMist attributed the attack to a token that had been replaced with a new version, but whose original version remained active on the platform. The attacker was able to mint and redeem tokens in the old market, while borrowing against them in the new one, ultimately making off with the majority of the assets on the platform.
Authorities charged four individuals with various crimes shortly after the raid. Two were arrested and released on bail; authorities are still looking for the other two. Police have also confiscated money, computers, and crypto assets.
Within a 24-hour period after the raid was announced, Nexo experienced $45 million in withdrawals — about the same amount they normally process in an entire week — as customers rushed to get their money off the platform.
This SNAFU unfortunately means that those assets won't be available to be repaid to FTX customers, although this loss is relatively small compared to the total amount owed.
On November 16, Gemini halted withdrawals from Earn after Genesis halted withdrawals after FTX collapsed. Since then, Gemini and Genesis have been engaged in a very public battle, with Gemini's founders accusing Genesis and its parent company of misconduct and demanding the return of the $900 million in Gemini customer funds.
- "SEC Charges Genesis and Gemini for the Unregistered Offer and Sale of Crypto Asset Securities through the Gemini Earn Lending Program", U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Like the first round of layoffs, they were performed via email to employees' personal emails, because access to internal systems had already been cut off. The public blog post acknowledged that the strategy "feels sudden and harsh".
Crypto reporter Colin Wu has also reported that the company is requiring all employees to begin accepting their salaries in Tether or USDC stablecoins, or face dismissal. Rumors on Twitter emerged that internal communications channels had been shut down to quell dissent over the change.
Some crypto advocates commenting on the change maintained that there should be no difference to employees if they receive salaries in stablecoins vs. real money, but none seemed able to elucidate any legitimate reason that an exchange might find itself unable to pay salaries except in stablecoins.
At least they're not being asked to take salaries in USDD, the Tron-based stablecoin associated with Justin Sun. USDD depegged even further from its peg (which has been unstable since around October 2022), dipping to around $0.97.
Michel said in his defense that he "never intended to rug but the community went way too toxic". In a press release, an IRS Special Agent stated, "Michel can no longer blame the NFT community for his criminal behavior."
Mutant Ape Planet — though clearly based on it — is unaffiliated with the Mutant Ape Yacht Club project, a Yuga Labs-created spin-off of their own Bored Ape Yacht Club.
- "Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Developer Charged in Multi-Million Dollar International Fraud Scheme", U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of New York