Crypto Weekly 03-31-2024

Mar 31, 2024

Crypto weekly is co-authored by @serdave


- Crypto Market Cap ($2.8T): +7% / +58%  
- BTC ($70,478): +8% / +66%  
- ETH ($3,624): +8% / +59%  
- SOL ($197): +13% / +93%  
- UNI ($12.97): +10% / +77%  
- MATIC ($1.00): +1% / +3%  
- Tether Mkt Cap ($105B): 0% / +14%  
- USDC Mkt Cap ($32B): +1% / +32%  
- BTC / ETH Dominance: 50% / 16%




- Merkle Manufactory, the company behind the Farcaster social-media network, is reportedly raising a new round of financing led by Paradigm which values the company at $1 billion. Link.

- Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $11 billion for defrauding investors. Link. Link. Link

- The FTX bankruptcy estate is selling 41 million locked Solana tokens for $7.5 billion, roughly $64 per token. Link. Link

- A judge ruled that the SEC can proceed with its lawsuit against Coinbase for selling and offering unregistered securities. The judge did dismiss the SEC's claim that Coinbase acted as an unregistered broker via Coinbase wallet. Link. Link

- The criminal trial of Tornado Cash founder Alexey Pertsev began this week. Pertsev faces up to 64 months in prison for his role building the decentralized crypto mixing service which allows users to anonymize transactions. Pertsev testified the protocol was built on smart contracts, and thus impossible to govern like traditional financial firms. Link. Link

- The fraud trial against Terraform Labs began this week, though its founder Do Kwon is still awaiting extradition in Montenegro. The company was behind the UST Terra/Luna stablecoin, and wiped out $40 billion in investor assets when it imploded in 2022. Link

- U.S. prosecutors filed charges against crypto exchange KuCoin and its two co-founders for intentionally failing to have an anti-money laundering program, leading to over $4 billion in illicit finance flowing through the exchange. Link

- The SEC wants Ripple to pay more than $2 billion in fines and penalties for selling its XRP token to institutional investors. Link. Link. Tweet.

- Shares in Coinbase soared to $280 this week, the highest since November 2021. Link

- The CFTC labeled Litecoin (LTC) a commodity in its lawsuit against KuCoin, placing the token outside the scope of the SEC. Link

- Coinbase plans to store more corporate and customer USDC balances on its Layer-2 Base,  to better manage customer funds and faster settlement times. Link. Tweet.

- US and UK regulators are investigating more than $20 billion of USDT Tether that was funneled through a Russian crypto exchange, in an ongoing effort to crack down on sanctions evasion. Link

- The cumulative market cap of tokenized treasury notes passed $1 billion this week. Link

- Munchables, a game launched on Layer-2 Blast, was exploited for $62 million this week by one of its core developers who is suspected of being North Korean. 100% of funds have since been retrieved. Link

- BlackRock’s tokenized money-market fund received $240 million of deposits in its first week in market. The fund invests in US Treasury bills and records ownership on chain. Link

- Portugal ordered WorldCoin to stop collecting biometric data for 90 days over privacy concerns. Spain, Germany and Kenya have similar orders in place. Link. Link

- The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission blocked local access to Binance, alleging the crypto exchange was operating without proper licensing. Link

- Bitwise filed a spot ethereum ETF application with the SEC this week, making it the 9th company to register. The SEC must approve or deny the earliest application, filed by Van Eck, by May 23rd. Link

- USDT stablecoin issuer Tether established a new AI division that will build open AI models. Link. Blog Post

- In response to the recent memecoin craze, UK’s financial regulator said that so-called “finfluencers” must receive approval prior to advertising or posting memes about financial products and services. Link. Press Release

- Decentralized exchanges on Layer-2 Base saw a record high of $657 million in trading volumes over a 24 hour period. Link

- Canadian officials seized gold bars and cash from Michael Patryn, the surviving co-founder of the collapsed crypto exchange QuadrigaCX. Patryn will be required to show the assets were legally acquired. Link

- Near Foundation launched Chain Signatures, a protocol that lets its users sign transactions on third-party blockchain.  Link

- Total funding for blockchain companies passed $1.4 billion in March, the highest monthly level since September 2022. Link

- Crypto angel investment platform Echo opened for beta testing this week. The platform was founded by well-known crypto investor Cobie. Link.

- Polygon’s zkEVM Layer-2 chain went down for 10 hours on March 23rd due to an issue with their sequencer. Link.