SBF Lobbied for FTX, Not Crypto
Blockchain Association Executive Director, Kristin Smith, revealed that the now-tried FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), “did a tremendous amount of damage,” to the crypto industry in the US and spent more time lobbying D.C. lawmakers than any other executive whom she has met over her 20-year career: “Sam testified before Congress multiple times, he had incredibly detailed proposals at the [Commodities Future Trading Commission] and also legislatively that he was working on. He was spending a tremendous amount of time walking the halls of Congress, meeting with members, meeting with leadership, meeting with staff — he would take them out for drinks.” Therefore, Smith does not find it surprising that after the SBF crypto empire collapsed due to allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds, the tone of conversations supported by Sam's crypto lobbying group changed radically. Smith also talked about how Bankman-Freed caused huge damage to the industry with such actions, since he lobbied for the interests of his company only, and not crypto developers, engineers or entrepreneurs in general. With such actions, the SBF rather complicated the work of Congress and the Blockchain Association, reducing the level of taxpayers' trust in the industry, which was already quite difficult to find a place for itself in political programs.
Kevin O'Leary Advises Binance to Worry About Regulators
In a new interview with Scott Melker, venture capitalist, Shark Tank star and former FTX paid promoter Kevin O'Leary says he thinks Binance cryptocurrency exchange could face increased regulatory oversight in the near future. O'Leary believes that Binance shareholders should start to worry that regulators around the world are scrutinizing the cryptocurrency exchange: “I don’t put any assets on any unregulated exchange, decentralized or centralized. It’s of no concern to me, I don’t own any of it. I would think, whoever the shareholders are of Binance, would be concerned about all the regulatory activity like bees humming around a hive right now. Not just the US regulators — all the regulators.” According to O'Leary, the existence of such a giant as Binance would be justified by the presence of a powerful license that gives the company international trading powers. But no institution is going to touch this platform while all the regulators in the world are looking into it. And this testing will not stop. I think it will only intensify as more court hearings take place. In addition, O'Leary once again drew attention to the fact that the industry is still filled with many worthless coins and projects, most of which have no future. He believes that at least 10,000 tokens will end up in “limbo.”
Ishan Wahi from Coinbase Admits to Insider Trading
Former product manager of Coinbase Global Inc, Ishan Wahi, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office has already called Wahi's trial the first case for insider trading in cryptocurrencies. Prosecutors said on Feb. 7 that Wahi disclosed corporate information about a Coinbase listing of new digital assets to his brother Nikhil and friend Sameer Ramani. Shortly after the listing, they feigned an asset pump, which allowed Wahi and Ramani to make illegal profits of at least $1.5 million. Thus, Wahi and Ramani were accused of using Ethereum wallets to acquire digital assets prior to their Coinbase listing. As part of a plea deal, Ishan Wahi agreed to be sentenced to 36 to 47 months in prison. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for May 10. In Nikhil's case, the US Attorney's Office offered a prison sentence of 10 to 16 months for profiting $900,000 from his illegal activities. However, his defense lawyers offered an alternative outcome, arguing that the driving force behind his crime was the repayment of a debt to his parents for his college education. And they also reminded that Nikhil had no criminal record.