Al-Khwarizmi Weekly #10: Crypto & Blockchain Weekly News Summary
Thodex, Turkish Crypto Exchange CEO Sentenced to Over 11,000 Years In Prison For $2B Scam
Faruk Fatih Özer, the former CEO of Thodex, a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange, has been sentenced to an astonishing 11,196 years in prison. The Turkish court found him guilty of charges including “establishing, managing, and being a member of an organization,” “qualified fraud,” and “laundering of property values.” After halting services on the exchange, Özer fled the country on April 22, 2021, with an estimated $2 billion worth of investors’ funds. He was eventually apprehended in Albania and extradited to Turkey.
Cathie Woods ARK Invest Has Recently Applied for The First-Ever Ethereum Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF).
ARK Invest and 21Shares, both asset managers, have submitted an application seeking regulatory approval for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that aims to hold ether (ETH) directly. This information was disclosed in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday. The fund would entrust the assets to Coinbase (COIN) Custody Trust Company for safekeeping. This filing by ARK Invest marks the first time that an ETF focused on Ether has been proposed.
The Solana Foundation Unveils the Hyperdrive Hackathon
On September 6th, The Solana Foundation launched Hyperdrive, an extraordinary global online hackathon that presents an opportunity to win up to $1 million in prizes and seed funding. The Solana Foundation is thrilled to present the eighth edition of our hackathon series. This platform is tailor-made for visionaries who aspire to be at the forefront of the next groundbreaking startup on the Solana blockchain.
New Thailand Government Embraces Blockchain with National Airdrop Initiative
The newly appointed prime minister of Thailand is fulfilling his election promise by providing a substantial cash handout to the citizens through an airdrop. To encourage digital finance, the government plans to distribute cash using blockchain technology and crypto wallets. With 10,000 Thai baht as the target amount, recipients of the funding will be given a crypto wallet provider to receive the money to help stimulate the economy.
Authorities Have Acted Against 80 Chinese Crypto Influencers
With over 8 million combined followers, before they were removed, 80 crypto influencer accounts were shut down by Chinese authorities in the latest crackdown on cryptocurrency. The affected individuals had previously been vocal about advocating for Bitcoin and other digital currencies, but their social media accounts have now been banned as a result of this action. This is yet another example of how China is continuing to enforce its strict policy towards cryptocurrencies and their usage within the country.
Binance Witnessed the Departure of 10 Key Executives In 2023
Binance, the world’s top cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume, has witnessed the departure of 10 key executives across different departments during the initial nine months of 2023. Although it is common for executives to leave a company as per their contractual obligations, the significant number of executive departures from Binance, amidst escalating regulatory challenges, has become a prominent topic of discussion within the cryptocurrency community.
Ethereum Layer 2 Activity Reaches Near All-Time High
Activity on Layer 2 networks is experiencing a surge, with combined L2 throughput surpassing that of the Ethereum mainnet by a multiple of five. Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, and Base are the notable L2 solutions that are driving the surge in activity. With the Ethereum mainnet becoming increasingly congested, these Layer 2 networks are providing an important outlet for decentralized applications to remain active and perform transactions quickly and cost-effectively.
Government Websites Hacked by MetaMask Scammers to Target Crypto Investors
Being the leading Ethereum software wallet, MetaMask is unfortunately often exploited by scammers to deceive users and gain unauthorized access to their cryptocurrency. Shockingly, its name has even found its way onto official government websites of countries like India, Nigeria, Egypt, Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, and more.
Stake.com Falls Victim to Staggering $41 Million Loss Due To Hackers
After hackers managed to gain access to their hot wallets, online casino Stake.com has lost a staggering $41 million worth of crypto assets due to the attack. The platform promptly provided reassurance to users about the safety of their funds. Despite being one of the biggest crypto heists in 2023 thus far, Stake.com resumed its operations just three days after the security breach and reassured users that their funds were safe.
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum Founder, Advocates for The Implementation of Privacy Pools
In a bold report paper written by Buterin, the Ethereum founder calls for an improvement in privacy features on Ethereum to effectively eliminate malicious criminal activity from the second largest blockchain network. The paper is entitled “Blockchain Privacy and Regulatory Compliance: Towards a Practical Equilibrium” and outlines a solution where Privacy pools that make use of zero-knowledge technology could solve this issue. Pooling honest transactions together would prove that honest deposits coming from users are genuine.