First Mover Americas: Bankman-Fried Arrested in Bahamas

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The Royal Bahamas Police Force arrested FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. The founder of the collapsed crypto exchange will appear in court on Tuesday in the Bahamas. "He was arrested in reference to various financial offenses against laws of the United States, which are also offenses against laws of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas," a document said. This comes after the collapsed crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. last month, owing its 50 largest creditors almost $3.1 billion.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Bankman-Fried for defrauding investors, according to a release on Tuesday. Legal filings claim that he inappropriately used customer funds to bail out the supposedly separate trading arm Alameda Research and fund both Bankman-Fried's personal lifestyle and political donations. “We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto," SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement.

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) won’t be converted into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund anytime soon. Grayscale sued the SEC over its bitcoin ETF application rejection on June 29. But the SEC is sticking to its guns. In the regulator’s first response brief since Grayscale filed suit, the SEC reiterated that its reasons for denying Grayscale’s applications were consistent with its earlier decisions to deny every other spot bitcoin ETF application it had received. GBTC was trading at a record discount of 49.12% relative to the price of bitcoin on Tuesday. (Grayscale is a sister company of CoinDesk.)

Chainlink’s new “staking” program – where participants can earn crypto rewards for helping to secure the network – was intended to be broad-based: The price-feed provider imposed a limit of 7,000 LINK tokens per wallet to “promote greater inclusion and reduce the risk of a few participants dominating the pool in the early stages,” according to the project team. But blockchain data reveals how one large holder – a “whale” in crypto parlance – was able to get around the limits by creating more than 150 addresses – and then staking the full 7,000 LINK allotment from each of them. The elaborate effort allowed the whale, nicknamed “Oldwhite” by the OpenSea platform, to stake some 1.06 million LINK ($7 million worth).

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows the number of bitcoin held in miner wallets going back to January 2021.
  • The balance held by miners or those responsible for making coins has now dropped to 1.818 million BTC, the lowest since October 2021, extending the slide from the July high of 1.84 million.
  • Miners' balance sheets have deteriorated this year as bitcoin prices have slumped, denting revenues.

– Omkar Godbole

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