Treasury Sanctions Ethereum-Based Tornado Cash For Allegedly Helping To Launder More Than $7 Billion

The Treasury Department on Monday sanctioned a cryptocurrency firm with ties to a North Korea state-sponsored hacking group for allegedly facilitating malicious laundering—marking the latest retaliatory measures against so-called virtual currency mixing services, which effectively obfuscate cryptocurrency transactions to make them more difficult to track.

In a statement Monday morning, the Treasury announced it was sanctioning Ethereum-based Tornado Cash for allegedly helping to launder more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrency since its creation in 2019, effectively freezing U.S. assets on the platform and barring Americans from using the service.

Laundered funds included over $455 million stolen by North Korea hacking ring the Lazarus Group in the largest known virtual currency heist to date—when North Korean cyberattackers stole some $620 million from an Ethereum-linked platform for NFT-based video game Axie Infinity in March—the Treasury said.

On its website, Tornado Cash says it has helped nearly 40,000 users obfuscate transactions through more than 150,000 deposits that help “achieve privacy” by using smart contracts to route funds to an address with no ether balance and then send it to a new public address that has no link to the original sender.

In a Monday statement, the Treasury’s Brian Nelson said Tornado Cash repeatedly failed to impose effective controls and “basic measures” designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors and pledged to continue to “aggressively” pursue actions against mixers that launder cryptocurrency for criminals.

The move follows the Treasury’s first-ever sanctions on a virtual currency mixer in May, when it designated Blender.io for allegedly also helping to carry out the Lazarus-backed crypto heist in March—to the tune of more than $20.5 million worth of illicit proceeds.

In addition to the heist in March, Tornado Cash was also used to launder more than $96 million of funds derived from a June hack of blockchain bridge Harmony and at least $7.8 million from an attack on Nomad, which lost about $190 million in a security exploit just last week, according to the Treasury.

Treasury officials this year have unleashed a wave of sanctions to protect against the potential use of cryptocurrency for sanctions evasion and money laundering. Shortly before the first mixer sanctions, the Treasury in April designated a cryptocurrency mining firm for the first time—targeting Switzerland-based Bitriver AG for operating in the Russian technology sector. Also that month, the Treasury designated Moscow-based exchange Garantex for “willfully disregarding” anti-money-laundering obligations and “allowing [its] systems to be abused by illicit actors.”

In a post on its website, crypto policy think tank Coin Center criticized the Treasury’s Monday decision for “sanctioning a tool that is not an alias of any person meriting sanction,” and said the move effectively limits “any American who wishes to use her own money and a freely available software tool to maintain her own privacy—including for otherwise entirely legal and personal reasons.” According to Coin Center, the sanctions also have uncertain legal ramifications because they potentially put Americans who are sent money through a Tornado address at risk of violating the Treasury’s rules—even though they can’t reject the transaction due to the nature of blockchain.

I’m a senior reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business

Source: Treasury Sanctions Ethereum-Based Tornado Cash For Allegedly Helping To Launder More Than $7 Billion

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Coca-Cola To Release a Pride Series NFT Collection on Polygon (MATIC)

1
  • Coca-Cola has announced plans to release a Pride series NFT collection to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Coca-Cola will be collaborating with artist and advocate Rich Mnisi.
  • The Pride Series NFT collection will be minted on the Polygon Network (MATIC).

The world-renowned beverage company of Coca-Cola has announced that it will be launching a Pride series NFT collection in celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. Each NFT will be unique and ‘aims to shine color-filled light on the community’s members and spread a message of Love.Coca-Cola will be collaborating with designer and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, Rich Mnisi, who hails from South Africa. The team at Coca-Cola further pointed out that Rich Mnisi’s artwork ‘pushes boundaries on the concepts of identity and community.’ They explained:

136 NFTs on the Polygon Network (MATIC).

“Coca-Cola commissioned bespoke Mnisi artwork for this collection to be sliced into individual fragments and dispersed across all 136 collectibles, making each one unique. Our hope with the pieces is to increase visibility by radiating the full spectrum of the community’s colors and spreading a simple message of Love,” the firm said in an announcement last week.

Rich Mnisi and Coca-Cola will collaborate in the creation of 136 NFTs, which are currently being minted on the Polygon Network (eaMATIC). Some of the NFTs are already listed on OpenSea. The Coca-Cola Pride Series NFTs now have a floor price of 1 Ethereum.

In addition, Coca-Cola commissioned the art, hoping each NFT would ‘increase visibility by radiating the full spectrum of the community’s colors and spreading a simple message of Love.’

Furthermore, all proceeds of the initial sale of the NFTs will be donated to charities serving the LGBTQIA+ community. For the first 12 months, the proceeds will be donated directly to OUT, an LGBTQIA+ charity chosen by Rich Mnisi. The organization is the second-oldest in South Arica, professionally serving the LGBTQIA+ community with physical and mental healthcare.

Interestingly, all the funds generated from the initial sale of the 136 NFTs built on the Polygon (MATIC) network, an Ethereum scaling solution, will be donated to multiple charities supporting and fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights. Coca-Cola added that the first charity to benefit will be OUT, the second-oldest LGBT organization in South Africa, which was chosen by Mnisi.

“These free forms represent both love’s permanence and its changing state. They’re to remind us of the power that lies within all of us to choose what love will become. Love is what we make it. Choose to love freely,” Coca-Cola added.

By: John P. Njui

Source: Coca-Cola to Release a Pride Series NFT Collection on Polygon (MATIC) – Ethereum World News

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How Digital Currencies Went From Boom To Collapse

Yuri Popovich had watched his neighbours’ houses burn down to the ground in Kyiv and he needed a safe place to put his money. So he did what millions of amateur investors have done in recent years: he turned to cryptocurrency. “It was impossible and unsafe to store funds in the form of banknotes. There was a big risk of theft, we also had cases of looting. Therefore, I trusted a ‘stable and reliable’ cryptocurrency. Not for the purpose of speculating, but simply to save,” he says.

The digital asset that Popovich chose in April was terra, a “stablecoin” whose value was supposed to be pegged to the dollar. It collapsed in May, sparking a rout in the cryptocurrency market whose victims include Popovich. He lost $10,000 (£8,200). Popovich says his losses were “devastating”, although donations from sympathetic onlookers on social media have helped make up some of the shortfall. He says: “I stopped sleeping normally, lost 4kg, I often have headaches and anxiety.”

Popovich is one of many experiencing the deep chill of the current crypto winter, more than four years after the market’s cornerstone, bitcoin, marked the first digital freeze by tumbling from its then peak. It went on a long tear after that but it has come to a juddering halt, with bitcoin falling below the $20,000 mark at one point this month – far below its peak of nearly $69,000, which it hit last November.

The fall has been sharp and spectacular: an overall market that was estimated to be worth more than $3tn barely six months ago is now worth less than $1tn.

Crypto boom: a new digital economy

The beginnings of the latest crypto boom held all the hallmarks of being another instance of the “Robinhood economy”, named after the popular American stock trading app. Bored white collar workers, stuck at home because of pandemic lockdowns but awash with disposable income, turned to day trading as a way to pass the time. Subscribers to the r/WallStreetBets forum on the popular online discussion site Reddit doubled over the course of 2020 and then quadrupled in the first month of 2021, as a small army of retail investors flooded into assets as varied as the then bankrupt car rental company Hertz, the troubled video game retailer GameStop and the electric car manufacturer Tesla, pushing the latter from $85 at the beginning of the pandemic to a high of $1,243 towards the end of 2021.

Cryptocurrencies also benefited from the surge in day trading. Bitcoin soared from a low of $5,000 in March 2020 to more than $60,000 a year later. The currency has had that sort of precipitous increase before: in 2017, it had risen 20-fold, to its then peak of $19,000. But in the latest boom, ethereum, the number two cryptocurrency, had an even more impressive climb, from just $120 to a high of almost $5,000 in 2021.

Cryptocurrency is the name for any digital asset that works like bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, which was invented in 2009. There is a “decentralised ledger”, which records who owns what, built into a “blockchain”, which secures the whole network by ensuring transactions are irreversible once made. In the years since then, a dizzying amount of variations have arisen, but the core – the blockchain concept – is remarkably stable, in part because of the social implications of truly decentralised networks being immune to government oversight or regulation.

Where, 10 years ago, people simply spoke of trading in bitcoin, the space has ballooned. As well as cryptocurrencies themselves, , the sector has developed in a complex ecosystem. It encompasses Web3, a broader selection of apps and services built on top of cryptocurrencies, DeFi, an attempt to bootstrap an entire financial sector out of code rather than contracts, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which use the same technology as cryptocurrencies to trade in objects rather than money.

The flood of money washing into the world of crypto did more than simply inflate the paper wealth of pre-existing shareholders. Instead, it led to a surge of interest in, and funding for, the vast array of projects that aimed to capitalise on the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies. For a generation of new investors, the “decentralised finance” opportunities of the sector were appealing. Built on top of the “programmable money” of the ethereum cryptocurrency, the “DeFi” [decentralised finance] sector is an attempt to expand bitcoin’s anti-establishment ethos to cover the entire economy.

Take the comparatively small sector of the crypto market known as NFTs. A product dating back to 2014, NFTs take the tech used to create cryptocurrencies, but let creators link unique assets to the blockchain, instead of money-like currencies. That means NFTs can be traded that represent works of art, virtual collectibles, or even function as tickets to events or membership of clubs. And like cryptocurrencies, they can be bought or sold in open exchanges, held pseudonymously, and packaged up or securitised in complex financial instruments.

One token, representing years of work by the digital artist Beeple, sold for $69m; another, linked to the first tweet sent by the Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, was bought for $2.9m. Individual NFTs in the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection – the most consistently desired examples of “profile pic” NFTs, designed to be used as pre-packaged online identity – regularly sold for $1m-$3m apiece. But by the beginning of 2022, the NFT bubble appeared to have already popped. “Floor” prices for large NFT collections had plummeted, and, while many large NFT acquisitions have stayed in private collection, those that have been put back on the market have fared poorly: the Dorsey tweet was withdrawn from sale after achieving a top bid of just $14,000.

And then: the crash

The crypto crisis has played out against the backdrop of wider market problems, as fears over the Ukraine conflict, rising inflation and higher borrowing costs stalk investors. Some market watchers play down the prospect of a crypto crash triggering serious problems elsewhere in the financial markets or the global economy. The total value of all cryptocurrencies is about $1tn currently (with bitcoin accounting for about 40% of the total), which compares with approximately $100tn for the world’s stock markets.

Since November the value of all cryptocurrencies has fallen from $3tn, meaning that $2tn worth of wealth has been wiped out, with no serious knock-on effects to the broader stock market – so far. Teunis Brosens, the head economist for digital finance at the Dutch bank ING, says the traditional financial system is relatively well shielded because established banks – the cornerstones of the financial world that buckled in 2008 – are not exposed to cryptocurrencies because they do not hold digital assets on their balance sheets, unlike during the financial crisis when they held toxic debt products related to the housing market.

“What has happened in the crypto market has caused great losses for some investors and it’s all very painful and not something I want to downplay,” he says. “But it would be overplaying the role that crypto currently has in the economic and financial system if you were to think there could be systemic consequences for the wider financial system or even a global recession directly caused by crypto assets.” To date, the turmoil has been limited to the crypto sector. Digital assets have been hit by some of the same economic issues that have affected the wider global economy and stock markets. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been affected by concerns over rising inflation and the ensuing increases in interest rates by central banks, which has made risky assets less attractive to investors. This meant that as stock markets declined, so too did crypto assets.

But the collapse last month of terra also hit confidence in cryptocurrencies. In June, a cryptocurrency lender, Celsius, was forced to stop customer withdrawals. And a hedge fund that made big bets on the crypto markets slid towards liquidation. Crypto investors and firms that had made bets on the crypto market using digital assets as collateral were forced into a selling spree. Kim Grauer, the head of research at the cryptocurrency data firm Chainalysis, says: “It was a combination of the stock market plus the kind of excessive reaction that is typical of crypto markets because of these cascading liquidations. In this case the key event was terra.”

She added: “Crypto is not going away. And it has experienced crashes more severe than this crash.” Regulators and various government agencies are looking closely. Harry Eddis, the global co-head of fintech at Linklaters, a London-based law firm, says recent events in the crypto asset market will strengthen regulators’ determination to rein in the industry.“nI think it will certainly stiffen the sinews of the regulators in saying that they’re more than justified in regulating the industry, because of the obvious risks with a lot of the crypto assets out there,” he says.

In the UK, the financial watchdog continues to expand safeguards on crypto products. Its latest proposals on marketing crypto products to consumers could lead to significant restrictions on crypto exchanges operating in the UK. Consumers reported 4,300 potential crypto scams to the Financial Conduct Authority’s website over a six-month period last year, far ahead of the second place category, pension transfers, which had 1,600 reports. The FCA has 50 live investigations, including criminal inquiries, into companies in the sector.

The terra collapse has also heightened regulatory concerns about stablecoins, because they are backed by traditional assets and therefore could pose a risk to the wider financial system. In the UK, the Treasury wants a regime in place for dealing with a stablecoin collapse, saying in May that a terra-like failure could endanger the “continuity of services critical to the operation of the economy and access of individuals to their funds or assets”.

“Even just the top three stablecoins hold reserves totalling $140bn in traditional assets, much of this being in commercial paper and US treasuries. A run on redemptions of the largest coin (tether) could destabilise the entire crypto asset system and spill over into other markets,” says Carol Alexander, the professor of finance at University of Sussex Business School.

Elsewhere, the EU is drawing up a regulatory framework for crypto assets with the aim of introducing it by 2024, while in the US Joe Biden has signed an executive order directing the federal government to coordinate a regulatory plan for cryptocurrencies including ensuring “sufficient oversight and safeguard against any systemic financial risks posed by digital assets”. The Federal Trade Commission, the US consumer watchdog, says 46,000 people have lost more than $1bn to crypto scams since the start of 2021.

In general, regulators have been talking tough about cryptocurrencies. The chair of the FCA has called for “strong safeguards” to be put in place for the crypto market, while the head of the US financial regulator has warned consumers about crypto products promising returns that are “too good to be true”, while Singapore has said it will be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on misbehaviour in the crypto market.

‘I’m sure crypto will bubble again

Where crypto goes from here is an unanswerable question. For proponents, such as Changpeng Zhao, the multibillionaire owner of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, the sector is sure to recover – though it might take some time. “I think given this price drop … it will probably take a while to get back,” he told the Guardian last week. “It probably will take a few months or a couple of years.”

For sceptics, however, the plummet could be a lasting wound. “Bitcoin will be around for decades,” says David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50-Foot Blockchain. “All you need is the software, the blockchain and two or more enthusiasts. Unless there’s new stringent regulation, I’m sure crypto will bubble again. But if there’s a genuine consumer bubble, it may not reach the heights of this one. The 2021-22 bubble made it to the Super Bowl. As many a dotcom found out 20 years ago, there’s nowhere to go from there – you’ve reached every consumer in America.”

But one thing both sides agree on is that the dividing line between “survivable downturn” and “cryptoapocalypse” is likely to involve neither bitcoin nor ethereum, but the third biggest cryptocurrency: a stablecoin called tether. Stablecoins are a foundational part of the crypto ecosystem. Their value is fixed to that of a conventional currency, allowing users to cash out of risky positions without going through the rigamarole of a bank transfer, and enabling crypto-native banks and DeFi establishments to work without taking on a currency risk.

In essence, stablecoins function like the banks of the crypto economy, allowing people to park their money safely in the knowledge that it is not exposed to wider risk. Which means that when a stablecoin collapses, it has a very similar effect to a bank failure: money disappears across the ecosystem, liquidity dries up, and other institutions begin to fail in a domino effect. The beginning of the latest crisis in crypto was sparked by exactly that: the failure of the terra/luna stablecoin. The algorithmic checks and balances put in place to keep it stable broke – triggering a death spiral.

And so on 9 May, a stablecoin called UST “depegged”, dropping from $1 to $0.75 in a day, and then falling further, and further and further. Within four days, the luna blockchain was turned off entirely, the project declared dead. A domino effect took out other crypto establishments. Some of the “contagion” has been prevented, in part through huge loans made by Alameda Ventures, the investment arm of 30-year-old crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire. Drawing comparisons to JP Morgan in the panic of 1907, “SBF” has stepped in to support the crypto bank Voyager and the embattled exchange BlockFi, and been loudly calling for support from others.

Unlike terra, tether is a “centralised” stablecoin, maintaining its value through reserves which, the company says, are always redeemable one-to-one for a tether token. The model means it cannot enter a “death spiral” like terra, but also means the stability of the token is entirely a function of how much one trusts tether to actually maintain its reserves. That trust is not a sure thing. Tether once claimed to hold all its reserves in “US dollars”, a claim that the New York attorney general’s office concluded in 2021 was “a lie”.

Tether, and Bitfinex – a bitcoin exchange that shares an executive team with, but is legally distinct from, Tether – “recklessly and unlawfully covered-up massive financial losses to keep their scheme going and protect their bottom lines”, Letitia James, the New York attorney general, said at the time. The two companies had transferred money back and forth to cover up insolvency, she said, and had failed to ensure tether was “fully backed at all times”, the investigation concluded.“Te ther has been the timebomb under the market since 2017,” says Gerard.

“It has reduced its market cap by 15bn USDT in the last month, and has claimed that these are redemptions, or a reduction in their holdings of ‘commercial paper’,” she says, referring to one of the key assets that Tether uses on its balance sheet: commercial paper, short-term debt issued by banks and corporations to cover immediate funding needs. Tether, for its part, remains extremely bullish – and has even suggested it may publish a formal audit of its reserves, something it said was “months away” in August 2021.

In late June, Tether announced another expansion: the introduction of the first GBP stablecoin. “We believe that the UK is the next frontier for blockchain innovation and the wider implementation of cryptocurrency for financial markets,” says Paolo Ardoino, the chief technology officer of Tether and Bitfinex. “Tether is ready and willing to work with UK regulators to make this goal a reality.” More regulation, and further market volatility, are a given. Popovich says he is still receiving donations. “I’m extremely embarrassed. Yesterday an anonymous person sent me $50 in the form of cryptocurrency. And I’ve never borrowed anything from anyone in my life. I’m scared and restless.”

Source: Crypto crisis: how digital currencies went from boom to collapse | Cryptocurrencies | The Guardian

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Here’s Why Ethereum (ETH) Price Can Plunge More Ahead

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency has been trading under major selling pressure. ETH prices have dropped by 40% over the past 30 days. However, expert suggests that this drop may continue further.

July/August can be worst months

Daniel Cheung, Co founder of Pangea Fund Management in a Twitter thread mentioned a massive short opportunity for Ethereum at $1,200 in the next 2 months. He suggests that the market hasn’t yet seen the capitulation yet. It added that July and August are lined up to be the worst months ahead.The fund manager highlighted that currently, the market is in the Macro trade regime. The Bitcoin and Ethereum trends suggest that the crypto market has been trading very sensitively to inflation.

The recent selling pressure has led the Global crypto market cap to plunge by another 5% over the past day. It now stands at $902 billion. The digital asset market recorded its all time high (ATH) of $3 trillion in November 2021.

Ethereum price can drop by 40%

The world’s second largest crypto is still likely to be levered and liquid bet on Nasdaq and that too for the next 2 months. He believes that Nasdaq still has a lot of room to fail ahead. It is still down by 30% from the recent ATH with a prior drawdown. Cheung added that a further 20% downside is still in the frame for QQQ and 40% for Ethereum.

ETH prices are down by more than 9% in the last 24 hours. It’s trading at an average price of $1,111, at the press time. Its 24 hours trading volume is up by 7% to stand at $14.6 billion. However, it is still down by 77% from its all time high.

By Ashish Kumar

Critics by Lapin

Ethereum price analysis is bearish today as we have seen more downside reached over the last 24 hours with a steady downside momentum. Therefore, we expect ETH/USD to drop even lower and look to retrace even lower. The next obvious target is the $1,050 support, which, if broken, would lead to a lot more downside in July.  The market has traded in the red over the last 24 hours. The leader, Bitcoin, lost 4.81 percent, while Ethereum a more substantial 9.17 percent. The rest of the top altcoins have followed close by, with some declining even further.

Ethereum price movement in the last 24 hours: Ethereum breaks past $1,175

ETH/USD traded in a range of $1,111.20 to $1,229.74, indicating substantial volatility over the last 24 hours. Trading volume has increased by 5.36 percent, totaling $14.58 billion, while the total market cap trades around $135.5 billion, resulting in market dominance of 15.13 percent.

ETH/USD 4-hour chart: ETH targets $1,050 next?

On the 4-hour chart, we can see the Ethereum price still testing further lows with no signs of reversal just yet. Therefore, more downside should follow to the $1,050 previous local swing low. Ethereum price action has seen strong bullish signals over the second half of June. After the initial reaction from the last swing low at $1,050, ETH/USD retraced to $1,175, setting a strong lower high. However, further downside did not follow as the $1,050 offered strong support.

From the newly found local higher low, ETH rallied higher one more time last week. A new high was set at $1,275, indicating that the several-week bearish momentum could soon end. On Monday, bearish momentum took over as buyers became exhausted. After some , ETH/USD set a lower local high and broke past the $1,775 local support. Late yesterday the decline continued, pushing the Ethereum price as low as the $1,100 mark.

This means that bullish momentum could soon come back. However, as long as bearish candles are seen later today, we expect further downside at the $1,050 previous low to be reached soon. From there, much depends on how the market will react. If a break below this support follows, we could see a lot more downside and both lower lows and highs set in July. Alternatively, if the $1,050 mark holds, ETH could move into consolidation.

Ethereum price analysis: Conclusion 

Ethereum price analysis is bearish today as we have seen a lot more retrace from the previous swing high at $1,275 so far this week. Since no signs of reversal have followed today, we expect ETH/USD to move even further and target the previous local low. In case it is broken, ETH should see a lot more downside early in July.

Related news:

Crypto Now Braced For A $2 Billion Goldman Sachs Bombshell As The Price Of Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, XRP, Solana, Cardano And Dogecoin Swing

Bitcoin BTC 0.0%, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies have bounced back from a huge market meltdown this month (that some think could reveal the future tech giants). The bitcoin price has rebounded 20% since crashing to a low of under $18,000 per bitcoin last week—despite a dire China warning—with ethereum and other top ten cryptocurrencies BNB BNB +0.3%, XRP XRP -0.9%, solana, cardano and dogecoin also making gains.

Now, reports have emerged Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs is looking to raise $2 billion to snap up the assets of embattled crypto lender Celsius which has been hard hit by the latest bitcoin and crypto crash. Goldman Sachs is soliciting crypto funds and traditional financial institutions as part of the deal that could see it buy Celsius’ crypto assets at a discount, it was first reported by Coindesk, with Blockworks adding the deal could happen even if the lender does not declare bankruptcy, citing anonymous sources.

Goldman didn’t want to buy into the top of the market,” one source told Blockworks. “This is more their style.” Celsius, which had $12 billion in assets under management as of May of this year, has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy after suspending user withdrawals from the platform earlier this month, citing “extreme market conditions” and exacerbating a crypto price crash that sent bitcoin spiraling under $20,000.

Celsius has hired restructuring advisors Alvarez & Marsal, it was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal, adding to previous reports Citigroup C +3.3% has been tapped to advise on possible solutions. Goldman Sachs’ reported bid for Celsius’ crypto assets is likely to return some degree of confidence to the market after traders were left rattled by the pace of the bitcoin, ethereum and cryptocurrency sell-off.

“Even so, it may not be the best time to buy, as it may take considerable time before the crypto market digests the recent turmoil and enters a new phase of sustained demand from broad segments of investors, not just stressed asset hunters,” Alex Kuptsikevich, FxPro senior market analyst, said via email. The Celsius meltdown, coming hot on the heels of the collapse of the terraUSD stablecoin its support coin luna, has sparked fresh calls for better crypto market and crypto company regulation.

“I suspect after the recent events with Celsius that the U.S. will provide more clarity soon, on regulation towards custodial providers and lenders, to bring more stability to the crypto space,” Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at the U.K.-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock, wrote in an emailed note.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world.

Source: Crypto Now Braced For A $2 Billion Goldman Sachs Bombshell As The Price Of Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, XRP, Solana, Cardano And Dogecoin Swing

Critics:

Nearly three weeks after Celsius Network suspended fund withdrawals and other operations from its platform, questions about its future are mounting.  The maneuvers behind the scenes are also increasing. The crypto firm has hired Alavarez & Marsal, a restructuring advisory firm. Celsius has tapped restructuring attorneys from law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

But the most interesting news is that Goldman Sachs  (GS) – Get Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (The) Report is trying to raise $2 billion from investors to buy distressed Celsius assets, according to Fortune and Coindesk.  Clearly the goal is to allow investors to buy Celsius’s assets at a low price in the event of the firm’s bankruptcy.

According to Fortune, which cites anonymous sources familiar with the matter, Goldman Sachs has solicited crypto firms and web 3 firms, the new iteration of the internet, as well as traditional financial institutions and companies specializing in restructuring. Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On June 12, Celsius announced that it would suspend indefinitely various transactions, including withdrawals of funds “due to extreme market conditions.” Today we are announcing that Celsius is pausing all withdrawals, Swap, and transfers between accounts,” the company said at the time. “We are taking this action today to put Celsius in a better position to honor, over time, its withdrawal obligations.”

Celsius is a cryptocurrency lending platform. The company allows anyone to borrow cryptocurrency and earn interest for lenders. “Earn high. Borrow low. Change the world,” the firm says on its website. One of its catch phrases is “Borrow like a Billionaire.” Celsius, through its CEL token, promises “financial rewards” as much as 30% extra returns weekly. But some options are not available to U.S. based users.

When it raised $400 million last October from investors led by WestCap and Canadian Caisse de dépôt du Québec (CDPQ), Celsius Network saw its valuation soar to $3 billion. The company wants to be an intermediary between traditional finance and the sphere of cryptocurrencies.

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