Autor Cointelegraph By Arijit Sarkar

South Korea issues arrest warrant for Do Kwon's former colleagues

Amid the ongoing manhunt for Terraform Labs co-founder and CEO Do Kwon, South Korean authorities have spread out their investigations to target other Terra executives. Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for co-founder Daniel Shin and seven other engineers and investors of the firm following suspicion of gaining illegal profits before the massive collapse of the Terra ecosystem.The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office in South Korea suspected that Shin possessed Terra (LUNA) tokens, which were pre-issued without the public knowledge of investors. In doing so, Shin allegedly bagged profits worth 140 billion won (roughly $105 million) by selling the pre-issued tokens during the bull market.Arrest warrants were also sought for three Terraform Labs investors and four engineers responsible for TerraUSD (UST) and LUNA initiatives, confirmed local media Yonhap News Agency. On Nov. 19, South Korean authorities seized assets worth over $104 million from Shin under the same suspicion of making unfair profits.At the time, Shin’s attorney maintained the counter-narrative stating that “Reports that CEO Shin Hyun-seong sold Luna at a high point and realized profits or that he made profits through other illegal methods are not true.” Speaking against the arrest warrant, Shin pointed out:“I left (Terraform Labs) two years before the collapse of Terra and Luna, and have nothing to do with the collapse.”The seizure of funds aimed to minimize further losses for investors in case Shin decided to dispose of the stolen funds. While Kwon maintains that he’s not on the run from South Korean authorities, 4,000 members of a retail investor group are attempting to track down the fugitive’s whereabouts.On Oct. 6, South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered Kwon to surrender his passport, which, if not done, would result in the permanent cancellation of his passport. The deadline has passed since.Related: Terra Labs, Luna Guard commission audit to defend against allegations of misusing fundsA local report from South Korea claimed that prosecutors obtained evidence regarding Kwon’s order to manipulate the price of Luna Classic (LUNC). However, a Terraform Labs spokesperson dismissed the allegations when speaking to Cointelegraph, highlighting their disappointment in seeing “the Korean prosecutors continue to try to contort the Capital Markets Act to fit their agenda and push baseless claims.”Unconfirmed reports suggest that Kwon moved from South Korea to Singapore before ultimately transitioning to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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OpenSea Seaport Protocol onboards creators and NFT holders on BNB Chain

Crypto collectibles and nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea announced plans to integrate BNB Chain on Seaport Protocol by the end of Q4 2022. The integration will allow users to buy, list and trade BNB Chain NFTs on the OpenSea marketplace.BNB Chain was built by Binance to operate as a Web3-focused blockchain network powered by the exchange’s in-house token, Binance Coin (BNB). BNB Chain’s integration into OpenSea’s Seaport Protocol aims to provide BNB Chain creators with multiple creator payouts, real-time payouts and collection management, among others.Sharing insights into the move, Gwendolyn Regina, Investment Director at BNB Chain, revealed her intent to deliver better experiences to NFT creators and users. She added:“The integration will bring a large number of creators into the wider system, as well as empower the creators and NFT initiatives inside the BNB Chain ecosystem.”The integration aims to lower gas fees, provide easier signature confirmation actions and eliminate setup fees. In addition to BNB Chain, OpenSea plans to leverage Seaport across multiple blockchains to reach more users. Related: Binance sees record 138K BTC inflows as opinions differ on what Bitcoin price will do nextOpenSea recently confirmed to continue enforcing royalties across all collections after receiving significant public backlash for considering otherwise.The community pushback came after OpenSea announced the launch of an on-chain tool that would allow creators to enforce royalties for any new collections on the platform but stopped short of offering the same to existing collections.The on-chain tool, as described by OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer as a “simple code snippet,” was aimed at taking over the existing system of voluntary creator fee payment. The code would also restrict NFT sales to only marketplaces that enforce creator fees criteria.Well… For instance, I committed myself to a 100 piece collection. I’m currently at 96 out of the 100… And now I’m stuck with this message and I can’t complete it. Ever. Thanks!— Hammy.eth (@HamsterNFT) January 27, 2022In January 2022, OpenSea had to backtrack its attempt to impose hard limits on minting NFTs after the community retaliated. The platform had temporarily changed its policy to only allow five NFT collections with 50 items per collection, which was previously unlimited.While reversing the decision, OpenSea had argued that smart contracts were being misused and that “over 80% of the items created with this tool were plagiarized works, fake collections, and spam.”

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FTX collapse drives curiosity around Sam Bankman-Fried, Google data shows

The fall of FTX seemingly had the biggest impact on the crypto ecosystem as Google searches for the CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) hit the roof over in November 2022. Some of the biggest drivers for this trend include mainstream media attention, colossal losses and political ties.On Nov. 2, SBF lost his credibility after his company Alameda Research was found holding a large amount of FTX Token (FTT), an asset issued by FTX. Over the following two weeks, the crypto community investigated and found SBF guilty of manipulating and misappropriating users’ funds, ultimately leading to the fall of the empire of roughly 130 companies built by SBF.On the one hand, the crypto community openly criticized SBF and his accomplices, including Caroline Ellison. But, on the other hand, mainstream media published ‘puff pieces’ to water down SBF’s wrongdoings, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, among others, called out.The blatant attempts by the mainstream media to change the narrative around SBF saw massive resistance from Crypto Twitter, further fueling the curiosity and forcing the general public to do their own research (DYOR) about the subject.Google search data of infamous crypto personalities. Source: Google TrendsAs a result, Google searches for the term ‘Sam Bankman-Fried’ surged in November. The curiosity around SBF overpowered the other infamous personalities in the space, including co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs Do Kwon, co-founder and CEO of Three Arrows Capital Su Zhu and Satoshi Nakamoto impersonator Craig Wright.Google Trends data show that searches for SBF are 185.7% more than they were for Do Kwon when Terra (LUNA) collapsed in May 2022. The collapse of LUNA was considered the biggest blunder in crypto history until SBF took the spot six months later.Related: FTX fall was ‘incredibly damaging,’ crypto must foster real utility: Ripple policy leadThe FTX dust is far from settling as Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board, MASAK, seized SBF’s assets amid ongoing investigations.The seizure was made after finding “criminal suspicion” of FTX failing to safely store user funds, embezzlement of customer assets and market manipulation.

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Fenix Games raises $150M to fuel next-generation blockchain gaming

Web3 game publisher Fenix Games raised $150 million in funding to acquire, invest and distribute blockchain games. The fund will be used to create a game publishing company specifically for mainstreaming blockchain games.Fenix Games’ latest funding round saw participation from investors, including Phoenix Group and Dubai-based venture capital firm Cypher Capital, reported local news media Jinse. Chris Ko, CEO and co-founder of Fenix Games, who previously led Mythical Games, considers Fenix Games “like a VC fund” for fueling the next generation of blockchain games.Sharing details into the post-funding gameplan, Ko stated:“We’re actually going to start off with a huge base of capital to invest in those (next-generation gaming) studios. We’re also looking to use our balance sheet to acquire a bunch of existing games in the Web2 space to build a portfolio.” Ko also highlighted that the market for blockchain gaming does not exist as it did for traditional video games such as gaming consoles and mobile gaming. Fenix Games’ strategy going forward is to develop the gaming ecosystem through publishing initiatives.Related: Crypto gaming needs to be fun to be successful — Money doesn’t matterGameFi’s constantly evolving model could make “today’s AAA game companies look like peanuts,” said Jack O’Holleran, CEO of Skale, a multichain Ethereum-native network that powers Web3 games.Finding a sustainable GameFi model, however, remains a challenge. User experience ranks amid the top struggles in the industry owing to high gas fees and technical complexity around buying, owning and trading nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

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Bitcoin mining revenue lowest in two years, hash rate on the decline

The revenue earned by Bitcoin (BTC) miners fell to two-year lows owing to poor market performance and a heavier computational demand amid rising network difficulty. However, an ongoing downturn in the Bitcoin hash rate over the past month has allowed miners to recoup losses.The total Bitcoin mining revenue — block rewards and transaction fees — in U.S. dollars fell down to $11.67 million, a number last seen on Nov. 2, 2020, when Bitcoin’s trading price was around $13,500.While the current market price of around $16,500 suggests an obvious increase in mining revenue, factors including greater mining difficulty and rising energy prices contribute to lower income in dollar terms.Adding to the above, the difficulty of mining a Bitcoin block has skyrocketed to an all-time high of almost 37 trillion — forcing Bitcoin miners to spend more energy and computational power to stay competitive. However, over the past three months, the hash rate of the Bitcoin network witnessed a steady decline. The hash rate stands at 225.9 exahash per second (EH/s), which fell 28.6% from its all-time of 316,7 EH/s on Oct. 31, 2022.The hash rate is a security metric that helps protect the Bitcoin network from double-spending attacks. However, considering the grand scheme of things, temporary measures taken by the community include acquiring cheaper mining hardware and resettling in jurisdictions with low energy prices.Related: Bitcoin miners look to software to help balance the Texas gridNew York City mayor Eric Adams believes that goal to make New York a crypto hub can be combined with statewide efforts to curb environmental costs related to crypto mining.“I’m going to work with the legislators who are in support and those who have concerns, and I believe we are going to come to a great meeting place,” said Adams while revealing that the city will work with legislators to find a balance between the crypto industry development and legislative needs.

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