Autor Cointelegraph By Stephen Katte

Legal professionals astonished as SBF admits failures, apologizes 12 times in interview

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried apologized or admitted failure at least 12 times during his appearance at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit on Nov. 30. In a wide-ranging video interview, Bankman-Fried was asked to answer a number of questions surrounding the downfall of the now-defunct exchange, with some even suggesting that some of his statements could be used to incriminate him in legal proceedings. In a Nov. 30 Twitter post, crypto attorney Jeremy Hogan, Partner at Hogan & Hogan said that the “light cross-examination” of Bankman-Fried at the DealBook Summit has already returned “at least 3 incriminating statements so far.” SBF is getting a light cross-examination at the NYT/Dealbook Summit and has made at least 3 incriminating statements so far.Why are his lawyers (or parents) letting him do this??— Jeremy Hogan (@attorneyjeremy1) November 30, 2022Alan Rosca from the law firm Rosca Scarlato said it was “pretty astonishing that he’s in effect testifying at the DealBook summit. Hard to think of a precedent for this.” Bankman-Fried’s first concession came while greeting interviewer Andrew Sorkin, when he said in reference to the collapse of FTX: “Clearly, I made a lot of mistakes or things I would give anything to be able to do over again.”An apology came moments later when Sorkin confronted him with a letter written by an FTX customer who lost $2 million in life savings after the exchange collapsed. “I’m deeply sorry about what happened,” said Bankman-Fried in response to the customer’s story.Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried during the hour-long live-video appearance. Source: New York Times’ DealBook Summit.Later, when discussing the allegations that Alameda used FTX client funds to cover loans, Bankman-Fried said that while he “didn’t know exactly what was going on” at Alameda,” he concedes it was still his duty as FTX CEO to “make sure I was doing diligence.”“A lot of these are things that I’ve learned over the last month that I learned […] I mark that as a pretty big oversight that I wasn’t more aware of,” he said.Bankman-Fried admitted failure again when quizzed about FTXs former standing in the industry and the loss of trust in crypto now that the exchange has collapsed, stating: “I mean, like, look, I screwed up.”“I was CEO, I was the CEO of FTX. And I mean I say this again and again, that that means I had a responsibility that means that I was responsible ultimately for doing the right things and I mean, we didn’t. Like, we messed up big.”He continued to concede FTX’s failings, stating “there absolutely were management failures” oversight failures, and transparency failures. Toward the end of the interview, Sorkin directly asked Bankman-Fried whether he had been truthful with the audience and whether he agreed that there had been times that he had lied. Bankman-Fried said he wasn’t aware of any times that he lied, but explained that there were times when asking as a representative or “marketer” for FTX, that he would paint FTX “as compelling […] as possible.” “I wasn’t talking about what are the risks involved with FTX […] I obviously wish that I spent more time dwelling on the downsides and less time thinking about the upsides. Related: ‘I never opened the code for FTX:’ SBF has long, candid talk with vloggerBankman Fried was asked what his lawyers are telling him at the moment, and whether it was a good idea for him to be speaking publicly. He answered “very much not.”“I mean, you know, the classic advice, don’t say anything […] recede into a hole.”Bankman-Fried said he believes he has a duty to talk to people and explain what happened and to “try and do what’s right.””I don’t see what good is accomplished by me just sitting locked in a room pretending the outside world doesn’t exist,” he explained. ‘Soft-balled it,’ says communityWhile the interview appeared to cover a number of confronting issues for Bankman-Fried, some in the community still believe that the questions were not challenging enough, nor was there an adequate follow-up to some of the hard-hitting questions. A Twitter poll launched by a self-proclaimed crypto trader “Cantering Clark” found that more than half of the 1,119 respondents believed Sorkin “Soft-balled” the interview with Bankman-Fried.

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LBRY alleges Apple forced it to censor certain terms during COVID-19

Blockchain-based file-sharing and payment network LBRY has alleged that tech giant Apple forced it to filter out certain search terms during the COVID-19 crisis in an apparent rejection of free speech. In a Nov. 28 post on Twitter, LBRY alleges it was asked to censor anything related to COVID-19, especially vaccines and the human origins of the virus, or face having its apps removed from the Apple store. “We had to build a list of over 20 terms to not show results for, only on Apple devices. If we did not filter the terms, our apps would not be allowed in the store,” the crypto company alleged. LBRY is a decentralized content-sharing platform that allows artists, filmmakers, writers and other content creators to retain full artistic and financial control over their work. Its Odysee video-sharing website is one of its best-known apps, but it’s unclear if this app was involved in the alleged censorship. The blockchain firm made the revelation in a response to a post from Elon Musk, who said that Apple has “mostly stopped” advertising on Twitter due to concerns about the social media platforms’ content, prompting LBRY to share its experience with Apple during the COVID-19 pandemic. During Covid, Apple demanded our apps filter some search terms from being returned. If we did not filter the terms, our apps would not be allowed in the store. Apple may make good products, but they have been opposed to free speech for some time.— LBRY (@LBRYcom) November 28, 2022LBRY also alleges when some of its users included images of “Pepe the Frog” in videos, Apple “Rejected” them. Pepe the Frog is an Internet meme of a green anthropomorphic frog originating in 2005, which has since been adopted by protest groups in Hong Kong and used in political-based ideology.The crypto company said that “Apple may make good products, but they have been opposed to free speech for some time.” Cointelegraph reached out to Apple for comment but has not received a reply by the time of publication.Related: Crypto Twitter unhappy with SBF ‘puff piece’ pushed by mainstream mediaMeanwhile, discussions around censorship on Twitter have continued to rage on. Musk took over Twitter on Oct. 28 and has been teasing the release of the “Twitter Files”, supposed proof of a concentrated effort by the previous Twitter administration to stifle free speech on the platform.The Twitter Files on free speech suppression soon to be published on Twitter itself. The public deserves to know what really happened …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022

Musk’s takeover of Twitter and subsequent plans for the platform have seen some users seek out decentralized social networks as an alternative. Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey recently unveiled a new Bitcoin-powered Bluesky Social app as part of a decentralized answer to Twitter.The Oct. 18 announcement came roughly three years after the initiative was announced by Dorsey, with the goal of allowing users should to have control over their data and be able to move it from platform to platform without permission.

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Calls for regulation get louder as FTX contagion continues to spread

Crypto executives and politicians are becoming louder in their calls for crypto regulation as the aftermath of the FTX collapse continues to reverberate through the industry. In just the last 24 hours, the European Central Bank (ECB) president Christine Lagarde called regulation and supervision of crypto an “absolute necessity” for the European Union, while United States House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters announced that lawmakers will explore the collapse of FTX in a Dec. 13 inquiry. On Nov. 28, United States Senator and crypto supporter Cynthia Lummis described the collapse of FTX as a wake-up call for congress, according to The Financial Times. During an interview at the Financial Times’ Crypto and Digital Assets Summit, Lummis said the bipartisan bill she introduced this year would have prevented the FTX collapse as regulators would be able to see if an exchange fell below the threshold “Immediately.” “Those are things that had they been in place for FTX, would have set off alarm bells, that would have created regulatory enforcement actions and reviews by federal regulatory agencies,” she explained.Meanwhile, in an on-stage talk at the University of Nicosia as part of a Binance Meetup Nicosia, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said he believes regulation is a way to help the industry develop, “protect consumers” and apply consequences to those caught breaking the law.Stephanie Link a Chief Investment Strategist and Portfolio Manager at investment advisor Hightower Advisors, has called for more regulation as well, stating crypto is “Broken and irrelevant” until there is regulation. Why do we continue to discuss crypto? Broken and Irrelevant. Until there is regulation.— Stephanie Link (@Stephanie_Link) November 27, 2022Tom Dunleavy, a senior research analyst from crypto analytics firm Messari gave similar pro-regulation sentiment in a Nov. 28 post on Twitter, noting that clearer regulation around crypto will pave the way “for massive flows” of new investors.The biggest concern institutional investors have with investing in crypto is the uncertain regulatory environment Clearer regulation paves the way for massive flows— Tom Dunleavy (@dunleavy89) November 28, 2022

“The biggest concern institutional investors have with investing in crypto is the uncertain regulatory environment,” Dunleavy said.The crypto analyst cited the Coinbase-sponsored 2022 Institutional Investor Digital Assets Outlook Survey which found just over half of the respondents considering investing in crypto were concerned about the uncertain regulatory environment.Related: FTX collapse put the Singapore government in a parliamentary hot seatLast week, banking and financial services JP Morgan in a Nov. 24 note said that it expects there to be more urgency to get a consistent framework in place in the wake of FTX’s collapse. According to the firm, regulations are likely to be imported from the traditional finance system, “Thus causing a convergence of the crypto ecosystem towards the traditional finance system.”

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FTX under 'active' civil and criminal investigation: Bahamas AG

The Bahamas Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs Ryan Pinder has confirmed that the collapsed crypto exchange FTX is the focus of an “active and ongoing” investigation by authorities from the Caribbean nation.In a national statement that was delivered live on the Facebook page of the Office of the Prime Minister on Nov. 27, Pinder explained the “affairs of FTX Digital Markets” are under scrutiny from both “civil and criminal authorities” and Bahamian authorities are working with “a number of specialists and experts and will continue to do so as the need arises.””The Securities Commission, our financial intelligence unit, and the financial crimes unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force will continue to investigate the facts and circumstances regarding FTX’s insolvency crisis and any potential violations of Bahamian law,” he added.Pinder also revealed the relevant Bahamian authorities would try to hold to account any companies or individuals found to have committed any wrongdoing during the investigation, while they will cooperate with other regulatory agencies and law enforcement bodies around the world. “These events remind us of the lessons learned from securities and other financial regulation about the need for strong cross-border cooperation. The public worldwide will be best served by a strong international regulatory cooperation,” he said. The Securities Commission of The Bahamas suspended FTX Digital Markets (FDM) license to conduct business and stripped its directors of their power on Nov. 10. On Nov. 12 they ordered the transfer of all FDM digital assets to a digital wallet owned by the commission for “safekeeping.”Pinder mentioned the country’s regulatory authority has taken further protective measures approved by the Supreme Court but declined to elaborate further until “we are confident that doing so will not jeopardize any aspect of the ongoing investigations.”Pinder also took the chance to slam the Nov. 17 emergency motion by FTX Trading Limited, which called out the “Bahamian government” for “directing unauthorized access to the Debtors’ systems” after the commencement of Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in the United States.He called the allegations “extremely regrettable” for misrepresenting “the timely action taken by the Securities Commission,” while also defending all the steps taken by the country’s regulator so far. Related: Alameda Research withdrew $204M ahead of bankruptcy filing: Arkham IntelligenceThe Bahamas has encouraged crypto companies to the island country to aid its economy but it’s since been shaken by FTX’s collapse. It was also hard hit by 2019’s Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic starting in 2020 ground its heavily tourism-based economy to a halt. With FTX gone, so have many jobs in the small nation.But Pinder outlined his belief that despite the “personal tragedies” associated with the collapse of FTX, he expects “little contagion beyond the digital asset sphere both here in the Bahamas and around the world.” He referenced a Nov. 22 Standard & Poor’s ratings for The Bahamas that forecasted a stable outlook citing the tourism sector’s performance.”Standards and poor has projected a stable outlook for our economy resting in part on the assumption that there will be no material adverse impact on the Bahamas from the worldwide collapse of FTX,” Pinder said.

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Bizarre $600K Elon Musk crypto statue marketing stunt falls flat

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has seemingly given the cold shoulder to a $600,000 monument of him in goat form —  which was created as part of a bizarre crypto marketing stunt.Delivered to Tesla’s Austin headquarters on Nov. 26, the 30-foot, 12,000-pound metal statue of Elon Musk was part of a publicity stunt by the co-founders of the memecoin Elon Goat Token (EGT).The statue features the head of Elon Musk on the body of a goat that is riding a rocket. The statue also sees Musk wearing a dog collar with a Dogecoin (DOGE) token attached.We’re very proud of our accomplishments and commitment to #EGTWe’ve always had long term vision for $EGT and will continue to build the brand and utility. We feel our hard work can lead to Elon claiming #ElonGOAT and we will work towards this goal! Maybe have some fun too!— Elon Goat Token (@ElonGoatToken) November 27, 2022According to the EGT whitepaper, the whole project was engineered to be roadworthy and fastened to a 50-foot semi-trailer for transportation. The conceptual design was drawn and rendered in Los Angeles. The founders of EGT, who are self-described “Elon Superfans,” said in the project description on their website they were trying to do “something no other Crypto project has dared to do” to gain recognition and legitimacy for their project with an acknowledgment from Musk.Unfortunately for EGT however, the $600,000 monument has failed to gain any public acknowledgment from Musk himself, at least on Twitter. Despite this, it still got plenty of mainstream media coverage, including from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider and The Washington Post.Plenty of Musk-themed tokens There isn’t much information about EGT and its purpose other than it was launched in Jan. 2022 on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and has been criticized for its Musk-centric marketing plan and lack of utility featured upon launch, according to its own whitepaper. The token is also one of many Elon Musk-themed tokens attempting to exploit the entrepreneur’s fame to market its token. Other Musk-themed tokens include Dogelon Mars (ELON) and spaceTwitterDoge and elonDogeTwit.As of the time of writing, EGT has 18,400 followers on Twitter, while Coingecko and Coinmarketcap both list EGT, but neither has data surrounding its market cap. Its price appeared to have spiked momentarily before dipping to month lows after the delivery of the statue.According to its whitepaper, EGT claims to now be working on having real utility in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space, having migrated smart contracts from BSC to the Ethereum blockchain. Related: It’s time for crypto fans to stop supporting cults of personalityOver-the-top publicity stunts have been a popular method for crypto projects over the years.In 2018 Ukrainian social network ASKfm launched an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) by leaving a wallet with 500,000 tokens at the top of Mount Everest, the highest mountain above sea level in the world. At the time, ASKfm calculated the tokens in the wallet at $50,000, a sum calculated by an estimate of their value once the pre-sale and ICO launch.Another stunt in 2018 saw the owner of the Epoch Cryptocurrency website Wong Ching-kit drop stacks of cash off a roof in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong to promote a competition where participants could allegedly win large cash prizes. Most recently, Rahul Advani, APAC Policy Director of Ripple argued that crypto will need to move away from “hype cycles” and towards “building real utility.” He explained that the fall of FTX will prompt regulators and governments to scrutinize crypto regulations much more closely.

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