Značka: business

BlockFi announces deal with FTX US, including 'option to acquire' for $240M

FTX US has inked a deal with BlockFi that will give the crypto derivatives exchange the option to purchase the lending firm.In a Friday Twitter thread, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince said the crypto lending firm had signed agreements with FTX US for a $400-million revolving credit facility as well as the option to acquire BlockFi “at a variable price of up to $240 million based on performance triggers.” According to the CEO, the deal was reached as part of an effort “to bolster liquidity and protect client funds” at BlockFi.The agreements are still subject to shareholder approval. Prince said volatility in the crypto market, “particularly market events related to Celsius and 3AC,” which had a negative impact on BlockFi, led to the decision. The crypto lending platform suffered roughly $80 million in losses the week following Celsius pausing withdrawals, and, after considering “​​various unattractive options” for recovery, partnered with FTX US.“All of our products and services — including funding and withdrawals, our trading platform, credit card and global institutional services — continue to operate normally, with incremental capital strength behind them,” said Prince.Yesterday we signed definitive agreements, subject to shareholder approval, with FTX US for:1. A $400M revolving credit facility which is subordinate to all client funds, and2. An option to acquire BlockFi at a variable price of up to $240M based on performance triggers.— Zac Prince (@BlockFiZac) July 1, 2022In a Friday blog post, BlockFi criticized reports from Thursday claiming FTX intended to purchase the firm for $25 million. According to the CEO, the $400 million credit facility, $240 million acquisition price and “other potential consideration” totaled $680 million — for a company that had a $5 billion valuation in June 2021. Prince hinted the report was due to “an inappropriately leaked call” and “purely personal conjecture by a single party.”Related: FTX US acquires Embed Financial subsidiary for stock trading platformBlockFi was one of the first firms to liquidate some of Three Arrows Capital’s positions in June after the company reportedly failed to meet margin calls from its lenders. Amid the market downturn and extreme price volatility, the crypto lending firm announced that it would be laying off 20% of its 850-strong staff, retaining roughly 600 people. It’s unclear if a FTX US acquisition would change this decision.

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Ignite CEO announces departure after seven years

Peng Zhong, the chief executive officer of Ignite — formerly Tendermint and backer of the Cosmos ecosystem — has announced he will be leaving the firm.In a Friday tweet to his more than 20,000 followers, Zhong said July 1 will be his last day at Ignite, where he has been working as CEO since May 2020. Prior to that, the now-former Ignite CEO was chief design officer at the firm’s Kuala Lumpur and Toronto offices since he started in 2015. It’s unclear what led to his decision to leave the company.Today is my last day at Ignite. Thank you for the camaraderie we shared as we built out this ecosystem. It’s been an honor to be a part of this team and this community. I will miss you. — Peng Zhong (@zcpeng) July 1, 2022Ignite, formerly known as Tendermint, is a core contributor to the Cosmos ecosystem. During Zhong’s time at the firm, many knew him for developing the first Cosmos crypto wallet, Voyager, later renamed Lunie, and helping facilitate the introduction of liquid staking to the ecosystem. Co-founded by software developers Jae Kwon and Ethan Buchman in 2014, Cosmos allows interoperability between blockchains by making information flow and transactions seemingly easier to execute. Kwon left his position as Tendermint CEO in 2020, but returned following the company’s rebrand in May creating Ignite and NewTendermint — he is now CEO of the newly branched firm.Related: ‘We’ll see about 200 chains connected through Cosmos’ IBC next year,’ says Tendermint CEO Peng ZhongAccording to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the price of Cosmos (ATOM) is $8.09 at the time of publication, having risen more than 3.5% since Zhong’s announcement.Cointelegraph reached out to Jae Kwon and Peng Zhong, but did not receive a response at the time of publication. This story may be updated.

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June roundup: Who's hiring and who's firing in the crypto space

Amid the recent volatility in the crypto market affecting investments and stock prices, many firms made significant staff cuts in the last month while others continued hiring.In June, major crypto exchange Gemini was among the first to reportedly cut 10% of its employees amid the bear market, saying conditions were “likely to persist for some time.” Coinbase and Crypto.com followed, announcing plans to reduce staff by 18% and 5%, respectively. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong cited the so-called crypto winter as part of the reason for the cuts, but also stated the firm had been growing “too quickly.”Market conditions largely have not changed following many decisions to downsize, and other firms have been forced to make cuts. Crypto lending firm BlockFi announced it would be reducing staff by roughly 20% on June 13, and Cointelegraph reported on Thursday that FTX was in the process of finalizing a deal to purchase the platform’s remaining assets for $25 million. BlockFi CEO Zac Prince denied reports of the sale.Lots of market rumors out there – I can 100% confirm that we aren’t being sold for $25M. I encourage everyone to trust only details that you hear directly from @BlockFi. We will share more w you as soon as we can.— Zac Prince (@BlockFiZac) June 30, 2022Austrian crypto and stock trading platform Bitpanda announced on June 24 a mass layoff as it aims to “get out of it financially healthy” amid the current bear market, bringing the company to a “​​size of about 730 people.” At the time of publication, the crypto firm has no current job openings on its website.However, many companies in the crypto space are continuing to operate as normal, seemingly prepared to weather the storm — at least one is even picking up the slack. Cointelegraph reported that the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority was open to hiring terminated employees from crypto firms in an effort to “bulk up” its capabilities. Related: How to start a career in crypto? A beginner’s guide for 2022Globally, Binance and Ripple offered thousands of jobs to replace the ones that were recently dissolved from major crypto exchanges and firms. Kraken also stood out as one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges announcing plans to continue hiring for more than 500 roles in various departments amid the market downturn. Sergey Vasylchuk, CEO of Ukraine-based decentralized staking provider Everstake, announced on June 15 that the firm was “not firing anybody.”According to data gathered by blockchain jobs site Crypto Jobs List, companies have listed more than 3,000 jobs related to the crypto space in the United States in the last seven days — roughly 37% of all jobs posted in the last 30 days. The United Kingdom and India similarly saw a large number of crypto jobs advertised in the last seven days — 562 and 183, respectively — suggesting the industry still has room for staff.“Kraken and Binance have shown that they plan to stay around for a long time by looking to grow their headcount during a bear market,” a spokesperson for Crypto Jobs List told Cointelegraph. “The market downturn has meant that individuals who don’t plan to stick around for long are deterred, and only serious candidates that are interested in a long-term career are left to apply, and hiring managers recognise this.”It was not easy saying no to Super bowl ads, stadium naming rights, large sponsor deals a few months ago, but we did.Today, we are hiring for 2000 open positions for #Binance. pic.twitter.com/n24nrUik8O— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) June 15, 2022

At the time of publication, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) is under $20,000, having fallen more than 37% in the last 30 days according to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro.

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Citi calls out potential risks of crypto-backed mortgages and benefits of metaverse property

Investment banking giant Citigroup has released research on how property technology could affect the housing market, mentioning virtual estate in the metaverse and cryptocurrency-backed mortgages.In a report released Wednesday titled, “Home of the Future: PropTech — Towards a Frictionless Housing Market?” Citi said crypto, blockchain and property in the metaverse had the “potential to transform the traditional real estate market.” While crypto-backed mortgages could streamline the process of purchasing a home, many individuals have seen investments in metaverse property grow in the last two years.Citi reported that property loans linked to crypto assets could allow investors to “utilize their investment gains” without incurring capital gains taxes, but commented on the potential for risk in a volatile market. While many standard loans linked to fiat have regulatory procedures in place to assess the ability of a borrower to repay, crypto holders could be forced to pay significantly more should the price of tokens fall during a bear market.“If the value of the cryptocurrency declines, the borrower may be subject to margin calls and ultimately the cryptocurrency may be liquidated if the collateral value falls below a certain threshold, such as 35% of the property value,” said the report. “Introducing cryptocurrency exposure into the credit profile arguably increases the overall risk of the loan.”In addition to purchasing physical property, the Citi report commented on the potential benefits of owning and monetizing “digital real estate” in the metaverse. Specifically, researchers detailed how individual and corporate owners of the virtual property in The Sandbox (SAND) — called LAND — have treated the metaverse as an investment akin to property in the real world, with prices rising from roughly $100 per LAND in January 2021 to as high as $200,000 a year later:“Given the nascent nature of the virtual real estate environment, many of the purchasers of LANDs lack concrete plans to cultivate the properties and are simply speculating on the platform’s future growth and thus LAND price appreciation.”LAND is a piece of virtual real estate within The Sandbox #Metaverse. Owners can build and create fun experiences on their LAND in any way they want. pic.twitter.com/wgdFCOkAS6— The Sandbox (@TheSandboxGame) May 11, 2022Related: Propy partners with Abra to provide crypto-backed real estate loansThe banking giant is not the first to consider the risks in crypto-backed mortgages. Prior to the recent bear market, Florida-based ratings and research firm Weiss Ratings warned investors that the falling price of Bitcoin (BTC) in addition to the performance of stocks, rising interest rates and the Federal Reserve’s policy changes could potentially make crypto mortgages a losing bet.

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Roger Ver denies CoinFLEX CEO's claims he owes firm $47M USDC

Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin investor and Bitcoin Cash proponent, has pushed against claims from crypto investment platform CoinFLEX regarding an alleged $47-million debt.In a Tuesday tweet, Ver — not mentioning CoinFLEX by name — said he had not “defaulted on a debt to a counter-party,” and alleged the crypto firm owed him “a substantial sum of money.” The denial followed rumors on social media that the BCH proponent was involved in the platform halting withdrawals due to “a high-networth client who has holdings in many large crypto firms” not covering their debts. CoinFLEX CEO Mark Lamb took to Twitter shortly after the statement to claim the company had a written contract with Ver “obligating him to personally guarantee any negative equity on his CoinFLEX account and top up margin regularly.” According to Lamb, CoinFLEX served Ver with a notice of default and was “speaking to him on calls frequently about this situation with the aim of resolving,” claiming the firm did not owe him anything.“It is unfortunate that Roger Ver needs to resort to such tactics in order to deflect from his liabilities and responsibilities,” said the CoinFLEX CEO.Roger Ver owes CoinFLEX $47 Million USDC. We have a written contract with him obligating him to personally guarantee any negative equity on his CoinFLEX account and top up margin regularly. He has been in default of this agreement and we have served a notice of default.— Mark Lamb (@MarkDavidLamb) June 28, 2022Related: Su Zhu’s cryptic statement as rumors swirl of 3AC liquidations and insolvencyCointelegraph reported on Tuesday that a CoinFLEX account — held by a “high-integrity person of significant means” — incurred $47 million in losses after being allowed to reach negative equity without being liquidated. The platform planned to fix its liquidity shortage by issuing a new token, Recovery Value USD (rvUSD), starting June 28, with user withdrawals expected to resume on June 30.The price of CoinFLEX’s native token (FLEX) has fallen more than 84% in the last 30 days, dropping from $1.19 to $0.80 following Lamb’s and Ver’s statements on Twitter.Cointelegraph reached out to Roger Ver and Mark Lamb, but did not receive a response at the time of publication. This story may be updated.

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Switzerland-based crypto mining firm expands operations to Texas

White Rock Management, a cryptocurrency mining company based in Switzerland, said it will be expanding its operations to the United States, starting with Texas.In a Tuesday announcement, White Rock said it will be partnering with Natural Gas Onsite Neutralization, or NGON, a company that captures natural gas that would otherwise be burned and converts it to energy for use in the firm’s Bitcoin (BTC) mining operations. White Rock said it will be operating out of NGON’s facility in the Brazos Valley region, mining BTC using “environmentally responsible” methods.According to White Rock CEO Andy Long, the move into Texas was just the first in the firm’s plans to expand its BTC mining operations to areas capable of providing energy from natural gas outside the scope of the state’s power grid. The company began mining crypto at data centers in Sweden in November 2021 and reported its operations in the United States will have an initial capacity of 3 megawatts, aiming for the firm’s total hashrate to be more than 1.6 EH/s.Crypto mining firm White Rock Management’s operations in Texas. Source: White RockThe recent market downturn — the price of Bitcoin has fallen more than 28% in the last 30 days — may be impacting crypto miners’ profits. Cointelegraph reported on June 10 that the “raw” costs for miners in North America were roughly $22,000 per Bitcoin, with additional costs potentially bringing the total to more than $30,000. Many mining firms in the region including Bitfarms have reported selling some of their BTC holdings amid the bear market.So What if the Revenue From Bitcoin Mining is Low?”Bitcoin miners are experiencing record-low Revenue. Miners earn Revenue from two sources..”by @CryptoAlliance_ Read Morehttps://t.co/jiIQVzrnpB— CryptoQuant.com (@cryptoquant_com) June 27, 2022Related: Bitcoin miners sold their entire May harvest: ReportIt’s unclear how the recent volatility may affect White Rock’s operations in the Lone Star State. Prior to the market downturn, Argo Blockchain said it was planning to launch operations in Texas’ Dickens County almost a year after first breaking ground — the 200-megawatt data center started mining in May. In April, the City of Fort Worth also launched a pilot program to mine BTC using three rigs in its city hall building.

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How crypto is attracting some institutional investors — Huobi Global sales head

James Hume, head of sales at Huobi Global, said t while some institutional investors have gotten “cold feet” over crypto, many with billions of dollars are exploring the space.Speaking to Cointelegraph at the European Blockchain Convention on Tuesday, Hume said that the crypto exchange had observed increasing interest from institutional investors within the last one to two years in entering the digital asset space. According to Hume, it took a long time for certain firms and hedge funds to “build teams, raise capital and understand the infrastructure” to participate in crypto, estimating that 20–30 firms with more than $1 billion could start trading within the year.“I think it’s a pretty exciting time,” said Hume. “A lot of the more speculative bets in crypto… Some have got a bit of cold feet, obviously, if you’re looking to come to the market and take a pretty decent size allocation.”Join us at the 7th @EBlockchainCon where our incredible speakers will debate the widespread of staking in crypto sphere.June 27th⏰11:35 AM CETPanel: The Next Big Business in Crypto is Staking️@enevamaria Ben Spiegelman Andrew Howell @JamesHume112#EBC22 pic.twitter.com/n72nC7Nl4G— European Blockchain Convention #EBC22 (@EBlockchainCon) June 21, 2022The Huobi sales head added that the exchange noted that people had “slowed slightly” in investments in hedge funds, speculating that larger venture capital firms could wait out some of the market volatility, but some investors could “get scared, back out, trade, deleverage.” Some institutional investors, according to Hume, needed to be educated on the regulatory aspects of the space. Regulatory compliance, in addition to the number of new crypto market participants and infrastructure, could affect which companies choose to place speculative, long-term bets on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC):“Over the past few years, the amount of places who have come out and said “we’re going to do crypto regulation” and it turns out to not be what everyone had quite hoped — either it takes too long, or they put things in places which are quite restrictive.”Related: Institutions are exploring the space — KPMG Canada crypto teamCointelegraph reported in June that Huobi had secured licenses to operate in New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates, while its Thailand-based affiliate — a separate entity — planned to shutter by July 1 after the country’s Securities and Exchanges Commission revoked the firm’s operating license. The crypto exchange also announced the launch of an investment arm with more than $1 billion in crypto assets under management aimed at exploring decentralized finance and Web3 projects.“I think everyone is in agreement now that crypto is going to be around for the long term,” said Hume. “Everyone is kind of in agreement for the most part that it’s going to be around, that it’s not a scam. There’s actual utility in the market […] that people can utilize in the real world.”

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Crypto exchange FTX is looking into acquiring Robinhood: Report

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX is reportedly eyeing a takeover of Robinhood Markets, the popular trading app that introduced millions of traders to Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE).Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported Monday that FTX is holding internal deliberations about whether to acquire Robinhood. Although no decision has been made to pursue a takeover, FTX is said to be taking the matter seriously. Bloomberg’s contact clarified that FTX has yet to approach Robinhood with a buyout proposal and that it could still decide against pursuing a deal. Despite the onset of crypto winter, FTX has shown no signs of slowing its expansion. The exchange, headed by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, recently tabled a $250 million bailout offer to Bitcoin lender BlockFi. Earlier this month, FTX entered into an agreement to purchase Canadian cryptocurrency platform Bitvo for an undisclosed amount.Amid mass layoffs in the crypto exchange business, FTX confirmed earlier this month that it would not be reducing its staff. Bankman-Fried tweeted on June 6 that his exchange plans to “keep growing” for the foreseeable future. Related: Goldman Sachs downgrades Coinbase stock to ‘sell’As for Robinhood, the discount brokerage platform has lost roughly three-quarters of its value since debuting on the Nasdaq stock exchange in July 2021. The company’s share price was up 13% on Monday but is still down over 75% from its initial public offering.Since debuting at $38 a share, Robinhood’s stock price has tumbled over the past year. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.6 billion. Source: TradingView.In the first quarter of 2022, Robinhood’s net revenue declined 43% year-over-year to $299 million. Crypto-related revenue declined by 39% to $54 million over the same period. 

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Grayscale reports 99% of SEC comment letters support spot Bitcoin ETF

Digital asset manager Grayscale reported overwhelming support in public comments for its application to launch a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.In a Monday letter to investors, Grayscale said that of the more than 11,400 letters the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, had received in regards to its proposed Bitcoin (BTC) investment vehicle, “99.96 percent of those comment letters were supportive of Grayscale’s case” as of June 9. According to Grayscale, roughly 33% of the letters questioned the lack of a spot BTC ETF in the U.S., given the SEC had already approved investment vehicles linked to Bitcoin futures, as was the case for ProShares and Valkyrie.“The SEC’s actions over the past eight months […] have signaled an increased recognition of and comfort with the maturity of the underlying Bitcoin market,” said Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein. “The approval of each and every Bitcoin-linked investment product strengthens our arguments about why the U.S. market deserves a spot Bitcoin ETF.”A message from @Sonnenshein for $GBTC investors, on everything we’ve done and everything we’re ready to do: https://t.co/j1FpuLCpKY pic.twitter.com/6vQKVT97V4— Grayscale (@Grayscale) June 27, 2022The regulatory body is currently reviewing Grayscale’s application allowing the firm to convert shares of its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a physically-backed fund, which, if approved, would be the first spot BTC ETF offering in the United States. The application is nearing the end of a 240-day review process, which started in November 2021 and ends on July 6. Though Grayscale’s campaign to encourage public comments with the SEC has been ongoing since February, many industry experts have suggested the regulatory body approving such an offering was unlikely. The SEC rejected similar applications from NYDIG, and Global X as recently as March, and One River Digital in May. SEC chair Gary Gensler has often pivoted in interviews when questioned as to when the commission could approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, saying in February that he would give the matter “careful consideration.”“[In my opinion] the chances of GBTC being allowed to convert to an ETF next week are 0.5%,” said Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. “About the same odds the NY Jets have of winning the Super Bowl.”Related: ProShares will launch ETF aimed at shorting Bitcoin following dip under $20KIt’s unclear what moves Grayscale may make if the SEC denies its application next week. The firm said it was “unequivocally committed” to converting its BTC trust to an ETF, hiring a former U.S. Solicitor General in June to work as a senior legal strategist for its application. In May, the digital asset manager launched a crypto-linked ETF on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana and Deutsche Börse Xetra.

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Celsius Network hires advisers ahead of potential bankruptcy: Report

Crypto lending platform Celsius Network has reportedly onboarded advisers from a management consulting firm in advance of the company possibly facing bankruptcy.According to a Friday report from the Wall Street Journal, Celsius hired an unknown number of restructuring consultants from the firm Alvarez & Marsal to advise the platform on potentially filing for bankruptcy. The report followed one from June 14, which said Celsius had hired lawyers in an attempt to restructure the company amid its financial issues. Steady lads https://t.co/5YAdmq5kt8— Ben McKenzie (@ben_mckenzie) June 24, 2022Celsius has been at the forefront of discussions in the media around significant volatility in the market amid the crypto lending platform’s decision to pause “all withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts” on June 12. CEO Alex Mashinsky and other Celsius higher-ups have been largely silent on social media since that announcement, with the platform saying on June 19 it would be suspending discussions on “Twitter Spaces and AMAs” to focus on addressing issues with its operations.State authorities have turned their attention to Celsius following the platform’s decision to suspend withdrawals. On June 16, Texas State Securities Board director of enforcement division Joseph Rotunda told Cointelegraph that regulators in Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Washington were “looking at the issue involving the frozen accounts” at Celsius.Related: Risky business: Celsius crisis and the hated accredited investor lawsOn June 20, Celsius investor and BnkToTheFuture co-founder Simon Dixon proposed a recovery plan aimed at having the crypto lending platform take a similar approach as Bitfinex in 2016, using a “financial innovation” solution. As of November 2021, Celsius had a $3.5 valuation following a $750-million Series B funding round, which may have fallen given the recent market downturn.

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FTX may be planning to purchase a stake in BlockFi: Report

Crypto exchange FTX is reportedly in talks to acquire a stake in BlockFi after the company issued a $250 million credit to the lending firm.According to a Friday report from the Wall Street Journal, FTX is currently in discussions with BlockFi regarding the crypto exchange purchasing a stake in the firm, but no equity agreement has been reached. The reported ongoing talks followed BlockFi signing a term sheet with FTX to secure a $250 million revolving credit facility on Tuesday. “BlockFi does not comment on market rumors,” a BlockFi spokesperson told Cointelegraph. “We are still negotiating the terms of the deal and cannot share more information at this time. We anticipate sharing more on the terms of the deal with the public at a later date.FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, or SBF, has helped support many crypto projects in recent weeks amid a bear market forcing a lot of companies to reduce staff. Trading firm Alameda Research, under SBF’s management, announced it had loaned 15,000 Bitcoin (BTC) to Voyager Digital on Wednesday aimed at covering losses from its exposure to Three Arrows Capital.Cointelegraph reported on Sunday that SBF said he believes Alameda and FTX “have a responsibility to seriously consider stepping in, even if it is at a loss to ourselves, to stem contagion” around the market downturn:“Even if we weren’t the ones who caused it, or weren’t involved in it. I think that’s what’s healthy for the ecosystem, and I want to do what can help it grow and thrive.”VCs: “we’d love to help you backstop crypto firms and provide liquidity because we care deeply about preventing market contagion”also VCs: “can we please do it for the one great company (after you fix it) and make a lot of money doing it, you can take the others k thx bye”— SBF (@SBF_FTX) June 23, 2022Related: FTX will not freeze hiring amid layoffs at other crypto firms, CEO statesIt’s unclear if FTX’s reported intent to purchase a stake in BlockFi was related to financial difficulties at the crypto lending firm amid a bear market. However, in February the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ordered BlockFi to pay $50 million in settlement to the agency as well as $50 million to 32 state-level regulators over allegedly unregistered securities.Cointelegraph reached out to BlockFi, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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White hat hacker attempts to recover 'millions' in lost Bitcoin, finds only $105

Joe Grand, a computer engineer and hardware hacker known by many for recovering crypto from hard-to-reach places, spent hours breaking into a phone only to find a fraction of a Bitcoin.In a YouTube video released on Thursday, Grand traveled from Portland to Seattle in an effort to potentially recover “millions of dollars” in Bitcoin (BTC) from a Samsung Galaxy SIII phone owned by Lavar Sanders, a local bus operator. Sanders originally purchased the BTC in July 2016 in a “super sketchy” way, paying a person at a cafe and storing the crypto in a wallet on the phone before putting it in storage and losing track of the device.After finding the phone in 2021, Sanders couldn’t recall the swipe password, but remembered setting up the option of erasing the data if too many incorrect attempts were made. He and a friend connected with Grand after discovering his YouTube videos, allowing the white hat hacker to make several attempts to get into the phone’s memory and recover the crypto.[embedded content]Following some micro soldering, downloading the memory and discovering the Samsung’s swipe pattern for access — which turned out to be the letter “L” — Sanders opened his MyCelium Bitcoin wallet and discovered only 0.00300861 BTC — worth $105 USD at the time, down to roughly $63 USD at the time of publication. Grand was later able to determine the bus operator purchased $400 worth of BTC in 2016, most of which went to a crypto mixing service called BitBlender, which was shut down in 2019.“I’m a little devastated,” said Sanders. “We didn’t make money, but we definitely made new friends.”Related: Engineer hacks Trezor wallet, recovers $2M in ‘lost’ cryptoMany crypto users have been locked out of their wallets or otherwise lost access to physical devices holding BTC over the years — one of the most famous examples being a Welsh man who in 2013 threw out a hard drive containing 7,500 Bitcoins, now worth more than $150 million. However, many hackers and engineers specializing in crypto recovery services have appeared in response.

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