What Happened in the Crypto Industry Last Week?

April saw crypto hacks plummet, ex-Binance CEO jailed, Australia preps Bitcoin ETFs, Bitcoin funds terrorism, and MicroStrategy bets on decentralized identities.
What Happened in the Crypto Industry Last Week?

Key Insights

  • Crypto hacks and scams dropped significantly in April 2024, reaching a two-year low of $60 million.

  • Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was sentenced to 4 months in prison for money laundering and is now the richest prisoner in US history.

  • Australia is expected to launch its first spot Bitcoin ETFs by the end of 2024.

  • A woman in New York received an 18-year sentence for using Bitcoin to fund terrorism.

  • MicroStrategy announced plans to build a Bitcoin-based decentralized identity platform called "MicroStrategy Orange."

Last week, being the first week in May 2024, was as eventful as ever.

We had the final sentencing of Binance's former CEO, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, reports from CertiK about April's crypto hacks and scams being at an all-time low, as well as the story of a woman from New York who got sentenced to 18 years in prison for funding terrorism using Bitcoin.

Let’s go over all of the top stories from last week, and figure out what’s been up with the crypto market so far.

Crypto Hacks Dropped 67% in April 2024

Last week, several security firms released reports about the massive drop in the number of crypto hacks and scams across the crypto market in April 2024.

These losses dropped by a staggering 67% to a total of $60 million, which is the lowest level of devastation the crypto market has seen since 2021.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The April hacks</p></div>

The April hacks

This figure is also very impressive in that previous months in 2024 and further back were especially harsh. For instance, in March, we saw a staggering $187.6 million worth of losses due to hacks.

Moreover, in April of 2023 (a year ago), we had around $360.8 million worth of digital assets stolen.

So far, the most brutal hack from April came from the Hedgey Finance hack, in which $44.7 million was stolen due to a vulnerability in its token claim contract on the Arbitrum Network.

Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Sentenced To 4 Months in Prison

Last week, we saw Binance’s founder and former CEO, Changpeng Zhao sentenced to four months in prison.

On a completely unrelated note, this most recent prison sentence has made Zhao the single richest prisoner in US history.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Richest prisoner in US history</p></div>

Richest prisoner in US history

Zhao was charged last year, for allowing several counts of money laundering activity to pass through Binance.

And after several months of back-and-forth legal battles in court where Zhao pleaded guilty to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, agreed to step down as CEO, pay a personal $50 million fine, as well as a $4.3 billion in fines and forfeiture from Binance itself, the judge finally decided to hand down the current four-month prison sentence.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>See you on the inside</p></div>

See you on the inside

Australia Set To Launch Spot Bitcoin ETFs

The Australian crypto economy is set to follow in the US' footsteps and launch its own spot Bitcoin ETFs by the end of 2024, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

Bloomberg also reports that the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), which controls about 90% of the equity market in Australia, is set to approve this first batch of ETFs, with several big players like  DigitalX Ltd., VanEck, and BetaShares, actively preparing for this launch.

So far, reports show that DigitalX Ltd. applied in February, while VanEck reapplied after an initial rejection. BetaShares on the other hand, is also working on something huge towards this launch.

But will this be massive for Bitcoin?

New York Woman Gets 18 Years for Funding Terrorism with Bitcoin

In a surprising turn of events in the crypto industry, a New York woman got sentenced to a staggering 18 years in prison for funding terrorism through Bitcoin.

Victoria Jacobs, aged 44  (also known as Bakhrom Talipov) was found guilty last week, for actions that allowed the transfer of funds to Syrian terrorist groups.

According to a press release from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Jacobs was deeply involved with a terrorist organisation called Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham between September 2018 to June 2019 and managed to raise and launder over $18,000.

The press release notes that Jacobs used Bitcoin to move the funds for Malhama Tactical, a group that specializes in training terrorists.

Overall, this serves as one of the major pitfalls of Bitcoin’s anonymity, and the dangers of misusing crypto in general.

Microstrategy Set To Build a Bitcoin-Based Decentralized Identity Platform

In one of the biggest developments of the week, MicroStrategy has just announced plans to build a decentralized identity platform on top of the Bitcoin network.

The company calls this initiative “MicroStrategy Orange,”, and it is expected to completely change the way we think of digital identity management and security.

MicroStrategy made this announcement at the “Bitcoin for Corporations 2024” conference, stating that MicroStrategy Orange is poised to leverage the immutability and security of the Bitcoin blockchain to provide tamper-proof means of identification.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Introducing MicroStrategy Orange</p></div>

Introducing MicroStrategy Orange

The MicroStrategy Orange platform is set to use a Bitcoin Inscription DID approach, which is a lot similar to how the Bitcoin Ordinals work.

Overall, this marks another crucial step towards crypto adoption, as well as real-world use cases for cryptocurrencies in general, and not just Bitcoin.

Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, but it will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.

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