What Happened in Crypto Last Week?

Crypto Market Recap: Highlights from Last Week's Market Activity
What Happened in Crypto Last Week?

Key Insights

  • Two Binance executives are suing the Nigerian government after being detained over currency manipulation accusations.

  • A UK court ruled Craig Wright is not Satoshi and froze $7.6 million of his assets.

  • SBF received a 25-year prison sentence for fraud and conspiracy charges related to FTX.

  • A hacker stole $62.5 million from Munchables but then returned the funds unexpectedly.

  • TRON was linked to almost half of all illicit crypto transactions in 2023 according to a new report.

Last week came with its regular dose of drama in the crypto industry.

We had the Bankman-Fried case finally put to rest, a +$60 million hack on the Munchables platform, as well as the Nigerian government being sued by one of the detained Binance executives—after another managed to escape from the country during a prayer break.

Here are all the top stories in crypto over the last week in bite-sized, easy-to-read sections:

A Legal Saga Unfolds With Two Binance Executives Detained in Nigeria

Two top executives from Binance found themselves caught in the middle of a legal battle between the Nigerian government and Binance, over issues with currency manipulation.

Tigran Gambaryan, Binance's Head of Financial Crime Compliance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance's Regional Manager for Africa arrived in the country in February, to discuss accusations from the Nigerian government that Binance helped move over $26 billion from undisclosed sources.

However, their arrival took an unexpected twist when the country’s authorities intercepted them, seized their passports, and detained them.

In a surprising turn of events, Anjarwalla managed to flee the country for Kenya on March 22, after leaving Abuja via a Middle Eastern airline.

At the time of writing,  Gambaryan and Anjarwalla have now sued the Nigerian government, saying that the local authorities violated their fundamental rights.

Reports also state that Gambaryan and Anjarwalla in the lawsuit, are demanding the return of their passports, a public apology, and a restraining order against further detention, citing a lack of information about any committed offences.

So far, the hearing has been scheduled for 8 April, with no public statements from Binance, on the matter.

Craig Wright Falsely Claimed to Be Satoshi Nakamoto

For nearly a decade, Australian computer scientist, Craig Wright has claimed that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin

In 2023, the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) dragged Wright to court, alleging that he lied, forged documents, and falsely claimed to be Nakamoto.

After a long back-and-forth legal battle between Wright and COPA, a UK court ruled two weeks ago, that:

1. Wright failed to provide credible evidence to support his claims

2. Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin white paper.

3. Wright did not operate under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto from 2008 to 2011.

4. In general, is not the creator of the  Bitcoin network.

However, this isn’t all. Concerned that Wright might try to evade fines and general court expenses, Judge Mellor has also ordered a worldwide freeze of £6 million (approximately $7.6 million) of Wright's assets.

Sam Bankman Fried Got a 25-Year Prison Sentence

The case of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX finally got put to rest with a 25-year prison sentence.

Recall that Bankman-Fried was found guilty in November, on seven charges of fraud and conspiracy.

In a Lower Manhattan court ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan finally passed the 25-year prison sentence, despite Prosecutors initially asking for a 40-50-year prison sentence.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>25 years in prison</p></div>

25 years in prison

Bankman Fried, during the court hearing, admitted to making a series of “selfish” decisions with FTX, stating that his choices “haunt” him every day.

Despite the sentence, though, Bankman-Fried’s legal team has expressed plans to appeal both the conviction and the length of his prison term.

Munchables Developer Returns Stolen Funds After $62.5 Million Hack

In a surprising turn of events last week, the popular gaming platform, Munchables recently was hit with a massive hack.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Munchables have been compromised</p></div>

Munchables have been compromised

On inspection, it was discovered that a rogue developer managed to steal more than $60 million in digital assets, sending shockwaves through the crypto community.

However, there was a twist:

The same developer suddenly chose to return all the stolen funds without demanding a ransom.

The developer in question (suspected to be linked to North Korea), exploited a weakness in the platform’s upgradeable proxy contract, sending themselves a whopping 1 million ETH.

Crypto investigator ZachXBT started to dig and found that all "four" of the attackers on the Munchables platform were likely the same person, and were possibly linked to the Lazarus Group.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Munchables hacker returns funds</p></div>

Munchables hacker returns funds

Soon after this revelation, the hacker promptly handed over the private keys needed to restore $60.5 million of the stolen funds to Munchables, and that was the end of it.

Nearly 50% of All Illicit Crypto Transactions Occurred on Tron in 2023

According to a new report from TRM Labs titled “The Illicit Crypto Economy,” the Tron network processed around half of all the illicit crypto transactions from last year.

While the report shows that the movement of Illicit funds within crypto actually shrank by 9% from 2022 to 2023, criminals still moved a staggering $35 billion worth of crypto around.

TRON (TRX) hosted 45% of all illicit volume, up from 41% in 2022, followed by Ethereumat 24% and Bitcoin with 18%.

Tether (USDT) was the stablecoin with the largest amount of illicit volume, at US 19.3

billion. Approximately 1.63% of Tether (USDT) volume was linked by TRM to illicit activity, compared to 0.05% of USDC.”

In a shocking twist, the report also revealed that almost half of all these illegal funds moved around (about 45%) were on the Tron network.

USDT also played a leading role in this drama, and accounted for over $19 billion of the total, with USDC lagging with a mere $428.9 million.

Overall, the report from TRM Labs shows that the dark side of crypto is very much alive, and the Tron network is at the heart of it all.

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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