April 19, 2024

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Crypto NFT Today: The Latest News in Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, & NFTs- March Week 4

Welcome to another edition of Crypto NFT Today! The past two weeks have been full of must-know events that’ll be defining points for the future of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs.

With FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison, Giga Energy mining bitcoin in Argentina, and more, there’s lots of essential news you should know about. So, let’s dive in and see what’s happening! 

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced 25 Years

On Mar. 28, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried received a 25-year prison sentence for his involvement in a massive fraud and conspiracy that led to the downfall of his crypto exchange and affiliated hedge fund, Alameda Research.

The verdict, delivered in Manhattan federal court, fell short of the 40 to 50 years sought by federal prosecutors but exceeded the five to six-and-a-half years proposed by Bankman-Fried’s defense team. Expressing concern about potential future wrongdoing, Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced the 32-year-old and mandated an $11 billion forfeiture to the U.S. government.

Giga Energy Mines Bitcoin in Argentina

Brent Whitehead and Matt Lohstroh, graduates of Texas A&M University, have been engaged in bitcoin mining in the oil fields of East Texas since 2019. Their company, Giga Energy, aims to utilize flared natural gas to generate electricity for bitcoin mining operations, known for their significant energy consumption.

Giga Energy recently announced its expansion into Argentina, marking its first venture outside the U.S. and Shanghai. Collaborating with Phoenix Global Resources, an oil and gas firm operating in Mendoza, and IT services provider Exa Tech, Giga plans to establish a two-megawatt bitcoin mining facility atop Vaca Muerta.

Bitcoin Spikes During Final Week of March

At the onset of the final week of March, Bitcoin surged, reclaiming the $70,000 threshold. According to Coin Metrics, the price of the leading crypto surged by 7.8% to reach $70,995.48, briefly touching $71,239.31 in late afternoon trading coinciding with the stock market closure. Ether also experienced a 7.4% increase, reaching $3,634.80, with most other cryptocurrencies following suit.

MicroStrategy, often regarded as a proxy for Bitcoin’s price, saw a notable 21% surge, while Coinbase recorded a 9% rise. The mining sector also benefited from Bitcoin’s rally, with Riot Platforms up by 9%, CleanSpark experiencing a 19% increase, and Cipher Mining gaining 13%.

KuCoin Charged With Violating Anti-Money Laundering Laws

On Mar. 26, U.S. federal prosecutors filed charges against crypto exchange KuCoin and two of its founders for allegedly violating anti-money laundering laws. The prosecutors claimed that the exchange operated within the U.S. misled at least one investor about its U.S. operations, and neglected to register with U.S. government authorities or establish an anti-money laundering program.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice indictment, KuCoin and its founders Chun Gan and Ke Tang ran the exchange as a money-transmitting business serving over 30 million customers. However, they allegedly did not implement a know-your-customer (KYC) or anti-money laundering (AML) program until 2023. Even after its implementation, the KYC program reportedly did not extend to existing customers. Neither Gan nor Tang were arrested, as stated in a DOJ press release.

By I&T Today

By I&T Today

Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Visit us here: https://innotechtoday.com/submit/

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