This week in crypto we’ve been spoiled for choice, with Gary Gensler riding on Kim Kardashian’s coat tails, Binance stopping a mahoosive BNB Chain hack, the Helix founder ratting out his brother over stealing hundreds of bitcoin from the police, and more. But which stories had us frothing at the mouth? Nurse – the screens!
No. 3 – SEC Stunt Sees Kim Kardashian Hand Over $1.36 Million
No one can ever accuse the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of doing things the right way. A week after it all but caved in its lawsuit against Ripple, and against a backdrop of ‘all cryptocurrencies might be securities, but we want to keep you guessing’, the SEC settled with Kim Kardashian for $1.36 million over her promotion of the EthereumMax scam in 2021.
This in itself isn’t that big a deal, except that SEC Chair Gary Gensler went onto CNBC right after the announcement to hype up the deal, using the celebrity’s status for his own gains to trumpet the SEC’s policy in such matters. Not only did this go against protocol, it also really annoyed some SEC staff members, with some telling Fox Business that Gensler’s appearance was nothing but a “publicity stunt” for his own personal gain.
Of course, no one knows the real reason why Gensler broke his own rules to put himself in the limelight, but sometimes the boot fits really, really well.
No. 2 – Helix Founder Sold Out His Brother After BTC Theft
The creator of the Helix mixing service, who is awaiting sentencing for pleading guilty to laundering $311 million worth of crypto through the platform, looks like he has earned himself a reduced sentence…by ratting on his own brother for stealing ₿713 from under the noses of the U.S. authorities.
When Gary Harmon’s house was raided by police in February 2020, a Trezor device containing the bitcoin haul was taken and locked away as evidence. When they looked a few weeks later however, they noticed that the bitcoin on the device was gone – someone had stolen the bitcoin through a back door.
Gary swore blind that it wasn’t him, but said that one person may have had the seed phrase and password to the wallet – his younger brother Gary. Gary was arrested and charged with the theft, with Larry facing a lighter sentence on the back of his gesture.
When both are let out, potentially in about 20 years, that’s going to be one frosty Christmas dinner.
No.1 – Binance Thwarts $540 Million Hack
Binance this week prevented one of the biggest ever crypto hacks after it froze its blockchain before hackers could get away with $541 million. BNB Chain, also known as Binance Smart Chain, also known as ‘shitcoin casino’, ws attacked through its BSC Token Hub bridge, which saw two million BNB tokens stolen, plus millions in other tokens.
The hackers managed to offload $100 million before Binance pushed the big red button on its console and brought the blockchain to a halt. This action froze some $430 million worth of assets before the hackers could make off with them, with other blockchains also freezing tokens that made it out before the drawbridge was pulled up.
Binance’s swift actions turned what was already bad news into terrible news, and thankfully no user accounts were touched. The hack is reminiscent of the hack on the Ronin bridge in March which saw an eerily similar amount, $540 million, stolen.
This week we also learnt that:
- The names and recent transactions of all Celsius’s customers have been exposed by the company after it listed them all in a court filing at the request of the judge
- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said that Japan is planning to pivot towards Web 3.0
- Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky withdrew $10 million from the company in the lead up to its closure
We’ll be back next week for another review of the week’s top crypto news.