The Week in Crypto – OneCoin, Lawyers, Iran and more!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This week in crypto we’ve seen lawyers behaving badly, Iran boxing clever, a fugitive exchange CEO arrested and more, but which stories were the pick of the bunch? Let’s find out…

No. 3 – Iran Rubber Stamps Crypto Trade Payments

In a move that will set alarm bells ringing in the U.S., this week Iran rubber stamped a new set of crypto regulations that essentially allows it to pay for imports in cryptocurrencies from countries that choose to accept them. The move follows a successful $10 million crypto payment for an unspecified import from an unspecified country three weeks ago, and will raise concerns over the potential for Iran to continue its nuclear weapons capability unhindered.

The new regulations allow for Iran to continue international trade away from the international banking system and the U.S. dollar, and represents the first step in a potentially decisive shift in global financial dominance.

No. 2 – Alleged Onecoin Launderer Loses Extradition Battle

The giant Onecoin scam was back in the news this week as British Onecoin associate Christopher Hamilton lost a lengthy extradition battle and will now face justice in the U.S. for allegedly laundering $105 million on behalf of the operation. At the same time, another British Onecoin associate, Robert McDonald, was allowed to remain in the country to look after his sick wife.

The pair were arrested in May 2019 alongside a third man, who was not named. Hamilton owned a number of companies under the ‘Viola’ brand, one of which was a tunnel boring and drilling company that began to receive payments in the tens of millions from Florida. Following the arrests of Hamilton and McDonald, U.S. authorities, who were building their case against Onecoin, demanded the pair be extradited to face trial.

In a decision yesterday, a district judge ruled that Hamilton could be extradited but McDonald not due to the need to care for his wife, meaning that Hamilton now faces an uncomfortable trip to America.

No.1 – Crypto Lawyers Behaving Badly

This week’s top story involves the undercover filming of Kyle Roche, partner of law firm Roche Freedman, claiming that he was involved in a secret pact to “harm” Ava Labs competitors in exchange for AVAX tokens and Ava Labs equity. Roche, who has since said he was intentionally intoxicated by those making the video in a deliberate scheme to exploit him.

The scandal has ripped through the crypto world, impacting several individuals and lawsuits that Roche Freedman is running against crypto entities, including cases against Binance, Tether, Ifinex, and Craig Wright. Roche filed a series of motions in the wake of the videos, asking that he be removed as counsel in cases that Roche Freedman is involved in. This includes a class action lawsuit against Tether, which has led to the stablecoin issuer demanding that Roche Freedman no longer represent it. More will likely follow next week.

The revelations have been seen by some as proof of a conspiracy against certain projects, most notably BSV, with Roche boasting that he “took down” Craig Wright, presumably through last year’s Kleiman vs Wright case, which saw Wright hit with a $143 million conversion penalty.

Honourable Mentions

Other gems from the coalface this week included:

  • The founder of Turkish exchange Thodex was arrested in Albania this week after exit scamming on 400,000 users in 2021
  • Tether has called out the Wall Street Journal’s “disinformation” over its continued lack of a full audit
  • A report that the Norwegian central bank is considering BSV to host its CBDC has been dismissed as both old and fake news

We’ll be back next week for another review of the week’s top crypto news.