This Week in Crypto – Binance, Silk Road, Goldman Sachs

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This week in the crypto world we saw Nigeria wheeling out the big guns to try and find its wayward Binance executive, US authorities move $2 billion worth of bitcoins, and Goldman Sachs still holding out on Bitcoin.

Nigeria Gets Serious Over Escaped Binance Exec

Nigerian authorities this week sought aid from Interpol, the FBI, and the Kenyan government to recapture escaped Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla. After slipping past his guards two weeks ago, Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa manager, faces extradition amidst allegations of tax evasion alongside another executive, Tigran Gambaryan.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is overseeing the case, charging Binance Holdings Limited and the executives with multiple financial crimes. Authorities have also detained the soldiers from whom Anjarwalla escaped, highlighting the severity of the situation.

$2 Billion in Silk Road Bitcoins Moved

The US government this week transferred 30,175 to an address reportedly linked to Coinbase, igniting speculation about an impending sale. These coins are believed to be among the stash seized from hacker James Zhong, who defrauded Silk Road in 2012 by exploiting the marketplace’s payment system. Although the direct connection of this sale to Zhong remains unconfirmed, the significant magnitude of the transfer suggests a potential link to the case.

Zhong stole approximately 50,000 from Silk Road in 2012, but the haul was seized in November 2021 after a sale of 50,000 Bitcoin Cash from the 2017 hard fork was traced to him.

Goldman Sachs Doesn’t Dig Bitcoin (Still)

This week we were told the illuminating news that Goldman Sachs executives and clients are “not believers in crypto” according to the chief investment officer of its Wealth Management unit. Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani told the Wall Street Journal that despite the hype over the recent Bitcoin ETF approvals, her clients aren’t interested in the sector because they feel the assets themselves have no intrinsic value. 

This isn’t really a surprise given that Mossavar-Rahmani has been down on crypto since 2018, even criticizing the sector for being pro-decentralization but having the major decisions made by “a few controlling people.”