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Can you ever forgive SAM? 🦅
Jury thinks NO. SBF hits 'Game Over' with a high score in guilty verdicts. Sentencing set for March 2024. Saylor says 'Bitcoin to the moon.' Beatles + AI = John Lennon's voice 2.0. Coinbase numbers?
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Sam Bankman-Fried, the former crypto wunderkind and CEO of FTX, was found guilty on all charges.
After just four hours of chit-chat, the jury decided.
Game over for SBF.
What he gets?
A full house of seven guilty verdicts ranging from wire fraud to money laundering conspiracy.
Wire fraud on FTX customers
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud on FTX customers
Wire fraud on Alameda Research lenders
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Alameda Research lenders
Conspiracy to commit securities fraud on FTX investors
Conspiracy to commit commodities fraud on FTX customers
Conspiracy to commit money laundering
His sentencing is set for a courtroom sequel in March 2024, where the stakes are personal freedom and the chips are stacked high.
Bankman-Fried's fate is in the hands of New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan.
A Trust Broken
US Attorney Damian Williams called the entire ordeal "a multibillion-dollar scheme" and one of the "biggest financial frauds" in US history.
"He lied to get customers' trust." US Assistant Attorney Danielle Sassoon declared, aiming her words like arrows at the heart of Bankman-Fried's defense. The final act of the trial saw the prosecution methodically dismantling the image of SBF, once hailed as a wunderkind of the crypto world, now painted as a calculated manipulator.
The heart of the prosecution's argument centred around the illusion SBF created: that FTX was a fortress of solvency, and that its sister hedge fund, Alameda Research, was a separate entity.
Yet, as Sassoon cut through the facade, it was revealed that the funds were intermingled, with customer deposits being used as Alameda's personal "piggy bank."
SBF's social media savvy was also called into question.
Prosecution says his tweets and media moves weren't just about image—it was all part of a calculated ruse to gain and maintain customer trust, all while dreaming big of the Oval Office.
The defense's picture of an oblivious SBF was briskly brushed off by Sassoon. She brought out the spreadsheets, claiming they were clear as day, showing that SBF knew exactly what was happening with Alameda's funds and the murky movement of money.
The Inner Circle Confessions
The defense attempted to poke holes in their testimonies, but Sassoon stood firm, insisting their confessions were solid.
The prosecution suggested there was a method to the madness: no risk officer was ever brought on board.
"He knew what he was doing was wrong — that's why he never hired a risk officer."
Defense in the Wake of Conviction
SBF's legal team, led by Mark Cohen, has expressed respect for the judicial process but also clear disappointment in the outcome.
They've signalled their intention to continue to fight the charges, hinting at a possible appeal down the line.
Now the spotlight will inevitably shift to the appeal process.
With a conviction now on the books, the defense team is expected to scrutinise the trial for any potential missteps or grounds for an appeal.
Here's Some X Reactions
TTD Blockquotes 🎙️
MicroStrategy co-founder, Michael Saylor.
The 'unprecedented' demand will lead to 10X Bitcoin.
Michael Saylor is pushing all his chips in on Bitcoin.
Saylor’s appearance on CNBC wasn’t just another Thursday tech talk; it was a trumpet blast for Bitcoin believers.
His forecast? An unprecedented demand surge for Bitcoin, setting the stage for a 10X magnification in value.
Here's the quotes
"You’re going to see $12 billion of natural selling per year converted into $6 billion of natural selling a year—at the same time as things like spot Bitcoin ETFs increase the demand for Bitcoin."
"So that’s why all of us are fairly bullish over the next 12 months: demand’s going to increase, supply’s going to contract, and this is fairly unprecedented in the history of Wall Street."
"When banks on Wall Street and responsible custodians are managing Bitcoin, and the industry takes its eyes away from all the shiny little tokens that have distracted and demolished shareholder value, I think the industry moves to the next level and we 10x from here."
"I think we'll see positive regulatory initiatives that will create more clarity and consistency during the coming 12 months."
After an 11% surge to $31,000, followed by a peak at $35,878—a 2023 record—Bitcoin seems to be taking Saylor's predictions seriously.
The Gold Rush Continues
Since the start of Q3, MicroStrategy has stacked up an additional 6,607 Bitcoins.
The company now owns 158,400 bitcoins.
The total investment stands at $4.69 billion, averaging $29,586 per bitcoin.
Q3 saw an impairment loss of $33.6 million on digital assets.
Cumulative impairment losses have reached $2.23 billion.
Accounting figures place the average carrying amount per bitcoin at roughly $15,491.
MicroStrategy's shares rose 2.3% to $436.37 in mid-morning trading post-announcement.
The Beatles' AI-Assisted Encore
The Beatles have harmonised once again with John Lennon through the power of AI, releasing the song "Now and Then."
Utilising pioneering technology from filmmaker Peter Jackson, this project resurrects Lennon's voice from a 1970s demo into a clear, present sound.
Despite AI's role in enhancing the raw recording, Paul McCartney deliberated on the moral implications of releasing their comrade's work posthumously.
McCartney, alongside Ringo Starr, decided to proceed, believing Lennon would have approved.
The track showcases a sensitive blend of technological prowess and human discernment, ensuring Lennon's soulful legacy resonates anew in the digital age.
The Governator's Gym Gimmick
Arnold Schwarzenegger pretended to be an AI chatbot at Gold's Gym in Venice, California, offering advice on fitness, success, and marriage.
Gym patrons were told they would be speaking to a "vocal approximation" of Schwarzenegger, but it was actually the real Schwarzenegger inside a box.
He gave advice based on his own experiences, including tips on motivation, personal vision, and marriage.
The event was staged by an ad agency, with the message that Schwarzenegger believes in human potential and wants to help people achieve it.
Musicians Tune Into AI
A recent survey conducted by Pirate, a private music studio house, found that over half of musicians have concerns about how their audience might perceive music created with the assistance of AI.
Only 25% of respondents said they have experience with AI technology, but 46% are willing to consider using it in the future.
Some artists already using AI in their creative process find it most useful in songwriting and composition.
The music industry is grappling with the implications of AI, with the Recording Academy implementing rules that require human involvement in the creation of tracks for official nomination.
Major labels like Universal Music are also taking steps to combat AI deep fakes and remove AI-generated tracks from streaming platforms.
The SEC's decision to delay Bitcoin ETF approvals until 2024 is seen as a strategic move to prolong regulatory uncertainty👇🏻
TTD Coinbase 🧿
Coinbase has delivered a pleasant surprise to its stakeholders by surpassing revenue expectations for the third quarter of 2023.
With revenues reaching $674.1 million, the company has defied the downward trend experienced in transaction revenues, showcasing a 14.2% increase from the same period last year.
While the loss is smaller than a squirrel's lunch, Coinbase is strutting its stuff with a wallet much fatter than last year's.
With a leap from $33 to $84 in share value since January, someone's been doing their financial fitness.
Total Q3 Revenue: $674.1 million
This is an increase from $590.3 million in Q3 of 2022.
Analysts had predicted $651 million for Q3 2023.
Net Loss for Q3: $2.2 million.
It still outperformed Wall Street predictions for the third consecutive quarter this year.
Revenue stood strong at $674 million, surpassing analyst expectations.
Shares saw a dip in after-hours trading, dropping 4% to $81.
Trading Volume Decrease: Trading volumes dropped to $76 billion from $159 billion during the same period last year.
Transaction Revenue Dip: Total transaction revenue decreased to $288.6 million in Q3 from $365.9 million in the same quarter in 2022.
USDC Interest Income
A noteworthy element in Coinbase's financial health is the $172 million garnered in USDC stablecoin interest income during the quarter, marking an increase from the preceding quarter's $151 million.
This component of Coinbase’s earnings is proving to be a reliable source of revenue amid fluctuating market conditions.
A user of the Fantom blockchain capitalised on a significant price discrepancy of Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC) on different markets, leading to a profit of $1 million.
This user converted 500,000 FTM to wBTC on SpookySwap and utilised the Multichain bridge—a recently reopened transfer protocol—to move the wBTC to Ethereum and then onward to Binance.
Multichain's bridge, which had been inactive for months, briefly reopened for a couple of hours, coinciding with this sizeable transaction.
The security firm Cyvers.ai hinted that such expertise in manoeuvring the bridge's functionality might indicate more than just a lucky trade, suggesting the user had advance knowledge of the bridge’s operations.
Multichain’s Recent Troubles
The background of Multichain's operational issues adds another layer to this scenario.
The project faced a suspension of its bridge services due to unauthorised transactions totalling $130 million.
The subsequent involvement of Chinese law enforcement, which led to the seizure of private keys and the arrest of the CEO Zhaojun He, makes any connection to him improbable.
TTD Surfer 🏄
ProShares has launched the ProShares Short Ether Strategy ETF (SETH), the first short ether-linked futures ETF.
The Aragon Association, the governing body for aragonOS software, will dissolve and distribute $155 million worth of assets to tokenholders.
Argentine presidential candidate Sergio Massa has proposed using excess natural gas from the Vaca Muerta oil fields to mine Bitcoin.
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