Mark your calendars 🗓️
Crypto industry watchers pin down possible bitcoin ETF approval dates. North Korean Hackers Lazarus Group stole $3B in cryptocurrency. OPNX token spikes 50% after Su Zhu unexpected post on Twitter.
Hello, y'all. Music fans can now discover new and unique sounds from up-and-coming artists. Check out 👉 Asset - Your Music Stats.
Life in the times of memcoins. It's a strange world out there👇
Read: Munger's memecoin riot 🪙
This is The Token Dispatch 🙌 you can hit us on telegram 🤟
The crypto world has had it good towards the end of 2023.
Now they can't wait for 2024 …
As the deadline for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to decide on several spot Bitcoin ETF applications approaches, the crypto community is closely monitoring developments.
Despite missed deadlines and extensions, meetings with industry giants like Grayscale and BlackRock hint at ongoing discussions and potential amendments.
Original window: January 5 through January 10.
Adjusted window: Monday, January 8 through Wednesday, January 10.
Analyst Insights: Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst James Seyffart suggests a narrowed window for the SEC's announcement, excluding Fridays and weekends. The potential approval window is identified as Monday, January 8 through Wednesday, January 10.
Background: In the United States, while regulators have approved Bitcoin futures and leveraged Bitcoin futures ETFs, a direct Bitcoin ETF, tracking BTC rather than derivatives, remains pending.
A catalyst for substantial market capitalisation growth.
Market Impact: The approval of a Bitcoin ETF is anticipated to attract traditional investors, potentially doubling Bitcoin's market cap and injecting an additional $1 trillion into the overall crypto market, according to CryptoQuant researchers.
This move could rival the market capitalisation of major companies like Apple, currently valued at $2.9 trillion.
Market Response: The mere possibility of ETF approval has significantly boosted Bitcoin's price.
The cryptocurrency, buoyed by institutional attention and the upcoming Bitcoin halving, is experiencing increased demand.
Dark clouds: The SEC could still deny any or all of the pending applications. There's no guarantee that the SEC will give any spot Bitcoin ETF the green light in early 2024.
Meanwhile … Bitcoin kicks off December with $38k cheers
Third time in a week, BTC is trading where it was in April 2022 … and the long trip down … a chilly winter.
Bitcoin surged above $38,000 within a day of surpassing $38,143 overnight on Wednesday.
This marks the third occasion since the previous Friday that Bitcoin has crossed the $38,000 threshold, reaching levels reminiscent of those observed in May 2022.
During that period, Bitcoin was in the midst of a prolonged decline from its peak of over $60,000 in October 2021 to a low of $16,500 by November 2022.
TTD Numbers 🔢
That's the loot by North Korean Hackers Lazarus Group in the last six year, reports cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.
2022: A Prolific Year for Lazarus Group
A jaw-dropping $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency.
Analysts suggest that the money goes to support various North Korean projects.
DeFi Platforms Under Siege
Blockchain data analysis firm Chainalysis points out that a significant portion of Lazarus Group's loot, amounting to $1.1 billion, was extracted from decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms. This aligns with a September report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), emphasizing the group's exploitation of DeFi protocols.
U.S. Treasury Department's Response
The US Treasury Department has implemented new sanctions.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control has specifically designated 'Sinbad'—a key player implicated in laundering Lazarus's stolen cryptocurrencies—on the sanctions list.
Sinbad's Role in Concealing Stolen Funds
Lazarus Group strategically utilises Sinbad's mixer services to obscure the origins of the pilfered funds.
These mixers act as a financial laundering tool, blending transactions from multiple users to obfuscate individual transaction trails.
Lazarus Group's Track Record
2016, they orchestrated a high-profile hack on the Bangladesh Central Bank, making off with $81 million.
2018, they targeted the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, diverting a staggering $530 million.
Same year witnessed an attack on the Central Bank of Malaysia, resulting in the theft of $390 million.
Su Zhu, Co-founder Open Exchange - OPNX
That's the tweet👇
That's the tweet that pumped OPNX's Native Token (OX) by 50% to $0.021, reaching a 63-day high not witnessed since Su's arrest.
All this within just 20 minutes of co-founder Su Zhu's return to Twitter.
Su Zhu's tweet marked his first appearance on the platform since his arrest on September 29.
The Twitter Post and Price Surge: On December 1, Su Zhu posted a simple "gm" (good morning) on Twitter, breaking his silence since the day of his arrest.
Su Zhu's Legal Troubles: Su Zhu's was arrested on Sept. 29 when attempting to leave Singapore following a court order to send him to jail for contempt of court.
The order dictated a four-month jail term, projecting his potential release into the next year.
Speculations arose when a wallet labeled "suzhu.eth," believed to be Su's, became active on November 29, suggesting a potential release.
OPNX: Trading Platform for Creditor Claims: OPNX, short for Open Exchange, serves as a platform facilitating the trade of creditor claims arising from the bankruptcy of crypto companies.
Su Zhu and co-founder Kyle Davies established OPNX following the collapse of their $10 billion crypto hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), in June 2022.
Both founders initially fled Singapore after the fund's demise, with Su returning and Davies reportedly residing on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments has hired the former head of Invesco’s ETF division, John Hoffman, as the company anticipates converting its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF.👇🏻
TTD VIP 🐳
Binance’s “VIP” traders knew about Binance's impending $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities, according to Bloomberg.
Binance's top traders got to know during a private dinner at a Singapore conference in September.
The exclusive gathering at the 1880 members-only club involved VIPs gaining insight into Binance's legal troubles.
Attendees raised concerns about a potential $4 billion fine, but were convinced Binance could afford and would pay it.
Binance's former CEO, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, was absent, and the now-CEO Richard Teng was present but requested anonymity when discussing the private gathering.
Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties to settle with US authorities, including the Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
One of the largest corporate settlements in US history.
The settlement addressed allegations of money laundering and sanctions violations, with criminal charges against Zhao.
What about CZ?
Zhao agreed to step down as CEO, pleaded guilty to Bank Secrecy Act violations.
Faces a $50 million fine, with a potential prison sentence of up to 18 months.
Decision to step down had been known for months, and he had been preparing since May.
Absence from events and his decision to stay near his Dubai residence raised questions, but he voluntarily flew to the US for the settlement hearing.
If Zhao fails to appear at the scheduled February 2024 sentencing, he could face up to 10 years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Read: What’s next for CZ?🔮
TTD Seize 🤑
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has seized $1.5 million worth of crypto assets from Yury Shchigol, a former chief of Ukraine’s Special Communications Service.
Shchigol is being investigated for the alleged misappropriation of government funds amounting to $1.8 million.
Details: The seized assets include 6.9 BTC, 1.2 million USDT, and 331 TRX owned by Shchigol.
Accusations: Shchigol and his deputy, Victor Zhor, are accused of orchestrating a criminal scheme within the Special Communications Service.
Modus Operandi: The scheme involved secretive purchases of software and services from two unnamed firms, avoiding open auctions.
Overpayment and Misuse of Government Funds
Financial Impact: The government agency paid 285 million hryvnias ($7.8 million) to the two firms, whereas the actual cost of the purchased goods and services was 223 million hryvnias ($6.1 million).
Personal Gain: Shchigol and Zhor allegedly pocketed the difference, amounting to a misappropriation of approximately $1.8 million in government funds.
Arrest of Deputy Victor Zhor
Legal Action: Victor Zhor, the deputy implicated in the corruption scheme, was arrested on Wednesday, according to reports from the Ukrainian news agency RBC.
Cryptocurrency Use Among Ukrainian Officials
Widespread Crypto Ownership: Ukrainian public officials have been involved in cryptocurrency holdings. In 2021, civil servants collectively reported owning 46,351 bitcoins, valued at $2.7 billion at the time.
Notable Cases: A 19-year-old son of two national parliament members, also a local politician, reported owning $24.6 million worth of monero.
TTD Surfer 🏄
UK tax authority wants crypto asset owners to disclose any unreported gains, in a move that experts warned crackdown over unpaid tax.
Tether will build renewable energy facilities in Uruguay and El Salvador, says the new CEO Paolo Ardoino.
Bitcoin mining pool AntPool has agreed to refund a record $3 million transaction fee, provided the owner verifies identity before Dec 10, 2023.
If you like us, if you don't like us .. either ways do tell us✌️
So long. OKAY? ✋
The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @13:00 GMT. Almost always.