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SEC Files Complaint Against Gemini and Genesis for Allegedly Selling Unregistered Securities

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US SEC Charges 8 People and Businesses Linked to a $45 Million Crypto Scam


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against Genesis Global Capital and Gemini Trust Company for allegedly selling unregistered securities to retail investors in the US. The SEC is seeking permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, plus front-end interest and civil penalties.

Both companies raised billions of dollars by offering and selling securities to US investors through the Gemini Earn crypto asset lending program.

Gemini and Genesis: A Brief Story

Gemini, a US cryptocurrency exchange, and Genesis, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, teamed up in December 2020 to offer cryptocurrency lending services. The SEC says that Gemini charged a fee for its services that sometimes amounted to 4.29% of the returns paid by Genesis to investors.

In November 2022, Genesis stopped paying interest to Gemini’s clients and halted withdrawals, claiming it lacked sufficient liquid assets to fulfill withdrawal requests due to the volatility of the crypto asset market. However, at the time, Genesis held approximately more than $900 million in assets from more than 340,000 Gemini investors, who were forced to cancel the Gemini Earn program in early January without the ability to get a refund.

As a consequence, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler alleged that “Genesis and Gemini offered unregistered securities to the public, bypassing disclosure requirements designed to protect investors.” Gensler said the complaint aims to show that crypto lending platforms and intermediaries must comply with US securities laws.

Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Gurbir S. Grewal, said the recent collapse and suspension of the Genesis program highlights the need for these platforms to comply with federal securities laws. He also called on all those affected by the Genesis program or who have information about it to contact the SEC’s Whistleblower Program.

The SEC Pushes For More Power Over Crypto Businesses

The complaint states that Genesis and Gemini were offering securities through the Gemini Earn program without registering them, violating federal securities laws. Additionally, the complaint states that the companies failed to disclose important information about the program to investors, including the risks of lending their crypto assets and the fact that the companies would be able to use the assets as they pleased without disclosing that to investors.

Furthermore, the complaint also claims that Genesis and Gemini falsely stated that the program was fully collateralized when, in reality, it was not. The SEC also claims that the companies made false statements about the value of the assets in the program.

The commission is seeking permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, plus front-end interest and civil penalties. The regulator also seeks to bar Genesis and Gemini from committing future securities violations —which might not be too far away for Genesis if rumors are true that it is considering bankruptcy.

The SEC said this case is a reminder that all crypto lending platforms and intermediaries need to comply with US securities laws to protect investors and ensure a fair and transparent market. As SEC Chairman Gensler stated, “It’s not optional. It’s the law.”

 

 

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Data Shows 50% Of Bitcoin Hashrate Controlled By Two Mining Pools

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50% of Bitcoin hashrate Controlled by Two Mining Pools

Bitcoin hashrate is becoming highly centralized, with a few mining pools controlling most of the blockchain mining power. The latest data from Mempool indicates that 50% of the total hashrate is held by Foundry USA and Antpool. 

A Highly Centralized Mining Network

Foundry USA has maintained a hashrate of over 30% of the total Bitcoin network for several weeks. It became the first mining pool of non-Chinese origin to lead the list in November 2021, following the ban on Bitcoin mining in China in the middle of the same year. 

Back then, Foundry USA contributed 17% of the total Bitcoin hashrate. Today, the US-based pool averages 34.1% of the mining power, equivalent to about 104 EH/s, considering that the Bitcoin hashrate is around 300 EH/S. 

Related Reading: First Bitcoin Mining Powered By Nuclear Energy To Open In The U.S. In Q1 This Year 

Antpool comes in second with about 18.0% of the total hashrate equivalent to about 58 EH/s. The Chinese-based pool used to be the largest Bitcoin pool but was affected by the ban on crypto mining which caused several miners in the region to migrate. 

Bitcoin Pool distribution records on Dec. 29, 2022 (3-day stats)/Mempool.com

What Is Behind This Trend?

The graph shows that over 80% of Bitcoin’s mining power is concentrated among just 5 pools. This contrasts with the beginning of 2022, when these five mining pools barely exceeded 60% of the hashrate. 

Some factors could have contributed to this rise. One of which is the location of the servers of the said pools. The closer the servers are to the pools and mining facilities, the lower the information transfer latency. This means that a miner will likely get more shares in the mining process and earn more Bitcoin (BTC) by connecting to a closer server. 

Bitcoin hashrate difficulty
Bitcoin hashrate difficulty for January/CoinWarz.com

Another factor is the financial incentives offered by these major mining pools. Bigger mining pools can consistently distribute profits to their members, who pay a commission for mining with their resources, driving more miners to their ecosystem. This is evident with the high mining difficulty in recent weeks due to the bullish movement of Bitcoin, making it difficult for smaller mining pools to be profitable. 

Related Reading: Why The S&P 500 Could Help Send Bitcoin Soaring Higher

However, Bitcoin’s highly centralized mining system poses significant dangers to the cryptocurrency. The miners could agree to reject transactions that do not meet a specific parameter leading to a 51% attack. 

We’ve seen such attacks occur on other Proof-of-Work blockchains like Ethereum Classic, which could be a problem for Bitcoin. In addition, these pools are recognized companies and could face pressures from regulatory agencies trying to control activities on the Bitcoin network. 

Bitcoin Price

So far, Bitcoin is still maintaining its bullish trend, with the leading cryptocurrency up by 40% since the start of the year. As of the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $23,400, according to data from Tradingview.com. 

Bitcoin Price on January 28| Source: BTCUSDT on Binance, TradingView
Bitcoin Price on January 28| Source: BTCUSDT TradingView

Featured image from Pixabay, charts from Trading View, Coinwarz, and Mempool


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This week in Crypto; Axie, Aptos Record Big Gains as Ethereum Drops

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This week in Crypto; Axie, Aptos Record Big Gains as Ethereum Drops

On Sunday morning, Ethereum, the second largest crypto by market capitalization, was the only top ten coin that saw a drop in value. Other major coins have continued to record gains for the fourth consecutive week.

Meanwhile, the most popular crypto, Bitcoin, has seen 7-day gains of about 3.2%, and as of this writing, it is trading at $23,221, as per CoinGecko. This week, researchers have claimed that the ideal time to take long positions in the crypto market is during the end of the Chinese New Year’s first day.

Data on CoinGecko shows that Ethereum has dropped by 5.3% in the past seven days and is trading at $1,572. On Tuesday, Ethereum developers revealed they had achieved a significant milestone toward the network’s most anticipated update, the Shanghai Upgrade. The upgrade will allow stakers to withdraw their funds.

Aptos Records 7-day Gains of 57%

Aptos is up 57% this week, and at the time of publishing, it is changing hands for $17.10. It is difficult to tell what’s fueling the rally, but a huge portion of the token’s trading volume has been from arbitrage trading on the south Korean-based exchange, UpBit.

Some exchanges in South Korea usually price crypto higher than other global exchanges. Many traders involved in arbitrage trading refer to this discrepancy as Kimchi Premium. It is worth noting that this is how FTX’s ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried started his crypto trading journey.

Launched last October, Aptos began trading at $13 before it crashed by 45% following criticism that the developer behind the blockchain did not reveal its tokenomics and failed to fulfill their promise of processing over 100,000 transactions per second. The current price means the investors have recovered their losses.

Axie Infinity is Up 25% This Week

On the other hand, Axie Infinity (AXS) recorded an increase of 25% in the past seven days. On Monday alone, the token gained about 24% following a token unlock that saw about 2.2% of the game’s total supply released to the market. According to CoinGecko, AXS is trading at $11.45 as of this writing.

Other Cryptos That Saw Notable Gains

Other top cryptocurrencies that recorded notable rallies this week include OKB. The token currently trades at $38.23, representing a 14% increase in the past seven days. In addition, Avalanche rose by 17% to change hands for $20.28, while Polygon, the tenth largest crypto by market cap, increased by 8% and is trading at $1.12.


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Bitcoin’s [BTC] price reversal might be on the cards?

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Bitcoin's [BTC] imminent price reversal might be on the cards?

  • BTC’s price has rallied by 40% since 1 January.
  • Investors have recorded significant gains, and now, a price reversal might follow. 

Exchanging hands at the $23,200 price mark at press time, the leading coin Bitcoin [BTC], currently trades at levels last seen in August 2022. On a year-to-date basis, BTC’s price has rallied by 40%, per data from CoinMarketCap.

Sharing a statistically significant positive correlation with several other assets in the market, the growth in BTC’s price has resulted in the growth in the value of several other crypto assets in the last month.

According to data from CoinGecko, global cryptocurrency market capitalization has increased by 21% in the last month.


How much are 1,10,100 BTCs worth today?


Holders are in profit, but for how long?

BTC’s rally to a five-month high in the last month has led many of its holders to log profits on their BTC holdings. An assessment of the cost basis for short-term and long-term holders revealed this.

The cost basis for any BTC holder is the average purchase price of the BTC they possess. This considers any variations in BTC’s price at the time of purchase. This cost basis determines capital gains or losses when the BTC is sold. 

According to Twitter analyst Will Clemente, the cost basis for short-term and long-term BTC holders were $18,900 and $22,300, respectively.

However, since BTC’s price has rallied beyond these points, these cohorts of investors were “no longer underwater,” Clemente said. 

Further, CryptoQuant analyst Phi Deltalytics assessed BTC’s short-term Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) and found that “sentiment from Bitcoin short-term on-chain participants has reached the greediest level since January 2021.” According to the analyst, the SOPR was positioned well above the bullish threshold of one, indicating an overly stretched market.


Is your portfolio green? Check out the Bitcoin Profit Calculator


Deltalytics noted further that the bullish trend could be short-lived without an increase in stablecoin reserves on spot exchanges. 

Source: CryptoQuant

A look at Crypto Fear & Greed Index confirmed the analyst’s position. At press time, the index showed that greed permeated the cryptocurrency markets.

When the index is in the “greed” range, it means that investors have become increasingly confident and optimistic about the market and may be more willing to take on risk.

This also suggests that prices are becoming overvalued and that a market correction may be imminent.

Source: Alternative.me

An assessment of BTC’s movement on the daily chart confirmed the possibility of a price correction. Since 21 January, the king coin has traded in a tight range.

When BTC’s price oscillates within a tight range, it means that the price is not making significant moves in either direction and is staying within a relatively narrow band. 

An analysis of BTC’s Money Flow Index (MFI) and Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) indicators raised more concerns as these technical indicators have been trending downwards since 21 January. 

The tight range of BTC’s price combined with downtrends in the MFI and CMF suggested a lack of buying momentum and potential for increased selling pressure.

This also showed that the market was likely to break down from the tight range to the downside.

Source: BTC/USDT on TradingView


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