FTX founder bags 25 years jail term, SEC seeks $2b from Ripple, Bitcoin reclaims $70k

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Last week saw significant legal developments across the cryptocurrency sector, including Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentencing, regulators’ demanding $2 billion from Ripple, and an indictment against KuCoin. 

Concurrently, Bitcoin (BTC) reclaimed $70,000 as spot BTC ETFs recorded inflows.

FTX founder sentenced to 25 years

  • FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried received a 25-year sentence in prison.
  • Shortly before the sentencing, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) submitted a document containing 52 statements from victims of the FTX collapse to underscore the damage done by the company’s former CEO.

U.S. SEC demands $2 billion from Ripple

  • The U.S. SEC filed its opening brief for the remedies discovery phase of the SEC vs. Ripple lawsuit. The court previously declared that Ripple did not contravene securities laws in its SEC sales, except for past sales to institutions.
  • Following the summary judgment, the case moved to the remedies phase, with the SEC disclosing this week that it wants the judge to impose a $2 billion fine on Ripple for sales of nearly $800 million to institutions.
  • Ripple is expected to submit its reply brief next month in response to the SEC’s demand. The company’s executives — including CLO Stuart Alderoty and CEO Brad Garlinghouse — clapped back at the SEC demands. See below.

KuCoin, Coinbase under scrutiny

  • The U.S. Justice Department collaborated with the CFTC on March 26 and filed charges against KuCoin, alleging that the exchange facilitated money laundering transactions.
  • According to the charges, which extended to KuCoin’s two co-founders, KuCoin knowingly allowed U.S. citizens to leverage its exchange for transactions without ample AML and KYC demands. 
  • Shortly after the charges came up, customers began withdrawing $350 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) and stablecoins in the 24 hours leading to March 27.
  • KuCoin assured its customers of the security of their assets. Reports from March 28 indicated that KuCoin had implemented a repositioning in its organization, granting more priority to its U.S. compliance team following the DoJ charges. 
  • A CFTC commissioner, Caroline Pharm, publicly criticized her agency for the charges on KuCoin, hinting at a possible overreach from the commodities and futures regulatory agency.
  • The SEC vs. Coinbase lawsuit made headlines this week, as the court decided on Coinbase’s motion to dismiss the SEC’s charges. 
  • The judge granted the motion regarding its Wallet and Staking projects, but denied the motion regarding its crypto exchange offerings. Following this decision, the court has granted both parties to present their arguments in the legal case. 

Binance executives vs. Nigerian authorities

  • The battle between Binance executives Nadeem Anjarwalla and Tigran Gambaryan, and Nigeria continues. Notably, Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional officer for Africa, was reported to have escaped from Nigeria on March 22.
  • In a subsequent twist, the two Binance executives detained by Nigeria sued the Nigerian authorities in a local court, claiming they violated their rights. The executives demanded their release from custody, the return of their passports and a public apology.
  • Binance is also facing regulatory issues in Southeast Asia.The Filipino SEC secured approval from the National Telecommunications Commission of the Philippines to block local access to Binance’s websites.

Bitcoin reclaims $70k as spot BTC ETFs see inflows

  • The crypto market witnessed a resurgence of bullish sentiments after a period of persistent bearishness in the preceding week. The inflows recorded by spot Bitcoin ETFs contributed to these bullish sentiments.
  • On March 25, these investment products saw $15 million in net inflows, breaking the 5-day losing streak of the previous week. This trend of inflows extended to the next day, with the products recording inflows worth $418 million on March 26.
  • On March 27, the spot BTC ETFs witnessed a third consecutive day of inflows for the week, seeing $214.5 million in positive capital flows. Interestingly, the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF contributed the most to this figure, seeing $200 million in inflows, a record high. Bitcoin sentiments gradually shifted to bullish territories as the digital asset eventually broke above $70,000, rallying 5.4% to reach $70,500 on March 26.

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