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Consensys Employee Equity Lawsuit | Claims Against Founder

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Consensys founder Joseph Lubin has been named in a new lawsuit filed in New York by over two dozen former Consensys employees.

Over two dozen former employees of Ethereum infrastructure firm Consensys have filed a fresh lawsuit against the firm’s founder and CEO, Joseph Lubin, over claims he diluted employee equity shares against earlier promises.

The former staff allege that Lubin — who is also a co-founder of Ethereum — breached this “no-dilution promise” made in 2015, according to the plaintiff’s Oct. 19 filing in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

The plaintiffs allege Lubin lured in “smart and motivated” colleagues to work for Consensys in late 2014, claiming the firm would become the “future of cryptocurrency” and the “crypto Google.”

Around that time, Lubin allegedly stated in a document that he wouldn’t dilute employee equity shares; the plaintiffs allege he later broke that promise.

“It is my intention that the percentage Consensys members receive will not be diluted by additional issuance,” the document reportedly stated.

The plaintiffs argued Lubin didn’t just break the promise but also “got rich” off it while they “got nothing.”

“He broke his word [and] he violated his legal commitments and duties. While Lubin got rich, Plaintiffs got nothing.”

The plaintiffs, who held shares in Swiss-based holding company Consensys AG — formerly Consensys Mesh — claim the shares were rendered “worthless” when Lubin transferred cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask and other assets to its new United States-based entity in 2020.

The plaintiffs also named investment bank JPMorgan as one of the seven defendants, alleging it ”played a pivotal role” in negotiating the asset transfer and became a new equity holder in the new U.S. entity:

“Lubin, his inner circle, and JPMorgan kept the details of the negotiations secret—Plaintiffs were left in the dark.

“Lubin did not bring over many of his early employees—the Plaintiffs here—as equity holders in the new company. Instead, they continued to hold shares in the far less valuable entity that had been stripped of its assets,” the plaintiffs added.

Consensys says plaintiffs claims are “meritless”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, a Consensys spokesperson called the claims “frivolous,” saying the plaintiffs are now trying their luck in the U.S. legal arena after “two years of getting nowhere with their frivolous claims” in a Swiss court.

“[The] plaintiffs now believe their meritless claims stand a better chance of yielding a payday if they game U.S. courts and entangle Consensys Software and other unrelated parties in litigation.” The Consensys representative added:

“We fully expect that the plaintiffs, who were never employees of Consensys Software, will soon find this gambit is another fruitless attempt to enrich themselves from the success of others.”

Despite claims that the plaintiff’s legal challenge went “nowhere” in Switzerland, the country’s High Court of Zug issued a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs say the ruling supports their position that Lubin breached his duties.

Consensys was founded in October 2014, about nine months before the Ethereum blockchain launched in mid-2015.

The firm develops and hosts infrastructure projects that underpin much of the Ethereum network.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages across six separate causes of action, in an amount to be determined at trial.

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Cryptocurrency Market Update: Bitcoin Slips Below $70,000 Amidst High Liquidation

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In a swift turn of events, Bitcoin (BTC), the pioneering cryptocurrency, dropped below the $70,000 threshold early on Wednesday following a wave of investor sell-offs. Just a day prior, Bitcoin had crossed the $71,000 mark, but market sentiment swiftly shifted, dragging other major altcoins—including Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Solana (SOL), and Litecoin (LTC)—into the red zone.

According to CoinMarketCap data, the overall Market Fear & Greed Index stood at 75 (Greed) out of 100, indicating a mix of optimism and apprehension among traders. Notably, the Bittensor (TAO) token emerged as the top gainer with a remarkable 24-hour surge of over 7 percent, while dogwifhat (WIF) experienced the largest loss, plummeting nearly 16 percent.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Update Bitcoin’s price tumbled to $69,089.01, marking a 24-hour dip of 3.05 percent, as reported by CoinMarketCap. On the Indian exchange WazirX, BTC was priced at Rs 60.93 lakh.

Other Major Cryptocurrencies Ethereum (ETH) saw a 24-hour loss of 4.81 percent, trading at $3,508.86, while Dogecoin (DOGE) registered a dip of 5.59 percent, currently priced at $0.1879. Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) also experienced losses, with Solana (SOL) marking a 24-hour loss of 3.44 percent.

Top Gainers and Losers Bittensor (TAO) led the pack of gainers with a 7.30 percent surge, while dogwifhat (WIF) suffered the most significant loss, dropping by 15.58 percent.

Market Analysis and Expert Insights Experts weighed in on the market scenario, attributing Bitcoin’s downturn to heightened liquidations and cautious sentiment ahead of the upcoming US CPI data release. While Bitcoin’s immediate support rests at $67,700, resistance is expected at $70,400. Ethereum proponents face challenges amid hopes for an ETF approval, with the SEC providing limited updates on the matter.

Final Thoughts The cryptocurrency market remains highly dynamic, with prices fluctuating rapidly and investor sentiment playing a pivotal role. As the market navigates through volatility, it’s essential for investors to stay informed, exercise caution, and seek expert advice before making any investment decisions.

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Cryptocurrency: A Scapegoat for Foreign Policy Failures?

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Cryptocurrency has once again found itself at the center of a heated debate, this time regarding its alleged role in facilitating illicit activities and circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States. The Biden administration, in particular, has come under scrutiny for its handling of the issue, with some accusing it of using digital assets as a convenient scapegoat for broader foreign policy shortcomings.

In a recent hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo raised concerns about the misuse of cryptocurrencies by foreign adversaries such as Iran, Russia, North Korea, and militant groups like Hamas. Adeyemo’s remarks underscored a growing unease within the U.S. government regarding the potential national security implications of unregulated digital currencies.

However, voices from within the cryptocurrency industry and Congress have pushed back against the administration’s narrative. Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, pointed out that the prevalence of illicit activity in the crypto space is relatively low compared to traditional finance. Instead of demonizing cryptocurrencies, Shirzad argued, the focus should be on targeting bad actors operating offshore.

Senator Tim Scott, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, echoed these sentiments, accusing the Biden administration of using digital assets as a distraction from its failure to effectively combat financial flows to sanctioned entities. Scott’s criticism reflects broader skepticism among some lawmakers about the government’s approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.

One area of potential agreement between the Biden administration and the cryptocurrency industry is the need for clearer regulations governing stablecoins, a type of digital asset pegged to a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar. Both sides recognize the importance of addressing the potential risks associated with stablecoin issuance and usage, particularly in the context of national security and financial stability.

The debate over stablecoins has intensified following reports of their alleged role in facilitating illicit transactions, including those linked to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. The Treasury Department has called for increased oversight of stablecoin issuers and transactions, while also advocating for legislation that would subject them to stricter regulatory standards.

Despite the contentious nature of the discussion, there are signs of bipartisan cooperation on certain aspects of cryptocurrency regulation. A bipartisan bill addressing stablecoin regulation passed the House Financial Services Committee last year, signaling a potential path forward for legislative action in this area.

As the debate over cryptocurrency regulation continues to unfold, it is clear that finding the right balance between innovation and security will be paramount. While concerns about illicit activity and national security must be addressed, policymakers must also recognize the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies in fostering financial inclusion and technological advancement.

Ultimately, the resolution of these issues will require thoughtful collaboration between government officials, industry stakeholders, and lawmakers to develop a regulatory framework that promotes innovation while safeguarding against misuse. Only through constructive dialogue and cooperation can we ensure that cryptocurrencies fulfill their potential as a force for positive change in the global economy.

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Bitcoin Resurgence: Why Wall Street Is Embracing the Crypto Revolution

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Andrew Pratt of Wiser Wealth Management in Marietta, Ga., finds little resistance as he proposes Bitcoin investments to his firm’s committee. With Bitcoin surging 140% in the past year and backed by giants like BlackRock, skepticism has waned. Pratt sees the potential to allocate a modest 1% of client portfolios to Bitcoin, acknowledging the limited downside risk compared to potential gains.

The debate over Bitcoin’s intrinsic value seems to have lost its relevance amidst its soaring market performance. Once dismissed, Bitcoin now boasts a market value of $1.3 trillion, driving the total crypto market to $2.5 trillion. Wall Street, once wary, now views cryptocurrency as an opportunity for profit rather than a speculative venture.

Despite lingering doubts about Bitcoin’s utility beyond speculation, Wall Street executives are increasingly supportive. BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, notably reversed his stance, endorsing Bitcoin’s long-term prospects and championing the iShares Bitcoin Trust, now one of the largest Bitcoin ETFs with nearly $18 billion in assets.

While skepticism persists about Bitcoin’s status as a real asset or currency, its growing acceptance on Wall Street underscores the evolving landscape of finance. As institutions embrace cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s journey from pariah to portfolio asset highlights the transformative power of digital assets in reshaping traditional investment strategies.

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