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City Of Lugano Integrates Polygon Into Its Crypto Payment System

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Allegations have been circulating on the web in recent days against the crypto exchange HTX regarding alleged fraud. At present there is no confirmation that this is indeed fraud, but the allegations are more than one. 

Decimated’s Accusation Of Crypto Fraud Against The HTX Exchange

The online game Decimated has published a detailed account of what allegedly happened. 

In October last year they announced a partnership between FractureLabs and Huobi.

Now Decimated claims to have had problems withdrawing funds from their account on Huobi, so much so that they were forced to seek the advice of a law firm. 

Indeed, they even invite community members to email helpful information about this, particularly regarding any problems with withdrawals on Huobi.

They also cite Huobi’s recent restructuring, changing its name to HTX, and moving its headquarters to the Caribbean.

On Linkedin, Decimed CEO Stephen Arnold revealed that HTX (formerly Huobi Global), acquired by About Capital Management, has blocked about $5.8 million of their funds. 

He claims they would be violating a settlement agreement to release their funds, and have not responded to arbitration or attempts by their legal department to contact them about it since January 2023. 

He adds that they are also already aware of some similar situations, with funds blocked or in litigation for $200,000, $800,000, $10 million and in one case as much as $24 million. 

The Thomson Reuters Indictment

Thomson Reuters senior editor Rachel Wolcott on Linkedin rehashes the allegation. 

In fact, she reveals that HTX (also known as Huobi Global) has been removed from the Seychelles business registry at the behest of the local financial regulator.

It also claims that U.S. law enforcement agencies would have a “law enforcement interest” in Justin Sun.

Justin Sun, in fact, is the figurehead of HTX.

Yesterday, for example, he tweeted about a hacking attack on HTX and Heco Cross-Chain Bridge, claiming that HTX will fully compensate for the losses of its hot wallet. 

Deposits and withdrawals have been temporarily suspended. 

Wolcott also claims that the corporate structure and ownership of Huobi/HTX is opaque, although Justin Sun himself is certainly behind it. 

Even More Serious Allegations Of Crypto Fraud: Huobi as FTX?

Some allegations that are circulating turn out to be even more serious, although they come from decidedly less reliable sources. 

Indeed, some are speculating that the above hack may not have been a fluke. 

The parallel is with FTX, or Mt.Gox, i.e., crypto exchanges that were forced to file for bankruptcy due to no longer having enough funds in the till to meet customer withdrawal requests. 

In the case of Mt.Gox the hack was real, and the theft of Bitcoin was the direct cause of the bankruptcy. 

In the case of FTX, on the other hand, the cause was a different one, and the theft is suspected that it may not even have been done from the outside. 

Some speculate that the case of HTX may resemble that of FTX. 

The Operations of HTX

Nevertheless, although deposits and withdrawals have been temporarily suspended on HTX, the crypto exchange’s operations do not appear to have been compromised. 

Justin Sun for example bragged today on X that Tether has issued another billion USDT on Tron network.

 

Tron and HTX are two separate things, but Justin Sun is always somehow behind it. 

The Tron network is now the most widely used network to transfer USDT, as transactions are fast and especially cheap, while remaining on-chain. 

So in theory the situation to date would still seem relatively quiet, provided HTX rehabilitates withdrawals once the hack is resolved. 

The exchange has run into similar problems before, and so far has always come out of them. However, this does not necessarily mean that it will come out in perfect health this time as well. 

See Also: UK Chancellor Proposes A Legislative Proposal For A Digital Securities Sandbox (DSS)

The Doubts

It should also be added that doubts have long been circulating about Justin Sun’s actions. 

So far there is no record that he has ever had any serious problems with the law, but this could also be said for Changpeng CZ Zhao until a few days ago. 

It should be noted that Sun in 2021 was appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Grenada to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He had reduced his crypto commitments after this appointment, so much so that he resigned as CEO of Tron, but in March this year he stepped down, and returned to focus on the crypto sector. 

Grenada is located in the Caribbean, which is where HTX’s registered office was relocated. 

A charge by the U.S. SEC of selling unregistered security, specifically Tron’s TRX cryptocurrency and BitTorrent’s BBT token, hangs over his account. 

It is therefore possible that the situation is still evolving.





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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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