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Ripple Faces Trial Over Securities Litigation as California Judge Partially Denies Motion for Summary Judgment

A California judge on Friday 21 June 2024, ruled that the civil securities litigation against Ripple Labs Inc. will proceed to trial, creating significant ripples in the crypto sector. Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the US District Court for the Northern District of California partially denied Ripple’s motion for summary judgment, permitting the case involving allegations against Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, to move forward. The litigation focuses on claims that Garlinghouse made misleading statements during a 2017 televised interview regarding the sale of Ripple’s XRP. The plaintiff alleges that Garlinghouse falsely claimed to be "very, very long XRP" while selling millions of XRP on various cryptocurrency exchanges, violating California’s securities laws. Judge Hamilton dismissed four of the five claims in the class action lawsuit as "failure to register claims," but the allegation of Garlinghouse’s misleading statements will be heard at trial. In her ruling, Judge Hamilton asserted...

3iQ Digital Asset Management Files Preliminary Prospectus for North America’s First Solana ETF

On 21 June 2024, 3iQ Digital Asset Management, a leading Canadian digital asset investment firm, has filed a preliminary prospectus for The Solana Fund, aiming to launch North America’s first Solana exchange-traded product (ETP). The Solana Fund plans to list its Class A units on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker “QSOL.” The Solana Fund’s objectives include providing investors with exposure to Solana (SOL), tracking its daily price movements against the US dollar, offering long-term capital appreciation, and generating staking yield through Solana’s network. 3iQ will manage the investment and portfolio for QSOL, utilizing Coinbase Custody’s institutional staking infrastructure. With a proven track record of pioneering digital asset funds, 3iQ has previously launched The Bitcoin Fund (TSX: QBTC) and The Ether Fund (TSX: QETH), which were the first publicly traded Bitcoin and Ethereum funds in Canada. Moreover, QETH and the 3iQ Ether Staking ETF (TSX: ETHQ) were the...

ED Arrests Manideep Mago in Massive Illegal Foreign Remittances Case Involving Crypto Transactions

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on 19 June, 2024 has arrested Manideep Mago under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, in connection with a significant illegal foreign remittances case. Mago was presented before the court on June 18, 2024, where he was remanded to five days of ED custody until June 23, 2024. The ED initiated its investigation based on information that a Delhi-based company had sold cryptocurrencies worth over ₹1858 crore on various crypto exchanges. Preliminary investigations revealed that the company and its related entities had also made foreign outward remittances exceeding ₹3500 crore. Additionally, more than ₹1300 crore in cash deposits were made into the bank accounts of these entities. This led the ED to conduct a search action under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). During the search proceedings, it was uncovered that an international hawala syndicate operating in Delhi had been collecting cash from exporters...

U.S. Judge Allows Billionaire’s Lawsuit Against Meta Over Fake Crypto Ads to Proceed

A U.S. judge has rejected Meta Platforms’ bid to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Australian mining tycoon Andrew Forrest. The lawsuit accuses Meta of negligence for allowing deceptive Facebook ads that used Forrest's likeness to promote fraudulent crypto schemes. U.S. District Judge Casey Pitts ruled that Forrest has the right to pursue legal action against Meta. Forrest claims that over 1,000 fraudulent ads were disseminated on Facebook in Australia between April and November 2023, resulting in significant financial losses for those affected. These ads falsely depicted Forrest endorsing crypto pump-and-dump schemes and used advanced tactics, including deepfake videos and AI-generated content, to bypass Facebook’s ad review systems. Judge Pitts stated that Forrest’s allegations are sufficient to argue that Meta profited from the ads featuring his likeness, which supports claims of misappropriation. “Dr. Forrest claims that Meta profited more from ads that included his likeness than it...

Binance Faces Regulatory Scrutiny and Fines in India and Canada Amid Global Compliance Push

The Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of India (FIU-India) has determined that Binance operated in India without fulfilling its statutory obligations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This decision follows a thorough review of Binance's submissions. As a result, Binance must enhance its compliance protocols in line with the PMLA and its 2005 rules, which are designed to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. This action against Binance is part of a broader initiative to ensure international crypto exchanges comply with local regulations. Recently, Binance and KuCoin were recognized as the first offshore crypto entities registered with FIU-India, marking a crucial step in meeting India's stringent anti-money laundering requirements. The push for registration intensified after FIU-India issued notices in December 2023 to nine offshore crypto exchanges, including Binance. Concurrently, Apple removed non-compliant platforms from its App Store, and...

Tether Launches Gold-Backed Stablecoin ‘Alloy’

Tether, one of the largest companies in the cryptocurrency industry, has officially launched Alloy by Tether, a new asset backed by Tether Gold. According to the official blog post, Alloy by Tether aims to redefine stability in the digital economy by combining the benefits of a stable economic unit with the security and reliability of gold. Alloy by Tether introduces a new category of digital assets known as pegged assets. The first token in the Alloy by Tether series will be aUSD₮, a digital currency designed to track the value of one US dollar. The aUSD₮ token is over-collateralized by Tether Gold (XAU₮), meaning it is backed by real physical gold stored in Switzerland. Users can create aUSD₮ tokens using Tether Gold as collateral, managed by Ethereum-compatible smart contracts on the Ethereum Mainnet. Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s CEO, expressed his excitement about the launch, stating, “We are excited to announce the launch of Alloy by Tether, offering a digital asset class backed by...

U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Nvidia’s Alleged Crypto-Mining Revenue Disclosure Deception

The US Supreme Court has decided to review a significant case involving Nvidia Corp.’s disclosure of its crypto mining revenue, a decision that could set a precedent for future shareholder lawsuits. Nvidia is seeking to dismiss an investor lawsuit claiming that the company misled shareholders about its reliance on crypto mining revenue prior to a 2018 market downturn. Shareholders allege that Nvidia's CEO, Jensen Huang, concealed the fact that the company's record revenue growth in 2017 and 2018 was largely driven by crypto mining-related sales of its flagship GeForce GPU product, rather than gaming sales. They argue that this lack of transparency exposed Nvidia to greater risk than what was disclosed, which became evident when the company announced a revenue shortfall in November 2018. This announcement led to a more than 28% decline in Nvidia's stock over two days, which Huang attributed to a "crypto hangover." The investors claim that internal communications would reveal the true...

El Salvador Proposes Bitcoin Bank to Boost Financial Services and Investment

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has proposed the establishment of a Bank for Private Investment (BPI) to diversify financial services offered in both U.S. dollars and Bitcoin. This initiative, announced by Milena Mayorga, the Salvadoran Ambassador to the United States, aims to attract international investment and enhance the nation’s financial landscape. “As part of our economic plan for El Salvador, we propose a BPI, Bank for Private Investment, where we can diversify the financing options offered to potential investors in Dollars and Bitcoin,” Mayorga stated. The BPI proposal marks a significant step under President Bukele’s second term, following his recent re-election in February. According to El Mundo, the proposed BPI would not be subject to the stringent regulations that traditional banks face, including restrictions on engaging with overseas banks and limitations on loan amounts. The new private investment banks would require a minimum share capital of $50 million and at...

Australia’s ASX Approves First Spot Bitcoin ETF

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has approved its first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which will commence trading on 20 June, 2024. The VanEck Bitcoin ETF (VBTC) will be issued by investment firm VanEck, as confirmed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph. This approval follows the launch of VanEck's spot Bitcoin ETF, the VanEck Bitcoin Trust (HODL), in the United States on January 11. Arian Neiron, CEO for VanEck in the Asia-Pacific region, emphasized the growing demand for Bitcoin exposure in Australia through regulated and transparent investment vehicles. “We recognize Bitcoin as an emerging asset class that many advisers and investors want to access,” Neiron stated. He added that VBTC simplifies Bitcoin investment by handling the technical aspects of acquiring, storing, and securing digital assets. This marks the first approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF by the ASX, although Australia has seen two other Bitcoin ETFs launch over the past two years. Recently,...

Taiwan Crypto Industry Takes Initiative With New VASP Association to Set Industry Standards

In a move towards self-regulation ahead of anticipated government action, 24 leading cryptocurrency companies in Taiwan have joined forces to establish the Taiwan Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) Association. Announced on 13 June, 2024, this association aims to develop industry-wide standards for the country's burgeoning digital asset sector. While Taiwan already requires cryptocurrency service providers to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws, as mandated by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) since July 2021, the broader crypto industry remains largely unregulated. However, significant regulatory changes are expected in the coming months. Last month, the Ministry of Justice proposed amendments to existing AML laws, necessitating both domestic and overseas crypto firms to register for AML compliance if they wish to operate in Taiwan. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment for up to two years. Additionally, the FSC plans to unveil a comprehensive framework...

FlowBank Declared Bankrupt by FINMA, CoinShares Among Major Stakeholders

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) on 13 June, 2024, announced the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings against FlowBank. The decision came after FlowBank was found to lack the minimum capital required for its business operations. FINMA also expressed concerns over potential over-indebtedness. “The bankruptcy proceedings aim to protect depositors. According to current calculations, the privileged deposits can be repaid in full out of the bank’s available funds,” said FINMA. CoinShares, which owns approximately 30% of FlowBank, acquired an additional 20.8% stake in 2022, bringing its total holding to 29.3%, with voting rights equal to 32.06%. The acquisition was valued at CHF 24,740,000 at the time. A spokesperson from CoinShares told CryptoNews, “We don’t plan to comment on FlowBank’s news.” FlowBank, launched in 2020 and founded by Charles-Henri Sabet, announced on its website that it had lost its FINMA license. “Commercial activities of the bank stopped at...

The Open Network (TON) Revives Telegram’s Blockchain Dream: Paving the Way for Seamless Crypto Adoption

The Open Network (TON) is emerging as a beacon of promise in the blockchain world. Initially built to enhance Telegram, one of the world's most popular messaging apps, TON has evolved significantly. Despite Telegram stepping back due to regulatory issues, an independent community has championed its development and adoption, breathing new life into this layer-1 network. TON is now enabling users to interact with cryptocurrencies seamlessly, often without even realizing it. This innovation is a significant step toward mainstream crypto adoption, making digital assets more accessible and user-friendly. TON’s importance is magnified as it diversifies beyond messaging. Inspired by WeChat, Telegram is transforming into a "super app" offering a wide range of services. Restaurants can now create "mini apps" within Telegram, replacing their websites and providing easy access to services. Developers in various industries benefit from unparalleled flexibility thanks to JavaScript integration....

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