Today in Crypto: Fahrenheit Wins Celsius Acquisition, BTC-e Co-Founder Wants to be Included in a Russia-USA Prisoner Exchange, Bitpanda Joins Hands with Coinbase
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- Crypto consortium Fahrenheit is the winning bidder in the acquisition of the insolvent lender Celsius Network. According to the press release, the consortium, which is backed by Bitcoin Corp., Arrington Capital, Proof Group, Steven Kokinos, and Ravi Kaza, will take ownership of Celsius’s institutional loan portfolio, staked crypto assets, Bitcoin mining unit, and other crypto-related investments. Fahrenheit will provide the capital, management team, and technology to establish and operate the new public, regulation-compliant company, which will receive liquid cryptocurrency, estimated to be between $450m and $500m.
- Russian citizen and co-founder of an allegedly illicit crypto exchange, BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, who is facing US money-laundering charges, is mounting a campaign to be included in any prisoner exchange between the two countries that could free detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, the WSJ reported. Vinnik’s lawyer is attempting to alter a protective order on Vinnik’s case so that he could be considered as part of a prisoner trade deal. David Rizk, an assistant federal defender in the Northern District of California, said that such negotiations require a strong public campaign to “maximize the chances” of an exchange.
- Lawyers for FTX investors said they finally (again) served ex-basketball star Shaquille O’Neal at the ex-FTX Arena, now the Kaseya Center, in Miami, during a playoff basketball game that he was commentating on, according to The Wall Street Journal. This follows a new lawsuit that alleges O’Neal founded and promoted a Solana-based nonfungible token project called Astrals, which the lawsuit said were “unregistered securities.”
- Terra/LUNA co-founder Do Kwon and chief financial officer Han Chang-Joon will remain in detention in Montenegro, after the court revoked the previously approved request for bail. The Basic Court did not sufficiently assess the value of the defendant’s property, the High Court claimed. The next hearing is scheduled for June 16.
- Bitpanda announced a collaboration with Coinbase to connect the US exchange with banks in Europe that want to offer digital assets to their client. Per the announcement, by collaborating with Bitpanda Technology Solutions, Coinbase can now “offer a fully regulated, flexible and scaling 24/7 trading infrastructure to their institutional clients outside of the United States.” This will open up a new European investment solution that “mirrors Coinbase’s standards in safety and security,” it said. Bitpanda will also add Coinbase to its network of approved liquidity providers.
- Bitfinex announced a new investment in the Chilean crypto firm Orionx, as both companies look to ramp up efforts to promote financial freedom and inclusion throughout Latin America, said the press release. Bitfinex will gain a significant foothold in Latin America, it said, indirectly reaching millions of users, where it will support common education programs for local universities. Meanwhile, OrionX will benefit from Bitfinex’s crypto trading expertise and network, as well as its product features across crypto trading, staking, and lending, among other things, it added.