Today in Crypto: Twitter Hacker Extradited to US, Coinbase Employee Sentenced to Two Years in Prison, Binance Launches VIP Capital Connect Service
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- Joseph O’Connor, the UK national behind a 2020 Twitter hack, was extradited to the US, where he pleaded guilty to two sets of charges, the US Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York announced. O’Connor “used his sophisticated technological abilities for malicious purposes — conducting a complex SIM swap attack to steal large amounts of cryptocurrency, hacking Twitter, conducting computer intrusions to take over social media accounts, and even cyberstalking two victims, including a minor victim,” US Attorney Damian Williams said.
- A former Coinbase product manager, Ishan Wahi, was sentenced to two years in prison for his role in what US federal prosecutors called the first-ever insider trading case involving cryptocurrency, the Wall Street Journal reported. The US District Judge said Wahi repeatedly provided his brother and a friend with confidential information that he gained at his job, despite being aware his actions were illegal. “It was a stream of inside information doled out over a 10-month period,” she said.
- A court in Vietnam is set to hold a trial next week for 16 suspects in a case that involved kidnapping and $1.5M in stolen crypto, local media reported. Among the suspects are two former police officers.
- Binance launched a service platform to connect VIP users with investment fund managers. Capital Connect is described as “a new self-service platform where interested institutional investors and high net worth individuals can browse different crypto investment funds and connect with crypto investment managers.” It’s a free service, available to Binance VIP users only, said the press release.
- Xapo Bank, a licensed private bank that combines traditional banking with access to Bitcoin and stablecoins, integrated Tether (USDT) payment rails, building on its existing USDC rails. Beginning with a phased rollout, the payment rails will be fully available to all members by the end of the month, said the press release. “Xapo Bank is bringing its 4.1% annual interest rate return on deposits “to the attention of a new cohort of potential members who are looking for an alternative to SWIFT payments,” it added.
- Domain and digital identity platform Unstoppable Domains announced it’s joining the Board of Directors of OMA3 (Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3), a consortium of companies creating standards for the decentralized metaverse. Other OMA3 board members include Alien Worlds, Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs, Metametaverse, Sandbox, Space, Superworld, and Upland. “As a leader in OMA3, Unstoppable Domains is leveraging its expertise in Web3 domains to aid OMA3’s efforts to standardize the use of Web3 land domains in the metaverse,” the announcement said.
- Major mining company Marathon Digital Holdings announced that it will commence building “the largest-ever” Bitcoin (BTC) mining data center in the Middle East through a joint venture with Zero Two, a blockchain and digital assets infrastructure development company. The newly formed Abu Dhabi Global Markets JV Entity (the ADGM Entity) will initially develop and operate two digital asset mining sites. “Once operational, these sites are expected to be among the most technologically advanced and energy-efficient digital asset mining operations globally,” it said.
- European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) regulation can serve as a model for crypto rules in the USA, according to Hester Peirce, a commissioner at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “MiCA can serve as a model for us,” Pierce said on a panel at the Financial Times Crypto and Digital Assets Summit in London, adding that the UK’s regulatory approach could also be used for inspiration, The Block reported.