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Today in Crypto: US Authorities Crack a $3.4 Billion Silk Road Heist Case, Striga Launches Program for Entities to Issue Crypto Cards, Push Protocol Reveals ‘Wallet-to-Wallet’ Video Chat

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 3 min read
Source: AdobeStock / Justinas

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Legal news

  • The US authorities cracked a $3.4 billion crypto heist case, The Wall Street Journal reported. James Zhong, at the time a computer-science student, stumbled upon a software bug in 2012 while withdrawing money from his account on the infamous Silk Road, after which he created new accounts stealing 50,000 bitcoins (BTC), worth around $600,000, within a few hours, court papers from federal prosecutors show. By late 2021, this was worth $3.4 billion. In November 2021, federal agents, armed with a search warrant, found his digital keys hidden in a basement floor safe and a popcorn tin in the bathroom. Zhong, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, with prosecutors seeking a prison sentence of less than two years.

Payments news

  • Striga, a builder of infrastructure for digital assets and financial services, announced the launch of its new crypto cards program for neobanks, Web3 apps, and crypto companies designed to allow these entities to issue their own crypto cards to their end users via Striga’s APIs. Per the press release, “Striga’s card issuing platform has established partnerships and integrations making it easier for its clients to deploy individualized virtual and physical cards for their users in just a matter of a few clicks.”

Web3 news

  • Push Protocol announced the launch of Push Video, described as “the first wallet-to-wallet video chat that allows web3 users to video chat with each other live.” Users can do with Push Video anything they do with video today, the team said, including social chats, business meetings, customer support, streaming, gaming, telehealth, education, coaching, etc.

Exchange news

  • Binance announced that users who staked Ethereum (ETH) through the exchange will be able to redeem it with their BETH holdings on a 1:1 basis at the ETH 2.0 Staking page, starting from April 19, 8:00 UTC. Per the press release, initially, it may take 15 days to several weeks before users’ ETH withdrawal requests can be fully processed. Users cannot cancel their ETH withdrawal requests after submission, it added.

Regulation news

  • Zambia is planning to finish tests that simulate real-world cryptocurrency usage by the end of June to help it create regulations that balance citizens’ safety with innovation, Reuters reported, citing Minister of Science and Technology Felix Mutati. The country also needs digital infrastructure, including digital identities, before cryptocurrencies can be introduced, Mutati said.
  • Italy’s data protection agency, known as Garante, specified the actions that OpenAI must take to lift the restriction imposed on ChatGPT. It is mandating increased transparency, age verification measures to protect user privacy, and issuance of an information notice comprehensively outlining its data processing practices, the press release said. Garante set a deadline of April 30 for OpenAI to complete the majority of the requirements.

Scam news

  • A Hong Kong retiree (55) lost all of her ​ HK$7 million (US$891,723) ​savings in two months after falling victim to a crypto investment scam, the South China Morning Post reported. The scammer befriended her on Instagram in January, and they continued to contact each other on a messaging app. The victim was promised daily interest of HK$2,500 in addition to a guaranteed profit of tens of thousands of US dollars, the report said.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms posted a video and a written statement after The New York Times claimed that the mining industry is creating “enormous carbon pollution” and high electricity costs. “We were especially disappointed to read a false and distorted view of our company and our industry in the article published by The NYT. Worse still, The NYT chose to publish the article with information its authors knew to be false and misleading, ignoring the factual information that we provided to them,” the company said. “Our Bitcoin mining operations do not generate any greenhouse gas emissions, similar to any other data center for Facebook, Amazon, or Google.”