BILLIONAIRE TWINS DONATE TO TRUMP | SEC BACKS OFF CONSENSYS

The asset manager’s new short-term credit fund is hosted on the Ethereum blockchain.

 
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WINKLEVOSSES DONATE $2 BILLION OF BITCOIN TO BACK TRUMP
UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, Bloomberg News reported that the Winklevoss twins were refunded the portion of their donations in excess of the legal maxmium of $844,600.

The Winklevoss twins, founders of the Gemini crypto exchange, said they are
donating $2 billion worth of bitcoin to support Donald Trump as he attempts to retake the U.S. presidency from incumbent Joe Biden.

“Over the past few years, the Biden Administration has openly declared war against crypto,” Tyler Winklevoss wrote in a post on X. “It has weaponized multiple government agencies to bully, harass and sue the good actors in our industry in an effort to destroy it.” On the other hand, he added, “President Donald J. Trump is the pro-Bitcoin, pro-crypto and pro-business choice. This is not even remotely open for debate. Anyone who tells you otherwise is severely misinformed, delusional or not telling the truth.

Cameron Winklevoss left most of the talking to his brother. His own short post on X summed up Trump as “Pro-Bitcoin, Pro-Crypto, Pro-Business.”

The twins and their Gemini exchange have faced multiple investor and government lawsuits over the past few years stemming from the 2022 collapse of the high-interest Gemini Earn program. As part of a settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services in February, Gemini agreed to return $1.1 billion to customers and pay a $37 million fine for compliance failures.

Forbes calculates the net worth of each twin at $2.7 billion, tying them for 1,242th place on the Real Time Billionaires List.  Each Winklevoss donated 15.47 bitcoin to support the former president, according to their posts. At Friday afternoon’s price of $64,121 per bitcoin, that comes to about $992,000.

AI TAKES THE ICONOCLAST SPOTLIGHT BUT CRYPTO CATCHES VC’S EYE
Much of the talk at Forbes annual Iconoclast Summit had to do with artificial intelligence, but when asked for other industries that held promise for venture capitalists, Latif Peracha of M13 quickly turned the topic to blockchain technologies. 

“We are seeing tremendous innovation around actually gaming; it’s a huge area of focus where we are seeing the ability for end users actually owning their gaming assets between games,” he told as many as 1,000 live and online attendees at Iconoclast Thursday. “There’s a lot of activity we are seeing both here in the U.S. and a lot of it also is in Europe. So crypto gaming.”

Another focus was stablecoins. “If you take a very U.S.-centric approach and you say here in America, ‘yeah, we don’t need to use the stablecoin,’ but if you are in a high-price environment, Turkey or Venezuela or Lebanon, bigger places, they are incredibly important. Payments is just what makes the world go around, and I think there’s a huge role to play there.” 


Read more from the third annual Forbes Iconoclast Summit

CURRENT PRICE OF TOP 5 COINS (7-Day % Change)
SEC DECIDES NOT TO ACT AGAINST ETHEREUM DEVELOPER CONSENSYS
CoinPricePercent Change
Bitcoin (BTC) $64,121
2.2%
Ether (ETH) $3,520
3.5%
Tether (USDT) $0.9997
0.1%
Binance Coin (BNB) $586
1.8%
Solana (SOL) $133
6.1%
Sources: Forbes Digital Assets, CoinGecko. Prices as of 5:00 p.m. on June 21, 2024.
 

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SEC DECIDES NOT TO ACT AGAINST ETHEREUM DEVELOPER CONSENSYS
Chairman Gary Gensler and his staff at the SEC are not walking away from its crypto turf war with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission just yet, but they have decided that the fight over $430 billion Ethereum is no longer worth having. In a letter dated June 18 and sent to lawyers for ConsenSys, a development studio focused on Ethereum, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has concluded its investigation into the firm created by Joe Lubin, the Ethereum cofounder. The agency had sent ConsenSys notification of an expected enforcement action in April, when it was reportedly investigating ether’s status.  ConsenSys subsequently publicized the letter in a suit that it filed later that month, alleging the regulator overstepped its authority.

This week’s announcement became a fait accompli after the SEC approved multiple filings in May to allow the listing of spot ether exchange-traded funds from the likes of BlackRock and Fidelity (though they are yet to begin trading). These filings treated ether as a commodity, and this subject to CFTC jurisdiction rather than the SEC, so a continuation of the ConsenSys investigation would have been inconsistent with the exchange’s position on the asset. Ether is up about 3% since the news broke, suggesting that the decision was largely priced in by investors.

CRACKS IN KRAKEN SECURITY
The crypto community received a harsh reminder this week that keeping assets on an exchange comes with significant counterparty risk. Kraken Chief Security Officer Nick Percoco revealed on X Thursday that a research firm (CertiK later took credit), had exploited a vulnerability in the user interface for the second-largest digital-assets exchange in the U.S. and was able to withdraw $3 million worth of crypto. Specifically, the firm found a way to get credited for a deposit on the exchange and thenwithdraw it before the funds actually arrived. In his post Percoco noted that customer funds were segregated and not at risk, and the vulnerability has since been fixed, but he admitted “a malicious attacker could effectively print assets in their Kraken account for a period of time.” 

The post said the researcher claimed to have made the transactions under what is known as a bug-bounty program, under which people are rewarded for exposing flaws, but that the researcher initially sought additional compensation in return for revealing the vulnerability.

All funds have since been returned and no direct customer harm was incurred, but a vulnerability of this magnitude found in one of the oldest and most reputable crypto exchanges in the world should make investors think twice about keeping more assets than they need for trading on an exchange.

ELSEWHERE

Bitcoin ETFs Post $900 Million In Net Outflows This Week
 
CoinDesk
Standard Chartered Is Building A Bitcoin Trading Desk
 
Bitcoin Magazine
Stablecoins Would Help U.S. Keep Up With China — Former House Speaker
 
Cointelegraph
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