Read in the Digest:
- Department of Justice seizes $3.6 billion stolen from Bitfinex hack, Bitfinex surges 60%.
- Shiba Inu enters metaverse with ‘Shiba Lands,’ LEASH jumps 45%.
- Russia set to regulate crypto, Bitcoin donations to Ukraine NGOs soar.
- OpenSea delists CryptoPunks v1, Sotheby’s to auction 104 CryptoPunks.
Department of Justice Seizes $3.6 Billion Stolen from Bitfinex Hack, Bitfinex Surges 60%
In August 2016, Bitfinex suffered one of the biggest crypto exchange hacks to date when 119,754 Bitcoin was stolen, worth approximately $5.2 billion at current prices. On February 8th, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the recovery of a significant portion of the stolen funds.
The DoJ reported that it had arrested Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan, who together conspired to launder funds stolen from the Bitfinex hack. In addition to this, the DoJ lawfully seized and recovered more than 94,000 bitcoins, worth over $3.6 billion.
Following the announcement, the Hong Kong-based crypto exchange announced that it would work “with the DOJ and follow the appropriate legal processes to establish our rights to a return of the stolen bitcoin.”
The value of Unus Sed Leo (LEO), a token launched by Bitfinex, has jumped by more than 60% since the announcement was made. Initially opening for trade at $4.87, LEO has since skyrocketed to a new all-time high of $8.04.
The 48 hour price chart for Unus Sed Leo (LEO). Source: Tradingview
- Bitfinex promised to burn an amount equal to 80% of the recovered funds in order to repurchase and burn outstanding LEO tokens within 18 months of the recovery.
Why You Should Care
After almost six years, the victims of the Bitfinex hack can perhaps finally expect to recover their lost funds.
Shiba Inu Enters Metaverse with ‘Shiba Lands,’ LEASH Jumps 45%
Two weeks after revealing its metaverse project dubbed ‘The Shiberse,’ the developers of popular meme coin Shiba Inu have announced that its community can now obtain and own virtual pieces of land in the Shiba Inu Metaverse.
The Shiba Inu team announced that it would be introducing land, a queue system, and more in the virtual reality as part of its ecosystem expansion. The Shiba Army can now purchase land in order to get a front-row seat in the dog themed metaverse as per the announcement.
As part of the reveal, the Shiba Inu Team stated that $LEASH holders will be the first to gain access to Shiba Inu metaverse Lands. The proclamation caused the price of LEASH to jump by more than 45%.
Over the last 24 hours, Doge killer (LEASH) has gained in value by 46%, making it one of the day’s best performers. After grazing an interday high of $1,886.19, LEASH is now trading at $1,766.1, with a market cap of $190 million as of this writing.
The 24 hour price chart for Doge Killer (LEASH). Source: Tradingview
- Though it remains one of the Shiba army’s most anticipated events, a listing for SHIB on Robinhood continues to elude the project.
Why You Should Care
With its metaverse and other upgrades coming in 2022, Shiba Inu is aiming to change the face of the meme coin for the better and battle for a top spot.
Russia Set to Regulate Crypto, Bitcoin Donations to Ukraine NGOs Soar
After weeks of uncertainty following the proposal that tabled a blanket ban on crypto transactions, trading, and mining operations, Russia is set to propose a regulatory framework for the industry on Friday, February 11th.
According to a statement released on Tuesday, the Russian government and the country’s central bank have agreed to draft legislation and amend existing laws recognizing crypto as a form of currency.
Early reports suggest that the framework could integrate digital currencies into the nation’s financial systems. In addition to this, Russia is aiming to “minimize the threat to the financial system’s stability and reduce the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal purposes.”
- Responding to the rising tensions in Ukraine, volunteer groups have been crowdfunding bitcoin to support the country’s military.
- NGOs and volunteer groups received more than $550,000 in 2021, and have already amassed $6,000 in 2022 as Russian troops occupy Ukraine’s borders.
Why You Should Care
The report represents a significant turn from last month’s proposed ban on all crypto activities, and eliminates the possibility of a repeat of China.
OpenSea Delists CryptoPunks v1, Sotheby’s to Auction 104 CryptoPunks
CyptoPunks v1 – a collection of 10,000 uniquely generated characters – has been delisted by the largest NFT marketplace in the space, OpenSea. The NFT platform delisted CryptoPunks v1 after being served a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice by Larva Labs, creator of the original CryptoPunks – one of the oldest NFT collections in the industry.
According to reports, the CryptoPunks v1 collection was created due to a smart contract bug through which Larva Labs attempted to create CryptoPunks v2, a sequel to the original set.
Sotheby’s, the auction house famous in the cryptoverse for Beeple’s $69 million NFT sale, has announced it will be auctioning off 104 NFTs from the original 2017 CryptoPunks collection. The collection will be sold as a single lot on February 23rd. The collection was originally purchased in the legendary “Punk Sweep” of July 2021.
Initially bought for $7 million in 2021 by anonymous collector “0x650d,” the auction, titled “Punk It!” is estimated by Sotheby’s to fetch between $20 million & $30 million.
- Despite being delisted from OpenSea, CryptoPunks v1 recently debuted on competing for NFT platforms such as LooksRare.
Why You Should Care
The newest upcoming Sotheby’s auction is a true indication of just how much the digital art sector has grown since its inception.