The Week in Crypto – Richard Heart, Curve, Binance

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This week in the crypto world we saw Richard Heart sued by the SEC, Curve go through the wringer with a $70 million hack, and Binance possibly avoid criminal action.

All in the name of customer protection, don’t you know?

Richard Heart Sued by SEC

n one of the most inevitable and obvious cases in all of crypto history, HEX founder Richard Heart was this week charged with securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Heart, who is known for sporting luxury cars and gaudy designer clothes, was accused of spending “at least” $12 million on investors’ money on such purchases thanks to the sale of his HEX coin in 2019 and beyond, which he called the world’s first high-interest blockchain certificate of deposit. In reality, the SEC argues, it was just a get-rich-quick scheme that falls very clearly under securities laws.

Heart is yet to formally respond to the charges, but in a tweet he defended himself with an onslaught of self-praise, promoting his record of warning people about scams…while (as far as the SEC is concerned) running one himself.

Curve Protocol Creaking After $70 Million Hack

The Curve protocol has been through the wringer this week. A $62 million hack on Sunday, which escalated to $70 million in the week, left Curve backers and the wider community scurrying to try and support the protocol as the potential for significant liquidations continues to present a threat.

As a result, DeFi protocols have taken proactive steps to protect themselves from potential systemic risks, while Curve founder Michael Egorov’s substantial borrowing against his CRV holdings has raised concerns among on-chain lending markets. Egorov previously borrowed over $100 million against the CRV token and faced liquidation on his borrowings after a 33% drop in the token’s value this week.

On Friday, Curve and two other DeFi protocols offered the hacker a 10% bounty in return for 90% back.

Good luck.

Binance Could Avoid Criminal Action

It was claimed this week that Binance is facing criminal charges from the Department of Justice (DoJ), but the agency is wary of taking too extreme an action lest it lead to a run on the exchange and customers getting hurt.

As a precaution, prosecutors are considering alternative options, such as imposing fines or reaching deferred or non-prosecution agreements with Binance. This approach aims to hold Binance accountable for any alleged criminal activity while mitigating harm to consumers.

Some cast doubts about the credibility of the report, however, when revealed that Sam Bankman-Fried, who holds Binance partly responsible for the collapse of FTX, is an early backer of the news site that got the ‘exclusive’.

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