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Cryptocurrency Ban: Banks Close Accounts Link to Cryptocurrency Traders in Nigeria

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Bitcoin - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria has given an order to commercial lenders to close the accounts of two individuals and one company. These accounts were ordered to be closed on the suspicion that they were trading cryptocurrencies.

On February 5 2021, the Central Bank issued a circular to commercial banks and other financial institutions, giving a directive that transactions in cryptocurrencies and the facilitation of payment for cryptocurrency exchanges were thereby prohibited.

The CBN went further to instruct financial institutions and banks to identify individuals or other entities that are involved in the exchange of cryptocurrencies or transact in cryptocurrency and close the accounts.

That instruction was followed up by the apex bank in a memo dated November 3 2021. The memo stated clearly that those accounts were in direct violation of the contents of the circular issued on February 5, which was eventually confirmed by the regulator. The instructions in the memo stated that the funds recovered from the closed accounts should be placed in ‘suspense accounts’.

The initial circular issued in February elicited varied reactions from the general public, a good number of which were negative and condemnatory of the CBN’s actions. Many were concerned about the negative implications that the directive would have on the country’s fast-growing cryptocurrency market, and the innovation in Financial Technology.

One very common complaint was that the government was using that directive to crack down on the young Nigerians who had resorted to cryptocurrency trading as a means to leave poverty behind. The CBN was accused of deliberately trying to steal the livelihood of many young Nigerians.

These complaints have now returned on Social Media, following the instructions to close the accounts of the two Nigerians suspected to be trading cryptocurrency.

Many people have accused the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele as being unnecessarily harsh on the Nigerians who were probably just chasing a means of livelihood. Following the issuance of the circular in February, Emefiele stated that the cryptocurrency ban was mainly due to the existence of illegal operations (fraud, etc) using cryptocurrency.

Some Nigerians were however unsatisfied with the explanation, convinced that the government did not need to close cryptocurrency to all citizens in order to stop the illegal activities of the relatively few.

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Cryptocurrency

SEC Fines Kim Kardashian $1.26 Million For Unlawful Crypto Promotion

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined U.S reality T.V star Kim Kardashian $1.26 million for violating its rules by promoting a crypto asset.

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Kim Kardashian

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined U.S reality T.V star Kim Kardashian $1.26 million for violating its rules by promoting a crypto asset.

SEC stated that Kim promoted a crypto security asset offered and sold by EthereumMax without making the necessary disclosure that she was paid to promote it.

The post shared by the reality T.V star contained a link to the EthereumMax website, which provided instructions for potential investors to purchase EMAX tokens.

The agency specified that Kardashian should have disclosed a $250,000 payment she received to publish a post about EthereumMax’s EMAX tokens on her Instagram account.

In a statement made by SEC chairman Gary Gensler via his Twitter handle, it reads “Today @SECGov, we charged Kim Kardashian for unlawfully touting a crypto security.

“This case is a reminder that, when celebrities/influencers endorse investment apps, including crypto-asset securities, it doesn’t mean that those investment products are right for all investors”.

Gary Gensler also separately posted a video on Twitter about the settlement, stating that celebrity endorsements should not be construed as financial advice.

Reacting to the fine, Kim Kardashian provided the following statement about the charges and the settlement via a statement made by her lawyer.

It reads “Ms. Kardashian is pleased to have resolved this matter with the SEC.  Kardashian fully cooperated with the SEC from the very beginning and she remains willing to do whatever she can to assist the SEC in this matter.

“She wanted to get this matter behind her to avoid a protracted dispute.  The agreement she reached with the SEC allows her to do that so that she can move forward with her many different business pursuits”

The settlement reached with the SEC by Kardashian includes a $260,000 payment that represents that original amount, plus interest, as well as $1 million in penalties.

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Lunc Burn: Binance Burns 5.595 Billion Lunc Coins

Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency platform, has finally agreed to burn Lunc coins as proposed by the Lunc community.

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Terra Luna coin

Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency platform, has finally agreed to burn Lunc coins as proposed by the Lunc community.

On Monday, the cryptocurrency trading platform announced it has burnt 5.596 billion Lunc coins worth $1.863 million in its first-ever Lunc burn.

The company disclosed this in a statement released on its platform and obtained by Investors King.

Explaining the modalities for burning going forward, Binance said it would be in batches and would be done every Monday. The next Lunc burn would be on October 10, 2022.

Binance management first rejected the idea of burning customers’ coins without their approval following Lunc’s community proposal of a 1.2% tax, a process generally initiated by cryptocurrency projects to reduce supply and prop up the price of tokens.

Lunc community immediately started calling for a boycott of the platform, saying Binance agreed to the decision from the onset and even demanded that Lunc community commenced it from their end before the exchange will implement the same on-chain.

Eventually, Binance agreed to burn its fee (commission from Lunc transactions) and not customers’ coins. On Monday, Binance sent its first burn coin to a burnt wallet with transaction ID of F6B1CB656843438013D3C9A5948A1353AA3C65F6AE30D627AF791EEE0311AA36

Binance said “The calculation of total trading fees on LUNC spot and margin trading pairs to be burned from the previous week will be done every Monday at 00:00:00 (UTC). The subsequent on-chain burn transaction and weekly report will be updated by each Tuesday at 00:00:00 (UTC).

“The first batch of trading fees on LUNC spot and margin trading pairs to be burned will be calculated from 2022-09-21 at 00:00:00 (UTC) to 2022-10-01 at 23:59:59 (UTC). The fee rebates on LUNC spot and margin trading pairs toward Binance Spot Liquidity Provider Program for the period of 2022-09-21 at 00:00:00 (UTC) till 2022-09-27 00:00:00 (UTC) will be excluded from the burn amount.

“Trading fees on LUNC spot and margin trading pairs that collected in a token other than LUNC (e.g., USDT, BUSD and BNB) will be converted to LUNC with the real-time exchange rates on Binance every Monday at 00:00:00 (UTC).

“LUNC burn mechanism will not affect trading fees on LUNC spot and margin trading pairs, with the maximum trading fee rate remaining 0.1%.”

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Cryptocurrency

Hackers Receive $2 Million in Cryptocurrency for Discovering Flaws in Aurora Platform

Aurora, a company that provides Ethereum compatibility, NEAR Protocol scalability, and industry-first user experience through affordable transactions, has paid $2 million to two hackers that discovered a vulnerability in its platform

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Aurora, a company that provides Ethereum compatibility, NEAR Protocol scalability, and industry-first user experience through affordable transactions, has paid $2 million to two hackers that discovered a vulnerability in its platform.

According to the company, no user’s funds were affected by the EVM scaling and bridge solution. The two hackers were awarded $1 million each in the company’s native cryptocurrency Aurora.

The bounties would be paid out in a year’s time by the ImmuneFi bug bounty platform handling the payments.

Halborn, a security company, identified the flaws on June 10 before revealing them on Wednesday, September 29, 2022. Aurora is a Layer 2 scaling solution and EVM-compatible bridge between the Layer 1 NEAR protocol and Ethereum. The initial vulnerability was caused by Aurora’s use of a separate ERC-20 (fungible token standard) known as NEP-141.

The bridge between the two chains is permissionless, which means that anybody may bridge over any token to any address without their knowledge.

An attacker may have produced a worthless NEP-141 token on NEAR, bridged it to Aurora, and then distributed it to unwitting victims. As a result, attackers would be able to “take ETH from Aurora addresses essentially for free,” according to the report. This is due to the bridge’s ability to charge the recipient or victim a fee denominated in ETH.

The second vulnerability was related to the bridge’s burning feature. Tokens are burnt on one chain and debited on the other when users bridge funds from one network to another.

An assailant may have staged a “fake burn event” without it really happening. This bogus event might then be used to take funds from the Ethereum locker, which is the Aurora bridge’s stored amount of ETH utilized for chain bridging.

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