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Inexperience Ruined Luna Project as Creator Injected Over $2.3 Billion into Losing Position

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Luna Foundation Guard

Following about 99% plunge in the value of Terra Luna Coin and the global outcry for the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) to use its supposed reserve to acquire and burn its now over 6.5 trillion Luna coins, the LFG has come out to state it does not have the said reserve anymore.

According to a statement released by LFG on Monday, the foundation reserve used to comprise of 80,394 $BTC, 39,914 $BNB, 26,281,671 $USDT, 23,555,590 $USDC, 1,973,554 $AVAX, 697,344 $UST and  1,691,261 $LUNA. However, on May 8, 2022, when TerraUSD (“UST”), the main product (stablecoin) of the Terra network, started declining below its US$1 peg, LFG said it began injecting its over 80,000 Bitcoin into the market in order to halt the now record-decline.

This, it said was done by sending its reserved BTC and other digital assets to counterparties to allow them place trades in large size and on short notice for the Foundation.

Breaking down how the reserve was exhausted, the Foundation said it directly sold 26,281,671 $USDT and  23,555,590 $USDC for an aggregate of 50,200,071 $UST. While 52,189 $BTC was transferred to a counterparty for trade, out of which 5,313 $BTC was returned for an aggregate 1,515,689,462 $UST.

This continues on May 10 and 12 until the Foundation had depleted its reserve to 313 $BTC, 39,914 $BNB, 1,973,554 $AVAX, 1,847,079,725 $UST, 222,713,007 $LUNA (out of which 221,021,746 is presently staked with validators).

LFG Inexperience and Eventual Failure

In financial markets, one of the first principles aspiring traders are taught is never to add to a losing position. It simply means no matter the situation, traders should not average down a losing long position or average up a losing short position, like in the case of LFG.

Luna with a combined reserve of about $3.5 billion was trying to plug a broad-based losing short position valued at about $18.68 billion for UST and $40 billion for Luna coin by continuously averaging up despite limited risk at the time.

Here is the Logic

If LFG had kept its reserve, it would have been able to purchase and burn at a cheaper rate compared to when it first injected over 52,000 BTC on May 8 when UST was just $0.9953 and Luna coin was $65 per coin. In fact, it appears as if it was the huge fund transferred to counterparties on May 8 that triggered UST concerns among investors aware of the transaction, and subsequently, the eventual disaster that follows going by the chart below. Luna coin-backed UST plunged on May 10, again likely instigated by those in the know of the LFG situation.

UST

Sending huge amounts of BTC and other digital assets to counterparties in an unregulated cryptocurrency space allows for aggressive insider dealings by those LFG trusted. People familiar with the situation likely told cryptocurrency whales and other investors about the Foundation’s struggle to stay afloat, hence the continuous selloff that eventually depleted the Foundation’s remaining reserve.

 

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crypto Money Laundering Down by 29% in 2023

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Crypto Exchange - Investors King

According to recent findings from blockchain research firm Chainalysis, cryptocurrency money laundering activities experienced a significant downturn in 2023, dropping by 29% compared to the previous year.

In the report released on Thursday illicit funds laundered through cryptocurrency exchanges plummeted from $31.5 billion in 2022 to $22.2 billion in 2023.

Chainalysis attributed this decline to a general reduction in both legitimate and illicit crypto transaction volumes throughout the year.

The research platform highlighted that centralized exchanges remained the primary destination for funds originating from illicit sources, a trend that has persisted over the past five years.

However, there was a notable shift in the distribution of illicit funds, with an increasing proportion flowing into decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.

The report suggested that this shift was influenced by the transparency inherent in DeFi platforms, making them less favorable for concealing the movement of funds compared to traditional exchanges.

Furthermore, Chainalysis noted changes in the methods used for laundering illicit cryptocurrency.

The report observed a significant rise in funds being channeled through cross-chain bridges from addresses associated with stolen funds.

Also, there was a notable increase in funds originating from ransomware attacks being directed towards gambling platforms and bridge protocols.

In terms of concentration, the report highlighted that 109 exchange deposit addresses received over $10 million worth of illicit cryptocurrency each, collectively receiving $3.4 billion in illicit funds in 2023.

This represents a considerable increase compared to 2022 when only 40 addresses received similar amounts.

The findings underscore evolving trends in cryptocurrency laundering and signal a growing sophistication in illicit financial activities within the digital asset space.

Regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies continue to grapple with emerging challenges posed by crypto-related crimes as the landscape evolves.

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Binance Reaffirms Commitment to Fraud-Free Trading Amid Nigeria’s Currency Concerns

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cryptocurrency investment - Investors King

In response to growing concerns about exchange rate manipulation in Nigeria, Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency platforms, has issued a resolute statement reaffirming its commitment to maintaining a fraud-free trading environment.

The announcement comes amidst reports of heightened tensions regarding the devaluation of the Nigerian currency and suspicions of illicit activities on digital asset platforms.

Binance emphasized its dedication to providing users with a market-driven, transparent, and manipulation-free platform.

The company stressed its unwavering responsibility to safeguard users against fraudulent behavior and ensure the integrity of the trading ecosystem.

Binance asserted that any users found engaging in malicious or manipulative activities would face swift removal from the platform in line with its zero-tolerance policy for market manipulation.

The cryptocurrency exchange also highlighted its ongoing investment in enhancing processes and tools aimed at preventing fraudulent practices.

Measures include setting upper limits for advertisements, implementing rigorous ad screening procedures, and increasing deposit requirements for merchants posting ads.

As industry leaders, Binance reiterated its commitment to working closely with stakeholders to promote innovation while prioritizing user protection.

The platform assured users of its adherence to strict global security protocols across all products and services offered.

Binance’s statement underscores its proactive stance in addressing concerns related to market manipulation, emphasizing transparency, accountability, and the preservation of market integrity in Nigeria’s evolving cryptocurrency landscape.

Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed reports that the Nigerian government is considering blocking Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid concerns over alleged forex market manipulation and illicit financial activities.

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Nigeria Mulls Blocking Binance, Crypto Platforms Over Forex Manipulation

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Binance CEO

Nigeria’s government is contemplating the drastic step of blocking Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid concerns over alleged forex market manipulation and illicit financial activities.

According to officials familiar with the matter, the move comes as the Nigerian currency experiences an unprecedented depreciation to an all-time low of N1,800 against the dollar in the parallel market.

Presidential and regulatory sources have cited reports indicating that currency speculators and money launderers are exploiting platforms like Binance to orchestrate criminal activities, which are believed to be contributing to the naira’s weakening.

Binance, a prominent digital assets platform, facilitates peer-to-peer transactions, allowing users to advertise their interest in buying or selling currencies.

Despite a warning issued by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September 2023, cautioning against Binance’s operations as illegal, the platform continued to operate, drawing significant patronage, especially among urban youths and suspected speculators and money launderers.

Officials have raised concerns not only about economic sabotage but also about national security implications as these platforms are reportedly used by criminal groups for activities such as ransom payments.

Law enforcement sources have described the exploitation of digital asset platforms as a sophisticated scheme against the Nigerian economy, involving the manipulation of forex values through fake deals to influence market dynamics.

A senior executive at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) emphasized the troubling trend of the naira’s depreciation, attributing it to artificial devaluation caused by speculative sites like Binance.

The potential ban on Binance and other crypto firms could follow actions taken by other countries like Malaysia, France, and Malta, which have implemented restrictions on such platforms due to similar concerns.

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