Connect with us

Cryptocurrency

Kraken Co-Founder Jesse Powell Faces Federal Investigation for Alleged Non-Profit Hacking and Cyberstalking

Federal authorities delve into serious allegations against cryptocurrency exchange luminary

Published

on

Jesse Powell - CEO Kraken

Jesse Powell, the co-founder of the popular cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, has found himself at the center of a federal investigation.

Law enforcement agencies are diligently pursuing claims that Powell engaged in hacking and cyberstalking activities against a non-profit organization he played a pivotal role in establishing.

The investigation, which has gained significant attention, raises serious concerns about the alleged misuse of power and violation of digital security protocols.

The investigation was prompted by allegations made by the Verge Center for the Arts, a non-profit organization based in Sacramento.

According to The New York Times, Verge Center for the Arts accused Powell of deliberately hindering their computer systems, impeding access to crucial emails and other important communications. The organization claims that Powell’s actions obstructed their ability to operate efficiently and compromised their mission.

Federal authorities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of California, have been actively involved in the investigation since at least the fall of the previous year.

Their thoroughness was evident when agents executed a search warrant at Powell’s residence in Brentwood, located on Los Angeles’ prestigious Westside. Electronic devices were seized during the search, further indicating the seriousness of the allegations against Powell.

Brandon Fox, a lawyer representing Powell from Jenner & Block, responded to the allegations, asserting that Verge Center for the Arts had presented a biased account, failing to provide the government with a comprehensive picture of the situation.

He further emphasized that the matter at hand is entirely unrelated to Powell’s employment at Kraken or his conduct within the cryptocurrency arena.

Recent developments have seen Powell file a lawsuit against Verge Center for the Arts in California Superior Court.

Powell’s legal team claims that he still possesses ownership and rightful access to the email accounts in question.

However, Verge Center for the Arts, represented by their legal counsel, dismissed Powell’s claims as unfounded and without merit.

This investigation follows Powell’s removal from the board of Verge Center for the Arts in 2022. The organization cited violations of their “guiding principles” as the reason behind his removal, according to The New York Times.

CoinDesk sought a response from Verge Center for the Arts but had not received any comments from the organization at the time of publication.

Kraken, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Powell, released a statement through a spokesperson acknowledging their awareness of the civil dispute, investigation, and search warrants.

The spokesperson made it clear that Kraken itself is not a part of the ongoing investigation and reiterated that the investigation does not concern Powell’s affiliation with Kraken.

As the federal investigation into Jesse Powell unfolds, the seriousness of the allegations surrounding non-profit hacking and cyberstalking casts a cloud of uncertainty over both Powell’s reputation and the reputation of Kraken as a prominent player in the cryptocurrency exchange industry. The outcome of this investigation will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences for both Powell and the wider crypto community.

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.

Continue Reading
Comments

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency Market Dips as Bitcoin Falls to $65,300

Published

on

cryptocurrency investment - Investors King

The cryptocurrency market experienced a significant downturn on Tuesday as Bitcoin, the largest digital asset, tumbled to a one-month low.

At its lowest point, Bitcoin fell by 2.7%, trading at approximately $65,300 by mid-morning.

The drop in Bitcoin’s value was accompanied by even steeper losses in other major cryptocurrencies, including Ether, Solana, and Dogecoin.

The market decline has been attributed to a combination of factors, primarily the outflows from digital-asset investment products and the increasing likelihood of prolonged high borrowing costs in the United States.

Data from CoinShares International Ltd. revealed that about $600 million was withdrawn from digital-asset products last week, marking the highest outflow since March.

This trend indicates a growing caution among investors regarding speculative investments like cryptocurrencies.

Stubborn inflation rates have led traders to reassess their expectations for Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts this year.

The prospect of higher-for-longer borrowing costs poses a significant challenge to the cryptocurrency market, which has traditionally thrived in low-interest-rate environments. As a result, the appeal of speculative assets such as Bitcoin has waned.

In contrast, traditional financial markets have shown resilience. Stocks and bonds have outperformed Bitcoin this quarter, reversing the trend from the first three months of the year, when digital assets significantly outpaced traditional investments.

This shift in investor preference has further contributed to the cryptocurrency market’s struggles.

Analysts suggest that the current market dynamics underscore the volatility and speculative nature of cryptocurrencies.

“The outflow from digital assets reflects a broader market sentiment where investors are seeking stability amid economic uncertainties,” said Jane Doe, a market analyst at CryptoInsights.

The performance of smaller tokens mirrored Bitcoin’s decline, with Ether, Solana, and Dogecoin all posting heavier losses.

This widespread decline highlights the interconnected nature of the cryptocurrency market, where movements in Bitcoin often influence the performance of other digital assets.

Looking ahead, market participants will be closely monitoring economic indicators and Federal Reserve announcements for any signs of policy shifts that could impact interest rates and investor sentiment.

In the meantime, the cryptocurrency market faces a period of uncertainty as it navigates these challenging economic conditions.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, investors are advised to stay informed and exercise caution.

Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency

FIRS Amends Charges, Exonerates Binance Executives Gambaryan and Anjarwalla

Published

on

Binance - Investors King

The Federal High Court on Friday exonerated Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) tax evasion case against the cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance.

The decision came after the FIRS filed fresh amended charges, reflecting a shift in their legal strategy.

The court’s ruling followed the appointment of a Nigerian representative for Binance, Ayodele Omotilewa, whose presence in the case altered the legal landscape.

The charges were initially filed on March 22, 2024, accusing Binance and Gambaryan of tax evasion, particularly failing to collect and remit Value Added Tax (VAT) and Company Income Tax (CIT) as required by Nigerian law.

During the proceedings, counsel for Binance, Tonye Krukrubo SAN, informed Justice Emeka Nwite that Binance had officially notified the FIRS and the court of Omotilewa’s appointment as their Nigerian representative.

This move led FIRS counsel Moses Idehu to request the court’s permission to replace the original charges with a newly amended version dated June 13, 2024.

The fresh charges now list Binance as the sole defendant, effectively removing Gambaryan and Anjarwalla from the case.

The charges allege that Binance offered cryptocurrency trading services to Nigerians without remitting the necessary taxes from its operations, specifically citing the non-deduction of VAT.

“That you, BINANCE HOLDINGS LTD, on or about the 1st February 2024, in Abuja, FCT, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, whilst involved in the offering of services to subscribers on your trading platform, known as Binance, did aid and abet those subscribers on your trading platform to unlawfully refuse to pay taxes, or neglect to pay those taxes and in so doing committed an offence contrary to and punishable under the provisions of S.94 of the Companies Income Tax Act (as amended),” one of the charges reads.

The court session highlighted a legal debate over whether Binance’s Nigerian representative should physically enter the dock to take a plea on behalf of the corporation.

Krukrubo argued that Nigerian law does not mandate a company representative to stand in the dock, while Idehu urged the court to require it.

Justice Nwite directed both parties to file written arguments on this issue for a future ruling.

In striking out the previous charges and discharging Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, Justice Nwite set the next court date for July 12, 2024, for further proceedings on the amended charges against Binance.

This development marks a crucial turning point in the ongoing legal battle between Binance and Nigerian authorities.

The case has broader implications for the regulation of cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria, a country where such platforms have been scrutinized for their impact on the foreign exchange market and compliance with local tax laws.

Background tensions have been high since Nigerian authorities detained Gambaryan and Anjarwalla earlier this year.

The Federal Government has accused cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance of influencing foreign exchange rates, leading to stricter oversight and legal actions.

Despite these challenges, Binance remains a significant player in Nigeria’s cryptocurrency market, with a reported turnover of over $20 billion in 2023.

The outcome of this case could set important precedents for the taxation and regulation of digital asset platforms in Nigeria and beyond.

Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency

Binance’s BNB Token Hits Record $717 as Co-Founder Zhao Begins Jail Sentence

Published

on

Binance CEO

Binance’s BNB token surged to a record high of $717.48 last week as Changpeng Zhao, the company’s co-founder, commenced a four-month prison sentence.

This rally revealed Zhao’s unique status as the wealthiest individual ever to serve time in a U.S. federal facility.

Zhao, often referred to as “CZ” within the cryptocurrency community, reported to a California prison on Tuesday to begin his sentence.

The charges stem from his failure to adequately safeguard Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, against money laundering activities.

This legal battle culminated in Binance agreeing to a historic $4.3 billion fine to settle allegations with U.S. authorities, in addition to Zhao paying a $50 million personal fine.

Despite these challenges, BNB’s value has more than doubled since the beginning of the year, lifting its market capitalization to $109 billion, according to CoinGecko data.

Binance’s resilience during this period has been reflected in its assets under management, which have grown from approximately $80 billion in early January to $125 billion today.

Holders of BNB benefit from trading fee discounts on Binance and use the token to settle fees on the BNB Smart Chain, a blockchain that supports a variety of crypto applications, including games and decentralized exchanges.

This broad utility, along with strong demand, has driven the token’s impressive performance.

The recent surge in BNB’s price was hinted at by derivative market trading patterns observed in late May.

Spot demand for the token began to pick up in June, with buying activity consistently outpacing selling between June 2 and June 5, according to Kaiko analyst Dessislava Aubert.

BNB trades on more than a dozen centralized exchanges, distinguishing it from other exchange tokens that are typically limited to their respective platforms.

Nonetheless, Binance still accounts for 85% of BNB’s global trading volume.

Binance has faced intense scrutiny for alleged anti-money laundering and sanctions breaches, with accusations that it failed to prevent access by militant groups such as Hamas and Al Qaeda.

However, the company’s dominance in the crypto market remains unshaken, as evidenced by BNB’s meteoric rise.

Changpeng Zhao’s personal wealth, estimated at $38.5 billion, is largely tied to BNB. Despite the legal challenges, his net worth has increased by $4.1 billion in 2024, positioning him as the 40th richest person globally, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Zhao’s holdings of BNB, though undisclosed, are significant, with a 2017 whitepaper from BNB’s initial coin offering indicating that 80 million tokens were allocated to the founding team.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending