Sep 21, 2023

The Aftershocks of Crypto's Nightmare Year

Bitcoin Macro

2022 was a disaster for crypto, with major companies going bust, founders getting arrested, and billions of investor dollars wiped out. 2023 is proving to be just as rocky as the effects linger from crypto's horrible year.

Earlier in September, OneCoin co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood got a strict 20-year jail sentence and was ordered to pay a massive $300 million fine after deceiving millions of innocent investors who bought into OneCoin's fraudulent promise to be a 'Bitcoin killer.' His partner in crime, the elusive 'Crypto Queen' Ruja Ignatova, is still on the run on the FBI's Most Wanted list, raising urgent questions about where OneCoin's lost billions ended up and if investors will ever get answers.

Ex-FTX head honcho Sam Bankman-Fried will stand trial in October on fraud charges over his exchange spectacularly going belly up last year. Prosecutors strongly oppose proposed jury screening questions from SBF's legal squad aimed at painting him in a favorable light and distracting jurors from criminal accusations that he knowingly misused billions in customer money.

Recently revealed court papers shed light on profligate marketing payments FTX made to celebrity clients like basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, baseball star David Ortiz, and top NBA franchises like the Golden State Warriors. FTX may try to claw back that promotional cash as duped creditors scramble to recover losses in the aftermath.

The disgraced former leaders of failed hedge fund Three Arrows Capital got slapped with 9-year bans in Singapore for shady violations that helped bring about its stunning $3.5 billion collapse. Investigations continue into Three Arrows' high-risk dealings, lax oversight, and how its catastrophic liquidity crisis sent shockwaves through crypto markets last year that erased billions more in investor funds.

Ex-Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky unsuccessfully asked a judge to toss charges filed against him by the FTC, arguing he can't be responsible for violating laws after having resigned from his CEO position at the controversial lending platform. Celsius filed for bankruptcy protection last year after abruptly freezing customer withdrawals without notice, sparking panic and financial losses.

In Hong Kong, police arrested crypto influencer Joseph Lam related to an ongoing investigation into troubled exchange JPEX, which has been accused of misleading marketing tactics and liquidity issues. The case spotlights the inherent risks of centralized crypto platforms and influencers potentially illegally pumping up services for their own gain.

Crypto's massive 2022 market crash exposed extraordinary levels of dysfunction, negligence, and outright deception that will have far-reaching impacts. Countless unwitting investors lost their life savings while regulators boost efforts to crack down on and prosecute key players in the sector. The full damage of crypto's disastrous year is still coming to light.

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