Five Things to Know in Crypto: The Middle East, Grayscale, and SBF in Focus

BTCUSD Daily Chart 141023

US vs. Sam Bankman-Fried Trial Highlighted Fraudulent Activity

The US vs. Sam Bankman-Fried trial garnered plenty of market interest. Prosecution witnesses, including Gary Wang, Caroline Ellison, and Zac Prince, took the stand.

Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX, and Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, gave testimony as part of plea agreements with the US Department of Justice.

Gary Wang acknowledged committing crimes at FTX along with Nishad Singh, Caroline Ellison, and SBF. Significantly, Wang admitted FTX permitted Alameda to withdraw unlimited funds.

Caroline Ellison, former girlfriend of SBF, also delivered damning testimony. Under direct questioning, Ellison said SBF directed her to commit the crimes, adding he set up the systems and told her to take the money.

Former BlockFi CEO Zac Prince took the stand on Friday. Responding to questions from the prosecution, Prince stated BlockFi would not have approved loans to Alameda if they had known about FTX-Alameda loans or if they had known Alameda was accessing FTX customer funds.

UK Financial Conduct Authority Targeted Binance Access to UK Investors

On Tuesday, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) responded to news of a Binance partnership with

The FCA announced restrictions on, preventing the company from approving crypto-asset financial promotions. As part of a newly formed partnership with Binance, intended to handle UK promotional materials and communications for Binance.

The FCA introduced the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Promotional Rules for Crypto Assets to protect UK retail investors.

SEC Finds Support in the Ongoing SEC v Coinbase Case

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) filed an Amicus Curiae brief supporting the SEC’s opposition to the Coinbase (COIN) motion to dismiss.

The NASAA argued,

“The SEC’s theory in this case is consistent with the agency’s longstanding public position, the position advanced by state securities regulators, and even the understanding of digital asset issuers. The Court should reject Coinbase’s attempt to narrow and misapply the established legal framework […].”

The NASAA is not alone in filing Amicus Curiae briefs in the ongoing SEC v Coinbase case. In August, Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis, among others, filed Amicus Curiae briefs supporting Coinbase, arguing,

“The SEC’s assertion of authority in this case is out of step with active legislative efforts.”