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Crypto Top Stories This Week: Do Known arrested, Greenpeace PR blunder, and USDC adoption.

March 27, 2023

Crypto Top Stories This Week: Do Known arrested, Greenpeace PR blunder, and USDC adoption.

March 27, 2023

Blog » Crypto News » Crypto Top Stories This Week: Do Known arrested, Greenpeace PR blunder, and USDC adoption.

Last week in the crypto world we saw Circle’s USDC stablecoin come back strong from its 13% de-peg to claim two coups in the adoption stakes ? 

In other news, Greenpeace made quite the PR blunder around Bitcoin’s environmental impact ? and Terraform Labs CEO, Do Kwon, was finally arrested ?


USDC Goes from Depeg to Adoption

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for Circle and its USDC stablecoin, which has gone from losing 13% of its value during the Silicon Valley Bank crisis to making headlines over adoption by a Bitcoin bank and Mastercard. 

The coin depegged two weeks ago after it was revealed that its owner, Circle, had over $3.3 billion worth of funds tied up in Silicon Valley Bank, resulting in mass panic that the company was going to lose the money. However, USDC recovered when it was revealed that all customers would be made whole, and USDC has gone from strength to strength ever since.

First, Bitcoin bank Xapo Bank announced that it had integrated USDC withdrawals, the first registered bank to do so, as an alternative to lengthy SWIFT transactions. Given all the stablecoins out there this is a major coup for USDC, with customers able to redeem their USDC for dollars through Circle itself. This will reduce the withdrawal process timespan from days with SWIFT to just minutes, and all in a regulated setting..

Later last week it was then announced that USDC is also the stablecoin of choice for Mastercard’s expansion into the crypto settlement arena. Mastercard has teamed up with Australian stablecoin settlement company Stables to allow holders of its virtual card to spend USDC coins online and in-store anywhere that Mastercard is accepted in the Asia Pacific region, with conversions being done on the fly as opposed to users having to do them manually beforehand.

Clearly, any potential issues that may have been associated with USDC within some areas of the crypto space are not echoed in the wider community.


Greenpeace in PR Blunder Over Bitcoin Mining

Greenpeace celebrated the first anniversary of its ‘Change the Code, Not the Climate’ campaign last week by making a PR gaffe that highlighted how out of touch the group is with the realities of Bitcoin. 

The group commissioned Canadian artist Von Wong to create a visual representation of the impact of Bitcoin on the planet, but Wong’s resultant piece, a striking 11-foot Bitcoin skull made of electronic waste dubbed the Satoshi Skull, drew massive appreciation from the Bitcoin community, with praise for its epic design drowning out the message behind it.

Greenpeace’s “Change the Code, Not the Climate” is based around the concept that Bitcoin could easily switch from a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a Proof of Stake mechanism, using Ethereum’s switch as an example. The group claims that a “basic” code switch would see Bitcoin become more environmentally friendly overnight:

“We know a basic software code change would reduce Bitcoin’s energy use by 99.9%.

If only 30 people — the key miners, exchanges, and core developers who build and contribute to Bitcoin’s code — agreed to reinvent proof-of-work mining or move to a low-energy protocol, Bitcoin would stop polluting the planet.”

This theory, however, is undermined by several important factors. First, PoW is far more secure and fairer than PoS, with the latter leaving itself open to concentrations of power, which is why it is a far less desirable method of running a blockchain. Second, Bitcoin’s decentralization is far bigger than Greenpeace suggests, with thousands of miners, node operators, and users all required to agree to such a change. 

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Even if the developers were somehow forced to create new software it would be rejected by the entire community, and so the enterprise would be pointless. Finally, Bitcoin has been singled out by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the only cryptocurrency that can’t be considered a security, a situation that would change overnight if it swapped to a PoS consensus mechanism, as several cryptocurrency exchanges have found with their Ethereum staking platforms.

Greenpeace’s utter lack of understanding over these factors, plus the fact that Bitcoin mining only accounts for 0.25% of the world’s ‘wasted’ energy, explains why the company’s attempts to visually represent Bitcoin through Wong’s work backfired – the sculpture was so incredible in its design and execution that it utterly overshadowed the message behind it, and led to the Greenpeace Twitter account being flooded with messages of admiration over it.

Bitcoin fans will no doubt be looking forward to what the charity produces to mark the second anniversary.


Do Kwon Arrested on False Passport Charges

One of the crypto world’s most wanted men, Do Kwon, was finally arrested last week, six months after Interpol issued a red notice for the Terraform Labs CEO. Kwon, who was thought to be residing in Serbia having fled Singapore via Dubai, was caught trying to leave Montenegro in possession of false passports and was detained by police. 

The same day, the U.S. Justice Department filed fraud charges against Kwon in a Manhattan court, with U.S. officials now expected to seek extradition. However, they may face a fight from South Korean authorities who were behind the red notice and who have already filed charges against Kwon.

South Korean investigators seeking Kwon received intelligence in December that Kwon, whose $60 billion Terra empire blew up in May last year, had fled to Serbia via Dubai, potentially along with other Terraform Labs executives. This followed an arrest warrant for him over various financial crimes which was issued in September, with Kwon denying he was on the run. Interpol issued their red notice for him shortly afterward, with Kwon leaving Asia for Europe just weeks later.

Having presumably been holed up in Serbia and its neighbor Montenegro ever since, Kwon clearly thought it was time to head back to Dubai and attempted to do so through Montenegro’s Podgorica airport. He was accompanied by Han Chang-joon, the former CEO of Chai Corp, the creator of a South Korean payments app that Kwon had pretended was using the Terra blockchain. 

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Both men were detained after Kwon (and possibly Chang-joon) were found in possession of forged Costa Rican and Belgian passports. According to Montenegro’s interior ministry, the pair have been held on forgery charges, with the situation made worse for Kwon due to the fact that the ministry added that there was no official record of the pair entering Montenegro.


Trending stories

– Tron founder, Justin Sun, has been charged with wash trading, an unregistered sale of securities, and improper promotion of Tron and BitTorrent tokens by the SEC 

– 72% payouts have been confirmed by the bankruptcy judge in the Celsius case for the vast majority of creditors following the takeover agreement

– Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wants to ban any potential U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency from the state, fearing for citizens’ privacy

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Jordan Huxley

Born on a blockchain with “HODL” as a middle name, the crypto-savvy Jordan Huxley guides our readers through the digital world of crypto with insightful guides and informative content, unveiling the power of crypto in his own, unique way. Get the latest updates on blockchain-related tech, advancements, news, and events with Jordan and our team of crypto gambling gurus on the Punt Casino Blog.

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