Discover all the most captivating news of the week in one place! Read on to stay in the loop and not miss out on anything interesting!

Launch of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF Trading in Hong Kong

On Monday, trading began on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for six new exchange-traded funds directly tied to the digital assets Bitcoin and Ethereum. On the first trading day, the total turnover of these instruments amounted to around $6.3 million USD. Despite the relatively modest start in trading volume, the launch of spot cryptocurrency ETFs in the Asian financial center marked a significant event for the industry. For comparison, the debut of a similar Bitcoin fund in the United States in October 2022 was accompanied by a record-breaking single-day turnover of over $4.6 billion USD. However, the launch of Hong Kong spot ETFs has not yet had a significant impact on the prices of the underlying assets.

Bitcoin Price Decline

A lawsuit filed by ConsenSys against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shed light on the regulator's stance on the second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum. According to documents disclosed during the proceedings, the SEC and its chairman, Gary Gensler, classified Ethereum as a security over the past year. 

This means that trading Ethereum, the underlying crypto asset of this blockchain network, should, according to authorities, be regulated under the corresponding legislation. The SEC's position on the legal status of Ethereum and Ethereum trading has drawn criticism from market participants. The final resolution of this contentious issue is likely to have far-reaching implications for the entire cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.

Former Binance CEO Sentenced to Prison

A U.S. court has issued a guilty verdict against Changpeng Zhao, the founder of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. The former head of the trading platform was found guilty of money laundering and violating banking laws. Zhao has been sentenced to 4 months in prison. The defendant's lawyers cited his active cooperation with the investigation and American regulatory authorities during the probe. The defense also emphasized that Changpeng Zhao is currently not involved in Binance's operational activities. It is noteworthy that in similar cases involving cryptocurrency exchanges, judges have previously refrained from imposing actual prison sentences, opting instead for fines. 

Despite acknowledging guilt and efforts to rectify the violations, the court decided on imprisonment for the former head of one of the key platforms in the crypto market.

Over 12 Meme Coins Abandoned After Raising Funds on Solana

As the popularity of meme cryptocurrencies grows, scammers actively exploit this trend for their illicit purposes. As reported by X (social media) user, ZachXBT, in the last month alone, at least 12 projects based on Solana, related to launching meme coins, were simply abandoned by developers after raising investments totaling approximately $26.7 million. In his research, he identified a dozen startups that conducted initial token sales. Most of them significantly depreciated shortly after listing on exchanges, and one did not even issue its own digital assets.

Record Profit for Tether in Q1 2024

Tether Holdings Limited, the issuer of the world's most popular stable cryptocurrency USDT, reported record financial results in the first quarter of 2024. The issuer's net profit for the stablecoin reached $4.52 billion, a 56% increase over the previous record. The main sources of income for Tether were investments in bitcoins, precious metals, and U.S. Treasury bonds, the combined value of which in the company's assets exceeded $90 billion. In its quarterly report, Tether reaffirmed its commitment to transparency, liquidity provision, and risk management. 

As of the end of March, the issuer's net capital reached $11.3 billion, with the excess reserve volume increasing to $6.4 billion. Moreover, 90% of the circulating Tether stablecoins are fully backed by cash and equivalents in accordance with the stated concept.

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