🔥 CZ sentenced to 4 months in jail

Also: rollups throw millions to attract memecoin devs 🗡️

GM, g’day or GN, depending ох where you are frens! ☀️ 

Every single day in the crypto world brings its own set of unique experiences, brimming with both opportunities for growth and potential challenges to navigate.

This dynamic environment ensures that no two days are exactly the same, providing both new frens and vets with the chance to explore, learn, and adapt in a constantly evolving market.

Today we’re discussing:

  • ⛓️ CZ sentenced to 4 months in jail

  • 🪙 BNB holds a $1M memecoin competition

  • 💱 FTM creates a $6.5m meme dev fund

  • 💰 Update on the W3OF Degen Portfolio

  • 📈 Hong Kong BTC and ETH ETFs are live

CZ sentenced to 4 months in jail

Binance's famous founder and one of the richest people in crypto, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), has been sentenced to four (kind of ironic, isn’t it?) months in prison for his role in failing to establish sufficient anti-money laundering protections.

  • In November 2023, Zhao pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him.

  • The presiding judge, Richard Jones, noted that CZ's main priority was the growth and profits of Binance, rather than ensuring compliance with US laws and regulations.

  • Last year, CZ stepped down as CEO of the exchange as part of his plea agreement.

  • He still holds a controlling share in Binance and is considered a significant figure in the crypto community.

Prosecutors requested a harsher sentence of three years, double the sentencing guideline of 18 months, due to “massive scope and impact” of CZ's misconduct. They also highlighted the significant harm to US national security caused by his actions 🤷 

According to prosecutors, Binance violated US laws on an unprecedented scale and allowed sanctions violations totaling over $898 million.

CZ and other executives at Binance failed to comply with anti-money laundering laws, resulting in transactions with sanctioned countries such as Iran, Cuba, and Syria.

In response to the sentencing memo from prosecutors, CZ's lawyers argued that he deserved no jail time as no defendant in a similar case has ever been incarcerated 🤔 

They also highlighted that Binance has taken steps to improve its anti-money laundering procedures since the incident.

So, what's next?

CZ's sentence is significantly shorter than prosecutors' request but still considered a harsh punishment in the crypto community. Still though, CZ has taken responsibility for his actions and seems ready to do his time and move on to the next phase of his life.

Some market watchers view the four-month sentence as a great deal for CZ. That is if you compare it to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried's 25-year sentence, making CZ's four months seem like a joke in comparison.

Others have pointed out that the $50 million fine paid by CZ is relatively small compared to his net worth of over $40 billion 💰️ 

Despite the sentence, CZ remains positive and grateful for all the support he received during the trial. He plans to focus on his new education project, Giggle Academy, which aims to provide free education access to children.

CZ also stated that he will continue being a passive investor in the crypto industry.

In the meantime, Binance's native token, BNB, has seen a 9% decrease in price within the past 24 hours. It still remains above $500 though, which has been a crucial psychological support level since March.

As CZ prepares to start his sentence, it will be interesting to see how Binance and the broader crypto market will be impacted by his absence.

But even without CZ, Binance is still chugging along 👇️ 

BNB holds a $1M memecoin competition

Binance's BNB chain (previously known as BSC) has once been the go-to chain for memecoins (c’mon, the company has even been publicly called the "shitcoin casino" by Bloomberg at one point) but the side chain has been gradually losing this title to other networks like Base and Solana during this cycle 👇️ 

But it seems they're not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Binance has announced a $1 million "Meme Innovation Battle", split into two streams, to encourage memecoin devs to come back to the chain.

  • The first stream, called "BNB Smart Chain Meme Projects Battle", will have a prize pool of up to $500,000 and will be divided among three categories: trading volume, market cap, and meme community holders 🐸 

  • The competition will run until May 9 and is open to projects that meet certain criteria including security audits, total locked liquidity, and community size. Public presale projects are not eligible to participate 🤷 

  • The second stream, called "Trade for Airdrop Rewards", will have a prize pool of, again, $500,000 and will reward holders of BNB-based memecoins. Snapshots were taken between April 20th and 22nd to determine the eligible holders 📷️ 

BNB Chain stated that they believe in the power of community when it comes to memecoins. They see them as “vessels of collective expression, camaraderie, and sometimes even social commentary”.

But the real reason is obviously prestige, that the BSC/BNB chain lost because its uncontrolled nature allowed worst scams to thrive and the fact that successfull meme launches bring a lot of media attention and consequently, new users, volume and increase in TVL 📈 

Is ignoring the actual problems with the chain and giving a million to devs and holders going to return the favor of shitcoin connoisseurs? That remains to be seen 👀 

Btw, BNB isn’t the only chain currently racing to win meme devs’ favor 👇️ 👇️ 

FTM creates a $6.5m meme dev fund

Fantom is also launching a new initiative to promote "safer memecoins" by setting aside $6.5 million worth of FTM for devs 💰️ 💰️ 

FTM CEO Michael Kong hopes that this fund will replicate the success seen on Solana and Base, which dominate this cycle’s memecoin trading volumes.

In an effort to attract memecoin traders to Fantom, Kong announced at the MemeGlobal event in April that the foundation would be offering a 10-million-FTM prize pool for memecoin teams 💵 

  • The key to a successful memecoin, according to Kong, is a democratic launch with a widely distributed token supply 🤔 

  • In order to promote this approach, Fantom co-founder Andre Cronje proposed measures such as including the foundation as a co-controller of tokens' startup liquidity and locking team tokens and marketing funds in a multisig wallet.

Fantom currently ranks 38th in terms of total value locked (TVL) in the DeFi space, with $108.3 million locked 🪙 

While this may not be on par with Solana or Base, Fantom too hopes that this meme approach will help attract new users and drive growth on the network.

The race for the meme crown has certainly begun, can BSC(BNB) and / or FTM dethrone SOL, BASE and ETH?

How’s our W3OF Degen Portfolio doing?

We’re in it for the long run - so we don’t lose hope even when we hit a plateau.

📈 Do you have any ideas or follow some gems we could invest into so we can go back up again? Make sure to share them in our #web3-on-fire channel of the Ambire Discord community!

The W3OF Degen Portfolio in the upcoming Ambire Wallet browser extension

Hong Kong BTC and ETH ETFs are live

A posh ceremony marked the launch of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Honk Kong, while first-day trading volumes were considerably lower than those recorded in the United States during the ETFs' launch in January 2024 📉 

  • Although highly anticipated, the spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs launched in Hong Kong did not reach the same level of trading volume as their counterparts in the US 🫣 

  • Only $12 million was recorded in total trading volume for six new crypto ETFs at the end of day one, compared to a crazy $4.6 billion during the first day of trading for US spot BTC ETFs.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) shared data that highlighted the relatively low interest and performance of the six spot BTC and ETH ETFs, managed by China Asset Management, Harvest Global, Bosera, and HashKey.

The most successful on their first day was CAM's Bitcoin ETF with 4.6 million HK$ in trading volume 🫤 

Before trading commenced, CAM's spot BTC and ETH ETFs attracted $140 million during the initial offering period. According to experts, this is an indication of relatively strong investor interest in these products.

HKEX's crypto futures ETFs, launched at the end of 2022, garnered $529 million in net inflows during the first quarter of 2024.

Did that help?

After the halving and the ETF events happened, some investors apparently decided that nothing bullish was in store for crypto in 2024 anymore.

This and macro concerns made BTC dump 15%, which is a significant departure from the previous eight consecutive months of continuous growth, matching its record from 2012 💸 

The Grayscale GBTC lost $93.2 million in outflows during April, while the BTC ETFs together recorded outflows of $161 million.

So in the end, while the launch of BTC and ETH spot ETFs in Hong Kong may not have been as successful as their US counterparts, it is still a step forward for the mainstream acceptance and adoption of crypto 🫡 

The results shall be closely monitored to see if the trend continues and if more ETFs are launched in other global markets.

Other worthy reads

Some other DeFi updates from this week by Salazar:

An interesting new tool from DefiLlama:

“FTX Estate concludes second tranche of locked Solana sales with bids averaging around $100”:


That's all for now, frens.

We'll meet in a week! And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better Web3 is here to stay. Thanks for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

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