SEC's 'War On Crypto' Escalates...

Is crypto in danger???

GM, frens! Ambire here with our weekly newsletter, today crypto is once again facing tough times but don’t lose hope, what goes down must come up - let's discuss this in more detail. Today we'll talk about SEC's continuous war on crypto, Tether investing in Volcano mining in El Salvador, NFTs used to fuel a music chart race in UK, a crypto CEX gets licensed as an official payment provider in Brazil, Atomic Wallet getting hacked, SWIFT and Chainlink partnership and some other stuff. Let's get down to it:

SEC's ‘war on crypto’ escalates

The US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has increased the pressure on crypto exchanges this week, with lawsuits against two of the biggest players in the industry - Coinbase and Binance.

The SEC alleged that Coinbase was trading at least 13 crypto assets that were securities and should have been registered with the commission prior to being listed. Meanwhile, Binance was accused of offering 12 crypto coins without registering them as securities.

The lawsuits put the spotlight on other exchanges in the US that are yet to be investigated by the SEC. This could spell trouble for some of these companies, which may now have to take steps to ensure they comply with relevant regulations. (Although the regulations themselves aren't very clear, and will likely change and/or evolve over time.)

As a consequence, investors have been turning to DEXs (decentralized exchanges) as a way of avoiding the risks associated with centralized services. This has caused a surge in trading volume on DEXs, with the median daily volumes of the top three exchanges jumping more than 500% over the past few days.

So is it going to completely destabilize the industry? That remains to be seen, but it's certainly a sign that SEC is out for blood.

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Tether and Volcano Energy join forces to build a seismic-powered Bitcoin mining farm in El Salvador

In the meantime, Tether, along with other investors, will be helping Volcano Energy build a volcano-based Bitcoin mining farm in El Salvador. Volcano Energy has reportedly already started the construction of their state-of-the-art facility.

The mining farm will reportedly have a capacity of 6,000 terahashes per second (TH/s), making it one of the largest Bitcoin mining farms in the world. The farm will utilize renewable energy sourced from volcanic activity, thanks to El Salvador's unique geography.

The CEO of Volcano Energy is Josue Lopez, a 23-year-old bitcoin advocate from El Salvador. The company is also co-led by Max Keiser, who is the chairman and an advisor to El Salvador President Nayib Bukele. The size of the planned bitcoin mining farm is 241 megawatts (MW), divided between 169 MW of photovoltaic solar energy and 72 MW of wind energy. This output is expected to generate a computing power of over 1.3 EH/s (exahashes per second), making it one of the most powerful Bitcoin mining operations in the world.

The partnership between Tether and Volcano Energy is a major step forward for crypto, as it will allow for the efficient use of renewable energy for mining operations. This move is also expected to benefit El Salvador, as it will bring new economic opportunities to the country and help it further develop its cryptocurrency industry.

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Noel Gallagher uses music NFTs to compete with Foo Fighters’ album

Noel Gallagher, a singer from the legendary rock band Oasis, is now relying on music NFTs as a strategy to edge ahead of his main competition, the Foo Fighters.

Gallagher released “Council Skies” with his current band, the High Flying Birds, on June 2. The same day, the Foo Fighters released “But Here We Are”, their first album since the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Gallagher has now created a limited-edition NFT that will allow him to gain recognition among new audiences. The single “We Are” from the new album will be available as an NFT, giving fans the chance to own a piece of the music and artwork. This marks Gallagher’s first foray into the world of cryptocurrency and a new way to promote his music.

Owners of the NFT will be able to unlock high-quality WAV files of the record, the first two parts of a four-part documentary about the making of the record, and a digitally signed lyric sheet. The pressing will also feature limited-edition signed and colored artwork.

We're not exactly sure if that's going to be enough to outdo his main competition, but Gallagher hopes that this innovative approach will help him get an edge over the Foo Fighters.

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Crypto CEX licensed as an official payment provider in Brazil

Some bullish news from Brazil: it has become the first Latin American country to officially recognize a crypto exchange as an official payment provider. On June 2nd, Mercado Bitcoin, one of the largest and oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in Brazil, received approval from the Brazilian Central Bank to start working as a payment institution.

This step will allow Mercado Bitcoin to launch its new fintech solution MB Pay, which means users will be able to make fixed-income investments, stake coins and do other financial transactions with crypto assets held on the exchange. In addition, an off-ramp debit card is also expected to be available soon for users in the country.

The approval process had been delayed after a long wait due to the regulator's approval process, but it looks like Mercado Bitcoin is finally ready to roll out its services.

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Atomic Wallet gets hacked, users lose $35M in crypto

Atomic Wallet got hacked last Saturday, and the company has since confirmed that some of its users were affected. According to blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic, this could have been perpetrated by Lazarus, a North Korean-based hacking group. The team behind Atomic has stated that the number of affected users does not exceed 1% of monthly active users.

The security breach has caused a great deal of distress for the victims, who have reported their wallets being drained of funds.

ZachXBT, a blockchain investigator, estimated that around $35 million in various crypto coins had been stolen, including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), tether (USDT), dogecoin (DOGE), litecoin (LTC), BNB coin (BNB), polygon (MATIC) and Tron-based USDT. The stolen crypto has been funneled to a mixer called This mixer has been often used to launder money from other hacks attributed to Lazarus, and the usage pattern is the same. Elliptic also found connections between the wallets containing the loot from Atomic and some of the Lazarus hacks.

An interesting bit: last year, security audit firm Least Authority published a blog post warning that Atomic Wallet may have been susceptible to security breaches. According to Least Authority, they found issues with how Atomic Wallet implemented cryptography, didn't adhere to best practices for wallet design, lacked robust project documentation, and incorrectly used Electron, a framework for building desktop applications. It is clear that Atomic Wallet needs to take more stringent measures in order to protect its users’ funds in the future.

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SWIFT and Chainlink collaborate to connect the financial world via the blockchain

SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) announced a collaboration between major banks and Web3 infrastructure provider Chainlink. The two are testing the ability to connect private and public permissionless blockchains. The tests are part of Swift’s initiative to explore the interoperability of tokenized assets across private blockchains which it began in 2022. Now, with the help of Chainlink, Swift is extending its experiments to public blockchains.

With this, it is hoped that the financial sector will be able to capitalize on the benefits of both private and public blockchains. For instance, it could lead to increased efficiency, performance, and scalability which could result in better customer experiences and lower costs.

The collaboration includes major financial institutions across the globe, including BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Citi, Euroclear, SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC). Chainlink is providing what Swift calls an “enterprise account abstraction layer.” Sergey Nazarov, one of the company’s co-founders, said that he thinks the asset tokenization trend is being embraced by banks and financial market infrastructure institutions alike, which has the potential to “10x the blockchain industry size.”

When SWIFT first started in 1977, it was revolutionary in replacing old communication technology with its own digital network called Telex, which was essentially a “private financial internet before the internet” according to Nazarov. Now, decades later, SWIFT and Chainlink are helping to move the financial sector towards a future where private and public blockchains can work together for the benefit of everyone involved.

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Other worthy reads:

A summary from Kobeissi Letter:

Liquid staking explained by Patrick:

A thread on crypto narratives from Zero Ika:

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The fun page: our weekly meme collection

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That's all for now, frens.

We'll see you next week. And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better DeFi 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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