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Why Celsius Thinks CEL Won’t Receive the Same SEC Treatment as XRP

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The CEO of cryptocurrency lender Celsius believes CEL won’t meet XRP’s fate. 

In a Dec. 31 interview, Alex Mashinsky attributed a recent spike in CEL’s price to the token being registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Mashinsky said this would protect CEL – the native token of the Celsius lending platform – from being embroiled in an SEC lawsuit, like the one the securities regulator has filed against Ripple because of its XRP token.

“We did not determine that CEL token is a security,” Mashinsky said in an interview with CoinDesk TV last Friday. “What we said is that because we’re not sure what it is, and it’s not clear because the regulations are not clear, that we’re going to file it as if it were a security.”

“Mass adoption from over 300,000 users worldwide is the driver,” Mashinsky said of CEL’s price action. “Half of our community … wants to be paid interest in CEL token.”

If users choose to get rewards in CEL, they can get better interest rates on earning and borrowing in the app. 

In May 2018, Celsius raised what was then $50 million worth of crypto in CEL’s initial coin offering (ICO). (Financial statements filed with the U.K. registrar Companies House in May 2020 show proceeds of only $25 million from the sale; Celsius told CoinDesk it had not converted the crypto to fiat in the same month that it was raised.)

“On the institutional side we have 350 customers,” Mashinsky said. “Based on credit ratings, we will require some of them to give us 200% collateral. … There are one or two institutions which have multibillion-dollar balance sheets that we require less than 100%, so they may give us 75%. If you take our book of $6 billion in assets, less than 1% of those are uncollateralized loans.” 

Mashinsky also revealed Celsius is considering participating in crypto lender Cred’s bankruptcy auction, but said that Celsius has not yet made a decision about the company. 

“Just like Mt. Gox, every event like this is a trust withdrawal from the crypto community,” Mashinsky said. 

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/why-celsius-thinks-cel-wont-receive-the-same-sec-treatment-as-xrp

Blockchain

First Major Rug Pull on Binance Smart Chain? Over $30 Million Drained

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  • Binance Smart Chain has become somewhat of a hot topic amid DeFi gem seekers in the past few weeks.
  • The network saw an influx of new projects, reminiscing of the early days of the DeFi craziness last summer.
  • In any case, hours ago, the community was shocked earlier today when news broke out that one of the newer protocols, Meerkat Finance, was drained.
  • Meerkat Finance is a yield farming protocol that runs on Binance Smart Chain, and a few hours ago, the team revealed that it was “hacked” and drained by 73,000 BNB and 13 million BUSD. The total number amounts to roughly over $30 million at the time of this writing.
  • It appears that the alleged hacker stole the money by changing the protocol’s smart contract using the original deployer’s account. In other words – the private key of the deployer contract must have been compromised.
  • The Twitter account of the project, as well as the website, have also been taken down, causing some to believe that the team rug pulled the entire thing.
  • Meanwhile, the official account of Binance prompted the community to provide any additional information they may have on the case.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/first-major-rug-pull-on-binance-smart-chain-over-30-million-drained/

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Parity To Educate Berkeley Students on Developing Blockchain Projects on Polkadot

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The popular DLT protocol Parity Technologies has partnered with Berkeley’s Blockchain Xcelerator program to provide educational panels for students in the university’s blockchain curriculum.

As part of the collaboration, Polkadot’s co-founder Gavin Woods will be a guest lecturer in the A. Richard Newton Distinguished Innovator Lecture Series.

Parity to Educate Berkeley Students About Blockchain

Parity Technologies, a core DLT infrastructure company, announced its latest partnership in a press release shared with CryptoPotato.

According to the document, Parity will employ its substrate blockchain-building framework to educate and work together with the university to raise “the overall awareness of next-generation blockchain technologies in order to promote adoption among students and the community at UC Berkeley.”

For the ongoing 2020-2021 academic year, Parity’s developer education team will collaborate with the faculty, students, and the community studying blockchain technologies in their respective coursework. This includes involvement in curriculum preparation, project ideas, and resources to “enrich the educational experience.”

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Furthermore, Parity and the university’s DLT-oriented program called the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator will advise students and entrepreneurs on how to develop and eventually launch blockchain startups on Polkadot and Web 3.0 ecosystem.

Jocelyn Weber, an executive at the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, said that the “work with parity and other Polkadot ecosystem startups had demonstrated the potential of this technology in educating our community.”

“We strive to expose our students to the tools and skills they will need to enter this space and immediately start making significant contributions – which is why improving their knowledge with tools such as Substrate and networks like Polkadot will be an important part of our curriculum development.” – Weber added.

Gavin Woods to Give a Lecture

The statement also outlined that Dr. Gavin Woods, the co-founder of Ethereum, Polkadot, and Parity, will give a lecture in the A. Richard Newton Distinguished Innovator Lecture series this month.

Wood commented that blockchain innovation is expanding at a rapid pace and has advanced “beyond legacy networks into next-generation, production-grade blockchains like Polkadot.” This makes it “critical” for the newer coders, engineers, and entrepreneurs to be able to take on the growing competition and develop ground-breaking projects.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/parity-to-educate-berkeley-students-on-developing-blockchain-projects-on-polkadot/

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Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse, Chris Larsen File Motions To Dismiss SEC Lawsuit

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Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen have recently appealed to Judge Analisa Torres, filing two separate motions to dismiss the US SEC’s amended complaint against Ripple and its executives.

Regulatory Overreach

In a letter dated March 3, 2021, the Attorneys representing Garlinghouse stated that the lawsuit filed by the SEC against Ripple was simply a “regulatory overreach.”

They argued that the SEC’s allegations of Garlinghouse aiding and abetting the sale of XRP, which they also alleged of being a security under the Securities Act, failed based on several reasons.

The letter reads:

“The SEC fails to recognize the economic realities of Defendants’ transactions in XRP, the XRP market, and Ripple’s business, each of which exhibits none of the traditional characteristics of an investment contract under SEC v. W.J. Howey Co.”

The Howey Test is often used by the SEC to determine whether an asset possesses the qualities of a security, and the regulatory body had argued that XRP had all the characteristics of a security. 

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However, Ripple and its executives have maintained that XRP is a virtual currency, as confirmed by the Justice Department and FinCEN.

The filing also remarked on the recent amended complaint filed by the SEC before the pretrial hearing on February 22, which alleged that Garlinghouse violated securities laws by selling his XRP holdings through Ripple.

Baseless Claims

Garlinghouse had reportedly sold more than 60% of his XRP holdings worth around $159 million at that time, a move that had been frowned upon by several members of the crypto community.

However, the attorneys representing him have asserted that the SEC’s complaints against him are baseless since there are no tangible proofs to show that those transactions had indeed occurred within the US.

They said that “the truth is that the vast majority of Mr. Garlinghouse’s XRP sales were made on foreign exchanges, and those transactions do not and cannot violate the federal securities laws.”

Meanwhile, Chris Larsen’s lawyers said in their letter that the regulator has failed “to state a claim against Mr. Larsen,”  even in its amended complaint. Hence, the lawsuit against their client should be dismissed.

An Attack On Cryptocurrencies

The conclusion of this SEC lawsuit against Ripple will greatly affect the way cryptocurrencies are viewed and regulated. 

The CEO had earlier stated that this case is an “assault on crypto at large” and that Ripple “will not let SEC bully the entire industry.”

It is still uncertain who would be declared right or wrong, we just have to wait and watch with fingers crossed.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ripples-brad-garlinghouse-chris-larsen-file-motions-to-dismiss-sec-lawsuit/

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