Also today, a Bitcoin ATM manufacturer says more than $1.5 million has been stolen from hot wallets after a devastating breach.
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ARK Invest's Cathie Wood believes Bitcoin's strength during the banking crisis could attract institutional investors. She told Bloomberg it's "quite instructive" how BTC has moved away from equity markets. Her firm says institutional investors should aim to allocate 2.5% to 6.5% of their portfolio to Bitcoin — nothing too crazy. Wood added: "These are the sorts of allocations they would have made to emerging new categories of assets. Like real estate in the '70s emerging markets, in small caps in the '80s and '90s." In Ark's Big Ideas 2023 report, the base case Bitcoin price prediction was $682,000 by 2030 — "quite conservative" in her eyes. Meanwhile, the bear case was more than $250,000... and the bull case nearly $1.5 million.
Joe Biden's administration continues to take a dim view of cryptocurrencies — with a perspective that runs from skeptical to negative to threatening. In a new economic report for Congress, the White House says: "Crypto assets to date do not appear to offer investments with any fundamental value, nor do they act as an effective alternative to fiat money, improve financial inclusion, or make payments more efficient; instead, their innovation has been mostly about creating artificial scarcity in order to support crypto assets' prices — and many of them have no fundamental value." However, the report did note that "there has not yet been a systemic crisis caused by crypto assets."
A woman who worked as head of compliance for the OneCoin pyramid scheme has been arrested in New York and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. It comes after Irina Dilkinska was extradited from Bulgaria. While some estimates suggest OneCoin victims lost $4 billion, other estimates run as high as $15 billion. The scheme began in 2014 with a token that was supposed to be a bigger and better version of Bitcoin. But the token was never tradable outside of its own closed system, and was distributed using multi-level marketing tactics in which members earned commissions for recruiting others to buy packages of OneCoin. "She will now face justice for her alleged crimes," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.
A Bitcoin ATM manufacturer says more than $1.5 million has been stolen from hot wallets after a devastating breach. General Bytes says the incident — which happened on March 17 and 18 — "was the most challenging time for us and some of our clients." According to the company, its cloud service and other standalone servers suffered security breaches after an attacker uncovered a serious vulnerability. They were able to upload a malicious application that gave them the ability to read and decrypt API keys — unlocking access to funds in hot wallets and exchanges. The attacker had the power to download usernames and password hashes, as well as turn off two-factor authentication. General Bytes said it took 15 hours to release a patch, but by that point, at least 56 BTC had been stolen.
A crypto firm has appeared before the Supreme Court for the very first time. But Coinbase's case actually has little to do with crypto. It's about the ability of companies to force consumers to adhere to arbitration agreements — instead of heading to court. Broadly, businesses say arbitration is faster and cheaper than court battles, while consumer advocates say it gives businesses a big advantage. If Coinbase loses, all sorts of companies could be forced into court battles that are not only longer and more expensive, but can come with embarrassing publicity and bigger awards. Reports suggest that Coinbase got the worst of the hearing, with many judges appearing to come down on the opposite side.
Celsius custody account holders now have a hard offer to get some of their funds back from the bankrupt crypto lender. While the vast majority of Celsius clients held Earn accounts paying about 20% interest, Custody account holders were simply using Celsius to "safely" store their assets, with no interest. Judge Martin Glenn of the federal bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York signed off on a settlement plan that allows Custody account holders to receive a total of 72.5% of their holdings. The payout will come in two parts: half in 30 days and half with the bankruptcy plan's resolution or by the end of the year. Meanwhile, new figures suggest lawyers and advisors working on the bankruptcy have billed a whopping $144 million so far.