Also today, a crypto influencer is criticized for violent, misogynistic videos that are spreading on TikTok.
Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network has rowed back on attempts to rehire its chief financial officer and pay him $92,000 a month. Rod Bolger had resigned on June 30, two weeks after the company abruptly halted all withdrawals in a shock announcement. News of the plans to give the ex-CFO such an astronomical paycheck during a time of financial turmoil would have gone down badly with the estimated 1.7 million people who have been unable to access any of their funds for almost two months. Investors who are suing Celsius were furious about the proposal. They claim there was "little detail" to justify why Bolger should be brought back, and that he had given false information to customers days before withdrawals were paused.
Voyager Digital has announced it will allow U.S. dollars to be withdrawn from accounts on Thursday — but there's still no sign of when customers will get access to their crypto. Users with cash balances will be paid within 5 to 10 business days. The embattled crypto broker is currently in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings. It's still possible that the company will be bought out by a competitor, and interested businesses have until August 26 to apply. Voyager's lawyers previously rejected a takeover offer by FTX as a "low-ball bid" — and they say other bidders have proposed far more generous terms. Given how customers have until Oct. 3 to file crypto claims against Voyager, there might be a long wait until accounts are fully unfrozen.
Hodlnaut has become the latest crypto lender to announce it is halting withdrawals with immediate effect. In a statement that'll sound all too familiar, the drastic move was blamed on "recent market conditions." Customers were told that the process of unfreezing accounts may be a long one, with Hodlnaut adding: "We understand that this is disappointing news and understand its impact on you." A recovery plan is in the works, but another update is not expected until August 19. Users will continue to earn interest on deposits every week, but this may be a hollow gesture. This is another huge blow to everyday crypto investors, and figures from Hodlnaut suggest that the firm has $500 million in digital assets under management.
Tiffany's "NFTiffs" — digital passes that entitle collectors to a bejeweled, physical pendant of their CryptoPunk — have enjoyed exceedingly healthy demand. A total of 250 digital passes were made available, with each costing 30 ETH. And according to Tiffany & Co. it took just 20 minutes for them to sell out. The high-end jewelry brand has now suggested that further mints may be on the horizon. Given how 30 ETH is worth $1,700 at current market rates, all of this means Tiffany's generated $12.8 million in revenue from the sale. All of this shows that, despite the current bear market, crypto enthusiasts still have money to spend — and there are still opportunities for high-end brands to embrace digital assets.
Andrew Tate has created a university that promises "financial freedom" to students and an education about crypto and NFTs. Now, thousands of his followers regularly post clips from his videos on TikTok — helping him achieve newfound fame. But the former kickboxer has been criticized for violent, misogynistic videos where he talks about "hitting women, trashing their belongings and stopping them from going out." Domestic abuse charities fear it could prompt young men to be violent against their partners — and TikTok has been accused of failing to take down footage that breaches their guidelines. The macho culture of "crypto bros" has already come under scrutiny in the past, amid concerns it could slow mainstream adoption.
A British man who deposited $24,000 into a fraudulent cryptocurrency platform has been told that his investment is now worth just $23.16. The scammers won his confidence by getting him to buy $240 of Bitcoin. He was then informed his balance had ballooned sharply, and he was encouraged to make a bigger deposit. After the criminals claimed his investment had hit $50,000, the man tried to close his account and withdraw it all. That's when he was told his crypto had plunged 99.5%. Had the victim's bank not stepped in at this point, he would have lost even more. Thames Valley Police says the man remains "absolutely convinced" that the investment company is genuine — and is in denial that he's been scammed.