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The Roundup: Do Kwon’s $2m flat, Ethereum’s upgrade, and is an FTX comeback imminent?

The Roundup: Do Kwon’s $2m flat, Ethereum’s upgrade, and is an FTX comeback imminent?
Sam Bankman-Fried is the founder of failed crypto exchange FTX, which could reopen, according to its lawyers.

Happy weekend!

This week, Ana Ćurić and Isabel Hunter inked another awesome piece of shoe-leather reporting where they found out that Terra founder Do Kwon’s associate Han Chang-Joon bought a $2 million flat in Belgrade, just doors down from the city’s chief of police.

Elsewhere, Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade went off without any significant glitches. In an industry brimming with drama, things were reasonably boring. I mean, apart from the fact that Tim Craig noted how the upgrade would unlock $34 billion in Ether and could, eventually, send the price of the world’s second biggest crypto crashing.

Meanwhile, FTX lawyers have suggested that the disgraced exchange could reopen as soon as next year. The crypto Twitterati responded to the prospect with glee and unbelief, voicing doubt that the brand could ever recover from a scandalous collapse involving fraud allegations and criminal investigations.

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Sherlock’s woes prove providing crypto insurance is far from elementary.

DeFi insurer Sherlock teeters on the edge after reserves fall 90%

Getting pricing risk right is elementary for insurers, but it seems that Sherlock may have gotten that wrong and is now suffering the consequences. On Friday, Tim explained how the company, which runs a platform that insures the integrity of computer code powering DeFi protocols, is quickly running out of steam after having had to pay out to Euler Finance in March. While Sherlock provides $16.5 million worth of coverage, it only has $2.9 million left in its coffers. Ouch!

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Ken Griffin, Elizabeth Warren and Circle.

Citadel Securities among firms hustling to create a crypto market structure amid FTX ‘dumpster fire’

Financial goliaths are hustling to build their own market structure to trade crypto assets. Their aim? To create an infrastructure able to sidestep the pitfalls seen from their crypto-native peers. On Friday, Joanna Wright wrote about how, as crypto-native firms collapse in bankruptcy and scandal, big asset managers and hedge funds are waiting to pounce on the potentially massive amounts of capital and liquidity in crypto markets.

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How Coinbase used Slack to figure out who its insider trader was.

Short seller Jim Chanos says Coinbase ‘will still lose money’ even as crypto prices soar

Short selling legend Jim Chanos, who shot to fame by predicting the Enron scandal decades ago, is betting against Coinbase, even as shares of the crypto exchange surge. In an interview with Trista Kelly, he said: “Our story is simple. COIN is charging its retail customers unsustainably high fees/commissions, but is still losing money. And in the quarter just ended, with crypto prices up 50% to 70%, they will still lose money! If not now, when?”

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DeFi protocol Yearn Finance hacked for $10m.

Hacker picks off $11m from old contract at Yearn Finance

Yearn Finance creator Andre Cronje has often been criticised for his laissez-faire attitude to coding, with his lax approach having cost people millions of dollars over the years.

His reputation took another blow this week when Yearn Finance suffered a new hack where the thief drained $11.6 million worth of assets by leveraging a bug that had been present since the DeFi protocol was deployed three years ago. Tim had the full story.

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Ukraine capital controls

Ukraine’s crypto dream derailed by currency controls

A year ago, Russian tanks rolled across the Ukrainian border. In its finest hour, the crypto community facilitated millions of dollars in donations being sent to help Kiev fight back the invasion.

Now, the National Bank of Ukraine has closed the on-ramps for converting the hryvnia into digital tokens, fearing the infrastructure would otherwise be used to gut the nation’s financial reserves. Kollen Post filed this brilliant report, explaining what’s going on.

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Lebanon & Tether.

Lebanon’s crypto brokers dodge turmoil and masked gunmen to serve clients

If you’re looking for action combined with macro-financial drama, then Jacob Russell has the story for you. This week he filed a vibrant feature about how Lebanon’s crypto brokers have replaced traditional financial services in the aftermath of the country’s economic implosion.

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The SEC’s Do Kwon case has massive implications for crypto’s legal future.

The rise and fall of Terra founder Do Kwon

The arrest of Do Kwon in March was the culmination of years of shit-posting, bluster, a $60 billion collapse, and an international manhunt. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry — Tyler Pearson this week penned a beat-by-beat breakdown of the rise and fall of the Terra founder.

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