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Nexo Eyeing M&A Targets Amid ‘State of Fear’ In Crypto Market

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According to Nexo co-founders, as the crypto market has entered “a state of fear,” and “nobody can say” whether the bottom has already been reached, big crypto lender Nexo (NEXO) is looking for opportunities to acquire distressed companies.

Kalin Metodiev, the firm’s co-founder and managing partner, said in a live-streamed AMA (ask me anything) session on Tuesday that the market has now transitioned from an “overly optimistic state” to “a state of fear.”

“We believe there is some volatility on the horizon still, and nobody can say whether this is the bottom,” Metodiev added, warning investors to “definitely buckle up” and be ready for whatever comes next.

Nexo is a cryptocurrency loan and borrowing company with a business plan similar to Celsius (CEL), the struggling large crypto lender that recently froze all customer withdrawals due to “extreme market conditions.”

In response to the crisis surrounding Celsius and the broader sector, Metodiev stated that “some companies have gone into trouble for various reasons,” and that Nexo had begun undisclosed “conversations” with some of those ailing companies.

He emphasized that Nexo is just interested in the betterment of the industry and is doing everything it can to help.

“We have always been very open about our commitment to the growth of the ecosystem … we are always interested in supporting companies, partnering [with] projects and teams that have a clear vision of how they can create an innovative product that will be demanded by the blockchain community,” said the Nexo co-founder.

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He went on to say that one way this commitment to ecosystem companies could express itself is by a prospective “acquisition of certain parts of the business or the entire business.”

As previously reported, Nexo made an approach to Celsius earlier this month to acquire “all or part of Celsius’ qualifying, outstanding collateralized loan receivables.”

In the same AMA session, Nexos’ other co-founder and managing partner, Antoni Trenchev, predicted a wave of “consolidations” in the crypto business in the future. According to him, the transformation will take shape in the same way that acquisitions and consolidations have transformed the traditional banking industry over the years.

Trenchev stated that this will “hopefully be for the betterment of the space.”

Furthermore, the CEO of Nexos responded to a query about whether the company’s “high yields” are sustainable in the current market situation, without going into much explanation about how the yields are generated.

“In order to pay you six percent, we have to go out and make at least eight percent to make it all work,” Trenchev explained, adding that “this all goes back to the model’s sustainability.”

“At the end of the day,” Trenchev responded to the query, “it’s better to have a lower yield but a more secure product than prospects of double-digit yields that will result in a 100% loss.”

Finally, when questioned if Nexo could possibly survive a two-year bear market, Metodiev agreed that “it’s not fun in a bear market,” adding, “I hope the bear market will not last two years.”

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In either event, Nexo has a “a very strong financial position,” according to Metodiev, who did not elaborate.

At 15:04 UTC, NEXO was trading at USD 0.698, down 3% on the day. The price has also dropped by 7% in a week and by 48% in a month.

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North Korean Hacks Target Crypto’s DeFi Platforms

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Hacks made off with around $1.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency: Chainalysis
The DeFi protocols standard is still the industry’s primary Achilles’ heel.
According to a research published by a company that specializes in blockchain analysis, the value of assets that have been stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges has skyrocketed this year. This is due to the fact that decentralized finance protocols have become an easy target for attackers.

According to Chainalysis, hackers have made off with digital tokens worth approximately $1.9 billion up until July of this year. This is a 58% increase from the same time period in 2021.
According to the article, “This trend does not appear set to change any time soon,” as there was already a $5 million attack of numerous Solana wallets and a $190 million hack of the cross-chain bridge Nomad in the first week of August.

After a number of high-profile hacks this year, the DeFi protocols, and particularly the cross-chain bridges used to transfer tokens between different blockchains, have emerged as one of the crypto industry’s most vulnerable linkages. According to Chainalysis, since such protocols rely on open-source code, it is simple for criminals to uncover faults or other weaknesses that can be exploited.

According to the findings of the study, “it’s probable that protocols’ motivations to reach the market and grow swiftly contribute to gaps in security best practices.” [Citation needed]

Criminal cryptocurrency activity, on the other hand, appears to be more resistant to falling values of cryptocurrencies than the general market for digital assets as a whole. This is a worrisome indicator. According to the analysis, the number of transactions Chainalysis classified as illegal reduced by 15% from July 2017 to July 2018, but the number of lawful transactions plummeted at a rate that was more than double that of the illicit transactions. In the month of March, hackers stole around $600 million from Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge, while in the month of June, hackers stole $100 million from Harmony’s Horizon bridge.

Additionally, DeFi protocols have turned into a common target for hacker groups who are sponsored by the state. According to estimations provided by Chainalysis, entities with ties to North Korea have been responsible for the theft of nearly one billion dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency using DeFi protocols so far in 2018.

In spite of the fact that hacks are still a huge concern, Chainalysis found that illegal behavior in other facets of cryptocurrency has decreased significantly. According to the report, fraudulent activities using cryptocurrencies have generated $1.6 billion so far in 2022, which is 65% less than what they generated in 2021. The so-called darknet marketplaces have seen a 43% decrease in revenue this year, primarily as a direct result of the raid that took place in April on the Hydra marketplace.

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The Latest Court Ruling In The Ripple Case Gives The SEC Another Shock.

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Ripple

This week, the fight against Ripple got more interesting, and the American watchdog SEC took a hit.

With several losses in a row, the SEC has good reason to be worried right now. In their most recent fight, Judge Netburn agreed with Ripple’s request to verify the public statements made by SEC officials.

At first, the SEC didn’t agree with this motion. They said that Ripple was trying to reopen fact discovery.

The crypto community is still interested in the SEC vs. Ripple case even though it has been going on for another month.
The case has been going on for a long time and doesn’t look like it will end any time soon.

The SEC had put a condition in the above motion, which was filed on August 4, if Ripple were to go through with the motion.

“The Defendants agree to reopen discovery” was a condition of the agreement.

This could make it possible for the SEC to send its own subpoenas to get copies of recordings that haven’t been named yet.

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James Filan, a well-known lawyer, keeps writing about this case on his blog. He has been very angry about how the SEC has handled the situation. In this case, he pointed out,

“The SEC’s response is just an abuse of the court system and a waste of the Court’s time, as shown by the fact that it took the SEC five days to file a one-sentence response in which it misunderstood Ripple’s original request.”

The behavior of the SEC has also been called into question recently by the crypto community.

One fan with the Twitter handle Ashley PROSPER said, “The case could be thrown out if the SEC acts badly.”

Don’t forget that judge Netburn has already called the SEC’s actions “bad faith” and “unfaithful allegiance to the law.”

This week, the fight against Ripple got more interesting, and the American watchdog SEC took a hit.

With several losses in a row, the SEC has good reason to be worried right now. In their most recent fight, Judge Netburn agreed with Ripple’s request to verify the public statements made by SEC officials.

At first, the SEC didn’t agree with this motion. They said that Ripple was trying to reopen fact discovery.

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The crypto community is still interested in the SEC vs. Ripple case even though it has been going on for another month.

The case has been going on for a long time and doesn’t look like it will end any time soon.

The SEC had put a condition in the above motion, which was filed on August 4, if Ripple were to go through with the motion.

“The Defendants agree to reopen discovery” was a condition of the agreement.

This could make it possible for the SEC to send its own subpoenas to get copies of recordings that haven’t been named yet.

James Filan, a well-known lawyer, keeps writing about this case on his blog. He has been very angry about how the SEC has handled the situation. In this case, he pointed out,

“The SEC’s response is just an abuse of the court system and a waste of the Court’s time, as shown by the fact that it took the SEC five days to file a one-sentence response in which it misunderstood Ripple’s original request.”

The behavior of the SEC has also been called into question recently by the crypto community.

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One fan with the Twitter handle Ashley PROSPER said, “The case could be thrown out if the SEC acts badly.”

Don’t forget that judge Netburn has already called the SEC’s actions “bad faith” and “unfaithful allegiance to the law.”

At the same time, it has been said that both sides are responding to the motions to exclude expert testimony.

Right now, these answers are under wraps. But the crypto community is still interested in what will happen next in this legal battle that seems to never end.

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India is Investigating Ten Cryptocurrency Exchanges For Money Laundering.

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India

The Enforcement Directorate of India is now pursuing an investigation against ten cryptocurrency exchanges that are suspected of being involved in the laundering of over 1 billion rupees, which is the equivalent of over $125 million in digital currency.

According to The Economics Times, the cryptocurrency exchanges, which have not yet been named, were used by several companies that have been accused of money laundering to make purchases of more than 100 million rupees worth of cryptocurrency, which were then transferred to other international wallets, the majority of which were linked to mainland China.
The exchanges had a poor control on the activities of their users.

In addition, the sources mentioned that the exchanges acquired KYC data of questionable provenance, as the accounts that were followed belonged to individuals who lived in faraway places “with no relation to the transactions.”

However, the exchanges asserted that they were in conformity with KYC laws, despite the fact that they did not provide any suspicious transaction reports (STRs) that could have led to the discovery of information regarding alleged instances of money laundering.
Therefore, the failure to comply with the measures required by regulators made it more difficult to trace the account, which, upon learning of the investigation, reportedly proceeded to withdraw their funds and log off, according to sources close to the investigation. This made it more difficult to track down the account.
“As soon as these companies discovered that they were being investigated, they shut down their operations and utilized the crypto way to transfer the money overseas. The unregulated nature of the cryptocurrency business combined with the opaque nature of the ecosystem for cryptocurrencies offered the necessary cover for these companies to park their funds offshore.

The cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and WazirX are currently under investigation in India.

Following a series of Twitter spats between the CEOs of both firms about ownership and regulatory non-compliance by WazirX, the ED has decided to focus its attention on Binance and WazirX, as was recently published on CryptoPotato.com.

After the argument between the two companies, the ED blocked WazirX’s bank accounts, which together held more than $8 million, on the grounds that the exchange had “actively” assisted in the laundering of illicit funds for more than 15 different fintech companies.

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In reaction, Binance stated that it expects WazirX to “take full responsibility for its operations and users’ funds,” while emphasizing that the global cryptocurrency exchanges has nothing to do with WazirX’s operations. Binance also emphasized that it has nothing to do with WazirX’s operations.

Although the ED is investigating several cryptocurrency exchanges for money laundering, an industry executive who spoke to the Economic Times stated that the exchanges are the second point of failure in these crimes. This executive stated that the money comes in and out of these crimes primarily from traditional banks, which did very little or nothing to trace the funds, which is why “it wasn’t caught at the banking level.” Despite the fact that the ED is investigating several cryptocurrency exchanges for money laundering, the executive stated that the exchanges are the second point of failure.

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