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"Alameda Was Allowed to Withdraw Unlimited Funds" — Gary Wang @ SBF Trial

Updates on the SBF trail in New York -- plus the top news, stats, and reports of the week in crypto

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Issue Summary: Welcome back to Coinstack, the weekly newsletter for institutional crypto investors and industry insiders. We review the top news, stats, and reports in the digital asset ecosystem for our 150k weekly subscribers. This week we cover SBF allowing Alameda to withdraw unlimited funds, Friend.tech users being robbed of $385k, Huobi hacker returning 4997 ETH, and big new venture rounds for Blackbird Labs ($24M) and Cicada ($9.5M).

Change in price since we began writing Coinstack in January 2021

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💵 Weekly Crypto Fundraises & Deals

Here are all the crypto fundraises we heard about this week, ranked by size…

  1. Blackbird Labs, an app and loyalty program that's attempting to connect restaurants and their customers via its crypto-powered app, has raised $24M in a series A funding round, led by the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz

  2. Cicada, Bringing Credit Risk Management On Chain, has raised $9.5M in a seed round, led by Choppa Capital

  3. Phaver, building a service that provides a web3 onboarding experience that’s similar to existing social platforms, has raised $7M in a in seed funding

  4. Fairblock, building a chain-agnostic infrastructure and framework that empowers users and developers with conditional decryption and programmable privacy, has raised a $2.5M in a pre-seed round, led by Galileo

  5. NexGami, revolutionizing gaming by bridging traditional gaming with the gamefi space, has raised $2M in a seed round, led by Polygon Ventures

🗞️ Crypto News Recap: The Top 5 Stories

Welcome back to This Week in Crypto… everything you need to know in one scannable format. Here are the top 5 stories of the week…

  1. ⚖️ FTX Insider Gary Wang: Sam Bankman-Fried Allowed Alameda to Withdraw Unlimited Funds: FTX co-founder Gary Wang testified in court that Sam Bankman-Fried and his inner circle committed wire fraud. "We allowed Alameda to withdraw unlimited funds," Wang said on Thursday afternoon, referring to the trading desk Alameda Research, founded by Bankman-Fried, having access to customer deposits of the crypto exchange and sister company FTX.

  2. 🎭 Friend.tech Users Robbed of $385,000 in Ethereum: The decentralized social network Friend.tech was again the target of a wave of SIM swap attacks, resulting in a loss of $385,000 in Ethereum for four users. Crypto sleuth ZachXBT tracked down the on-chain movement to the same hacker who drained the accounts of the four victims in less than 24 hours.

  3. 🎭 Huobi hacker returns 4997 ETH stolen via hot wallet breach, receives $400k bounty: In a surprising turn of events, the hacker responsible for stealing a large sum of Ethereum from HTX Global, formerly Huobi, has refunded the entire stolen amount for the white-hat bounty offered by the exchange

  4. 👋 Ripple CFO Kristina Campbell exits company: Ripple's Chief Financial Officer Kristina Campbell has left the company after about two and a half years. Campbell's LinkedIn profile shows that she no longer works at Ripple and instead, as of this month, started working as CFO at Maven Clinic, a digital health care provider.

  5. ⚖️ SEC hits back at Coinbase’s request to dismiss case: On Oct. 4, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) submitted a court filing opposing Coinbase’s attempts to dismiss a suit filed by SEC, which alleges that the crypto exchange has violated multiple securities laws.

💬 Tweet of the Week

Source: @pythianism

📊 Key Stats of the Week

Here are the most important and interesting stats in crypto this week...

1. 19.6M SOL ($459M) was unstaked last night at the end of epoch 512. According to Solana compass, most of the unstaked SOL belongs to a16z.

Source: @0xpibblez

2. VC funding in blockchain continues to trend downward. This past quarter was particularly brutal, with just 297 deals in total for a combined $2.1B raised. Compared to Q2 2023, total deal count and total amount raised are both down roughly 36%.

Source: @DavidShuttleworth

3. L2 transactions accounted for 61% of all Ethereum transactions in Q3.

Source: @MessariCrypto

4. Solana TVL approaches YTD highs with ~$335M; September DAUs nears ~200k

Source: @OurNetwork

5. 📈 1.34B Total Solana MEV Transactions over the past Year

Source: @OurNetwork

📝 Highlights from the Top Crypto Reports

Here are the top highlights from the best crypto research reports this week…

About the Author: Paul Veradittakit, is a Managing Partner at Pantera Capital, one of the oldest and largest institutional investors focused on investing into blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies. This is an excerpt from the full article, which you can find here.

Key Takeaways:

  • Since Bitcoin's release in 2009, the network has established its viability as the foundational Layer 1 (L1) network. While other networks have experienced downtime, disruptions, and more, Bitcoin has managed to stay the course. While Bitcoin has shown resilience and amassed over $500 billion in idle capital, the ability to utilize core features was lacking as there is no inherent programmability to Bitcoin as with Ethereum.

  • Stacks is a leading solution to unlock programmability on Bitcoin as a Bitcoin L2. It is a layer 2 for Bitcoin that has full smart contracts, where transactions are permanently settled on the BTC blockchain.

  • Stacks has brought smart contracts and programmability to the Bitcoin network as a Bitcoin L2, unlocking $500+ billion of idle untapped Bitcoin capital for developers and applications.

  • The upcoming Natamoto network upgrade will increase network speed by reducing block times to 5 seconds and introduce sBTC, the mechanism through which Bitcoin deposit and withdraws from L1 will work unlocking BTC liquidity.

Addressing Bitcoin Scalability:

Amidst the surging new activity and transactions that need block space of Bitcoin, its fundamental Layer 1 protocol confronts an inherent hurdle in scalability. Built upon a decentralized consensus mechanism that ensures security, Bitcoin’s very design imposes restrictions on transaction throughput. These limitations become particularly apparent during periods of high network congestion when surges in activity lead to delayed confirmation times and elevated transaction fees. Further, the limited scripting capabilities of Bitcoin's Layer 1 curtail the spectrum of viable applications, exacerbating the problems related to scalability. While the limited design space is both limited and often desirable, it has thus far made building more complex applications on the network difficult or untenable.

It's in this context that Layer 2 solutions emerge as a concept designed to complement and augment Layer 1 capabilities. Layer 2 solutions, like the name implies, operate atop the existing blockchain, alleviating congestion and enabling the development of sophisticated applications without compromising the crucial tenets of security and decentralization. The importance of Layer 2 solutions lies in their capacity to create new network capabilities, thereby enabling innovation without betraying the fundamental security and economic promises of the underlying blockchain.

🎧 Top Crypto Podcasts of The Week

Here are the crypto podcasts that are worth listening to this week...

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📰 The Coinstack Newsletter:

Tracking the most important blockchain stories of the 2020s, including a decentralized internet and the creation of a new open global monetary system that works for everyone. As always, published for informational purposes only. Please do your own research. Just our opinions. Not intended as financial advice as we are not financial advisors. We may own some of the digital assets we write about as we believe strongly in the sector. Please do your own research. Published and written weekly by Ryan Allis and Mike Gavela.

Coinstack is a news and analysis newsletter for the digital asset industry. None of the information here is a recommendation to invest in any securities or other types of investments. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections may not reflect actual future performance. All investments involve risk and may result in loss.

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