United States officials have filed charges against the co-founders of Tornado Cash, a popular crypto mixer, for money laundering, sanctions violations, and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Roman Storm and Roman Semenov are facing a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison if convicted. Storm was arrested and released on bail, while Semenov has been added to the U.S. list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. Another co-founder, Alexey Pertsev, was arrested in the Netherlands in August on money laundering charges. The charges are part of a broader crackdown by the U.S. government on Tornado Cash, which is accused of laundering funds for the Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacking collective. The mixer is also implicated in other hacking incidents and is alleged to have laundered over $1 billion in ill-gotten gains.
In other news, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is reportedly having a difficult time in prison. Bankman-Fried, who is currently facing fraud charges, is said to be living on a diet of bread with peanut butter to accommodate his vegan needs and is running low on his prescription medication. His lawyers have requested better treatment for him in prison, and he has been granted permission to meet with his legal team outside of jail with 48 hours’ notice. Bankman-Fried will have approximately seven hours each day to prepare for his upcoming trial, which is scheduled to begin in October.
The mysterious Bitcoin wallet that recently became the third-largest holder of Bitcoin in the world has been identified as belonging to Robinhood: Jump Trading Custody, according to blockchain intelligence platform Arkham Intelligence. The wallet received its first Bitcoin in March and has since accumulated 118,000 BTC, worth $3.08 billion, in just over three months. The current largest Bitcoin wallets are reportedly owned by Binance and Bitfinex.
The parent company of crypto custodian Prime Trust has reported losing approximately $8 million in client and treasury funds through investments in TerraUSD, an algorithmic stablecoin that collapsed in May. The company, which is currently involved in bankruptcy proceedings, attributed the loss to its investment in TerraUSD as well as increased spending during the collapse of FTX, a major cryptocurrency exchange. Prime Trust reportedly owes over $85 million in fiat and $69.5 million in crypto to its clients.
A holder of Pepe, a memecoin, took advantage of a dip in the token’s price and bought 640 billion Pepe tokens for $529,000. The price of Pepe dropped by approximately 15% due to changes to a multisig wallet and concerns about potential developer manipulation. The whale purchased the tokens at an average price of $0.000001163.
In the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin is currently valued at $26,040, Ether at $1,653, and XRP at $0.52. The total market cap is at $1.05 trillion. The top three altcoin gainers of the week are Bone ShibaSwap, Sui, and Toncoin, while the top three altcoin losers are Pepe, XDC Network, and ApeCoin.