Crypto Weekly: MicroStrategy’s Orange Protocol, SEC Lawsuit, Binance Sentence.

Breaking Crypto News

We’re delighted to share our latest weekly cryptocurrency roundup, courtesy of StealthEX and CryptoDaily! This week, we’re focusing on a clear and brief recap of the top developments in the cryptocurrency sector. Want to know what recent news has impacted the crypto market? Let’s get into the crucial updates together!

Breaking Crypto News

MicroStrategy Launches Orange Protocol on Bitcoin Blockchain

MicroStrategy has introduced new development, the Orange Protocol, during the “MicroStrategy World: Bitcoin for Corporations 2024” conference. This novel platform is designed to revolutionize how digital identities are managed by harnessing the Bitcoin blockchain’s capabilities.

The announcement was made by MicroStrategy’s EVP of Engineering, Cezary Raczko, who highlighted that Orange Protocol is an enterprise-level framework aimed at developing decentralized identity applications directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. “MicroStrategy Orange integrates three core components, central to which is a service cloud that facilitates the issuance of identifiers to users and organizations,” Raczko explained.

Michael Saylor, the founder of MicroStrategy, provided a strong rationale for the adoption of decentralized identities. He emphasized the security and robustness of the Bitcoin network as foundational to anchoring digital identities, making a persuasive case for this technological shift.

The newly unveiled Orange Protocol represents a significant advancement in incorporating Bitcoin into enterprise applications. It promises enhanced security and the immutable nature of blockchain to manage decentralized identity solutions effectively. Additionally, the platform will support ‘orange apps,’ pre-packaged solutions tailored to meet specific digital identity challenges.

To further the community’s engagement, MicroStrategy has released an initial draft of the Orange Protocol specifications on GitHub. The protocol utilizes a modified approach to Bitcoin’s inscriptions, optimizing how identity-related data is stored and managed using the Segregated Witness (SegWit) feature.

SEC Faces Lawsuit Over Ethereum Classification

The SEC, led by Chairman Gary Gensler, is at the center of a legal storm, as blockchain software company Consensys has filed a lawsuit over conflicting statements regarding Ethereum‘s status as a security. This controversy escalates as Gensler faces accusations of providing misleading information to Congress.

At a recent hearing with the Financial Committee, inconsistencies in Gensler’s statements about Ethereum’s classification came under scrutiny. Congressman Patrick McHenry criticized the SEC Chairman for his evasive answers during past committee sessions and highlighted new court documents indicating Gensler may have intentionally misrepresented the SEC’s position on Ethereum.

“The evidence is now clear that Gensler misled Congress just months after SEC lawyers were sanctioned for deceit. This is not only concerning but calls for immediate action to clarify the regulatory landscape,” McHenry stated.

This legal and regulatory debacle stems from applications for the first spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) filed with the SEC. McHenry stressed the importance of a definitive classification of Ethereum, either as a security or a commodity, which is crucial for shaping future regulations and protecting investors.

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Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Receives Four-Month Prison Sentence

Changpeng Zhao, the founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has been sentenced to four months in prison by a Seattle court. The sentence comes after Zhao pleaded guilty to charges related to inadequate anti-money laundering safeguards at Binance.

Zhao, who stepped down as CEO of Binance in November 2023 following his guilty plea, has also been fined $50 million personally. Binance itself faces a hefty penalty of $4.3 billion. Judge Richard Jones pointed out that Zhao’s focus on the rapid growth and profitability of Binance led to serious lapses in compliance with U.S. laws and regulations. Despite acknowledging that Zhao was unlikely to re-offend, Judge Jones emphasized the severity of the offenses.

The court acknowledged Zhao’s cooperation with law enforcement and noted the numerous character references it had received, which played a role in mitigating his sentence. The U.S. Department of Justice, however, had pushed for a much harsher penalty, seeking a 36-month sentence due to violations that occurred on an “unprecedented scale.”

Zhao’s defense team argued for probation, citing his deep regret and proactive efforts to rectify the mistakes. They highlighted his acceptance of responsibility and initiatives to address the failings.

Prosecutors maintained that Zhao’s actions allowed Binance to become a platform for illegal financial activities, implicating the exchange in transactions involving extremist groups and sanctioned entities. It was revealed that Binance had failed to report over 100,000 suspicious transactions and had facilitated significant dealings with clients in Iran, Cuba, and Syria, in clear violation of U.S. sanctions.

Tether Acquires Major Stake in Blackrock Neurotech with $200 Million Investment

Tether, known for its USDT stablecoin, has ventured into the realm of brain-computer interface technology by acquiring a majority stake in Blackrock Neurotech. This strategic move, involving a $200 million investment from Tether’s venture capital division, Tether Evo, aims to merge human cognitive capabilities with advanced technology.

On April 29th, Tether announced its acquisition of the stake through Tether Evo. The division, dedicated to fostering innovative technologies, reflects Tether’s commitment to expanding beyond its core business of stablecoins. “This partnership not only underscores our belief in the power of technology to enhance human potential but also aligns with our long-term vision for evolution and enhancement of human capabilities,” said Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether.

The investment in Blackrock Neurotech will fuel further research and development in the brain-computer interface (BCI) sector, ensuring the company remains at the forefront of the industry. Blackrock Neurotech, not to be confused with the financial giant BlackRock, specializes in medical devices that harness brain signals to assist individuals with neurological disorders and paralysis.

“Tether’s financial backing will significantly accelerate the commercialization of our cutting-edge medical devices, enhancing our ability to support more people affected by severe neurological conditions,” a spokesperson for Blackrock Neurotech stated.

Stripe Re-Enters Crypto Payments with USDC Stablecoin Support

Stripe, a global leader in payment processing, has announced its re-entry into the cryptocurrency payment space after a six-year hiatus, beginning with support for the USDC stablecoin. This significant move was unveiled by co-founder and President John Collison during his keynote at Stripe’s Global Internet Economy conference.

Collison humorously compared the enhanced transaction speeds and reduced costs to the lengths and budgets of Christopher Nolan films, indicating significant improvements since Stripe’s previous foray into crypto. Demonstrating a live transaction on stage, he showcased the new, streamlined experience for handling cryptocurrency payments.

Initially, Stripe will facilitate transactions using USDC on major blockchains like Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon. This reintroduction of crypto payments marks a notable shift for Stripe, which had stepped back from the crypto scene in 2018 due to concerns over Bitcoin’s volatility and the inefficiency of its transactions.

Stripe’s historical engagement with cryptocurrency began in 2014 when it became the first major payment platform to accept Bitcoin. However, by 2018, amid rising transaction times and fees—and during Bitcoin’s first significant market downturn, known as the “Crypto winter“—Stripe ceased its Bitcoin support. In recent years, though, Stripe has gradually pivoted back towards crypto, highlighted by its collaboration with Twitter (now X) in 2022 to enable creator payments in USDC on Polygon and its development of fiat-to-crypto on-ramps.

In explaining the choice of USDC for its crypto re-entry, Collison pointed to the stablecoin’s reliability and its peg to the U.S. dollar, which provides a stable store of value. He reinforced this point with a chart showing stablecoin usage compared to the trading volume of volatile currencies like the Turkish lira.

This article is not supposed to provide financial advice. Digital assets are risky. Be sure to do your own research and consult your financial advisor before investing.

Tags: Binance Bitcoin crypto world cryptocurrency Ethereum
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