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Bahamas Officials Hold SBF’s Fate in Their Hands; Nansen Cuts Staff

HK and UAE join forces, Bybit follows suit in exiting Canada, and South Korea builds a wallet address tracker that can freeze funds

May 31, 2023

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is facing an uphill battle in having his charges dismissed, and Bahamian officials seem to be his only lifeline.

Claiming several charges were too ambiguous, the crypto villain’s lawyers brazenly sought to have 10 of 13 charges thrown out earlier this month.

Prosecutors predictably rejected the claim but reluctantly conceded that some charges could be dropped if Bahamian officials objected.

“The Government will proceed on the new charges in the S5 Indictment if The Bahamas consents to trial on these charges, and will not proceed on those counts if The Bahamas denies the Government’s request,” prosecutors said.

Following the collapse of FTX, SBF faces a slew of criminal charges including wire fraud, money laundering, allegations of illicit campaign donations and bribing Chinese officials. In December 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said he could face a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison.

SBF’s fate now rests in the hands of Bahamian officials as he remains under house arrest at his parents’ California home.

Worryingly, in the past, the Bahamas has taken a rather sympathetic view towards the infamous crypto scoundrel. According to the NYT, local residents have developed a soft spot for SBF. “I think he had a good heart,” said Shemeca Moss, a Nassau school administrator. “He’s Bahamian.”

Locals reportedly regarded his white-collar crimes as incomparable to gang violence in the region and feared economic fallout if crypto wealth was to exit the island along with SBF.

Whilst we’re certainly not Team Violence at Blockhead, we’re certainly not Team SBF. Here’s to hoping Bahamian officials bring SBF to justice without jeopardising the local economy. After all, crypto will prevail even if SBF doesn’t.


  • Blockchain analytics giant, Nansen Research, has announced it will be making severe workforce reductions, cutting its staff by 30%. The company's CEO, Alex Svanevik, took to Twitter to break the news. In a candid follow-up post, he assumed full responsibility for the downsizing. Svanevik detailed that the company had grown rapidly during its initial years of operation, which had expanded its responsibilities beyond its core focus. Additionally, he blamed the recent downturn in the crypto market, describing the last year as "brutal" for crypto operations. He assured stakeholders that Nansen still has "several years of runway." The company raised $75 million in Series B funding round in December 2021, with notable investors like GIC, Andreessen Horowitz, and Tiger Global.
  • The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) have strengthened financial cooperation in areas such as financial infrastructure, market connectivity, and virtual asset regulations. They aim to enhance trade settlement, and access to Asian markets, and promote digitization and technological advancement in the financial sector.
  • Crypto exchange Bybit is following numerous rivals in exiting the Canadian market over regulatory concerns. In February, authorities said crypto asset trading platforms must obtain approval from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), which includes passing various due diligence checks.
  • South Korea plans to enable a system with real-time wallet address monitoring and freeze funds functions on all 36 domestic exchanges. The National Police Agency met with the country's top 5 virtual asset exchanges and Binance on Tuesday to discuss these plans. This move comes as Binance is pursuing the acquisition of Gopax, one of the top 5 virtual asset exchanges in Korea.
Malaysia’s Tryst With IEOs: Do Regulators Get it?
With Malaysian IEOs on the horizon, are the SC’s regulatory actions truly protective measures, or are they merely veils masking a lack of understanding of this emergent financial technology?

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