LocalBitcoins Shuts Operations in Venezuela, Coinbase Insider Trading Case May Bring Crypto Shift

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Here are some of the latest developments from the world of cryptography

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Bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins announced its demise, saying it can no longer offer its Bitcoin trading service due to the ongoing crypto winter. Launched in June 2012, LocalBitcoins has since helped prove Bitcoin as a global P2P electronic cash system free from centralized control.

Bitcoin gained prominence in countries with unstable political leadership. For example, during Bitcoin’s peak, Venezuela introduced Bitcoin as its national currency alongside fiat currency.

“The enormous volume that was moved in the country made the world realize that Bitcoin was being used in Venezuela,” Ernesto Contreras, head of business development for the “Dash” cryptocurrency, told Decrypt.

Despite concerns, the impact of LocalBitcoins’ closure on the Venezuelan ecosystem is expected to be minimal.

Decrypt said that a “Bitcoin Only” approach has proven to be a disadvantage for LocalBitcoins, especially as Binance launched with a wide range of tokens. As a result, LocalBitcoins, although marking a significant chapter in Venezuelan crypto history, was already falling in popularity.

Coinbase insider trading can transform the crypto industry

Former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to wire fraud Tuesday in connection with an insider trading scheme at the exchange.

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However, Wahi still faces charges brought against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). His possible consequences go far beyond him.

The case centers on Wahi leaking information about upcoming token listings to the San Francisco-based exchange to rake in about $1.5 million in ill-gotten gains. The SEC also alleges that some tokens involved in the insider trading scheme on Coinbase are illegal securities.

A senior official told Decrypt that if the court rules in favor of the SEC, the case could have “huge industry implications” as it would “handle creators and developers.” [ability] of future asset creation.”

Suppose a judge finds the wahi a violation of the Securities Act. If so, it could also affect other digital asset companies in the US, possibly requiring developers to register their tokens with the SEC, or implicate Coinbase and other exchanges as places to sell illicit securities.


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