Today in Crypto:  Alameda Research Ex-CEO Hires a Former SEC Chief to Defend Her, 63 Arrested in Crypto Money Laundering Case, KuCoin’s and ByBit’s Proofs of Reserves

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.__________

Legal news

Ex-CEO of Alameda Research, the parent company of the collapsed FTX exchange, Caroline Ellison, hired Stephanie Avakian, former enforcement division chief at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to represent Ellison along with other lawyers at Avakian’s firm, WilmerHale, Fortune reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Police in Inner Mongolia have arrested 63 people for laundering 12 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) of cryptocurrency, the South China Morning Post reported. Starting in May 2021, the group collected illicit funds from online pyramid schemes, fraud, and gambling, and converted the proceeds into tether (USDT), it said.

Exchange news

Audit firm Mazars released a report about KuCoin’s Proof of Reserves to determine the total collateralization ratio of their asset holdings, concluding that BTC, ETH, USDT, and USDC reserves are overcollateralized, at 101%, 100%, 102%, and 101%, respectively. The announcement provided the link to the full report and added KuCoin users could verify that their assets were included in the report independently.ByBit rolled out a system for its customers to verify the assets held in its reserves. Per the announcement, by using Bybit Proof of Reserves, users can verify the balance of their assets in the exchange via Merkle Tree, the balance and ownership of the wallet addresses the exchange discloses, and the reserve ratio.

Payments news

Crypto payments app MoonPay secured registration with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), per the regulator’s register.

Blockchain news

Router Protocol, an infrastructure layer enabling communication between blockchains, announced the testnet integration of USD coin (USDC) issuer Circle’s Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol to make USDC interoperable. The press release said that Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol is currently available on testnet for Ethereum and Avalanche with additional chains such as Solana to follow in 2023. Therefore, the integration is live on testnet where developers can enable users to move USDC between Ethereum’s Goerli Testnet and Avalanche’s Fuji testnet.

Gaming news

Non-fungible token (NFT) gaming platform Balthazar DAO secured a $2 million Private Round Token Sale, with a $60 million fully diluted valuation. It has raised a total of $5.6 million since launching last year, said an announcement. Investors include Animoca Brands, IDG Capital, Tezos Foundation, KuCoin Labs, Fantom Foundation, Gandel Invest, Hive Empire Capital, and others.Gaming blockchain Oasys announced the full completion of its mainnet launch process, as well as the listing of its native token OAS on five exchanges: OKX, KuCoin, ByBit,, and Huobi. In the third phase of its mainnet launch, Oasys integrated essential ecosystem components for user experience, including the launch of Oasys-Hub, a portal for the management of key activities within its ecosystem, it said.Reality+ has partnered with OTZ Sports to launch Own The Zone, an officially licensed FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Web3 game “that gives fans a chance to win limited-edition digital collectibles and real-world prizes,” said the press release. The Web3 platform is powered by the Hedera network and Hedera Token Service (HTS).  Wallet creation and minting happen during registration and gameplay.

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