Jack Dorsey Steps Down From Bluesky's Board, The Decentralized Social Network

Here are some of the major developments in the world of crypto over the past few days.
some of the major developments from the world of crypto
some of the major developments from the world of crypto

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has stepped down from the board of Bluesky, the decentralized social media platform he conceived and funded in 2019 while he was CEO of Twitter. Bluesky confirmed Dorsey's departure in a May 5 post on the platform, stating that it was searching for a new board member and thanking Dorsey for his help in starting and funding the project. Meanwhile, early Bluesky backers were busy promoting grants for open interest protocols and referring to the social network, now owned by Elon Musk, as freedom technology.

Tech sector executive social activity tracker Big Tech Alert reported that Dorsey had unfollowed "well over 2000 people," reducing his follow list to just three individuals: Musk, Stella Assange (wife of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange), and NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden. Dorsey's continued following of Musk and the endorsement of Bluesky suggest that the two may have reconciled. In April 2023, Dorsey criticized Musk on Bluesky, stating that Musk was managing poorly and that the board should not have forced the sale to him.

Dorsey announced Bluesky in late 2019, stating that Twitter was "funding a small independent team of up to five open-source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media." Bluesky did not launch in beta until March 2023 and was only opened to everyone on February 7, 2024. According to its own statistics, it has around 5.6 million users.

BTC-e Founder Admits to $9 Billion Money Laundering Conspiracy

Alexander Vinnik, co-founder of Digital currency exchange BTC-e, pleads guilty to conspiracy to launder money. This follows an extensive investigation that uncovered large-scale illegal activity at the exchange between 2011 and 2017. In a May 3 press release, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said that under Vinik's leadership, BTC-e has processed more than $9 billion in transactions and has a user base of more than 1 million people worldwide. He said many of them were in the United States.

According to the Department of Justice, an investigation found that BTC-e operated without significant regulatory compliance measures, including registration with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and anti-money laundering (AML) or Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols. It became clear that it had been done. . These flaws have made BTC-e popular among people who want to hide their financial transactions from law enforcement. Additionally, Vinnik was found to have set up numerous shell companies and financial accounts around the world to facilitate the illegal transfer of funds via BTC-e, resulting in criminal transactions totaling at least $121 million. A loss has occurred.

Vinnik's lawyer unsuccessfully appealed the claim, arguing that Mr. Vinnik was merely an exchange employee and was not involved in any illegal activities at BTC-e. He was extradited to the United States on August 5, 2022, after spending two years in a French prison. Mr. Vinnik, a Russian national, had previously sought to conclude a prisoner exchange agreement that would be considered part of the prisoner trade agreement between Russia and the United States. U.S. authorities have filed similar criminal charges against virtual currency exchanges and their executives.

South Korea's Latest Donation Law Does Not Recognize Virtual Currencies

Digital currencies have been excluded from South Korea's newly amended donation legislation, potentially affecting the country's charities and donation drives. On May 5, the local media outlet Kyunghyang Shinmun reported that the Ministry of Public Administration stated that some amendments to South Korea's Donations Act had been filed but restricted the use of crypto assets for donations. The act on the collection and use of donated goods was first enacted in 2006, when there were fewer payment methods and smartphones were not widespread, it noted.

Methods of donation were also expanded to include automated response systems, postal services, and logistics services. The Ministry did not provide a reason for excluding digital asset donations despite their popularity in South Korea. However, the legislation is set to permit donations in local government-issued, KRW-pegged stablecoins and blockchain-issued gift vouchers.

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that more than half of American charities now accept donations in digital assets. In late April, it was reported that South Korea was aiming to promote its temporary crypto crime investigative unit into an official department to tackle increasing crypto-related crimes and financial fraud. In related news, Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com is struggling to enter the South Korean market due to regulatory hurdles.

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