U.S. Prosecutors Aim to Sideline Asset Recovery Talks in Bankman-Fried Trial

The U.S. prosecution team has issued a formal request to the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, seeking to preclude the defense from introducing arguments or evidence concerning the current value of specific investments in the trial against Samuel Bankman-Fried, the erstwhile CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. This request follows allegations that Bankman-Fried misappropriated FTX customer deposits for a substantial investment in the artificial intelligence startup Anthropic, an investment whose value might have significantly appreciated amid recent fundraising endeavors by Anthropic.

In a move that captured industry attention, Bankman-Fried invested an approximate amount of $500 million in Anthropic in April 2022. This investment is now under the legal microscope as the prosecution claims it was funded by misappropriated FTX customer deposits. The narrative gains complexity as Anthropic recently disclosed its attempts to secure additional capital from potential investors, including industry behemoths Amazon and Google, at a valuation ranging between $20 billion and $30 billion. The potential appreciation of Bankman-Fried’s investment could play a pivotal role in the recovery of assets for FTX customers and other creditors embroiled in the FTX bankruptcy scenario.

The crux of the prosecution’s argument is to avoid any discussions in court regarding the increased valuation of Anthropic, suggesting that such discussions are aimed at proposing that FTX customers and other victims could eventually be compensated for their losses – a notion previously tagged by the court as an “impermissible purpose.” The government remains steadfast in its position that the focus should remain on the alleged wire fraud, emphasizing that the potential profitability of the investments made with misappropriated funds is immaterial to the charges being deliberated upon.

As the trial unfolds, both legal teams have been engaged in dialogues concerning various evidentiary matters. The prosecution’s current request underscores its intent to maintain a trial ambiance focused solely on the alleged misappropriation and fraud, devoid of financial technicalities concerning the current or future value of assets entwined in the legal proceedings. This development encapsulates a broader narrative pitting the quest for justice for the alleged victims against the financial ramifications stemming from the defendant’s actions.

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Amazon Invests $4 Billion in AI Startup Anthropic for Advanced Foundation Models

Key Takeaways

Amazon to invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic.

Anthropic gains access to AWS Trainium and Inferentia chips.

Amazon acquires a minority stake in Anthropic; governance remains unchanged.

Collaboration aims to advance AI safety and research.

Strategic Investment and Collaboration

Anthropic, an artificial intelligence (AI) startup, announced on September 25, 2023, a significant investment and collaboration agreement with Amazon. Amazon will invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic as part of a broader initiative to develop reliable and high-performing foundation models. The investment will provide Anthropic with access to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Trainium and Inferentia chips, which will be used for model training and deployment.

Technological Synergy

The collaboration will also allow Amazon developers to build on top of Anthropic’s state-of-the-art models via Amazon Bedrock. This platform will enable the integration of generative AI capabilities into existing Amazon applications and the creation of new customer experiences. Anthropic’s founding team includes alumni from OpenAI, which is notably backed by Microsoft and known for developing the widely-used AI chatbot, ChatGPT.

AI Safety and Governance

As part of the investment, Amazon will acquire a minority stake in Anthropic. The startup’s corporate governance structure will remain unchanged, overseen by the Long Term Benefit Trust in accordance with its Responsible Scaling Policy. Both companies are committed to the safe training and deployment of advanced foundation models and are actively engaged in organizations like the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), the Partnership on AI (PAI), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Impact on Industries

Enterprises across various sectors are already leveraging Anthropic models on Amazon Bedrock. For instance, LexisNexis Legal & Professional is using a custom Claude 2 model for conversational search and intelligent legal drafting. Asset management firm Bridgewater Associates is developing an investment analyst assistant powered by Claude 2. Travel publisher Lonely Planet has reduced its itinerary generation costs by almost 80% after deploying Claude 2.

Future Prospects

The collaboration aims to responsibly scale the adoption of Claude and advance safe AI in the cloud. The investment will ensure that Anthropic is well-equipped to continue advancing the frontier of AI safety and research, benefiting organizations worldwide.

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Always consult with a professional before making any financial decisions. This material is the exclusive property of Blockchain.News. Unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution without express permission is prohibited. Proper credit and direction to the original content are required for any permitted use.

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ECB Advisor Defends Amazon’s Role in Digital Euro Project

Jürgen Schaaf, an advisor to the Senior Management of Market Infrastructure and Payments at the European Central Bank (ECB), on Wednesday defended the EU’s decision to make Amazon one of the five firms to test a digital euro.

“The prototyping experiments for the front end are driven by technological considerations. The companies that have been chosen for that five were the most appropriate in terms of the needs that we have for technological tests and experiments,” Schaaf stated in a panel discussion hosted by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe.

Earlier this month, the European Central Bank selected five companies to help develop user interfaces for a potential digital euro.

The companies include the US e-commerce company Amazon, Spanish multinational CaixaBank, French payments platform Worldline, Italian payments-focused bank Nexi, and EPI (European Payments Initiative), a consortium of euro-area banks. The five firms were picked from a pool of 54 potential companies that responded to an ECB call for participants.

Each of the five companies is tasked with focusing on one use case of the digital euro. Amazon is expected to test the application of e-commerce payments. CaixaBank has been assigned to develop a mobile app that simulates the steps users will take to transfer digital euros to their bank accounts. Worldline will explore offline payments between individuals. And lastly, EPI and Nexi will work on point-of-sale retail payments.

The ECB said the purpose of the prototyping exercise is “to test how well the technology behind a digital euro integrates with prototypes developed by companies.” The bank aims to simulate transactions in a real-world environment, and all transactions will be processed using the Eurosystem’s interface for a realistic experience.

While Amazon’s task involves developing eCommerce payment prototypes, Schaaf told the panel the results of this work would not automatically feed into the follow-up experimental phase. This suggests that Amazon may not continue to have favored access, according to the report.

However, Schaaf admitted that he did not want to see a “political” exclusion of U.S. companies in the digital dollar project. The U.S. retail giant Amazon was one of five companies selected by the ECB to develop a user interface for a potential digital dollar earlier this month.

“Our wish to strengthen our monetary autonomy with a digital euro does not mean that Europe would shut down all its gates for retailers from abroad,” Schaaf said. “There’s no protectionist intention behind that.”

The digital euro project moving forward

In April, the ECB invited fintech firms to apply for the prototyping exercise, and 54 firms expressed their interest. Last week, the ECB narrowed down the list to five companies based on the specific capabilities in the chosen areas in the prototyping exercise.

The developments show that the digital euro is making significant progress though the ECB is adopting a cautious process. The simulation exercise is part of the investigation stage to determine the viability of a regional CBDC that started in October 2021 and will come to an end in October 2023.

At the end of the two-year exercise, the ECB will decide whether or not to start developing a digital euro. The investigation involves the central banks of all participating nations and interested private companies sharing opinions on the proposed direction of the process.

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Jeff Bezos Amazon Among 5 Partners to Design Digital Euro Prototype

The European Central Bank (ECB), has confirmed Jeff Bezos’s tech company AMAZON,  as part of the five partners to design a digital euro prototype. 


ECB said via a post on its website, that the selected organizations will perform different functions in developing the interface of the virtual euro prototype. 

Notably, ECB began to look into the digital euro back in July 2021, however, it made no guarantees that it will eventually issue the virtual currency. While stating that only a digital euro that is generally recognized by European users could be deemed an achievement.

Based on recent developments, ECB has planned for the prototype exercise to commence in September and reach an end in December. 

Similarly, this exercise will form part of a continuous two years study phase, to analyze the prototypes designed and to assess the effectiveness of the partnership. ECB forecasts completing this cycle by March 2023.

ECB sets Responsibility Based on Unique Capabilities

European Central Bank directors revealed that the five organizations will prioritize specific roles unique to their capabilities. Leading e-commerce firm, Amazon will be assigned the duty of designing the eCommerce payment system for the project. 

While other organizations were chosen from 54 applicants that met the requirements required to design the features of the currency. Spain’s CaixaBank, will design the online peer-to-peer payment for the App, and French global payment service, Worldline will design the offline payment system.

Recall that ECB announced a call for partners back in April and received 54 applications from both international banks and Multinational Technology Companies. 

Therefore, the five applicants that were selected were based on their adherence to “specific capabilities” necessary to carry out the demands of the project. Again, the ECB applauds the 54 Applicants across the globe that showed interest in designing the prototype.

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BNB Chain Partners with Google Cloud to Enhance Web3 DApps

Layer-1 blockchain technology, BNB Chain, has announced its partnership with Google Clouds, a collaboration that will see decentralized applications and smart contracts hosted on the protocol gain access to the cloud service provider’s infrastructures. 


While there is a growth in the number of decentralized cloud infrastructure service providers in the blockchain world, centralized alternatives still have some competitive advantage over protocols looking to host their servers. As a major player in the cloud infrastructure world, Google Clouds has somewhat been less visible when compared to Amazon Web Services (AWS) amongst crypto firms.

The partnership between BNB Chain and Google Cloud is a strategic cooperation and will see as many as 1500 DApps residents on the former utilize the cloud’s advanced analytics for on-chain data. Per the terms of the partnership, “about 150 projects under a BNB-focused accelerator program will also get ‘accelerated access’ to Google Cloud’s startup support program.”

“Google Cloud is a very good Web2 player and has really done a lot of Web3 stuff. It’s important for us to just work with big players who have big visions, and we share the same DNA and same visions,” said Gwendolyn Regina, investment director of BNB Chain.

The Google Cloud and BNB Chain partnership is not a new thing, given that many tech giants nowadays are exploring avenues to link up with active players in the space. Back in October 2020, Google Cloud joined the EOS blockchain as a block producer candidate.

Besides the active engagement on the part of Google Cloud, other major players, including Microsoft Azure and AWS, also have highly acclaimed partnerships with exchanges and protocols. In one of such deals, Crypto.com revealed it adopted AWS as its cloud service of choice for scalability and security back in December 2020 as it looks to establish its footholds in the ecosystem at the time.

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Bitcoin Hits Two-week High Imitating The Stock Rally

Cryptocurrencies are seeing a significant recovery as investors take advantage of the recent stock market rally and increased risk appetite. Bitcoin hits its highest in two weeks, extending gains from earlier this week that had seen it climb to $41,938 per coin on Saturday morning (Jan 24th).

Related Reading | Bitcoin mimics stocks rally, hits two-week high

Bitcoin, the largest digital currency globally, has hit $41,938. It is 16% high from Thursday’s low and 27% from the current year’s low of $32,950.

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Bitcoin Price
Bitcoin price hits two weeks high of $41,938. Source: Tradingview.com

Ether, the second-largest digital currency, has scaled new heights, reaching $3K for the first time since January 21.

Bitcoin recorded its biggest single-day gain since mid-June as fears of faster than expected Fed rate hikes led to an increase in inflation, with the cryptocurrency also being roiled by technological innovation. However, Friday’s 11% rise was enough to consider haven against this trend and get some positive press at least until Monday when everything will likely go back down again.

Bitcoin Price Recovery: Thanks to Amazon

Despite a long week of volatility from earnings, US stocks ended the week strong. The tech-heavy NASDAQ secured gains thanks to Amazon’s robust growth and Facebook owner Meta Platforms’ disappointing results that evening gave them more confidence in their business models moving forward.

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Related Reading | Amazon Strong Growth Attributed to the Cloud Despite Retail Headwinds

Bitcoin has moved seamlessly into the mainstream. That resulted in investors looking to get in on the action when risk appetite is low. Ed Hindi, Chief Investment Officer of Tyr Capital, said;

“The current panic and volatility surrounding bitcoin are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of it as an asset class. When valuations on the Nasdaq fall, misguided institutional investors start liquidating bitcoin positions en masse as if it were a tech stock.”

The recent rise in the stock market has given other listed crypto assets a boost. As a result, some currencies even reached new highs.

BTC Price Prediction

Though prices for Bitcoin have seen a significant drop in the last week of January and were sitting at 47% of their all-time high, the cryptocurrency recovered slightly after reaching a low of $33K on Jan 24, 2022, and is worth about $42k.

Buy, sell and hold? Analysts are split on whether or when to buy cryptocurrency. But more than half believe this is a good time for buyers, with only 45% disagreeing.

The experts from the top fintech companies predict that by the end of 2022, bitcoin will reach an all-time high of $93,717 – more than 24K dollars higher than its current all-time high price.

This is a great time to invest in cryptocurrency. Experts predict that by the end of 2025, bitcoin will trade at $192k and mount up over 300% from its November 2021 peak and reach nearly half a million dollars by 2030. While these predictions may seem lofty goals at first glance, they’re significantly less than what experts predicted back in July 2021 when their last forecast said bitcoins prices could reach 265k or 706K, respectively.

                   Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com


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Ethereum eyes $3.5K as ETH price reclaims pandemic-era support with 40% rebound

Ethereum’s native token Ether (ETH) looks poised to hit $3,500 in the coming sessions as it reclaimed a historically strong support level on Feb. 5.

Ethereum price back above key trendline

ETH price rising above its 50-week exponential moving average (50-week EMA; the red wave in the chart below) means the price also inched above $3,000, a psychological support level that may serve as the ground for Ether’s next leg up.

ETH/USD weekly price chart. Source: TradingView

The 50-week EMA was instrumental in maintaining Ether’s bullish bias across 2020 and 2021. For instance, it served as a strong accumulation zone during the market correction in the second and third quarters last year, pushing ETH price from around $1,700 to as high as $4,951 (data from Binance).

As a result, reclaiming the 50-week EMA as support has opened up the possibility of additional upside moves toward the next resistance target near the 20-week EMA (the green wave in the chart above), which comes to be around $3,500.

Meanwhile, a decisive break above $3,500 could have ETH/USD test a horizontal resistance trendline that constitutes an ascending triangle pattern. Such a move would put the Ethereum token en route to its previous record high near $5,000. 

ETH/USD weekly price chart. Source: TradingView

Jobs report could play spoilers

The latest buying in the Ethereum market appeared as strong earnings from Amazon.com Inc. boosted investors’ confidence in riskier assets, including technology stocks and Bitcoin (BTC).

ETH/USD versus Nasdaq Composite weekly price chart. Source: TradingView

Ether rallied by more than 11% after the earnings release on Friday. The price jump also boosted its week-to-date profits higher to nearly 16%, its best week since August 2021.

However, the rally appeared in conflict with the latest nonfarm payroll (NFP) data, also released on Friday. Despite fears that Omicron would curtail business activity, the U.S. companies added 467,000 jobs in Jan. 2022, beating market expectations by a wide margin.

U.S. nonfarm payroll data. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bloomberg

The NFP report underscored how difficult it is for the Federal Reserve to forecast interim changes in the economy. Nonetheless, it also ensured that the U.S. central bank would go ahead with its plans to raise short-term benchmark rates at its March 15-16 meeting.

In a press conference last month, Fed chair Jerome Powell said they would continue raising interest rates after the March hike, faster than they did during the past decade if the labor market looks stronger and inflation remains above their 2% target.

Related: US Federal Reserve is making some analysts bullish on Bitcoin again

The news prompted a selloff across riskier assets, with data showing that cryptocurrency investment products processed outflows worth $61 million every week in January 2022.

“It’s important to note that there’s still significant investor demand for digital asset investment products, but institutions seemingly reacted to the Fed by offloading their positions,” noted Michael Sonnenshein, chief executive of Grayscale Investments.

Crypto investment vehicles performance in Jan. 2022. Source: CryptoCompare, FT

The pullback scenario

The bearish scenario with the price below the 50-week EMA could have ETH test its ascending channel’s lower trendline near $2,500 as support. Meanwhile, a decisive close below the trendline would bring Ether’s Fibonacci retracement levels closer, as shown in the chart below.

ETH/USD weekly price chart featuring Fib retracement levels. Source: TradingView

If the bearish scenario unfolds, the possibility of the ETH/USD pair dropping below $2,000 cannot be ruled out.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.