The world of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) has been rocked by a lawsuit that has been filed against one of the co-founders of the Rebase project, Edmond Truong. The lawsuit has been brought by Krzysztof Gagacki, who claims to be a co-founder of the project and alleges that Truong has acted in bad faith by misappropriating $2 million into a separate wallet that is owned and controlled by him without Gagacki’s consent.
In the filing, which was made on April 17, 2023, in a United States District Court in California, Gagacki accuses Truong of eight separate complaints, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, defamation, and trademark infringement. He is demanding a jury trial, claiming that Truong has “gone rogue” by stealing money from a joint crypto wallet and ousting Gagacki from the firm.
According to Gagacki, the professional relationship between the two had deteriorated by October 27, 2022, when Truong breached their partnership contract. Gagacki claims that he owns a 50% share of the funds in the joint crypto wallet but that Truong refuses to provide him with the private keys to the digital wallet.
Gagacki further alleges that Truong has “ousted” him from the business by presenting himself as the “sole owner” and “decision maker” for Rebase. He claims that Truong has made several defamatory statements to the firm’s business contacts about him, causing damage to his reputation.
Furthermore, Gagacki claims that Truong has intentionally interfered with several prospective deals that he had been working on for the firm. One of these deals involved American celebrity Bella Hadid, who featured in the firm’s Cy-B3lla NFT project. The filing alleges that Hadid refused further collaboration with the project after it was made apparent to her that the two co-founders had clashed.
It is unclear when the professional relationship between Truong and Gagacki started to deteriorate, but Gagacki claims that Truong has been acting in bad faith by misappropriating funds and making defamatory statements about him. The lawsuit is expected to be closely watched by the NFT community, which has seen explosive growth in recent years. As the use of NFTs continues to expand into different industries, legal disputes like this one could become more common.
Rob Levy is co-founder and president of Hxro, a crypto betting market.
From his perspective, people seem to think Democratic control in Washington will be better for crypto.
He pointed to stimulus checks and policies from the Federal Reserve that could spur asset growth.
Speaking a day after portions of the US Capitol were overrun by pro-Trump protestors, Rob Levy, co-founder and president of crypto prediction market Hxro (pronounced “hero”), indicated the cryptocurrency industry is looking forward to a transition of power in Washington and the stability that may bring.
“I think, in general, the Democrats taking control is seen as friendly for crypto,” he told Matthew Aron on theDecrypt Dailypodcast, only slightly hedging his forecast.
“We saw at the end of December [US Treasury Secretary] Mnuchin coming out with some more harsh words for Bitcoin and crypto in general,” he said, likely referring to“rushed”rule-making by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that would require large transactions to crypto wallets to be recorded and/or reported to FinCEN.“We’re not going to be thrown curveballs like that, in the minds of the public, with Democrats running the US. And so that, in general, is friendly.”
Hxro is a gamified market that allows users to bet on whether an asset price will go up or down in a specified amount of time. Levy, who gets to see his users react to political developments in real-time,came with some predictions about what Dem control will mean for American’s checkbooks as well as for oversight of the apolitical US Federal Reserve.
The Democrats look set to embrace a liberal fiscal policy and “are more apt to push through bigger stimulus checks,” suggested Levy. Though a December 2020 proposal to send $2,000 to most Americans (instead of $600) failed in the Senate, that could be revisited now that Democrats are set to take control of the upper chamber.
Fiscal policy measures geared toward putting more money into citizens’ pockets goes hand in hand with central bank efforts to increase the money supply.
“This whole monetary policy of easy money, it’s not going away,” he said. “This policy of…we’re gonna buy all assets, the Fed’s gonna buy government bonds, they’re gonna just flood the streets with money, it’s not bearish for any asset, really.”
Mate Tokay, Bitcoin.com’s former CEO, is taking legal action against a small-cap crypto he advised for reportedly failing to pay him 37.5 million BRG tokens worth $525,000.
Tokay claims that he was never paid for his services, despite the project using his name for recognition to attract investment for Bridge.link’s $8 million initial exchange offering three months ago. He adds that Bridge’s founder Sina Estavi offered to compensate Tokay with “a far lower sum” than what was agreed in their contract, adding that other advisors have allegedly received similar treatment.
At current prices, the reportedly promised stash of 37.5 million BRG would be worth $525,000 in total.
Tokay further alleges that the circulating supply for BRG claimed by Bridge.link is inaccurate, noting he has informed “other crypto industry market leaders, price aggregations sites, and relevant exchanges” of the “massive” discrepancy between BRG’s purported and actual and circulating supply.
Tokay warned that the discrepancy could leave BRG investors vulnerable to a “classic pump and dump,” describing Bridge.link’s actions as “market manipulation.”
While crypto market data aggregator CoinGecko currently does not list data for BRG’s circulating supply or market cap, CoinMarketCap ranks BRG as the 231st-largest crypto asset with a capitalization of $141 million.
BRG has slumped from $0.019 to $0.017 over the past 24 hours, suggesting that some investors are dumping amid Tokay’s lawsuit — with more than 97% of volume originating from a single exchange.
Despite the legal action, the price of BRG is up more than 200% over the past 30 days.
Bridge.link did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of Circle, stated “the new interpretive letter establishes that banks can treat public chains as infrastructure similar to SWIFT, ACH, and FedWire, and stablecoins … as electronic stored value.”
Since its cypherpunk beginnings, the blockchain industry has long positioned itself as something on the fringe of mainstream. Yet, today, distributed ledger technology experiments by governments, financial institutions and global corporations and broader digital asset adoption has reached a fever pitch.
Pandemic aside, 2020 has been a year of tremendous growth for the digital asset space. From China’s ambitious Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) to the launch of Cambodia’s Project Bakong, these initiatives have largely been spearheaded by traditional monetary institutions, a strong signal to the crypto’s growing credibility.
This post is part of CoinDesk’s 2020 Year in Review – a collection of op-eds, essays and interviews about the year in crypto and beyond. Amrit Kumar is president, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Zilliqa. His academic research has been widely published at conferences such as IEEE/IFIP and IFIP TC-11 SEC.
Interestingly, a lot of the most progressive developments are taking place in the East, in spite of significant disparities in digital literacy and technological maturity. Southeast Asia saw as many as 40 million new internet users this year amid the coronavirus, as consumers flocked to digital services such as ride-hailing, e-commerce and digital payments.
Whether it’s in developed or developing markets, Asia’s financial evolution remains steady and unfazed. From the rise of mobile payment platforms and QR-code enabled transactions to the uptick in e-wallet adoption, Asian economies are setting the innovation agenda across the sector. Infrastructural challenges or concerns surrounding cybersecurity have done little to hinder the digital transformation within the region. What is it about Asia that makes it so predisposed to pursue innovation at all costs and what will that mean for the future of digital assets in the year to come?
The fintech frontier
With a growing base of consumers, burgeoning financial infrastructure and the presence of some of the world’s largest tech companies, Asia is at the vanguard of the fintech revolution. For Asia’s developing markets, the absence of a deeply entrenched legacy finance ecosystem – coupled with high mobile phone penetration and limited access to traditional financial services – makes these emerging economies primed to leapfrog digital transformation. Eager to boost financial inclusion and reduce the use of cash, many governments in Asia’s developing markets have adopted a progressive stance towards the region’s innovation agenda.
Mobile payments have become the dominant and even the preferred mode of payment in countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, where over 60% of the respective populations are using mobile payments for everyday transactions. Cambodia’s Project Bakong is a blockchain-powered, all-in-one retail banking and mobile payments application. Supporting transactions in both the dollar and riel, the central bank-backed digital currency, is expected to help Cambodians make payments and transfer money between individuals using their smartphones. Introduced as a means of boosting financial inclusion in Cambodia, the retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) also serves to revitalize the use of the Cambodian riel in its digital form in order to challenge the domestic dominance of the U.S. dollar.
Asia looks poised to continue its trajectory towards digital dominance.
The Philippines also adopted a progressive monetary policy that has seen the legalization of cryptocurrencies since 2017 and, most recently, 14 crypto exchanges. Earlier this year, the nation’s Bureau of the Treasury, Unionbank and PDAX launched a blockchain app called Bonds.ph for the distribution of government bonds. The new mobile app will allow Filipinos, particularly the unbanked, to invest in the government’s new retail treasury bond and help the country raise funds to aid in its economic recovery and strengthen the COVID-19 response.
See also: China’s Xi Asks ASEAN Nations to Join in Building of ‘Digital Silk Road’
Amid the pandemic, Asia saw a significant uptick in e-wallet adoption within the past year. According to a report published by Allied Market Research, the global mobile wallet market was estimated at $1.04 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to hit $7.58 billion by 2027, registering a compound annual growth rate of 28.2% from 2020 to 2027. While high smartphone penetration and ease of mobile payments are the main driving factors for the adoption of digital wallets, the need for safety and security is often cited as a key concern among consumers.
When it comes to the region’s reputational standing with respect to tech innovation on a global stage, Asia is embracing the digital revolution on its own terms. Fueled by rising consumer demands for technology-enabled services and digital experiences, Asian governments have made the move to support the efforts of tech enterprises through planning, skills enablement and supportive regulation.
By prioritizing technology and investing in R&D, developed markets such as China, Japan and South Korea have built strong innovation foundations, and hold significant capital and knowledge to catalyze innovation in other Asian economies.
As the world’s most populous country, China is Asia’s anchor market, providing a connectivity and innovation platform for the rest of the continent. Leading the charge in the race to issue the world’s first global digital currency, China’s state-backed DCEP project was created with the goal of replacing cash and internationalizing the yuan by facilitating its use in transactions anywhere in the world.
See also: Zhou Xiaochuan: The Father of the Digital Yuan
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has already published a draft law giving legal status to the DCEP system, allowing the digital yuan to be included and defined as part of the country’s sovereign fiat currency. This draft law would also forbid any party from making or issuing yuan-backed digital tokens to replace the renminbi in the market. In doing so, China seeks to broaden its soft power by maintaining government control over the currency and creating less dependence on the U.S. dollar, while challenging the monopoly of existing digital payments players such as WeChat and Alibaba.
Singapore has also led research into CBDCs with its multi-phase Project Ubin, created with the aim of reducing cross border payment costs and speeding up securities settlements. Since its inception, the government has been actively working with the private sector in both the mainstream and blockchain sectors to explore how the technology can be utilized in a real-world environment.
As one of the earliest players in the space, the completion of Project Ubin phase 5 represents a significant step forward in digital asset innovation and acceptance in progressive Singapore. By looking beyond the feasibility of the technology – which they’ve since proven – they have now expanded to explore the utility of Ubin from a commercial viability standpoint. This is a promising sign that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has moved beyond legitimizing the tech and are already looking at applications, identifying companies who are willing to entertain the idea of integration.
Adept at reaching tech-literate yet financially underserved markets, digital currencies and fintech can play an integral role in Asia’s emerging economies by enabling greater financial inclusion among the unbanked population, particularly in remote communities lacking access to traditional banking facilities or countries with a low trust in their banking institutions.
As technology-driven innovation takes center-stage in the next phase of global growth, Asia looks poised to continue its trajectory towards digital dominance.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard is backing One River Digital Asset Management’s $1 billion bet on crypto. Howard, co-founder of his own Brevan Howard Asset management, is supporting innovative investment manager One River Digital’s plans to continue to plunge further into the cryptoverse. One River Digital CEO Eric Peters is committing the firm to […]
The post Billionaire Investor Alan Howard Placing Massive Bet on Bitcoin and Ethereum appeared first on The Daily Hodl.