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This week in the metaverse: $3.36bn bitcoin seizure, crypto’s ‘grey list’

US Department of Justice is announcing the seizure at over $3.36 billion worth of Bitcoin. In a release yesterday, the Department said that law enforcement seized over 50,676 bitcoins from James Zhong, who had “unlawfully obtained (the funds) from the Silk Road dark web internet marketplace” more than ten years ago. The crypto assets were seized back in November 2021, and were worts over $3.36 billion at the time (they are worth only $982 million today). “This seizure was then the largest cryptocurrency seizure in the history of the US Department of Justice and today remains the Department’s second- largest financial seizure ever,” the Department stated in the report.

On Friday, Zhong pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years as mandated by Congress.

“James Zhong committed wire fraud more than a decade ago he stole about 50,000 bitcoins from Silk Road,” US Attorney James Williams stated in an announcement. “For nearly ten years, the whereabouts of this massive chunk of missing Bitcoin had been a mystery worth more than $3.3 billion. Due to state-of-the-art cryptocurrency tracking and good old-fashioned police work, law enforcement discovered and recovered this splendid cache of proceeds of crime. This case indicates that we won’t stop chasing the money, no matter how clever, even to a circuit board in the bottom of a popcorn container.”

Intergovernmental watchdog begins adding countries to ‘grey list’ in global cryptocurrency crackdown. Al Jazeera reported yesterday that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global organization which fights money laundering, will begin adding countries which lack anti-money laundering laws for cryptocurrencies – involving Haiti & Syria – to a “grey list”. The organization will claim to be checking annually to guarantee that countries have policies in place to stop crypto companies operating in their jurisdictions from enabling money laundering and terrorist financing.

PlayStation revealing a release date of its next-generation virtual reality (VR) headset. The PlayStation VR 2 (PSVR2) will be released in February 2023 – and available for pre-order later in the current month – the video game giant reported in a blog post on 02 November. Unlike Meta’s new Quest Pro headset, that is being sold for a warning price $1,499 and marketed primarily as a workplace tool, the PSVR2 is designed specially for gaming.

Fidelity Investments is preparing to release a new cryptocurrency trading platform. On November 3rd, the financial services company – one of the largest in the world – opened the waitlist for Fidelity Crypto. This new service allows the company’s retail customers to make commission-free trades of bitcoin and Ether, presently the two leading cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The program will eventually be accessible via the Fidelity Investments app, though no official release date has yet been revealed.

Asics started its cooperation with Solana. The sportswear brand revealed the “UI Collection” on November 4th, that consists of two versions of its GT-2000 shoe called “Light Mode” and “Dark Mode”. Asics stated in a report that the “design comes from the user interfaces (UI) on computer & phone screens to symbolize a healthy balance between screen time and physical activity, “Created in cooperation with blockchain platform Solana, the UI Series is Solana’s recent step into the web3 space: The new shoes come with an NFT and can just be bought using cryptocurrency on Solana Pay, the brand’s free blockchain payment platform.

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About Daniel P.

This week in the metaverse: $3.36bn bitcoin seizure, crypto’s ‘grey list’Daniel is a Web content creator and technical writer who loves talking about Web3, NFTs and other blockchain-related topic and news.

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