Oyster Founder Sentenced for $5.5M Tax Evasion

READING TIME: 4 mins 37 secs

Diving deep into today's web3 currents:

❄️ SnowTrace Melts Away, But Avalanche Stays Frosty

πŸ“° Oyster Protocol Founder Sentenced to Four Years for $5.5M Tax Evasion

🌌 From Crypto Kingpin to Courtroom: The FTX Saga Unravels

🌐 Circle to Discontinue Consumer Accounts Support by November 2023

SnowTrace, a leading blockchain explorer tool for the Avalanche ecosystem, will end operations and shut down its website by November 30, 2023.

While the specific reasons remain undisclosed, high service fees from Etherscan's toolkit may be a factor. Phillip Liu Jr. from Ava Labs assured that Avalanche remains operational with plans. In related news, Avalanche's Landslide Network is integrating the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol, enabling interoperability between Cosmos Hub, Avalanche, and over 100 IBC-supported chains. This announcement by the Interchain Foundation paves the way for enhanced cross-chain communication in the blockchain industry.

Amir Elmaani, founder of the now-defunct Oyster Protocol cryptocurrency scheme, has been sentenced to four years in prison for evading taxes on over $5.5 million in profits.

Operating under the alias "Bruno Block", Elmaani confessed to covertly producing and selling Pearl tokens without paying the required taxes on the profits. U.S. District Attorney Damian Williams remarked on Elmaani's breach of trust toward his investors. In 2018, Elmaani illicitly spent millions on luxury items, including yachts and homes, while reporting minimal income to tax authorities. Besides his imprisonment, Elmaani has been ordered to pay $5.5 million in restitution and will undergo one year of supervised release.

Former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, is nearing the end of his trial where he faces seven counts of fraud.

The trial has been ongoing throughout October and might extend into November. Most of Bankman-Fried's close associates, including ex-FTX Digital Markets CEO Ryan Salame and co-founder Gary Wang, have pleaded guilty and testified against him, highlighting various allegations. The failure of FTX was significant for the cryptocurrency world. A final verdict is anticipated soon, almost a year after FTX's bankruptcy.

Circle has announced the discontinuation of support for its consumer accounts, effective November 30, 2023.

This decision aligns with Circle's terms and agreements. It's noteworthy that CEO Jeremy Allaire had previously indicated that a substantial portion (70%) of Circle's business, particularly the adoption of USDC stablecoin, originates outside the U.S. This international focus is further emphasized by Circle's recent acquisition of a Major Payment Institution license from Singapore's Monetary Authority and its plans to establish its European headquarters in Paris, due to France's positive crypto stance.

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