Column: Shame, suicide attempts, ‘financial death’ — the devastating toll of a crypto firm’s failure (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Column: Shame, suicide attempts, ‘financial death’ — the devastating toll of a crypto firm’s failure. “To hundreds of Celsius’ 1.7 million customers, the value of the $11.7 billion in assets they deposited with the firm might as well be zero. ‘[Alex] Mashinsky always talked very confidently about how strong Celsius was and how much better than banks,’ recalls Harold M. Lott, 35, a Nashville-area nurse who had as much as $14,000 in cryptocurrency assets deposited at Celsius at the peak of the crypto market. ‘He never gave any indication that there was a problem,’ Lott says. ‘But suddenly, out of the blue, they just stopped all transfers.’”

Ars Technica: Excel esports on ESPN show world the pain of format errors

Ars Technica: Excel esports on ESPN show world the pain of format errors. “The Financial Modeling World Cup (FMWC) hosts regular international competitions, both invitational and open to anyone, in which Excel pros strive to solve as many questions as possible from a complex task. You can download all three of the tasks used in last weekend’s battle for free. ESPN showed a 30-minute edited version of the full two-hour-and-48-minute all-star battle between previous champions.”

Mother Jones: A Crypto Giant Froze Their Accounts. Now Customers Are Begging a Judge for Their Money Back.

Mother Jones: A Crypto Giant Froze Their Accounts. Now Customers Are Begging a Judge for Their Money Back.. “According to a presentation filed in court, Celsius now hopes to offer its customers a choice: accept a cash payment worth just a fraction of their investments, or opt to ‘remain “long” crypto’—that is, continue to hold their digital currency on Celsius’ books in the hopes of eventually being able to recover their money.”

Rensselaer: Consumers Are Likely To Be Susceptible to Slick Graphic Design of Trading Platforms

Rensselaer: Consumers Are Likely To Be Susceptible to Slick Graphic Design of Trading Platforms. “Research conducted by Gaurav Jain, a behavioral economist and assistant professor at Rensselaer, and John Chen, an undergraduate student studying biology in Rensselaer’s accelerated B.S./M.D. program, explored how certain graphic designs on decentralized finance (defi) apps can target an investor’s inexperience to elicit decisions that are quick and uninformed, using an investor’s intuition rather than information.”

Bleeping Computer: Huge network of 11,000 fake investment sites targets Europe

Bleeping Computer: Huge network of 11,000 fake investment sites targets Europe. “Researchers have uncovered a gigantic network of more than 11,000 domains used to promote numerous fake investment schemes to users in Europe. The platforms show fabricated evidence of enrichment and falsified celebrity endorsements to create an image of legitimacy and lure in a larger number of victims.”

NPR: Amid the hype, they bought crypto near its peak. Now, they cope with painful losses

NPR: Amid the hype, they bought crypto near its peak. Now, they cope with painful losses. “Quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, starred in an ad for FTX, and a commercial for Crypto.com featured Academy Award-winning actor Matt Damon. These were designed to appeal to a potential investor’s fear of missing out. ‘Fortune favors the brave,’ Damon says. The ads included little-to-no explanation of crypto, and how risky the unregulated asset is. About two weeks after that Crypto.com ad debuted, Bitcoin set a new record: $68,990. Today, it’s less than a third of that.”

MetaMask Co-Founders: ‘We Can’t Stop People From Making Ponzis on Blockchains’ (Vice)

Vice: MetaMask Co-Founders: ‘We Can’t Stop People From Making Ponzis on Blockchains’. “With tens of millions of users, the digital wallet system has become the main access point to Ethereum, the blockchain that has given rise to stablecoins like Tether, play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity, metaverses like Decentraland, and NFT projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. But after a precipitous crypto crash that has affected projects and people alike, the co-founders of MetaMask are now warning that the crypto ecosystem they helped create is currently an unsafe casino prone to Ponzi-like operations and exploitation.”

‘They couldn’t even scream any more. They were just sobbing’: the amateur investors ruined by the crypto crash (The Guardian)

The Guardian: ‘They couldn’t even scream any more. They were just sobbing’: the amateur investors ruined by the crypto crash. “Last month, major coins including bitcoin and ethereum dropped by more than one-third in just a week. While bitcoin has tumbled significantly on several occasions, this bear run – meaning a period of declining prices – feels different. The industry is larger and more interconnected than ever, with retail and institutional investors jostling for space in what was, until last year, a $3tn market. (The crash has wiped $2tn off the market’s value.)” I feel that cryptocurrency is not just a discrete phenomenon but an expression of Internet culture as it is now. I believe something like it (as seismic and potentially destructive) will happen again. I’m indexing these articles in the hope that we learn what it looks like ahead of time.

Slate: Crypto Town

Slate: Crypto Town. “… Miami isn’t alone in trying to bring some laser-eyed panache to the typically vanilla work of local governance. A wave of smaller cities has begun to accept cryptocurrencies for payments, create their own NFT projects, and even install crypto mining operations. Their efforts, if anything, display an openness to technological innovation in cities of various locales and political contexts. What they don’t show is whether this particular innovation is able to accomplish much of anything at all.”

New York Times: A Poor Country Made Bitcoin a National Currency. The Bet Isn’t Paying Off.

New York Times: A Poor Country Made Bitcoin a National Currency. The Bet Isn’t Paying Off.. “… nearly a year after the country’s president, Nayib Bukele, shocked the financial world by making its most popular digital coin a national currency, his bet appears to be backfiring, highlighting the gap between the utopian promises of cryptocurrency’s proponents and economic realities. The government’s bitcoin holdings have lost about 60 percent of their presumed value during the recent market plunge.”

New York Times: How Wall Street Escaped the Crypto Meltdown

New York Times: How Wall Street Escaped the Crypto Meltdown. “It’s not that financial giants didn’t want to be part of the fun. But Wall Street banks have been forced to sit it out — or, like [BNP Paribas], approach crypto with ingenuity — partly because of regulatory guardrails put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. At the same time, big money managers applied sophisticated strategies to limit their direct exposure to cryptocurrencies because they recognized the risks. So when the market crashed, they contained their losses.”

US Department of Justice: Justice Department Announces Enforcement Action Charging Six Individuals with Cryptocurrency Fraud Offenses in Cases Involving Over $100 Million in Intended Losses

US Department of Justice: Justice Department Announces Enforcement Action Charging Six Individuals with Cryptocurrency Fraud Offenses in Cases Involving Over $100 Million in Intended Losses. “The Department of Justice, together with federal law enforcement partners, today announced criminal charges against six defendants in four separate cases for their alleged involvement in cryptocurrency-related fraud, including the largest known Non-Fungible Token (NFT) scheme charged to date, a fraudulent investment fund that purportedly traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, a global Ponzi scheme involving the sale of unregistered crypto securities, and a fraudulent initial coin offering.”