Binance founder CZ gets a four-month prison term, Roger Ver faces tax fraud charges, and Tether net profits soar to $4.5 billion.
Binance Founder CZ Sentenced to Four Months in Prison

Binance Founder CZ Sentenced to Four Months in Prison

Binance founder CZ gets a four-month prison term, Roger Ver faces tax fraud charges, and Tether net profits soar to $4.5 billion.

May 2, 2024
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Welcome to the latest edition of Datawallet Daily. As always, we have scoured Crypto Twitter and the news to bring you the top stories of the last 24 hours:

Binance Founder CZ Sentenced to Four Months in Prison

Changpeng Zhao, founder of Binance, was sentenced to four months in prison despite a lack of evidence that he was aware of illegal activities at his cryptocurrency exchange. U.S. Judge Richard Jones, expressed skepticism about the Department of Justice’s request for a longer sentence, highlighting that Zhao had demonstrated acceptance of responsibility and showed mitigating personal qualities. 

The disagreement arose over increasing the baseline sentence of 10 to 16 months proposed by the DOJ to a possible three years. Zhao’s defense emphasized his cooperation in the investigation, contrasting with the DOJ’s stance that his light sentence might undermine the enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act. 

Zhao, who had previously agreed to a $50 million fine and pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act, was recommended to serve his sentence at the Federal Detention Center, SeaTac. His legal team argued for no prison time, citing precedents and his documented cooperation with authorities.

Roger Ver Detained for Tax Fraud

Roger Ver was recently arrested in Spain on charges of tax fraud. This arrest came shortly after the publication of his book “Hijacking Bitcoin,” where he presents his perspective on the blocksize wars within the Bitcoin community. In his book, Ver advocates for Bitcoin Cash, a fork of Bitcoin which he supported to increase block sizes for faster, cheaper transactions.

The arrest is tied to allegations that he defrauded the U.S. out of more than $48 million by providing false information about his Bitcoin holdings. The U.S. Justice Department claims Ver transferred Bitcoin to various companies to evade the “exit tax” required before he renounced his U.S. citizenship. This instance of tax evasion involved misleading his attorney and the IRS about the ownership of his Bitcoin around the time of his expatriation. Ver is currently detained in Spain, awaiting extradition proceedings to face his charges in the U.S.

Renzo Liquid Restaking Protocol Launches REZ Token

Renzo, a liquid restaking protocol, has launched its REZ token, which quickly achieved a market cap of $289 million. Despite announcements that REZ was not available on decentralized exchanges, it was traded on Uniswap, showing a trading volume of $75 million within an hour of claim availability. Renzo has allocated 32% of the total token supply to the community and imposed a three-month vesting period for users holding over 500,000 ezPoints. 

Renzo acts as a gateway to EigenLayer by securing actively validated services (AVS), enhancing the utility of its staking mechanism. With a total token supply of 10 billion REZ, 1.15 billion are currently circulating, while the remainder is locked until certain conditions are met.

Tether Records Over $4.5 Billion Net Profit in Q1 2024

Tether, the stablecoin issuer, reported a record net profit of $4.52 billion for the first quarter of 2024, according to its latest attestation. This announcement comes alongside the disclosure of Tether’s U.S. Treasury holdings, now exceeding $90 billion, and the revelation of its net equity, which reached $11.37 billion as of March 31, marking a significant increase from $7.01 billion at the end of 2023. 

The attestation further noted that as much as 90% of Tether-issued tokens are backed by cash and cash equivalents. Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino emphasized the company’s commitment to transparency and trust within the cryptocurrency industry.

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