FTX saga ends as Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years in prison: Law Decoded

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Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried to a total of 25 years in prison following his conviction on seven felony charges.

SBF is the first person tied to FTX and Alameda Research to face prison time following the collapse of the exchange in November 2022. 

“Kaplan weighed all of the sentencing factors, including the magnitude of the crime, his conclusion that SBF lied on the witness stand and tampered with a witness, and handed down a serious sentence,” Mark Bini, a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, told Cointelegraph.

“While less than the prosecutors’ request for 40–50 years, it is a very significant sentence and sends a message that people convicted of crimes in the crypto space will face serious consequences.”

Gary Wang, Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh and Ryan Salame — four other individuals associated with FTX and Alameda charged in the same case as SBF — pleaded guilty and accepted deals.

Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, was the only one who did not testify at Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial. He will likely be the next to face sentencing on May 1.

Immediately following the New York courtroom announcement, crypto users jumped onto social media to express their thoughts. Many suggested that 25 years wasn’t enough prison time, given longer sentences for seemingly less severe crimes.

Philippines will block Binance

The financial regulator of the Philippines will block local user access to Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, citing concerns over the firm’s unlicensed operations in the country. 

The country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it received the assistance of the National Telecommunication Commission to block access to Binance’s website and online trading platform.

The Philippines’ financial watchdog alleges that Binance offers investment products such as leveraged trading services and crypto savings accounts without the required licenses, which violates the Securities Regulation Code.

According to the SEC, the ban will take effect within three months to allow investors to exit their positions held through Binance. The agency also asked Google and Meta to block Binance-related advertising from showing up on their platforms for Filipino users.

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Worldcoin blocked for three months in Portugal

The Portuguese data regulator, the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD), announced the decision to temporarily limit Worldcoin’s biometric data collection through its Orb devices within the country. 

According to the CNPD, the decision was made to protect the rights of its citizens, particularly minors. The measure will take effect immediately and until the conclusion of an investigation.

The CNPD said these measures were taken after receiving “dozens of reports” on the collection of data from minors without the proper authorization of parents or legal authorities.

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Coinbase Wallet wins over SEC in court

Crypto lawyers are hailing a recent decision by a United States judge to dismiss allegations against Coinbase Wallet as a win for self-custody wallets and decentralized finance (DeFi) apps. 

U.S. District Judge Katherine Failla denied Coinbase’s bid to dismiss a Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit, finding the SEC “sufficiently pleaded” Coinbase was unlicensed and its crypto staking offering was unregistered securities.

The judge also determined the SEC failed to allege that Coinbase conducted brokerage activity through Coinbase Wallet, its self-custody crypto wallet app that gives users full control of their assets.

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