Crypto News Highlights (13th May to 17th May 2024)

Here are the top stories that happened in crypto this week.

Crypto News Highlights (13th May to 17th May 2024)
Here are the top stories that happened in crypto this week.

  • Dolce & Gabbana Faces Lawsuit Over Metaverse Outfit NFTs
  • Notcoin Trading Volume Exceeds $1 Billion in Major Gaming Token Launch
  • Solana Developer Confesses to Stealing Community Funds for Gambling
  • Community Launches Anti-SEC Memecoin 'NotWifGary'
  • Bitcoin ETF Inflows Surge to $303 Million Amid Price Rally

Dolce & Gabbana Faces Lawsuit Over Metaverse Outfit NFTs

Dolce and Gabbana Office

Dolce & Gabbana USA has been sued by a customer who claims the NFTs they purchased have lost 97% of their value due to the company's mishandling. Bloomberg reported that the Italian fashion brand sold NFTs on Ethereum, promising various digital, physical, and experiential benefits through its DGFamily NFTs.

However, the lawsuit alleges Dolce & Gabbana failed to deliver the NFTs and the promised benefits on time. The digital outfits arrived 20 days late and could only be used on a metaverse platform with barely any users. Even after the delayed arrival, token holders waited another 11 days before they could use them because Dolce & Gabbana hadn't secured approval from the metaverse platform beforehand.

“Their standard operating procedure has been to promise products they fail to deliver, before abandoning a project and community they promised to support,” the complaint said. The plaintiff, Luke Brown, claims he lost $5,800 on the NFTs he purchased. Brown is suing on behalf of others who bought digital assets from this NFT project and is also targeting the NFT marketplace UNXD in the lawsuit.

Notcoin Trading Volume Exceeds $1 Billion in Major Gaming Token Launch


Notcoin's NOT token, launched on The Open Network (TON) via Telegram, has seen over a billion dollars in trading volume, making it the largest gaming token launch of 2024.

More than four months after the game’s launch, the NOT token debuted on Thursday. Some 35 million players were able to claim NOT tokens from playing the game. Additionally, Notcoin launched staking rewards campaigns through Binance and OKX earlier this week.

Both CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap reported that the token price plunged soon after launch, as players claimed and sold their tokens. CoinGecko indicated a peak price of $0.0215, while CoinMarketCap reported a lower peak of $0.0144.

Consequently, CoinGecko showed NOT down 65% on the day, while CoinMarketCap reported a 48% drop. The discrepancies reflect the volatile pricing of new crypto tokens due to limited liquidity. CoinGecko estimated the token's peak market cap at $2.21 billion, whereas CoinMarketCap estimated it at $1.48 billion.

Regardless, Notcoin stands out as the biggest gaming token launch by market cap this year, surpassing Pixels (PIXEL) and Saga (SAGA), which peaked at $731 million and $684 million, respectively.

Solana Developer Confesses to Stealing Community Funds for Gambling

A Cypher protocol contributor known as "Hoak" admitted to stealing nearly half a million dollars from the community to fund a gambling addiction.

In a public confession on Twitter, Hoak detailed the theft, which included $314,674 in USDT, USDC, and Solana (SOL) transferred to Binance, and an additional $184,077 in various other cryptocurrencies such as ETH, RLB, ORCA, RAY, USDT, USDC, BONK, JitoSOL, mSOL, and WSOL.

Hoak's confession followed an investigation initiated by the Cypher Protocol community.

The confession revealed that the theft was uncovered when a Cypher Protocol Discord server member reported being unable to withdraw funds, which Hoak had promised to resolve.

Cypher Protocol core contributor Barrett explained that the theft occurred via 36 withdrawal transactions over several months. Barrett also revealed that Hoak's actions undermined efforts to repay users following a previous exploit in August last year, where an attacker stole roughly $1 million in user funds. The so-called redemption contract aimed to compensate users, but was instead "rugged" by Hoak.

In his confession, Hoak apologized to all affected parties, attributing his actions to a crippling gambling addiction and psychological factors. He also mentioned a personal incident at the Solana Breakpoint conference in November 2021, which he said contributed to his downfall. Hoak's theft mirrored an incident where he and his brother were victims, leading him to repeat the offense against Max from Mango DAO.

Barrett has since contacted law enforcement, providing detailed information about the theft, including Hoak's wallet address.

Community Launches Anti-SEC Memecoin 'NotWifGary'

In response to the SEC's regulatory scrutiny, a group has launched a decentralized anti-SEC memecoin called NotWifGary (NWG). The project supports the Ethereum ecosystem and open-source developers, aiming to counter what its creators see as unjust regulatory pressure from SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

NWG will be launched as an ERC20 token on Linea, with a fair launch strategy involving community donations. The project emphasizes decentralization and fairness, with donations earning contributors a "NWG Launch Team" Soulbound Token (SBT).

Marco Monaco, a member of the NWG initiative, clarified that his

involvement in the project is personal and not connected to his official role at Linea or Consensys. "This project is not tied at all to Linea or @Consensys, even if $NWG will stand with similar companies and support them during their journey against the SEC," Monaco stated.

The official NWG account posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the project aims to "stand against Gary Gensler and the SEC, who are unlawfully threatening digital property by attacking Ethereum and open-source developers."

NWG will be classified as a CultureCoin, launched in a highly decentralized manner with a fair launch strategy. The 12 original project supporters, who are publicly known, plan to deploy 100% of the token allocation in a liquidity pool. The project's website states that NWG will be managed through a multi-sig wallet involving the original project supporters.

The liquidity pool for NWG will be bootstrapped through community donations, ensuring sufficient decentralization and fairness. Importantly, donations will not entitle contributors to NWG tokens but will earn them the "NWG Launch Team" Soulbound Token (SBT).

Bitcoin ETF Inflows Surge to $303 Million Amid Price Rally

Inflows into U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs reached a two-week high of $303 million as Bitcoin's price surged beyond $66,000.

According to data from Farside Investors, all U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs, except BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT), saw inflows on May 15th, with IBIT recording zero inflows or outflows for the third consecutive day. Fidelity's FBTC led with inflows of $131.3 million, while Grayscale's GBTC saw its first day of inflows in a week, attracting $27 million.

The ETF inflows coincided with a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating a slight easing in April inflation.

Institutional investors, as revealed by recent 13F filings with the SEC, have been increasing their holdings in spot Bitcoin ETFs. These include Millennium Management, a $64 billion hedge fund with nearly $2 billion in Bitcoin ETFs across IBIT, FBTC, GBTC, Ark Invest's ARKB, and Bitwise's BITB; Elliot Capital, which holds $12 million in IBIT; and Apollo Management Holdings, which holds over $53 million in ARKB.

Additionally, the State of Wisconsin's Investment Board has become one of the first U.S. public pension funds to allocate a portion of its holdings to spot Bitcoin ETFs. The Board's 13F filing revealed an investment of $163 million in Bitcoin ETFs, including one million shares in GBTC worth $63.7 million and 2.5 million shares in IBIT worth $99.2 million.

Earlier this month, Manuel Nordeste, vice president of Fidelity Digital Assets, noted at a London event that defined benefit plans and other pension funds "are only starting to talk to their investment committees" about Bitcoin ETFs.

In March, a bill before the Arizona state senate aimed to encourage the state’s portfolio of retirement plans for government workers to include Bitcoin ETFs. The bill advised the Arizona State Retirement System to "closely monitor the developments in Bitcoin ETFs and other digital asset ETFs and consider the implications of including such assets in their investment portfolios."

Disclaimer:  The information provided in this crypto news round-up is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or investment advice. Obiex will not be held liable for your investment decisions.