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  • Andy Katz

Legal Troubles and Layoffs Add More FUD to the Bear Market

1. News that former OpenSea Executive Nathaniel Chastain would be charged In the first ever digital asset insider trading scheme sent shockwaves through the cryptoverse.

On June 1, the Southern District of New York unsealed the indictment of Mr. Chastain, who is charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Chastain allegedly used confidential information about what NFTs were going to be featured on OpenSea’s homepage for his personal financial gain.

2. While the NFT community deals with the Chastain fallout - the DeFi community celebrates a small success in the midst of a legal fight of their own.

In October, PoolTogether Inc, a gamified crypto savings account, as well as one of the protocol’s founders and a host of its investors, were listed as defendants in a lawsuit filed by Joseph Kent, a former Elizabeth Warren campaign staffer, who deposited the equivalent value of $12.00 into the protocol and is now suing for substantial damages.

The eight month long legal battle has hurt the small company financially. On Sunday, June 5, the Twitter feed for @PoolyNFT, a PoolTogether NFT “project with a purpose”, announced they successfully reached 100% of their funding goal, which was 769 ETH (approx. $1.45M).

The Pooly NFT mint is ongoing and the funds will “support PoolTogether Inc. in defending against the class action lawsuit”.

3. Cutbacks and layoffs are a clear sign that the bear market is in full effect.

On Thursday, June 2, it was reported that Gemini, the U.S. based Cryptocurrency exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins, would be cutting 10% of its staff. The twins announced in a blog post on Thursday morning that the industry is in a “contraction phase” known as “crypto winter,” which has been “further compounded by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil”.

Gemini is not alone. On the same day, fellow U.S. based crypto exchange Coinbase announced on a blog post on their website that they “enacted a hiring freeze for both new

and backfill roles for the foreseeable future”, as a response to the current market conditions.

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