Inside the White House's Attack on Crypto

President Biden eyes crypto traders in debt ceiling debate, and a judge delivers a big update in the SEC v. Ripple case

By: Zack Abrams

May 22, 2023

This week: 2024 Presidential candidates talk crypto while President Biden eyes crypto traders, Tornado Cash is hijacked and then possibly un-hijacked, and Ledger attempts to Recover its users’ trust. Plus, Doom runs on Bitcoin now. 

Here’s what’s happening this week in crypto, as discussed in a news recap with Fox Business Reporter Eleanor Terrett.

In Politics…

At Bitcoin Miami, Democratic Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy outlined his crypto agenda and became the first candidate in history to accept Bitcoin for campaign donations, though GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy followed suit two days later, declaring “Let’s make the 2024 election a referendum on fiat currency.”

President Biden, whom RFK is challenging in the race, took another shot at crypto fans while addressing negotiations around the U.S. debt ceiling, saying “I’m not going to agree to a deal that protects wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders.” 

Meanwhile, the SEC’s case against Ripple continues as analysts pore over newly released documents. We recommend our friend Eleanor Terrett’s Twitter feed for the latest on that case

In Messes…

Tornado Cash, the mixing protocol which enables private transactions on Ethereum, was hijacked on Saturday after an attacker used malicious code to grant them majority control over the decentralized protocol. 

Then, curiously, the attacker seemed to change their mind, submitting a proposal that would remove the exploit they used to gain control. Some are skeptical of this apparent change of heart, however, claiming that the attacker may be attempting to pump the price of his stolen TORN tokens before dumping them on the open market. 

Elsewhere, Ledger took a beating from Crypto Twitter last week after the announcement of the company’s new Recover feature, which sends encrypted pieces of a user’s wallet seed to several third parties in order to enable recovery of the crypto wallet. The announcement angered critics who say that the feature defeats the entire point of a hardware wallet

One expert hacker’s take: “I wouldn't call this a backdoor by any stretch, but given the paranoia in the cryptocurrency space, I don't think they did a good job explaining what it is and how it works.”

Finally, Gemini took another shot at DCG during their ongoing mess over Gemini Earn, claiming DCG failed to make a $630M payment that was due last week. 

In Other Headlines…

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