Crypto Markets Today: Co-Founder of OneCoin Pyramid Scheme Pleads Guilty; CoinDesk Market Index Drops

Bitcoin, largest cryptocurrency by market value, fell 3% over the past 24 hours

AccessTimeIconDec 16, 2022 at 10:07 p.m. UTC

One of the founders behind OneCoin, Karl Greenwood, pleaded guilty to federal charges on Friday after one of the largest financial scams of all time, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

This article originally appeared in Crypto Markets Today, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today's crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

  • The purported cryptocurrency project was fraudulent from its 2014 beginnings, prosecutors said, with OneCoin – co-founded by Greenwood – setting up a pyramid scheme to market it to millions of people, generating as much as $4 billion in revenue. Greenwood, 45, who allegedly called the investors “idiots” in an internal message, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money.
  • Karl Sebastian Greenwood operated one of the largest international fraud schemes ever perpetrated,” said Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Greenwood and his co-conspirators, including fugitive Ruja Ignatova, conned unsuspecting victims out of billions of dollars, claiming that OneCoin would be the ‘Bitcoin killer.’”
  • Ignatova, known as the “CryptoQueen,” remains on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Most Wanted list as another founder of OneCoin, which was based in Bulgaria. The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.

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(CoinDesk Research)
(CoinDesk Research)

Bitcoin (BTC): The largest cryptocurrency by market value fell 3% over the past 24 hours, in sync with equity markets. Risky assets such as cryptocurrencies and stocks are still under pressure from the Federal Reserve’s warning this week that monetary policy might need to keep tightening – and stay tight – well into 2023. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed down 1%. The S&P 500 slid 1.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.9%.

Ether (ETH): The second-largest cryptocurrency followed BTC’s trajectory, dropping around 3.1% to $1,205.

Raydium (RAY): Solana-based decentralized exchange platform Raydium confirmed in a tweet on Friday that it had been the victim of an exploit. At press time, around $2 million worth of different cryptocurrencies was sitting in the account of an attacker that managed to maliciously withdraw user funds from Raydium exchange pools. The price of RAY decreased 8.96% in the past 24 hours.

CoinDesk Market Index (CMI): The benchmark index of 167 digital assets lost 3.3%. Prognosticators suggest 2023 will be the “Year of the Dapps.” There’s also speculation that it might be the “Year of the DAOs,” but the question is whether it will be the year they start following the law.

Crypto Market Analysis: Bitcoin Finishes Roller-Coaster Week Near Where It Started

By Glenn Williams Jr.

Anyone who ignored bitcoin over the last seven days would think that not much occurred, if looking at total price movement. Those paying attention might still be dizzy from the roller-coaster ride.

Optimism early in the week reversed, with bitcoin’s price settling in just below $17,000. On a relative basis, BTC’s seven-day performance against the U.S. dollar was third among the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Ether finished in the middle of the pack, declining 5% over the last seven days.

BTC’s chart doesn’t offer much by way of short-term optimism. Its Relative Strength Index (RSI) has fallen near 40, implying that BTC momentum is essentially neutral at the moment.

The Volume Profile Visible Range tool shows significant past trading activity and price agreement between $16,500 and $17,000. The combination of these factors sets the framework for BTC to trade flat, in lieu of a new catalyst.

Bitcoin 12/16/22 (TradingView)
Bitcoin 12/16/22 (TradingView)

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Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.

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