By Dana Malcolm
#TheBahamas, November 16, 2022 – Earlier this year The Bahamas was flooded with celebrities all heading to Crypto Bahamas, a crypto currency conference designed to help the country on its journey to become the leading digital asset hub in the Caribbean. Sponsored by then-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, his crypto company FTX, which is based in Nassau, drew the likes of Katy Perry, Gisele Bundchen, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former United States President Bill Clinton among others.
Forbes magazine had called it ‘Crypto’s Most Exclusive Gathering’. Now less than eight months later, FTX has filed for bankruptcy, Bahamian regulators have frozen its assets. Bankman-Fried has stepped down as CEO and his $39 million dollar Nassau home is on the market.
The Bahamian authorities are trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. They along with the US Justice Department are investigating if Bankman-Fried used customer funds from FTX to trade in another fund of his. He has already admitted on twitter that he grossly miscalculated the amount of cash the company had to cover daily withdrawals from the site.
But who will pay the price for the miscalculation? Some of the ‘most sophisticated investors in the world’ as they are described by the Institutional Investor lost hundreds of millions at FTXs sudden collapse. Forbes lists some of the biggest losers as Venture capital companies Sequoia Capital, SoftBank, and Tiger Global who saw more than 300 million dollars combined go up in smoke.
In a move similar to what many governments do and what the Turks and Caicos Islands government has indicated it is planning to do with its new pension plan, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan said it invested up to $95 million. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen may also take millions in losses.
And the workers, forty of whom are Bahamian who are now out of a job and lost their investments as well, are estimated to have lost up to $950 million dollars based on when the company’s shares were at its highest.
In a 13 tweet thread that said mostly nothing, Bankman-Fried promised this, “My goal—my one goal—is to do right by customers. I’m contributing what I can to doing so. I’m meeting in-person with regulators and working with the teams to do what we can for customers.
And after that, investors. But first, customers.”
Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.
This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre. Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.
It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”
Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.
The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.
As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.
Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose
By Dana Malcolm
December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.
Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.
Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.
“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried admitted he’d screwed up
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – An interview with FTX founder Sam Bankman- Fried on Wednesday at the DealBook Summit revealed that there were no risk management teams or form of corporate control to help govern the organisation.
The CEO said he was shocked by what had taken place. While he had made loans to his hedge fund Alameda, Bank-Fried said he did not intentionally commingle the funds.
Bankman-Fried acknowledged that he had a responsibility to the company and all its customers but he “screwed up.” “There was no person who was chiefly in charge of positional risk of customers on FTX, and that feels pretty embarrassing in retrospect,” he shared.
The investigation is ongoing and it still needs to be clarified whether customers will be able to regain any funds.
Former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Howard Fischer said that Bankman-Fried’s comments are being scrutinised. “Everything he says that turns out to be contradicted by admissible evidence will be taken as evidence of deceit.”
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