SBF’s $250M bail guarantors should be made public, rules judge
Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers had argued that the identities of the two people who guaranteed their clients $250 million bond should be kept private to protect them from potential harassment and threats.

The two people who helped former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with his $250 million bail bond could have their identities revealed next month after a recent ruling by United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan.

According to the Jan. 30 filing, Kaplan granted the joint petition from eight media outlets to unseal the names of the two individuals, “for the limited purpose of asserting the public’s claimed right of access” to the identities. He noted, however, that there was not much weight in favor of either side of the argument.

An unsealing of the guarantors’ names also isn’t guaranteed, as Kaplan has given Bankman-Fried’s legal counsel until Feb. 7 to contest the decision. The judge wrote that an “appeal is likely” and stated that “if a notice of appeal from this order is filed by then,” he would extend the deadline to Feb. 14 to permit an application for a further stay to be made.

Bankman-Fried was released from custody in December after two unknown people signed on as sureties for the $250 million bond along with Bankman-Fried’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.

Eight major media companies — including Bloomberg, the Financial Times and Reuters — demanded public disclosure of the two individuals responsible for guaranteeing the bond in a Jan. 12 letter addressed to District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan.

Attorneys from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, acting on behalf of the media giants, insist that “the public’s right to know Bankman-Fried’s guarantors outweighed their privacy and safety rights.”

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have, however, continued to argue that their identities should be kept a secret, as his parents have already been the subject of threats and the FTX founder and those linked to him face serious security risks.

In his ruling, Kaplan said he has “no reason” to doubt threats had occurred but was yet to see “evidence to that effect,” adding:

“But it does not follow that the non-parental sureties would face similar threats and harassment.”

Kaplan further argued that Bankman-Fried’s parents faced intense scrutiny due to their close relationship with their son, and his father’s employment at FTX for a year prior to the exchange’s collapse.

“Thus, the defendant’s claim that the non-parental sureties would face similar intrusions is speculative and only entitled to modest weight,” he said.

“Moreover, the information sought, ie, the names of the bail sureties, traditionally is public information,” Kaplan added.

In a Jan. 19 court filing, the lawyers for the former FTX CEO claimed that three men drove a car into the metal barricade outside Bankman-Fried’s parents’ home, where he is under house arrest.

The unidentified trio was reportedly able to drive away before security guards could record the car’s license plate.


Elon Musk wants Twitter payments system built with crypto in mind
Twitter’s CEO Elon Musk reportedly told the team developing the platform’s slated payments system that it must be developed to potentially support cryptocurrencies in the future.

Twitter chief Elon Musk has reportedly instructed his developers to build the platform’s payments system in such a way that crypto functionality can be added in the future.

According to a Jan. 30 Financial Times report, two people familiar with Twitter’s plans said that the payments feature will support fiat currencies to start but be built to accommodate cryptocurrencies should the opportunity arise.

Twitter has long teased bringing payments to the social media platform — forming part of Musk’s stated plan to make Twitter an “everything app.”

However, it has remained vague as to whether these payments will involve blockchain or crypto technology, despite the Twitter CEO seeing a big role for crypto on Twitter.

In early December, images were leaked revealing “Twitter Coins” — a secret in-development digital asset to be used for payments and tipping on the platform, with many hopeful it would involve crypto in some way.

However, the more recently leaked images of the project in early January made no mention of crypto or blockchain technology, much to the dismay of the community.

Unconfirmed rumors also emerged last October that Twitter was working on a wallet prototype that would support crypto deposits and withdrawals.

However, it appears for the time being, the payments system will go ahead with only fiat support.

To that end, Twitter has begun the application process for state-based regulatory licenses across the United States that would allow it to introduce payments to the platform.

One of the sources said the company hopes the U.S. licensing process will be completed within a year.

In November, “Twitter Payments LLC” registered with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which would allow it to process payments.

In a Twitter Space event around the same time, Musk said he envisioned allowing bank accounts to be connected to Twitter profiles and incorporating debit cards along with the platform being able to facilitate money transfers.

Following the future approval of the U.S. licenses, Twitter would eye gaining regulatory approvals internationally, according to one of the Financial Times’ sources.


Premier League gets Ethereum-based digital cards with Sorare partnership
Blockchain-powered fantasy sports firm Sorare partners with English Premier League to mint Ethereum-based digital player cards on its platform.

Blockchain-powered fantasy sports firm Sorare has sealed a deal with the English Premier League to mint Ethereum-based digital player cards on its platform.

Sorare has driven an interesting use case for Ethereum-based fantasy sports and digital card trading in recent years, offering fans the ability to mint, collect and trade various player cards with other users across a variety of nonfungible token (NFT) marketplaces.

Cointelegraph reached out to Sorare to clarify details of their latest deal which brings the Premier League to the fingertips of football fans. While the partnership was officially announced on January 30, a Sorare spokesperson said discussions between the league and the company had been ongoing for a lengthy period.

Sorare began to make moves within the Premier League network in 2019, signing West Ham United as its first English club as a partner of its platform. Cointelegraph has learned that the League and Sorare have agreed on a four-year deal, with the value of the partnership undisclosed for contractual reasons.

The company spokesperson also broke down the structure of the deal, with Sorare making an upfront downpayment to the league for licensing rights. From there, digital card sales result in a percentage split between Sorare and the Premier League.

Sorare mints digital cards of players from the Premier League on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform has long used ERC-721 token standard for its NFT player cards, which can be collected and trade by fans and used to play on the platform’s free-to-play fantasy sports league.

The Premier League digital cards will be available for initial purchase on Sorare before being available for trading on compatible marketplaces like OpenSea. The fantasy sports platform continues to be a proponent for connecting fans, players and organizations with blockchain technology:

“For Sorare, this underlying technology is the means, not the ends, to connecting users with their favourite clubs, and we welcome it powering the next generation of sports fandom and entertainment.”

NFTs including digital trading cards and highlights from various sporting codes have been become popular collectibles in recent years. NBA Top Shots exploded in popularity in 2021, while the football world has continued to see synergies with blockchain-based platforms.


This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.

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