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‘I’ve done nothing wrong’ — Lark Davis denies ‘pump-and-dump’ allegations

Davis claimed he received nothing for free from the projects it's alleged he profited from, and the amounts he sold weren’t enough to “dump the price.”

Crypto influencer Lark Davis has refuted new allegations from Twitter “on-chain sleuth” ZachXBT of shilling “low cap projects” to his audience “just to dump them shortly after.”

Davis was responding to a Twitter thread posted by Zach on Sept. 29, containing allegations that he profited over $1.2 million through selling tokens from crypto projects which he was allegedly paid to promote without disclosing.

In a 17-part thread, Zach pointed to eight examples of what is supposedly Davis’ crypto wallet receiving tokens from new crypto projects, with Davis subsequently tweeting or posting a video on them, and then selling the tokens shortly after.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Zach said he received requests from multiple people who lost money on the tokens shared by Davis asking to “take a closer look” at him.

“Lark managed to dump with size on low cap projects time after time,” Zach said, adding they’ve investigated other crypto influencers, but the alleged amount was “never at this magnitude.”

Zach alleged in the thread that the largest gain to Davis came from receiving 120,000 SHOPX tokens, with Davis tweeting hours later about the project whilst apparently simultaneously selling the tokens, gaining $435,000.

This example along with seven others Zach presented purportedly shows Davis making over $1.2 million in a similar pattern.

“Participating in seed rounds & sharing projects you genuinely like is completely fine as long as it’s done in a transparent manner,” Zach tweeted, adding:

“This is not the case as Lark has a pattern of dumping his discounted launchpad bags right after shills across YT (YouTube), Twitter, & [his] newsletter.”

Cointelegraph requested comment from Davis and was directed to a series of tweets posted late on Sept. 29 in which Davis calls the allegations made by Zach “ridiculous” and provided a response to each example Zach alleged he profited from.

Related: ‘Far too easy’ — Crypto researcher’s fake Ponzi raises $100K in hours

“I got nothing for free,” Davis tweeted to his over one million followers, adding his token sale investments are “always disclosed” on his YouTube channel of 485,000 subscribers and shared with his followers “well before the launch."

Davis added he was following an investing strategy he teaches, selling the tokens upon launch, which he claims is a common investing practice for token sales. Davis said the amounts he sold were “nowhere near enough to dump the price” of the tokens.

“I teach this concept frequently to you all, none of this should be a surprise if you have been paying attention,” he tweeted. “What you choose to do with my opinions is completely up to you.”

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

Flipside Crypto launches NFTs to pull multi-chain data

Flipside Crypto co-founder and CEO Dave Balter stated the NFTs will save users the trouble of having to “manage nodes, complex data pipelines or petabyte-scale databases.”

Blockchain analytics firm Flipside Crypto has launched an online Software Development Kit called ShroomDK, which is based on nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and provides an automated means to pull “comprehensive” blockchain data via software. Being NFT-based enables the SDK to be on-sold or upgraded more easily, according to the company.

Co-founder Jim Myers said that the ability to query blockchain data from multiple chains in an automated (programmatic) fashion has been a “critical piece of missing infrastructure for blockchain developers and analysts.”

Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, refers to software delivered over the web instead of locally on machines. An SDK generally refers to a kit of software-building tools to create applications for specific devices or operating systems. The tokenized SaaS SDKs from Flipside Crypto allow users to on-sell purchased software development kit access after they have finished with it.

ShroomDK NFTs will allow devs to query data from Ethereum, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Solana, Near, Flow, THORChain and Algorand, while Layer-2 solutions such as Optimism and Arbitrum have been named as well.

Supported blockchains: Flipside

Speaking with Cointelegraph, FlipSide Crypto co-founder and CEO Dave Balter stated the NFTs will save users the trouble of having to “manage nodes, complex data pipelines or petabyte-scale databases,” while also offering users a chance to squeeze more value out of their software licenses:

“Wrapping SDK access in an NFT gives a user control over their license. Software licenses are often a sunk cost, meaning if you don’t utilize the purchased license it goes to waste. That’s not great for the end-user, and it’s not great for the provider of the product.”

“By transforming the license into an NFT, remaining usage can be resold to anyone. This benefits both the original holder who can transform a sunk cost into something of value and also allows new users to try out a product at a discount,” he added.

The NFTs can also be upgraded via additional free NFTs named “Spores,” which enable users to increase their query capacity.

Balter stated that the NFTs have already been issued in a closed beta over the past month, and the project has seen strong demand from 50 key analysts and organizations in the crypto space, such as “folks from Rabbithole, Optimism, LlamaDAO, 0x etc.”

Related: The community-centered approach to Web3 — Aave founder and CEO

Commenting on the notion of NFTs being tied to specific use cases rather than being merely a speculative asset, Balter emphasized that project utility is especially important given the current bear market.

“Crypto winter has put added pressure on every blockchain to grow and retain developers and users. Project utility is king, but it requires continuous insights for builders to get it right. That’s why ShroomDK is needed now.”

Flipside Crypto is known for enabling on-demand analytics for blockchains, providing data and intelligence to crypto organizations. The firm provides a free, open data platform for “analysts to learn, collaborate and compete to solve analytical challenges via structured bounty programs.”

The launch of the SDK follows a recent Series A funding round led by Republic Capital with support from top crypto firms such as Galaxy Digital Ventures and Dapper Labs in April that saw Flipside Crypto raise $50 million in funding.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

Illicit crypto usage as a percent of total usage has fallen: Report

A rapidly growing crypto market means that hacks and scams are accounting for less overall activity, and their percentage of total usage continues to decline.

Illicit cryptocurrency activity in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 has declined as a percentage of overall crypto activity, according to blockchain forensics firm CipherTrace.

The cryptocurrency industry has long held a reputation in some jurisdictions as a haven for illegal activity. However, CipherTrace estimates that illicit activity was between 0.62% and 0.65% of overall cryptocurrency activity in 2020. The firm reported that it has now fallen to between 0.10% and 0.15% of overall activity in 2021.

Source: CipherTrace

In its Cryptocurrency Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Report released June 13, CipherTrace outlined that the top ten decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks in 2021 and Q1 2022 netted attackers $2.4 billion.

Over half of that figure came from just two events, the largest being the late March 2022 Ronin Network exploit worth about $650 million and the $610 million August 2021 hack of the Poly Network, most of which was returned by the anonymous hacker.

Within a similar time period, anti-money laundering (AML) related fines in the banking sector increased dramatically with 80 institutions fined in 2021, up from just 24 in 2020 according to Kyckr.

While the total dollar amount of the fines fell from 2020, last year saw the banks pay $2.7 billion worth of fines for AML or Know Your Customer (KYC) related violations, the largest single fine totaling around $700 million.

While significant sums have been exploited in crypto, CipherTrace detailed the rapidly expanding crypto ecosystem, noting the total crypto market activity for 2020 was around $4.3 trillion, which grew to approximately $16 trillion of activity just in the first half of 2021.

CipherTrace says that the growth of the crypto market also brings with it increased scrutiny from the world's regulators, who are “starting to take decisive action to ensure that the space isn’t just a modern-day wild west.”

Related: A life after crime: What happens to crypto seized in criminal investigations?

Some of the most significant regulatory events cited in the report include the United States President Biden’s crypto executive order in March to study blockchain technology, Dubai establishing a virtual assets regulator, and the European Union’s proposed anti-money laundering laws.

CipherTrace added organizations are going to have a “very real incentive to shape up” or face “heavy losses at the hands of the government,” adding it expects the threats existing in crypto will be the focus of future regulatory efforts.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

Covalent raises $2M to build a decentralized blockchain data provider

The blockchain data space is getting more and more heated.

A number of notable investors and projects have provided $2 million to Covalent, a project building a decentralized blockchain data provider.

Hashed Ventures led the round with participation from Binance Labs, Coinbase Ventures, Delphi Ventures, Hypersphere Ventures and others. Blockchain projects like Moonbeam, Avalanche, NEAR and Elrond also pitched in the funding round.

Covalent serves data to a number of projects in the DeFi and NFT spaces, including 0x, Zerion and Balancer, and it occupies a similar niche to The Graph (GRT). Ganesh Swami, CEO and co-founder of Covalent, told Cointelegraph that it focuses on a “no-code” approach that distinguishes it from The Graph:

“We do not require developers to write subgraphs or SQL, which means Covalent is more broadly applicable, more mainstream with a bigger addressable market. Covalent is built for the eventual and inevitable merge of DeFi and Fintech.”

The architectural vision for Covalent is that of a decentralized and sharded global database, allowing any kind of granular query into historical blockchain data. Blockchain data projects, in general, can be considered as more advanced and generic blockchain explorers, allowing a much wider selection of data. DuneAnalytics is another project in this field, and it is often used by developers to build custom statistical queries about individual DeFi projects.

The funding obtained by Covalent will be used to decentralize its network, onboarding professional data providers and validators, as well as expanding to more networks. It currently indexes six blockchains, with the team expecting to index a total of 12 blockchains by the end of the year.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth