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May 13,2024

FRA Gets Chosen By DOJ To Oversee Binance Settlement

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly appointed Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA) to supervise Binance after it confessed to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws, leading to a substantial $4.3 billion penalty. Binance founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao recently agreed to plead guilty to money laundering charges as part of a broad settlement with U.S. law enforcement and banking regulators.


FTX Is To Blame

FRA was chosen over Sullivan & Cromwell because of the latter being associated with FTX, a decision applauded by legal and crypto communities who criticized Sullivan & Cromwell for overlooking significant fraud at FTX.

The bankruptcy of FTX, which was a Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange, commenced in November 2022. The fall of the exchange, prompted by a surge in customer withdrawals that revealed a $8 billion hole in its accounts, was the catalyst for its bankruptcy.


Still A Chance

The responsibility of the FRA entails thorough monitoring of Binance and all of its internal operations to ensure adherence to U.S. regulations. They will be granted unrestricted access to all Binance records, facilities, and personnel, with a mandate to report directly to the U.S. government.

It is worth mentioning that Sullivan & Cromwell may still secure a position with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to oversee compliance procedures with transaction reporting rules. Additionally, Binance faces penalties beyond the U.S., having agreed to fines in India while also receiving a $4.4 million penalty in Canada for failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.


May 13,2024

Web3 Fundraising Deals - May 07th to May 13th, 2024

Zest Protocol secured $3.5M in Seed funding with the backing of Tim Draper.



UXLINK raised an impressive $5M, partnering with HashKey Capital to revolutionize Social platforms.



StarNest had a Pre-Series A funding of $6M led by Chuangqi International Limited, poised to redefine the Social landscape.



Telos secured $1,000,000 in strategic funding to fuel our mission of revolutionizing the blockchain space.



Presto Labs raised $12,000,000 in seed funding led by HashKey Capital to accelerate efforts in blockchain innovation.



Slingshot has secured $3,000,000 in with support by Alphabit Digital Currency Fraud to drive their mission of social impact through blockchain technology.



Arbelos has raised $28,000,000 in seed funding with the help of DragonFly Capital to further revolutionize DeFi.



BlockBooster has secured $1,500,000 in seed funding with help by OKX Ventures to accelerate their journey in the world of blockchain.



StakedGain made a splash with $500K in Seed funding, gearing up to disrupt the DeFi sector.




Bella Protocol garnered $4M in Seed funding with a strong focus on DeFi, gaining traction with a Twitter Score of +4.



BAC Games scored $1.5M in Seed funding, backed by Gate Ventures, marking a significant stride in the GameFi arena.



Arch Network secured an impressive $7M in Seed funding, supported by Multicoin Capital, amplifying Blockchain Infrastructure development.



Arcium (Elusiv) raised $5.5M in Strategic funding, driving innovations in Blockchain Service, with a remarkable Twitter Score of +19.



AgriDex raised $5M in Pre-Seed funding, cultivating Blockchain Service solutions with the support of Endeavour Capital.



UXUY secured $7M in Pre-Series A funding, with Binance Labs backing, set to redefine DeFi experiences.

May 12,2024

Bitcoin Floats Around $61K As Inflation Concerns Continue

Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a sudden drop in price, decreasing by 3.5% within a day, while many major alternative cryptocurrencies fared even worse. Over the last 24 hours, the cryptocurrency market faced significant losses, with most altcoins showing declines.

Altcoins also suffered significant losses, with Ethereum (ETH) dropping by 4.1%, Solana (SOL) and Polkadot (DOT) each experiencing nearly 6% declines, along with other coins like Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Avalanche (AVAX), and Uniswap (UNI).


The Losses Continue

Bitcoin remained relatively stable around $63K throughout the week, but it abruptly dropped to around $60K. The sudden volatility led to liquidations worth over $200 million in the past day, possibly triggered by comments by a representative of the US Federal Reserve.

During a conference in New Orleans, Lorie Logan, President of the Dallas Fed, hinted that it might be premature to consider rate cuts, emphasizing the need for flexibility amid uncertainties. This announcement negatively impacted the market sentiment, resulting in widespread declines across various cryptocurrencies.

While prices eventually stabilized somewhat, analysts are closely monitoring the market to assess whether the downward trend will continue or if there will be a reversal. Theta Network (THETA) and THORChain (RUNE) were among the cryptocurrencies that experienced the most significant losses, declining by 10.8% and 9.2%, respectively. However, Cheelee (CHEEL) and Akash Network (AKT) managed to mitigate losses, registering approximately 3% increases during the same period.


Other Markets

Wall Street is feeling bullish about S&P 500 earnings, signaling optimism amid a backdrop of receding fear across assets. Investors are shedding crash insurance, reflecting growing confidence. However, the stock rally is showing signs of weakness, with the Federal Reserve treading cautiously after recent data releases. Bowman, an analyst, anticipates the Fed to maintain its stance without implementing any cuts for the remainder of 2024, despite concerns lingering over inflation.

Meanwhile, Wall Street is navigating a rebound in stocks, but faces looming risks with a $600 billion wall of debt. Anglo American investors are urging the company to accelerate amid a bid by BHP, while advancements in technology are revitalizing profitability in the Athabasca Oil Sands. However, challenges persist as wildfire evacuation alerts are issued for the Canadian oil sands hub.

In addition, a real estate boom in Mumbai is fueled by influencers, with luxury homes claiming a larger share of sales according to various reports. These diverse developments paint a dynamic picture of global markets and geopolitics, showcasing the intricate interplay between economic indicators, political tensions, and societal shifts.


May 11,2024

Spot BTC ETF Holdings Disclosed By JPMorgan And Wells Fargo

Recent disclosures were made through fillings by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which have unveiled the holdings of Spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs by JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, two prominent banks in the United States.


ETFs On The Rise

Wells Fargo, ranked third in size, disclosed its stakes in Spot and Futures ETFs for Grayscale, along with ownership of shares in Bitcoin Depot Inc., the leading provider of Bitcoin ATMs. Following suit, JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, also revealed its exposure to Spot Bitcoin ETFs by major asset managers like BlackRock, Fidelity, and Grayscale.

The surge in Spot Bitcoin ETF prominence within the finance sector in 2024 has been remarkable, fueling the value of the flagship cryptocurrency to reach an all-time high of $73,000 earlier in the year. These investment vehicles provide a route for investors to participate in Bitcoin price movements without direct ownership, appealing broadly across the investment landscape.


A Broader Trend

The filings by Wells Fargo underscore its strategic involvement in the digital asset market, part of a broader trend of institutional access to cryptocurrencies. Such efforts reflect the overall goal of the industry towards wider adoption of Bitcoin ETFs, crucial for increasing the accessibility of cryptocurrencies among traditional investors.

Insights by SEC filings highlight the significant roles of both banks as market makers and Authorized Participants (APs), impacting the liquidity and availability of these ETFs. However, these holdings represent snapshots of long positions as of March 31st, 2024, with potential variations day by day. While not necessarily indicative of bullish investment strategies, the involvement by the banks as market makers contributes to market stability and liquidity, essential for investors.


May 10,2024

Deutsche Bank And Tether Go Back And Forth About Stablecoin Reliability

Tether has criticized Deutsche Bank for its recent report suggesting potential instability within the stablecoin market. The report, released on May 7th, highlights concerns over stablecoins, including the USDT stablecoin, facing a scenario similar to the 2022 collapse of TerraUSD (TUSD), which led to a significant market downturn of at least $40 billion over a short period.


Questioning Stablecoins

The analysis by Deutsche Bank, which is based on a study of 334 currency pegs spanning 223 years, indicates a high failure rate of fixed currencies, with 49% failing within an average lifespan of eight to ten years. Additionally, 42% of European consumers expressed doubts about the long-term viability of stablecoins in general.

The report concludes that many pegged assets in the cryptocurrency realm could encounter substantial turbulence due to speculative activities, potentially leading to de-pegging events. It raises concerns about the lack of transparency in stablecoin operations and their susceptibility to market sentiment. Deutsche analysts also criticized Tether for its opaque reserve practices, questioning its solvency status.


Tether Refutes The Claims

Unsurprisingly, Tether rebuffed the claims made in the report, saying they lack evidence and clarity. The firm emphasized the absence of concrete data supporting the forecasted decline of stablecoins and dismissed comparisons to TerraUSD, an algorithmic stablecoin.

Tether also countered Deutsche Bank by questioning the credibility of the institution itself, citing its history of fines and penalties. Despite ongoing scrutiny regarding the transparency of its reserves, Tether has released various financial attestations suggesting holdings exceeding $110 billion in fiat-denominated reserves. Critics argue that these attestations are not equivalent to a comprehensive financial audit.

In 2021, Tether settled with the New York Attorney General, paying an $18.5 million fine and facing restrictions in the state for allegedly misrepresenting the extent of its fiat collateral reserves. Despite the absence of an official audit, Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick believes Tether possesses sufficient reserves.


May 10,2024

DWF Labs Accused Of Manipulative Trading As Binance Woes Continue

Binance, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges globally, faces scrutiny following a report by The Wall Street Journal which disclosed that the exchange dismissed its chief investigators subsequent to their claims regarding wash trading involving a prominent VIP client, DWF Labs.

According to the report, DWF Labs purportedly conducted over $300 million worth of wash trades across seven tokens in 2023, allegedly influencing the price of YGG, the native token of Yield Guild Games, as well as various other cryptocurrencies.


Binance Fights Back

Binance has refuted these accusations, asserting that the transactions were internal and did not amount to manipulation. The exchange further alleged that the head of the monitoring team collaborated with DWF competitors, resulting in his termination.

In response to the report, Binance reaffirmed its rigorous market surveillance measures and dedication to combatting market abuse. It stated its intolerance towards such malpractices and disclosed having deactivated nearly 355,000 users with a transaction volume exceeding $2.5 trillion for breaching its terms of service over the past three years.

Emphasizing the importance of impartial investigation, Binance claims to ensure fair competition in the industry and safeguard users regarding market manipulation, even amidst claims by market-making firms against competitors.


Damage Control

DWF Labs, the accused VIP client, strongly denied the allegations, emphasizing its adherence to high integrity, transparency, and ethical standards. The company declared the recent accusations in the media as baseless and distorted, affirming its commitment to reporting relevant incidents truthfully to regulatory bodies.

The termination of multiple top Binance investigators over their allegations regarding wash trading by VIP client DWF Labs has sparked concerns about market manipulation and how the exchange has responded to such matters. Binance contends that the transactions were internal and not manipulative. As the investigation progresses, the cryptocurrency community will closely observe how Binance addresses these allegations while maintaining its commitment to market surveillance and user safeguarding.


May 09,2024

US House Of Representatives Approve New Bill Only For Joe Biden To Reject It

The bill previously passed by the United States House of Representatives overturns contentious guidance by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that restricts ownership of cryptocurrencies within banks.

President Joe Biden, however, has now announced that he would veto the new legislation if it reached his desk. This statement has reaffirmed the commonly held belief that the White House does not actually act on behalf of the American public and their interests. Interestingly enough, former President Donald Trump has pledged full support for cryptocurrencies if he is reelected.


Fighting Back Against The SEC

On May 8th, the House approved a bipartisan bill known as H.J. Res 109, which nullifies the SEC Special Accounting Bulletin (SAB 121). This bulletin mandates banks to include the crypto assets of their customers on their balance sheets, unlike traditional assets such as securities.

Republican Congressman Mike Flood, who introduced the resolution, argued that SAB 121 unfairly burdens banks seeking to custody crypto, as custodial assets are typically not included on balance sheets. Notably, 21 Democrats supported the bill, joining the unanimous 207 Republican votes, resulting in the bill being passed with 228 votes in favor and 182 against.


An Outrageous Overreach

The White House expressed strong opposition to efforts by House members to overturn SAB 121, asserting that it would disrupt the SEC and its mission to safeguard investors in crypto-asset markets and the broader financial system. Restricting the SEC and their ability to maintain a comprehensive and effective regulatory framework for crypto-assets could introduce significant financial instability and market uncertainty.

Introduced by the SEC in March 2022, SAB 121 outlines local accounting guidelines for institutions intending to custody crypto assets. Notably, SAB 121 effectively prohibits banks when it comes to serving as custodians of crypto assets on behalf of clients.

US lawmakers, including SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, have argued that SAB 121 undermines the willingness of regulated banks to act as crypto custodians and treats crypto holdings differently compared to other assets.

May 09,2024

CryptoPunks Experience Resurgence But Bitcoin NFTs Maintain Lead

CryptoPunks maintained its market dominance, achieving the highest daily sales volume for the second consecutive day this Wednesday. The Ethereum-based non-fungible token (NFT) collection marked over $1.25 million in daily sales through eight transactions involving seven distinct buyers and sellers each.

Despite a 25% decline in sales compared to the previous day, CryptoPunks still led the market with a $1.7 million daily sales volume on Tuesday, according to data by CryptoSlam. However, Ethereum, its underlying chain, did not retain its top position in blockchain rankings for NFT sales. Bitcoin collections collectively amassed $6.68 million in sales, surpassing the Ethereum amount of $6.04 million.


Bitcoin And Ethereum NFTs Lead The Charge

The second-highest performing collection on Wednesday was DMarket, with a daily sales volume of $725,058, involving an impressive 4,147 distinct buyers and 3,569 sellers across 31,734 transactions. DMarket is an NFT collection representing in-game items for the Mythos chain.

Elsewhere, NodeMonkes on Bitcoin secured the third spot with a daily sales volume of $717,301.84, involving 37 distinct buyers and 35 sellers in 38 transactions. This marked a slight decrease compared to the previous amount of $750,024. The cumulative sales of the collection now reach $214.35 million, showcasing a robust market presence.

NodeMonkes stands as the leading collection on the Bitcoin network in terms of all-time sales, with $214.5 million. It is nearing CyberKongz, an Ethereum-based collection ranked 26th on the all-time sales chart, with a difference of approximately $1 million.


NFTs Back On Track

Other noteworthy collections featured in the top 10 sales list on Wednesday include the $PMPS BRC-20 NFTs, recording a daily sales volume of $634,465, and Mad Lads, which generated $518,697 in sales.

Both collections experienced fluctuations in their daily performance, with $PMPS BRC-20 NFTs observing an increase in transactions compared to the previous day, while Mad Lads saw a massive decrease in sales. Additionally, Solana Monkey Business, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, DogeZuki Collection, and Guild of Guardians Avatars also featured among the top-performing NFT collections for the day.


May 08,2024

Chainalysis Chooses The United Arab Emirates As New Headquarters Location

Chainalysis, the platform specializing in blockchain intelligence, has inaugurated its headquarters for Southern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa in Dubai. The company intends to enlist skilled professionals with expertise in traditional finance, regulatory compliance, and Web3 technologies to operate out of its Dubai base.


Chainalysis Moves Up

This most recent step comes after three years of substantial growth in the region, solidifying Chainalysis as the primary provider of crypto investigation, Web3 expansion, and crypto risk solutions to both governmental and private sector organizations. Chainalysis offers data, software, services, and research to governmental agencies, virtual asset service providers, financial institutions, and insurance and cybersecurity firms across more than 70 countries.

In alignment with the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and its efforts to establish itself as a global crypto center, Chainalysis has been actively collaborating with key government stakeholders to offer advice and best practices for the development of regulations and frameworks essential for nurturing a flourishing crypto ecosystem.


Enhancing The Local Workforce

The move involves collaborating with the UAE Ministry of Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications to establish a Centre of Excellence aimed at enhancing the blockchain technology skills of government employees. Recently, Chainalysis also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Emirates NBD to support the new Digital Asset Lab program.

Michael Gronager, CEO of Chainalysis, remarked that the UAE government has led the crypto revolution with progressive regulations and business-friendly policies. He added that the genuine potential and value of cryptocurrencies lie in their capacity to transfer value, and we are observing a growing trend in overall transfer activity. Utilization forms the bedrock of this industry, and the UAE is well-positioned to drive innovation with innovative use cases that offer tangible value to consumers and businesses alike.


May 08,2024

Multiple Athletes Reach Agreement With Plaintiffs In Voyager Case

Rob Gronkowski, Victor Oladipo, and Landon Cassill have reached an agreement with plaintiffs in their ongoing legal dispute concerning Voyager Digital. Three prominent American sports figures will collectively pay $2.42 million to settle claims of promoting the failed cryptocurrency exchange.


Gronkowski Leads The Charge

In a class action settlement filed on May 3rd, retired NFL star Rob Gronkowski will contribute the largest share, totaling $1.9 million. NBA player Victor Oladipo will pay $500,000, while NASCAR driver Landon Cassill will pay $25,000. All three athletes have agreed to these settlements without either affirming or denying the accusations against them.

The settlement proposal encompasses all U.S. individuals who participated in a Voyager Earn Program Account or acquired VGX tokens between October 2019 to the preliminary approval date. Additionally, the plaintiffs intend to request attorney fees of approximately $792,000. Gronkowski, who unveiled an NFT collection in 2021, became associated with Voyager as a partner, brand ambassador, shareholder, and VGX token holder in September 2021, according to a prior press release.


Voyager Keeps Going Down

Adam Moskowitz, the legal representative for the investors, attributed the settlements largely to the athletes and their desire to assist their supporters. He emphasized how Gronkowski is being genuinely empathetic for his fans, despite also incurring losses with Voyager.

A group of investors initially filed a class action against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in 2022, later including Gronkowski and other Voyager promoters in 2023. The settlements were achieved through mediation to address whether the Voyager products constituted unregistered securities and if the promoters actively solicited investors.

Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy in July 2022, citing market turbulence following the Terra/Luna collapse in May and defaulting loans to the Three Arrows Capital hedge fund. In April, Voyager made strides in compensating its creditors by securing $484 million through settlements with FTX, Three Arrows Capital, and Directors and Officers insurance claims.


May 07,2024

Elon Musk And Javier Milei Cross Paths Once More

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and Argentina President Javier Milei crossed paths once again at the 27th annual Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday. This encounter marked their second meeting within a month.  Elon has long since been an avid supporter of cryptocurrencies, particularly his favorite canine-themed crypto, Dogecoin (DOGE). He mainly supports crypto due to its potential to revolutionize financial systems, empower individuals, and promote innovation in the digital economy.


Elon Recommends Argentina

In a photo shared on social media, Musk and President Milei were seen posing enthusiastically with double thumbs up. Also present in the picture were Secretary General of the Presidency, Karina Milei, and Argentine Ambassador to the United States, Gerardo Werthein.

Musk, endorsing Argentina, remarked that he highly recommends investing in Argentina, as the country looks toward the future under their recently elected new leader. The two proponents of free-market ideologies are among the headline figures at the conference held in Beverly Hills, California, where leaders in finance, technology, sports, and media convene to discuss pressing global issues.


Advocating For Crypto

The meeting follows their initial encounter at a Tesla electric car factory in Texas last month, where a similar camaraderie and photo-op were displayed, with Musk expressing optimism for the future. Both Musk and President Milei advocate for cryptocurrencies, and while Elon has previously discussed his Bitcoin holdings and supported Dogecoin, President Milei has praised the scarcity-driven growth model of Bitcoin alongside its potential to empower people monetarily.

Their shared viewpoints on cryptocurrency could potentially lead to future collaborations in this field. At the time of publication, Bitcoin was trading at $63,154, experiencing a 1.2% decrease in the last 24 hours, while Dogecoin dropped by 4.6% to trade at $0.1545, according to CoinGecko.


May 07,2024

Cardano And Bitcoin Cash May Be Partnering Up Soon

Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano (ADA), recently hinted at a potential collaboration between Cardano and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). He highlighted the significance of this alliance for Bitcoin Cash, positioning it ahead of networks like Bitcoin (BTC).

Regarding the potential partnership, Hoskinson conducted a hypothetical poll on X, seeking feedback by followers on integrating Bitcoin Cash as a Cardano partner-chain. He emphasized that this collaboration would enhance Bitcoin Cash with useful Proof of Work (PoW) Leios, NiPoPoWs, and Ergo tech.

More recently, EMURGO, the commercial arm of the Cardano blockchain, has struck a strategic agreement with GSR, a well-known worldwide cryptocurrency trading firm. This alliance intends to strengthen the ecosystem&39s infrastructure by leveraging GSR&39s expertise in market liquidity and financial services.


An Intriguing Partnership

Hoskinson asserted that the partnership could elevate Bitcoin Cash to be the fastest and most useful PoW chain ever built. The poll garnered over 13,000 responses, with 67.7% in favor of the collaboration. Ben Scherrey, founder and CTO of blockchain firm Biggest Lab, expressed support for the initiative, noting similarities between the two chains, particularly in their shared UTXO model, enabling high scalability and decentralization.

Bitcoin Cash is recognized for its advantages over Bitcoin in terms of speed, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. Therefore, Hoskinson asserting that Bitcoin Cash could become the fastest and most useful PoW chain seems plausible. Integrating PoW Leios and Ergo tech could also enhance transaction processing speed and smart contract efficiency. However, the concept of making Bitcoin Cash a Cardano partner-chain raises questions due to their differing consensus mechanisms.


Looking Ahead

Cardano is additionally poised for two significant upgrades. The first is the Chang hard fork, scheduled for this quarter, aiming to foster decentralized governance by transitioning to a community-driven model. This shift could also help address various criticisms that Hoskinson tends to stifle network progress, potentially reshaping the future trajectory of Cardano going forward.

The second upgrade involves the introduction of the Ouroboros Leios protocol, slated for this year, anticipated to bolster both scalability and efficiency for the Cardano blockchain. Hoskinson views this as a significant step towards resolving the blockchain trilemma of security, scalability, and decentralization.