Binance won’t block Russia
Crypto exchanges face calls from Ukraine to block Russia, but they’re committed to keeping operations going.
- Ukraine has asked major crypto exchanges to block the addresses of Russian citizens as well as politicians, likely down to speculation that Russian oligarchs are sinking their assets into crypto to avoid sanctions.
- Binance founder Changpeng Zhao won’t go down that road though. The CEO argued: “Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. Many normal Russians do not agree with war.” Zhao isn’t the only one either, with Coinbase and Kraken both denying the request.
- Crypto is still front and center of the war in Eastern Europe. In fact, Ukraine is planning to encourage donations by becoming the first country to complete a token “airdrop”, which would reward people that donated to the cause with newly created digital assets as a token of appreciation– the country has raised over $30m in crypto donations.
Binance gets a rap on the knuckles
Binance gets put in the naughty corner by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as regulators become more vocal about the dangers of digital assets.
- The U.K.’s FCA has raised concerns over Binance’s Paysafe partnership, which will give the platform access to a large U.K. payments network. It comes just months after the regulator issued a consumer alert against the exchange and ordered it to stop all regulated activities in the country.
- The FCA isn’t the only one speaking up about regulation. The Financial Stability Board, which makes financial recommendations to G20 countries, said on Wednesday that it’s vital to come up with rules to govern the crypto industry given its increasing link to the traditional financial system.
- Illicit crypto transactions reached an ATH of $14bn last year, so you can see where they’re coming from. On the other hand though, the percentage of crypto transactions that are criminal has never been lower.
Binance Smart Chain gets a makeover
The Binance blockchain is channeling real “new year, new me” energy after giving itself a makeover, but the SEC thinks they can see straight through it.
- Say goodbye to Binance Smart Chain: it’s now called BNB Chain, and will merge Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain into one ecosystem. This is apparently to help the blockchain “take a flight towards MetaFi” – which is where Meta meets De-Fi, they say.
- It says BNB Chain stands for “Build and Build” as the platform tries to accentuate the idea of decentralization (it has been criticized in the past by Vitalik Buterin, among others, for being more centralized than competitors like Ethereum) and draw attention to its BNB token, which climbed 7% on Tuesday to a weekly high.
- The SEC doesn’t care what it’s called, but it does care who its friends are. The regulator is investigating Binance’s U.S. arm, and its relationship with two trading firms that apparently have links to CEO Changpeng Zhao – according to WSJ, former execs at the firms claim Zhao has been controlling them to influence price changes.
Binance helps Forbes go public
Forbes wants to go public, and crypto exchange Binance is willing to spend the big bucks to be a part of it.
- Binance has invested $200m into Forbes, making it the second-biggest shareholder of the 104-year old media empire that is planning on going public through a SPAC later this year – Forbes will use the funds to accelerate its digital growth.
- It’s kind of an ironic pairing considering Binance sued Forbes only two years ago after an article was published claiming the crypto exchange was ignoring U.S. regulations, but Binance says it wants to use the partnership to boost consumer knowledge of crypto and spread the word of Web3.
- Binance better be careful though, because Forbes is adding its name to a hat full of media SPACs like BuzzFeed (BZFD) that have had lackluster receptions to market – choosing the SPAC route has already cost Forbes $400m in investments.
A hacker rocks Binance’s boat as they go deep sea phishing in its network, and CEO Changpeng Zhao wants to make sure nobody gets hooked.
- The Binance CEO has warned of a “massive” SMS phishing scam that’s trying to lure the networks’ users in with fake warnings of a transfer before stealing their credentials.
- Its native token hasn’t felt any ramifications yet, having gained 17% since Wednesday as the overall crypto market has moved towards recovery.
- Crypto scams are becoming more common by the day. Scammers took home a record $14bn in stolen cryptocurrency in 2021, and they’ve shown no signs of slowing down in 2022 with over half a billion stolen already.
New Year, new high profile hacks – Qubit Finance gets hit with the biggest De-Fi hack of 2022.
- Hackers stole over $80m worth of Binance tokens from Qubit Finance after finding an error in the platform’s code, marking the seventh largest De-Fi hack in history.
- The Qubit protocol provides “bridges” between different blockchains, which means deposits made in one currency can be taken out in another. As we move to a multi-chain world, keeping bridges safe from hacks is increasingly important.
- Qubit is determined to get its users’ moola back though. It’s offered a $2m bounty if hackers return the loot, no questions asked – one of the highest offered bounties in history.
Arbix Finance gets rugged
Arbix Finance users land flat on their faces after their funds unfortunately get pulled out from under them.
- Over $10m in user assets were stolen from Arbix Finance investors on the Binance Smart Chain.
- Rug pulls are common on decentralized exchanges because of the lack of regulation, but this one was bigger than most and hit harder because the project was supposedly audited and approved by CertiK Security.
- Hackers made off with over $4bn in crypto assets in 2021 (most on De-Fi networks), and this marks one of the first big rug pulls of 2022. Happy New Year, we guess.
Binance says “bonjour”
Crypto exchange Binance has its eye on France for its new headquarters, and it’s willing to pay handsomely.
- Binance has launched a €100m initiative in France to build out its blockchain industry, potentially eyeing it as a new headquarters amid regulatory scrutiny.
- Regulators around the world have given it a tough time this year. Britain’s FCA has banned the platform, U.S. watch dogs launched an investigation, and it’s only just made peace with Canadian regulators.
- Despite the obstacles, its native token has outperformed larger rivals Bitcoin and Ethereum this year with gains of nearly 1,300%.
A new high is on the horizon
Binance Coin has been flirting with a new all-time high this week after breaking through a key resistance level.
💸 Binance Coin is up over 22% for November as it broke past the $600 resistance level on Friday.
🪁 It’s nearing its all-time high of $700 – and people are getting excited.
🔝 The token could be about to go stratospheric, or so crypto bull SmartContracter told his 179k Twitter followers this week.