• The Financial Times has uncovered documents that allegedly reveal a much closer relationship between Binance and Chinese authorities than previously thought.
• The documents reportedly show that the exchange concealed its ties to China and instructed employees to attend tax sessions in an office located in the country.
• Binance has denied these allegations, claiming they are misrepresenting the truth.
Explosive Documents Reveal Closer Ties Between Binance and China
The Financial Times has exposed shocking evidence of Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and other top executives secretly concealing their ties with China for years. Leaked documents obtained by the publication suggest a much closer relationship between the crypto exchange and the Chinese government than previously thought.
Binance Allegedly Used Office and Local Bank To Pay Employees
The alleged cover-up has sparked fears of a regulatory crackdown on the controversial exchange. The leaked documents appear to show that Binance used an office as well as a Chinese bank to pay employees, despite publicly claiming it had severed its ties with China after 2017’s crypto ban. Sources also suggested that Binance instructed its personnel to attend tax sessions in an office located in the country in 2019, contradicting official statements about its lack of presence there.
Binance Denies Allegations of Misrepresentation
In response to these allegations, Binance told the Financial Times that anonymous sources were misinterpreting old information. They maintained that these claims were not reflective of their operations or activities within China. This denial follows accusations made by U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) which accused them of deliberately concealing the location of their executive offices.
Crypto Community Reacts To Shocking Revelation
Despite denials from Binance, many cryptocurrency users have expressed shock at this revelation, raising concerns about potential repercussions for businesses operating within this sector now and in future.
It remains unclear how this scandal will pan out or if any legal action will be taken against Binance for its alleged transgressions, but one thing is certain – this explosive news story has sent shockwaves through the world of cryptocurrency trading and left many people questioning what happens next for exchanges like these moving forward.
• Bitzlato Crypto Exchange has recently restored access to its customers allowing them to withdraw half of their frozen funds.
• This was after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) shuttered the exchange for allegedly processing illegal transactions worth over $700 million.
• All withdrawals from Bitzlato are in BTC as the exchange converted all its altcoin holdings to Bitcoin when DOJ shuttered the platform.
Bitzlato Crypto Exchange Restores Access To Customers
Bitzlato crypto exchange has restored access for its customers to withdraw their Bitcoin from the platform. The exchange conveyed the message through Telegram with a directive that users can only access 50% of their frozen funds on the platform and must use the Telegram bot ‘bz_phoenix_bot,’ as highlighted in the message, to access their funds. This involves moving the funds to an external wallet or another crypto exchange. Additionally, Bitzlato encouraged users to click the ‘Support Bitzlato’ button while processing their withdrawals, which will help them restore justice and reclaim remaining half of all assets.
BTC Falls Below $28,000
The BTCUSDT on TradingView fell below $28,000 in recent trading sessions due to market volatility and bearish sentiment from investors. Despite this setback, many crypto enthusiasts remain optimistic about Bitcoin’s prospects going forward given its past performance since it debuted nearly a decade ago.
DOJ Closes Crypto Firm For Illegal Businesses
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently closed down a crypto firm allegedly conducting illegal businesses and money laundering activities worth over $700 million without obtaining proper license or adhering anti-money laundering regulations set by US regulatory agencies. The firm in question is Bitzlato and its founder felt immediate consequences with DOJ shutting down operations at once before allowing any customer withdrawal process whatsoever.
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• The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has reportedly ruled that potential buyers of the crypto-friendly Signature bank must give up all crypto businesses at the bank when submitting their bids.
• This move by the US regulators has caused controversy among the crypto community who believe this is another major crackdown on the industry.
• Signature Bank was one of few US banks providing financial services to crypto companies and had a quarter of its deposits accounted to crypto firms.
The U.S. Regulator’s Crackdown on Crypto
Amidst the instability in the US banking sector, the United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has reportedly now made a decision against the crypto industry. According to a report published on Wednesday evening, potential buyers of the crypto-friendly Signature bank can now submit their bids but with a major condition – they must give up all crypto businesses at the bank.
Controversy Among Crypto Community
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Regulators Closure Of Signature Bank
The bank was recently shut down by US regulators and probed for potentially lax monitoring that may have resulted in money laundering activities being conducted through its platform. In February, regulators filed a class action lawsuit against Signature Bank alleging that it knew about and facilitated FTX propitiated frauds as well as other illegal activities taking place within its system.
These moves by United States regulators have made it more clear how they are keen on disrupting what could be considered an emerging asset class within traditional finance markets while also targeting those who have been involved in facilitating these operations from within conventional banking systems such as Silvergate and Silicon Valley Bank .
• Huobi Token (HT) experienced a massive 90% drop in price in minutes on Thursday.
• Following the plunge, rumors of insolvency spread quickly and Justin Sun sent 100 million USDC to provide liquidity.
• Despite this, there is evidence that Huobi has seen a 98% decline in its quarterly estimated revenue since 2021.
Huobi Token (HT) Plunge
Huobi Token (HT) was trending at a price of $4.4 before experiencing a shocking performance on Thursday with a massive 90% drop in just a matter of minutes. This placed it among the top losers in the market, coming behind Singularity Net (AGIX) which lost 21.74% of its value in the 24-hour period. Its market cap took a hit as well, falling over 20%. Trading volume for HT saw an increase though, up 363% in the last 24 hours to be sitting at $58 million.
The plunge triggered rumors across the crypto community that Huobi Exchange may be insolvent. In response, Tron founder Justin Sun sent 100 million USDC to provide more liquidity and debunked the rumors that the exchange is insolvent attributing it to “impact of leveraged liquidation on the market caused by a few users.”
Quarterly Estimated Revenue Decline
A chart from early 2023 showed that while Binance saw an increase in its quarterly estimated revenue since 2021, Huobi has seen a 98% decline in its quarterly estimated revenue, which could mean that the crypto exchange could be facing financial difficulties.
The flash crash sparked worries amongst investors but despite this HT was able to regain most of its lost value and is currently sitting at $3.5 and back up to 67th place on top cryptocurrencies by market cap list with over $619 million market capitalization
The recent flash crash of Huobi Token (HT), followed by rumours of insolvency have caused worry amongst investors even though it has managed to recover most of its losses so far. However, with evidence showing that Huobi has seen major declines in its estimated revenue since 2021 it remains uncertain whether or not it can remain afloat financially going forward.
• QCP Capital has released a new market analysis related to the current macroeconomic environment, calling the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) on the 22nd of this month the most important of the entire year.
• The Policy Path Chart published by the Fed four times a year will show to what level and for how long the Fed’s “higher for longer” strategy might extend.
• DXY To Remain As Main Indicator For Bitcoin And Crypto According to QCP; China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index has caused Bitcoin prices to rise.
QCP Capital’s Analysis
QCP Capital, a leading digital asset trading firm in Asia based in Singapore, has released a new market analysis related to the current macroeconomic environment, calling the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) on March 22nd as the most important of this year. This week has been relatively quiet in terms of major macro data releases and so investors are anticipating insight from this upcoming FOMC meeting into where interest rates will be set for 2023 and if there is potential for rate cuts in 2024.
Policy Path Chart
The Policy Path Chart is published by the Fed four times a year following meetings of its 16-member FOMC and it will show to what level and for how long their “higher for longer” strategy might extend. This chart reflects future expectations about interest rate levels so investors can get an idea about monetary policy going forward which may affect their trading decisions or investments in various assets including crypto currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
DXY To Remain As Main Indicator
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• Montana state Senate has passed a bill in favor of cryptocurrency miners to protect their right to mine digital assets and forbid any discrimination against them.
• The bill also neutralizes the local government’s power to restrict at-home mining or close active operations of crypto mining.
• Mississippi senate has also passed a similar bill which permits the installation of crypto-mining equipment without additional taxes.
Montana Protects Crypto Miners’ Rights
The western state of Montana recently passed a new bill aimed at protecting rights of cryptocurrency miners, by giving them the “right to mine digital assets” as well as forbidding any form of discrimination over electricity rates charged and home mining activities.
Neutralizing Local Government Power
The proposed bill is also aimed at neutralizing the local government’s power to restrict at-home mining or use zoning laws to close active operations of crypto mining. This comes after Missoula’s proposed bill in 2020 which suggested that all bitcoin miners should purchase or build renewable energy assets parallel to the amount of energy they consume.
Mississippi Favors Crypto Miners Too
Just like Montana, Mississippi senate has also passed a similar bill which permits the installation of crypto-mining equipment without additional taxes. The proposal received 37 votes in its favor and about 13 against it, with it yet needing approval from House Representatives and confirmation into law after receiving a signature from Governor Greg Gianforte for it to be effective.
Crypto Now Regarded As Personal Property
Should the bill get approved, digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) will be marked as “personal property” just as other financial products like bonds and stocks.
With both Montana and Mississippi taking steps towards protecting cryptocurrency miners, it could possibly set an example for other regions looking forward to enforcing similar regulations in regards to crypto space activities.
• Binance is reportedly considering ending relationships with U.S. business partners due to tighter securities regulations from the SEC.
• The exchange’s CEO, CZ, denied the rumors on Twitter.
• The crypto space has had a rough first quarter of 2021 despite the start of a crypto bull run.
Binance Considering Ending US Business Relationships
According to a Bloomberg report, crypto exchange Binance is considering ending relationships with U.S. business partners due to a tightening in regulatory policies by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). This comes after allegations by the SEC that BUSD, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, is a security and suing the crypto firm Paxos.
CZ Rejects Allegations
Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zao (CZ) denied these allegations in a Twitter post saying “False”. In addition, Binance spokesperson Kimberly Soward told Reuters that Merit Peak, an investment firm owned by CZ, is neither trading nor providing services on the Binance.US platform and only Binance employees have access to it.
Q1 Crypto Market Turbulence
The intense scrutiny from U.S regulators has caused much uncertainty in the crypto market during Q1 2021; despite recording a crypto bull run that is barely starting to take shape.
Ripple Signing Singapore As CBDC Customer?
Ripple may be signing Singapore as its next customer for Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This could lead to new opportunities for financial institutions in Singapore and provide them with easier access to payments and potentially other services offered through RippleNet products such as xCurrent or xRapid.
“The Matrix” Star Keanu Reeves On Crypto
Keanu Reeves recently shared his thoughts about cryptocurrency saying “The principle behind crypto is amazing”. He views it as something that can bring people together without requiring trust from each other or any third-party intermediary . He believes that this technology can help promote financial inclusion across different parts of society while providing individuals with more autonomy over their finances and transactions they make online
• Binance and Huobi blocked $1.4 million in crypto funds related to the June 2022 Harmony bridge exploitation.
• Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic conducted investigations that led to the fund recovery.
• The US Federal Bureau of Intelligence tracked the Harmony exploit to the North Korean Lazarus Group.
North Korean Hackers Exploit Harmony Bridge
On June 22, 2022, hackers from North Korea’s notorious Lazarus crime group exploited Harmony’s Horizon Bridge and stole ~$100 million in crypto assets. The attack lasted 18 minutes, allowing the hackers to transfer various tokens via 11 transactions and send them to another wallet on Uniswap decentralized exchange to swap them for Ether.
Blockchain Analytics Firm Tracks Funds
After tracking the stolen funds, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic notified exchanges Binance and Huobi about illegal deposits on their platforms. They then froze accounts linked to the hackers which held about $1.4 million in crypto tokens.
US Federal Bureau of Intelligence Investigates
The US Federal Bureau of Intelligence tracked the Harmony exploit back to North Korean Lazarus Group responsible for multiple crypto-related money laundering incidents over time. Investigations are still ongoing as authorities look for more leads towards recovering more funds from this incident.
Crypto Platforms Take Precautionary Measures
In light of such hacks and scams becoming increasingly prevalent in cryptocurrency circles, platforms must take precautionary measures against such attacks and be one step ahead of perpetrators at all times. The recent seizure of funds by Binance and Huobi is an example of how early detection can help prevent further losses and recover some funds before they get lost forever or end up in wrong hands due to money laundering activities.
Bitcoin Price Continues To Climb
Despite security threats posed by malicious actors, Bitcoin price continues its upward trend with a trading price currently above $22,500 in its daily chart – suggesting investor confidence remains strong despite these attacks
• Kraken, a crypto exchange recently settled with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 9.
• SEC Commissioner Hester M. Pierce disagreed and dissented with the closure of Kraken’s staking program.
• Commissioner Pierce argued that SEC should have set guidance on the staking programs before cracking down on it.
Kraken Settles With The SEC
Kraken, its subsidiaries Payward Ventures and Payward Trading, recently settled with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 9.
SEC Commissioner Dissents
However, SEC Commissioner Hester M. Pierce disagreed and dissented with the closure of Kraken’s staking program by arguing that this program should have been registered with the SEC as a securities offering. She suggested that the SEC should have set guidance on the staking programs “long before this situation cracked” instead of taking enforcement actions to inform people what law is in an emerging industry which she said is “not an efficient or fair way to regulate”. According to her, one-off enforcement actions and “cookie-cutter” analysis do not provide a solution for crypto investors in the US. She also stated that using enforcement actions to shut down an entire program without providing any solution is “paternalistic and lazy regulator” behavior.
Staking Program Shut Down
As a result of this settlement, Kraken’s staking program will no longer be available in the United States, registered or not, Kraken is forbidden by the SEC from ever offering a staking service in the U.S..
Questions Need Answering
The Commissioner raised questions such as whether or not registration would have been possible in current crypto-related climate; whether or not each token’s staking program would be separately registered; what important disclosures would be; what accounting implications would be for Kraken etc..
In conclusion, Commissioner Piers calls for a better solution than just shutting down services like these without proper guidelines being put into place first.
• FTX, a bankrupt crypto exchange, issued an alert to its customers about scammers targeting them by impersonating the platform and offering to return their lost funds.
• The scammers try to deceive victims by asking for payment as a fee or an account password.
• FTX urged investors to contact their inquiry email address if they receive such messages or offers.
FTX Warns Customers Against Scam Attempts
The already embattled investors of the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX are being targeted by fraudsters who promise them the return of their lost funds. On Friday, FTX issued an alert to prevent its community from being a victim of this scam.
Scammers Impersonate Platform and Ask for Payment or Password
The new attack vector used by bad actors is impersonating the platform; they ask for a payment as a fee allegedly to transfer funds or require an account password to trick their victims.
FTX Reminds Its Community That Agents Don’t Ask for Funds
Addressing its community in a recent tweet, the FTX team confirmed that neither the FTX debater nor any of their agents will ask customers for money, fees, payments or any passwords for accounts in connection with the return or prospective return of customer assets.
Previous Attempts To Target FTX Customers
It was not the first attempt by fraudsters to target FTX customers since the Sam Bakman-Fried-led exchange collapsed in November wiping out billions of dollars. A fake video popped up on Twitter impersonating SBF and asking users to go unsafe website “to double their crypto funds” – it looked real as bad actors used verified account on Twitter.
Bitcoin’s Price Currently Above $23500 In Daily Chart
Bitcoin’s price currently stands above $23,500 in the daily chart according to TradingView data.