Binance and US DOJ negotiate billion-dollar deal in investigation

The US Department of Justice is close to reaching a settlement of over $4 billion with Binance Holdings Ltd., amid a major investigation of the cryptocurrency exchange for money laundering, bank fraud, and sanctions breaches. Binance’s founder, Changpeng Zhao, faces the possibility of criminal charges in the US. The resolution of the case is still uncertain, but it could result in one of the largest financial settlements in a criminal investigation of cryptocurrency, focusing also on potential sanctions violations against Iran and Russia. Binance, under increasing legal pressure in the US, seeks a settlement to defer charges.

SEC sues Kraken for securities law violations and internal controls

The SEC has filed a lawsuit against Kraken, accusing it of multiple securities law violations and internal control failures. The agency alleges that Kraken operated without the necessary registrations, depriving investors of significant protections. The exchange faces criticism for its record-keeping practices and listing of certain tokens, promising to vigorously defend against the accusations.

Celsius announces focus on Bitcoin mining following SEC guidelines

Celsius, a cryptocurrency lending company, revealed that its restructured ‘NewCo’ will dedicate itself to Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) mining, following guidance from the SEC. This announcement, part of the company’s restructuring plan, includes retaining some assets and launching ‘Mining NewCo’ as a public entity in the US, owned by Celsius’s customers. The company plans to start distributing to creditors from January 2024.

Bittrex Global announces closure of operations after shutdown in the US

Bittrex Global, a cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it will cease operations on December 4, a few months after the closure of its US arm. The platform will stop trading and has advised customers to complete pending transactions by this date. Afterwards, only withdrawals will be possible. The exchange, regulated in Liechtenstein and Bermuda, did not specify the reason for the closure. This comes after Bittrex in the US filed for bankruptcy and both entities were sued by the SEC for operating without the proper approvals.

Wintermute Asia completes first major options trade on the CME

Wintermute Asia, a derivatives division of Wintermute Group, executed its first block trade of options on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (NASDAQ:CME), with participation from TP ICAP and settlement by ABN AMRO Clearing Bank. This transaction, part of Wintermute’s strategy to meet institutional demand for crypto assets, includes options in bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and ether (COIN:ETHUSD), highlighting the rise of the cryptocurrency derivatives market.

Britannia Financial faces lawsuit over $1 billion Tether deposit

Britannia Financial, Tether’s banking partner, is being sued by Arbitral International in the British Virgin Islands over a $1 billion deposit from Tether. According to the Financial Times, the lawsuit, initiated in the High Court of Justice in London, involves an agreement about the purchase of Arbitral Securities by Britannia. The litigation revolves around an additional payment based on the revenue-generating assets of Arbitral Securities. Tether’s account was opened with a subsidiary of Britannia Financial in 2021, and it is believed that Aldo Mazzella, a “professional introducer,” facilitated the relationship between Tether and Britannia. Meanwhile, Tether’s USDT market value (COIN:USDTUSD) continues to grow, reaching new highs in 2023.

Circle implements new standard for USDC expansion across networks

Circle (COIN:USDCUSD) has introduced a new standard to facilitate the launch of its stablecoin USDC on various networks. This “USDC on bridge standard” implements a two-phase process: in the first phase, third-party developers manage the token contracts, with the USDC backed on another network. In the second phase, Circle takes over, directly securing the token with its reserves. This standard aims to avoid migrations, allowing a smooth transition from unofficial to official tokens. Circle recently launched native versions of USDC on Base and Polygon, expanding its presence in the cryptocurrency market.

Colony Lab invests $10 million in Avalanche development

Colony Lab, an accelerator of the Avalanche ecosystem (COIN:AVAXUSD), announced an investment of $10 million to promote network growth. The company acquired over 500,000 AVAX tokens, valued at $8 million, to establish a validators program benefiting AVAX holders. Validators are essential participants in proof-of-stake blockchain networks, ensuring security and processing transactions. Colony Lab will also direct investments to the Colony Avalanche Index, a yield token index, including assets like AVAX and JoeToken (COIN:JOEUSD). The rewards from the validators’ programs will go to the CLY stakeholder community, reflecting Colony Lab’s commitment to developing and expanding the uses of blockchain technology, as expressed by CEO Elie Le Rest.

Ondo Finance debuts tokenized US Treasury on Injective

Ondo Finance has launched the first tokenized US Treasury on the Injective blockchain, an innovation in Web3 finance. This groundbreaking launch is also interoperable, extending access to tokenized titles in the Cosmos ecosystem (COIN:ATOMUSD). Previously available only on Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD), users can now earn yields on treasury bonds on Injective as well.

DAO sues founders of Aragon over dissolution and asset distribution

After Aragon (COIN:ANTUSD) announced its dissolution and intention to return $155 million in Ether (COIN:ETHUSD) to ANT token holders, an affected DAO decided to sue the founding team. With $300,000 allocated for Patagon Management, the DAO seeks legal justice, demanding a proportional return of funds to former token holders and maintaining transparency in the financial transactions of the process.

Legal action accuses Apple of restricting cryptocurrencies in P2P payments

Customers of Venmo and Cash App sued Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on November 17, alleging anticompetitive agreements that restrict the use of cryptocurrencies in payment apps, raising prices for users. The action suggests that Apple limits the incorporation of cryptocurrency technology into iOS payment apps, affecting market competitiveness.

Fantom Foundation awards $1.7 million for preventing major loss

The Fantom Foundation (COIN:FTMUSD) rewarded a blockchain security researcher with $1.7 million for identifying a vulnerability that could have caused losses of up to $170 million, considering the token’s price. This recognition followed a quick threat review, involving a vital admin token in Fantom’s ERC20 FTM contract. This incident follows a previous Fantom hack of $550,000 and reaffirms the foundation’s commitment to high security standards and rewards for those highlighting vulnerabilities.

Zeal: Revolutionizing cryptography with innovative and secure experience

Eleven product and engineering experts, with previous experiences at Revolut, Spotify (NYSE:SPOT), and Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), are developing Zeal, an innovative digital wallet project. Zeal aims to address critical challenges in the cryptocurrency universe, such as insecurity, poor user experience, and high fees, currently limiting its widespread adoption. The team’s solution includes advanced security measures and fee-free bank transfers. Zeal’s vision is to set a new standard in user experiences for managing crypto assets and interacting with Web3 and decentralized financial applications. With features like innovative and free bank transfers, as well as robust security checks to protect against fraud and breaches, Zeal is currently in development with restricted guest access, preparing for a broader launch in early 2024.

Blockchain Association challenges OFAC sanctions against Tornado Cash

The Blockchain Association, a cryptocurrency advocate, contested the OFAC sanctions against Tornado Cash, a crypto mixer, arguing they are illegal and exceed the agency’s authority. In their amicus petition, the Association highlights that it’s the first time OFAC has sanctioned software, not individuals or entities. They argue that Tornado Cash, an autonomous protocol on the Ethereum blockchain, is merely a tool, and its sanction would weaken the digital asset industry.

Promising growth in automotive blockchain market by 2032

The global automotive blockchain market is expected to reach $6.48 billion by 2032, with a steady CAGR of 32.0%, according to Emergen Research. This growth is driven by the increasing adoption of autonomous vehicles and connected car technologies. Blockchain technology enhances data security and efficiency, crucial for the operation of autonomous vehicles and communication between vehicles and urban infrastructures. By 2025, 10-15% of connected vehicle transactions are expected to use blockchain. However, the lack of standards and the need for regulatory evolution could restrict market growth.

Blast debuts with $20 million investment

Blast, a new Ethereum Layer 2, launched its early access after a $20 million investment from entities like Paradigm and Standard Crypto. Aiming to be the first with native yield, the platform founded by Tieshun Roquerre of the NFT marketplace Blur, plans to distribute tokens based on points. Despite the demand, the platform faces criticism about its model and marketing structure, with comparisons to pyramid schemes. The funds sent to Blast are controlled by a multisig wallet, with withdrawals available only after the mainnet launch in February.

De.Fi 2.0 raises $5 million with DEFI token sale

De.Fi, a platform combining SocialFi and antivirus, launched its 2.0 version and is in the process of a public sale of the DEFI Token, having raised $5 million so far. The platform, which started as a productive farming community, has significantly expanded its user base and resolved sector challenges, receiving support from major investors. With significant backing from investors, including HOF Capital and venture arms of major cryptocurrency exchanges, De.Fi positions itself as an influential player in the DeFi market.

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