Tyr Capital Faces Client Dispute over Exposure to FTX’s Bankruptcy

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/tyr-capital-faces-client-dispute-over-exposure-to-ftxs-bankruptcy/

Crypto hedge fund Tyr Capital is embroiled in a contentious
dispute with one of its clients regarding its exposure to the bankrupt digital
assets exchange FTX.

Tyr Capital Faces $22 Million Claim

Tyr Capital stands accused of “criminal”
mismanagement by one of its clients, TGT, prompting a Swiss prosecutor to raid
Tyr’s offices. TGT is now seeking to close its account with Tyr and recover
remaining assets, which includes a substantial $22 million claim against FTX, as
reported by the Financial Times on today (Tuesday).

The collapse of FTX, once hailed as a leading player in the
crypto industry, traces back to 2022 following a damning report by CoinDesk.
The report detailed how FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, allegedly
manipulated reserves using their native FTT token. The fallout led to the
demise of Sam Bankman-Fried’s multi-billion dollar empire and cast a pall over
the crypto market for months.

TGT alleges that it had voiced concerns about FTX between
November 7, 2022, and November 10, 2022. However, Tyr Capital, led by former
Deutsche Bank executive Edouard Hindi, only withdrew assets from FTX on the day
the exchange filed for bankruptcy, according to a court filing cited in the
report.

Tyr Capital Denies Allegations of Mismanagement

Moreover, TGT, which manages investments from various
companies including crypto platform Yield, claims that Tyr Capital disregarded
an internal risk requirement limiting exposure to any single party to 15% of
assets. Tyr Capital has refuted these allegations, as outlined in the Financial
Times report. The collapse of FTX has sent shockwaves
through the crypto industry, impacting numerous companies directly or
indirectly exposed to the exchange.

Crypto hedge fund Tyr Capital is embroiled in a contentious
dispute with one of its clients regarding its exposure to the bankrupt digital
assets exchange FTX.

Tyr Capital Faces $22 Million Claim

Tyr Capital stands accused of “criminal”
mismanagement by one of its clients, TGT, prompting a Swiss prosecutor to raid
Tyr’s offices. TGT is now seeking to close its account with Tyr and recover
remaining assets, which includes a substantial $22 million claim against FTX, as
reported by the Financial Times on today (Tuesday).

The collapse of FTX, once hailed as a leading player in the
crypto industry, traces back to 2022 following a damning report by CoinDesk.
The report detailed how FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, allegedly
manipulated reserves using their native FTT token. The fallout led to the
demise of Sam Bankman-Fried’s multi-billion dollar empire and cast a pall over
the crypto market for months.

TGT alleges that it had voiced concerns about FTX between
November 7, 2022, and November 10, 2022. However, Tyr Capital, led by former
Deutsche Bank executive Edouard Hindi, only withdrew assets from FTX on the day
the exchange filed for bankruptcy, according to a court filing cited in the
report.

Tyr Capital Denies Allegations of Mismanagement

Moreover, TGT, which manages investments from various
companies including crypto platform Yield, claims that Tyr Capital disregarded
an internal risk requirement limiting exposure to any single party to 15% of
assets. Tyr Capital has refuted these allegations, as outlined in the Financial
Times report. The collapse of FTX has sent shockwaves
through the crypto industry, impacting numerous companies directly or
indirectly exposed to the exchange.

From AllianceBlock to Nexera: A Shift Towards Digital Asset Community Growth

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/from-allianceblock-to-nexera-a-shift-towards-digital-asset-community-growth/

Nexera Foundation, formerly known as AllianceBlock, is
undergoing a transition, rebranding itself to align with its mission and
objectives. The shift reflects the organization’s strategic focus on advancing
the era of tokenized finance while fostering community growth and innovation
within the digital asset space.

Nexera Finance’s Standardized Infrastructure for Digital
Assets

Nexera Finance, the flagship initiative of Nexera
Foundation, aims to spearhead the tokenization revolution by providing a suite
of tools and services tailored to the needs of institutions and businesses.

The transition comes at a time when the global wealth
landscape is poised for substantial transformation, with an estimated 10% of
total wealth projected to become tokenized by 2030. Positioned as a pivotal
player in this landscape, Nexera Finance seeks to offer organizations
across various industries a standardized infrastructure for the issuance,
management, and trading of digital and tokenized real-world assets.

Simultaneously, Nexera Foundation will concentrate its
efforts on nurturing its ecosystem, enhancing the utility of the native NXRA
token, and promoting community growth and innovation. Nexera Foundation
envisions a collaborative environment where stakeholders can actively
participate in shaping the future of decentralized finance.

The transition reflects the culmination of years of development
efforts aimed at laying the groundwork for the tokenized finance era. Nexera
Finance’s infrastructure represents a step towards democratizing access to
financial markets while streamlining business processes and eliminating the
need for intermediaries. By leveraging blockchain technology, Nexera Finance
aims to create new investment opportunities, improve liquidity, and enhance
transparency across markets.

Nexera Foundation, formerly known as AllianceBlock, is
undergoing a transition, rebranding itself to align with its mission and
objectives. The shift reflects the organization’s strategic focus on advancing
the era of tokenized finance while fostering community growth and innovation
within the digital asset space.

Nexera Finance’s Standardized Infrastructure for Digital
Assets

Nexera Finance, the flagship initiative of Nexera
Foundation, aims to spearhead the tokenization revolution by providing a suite
of tools and services tailored to the needs of institutions and businesses.

The transition comes at a time when the global wealth
landscape is poised for substantial transformation, with an estimated 10% of
total wealth projected to become tokenized by 2030. Positioned as a pivotal
player in this landscape, Nexera Finance seeks to offer organizations
across various industries a standardized infrastructure for the issuance,
management, and trading of digital and tokenized real-world assets.

Simultaneously, Nexera Foundation will concentrate its
efforts on nurturing its ecosystem, enhancing the utility of the native NXRA
token, and promoting community growth and innovation. Nexera Foundation
envisions a collaborative environment where stakeholders can actively
participate in shaping the future of decentralized finance.

The transition reflects the culmination of years of development
efforts aimed at laying the groundwork for the tokenized finance era. Nexera
Finance’s infrastructure represents a step towards democratizing access to
financial markets while streamlining business processes and eliminating the
need for intermediaries. By leveraging blockchain technology, Nexera Finance
aims to create new investment opportunities, improve liquidity, and enhance
transparency across markets.

Bithumb’s Struggles Highlight Crypto Banking Integration in South Korea

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/bithumbs-struggles-highlight-crypto-banking-integration-in-south-korea/

Bithumb Korea, the operator of
South Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, faces a setback
as it fails to secure a deal with major local lender KB Kookmin Bank for the
issuance of real-name accounts, potentially hindering its efforts to attract
more traders.

Major Banks Yet to Forge
Alliances with Exchanges

Industry officials confirmed on
Friday that KB Kookmin Bank notified Bithumb last week of its decision not to
partner with the crypto exchange for providing real-name accounts, as required
by South Korean regulations under the Act on Reporting and Using Specified
Financial Transaction Information.

Bithumb Korea had aimed to
broaden its user base by forming a new partnership with KB Kookmin Bank, as its
existing contract with NH NongHyup Bank is set to expire on March 24. However,
the negotiations fell through, with reasons for the breakdown undisclosed.

Presently, the top five Korean
cryptocurrency exchanges each have affiliations with commercial banks, but none
are linked with the four major commercial banks, including KB Kookmin, Hana,
Woori, and Shinhan. Upbit, the leading player, is partnered with internet
lender K bank, while Coinone and Gopax are associated with Kakao Bank and
regional lender Jeonbuk Bank, respectively.

NH NongHyup Contract Renewal
Uncertain

The failure to secure a deal with
KB Kookmin Bank could also impact Bithumb’s position in renewing its contract
with NH NongHyup Bank. NH NongHyup Bank had renewed its agreement with Bithumb
Korea every six months for the past five years until March of last year, when
it signed a one-year contract.

Although Bithumb announced in
October that it would waive commissions on crypto trading to compete with
Upbit, the market anticipated the end of this policy due to concerns over
sustainability. Consequently, Bithumb ended the four-month commission-free
campaign on Feb. 5, introducing a 0.04 percent fee for all crypto transactions,
lower than Upbit’s 0.05 percent commission.

Bithumb Korea, the operator of
South Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, faces a setback
as it fails to secure a deal with major local lender KB Kookmin Bank for the
issuance of real-name accounts, potentially hindering its efforts to attract
more traders.

Major Banks Yet to Forge
Alliances with Exchanges

Industry officials confirmed on
Friday that KB Kookmin Bank notified Bithumb last week of its decision not to
partner with the crypto exchange for providing real-name accounts, as required
by South Korean regulations under the Act on Reporting and Using Specified
Financial Transaction Information.

Bithumb Korea had aimed to
broaden its user base by forming a new partnership with KB Kookmin Bank, as its
existing contract with NH NongHyup Bank is set to expire on March 24. However,
the negotiations fell through, with reasons for the breakdown undisclosed.

Presently, the top five Korean
cryptocurrency exchanges each have affiliations with commercial banks, but none
are linked with the four major commercial banks, including KB Kookmin, Hana,
Woori, and Shinhan. Upbit, the leading player, is partnered with internet
lender K bank, while Coinone and Gopax are associated with Kakao Bank and
regional lender Jeonbuk Bank, respectively.

NH NongHyup Contract Renewal
Uncertain

The failure to secure a deal with
KB Kookmin Bank could also impact Bithumb’s position in renewing its contract
with NH NongHyup Bank. NH NongHyup Bank had renewed its agreement with Bithumb
Korea every six months for the past five years until March of last year, when
it signed a one-year contract.

Although Bithumb announced in
October that it would waive commissions on crypto trading to compete with
Upbit, the market anticipated the end of this policy due to concerns over
sustainability. Consequently, Bithumb ended the four-month commission-free
campaign on Feb. 5, introducing a 0.04 percent fee for all crypto transactions,
lower than Upbit’s 0.05 percent commission.

Bonk Goes Mainstream: Revolut’s Leap into Meme Coin Adoption

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/bonk-goes-mainstream-revoluts-leap-into-meme-coin-adoption/

European banking fintech company
Revolut is reportedly planning to list Bonk, the biggest meme coin associated
with the Solana blockchain, and initiate a $1.2 million campaign to encourage
its users to familiarize themselves with the cryptocurrency, as per a source
knowledgeable about the situation.

Revolut’s Plans for Listing and
Learning Initiative

The proposed “learn”
campaign is contingent upon approval from Bonk’s governing council, responsible
for overseeing the project’s treasury of Bonk tokens, valued at over $100
million. As of the latest update, the approval vote had nearly reached quorum,
with six out of the council’s 12 members voting in favor and none opposing. It
is anticipated to pass, according to participants familiar with the matter.

Originally conceived by Solana
blockchain enthusiasts in response to FTX’s tumultuous events in November 2022,
Bonk has evolved into Solana’s most prominent meme coin, widely utilized by
various applications on the platform as an incentive mechanism. Revolut intends
to allocate Bonk tokens to select users as rewards for engaging with the
cryptocurrency through its application.

Bonk’s Council Considers $1.2
Million Allocation for User Expansion

The listing of Bonk on Revolut is poised to
further integrate the cryptocurrency into mainstream trading platforms,
following its remarkable surge in value, skyrocketing by 19,000% since November
1, 2023, according to CoinMarketCap. Notably, top exchanges such as Coinbase
and Binance had already listed Bonk during that period.

The proposal under consideration
by Bonk’s council outlines the allocation of 93 billion Bonk tokens, equivalent
to $1.2 million, for the learn campaign, with the objective of expanding Bonk’s
user base by 500,000 individuals, according to an individual familiar with the
initiative.

European banking fintech company
Revolut is reportedly planning to list Bonk, the biggest meme coin associated
with the Solana blockchain, and initiate a $1.2 million campaign to encourage
its users to familiarize themselves with the cryptocurrency, as per a source
knowledgeable about the situation.

Revolut’s Plans for Listing and
Learning Initiative

The proposed “learn”
campaign is contingent upon approval from Bonk’s governing council, responsible
for overseeing the project’s treasury of Bonk tokens, valued at over $100
million. As of the latest update, the approval vote had nearly reached quorum,
with six out of the council’s 12 members voting in favor and none opposing. It
is anticipated to pass, according to participants familiar with the matter.

Originally conceived by Solana
blockchain enthusiasts in response to FTX’s tumultuous events in November 2022,
Bonk has evolved into Solana’s most prominent meme coin, widely utilized by
various applications on the platform as an incentive mechanism. Revolut intends
to allocate Bonk tokens to select users as rewards for engaging with the
cryptocurrency through its application.

Bonk’s Council Considers $1.2
Million Allocation for User Expansion

The listing of Bonk on Revolut is poised to
further integrate the cryptocurrency into mainstream trading platforms,
following its remarkable surge in value, skyrocketing by 19,000% since November
1, 2023, according to CoinMarketCap. Notably, top exchanges such as Coinbase
and Binance had already listed Bonk during that period.

The proposal under consideration
by Bonk’s council outlines the allocation of 93 billion Bonk tokens, equivalent
to $1.2 million, for the learn campaign, with the objective of expanding Bonk’s
user base by 500,000 individuals, according to an individual familiar with the
initiative.

Ripple Expands Crypto Solutions with Standard Custody & Trust Acquisition

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/ripple-expands-crypto-solutions-with-standard-custody-trust-acquisition/

Ripple made an announcement of its agreement to acquire
Standard Custody & Trust Company, a regulated platform specializing in
digital assets. By integrating Standard Custody’s limited purpose trust charter
and money transmitter licenses into its repertoire, Ripple aims to fortify its
portfolio of regulatory licenses.

Ripple’s Diverse License Holdings Strengthen Market Position

The surge in institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies and
blockchain technology can be attributed to the emergence of mature and highly
secure products in the market.

Ripple, along with its subsidiaries, holds an array of
licenses, including a New York BitLicense, nearly 40 money transmitter licenses
across the US, a Major Payment Institution License from the Monetary Authority
of Singapore, and a Virtual Asset Service Provider registration with the
Central Bank of Ireland.

Monica Long, Ripple President, Source: LinkedIn

Commenting on the acquisition, Jack McDonald, the CEO of
Standard Custody, highlighted the company’s commitment to providing financial
institutions with the confidence and platform to safeguard their digital
assets. McDonald expressed optimism about the collaboration with Ripple, citing
the latter’s deep crypto expertise, financial institution relationships, and
robust product offerings in both payments and custody solutions.

Regulatory Approval Pending for Standard Custody Acquisition

This acquisition follows Ripple’s strategic move last year
to acquire Metaco, a custody solution favored by banks globally. Additionally,
Ripple recently announced custody partnerships with banks such as HSBC, BBVA,
and Zodia Custody, as well as expanded its Ripple Payments offering to new
territories like Africa.

The transaction’s completion is contingent upon regulatory
approval and standard closing conditions. TD Cowen acted as the exclusive
financial advisor to PolySign in the acquisition process.

Monica Long, Ripple President, emphasized the company’s
dedication to expanding product offerings and supporting innovative
initiatives. Long stated, “We will continue to leverage our strong
financial standing to expand our product offerings, support new initiatives on
the product roadmap and serve a broader segment of customers.”

Ripple made an announcement of its agreement to acquire
Standard Custody & Trust Company, a regulated platform specializing in
digital assets. By integrating Standard Custody’s limited purpose trust charter
and money transmitter licenses into its repertoire, Ripple aims to fortify its
portfolio of regulatory licenses.

Ripple’s Diverse License Holdings Strengthen Market Position

The surge in institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies and
blockchain technology can be attributed to the emergence of mature and highly
secure products in the market.

Ripple, along with its subsidiaries, holds an array of
licenses, including a New York BitLicense, nearly 40 money transmitter licenses
across the US, a Major Payment Institution License from the Monetary Authority
of Singapore, and a Virtual Asset Service Provider registration with the
Central Bank of Ireland.

Monica Long, Ripple President, Source: LinkedIn

Commenting on the acquisition, Jack McDonald, the CEO of
Standard Custody, highlighted the company’s commitment to providing financial
institutions with the confidence and platform to safeguard their digital
assets. McDonald expressed optimism about the collaboration with Ripple, citing
the latter’s deep crypto expertise, financial institution relationships, and
robust product offerings in both payments and custody solutions.

Regulatory Approval Pending for Standard Custody Acquisition

This acquisition follows Ripple’s strategic move last year
to acquire Metaco, a custody solution favored by banks globally. Additionally,
Ripple recently announced custody partnerships with banks such as HSBC, BBVA,
and Zodia Custody, as well as expanded its Ripple Payments offering to new
territories like Africa.

The transaction’s completion is contingent upon regulatory
approval and standard closing conditions. TD Cowen acted as the exclusive
financial advisor to PolySign in the acquisition process.

Monica Long, Ripple President, emphasized the company’s
dedication to expanding product offerings and supporting innovative
initiatives. Long stated, “We will continue to leverage our strong
financial standing to expand our product offerings, support new initiatives on
the product roadmap and serve a broader segment of customers.”

Crypto Finance Clinches Four BaFin Licenses Strengthening Institutional Services

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/crypto-finance-clinches-four-bafin-licenses-strengthening-institutional-services/

Crypto Finance AG, a part of the Deutsche Börse Group, the
prudentially FINMA-supervised provider of institutional-grade investment
solutions, custody, and trading for digital assets has obtained four licenses
from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, BaFin.

Four BaFin Licenses Cement European Presence

Stijn Vander Straeten, the CEO of Crypto Finance Group,
commented: “Crypto Finance (Deutschland) GmbH is now licensed by BaFin, the
highest benchmark in regulatory oversight, as a crypto custody provider in
Germany. It distinguishes our offering as one of the few to meet these
exceptionally high standards.”

The licenses, secured by its subsidiary, Crypto Finance
(Deutschland) GmbH, encompass regulated digital asset trading, settlement, and
custody services in Germany. This development further bolsters the company’s
position within the regulated European digital asset value chain, emphasizing
its commitment to offering institutional-grade services within regulatory
frameworks.

Eric Viohl, Managing Director of Crypto Finance
(Deutschland) GmbH, emphasized the company’s comprehensive approach: “Crypto
Finance offers a comprehensive approach as a one-stop-shop solution for digital
assets. Our commitment to covering the entire value chain sets us apart and we
are now proud to be able to achieve significant milestones in Germany, where we
offer highly regulated services.”

“Our offering goes beyond trading to include settlement,
custody, and post-trade services, creating a seamless experience for
institutional investors seeking access to the dynamic world of digital assets.”

Crypto Finance AG, a part of the Deutsche Börse Group, the
prudentially FINMA-supervised provider of institutional-grade investment
solutions, custody, and trading for digital assets has obtained four licenses
from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, BaFin.

Four BaFin Licenses Cement European Presence

Stijn Vander Straeten, the CEO of Crypto Finance Group,
commented: “Crypto Finance (Deutschland) GmbH is now licensed by BaFin, the
highest benchmark in regulatory oversight, as a crypto custody provider in
Germany. It distinguishes our offering as one of the few to meet these
exceptionally high standards.”

The licenses, secured by its subsidiary, Crypto Finance
(Deutschland) GmbH, encompass regulated digital asset trading, settlement, and
custody services in Germany. This development further bolsters the company’s
position within the regulated European digital asset value chain, emphasizing
its commitment to offering institutional-grade services within regulatory
frameworks.

Eric Viohl, Managing Director of Crypto Finance
(Deutschland) GmbH, emphasized the company’s comprehensive approach: “Crypto
Finance offers a comprehensive approach as a one-stop-shop solution for digital
assets. Our commitment to covering the entire value chain sets us apart and we
are now proud to be able to achieve significant milestones in Germany, where we
offer highly regulated services.”

“Our offering goes beyond trading to include settlement,
custody, and post-trade services, creating a seamless experience for
institutional investors seeking access to the dynamic world of digital assets.”

DNB Greenlights Kraken with VASP Registration: Opens Doors to Dutch Market

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/dnb-greenlights-kraken-with-vasp-registration-opens-doors-to-dutch-market/

Kraken
has achieved a milestone in its European growth strategy with the acquisition
of a VASP (Virtual Asset Service Provider) registration from the Dutch Central
Bank (DNB). This registration paves the way for Kraken to expand its operations
into the Dutch market.

Kraken’s
European Growth Soars with Dutch Market Opportunities

Brian
Gahan, the Managing Director of Europe for Kraken, expressed enthusiasm about
the company’s accelerated European growth strategy, emphasizing the
opportunities presented by the Dutch market. Gahan stated: “With the
addition of the Dutch VASP registration, our European growth strategy continues
to accelerate. We see a lot of opportunity to introduce our offering to both
retail clients and professional traders in the Netherlands and across Europe.”

The
Netherlands stands out as a strategically vital market due to its vibrant
startup ecosystem, robust financial services industry, and high fintech
adoption rate among developed economies. Moreover, the country boasts one of
the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption in Europe, with approximately 20%
of Dutch citizens holding digital assets.

Kraken’s
recognition of the Netherlands’ significance is further underscored by its
proposed acquisition of Dutch crypto broker BCM, announced in October 2023.
This move signals Kraken’s proactive approach to leveraging the country’s
crypto-friendly environment and facilitating its long-term growth objectives in
Europe.

Strategic
Response to EU Crypto Regulations

In
anticipation of the impending implementation of the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets regulatory
framework
, Kraken has intensified its investment in the region’s crypto
industry growth. The evolving European landscape, characterized by
fragmentation and heightened competition, is expected to drive consolidation,
positioning Kraken strategically amidst changing regulatory dynamics.

Notably,
Kraken has secured
registrations in other key European markets such as Spain, Italy, and Ireland,
with ongoing efforts to penetrate additional territories.

Kraken’s
attainment of the VASP registration from the Dutch
Central Bank
underscores its commitment to regulatory compliance and its
position as a leading player in the European crypto market. As the company
continues to expand its footprint across the continent, its innovative products
and services are poised to shape the future of digital finance in Europe and
beyond.

Kraken
has achieved a milestone in its European growth strategy with the acquisition
of a VASP (Virtual Asset Service Provider) registration from the Dutch Central
Bank (DNB). This registration paves the way for Kraken to expand its operations
into the Dutch market.

Kraken’s
European Growth Soars with Dutch Market Opportunities

Brian
Gahan, the Managing Director of Europe for Kraken, expressed enthusiasm about
the company’s accelerated European growth strategy, emphasizing the
opportunities presented by the Dutch market. Gahan stated: “With the
addition of the Dutch VASP registration, our European growth strategy continues
to accelerate. We see a lot of opportunity to introduce our offering to both
retail clients and professional traders in the Netherlands and across Europe.”

The
Netherlands stands out as a strategically vital market due to its vibrant
startup ecosystem, robust financial services industry, and high fintech
adoption rate among developed economies. Moreover, the country boasts one of
the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption in Europe, with approximately 20%
of Dutch citizens holding digital assets.

Kraken’s
recognition of the Netherlands’ significance is further underscored by its
proposed acquisition of Dutch crypto broker BCM, announced in October 2023.
This move signals Kraken’s proactive approach to leveraging the country’s
crypto-friendly environment and facilitating its long-term growth objectives in
Europe.

Strategic
Response to EU Crypto Regulations

In
anticipation of the impending implementation of the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets regulatory
framework
, Kraken has intensified its investment in the region’s crypto
industry growth. The evolving European landscape, characterized by
fragmentation and heightened competition, is expected to drive consolidation,
positioning Kraken strategically amidst changing regulatory dynamics.

Notably,
Kraken has secured
registrations in other key European markets such as Spain, Italy, and Ireland,
with ongoing efforts to penetrate additional territories.

Kraken’s
attainment of the VASP registration from the Dutch
Central Bank
underscores its commitment to regulatory compliance and its
position as a leading player in the European crypto market. As the company
continues to expand its footprint across the continent, its innovative products
and services are poised to shape the future of digital finance in Europe and
beyond.

SEC Targets Former Zipmex Thailand CEO amid Fraud Allegations

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/sec-targets-former-zipmex-thailand-ceo-amid-fraud-allegations/

The
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has leveled accusations of
corruption and deception against Akarlap Yimwilai, the former CEO of Zipmex
Thailand, according to an official statement released on Thursday.

Irregularities in Customer Asset Management

The
SEC’s investigation revealed irregularities concerning customer assets held
within Zipmex Thailand’s Z Wallet. It was uncovered that these assets had been
transferred to overseas digital wallets prior to an official announcement
regarding changes in terms and conditions, contradicting the information
provided by Zipmex Thailand to regulators.

In
its statement, the SEC asserted that Zipmex Thailand had engaged in fraudulent
behavior by presenting false statements regarding the handling of customer
assets. Yimwilai served as the CEO of Zipmex Thailand from August 2018 until
November 2023, as indicated by his LinkedIn profile.

Zipmex Thailand operates
as a subsidiary of the Singapore-based Zipmex, led by Marcus Lim. The company
received approval to operate from the Ministry of Finance and SEC in 2020.
However, in response to the SEC’s findings, the commission issued an order for
Zipmex Thailand to suspend its digital asset trading and brokerage services. A
notice on the company’s website and mobile app indicates that both platforms
have been disabled.

Furthermore,
the SEC alleges that reports submitted by Zipmex Thailand were inconsistent
with the information obtained during the investigation. Consequently, the SEC
has filed a formal complaint against Yimwilai with the Office of the Provincial
Crime Suppression Division, urging further legal action to be considered.

The
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has leveled accusations of
corruption and deception against Akarlap Yimwilai, the former CEO of Zipmex
Thailand, according to an official statement released on Thursday.

Irregularities in Customer Asset Management

The
SEC’s investigation revealed irregularities concerning customer assets held
within Zipmex Thailand’s Z Wallet. It was uncovered that these assets had been
transferred to overseas digital wallets prior to an official announcement
regarding changes in terms and conditions, contradicting the information
provided by Zipmex Thailand to regulators.

In
its statement, the SEC asserted that Zipmex Thailand had engaged in fraudulent
behavior by presenting false statements regarding the handling of customer
assets. Yimwilai served as the CEO of Zipmex Thailand from August 2018 until
November 2023, as indicated by his LinkedIn profile.

Zipmex Thailand operates
as a subsidiary of the Singapore-based Zipmex, led by Marcus Lim. The company
received approval to operate from the Ministry of Finance and SEC in 2020.
However, in response to the SEC’s findings, the commission issued an order for
Zipmex Thailand to suspend its digital asset trading and brokerage services. A
notice on the company’s website and mobile app indicates that both platforms
have been disabled.

Furthermore,
the SEC alleges that reports submitted by Zipmex Thailand were inconsistent
with the information obtained during the investigation. Consequently, the SEC
has filed a formal complaint against Yimwilai with the Office of the Provincial
Crime Suppression Division, urging further legal action to be considered.

FSC Implements New Legislation for Crypto Market in South Korea

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/fsc-implements-new-legislation-for-crypto-market-in-south-korea/

The South Korean government has taken decisive
action to safeguard the interests of cryptocurrency investors with the
enactment of the Virtual Asset Users Protection Act, announced by the Financial
Services Commission (FSC) today (Wednesday).

Financial Services Commission Unveils Virtual
Asset Users Protection Act

The new law, slated to take effect on July 19,
2024, marks a significant step in regulating the cryptocurrency market in South
Korea. Aimed at curbing market crimes and enhancing transparency, the
legislation prohibits the use of undisclosed significant information in
cryptocurrency transactions, as well as activities related to market
manipulation and illegal trading.

Under the provisions of the Virtual Asset Users
Protection Act, severe penalties await violators, including fixed-term
imprisonment exceeding one year or fines ranging from three to five times the
amount of illegal profits. Particularly, individuals who amass more than $3.8
million from illicit cryptocurrency
trading schemes may face life sentences.

Moreover, the FSC emphasizes its
authority to supervise and inspect virtual asset business operators to ensure
compliance with the newly enacted legislation. This includes the investigation
and enforcement of measures against unfair trading practices, underscoring the
regulator’s commitment to maintaining market integrity.

Terraform Labs Collapse Sparks South Korea’s
Regulatory Response

The impetus for the Virtual Asset Users
Protection Act stemmed from a significant industry upheaval involving Terraform
Labs and its founder, Do Kwon, a South Korean national. Following the collapse
of Terra in May 2022, which wiped out more than $450 billion from the market,
South Korean lawmakers moved swiftly to address regulatory gaps and strengthen
investor protections.

Do Kwon, currently
facing extradition to the United States, faces multiple charges, including
commodities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud and
engage in market manipulation.

The South Korean government has taken decisive
action to safeguard the interests of cryptocurrency investors with the
enactment of the Virtual Asset Users Protection Act, announced by the Financial
Services Commission (FSC) today (Wednesday).

Financial Services Commission Unveils Virtual
Asset Users Protection Act

The new law, slated to take effect on July 19,
2024, marks a significant step in regulating the cryptocurrency market in South
Korea. Aimed at curbing market crimes and enhancing transparency, the
legislation prohibits the use of undisclosed significant information in
cryptocurrency transactions, as well as activities related to market
manipulation and illegal trading.

Under the provisions of the Virtual Asset Users
Protection Act, severe penalties await violators, including fixed-term
imprisonment exceeding one year or fines ranging from three to five times the
amount of illegal profits. Particularly, individuals who amass more than $3.8
million from illicit cryptocurrency
trading schemes may face life sentences.

Moreover, the FSC emphasizes its
authority to supervise and inspect virtual asset business operators to ensure
compliance with the newly enacted legislation. This includes the investigation
and enforcement of measures against unfair trading practices, underscoring the
regulator’s commitment to maintaining market integrity.

Terraform Labs Collapse Sparks South Korea’s
Regulatory Response

The impetus for the Virtual Asset Users
Protection Act stemmed from a significant industry upheaval involving Terraform
Labs and its founder, Do Kwon, a South Korean national. Following the collapse
of Terra in May 2022, which wiped out more than $450 billion from the market,
South Korean lawmakers moved swiftly to address regulatory gaps and strengthen
investor protections.

Do Kwon, currently
facing extradition to the United States, faces multiple charges, including
commodities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud and
engage in market manipulation.

South Korean Financial Watchdog Turns to SEC for Bitcoin ETF Guidance

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/south-korean-financial-watchdog-turns-to-sec-for-bitcoin-etf-guidance/

South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is seeking
guidance from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on
spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

FSS Chief’s 2024 Plans: Spotlight on New York and Bitcoin
ETFs

FSS chief Lee Bok-Hyun outlined plans for 2024, including
visits to major financial markets like New York in the second quarter. The
purpose is to discuss various aspects of South Korean financial markets,
including spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Lee intends to meet with SEC Chair Gary Gensler later in the
year to discuss digital assets and spot Bitcoin ETFs. He highlighted the
significant impact of the SEC’s recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs on global
financial policies.

The announcement follows the SEC’s approval of 11 spot Bitcoin
ETFs on January 10, marking a historic decision. Previously, the SEC had denied
spot Bitcoin ETF
applications due to concerns about market manipulation in the crypto market.

South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is seeking
guidance from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on
spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

FSS Chief’s 2024 Plans: Spotlight on New York and Bitcoin
ETFs

FSS chief Lee Bok-Hyun outlined plans for 2024, including
visits to major financial markets like New York in the second quarter. The
purpose is to discuss various aspects of South Korean financial markets,
including spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Lee intends to meet with SEC Chair Gary Gensler later in the
year to discuss digital assets and spot Bitcoin ETFs. He highlighted the
significant impact of the SEC’s recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs on global
financial policies.

The announcement follows the SEC’s approval of 11 spot Bitcoin
ETFs on January 10, marking a historic decision. Previously, the SEC had denied
spot Bitcoin ETF
applications due to concerns about market manipulation in the crypto market.

Crypto Enters the Field: Juventus Welcomes Zondacrypto as Sponsor

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/crypto-enters-the-field-juventus-welcomes-zondacrypto-as-sponsor/

Zondacrypto has announced its sponsorship of
Juventus F.C., one of Italy’s most successful football clubs. The partnership,
unveiled with anticipation by both parties, marks a stride in Zondacrypto’s
expansion into the Italian market while reinforcing Juventus’ stature as a
global footballing powerhouse.

Zondacrypto’s Sponsorship
and Juventus’ Pursuit of Excellence

The announcement comes amidst a backdrop of
shared values and aspirations between the cryptocurrency platform and the
football club. Drawing parallels between the relentless pursuit of goals on and
off the pitch, Zondacrypto’s sponsorship aligns with Juventus’ legacy of
unyielding determination and pursuit of excellence, embodied by iconic figures
such as Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, and Andrea Pirlo.

The partnership will see Zondacrypto’s logo
prominently featured on Juventus players’ jerseys for half of the season,
alongside stadium branding during home matches for the next two seasons. The
collaboration promises additional surprises yet to be unveiled, hinting at
further integration and engagement between the cryptocurrency platform and the
footballing community.

For Zondacrypto, the
sponsorship represents more than just brand visibility. It underscores the
company’s commitment to providing Italians with a secure and accessible gateway
to the world of cryptocurrencies. With authorization from the Organismo Agenti
e Mediatori since 2022, Zondacrypto aims to cater to the Italian market with
tailored services, including trading opportunities, educational resources
through their academy, and localized industry insights via regular blog
updates.

Zondacrypto has announced its sponsorship of
Juventus F.C., one of Italy’s most successful football clubs. The partnership,
unveiled with anticipation by both parties, marks a stride in Zondacrypto’s
expansion into the Italian market while reinforcing Juventus’ stature as a
global footballing powerhouse.

Zondacrypto’s Sponsorship
and Juventus’ Pursuit of Excellence

The announcement comes amidst a backdrop of
shared values and aspirations between the cryptocurrency platform and the
football club. Drawing parallels between the relentless pursuit of goals on and
off the pitch, Zondacrypto’s sponsorship aligns with Juventus’ legacy of
unyielding determination and pursuit of excellence, embodied by iconic figures
such as Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, and Andrea Pirlo.

The partnership will see Zondacrypto’s logo
prominently featured on Juventus players’ jerseys for half of the season,
alongside stadium branding during home matches for the next two seasons. The
collaboration promises additional surprises yet to be unveiled, hinting at
further integration and engagement between the cryptocurrency platform and the
footballing community.

For Zondacrypto, the
sponsorship represents more than just brand visibility. It underscores the
company’s commitment to providing Italians with a secure and accessible gateway
to the world of cryptocurrencies. With authorization from the Organismo Agenti
e Mediatori since 2022, Zondacrypto aims to cater to the Italian market with
tailored services, including trading opportunities, educational resources
through their academy, and localized industry insights via regular blog
updates.

Binance Halts $4.2 Million in XRP After $112 Million Ripple Hack

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/binance-halts-42-million-in-xrp-after-112-million-ripple-hack/

Binance took action to freeze
$4.2 million worth of XRP believed to be associated with the $112 million
Ripple hack. This marks the largest cryptocurrency hack of 2024 thus far,
stirring concerns within the digital asset community.

XRP Ledger Foundation Claims Early Investigation Credit

Binance CEO Richard Teng
confirmed the freeze through a post on the social media platform X, where he
acknowledged the efforts of on-chain investigator ZachXBT and the Ripple team
for their collaboration in identifying the exploited address. The move was part
of a broader effort to mitigate the fallout from the hack.

Thomas Silkjær, head of analytics
and compliance at the XRP Ledger Foundation, claimed credit for the
foundation’s early investigation into the issue, adding a layer of complexity
to the attribution of efforts.

Initial speculation surrounding
the hack suggested that Ripple itself had been compromised. However, Ripple
co-founder Chris Larsen clarified that it was his personal accounts, not the
company, that were targeted. Larsen assured the public that Ripple’s systems
remained secure despite the breach.

The hacker behind the exploit
notably avoided using crypto mixer services or decentralized exchanges to
obscure their identity. This departure from recent trends raised eyebrows
within the cryptocurrency community, indicating potential shifts in tactics among
malicious actors.

Freezing Funds and Collaborating with Law Enforcement

ZachXBT disclosed that the
exploited account was initially attributed to Ripple in XRP block explorers,
sparking confusion regarding the nature of the hack. Meanwhile, Larsen
confirmed that approximately 213 million XRP, valued at $112.5 million, had been
stolen from his personal accounts.

In response, Ripple has engaged
in discussions with various crypto exchanges to freeze the exploited funds and
has notified law enforcement agencies to aid in the investigation.

The perpetrators attempted to
launder the stolen XRP through multiple exchanges, including MEXC, Gate,
Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, and HitBTC. While Binance has taken
measures to freeze some of the stolen funds, other exchanges such as OKX and
Kraken have yet to disclose their actions regarding the hack.

Binance took action to freeze
$4.2 million worth of XRP believed to be associated with the $112 million
Ripple hack. This marks the largest cryptocurrency hack of 2024 thus far,
stirring concerns within the digital asset community.

XRP Ledger Foundation Claims Early Investigation Credit

Binance CEO Richard Teng
confirmed the freeze through a post on the social media platform X, where he
acknowledged the efforts of on-chain investigator ZachXBT and the Ripple team
for their collaboration in identifying the exploited address. The move was part
of a broader effort to mitigate the fallout from the hack.

Thomas Silkjær, head of analytics
and compliance at the XRP Ledger Foundation, claimed credit for the
foundation’s early investigation into the issue, adding a layer of complexity
to the attribution of efforts.

Initial speculation surrounding
the hack suggested that Ripple itself had been compromised. However, Ripple
co-founder Chris Larsen clarified that it was his personal accounts, not the
company, that were targeted. Larsen assured the public that Ripple’s systems
remained secure despite the breach.

The hacker behind the exploit
notably avoided using crypto mixer services or decentralized exchanges to
obscure their identity. This departure from recent trends raised eyebrows
within the cryptocurrency community, indicating potential shifts in tactics among
malicious actors.

Freezing Funds and Collaborating with Law Enforcement

ZachXBT disclosed that the
exploited account was initially attributed to Ripple in XRP block explorers,
sparking confusion regarding the nature of the hack. Meanwhile, Larsen
confirmed that approximately 213 million XRP, valued at $112.5 million, had been
stolen from his personal accounts.

In response, Ripple has engaged
in discussions with various crypto exchanges to freeze the exploited funds and
has notified law enforcement agencies to aid in the investigation.

The perpetrators attempted to
launder the stolen XRP through multiple exchanges, including MEXC, Gate,
Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, and HitBTC. While Binance has taken
measures to freeze some of the stolen funds, other exchanges such as OKX and
Kraken have yet to disclose their actions regarding the hack.

Bridging TradFi and Crypto: “Compliance and Regulations Concerns for Large Institutions”

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/bridging-tradfi-and-crypto-compliance-and-regulations-concerns-for-large-institutions/

At the Finance Magnates London Summit 2023, industry
leaders convened for a pivotal discussion on “Bridging TradFi and Crypto: Work
in Process”, shedding light on the complexities and opportunities inherent in
integrating these two distinct spheres. Moderated by Chen Arad, COO at Solidus
Labs, the panel delved deep into the challenges, regulatory concerns, and
transformative potential of cryptocurrencies within traditional financial
frameworks.

The panel, comprising Cassandra Cox, Director of
Institutional Sales at LMAX Digital; Gareth Hughes, Head of Exchange at Zodia
Markets; and John Salmon, Partner and Head of Digital Assets and Blockchain
Practice at Hogan Lovells International, provided nuanced insights drawing from
their extensive experience in both traditional and crypto financial spheres.

Navigating
the Convergence: Crypto Assets and Traditional Finance

Cox emphasized the similarities between crypto-assets and
traditional asset classes, stressing the importance of providing clients with
alpha-generating opportunities while navigating complexities in onboarding and
custody solutions.

Cox remarked: “Crypto, akin to traditional asset
classes, offers a return structure, providing alpha sources and trading
opportunities to clients. The initial conversation mirrors that of other asset
classes. While certain aspects of crypto may complicate onboarding and the
initial journey, the industry has diligently developed tools that can be
swiftly deployed.”

Hughes highlighted the critical decisions surrounding
custody solutions and market
access, underscoring the importance of reputable service providers and
understanding the nuances of crypto trading venues.

John Salmon, Partner and Head of Digital Assets and Blockchain Practice at Hogan Lovells

“The way individuals perceive the crypto industry is
inevitably influenced by their background, not just geographically, but from a
market perspective. Those with a forex background often
liken it to a currency
pair, while those with equities experience see it differently.” Hughes commented.”

Cassandra Cox, Director of Institutional Sales at LMAX Digital

Crypto
isn’t entirely distinct; there are many similarities with the FX and equities
worlds, such as listed futures. Typically, people start by considering where to
custody their crypto, a question you should address personally, whether you
prefer owning your own wallets or hosting your infrastructure.”

Salmon echoed their sentiments, emphasizing the dynamic
regulatory environment as a primary challenge for institutions considering
entry into the crypto space.

Salmon said: “The constantly shifting regulatory
landscape and the variations across different jurisdictions pose challenges. At
large institutions, there’s an appetite for digital assets broadly, although
there’s also apprehension. They’re concerned about compliance, regulations, and
legal implications.”

Stablecoins:
Bridging Borders amidst Credibility Concerns

The discussion further explored the realm of decentralized finance (DeFi)
and its implications for traditional financial institutions and regulators. Hughes
expressed the difficulty in navigating the DeFi space due to regulatory
concerns, emphasizing the importance of understanding and adhering to KYC/AML
regulations.

Gareth Hughes, Head of Exchange at Zodia Markets

Cox highlighted the potential of DeFi as part of the
technology solution for bringing tokenized assets into trading environments,
while Salmon underscored the challenges in defining DeFi accurately and the
importance of regulatory clarity.

Stablecoins
emerged as a pivotal growth area, particularly in facilitating cross-border
transfers of value. While acknowledging stablecoins’ potential to revolutionize
global financial operations, panelists also highlighted credibility challenges
facing the cryptocurrency industry, citing instances of scandals involving
major players like FTX
and Binance.
Regulatory clarity was deemed essential to enhance investor confidence and
mitigate risks associated with illicit activities and market manipulation.

Institutional
Adoption and Regulatory Clarity in Cryptocurrencies

The discussion underscored the critical role of
policymakers and regulators in establishing a conducive environment for
cryptocurrency development. Concerns were raised regarding the US’s regulatory
approach, with skepticism expressed about Chairman Gary Gensler’s purported
anti-crypto sentiments and the fragmented regulatory landscape.

In contrast, European and Asian jurisdictions were praised
for clearer regulatory frameworks and proactive approaches to fostering
innovation while ensuring consumer protection.

Notably, the
approval process for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US, was
also discussed, with panelists predicting increased institutional adoption of
cryptocurrencies in the coming year. They stressed the need for responsible
governance and compliance as the industry matures and gains wider acceptance.

While regulatory challenges persist, there is optimism for
progress and mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies. The panelists
emphasized the importance of clear regulatory guidance, collaborative efforts
between industry stakeholders and regulators, and ongoing dialogue to navigate
the evolving landscape effectively.

A
Fraud Survey

We
invite you to participate in our joint survey conducted by FXStreet and Finance
Magnates Group, which explores prevalent online financial fraud types,
platforms used for fraudulent activities, effectiveness of countermeasures, and
challenges faced by companies in tackling such fraud. Your valuable insights
will help inform future strategies and resource allocation in combating
financial fraud.

LINK:Social
Media Scams: Help Shape the Fight with Your
2024
Survey Participation

At the Finance Magnates London Summit 2023, industry
leaders convened for a pivotal discussion on “Bridging TradFi and Crypto: Work
in Process”, shedding light on the complexities and opportunities inherent in
integrating these two distinct spheres. Moderated by Chen Arad, COO at Solidus
Labs, the panel delved deep into the challenges, regulatory concerns, and
transformative potential of cryptocurrencies within traditional financial
frameworks.

The panel, comprising Cassandra Cox, Director of
Institutional Sales at LMAX Digital; Gareth Hughes, Head of Exchange at Zodia
Markets; and John Salmon, Partner and Head of Digital Assets and Blockchain
Practice at Hogan Lovells International, provided nuanced insights drawing from
their extensive experience in both traditional and crypto financial spheres.

Navigating
the Convergence: Crypto Assets and Traditional Finance

Cox emphasized the similarities between crypto-assets and
traditional asset classes, stressing the importance of providing clients with
alpha-generating opportunities while navigating complexities in onboarding and
custody solutions.

Cox remarked: “Crypto, akin to traditional asset
classes, offers a return structure, providing alpha sources and trading
opportunities to clients. The initial conversation mirrors that of other asset
classes. While certain aspects of crypto may complicate onboarding and the
initial journey, the industry has diligently developed tools that can be
swiftly deployed.”

Hughes highlighted the critical decisions surrounding
custody solutions and market
access, underscoring the importance of reputable service providers and
understanding the nuances of crypto trading venues.

John Salmon, Partner and Head of Digital Assets and Blockchain Practice at Hogan Lovells

“The way individuals perceive the crypto industry is
inevitably influenced by their background, not just geographically, but from a
market perspective. Those with a forex background often
liken it to a currency
pair, while those with equities experience see it differently.” Hughes commented.”

Cassandra Cox, Director of Institutional Sales at LMAX Digital

Crypto
isn’t entirely distinct; there are many similarities with the FX and equities
worlds, such as listed futures. Typically, people start by considering where to
custody their crypto, a question you should address personally, whether you
prefer owning your own wallets or hosting your infrastructure.”

Salmon echoed their sentiments, emphasizing the dynamic
regulatory environment as a primary challenge for institutions considering
entry into the crypto space.

Salmon said: “The constantly shifting regulatory
landscape and the variations across different jurisdictions pose challenges. At
large institutions, there’s an appetite for digital assets broadly, although
there’s also apprehension. They’re concerned about compliance, regulations, and
legal implications.”

Stablecoins:
Bridging Borders amidst Credibility Concerns

The discussion further explored the realm of decentralized finance (DeFi)
and its implications for traditional financial institutions and regulators. Hughes
expressed the difficulty in navigating the DeFi space due to regulatory
concerns, emphasizing the importance of understanding and adhering to KYC/AML
regulations.

Gareth Hughes, Head of Exchange at Zodia Markets

Cox highlighted the potential of DeFi as part of the
technology solution for bringing tokenized assets into trading environments,
while Salmon underscored the challenges in defining DeFi accurately and the
importance of regulatory clarity.

Stablecoins
emerged as a pivotal growth area, particularly in facilitating cross-border
transfers of value. While acknowledging stablecoins’ potential to revolutionize
global financial operations, panelists also highlighted credibility challenges
facing the cryptocurrency industry, citing instances of scandals involving
major players like FTX
and Binance.
Regulatory clarity was deemed essential to enhance investor confidence and
mitigate risks associated with illicit activities and market manipulation.

Institutional
Adoption and Regulatory Clarity in Cryptocurrencies

The discussion underscored the critical role of
policymakers and regulators in establishing a conducive environment for
cryptocurrency development. Concerns were raised regarding the US’s regulatory
approach, with skepticism expressed about Chairman Gary Gensler’s purported
anti-crypto sentiments and the fragmented regulatory landscape.

In contrast, European and Asian jurisdictions were praised
for clearer regulatory frameworks and proactive approaches to fostering
innovation while ensuring consumer protection.

Notably, the
approval process for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US, was
also discussed, with panelists predicting increased institutional adoption of
cryptocurrencies in the coming year. They stressed the need for responsible
governance and compliance as the industry matures and gains wider acceptance.

While regulatory challenges persist, there is optimism for
progress and mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies. The panelists
emphasized the importance of clear regulatory guidance, collaborative efforts
between industry stakeholders and regulators, and ongoing dialogue to navigate
the evolving landscape effectively.

A
Fraud Survey

We
invite you to participate in our joint survey conducted by FXStreet and Finance
Magnates Group, which explores prevalent online financial fraud types,
platforms used for fraudulent activities, effectiveness of countermeasures, and
challenges faced by companies in tackling such fraud. Your valuable insights
will help inform future strategies and resource allocation in combating
financial fraud.

LINK:Social
Media Scams: Help Shape the Fight with Your
2024
Survey Participation

Hidden Road and Finery Markets Collaborate to Introduce Advanced OTC Liquidity Pool

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/hidden-road-and-finery-markets-collaborate-to-introduce-advanced-otc-liquidity-pool/

To
enhance the institutional trading experience in the crypto space, Finery
Markets, a non-custodial crypto Electronic Communication Network and
trading infrastructure provider for institutional players, has officially
entered into a partnership with Hidden Road Partners. This collaboration is
marked by the integration of Finery Markets’ flagship solution, FM Liquidity
Match, into the operations of Hidden Road, a prime broker for crypto spot
transactions.

Institutional
Shift: OTC Access in Crypto Trading

The
institutional participants have embraced the innovative FM Liquidity Match,
which offers easy electronic access to robust institutional Over-The-Counter liquidity.

Michael Higgins, Global Head of Business Development at Hidden Road, Source: LinkedIn

This
ensures a high-quality execution environment while safeguarding against toxic
flow in crypto spot transactions. Hidden Road acts as a prime broker within
this framework, overseeing efficient credit intermediation and post-trade
settlement for its clients engaging in crypto trades.

Konstantin Shulga, Co-Founder and CEO of Finery Markets, Source: LinkedIn

“We
are excited to announce that we have expanded our partnership with Hidden Road,
a leading prime broker for digital assets. Through their role as a prime broker
via FM Liquidity Match, Hidden Road now offers their customers the first OTC
trading infrastructure that provides ‘no last look’ execution for liquidity
takers, while also offering toxic flow protection for market makers,” said
Konstantin Shulga, the Co-Founder and CEO of Finery Markets.

FM
Liquidity Match Enhances Functionality

FM
Liquidity Match presents a user-friendly interface, available through both a
Graphical User Interface and Application Programming Interface, supporting
protocols such as FIX 4.4, REST, and WebSocket. The platform introduces
cutting-edge features that are poised to elevate the institutional trading
experience to unprecedented levels.

One
of the standout features of FM Liquidity Match is the provision for anonymous
trading within a firm liquidity pool, eliminating the concept of “last
look” for liquidity takers and incorporating toxic flow protection for
market makers. This anonymity is coupled with a seamless electronic onboarding
process, streamlining the experience for Hidden Road’s clients. The platform
further incorporates a role-based access system, ensuring secure and controlled
participation.

To
fortify risk management, FM Liquidity Match integrates pre-trade risk
management controls with customizable risk limits, offering participants the
flexibility to tailor their risk exposure according to their specific
preferences and strategies. Additionally, the platform supports flexible
post-trade settlement options and adheres to travel-rule compliant reporting,
meeting regulatory standards in the rapidly evolving crypto landscape.

“Hidden
Road is committed to offering our clients a comprehensive range of tools, both
through our own products and in collaboration with trusted partners. We are
pleased to announce that Finery Markets’ venue has joined our list of execution
venues, extending Hidden Road’s credit network and OTC prime brokerage
offering.”

“This partnership exemplifies our dedication to empowering clients to
select their preferred price discovery centers and liquidity solutions. We
believe that Finery Markets’ unique offering is a valuable addition to our
network,” said Michael Higgins, the Global Head of Business Development at Hidden Road.

To
enhance the institutional trading experience in the crypto space, Finery
Markets, a non-custodial crypto Electronic Communication Network and
trading infrastructure provider for institutional players, has officially
entered into a partnership with Hidden Road Partners. This collaboration is
marked by the integration of Finery Markets’ flagship solution, FM Liquidity
Match, into the operations of Hidden Road, a prime broker for crypto spot
transactions.

Institutional
Shift: OTC Access in Crypto Trading

The
institutional participants have embraced the innovative FM Liquidity Match,
which offers easy electronic access to robust institutional Over-The-Counter liquidity.

Michael Higgins, Global Head of Business Development at Hidden Road, Source: LinkedIn

This
ensures a high-quality execution environment while safeguarding against toxic
flow in crypto spot transactions. Hidden Road acts as a prime broker within
this framework, overseeing efficient credit intermediation and post-trade
settlement for its clients engaging in crypto trades.

Konstantin Shulga, Co-Founder and CEO of Finery Markets, Source: LinkedIn

“We
are excited to announce that we have expanded our partnership with Hidden Road,
a leading prime broker for digital assets. Through their role as a prime broker
via FM Liquidity Match, Hidden Road now offers their customers the first OTC
trading infrastructure that provides ‘no last look’ execution for liquidity
takers, while also offering toxic flow protection for market makers,” said
Konstantin Shulga, the Co-Founder and CEO of Finery Markets.

FM
Liquidity Match Enhances Functionality

FM
Liquidity Match presents a user-friendly interface, available through both a
Graphical User Interface and Application Programming Interface, supporting
protocols such as FIX 4.4, REST, and WebSocket. The platform introduces
cutting-edge features that are poised to elevate the institutional trading
experience to unprecedented levels.

One
of the standout features of FM Liquidity Match is the provision for anonymous
trading within a firm liquidity pool, eliminating the concept of “last
look” for liquidity takers and incorporating toxic flow protection for
market makers. This anonymity is coupled with a seamless electronic onboarding
process, streamlining the experience for Hidden Road’s clients. The platform
further incorporates a role-based access system, ensuring secure and controlled
participation.

To
fortify risk management, FM Liquidity Match integrates pre-trade risk
management controls with customizable risk limits, offering participants the
flexibility to tailor their risk exposure according to their specific
preferences and strategies. Additionally, the platform supports flexible
post-trade settlement options and adheres to travel-rule compliant reporting,
meeting regulatory standards in the rapidly evolving crypto landscape.

“Hidden
Road is committed to offering our clients a comprehensive range of tools, both
through our own products and in collaboration with trusted partners. We are
pleased to announce that Finery Markets’ venue has joined our list of execution
venues, extending Hidden Road’s credit network and OTC prime brokerage
offering.”

“This partnership exemplifies our dedication to empowering clients to
select their preferred price discovery centers and liquidity solutions. We
believe that Finery Markets’ unique offering is a valuable addition to our
network,” said Michael Higgins, the Global Head of Business Development at Hidden Road.

North Korean Hackers Break Records with $1 Billion Cryptocurrency Theft

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/north-korean-hackers-break-records-with-1-billion-cryptocurrency-theft/

A
recent report has unveiled a concerning surge in cyber-attacks orchestrated by
North Korea-linked hackers, indicating a growing trend in the targeting of
cryptocurrency assets. The analysis firm’s findings revealed that in 2023,
these hackers conducted a staggering 20 attacks, marking the highest number
recorded since such record-keeping began in 2016.

North
Korean Cyber Threats Intensify: Kimsuky and Lazarus Group on the Radar

While
the total value of stolen cryptocurrency witnessed a drop from the previous
year, decreasing from $1.7 billion in 2022 to slightly over $1.0 billion in
2023, as reported by Chainalysis. The rise in the number of hacking incidents
raises alarms within the cybersecurity community. The report highlights the
persistent threat posed by North Korean cyber-espionage groups, including
Kimsuky and Lazarus Group, who employ various malicious tactics to accumulate
substantial amounts of crypto assets.

The
breakdown of the stolen funds indicates that North Korea-linked hackers
targeted various sectors within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In 2023,
approximately $428.8 million was stolen from decentralized finance (DeFi)
platforms, reflecting a notable decrease in comparison to previous years.
Despite this drop, the overall number of hacking incidents targeting DeFi
protocols remained a cause for concern.

Centralized
services were not immune to the onslaught, with hackers making off with $150.0
million, while exchanges and wallet providers experienced losses of $330.9
million and $127.0 million, respectively. This diversification of targets
underscores the adaptability and evolving strategies employed by North Korean
hackers to exploit vulnerabilities across the cryptocurrency landscape.

Cybersecurity
Alert: Surge in 2023 Hacking Incidents Sparks Vigilance Call

The
report emphasizes that the surge in the number of hacking incidents in 2023 is
a cause for heightened vigilance, even though the total value of stolen cryptocurrency
decreased. The cybersecurity community is urged to remain proactive in
developing countermeasures to protect against the persistent and evolving
threats posed by North
Korea
-linked hacking groups.

As
governments, organizations, and individuals continue to navigate the complex
landscape of cybersecurity, the need for collaborative efforts and robust
defense mechanisms becomes increasingly paramount to safeguard the integrity of
the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

A
recent report has unveiled a concerning surge in cyber-attacks orchestrated by
North Korea-linked hackers, indicating a growing trend in the targeting of
cryptocurrency assets. The analysis firm’s findings revealed that in 2023,
these hackers conducted a staggering 20 attacks, marking the highest number
recorded since such record-keeping began in 2016.

North
Korean Cyber Threats Intensify: Kimsuky and Lazarus Group on the Radar

While
the total value of stolen cryptocurrency witnessed a drop from the previous
year, decreasing from $1.7 billion in 2022 to slightly over $1.0 billion in
2023, as reported by Chainalysis. The rise in the number of hacking incidents
raises alarms within the cybersecurity community. The report highlights the
persistent threat posed by North Korean cyber-espionage groups, including
Kimsuky and Lazarus Group, who employ various malicious tactics to accumulate
substantial amounts of crypto assets.

The
breakdown of the stolen funds indicates that North Korea-linked hackers
targeted various sectors within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In 2023,
approximately $428.8 million was stolen from decentralized finance (DeFi)
platforms, reflecting a notable decrease in comparison to previous years.
Despite this drop, the overall number of hacking incidents targeting DeFi
protocols remained a cause for concern.

Centralized
services were not immune to the onslaught, with hackers making off with $150.0
million, while exchanges and wallet providers experienced losses of $330.9
million and $127.0 million, respectively. This diversification of targets
underscores the adaptability and evolving strategies employed by North Korean
hackers to exploit vulnerabilities across the cryptocurrency landscape.

Cybersecurity
Alert: Surge in 2023 Hacking Incidents Sparks Vigilance Call

The
report emphasizes that the surge in the number of hacking incidents in 2023 is
a cause for heightened vigilance, even though the total value of stolen cryptocurrency
decreased. The cybersecurity community is urged to remain proactive in
developing countermeasures to protect against the persistent and evolving
threats posed by North
Korea
-linked hacking groups.

As
governments, organizations, and individuals continue to navigate the complex
landscape of cybersecurity, the need for collaborative efforts and robust
defense mechanisms becomes increasingly paramount to safeguard the integrity of
the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Binance Founder’s Travel Plea Denied Despite $4.5 Billion Security Offer

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/binance-founders-travel-plea-denied-despite-45-billion-security-offer/

A
federal judge rejected a travel request from Binance founder Changpeng
“CZ” Zhao to visit his home in the United Arab Emirates for the
“hospitalization and surgery” of an undisclosed individual. This
decision comes despite Zhao offering to post his Binance equity, valued at $4.5
billion, as security for his return to the United States.

A
November Admission in Seattle Federal Court

In
November, Zhao pleaded guilty in a Seattle federal court to failing to maintain
an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance. As part of the case,
Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. Zhao, who stepped down as CEO
due to his plea, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, remaining free in
the US on a $175 million release bond.

In
a letter dated December 22 to Judge Richard Jones, Zhao’s lawyers requested
permission for him to travel to Abu Dhabi on January 4 for a period of one to
four weeks. The purpose of the travel was to be present for the
hospitalization, surgery, and subsequent recovery period of an individual whose
identity remains redacted. However, federal prosecutors did not consent to
Zhao’s request.

Judge
Denies Travel Bid: Cites ‘Enormous Wealth’ and Flight Risk

Judge
Jones, in a closed hearing on December 29, denied Zhao’s bid to travel. This
decision followed a similar rejection in December earlier, where Judge Jones
cited Zhao’s “enormous wealth” as a significant
flight risk
, expressing concern about his ties to the UAE and family residing
there.

“The
defendant has enormous wealth and property abroad, and no ties to the United
States. His family resides in the UAE, and it appears that he has favored
status in the UAE,” wrote Judge Jones in a six-page order on December 7.
“Under these circumstances, the Court finds that the defendant has not
established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee if
he returns to the UAE.”

A
federal judge rejected a travel request from Binance founder Changpeng
“CZ” Zhao to visit his home in the United Arab Emirates for the
“hospitalization and surgery” of an undisclosed individual. This
decision comes despite Zhao offering to post his Binance equity, valued at $4.5
billion, as security for his return to the United States.

A
November Admission in Seattle Federal Court

In
November, Zhao pleaded guilty in a Seattle federal court to failing to maintain
an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance. As part of the case,
Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. Zhao, who stepped down as CEO
due to his plea, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, remaining free in
the US on a $175 million release bond.

In
a letter dated December 22 to Judge Richard Jones, Zhao’s lawyers requested
permission for him to travel to Abu Dhabi on January 4 for a period of one to
four weeks. The purpose of the travel was to be present for the
hospitalization, surgery, and subsequent recovery period of an individual whose
identity remains redacted. However, federal prosecutors did not consent to
Zhao’s request.

Judge
Denies Travel Bid: Cites ‘Enormous Wealth’ and Flight Risk

Judge
Jones, in a closed hearing on December 29, denied Zhao’s bid to travel. This
decision followed a similar rejection in December earlier, where Judge Jones
cited Zhao’s “enormous wealth” as a significant
flight risk
, expressing concern about his ties to the UAE and family residing
there.

“The
defendant has enormous wealth and property abroad, and no ties to the United
States. His family resides in the UAE, and it appears that he has favored
status in the UAE,” wrote Judge Jones in a six-page order on December 7.
“Under these circumstances, the Court finds that the defendant has not
established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee if
he returns to the UAE.”

Nexo AG Files $3 Billion Arbitration Claim against Bulgaria

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/nexo-ag-files-3-billion-arbitration-claim-against-bulgaria/

Nexo AG and its subsidiaries have initiated legal action
against the Republic of Bulgaria, filing an International Centre for Settlement
of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration claim exceeding $3 billion. The
claim alleges damages and lost opportunities resulting from what Nexo describes
as wrongful and politically motivated actions by Bulgarian authorities.

The Dismissal of Charges Against Nexo’s Leadership

Represented by the prestigious U.S. law firm Pillsbury
Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Nexo AG’s claim centers on the aftermath of
unjustified and oppressive criminal investigations. These investigations,
initially launched by the Bulgarian Prosecutor General’s Office in January
2023, were subsequently dismissed for lack of merit on December 21, 2023,
clearing Nexo and its management, including Kosta Kantchev, Antoni Trenchev,
Kalin Metodiev, and Trayan Nikolov.

“Despite the unjustified attacks
by the Bulgarian authorities in January 2023 taking a significant toll on the
entire Nexo group, we were able to continue business operations,” said Antoni
Trenchev, co-founder of Nexo, “however, our growth path has been slowed down
and opportunities lost or significantly delayed. I personally promised 10
months ago that we would explore all legal means available to secure financial
compensation for Nexo.”

“Now that the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office itself has
finally exonerated us, the time is right for us to file our claim and receive
reparations for the enormous reputational and financial damage suffered. By our
actions we hope to show to those in power that actions have consequences and
hopefully prevent such unnecessary value destruction going forward. We believe
that this will be a vindication for Nexo but also for all good actors in the
blockchain space that have found themselves under attack from multiple fronts
in the past two years,” stated by Nexo.

Deborah Ruff, Pillsbury’s head of arbitration, expressed
confidence in representing Nexo in what she called a “battle for
justice.” Matthew Oresman, Managing Partner of Pillsbury’s London Office,
affirmed belief in the strength of Nexo’s claim after a thorough examination of
the case.

Nexo AG and its subsidiaries have initiated legal action
against the Republic of Bulgaria, filing an International Centre for Settlement
of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration claim exceeding $3 billion. The
claim alleges damages and lost opportunities resulting from what Nexo describes
as wrongful and politically motivated actions by Bulgarian authorities.

The Dismissal of Charges Against Nexo’s Leadership

Represented by the prestigious U.S. law firm Pillsbury
Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Nexo AG’s claim centers on the aftermath of
unjustified and oppressive criminal investigations. These investigations,
initially launched by the Bulgarian Prosecutor General’s Office in January
2023, were subsequently dismissed for lack of merit on December 21, 2023,
clearing Nexo and its management, including Kosta Kantchev, Antoni Trenchev,
Kalin Metodiev, and Trayan Nikolov.

“Despite the unjustified attacks
by the Bulgarian authorities in January 2023 taking a significant toll on the
entire Nexo group, we were able to continue business operations,” said Antoni
Trenchev, co-founder of Nexo, “however, our growth path has been slowed down
and opportunities lost or significantly delayed. I personally promised 10
months ago that we would explore all legal means available to secure financial
compensation for Nexo.”

“Now that the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office itself has
finally exonerated us, the time is right for us to file our claim and receive
reparations for the enormous reputational and financial damage suffered. By our
actions we hope to show to those in power that actions have consequences and
hopefully prevent such unnecessary value destruction going forward. We believe
that this will be a vindication for Nexo but also for all good actors in the
blockchain space that have found themselves under attack from multiple fronts
in the past two years,” stated by Nexo.

Deborah Ruff, Pillsbury’s head of arbitration, expressed
confidence in representing Nexo in what she called a “battle for
justice.” Matthew Oresman, Managing Partner of Pillsbury’s London Office,
affirmed belief in the strength of Nexo’s claim after a thorough examination of
the case.

Binance Faces Legal Showdown as Judge Questions SEC Lawsuit Dismissal Request

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/news/binance-faces-legal-showdown-as-judge-questions-sec-lawsuit-dismissal-request/

A
pivotal hearing unfolded in a Washington DC federal courtroom today (Monday), as Binance faced intense scrutiny
from Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Lawyers for Binance were pressed to
defend their request for the dismissal of a high-profile lawsuit brought
against the exchange by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Binance
Argues Lack of SEC Authority in Core Legal Challenge

Binance
has sought to have the SEC’s lawsuit tossed out, a legal battle representing
one of the last major challenges for the cryptocurrency exchange in the United
States. The SEC, in June of the previous year, accused Binance, its then-CEO
Changpeng Zhao, and the exchange’s US arm of multiple infractions, including
artificially inflating trading volumes, diverting customer funds, failing to
restrict US customers, and providing misleading information about market
surveillance controls.

At
the heart of Monday’s hearing was a core argument put forth by Binance’s legal
team – that the SEC lacks the authority to regulate the crypto assets in
question because they do not meet the definition of an investment contract. The
Securities Act of 1933 provides a definition of the term “security,”
with a crucial legal test relying on a US Supreme Court case. This test
evaluates whether individuals are contracting to invest in a common enterprise
with the expectation of profit.

Allegations
Against Binance and Coinbase Unveil Legal Dynamic

Judge
Jackson pressed Binance’s lawyers on how their argument aligns with the
assertion that the crypto sector requires new regulation, considering existing
case law indicating that securities laws are designed to be flexible to protect
investors. The courtroom engagement marked the second high-profile battle in
recent days where the SEC had to defend its regulatory authority over the
crypto sector. In a similar vein, Coinbase and the SEC
clashed last week on comparable issues.

Notably,
the SEC’s case against Binance
differs from its dispute with Coinbase, as it includes additional allegations
of fraud and market manipulation. In the preceding year, Binance had agreed to
a substantial $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission over illicit finance breaches. Zhao had
pleaded guilty to breaking US anti-money laundering laws and stepped down as
CEO as part of the settlement. However, the SEC‘s case continues to
loom over the exchange.

A
pivotal hearing unfolded in a Washington DC federal courtroom today (Monday), as Binance faced intense scrutiny
from Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Lawyers for Binance were pressed to
defend their request for the dismissal of a high-profile lawsuit brought
against the exchange by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Binance
Argues Lack of SEC Authority in Core Legal Challenge

Binance
has sought to have the SEC’s lawsuit tossed out, a legal battle representing
one of the last major challenges for the cryptocurrency exchange in the United
States. The SEC, in June of the previous year, accused Binance, its then-CEO
Changpeng Zhao, and the exchange’s US arm of multiple infractions, including
artificially inflating trading volumes, diverting customer funds, failing to
restrict US customers, and providing misleading information about market
surveillance controls.

At
the heart of Monday’s hearing was a core argument put forth by Binance’s legal
team – that the SEC lacks the authority to regulate the crypto assets in
question because they do not meet the definition of an investment contract. The
Securities Act of 1933 provides a definition of the term “security,”
with a crucial legal test relying on a US Supreme Court case. This test
evaluates whether individuals are contracting to invest in a common enterprise
with the expectation of profit.

Allegations
Against Binance and Coinbase Unveil Legal Dynamic

Judge
Jackson pressed Binance’s lawyers on how their argument aligns with the
assertion that the crypto sector requires new regulation, considering existing
case law indicating that securities laws are designed to be flexible to protect
investors. The courtroom engagement marked the second high-profile battle in
recent days where the SEC had to defend its regulatory authority over the
crypto sector. In a similar vein, Coinbase and the SEC
clashed last week on comparable issues.

Notably,
the SEC’s case against Binance
differs from its dispute with Coinbase, as it includes additional allegations
of fraud and market manipulation. In the preceding year, Binance had agreed to
a substantial $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission over illicit finance breaches. Zhao had
pleaded guilty to breaking US anti-money laundering laws and stepped down as
CEO as part of the settlement. However, the SEC‘s case continues to
loom over the exchange.

Binance.US CEO Slams SEC’s Approach to Digital Asset Regulation in Op-Ed

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/binanceus-ceo-slams-secs-approach-to-digital-asset-regulation-in-op-ed/

Norman Reed, Interim CEO of Binance.US, has launched a
scathing critique of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) strategy
for regulating digital assets, characterizing it as fundamentally flawed and
harmful to the US economy. Reed, a former SEC employee, has articulated his
concerns in a strongly worded op-ed for Fortune, pointing out the agency’s
departure from core principles such as transparency, fairness, and stable
regulation in its management of the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape.

SEC’s Approach: A Regulatory Overreach According to
Binance.US CEO

In his editorial, Reed emphasizes the crucial role of
regulatory frameworks in maintaining a healthy financial ecosystem and
protecting the interests of investors. Drawing on his background as a former
SEC employee, Reed expresses disappointment over what he perceives as a
deviation from the agency’s founding principles.

Norman Reed, Interim CEO of Binance.US, Source: LinkedIn

“The SEC was founded on principles of transparency,
fairness, full disclosure, and stable regulation,” Reed notes in his
op-ed. “Yet with regard to digital assets, the SEC has lost its way.”

Reed further contends that the SEC’s current approach
involves a jurisdictional overreach regarding digital assets, lacking proper
authorization from Congress or the courts. He accuses the SEC of opting for
one-off enforcement cases instead of engaging in collaborative efforts with
legislators and other regulatory bodies to establish a comprehensive and
well-informed regulatory framework.

The Interim CEO’s critique comes at a time when internal
dissent within the SEC has also been highlighted, with Commissioner Elad
Roisman expressing concern over the lack of clarity surrounding the application
of securities laws to digital assets. Reed underscores these internal
disagreements as indicative of the broader challenges and uncertainties within
the regulatory landscape.

Executive Branch’s Silence on Digital Asset Definition
Amplifies Uncertainty

Members of the House Financial Services Committee have
joined the ranks of critics, echoing concerns that the SEC’s current approach
leaves the digital asset industry “without clear rules of the road.”
Reed points out that the executive branch has yet to provide a clear definition
for digital assets, while other regulators
characterize them differently from securities.

Reed concludes his op-ed by advocating for three remedies
for the SEC: providing
fair notice to the industry, abandoning arbitrary efforts against crypto, and
collaborating with Congress to design a comprehensive and effective regulatory
framework for the digital
asset
industry.

Norman Reed, Interim CEO of Binance.US, has launched a
scathing critique of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) strategy
for regulating digital assets, characterizing it as fundamentally flawed and
harmful to the US economy. Reed, a former SEC employee, has articulated his
concerns in a strongly worded op-ed for Fortune, pointing out the agency’s
departure from core principles such as transparency, fairness, and stable
regulation in its management of the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape.

SEC’s Approach: A Regulatory Overreach According to
Binance.US CEO

In his editorial, Reed emphasizes the crucial role of
regulatory frameworks in maintaining a healthy financial ecosystem and
protecting the interests of investors. Drawing on his background as a former
SEC employee, Reed expresses disappointment over what he perceives as a
deviation from the agency’s founding principles.

Norman Reed, Interim CEO of Binance.US, Source: LinkedIn

“The SEC was founded on principles of transparency,
fairness, full disclosure, and stable regulation,” Reed notes in his
op-ed. “Yet with regard to digital assets, the SEC has lost its way.”

Reed further contends that the SEC’s current approach
involves a jurisdictional overreach regarding digital assets, lacking proper
authorization from Congress or the courts. He accuses the SEC of opting for
one-off enforcement cases instead of engaging in collaborative efforts with
legislators and other regulatory bodies to establish a comprehensive and
well-informed regulatory framework.

The Interim CEO’s critique comes at a time when internal
dissent within the SEC has also been highlighted, with Commissioner Elad
Roisman expressing concern over the lack of clarity surrounding the application
of securities laws to digital assets. Reed underscores these internal
disagreements as indicative of the broader challenges and uncertainties within
the regulatory landscape.

Executive Branch’s Silence on Digital Asset Definition
Amplifies Uncertainty

Members of the House Financial Services Committee have
joined the ranks of critics, echoing concerns that the SEC’s current approach
leaves the digital asset industry “without clear rules of the road.”
Reed points out that the executive branch has yet to provide a clear definition
for digital assets, while other regulators
characterize them differently from securities.

Reed concludes his op-ed by advocating for three remedies
for the SEC: providing
fair notice to the industry, abandoning arbitrary efforts against crypto, and
collaborating with Congress to design a comprehensive and effective regulatory
framework for the digital
asset
industry.

Thai SEC Unshackles Retail Investors in Real Estate-Based Digital Tokens

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/thai-sec-unshackles-retail-investors-in-real-estate-based-digital-tokens/

Thailand’s
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the removal of
investment restrictions on retail investors who engage in real estate-based
digital tokens. The regulatory update, effective since January 16, comes after
a public consultation period and underscores the Thai SEC’s commitment to
adapting to the evolving landscape of digital assets.

Unleashing
Retail Investors into Real Estate-Based Digital Tokens

The
Thai SEC revealed on January 18 that its committee had revised the criteria for
investing in digital tokens to provide investors with protection
measures. Notably, retail investors are no longer bound by previous limitations
when purchasing real estate-based digital tokens. The move is expected to
stimulate investment in this sector and aligns with the regulator’s goal of
striking a balance between investor safeguarding and encouraging financial
innovation.

Previously,
retail
investors
were restricted to an investment cap of $8,430 (300,000 baht).
However, with the recent changes, investors can now explore opportunities in
digital tokens linked to real estate assets or infrastructure without these
financial constraints.

To
ensure responsible expansion within the digital asset space, the Thai SEC
emphasized that entities seeking to diversify into other businesses need to
obtain prior approval. This measure is designed to maintain oversight and
prevent potential risks to investors.

Calls
for Adherence from Digital Asset Service Providers

The
regulatory update followed a period of public consultation initiated by the
SEC, during which stakeholders had the opportunity to comment on the draft
proposals introduced on September 23. The regulator reported that a majority of
respondents endorsed the principles outlined in the draft, affirming a general
alignment with the regulatory direction.

Beyond
addressing investment restrictions, the updated criteria also touch upon the
establishment of custodial wallet provider businesses. Digital asset entities
seeking diversification are now required to obtain approval from the SEC,
reinforcing the regulator’s commitment to upholding legal standards within the
crypto market.

In
a statement, the Thai
SEC
urged all digital
asset
service providers to operate within the confines of the law,
emphasizing the importance of enhancing the overall quality and reliability of
the Thai crypto
market.

Thailand’s
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the removal of
investment restrictions on retail investors who engage in real estate-based
digital tokens. The regulatory update, effective since January 16, comes after
a public consultation period and underscores the Thai SEC’s commitment to
adapting to the evolving landscape of digital assets.

Unleashing
Retail Investors into Real Estate-Based Digital Tokens

The
Thai SEC revealed on January 18 that its committee had revised the criteria for
investing in digital tokens to provide investors with protection
measures. Notably, retail investors are no longer bound by previous limitations
when purchasing real estate-based digital tokens. The move is expected to
stimulate investment in this sector and aligns with the regulator’s goal of
striking a balance between investor safeguarding and encouraging financial
innovation.

Previously,
retail
investors
were restricted to an investment cap of $8,430 (300,000 baht).
However, with the recent changes, investors can now explore opportunities in
digital tokens linked to real estate assets or infrastructure without these
financial constraints.

To
ensure responsible expansion within the digital asset space, the Thai SEC
emphasized that entities seeking to diversify into other businesses need to
obtain prior approval. This measure is designed to maintain oversight and
prevent potential risks to investors.

Calls
for Adherence from Digital Asset Service Providers

The
regulatory update followed a period of public consultation initiated by the
SEC, during which stakeholders had the opportunity to comment on the draft
proposals introduced on September 23. The regulator reported that a majority of
respondents endorsed the principles outlined in the draft, affirming a general
alignment with the regulatory direction.

Beyond
addressing investment restrictions, the updated criteria also touch upon the
establishment of custodial wallet provider businesses. Digital asset entities
seeking diversification are now required to obtain approval from the SEC,
reinforcing the regulator’s commitment to upholding legal standards within the
crypto market.

In
a statement, the Thai
SEC
urged all digital
asset
service providers to operate within the confines of the law,
emphasizing the importance of enhancing the overall quality and reliability of
the Thai crypto
market.

SEC Delays Fidelity’s Ether ETFs, Direxion Steps into Bitcoin Arena

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/sec-delays-fidelitys-ether-etfs-direxion-steps-into-bitcoin-arena/

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
has announced a 45-day extension to its deliberation period for asset manager
Fidelity’s Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The regulatory body cited the
need for sufficient time to evaluate the proposed rule change and address
related concerns. The new decision date is set for March 5, 2024.

Analyst
Insights on SEC Delay and Speculations for Spot Ether ETFs

Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart expressed little
surprise at the delay, stating in a January 18 Twitter post that the
significant dates to watch are likely in late May. He referred to the SEC’s May
23 final deadline for approving or denying VanEck’s Ether ETF. Seyffart and
some analysts speculate that the SEC might approve multiple spot Ether ETFs
simultaneously, mirroring its approach to spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Meanwhile, Direxion has joined the race by filing for five
Bitcoin ETFs with the SEC on January 18. ProShares and REX Shares, among other
rivals, have also entered the fray. ProShares submitted five leveraged
Bitcoin-tracking ETFs on January 16, while REX Shares filed for six leveraged
Bitcoin ETFs on January 3.

Direxion’s filing outlines plans for 1x, 1.5x, and 2x long
leveraged Bitcoin funds, along with corresponding short leveraged funds. Bloomberg ETF analyst
Eric Balchunas commented on Twitter, stating: “Leveraged Bitcoin ETFs may
soon outnumber long only. Pretty sure that’s never happened [before].”

Bitcoin
as Commodity, Ether’s Uncertain Regulatory Future

Opinions within the industry vary on the likelihood of the
SEC approving spot Ether ETFs. Balchunas expressed optimism, placing a 70%
chance of approval by May, considering the SEC’s final deadline for VanEck’s
fund. However, Mark Yusko, co-founder and CEO of Morgan Creek Capital, offered
a more cautious perspective. He argued that the SEC remains hostile towards
cryptocurrencies,
suggesting the possibility of classifying Ether as a security, unlike Bitcoin,
which SEC Chair Gary Gensler has previously categorized as a commodity.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
has announced a 45-day extension to its deliberation period for asset manager
Fidelity’s Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The regulatory body cited the
need for sufficient time to evaluate the proposed rule change and address
related concerns. The new decision date is set for March 5, 2024.

Analyst
Insights on SEC Delay and Speculations for Spot Ether ETFs

Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart expressed little
surprise at the delay, stating in a January 18 Twitter post that the
significant dates to watch are likely in late May. He referred to the SEC’s May
23 final deadline for approving or denying VanEck’s Ether ETF. Seyffart and
some analysts speculate that the SEC might approve multiple spot Ether ETFs
simultaneously, mirroring its approach to spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Meanwhile, Direxion has joined the race by filing for five
Bitcoin ETFs with the SEC on January 18. ProShares and REX Shares, among other
rivals, have also entered the fray. ProShares submitted five leveraged
Bitcoin-tracking ETFs on January 16, while REX Shares filed for six leveraged
Bitcoin ETFs on January 3.

Direxion’s filing outlines plans for 1x, 1.5x, and 2x long
leveraged Bitcoin funds, along with corresponding short leveraged funds. Bloomberg ETF analyst
Eric Balchunas commented on Twitter, stating: “Leveraged Bitcoin ETFs may
soon outnumber long only. Pretty sure that’s never happened [before].”

Bitcoin
as Commodity, Ether’s Uncertain Regulatory Future

Opinions within the industry vary on the likelihood of the
SEC approving spot Ether ETFs. Balchunas expressed optimism, placing a 70%
chance of approval by May, considering the SEC’s final deadline for VanEck’s
fund. However, Mark Yusko, co-founder and CEO of Morgan Creek Capital, offered
a more cautious perspective. He argued that the SEC remains hostile towards
cryptocurrencies,
suggesting the possibility of classifying Ether as a security, unlike Bitcoin,
which SEC Chair Gary Gensler has previously categorized as a commodity.

Bitfinex and Synonym’s Collaboration Elevates Lightning Network Transactions

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/bitfinex-and-synonyms-collaboration-elevates-lightning-network-transactions/

Bitfinex, a digital asset trading
platform, has partnered with Synonym to introduce a feature that simplifies and
accelerates Lightning Network transactions. This collaboration aims to enhance
customer experience by eliminating the complexities associated with
establishing Lightning channels for instant deposits, withdrawals, and payments.

Bitfinex’s Enhanced Lightning Channel Feature

The new Lightning Channel
feature, powered by Blocktank—a Synonym subsidiary under Tether Holdings
Limited—offers Bitfinex customers a seamless way to connect with the Blocktank
node within the platform.

Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer of Bitfinex, Source: LinkedIn

Previously, users faced a
cumbersome process involving withdrawing balances to their nodes, navigating
intricate metrics, selecting peers, and manually opening channels.
Alternatively, they had to explore external Lightning Service Providers or
liquidity marketplaces to purchase channels, introducing additional steps and
potential challenges.

Bitfinex, already operating some
of the largest Lightning nodes, now enables users to effortlessly access
substantial receiving capacity without the hassle of traditional procedures.
Handling over 12,000 transactions per month and maintaining an average liquidity
of nearly 800 BTC, Bitfinex’s Lightning Network integration has positioned it
as a frontrunner in the realm of digital asset trading.

Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology
Officer of Bitfinex, expressed the platform’s commitment to delivering
financial freedom, stating: “By collaborating with Synonym, we are
pioneering a new era of lightning-based transactions, reinforcing Bitfinex’s
role as a trailblazer in the digital asset trading landscape.” The
Lightning Network’s transformative capabilities, facilitating lightning-fast
transactions and significantly reducing costs, make it an attractive solution
for businesses and individuals.

User-Friendly Transactions with
Integrated Blocktank Services

Synonym’s Blocktank, functioning
as a Lightning Service Provider, connects customers to the Lightning Network.
Integrated with the Bitkit wallet and now seamlessly integrated with Bitfinex, it provides
a user-friendly experience for setting up Lightning channels, enabling instant
and borderless payments without the need for third-party custodians.

John Carvalho, Chief Executive
Officer of Synonym, expressed excitement about Bitfinex’s innovation, stating:
“By streamlining access to an economy where money moves at the speed of
light, we are empowering individuals to experience financial freedom on their
terms.”

The Lightning Network, Bitcoin’s
primary scaling solution, operates as a second-layer protocol designed to
establish payment channels between any two parties. Despite the inherent
volatility of the cryptocurrency
market, the Lightning Network has significantly improved Bitcoin’s capacity to
facilitate swift, sizable, and cost-effective payments.

Bitfinex, a digital asset trading
platform, has partnered with Synonym to introduce a feature that simplifies and
accelerates Lightning Network transactions. This collaboration aims to enhance
customer experience by eliminating the complexities associated with
establishing Lightning channels for instant deposits, withdrawals, and payments.

Bitfinex’s Enhanced Lightning Channel Feature

The new Lightning Channel
feature, powered by Blocktank—a Synonym subsidiary under Tether Holdings
Limited—offers Bitfinex customers a seamless way to connect with the Blocktank
node within the platform.

Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer of Bitfinex, Source: LinkedIn

Previously, users faced a
cumbersome process involving withdrawing balances to their nodes, navigating
intricate metrics, selecting peers, and manually opening channels.
Alternatively, they had to explore external Lightning Service Providers or
liquidity marketplaces to purchase channels, introducing additional steps and
potential challenges.

Bitfinex, already operating some
of the largest Lightning nodes, now enables users to effortlessly access
substantial receiving capacity without the hassle of traditional procedures.
Handling over 12,000 transactions per month and maintaining an average liquidity
of nearly 800 BTC, Bitfinex’s Lightning Network integration has positioned it
as a frontrunner in the realm of digital asset trading.

Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology
Officer of Bitfinex, expressed the platform’s commitment to delivering
financial freedom, stating: “By collaborating with Synonym, we are
pioneering a new era of lightning-based transactions, reinforcing Bitfinex’s
role as a trailblazer in the digital asset trading landscape.” The
Lightning Network’s transformative capabilities, facilitating lightning-fast
transactions and significantly reducing costs, make it an attractive solution
for businesses and individuals.

User-Friendly Transactions with
Integrated Blocktank Services

Synonym’s Blocktank, functioning
as a Lightning Service Provider, connects customers to the Lightning Network.
Integrated with the Bitkit wallet and now seamlessly integrated with Bitfinex, it provides
a user-friendly experience for setting up Lightning channels, enabling instant
and borderless payments without the need for third-party custodians.

John Carvalho, Chief Executive
Officer of Synonym, expressed excitement about Bitfinex’s innovation, stating:
“By streamlining access to an economy where money moves at the speed of
light, we are empowering individuals to experience financial freedom on their
terms.”

The Lightning Network, Bitcoin’s
primary scaling solution, operates as a second-layer protocol designed to
establish payment channels between any two parties. Despite the inherent
volatility of the cryptocurrency
market, the Lightning Network has significantly improved Bitcoin’s capacity to
facilitate swift, sizable, and cost-effective payments.

Aquanow & Gate.io Partner to Boost Global Liquidity in Blockchain Ventures

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/aquanow-gateio-partner-to-boost-global-liquidity-in-blockchain-ventures/

Digital assets infrastructure provider, Aquanow, and cryptocurrency
exchange, Gate.io, have announced a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing
global liquidity for the next generation of blockchain projects. With Gate.io
boasting over $6 billion in daily trading volume and a user base of 13 million,
the collaboration signals a notable move towards modernizing financial services
through crypto technology.

Bridging
Traditional and Digital Currency Markets

In a statement, Aquanow CEO Phil Sham expressed
enthusiasm about the partnership, stating: “This collaboration with Gate.io,
one of the top global exchanges, will play a pivotal role in expanding access
to crypto markets.”

Phil Sham, CEO, Aquanow, Source: LinkedIn

“Working with Gate.io represents another step
towards our goal of ushering in the modernization of financial services using
crypto technology. We are proud to partner with an organization like Gate.io,
which has cultivated a strong reputation amongst its 13 million users.”

Lin Han, CEO, Gate.io. Source: LinkedIn

The
partnership between Aquanow and Gate.io is expected to contribute significantly
to the development and growth of the crypto ecosystem. By leveraging Aquanow’s
expertise in digital assets infrastructure and Gate.io’s user base and trading
volume, the collaboration aims to create a seamless solution that bridges the
traditional and digital currency markets.

Gate.io CEO Lin Han
echoed the sentiment, stating: “Teaming up with Aquanow, a leader in the
crypto market, marks a significant milestone in our foundational work and
growth. At Gate.io, our unwavering commitment is to uphold an all-encompassing
exchange that provides a seamless trading experience for a diverse range of
traders. Together with Aquanow, our collaboration is set to play a critical
role in bridging the traditional and digital currency markets, offering users a
comprehensive and innovative solution.”

Digital assets infrastructure provider, Aquanow, and cryptocurrency
exchange, Gate.io, have announced a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing
global liquidity for the next generation of blockchain projects. With Gate.io
boasting over $6 billion in daily trading volume and a user base of 13 million,
the collaboration signals a notable move towards modernizing financial services
through crypto technology.

Bridging
Traditional and Digital Currency Markets

In a statement, Aquanow CEO Phil Sham expressed
enthusiasm about the partnership, stating: “This collaboration with Gate.io,
one of the top global exchanges, will play a pivotal role in expanding access
to crypto markets.”

Phil Sham, CEO, Aquanow, Source: LinkedIn

“Working with Gate.io represents another step
towards our goal of ushering in the modernization of financial services using
crypto technology. We are proud to partner with an organization like Gate.io,
which has cultivated a strong reputation amongst its 13 million users.”

Lin Han, CEO, Gate.io. Source: LinkedIn

The
partnership between Aquanow and Gate.io is expected to contribute significantly
to the development and growth of the crypto ecosystem. By leveraging Aquanow’s
expertise in digital assets infrastructure and Gate.io’s user base and trading
volume, the collaboration aims to create a seamless solution that bridges the
traditional and digital currency markets.

Gate.io CEO Lin Han
echoed the sentiment, stating: “Teaming up with Aquanow, a leader in the
crypto market, marks a significant milestone in our foundational work and
growth. At Gate.io, our unwavering commitment is to uphold an all-encompassing
exchange that provides a seamless trading experience for a diverse range of
traders. Together with Aquanow, our collaboration is set to play a critical
role in bridging the traditional and digital currency markets, offering users a
comprehensive and innovative solution.”

Nukkleus Announces MOU Aimed at Increasing Stakes in Jacobi

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/nukkleus-announces-mou-aimed-at-increasing-stakes-in-jacobi/

Nukkleus
Inc. has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on
January 16, 2024, outlining plans for a significant increase in its holdings in
Jacobi Asset Management. The collaboration with Jacobi, recognized as the
sponsor of Europe’s exclusive regulated and approved Bitcoin spot ETF traded on
Euronext, reflects Nukkleus’ participation in innovative financial markets.

Nukkleus Negotiates Increased Stake in
Jacobi

The
MOU charts a course for Nukkleus to negotiate the acquisition of an additional
10% stake in Jacobi, as well as an option to acquire One Hoxton Holding Ltd,
holding an additional 6% of Jacobi.

Martin Bednall, CEO of Jacobi Asset Management, Source: LinkedIn

If
successfully completed, this acquisition, combined with Nukkleus’ existing
holdings, would elevate its total stake in Jacobi to approximately 20%.
Additionally, Nukkleus has been granted a right of first refusal as part of
these negotiations.

Emil
Assentato, CEO and Chairman of Nukkleus, emphasized the strategic nature of
this move, stating: “Increasing our stake in Jacobi Asset Management is a
strategic move that aligns with Nukkleus Inc.’s vision of pioneering in the
fintech industry.” Assentato highlighted the company’s dedication to
leveraging innovative financial tools such as blockchain and digital assets to
transform and democratize the global financial landscape.

This
move broadens Nukkleus
reach into innovative financial markets, complementing its existing diverse
portfolio that includes breakthrough technologies in blockchain-powered payment
solutions and digital asset management. Assentato expressed a proactive
approach to shaping the future of finance, making it more accessible,
efficient, and inclusive.

MOU
Terms: 90-Day Effectiveness and Extension Options

The
MOU has a 90-day
effectiveness period and may be extended by mutual agreement in writing. The
completion of the proposed acquisition is subject to successful diligence
completion and the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements,
emphasizing a meticulous approach to the partnership.

Martin
Bednall, CEO of Jacobi
Asset Management
, echoed the enthusiasm, stating: “We are excited by
the prospect of deepening our relationship with Nukkleus through this MOU,
supporting the growth of Jacobi.” Bednall emphasized the mutual commitment
to innovation in the fintech sector and sees the potential increase in Nukkleus’
stake in Jacobi as a significant milestone towards collaborative development
and the advancement of regulated financial solutions.

Nukkleus
Inc. has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on
January 16, 2024, outlining plans for a significant increase in its holdings in
Jacobi Asset Management. The collaboration with Jacobi, recognized as the
sponsor of Europe’s exclusive regulated and approved Bitcoin spot ETF traded on
Euronext, reflects Nukkleus’ participation in innovative financial markets.

Nukkleus Negotiates Increased Stake in
Jacobi

The
MOU charts a course for Nukkleus to negotiate the acquisition of an additional
10% stake in Jacobi, as well as an option to acquire One Hoxton Holding Ltd,
holding an additional 6% of Jacobi.

Martin Bednall, CEO of Jacobi Asset Management, Source: LinkedIn

If
successfully completed, this acquisition, combined with Nukkleus’ existing
holdings, would elevate its total stake in Jacobi to approximately 20%.
Additionally, Nukkleus has been granted a right of first refusal as part of
these negotiations.

Emil
Assentato, CEO and Chairman of Nukkleus, emphasized the strategic nature of
this move, stating: “Increasing our stake in Jacobi Asset Management is a
strategic move that aligns with Nukkleus Inc.’s vision of pioneering in the
fintech industry.” Assentato highlighted the company’s dedication to
leveraging innovative financial tools such as blockchain and digital assets to
transform and democratize the global financial landscape.

This
move broadens Nukkleus
reach into innovative financial markets, complementing its existing diverse
portfolio that includes breakthrough technologies in blockchain-powered payment
solutions and digital asset management. Assentato expressed a proactive
approach to shaping the future of finance, making it more accessible,
efficient, and inclusive.

MOU
Terms: 90-Day Effectiveness and Extension Options

The
MOU has a 90-day
effectiveness period and may be extended by mutual agreement in writing. The
completion of the proposed acquisition is subject to successful diligence
completion and the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements,
emphasizing a meticulous approach to the partnership.

Martin
Bednall, CEO of Jacobi
Asset Management
, echoed the enthusiasm, stating: “We are excited by
the prospect of deepening our relationship with Nukkleus through this MOU,
supporting the growth of Jacobi.” Bednall emphasized the mutual commitment
to innovation in the fintech sector and sees the potential increase in Nukkleus’
stake in Jacobi as a significant milestone towards collaborative development
and the advancement of regulated financial solutions.

Coinbase and SEC Lock Horns in Landmark Federal Court Hearing

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/coinbase-and-sec-lock-horns-in-landmark-federal-court-hearing/

In
a court hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Coinbase, is set to argue that the
US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should drop its case against the
platform. Coinbase contends that the tokens traded on its platform are not
comparable to securities, and therefore, the SEC’s regulatory overreach should
be dismissed.

Allegations
and Arguments: Lawsuit Targets Token Trading and Staking Program

This
court battle is closely monitored by the crypto community, as it could provide
clarity on the SEC’s jurisdiction over the digital assets sector. Coinbase’s
primary argument revolves around the assertion that the SEC is overreaching its
authority and that the assets listed on its platform are not securities,
differentiating them from traditional stocks or bonds.

The
SEC filed a lawsuit against Coinbase in June, alleging that the exchange
facilitated the trading of at least 13 crypto tokens that should have been
registered as securities. The regulatory body also accused Coinbase of
operating illegally as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing
agency without proper registration.

One
particular point of contention is Coinbase’s “staking” program, where
the platform pools assets to verify activity on blockchain networks and rewards
customers. The SEC claims that this program should have been registered with
the agency.

Coinbase
Draws Inspiration from Ripple Labs Case in SEC Lawsuit

Coinbase is not alone
in challenging the SEC’s stance. Other cryptocurrency
firms share similar views, collectively arguing that most tokens do not meet
the definition of a security and that legislation is necessary to regulate the
industry.

In
August, Coinbase sought to dismiss the SEC’s lawsuit, citing a separate case
involving Ripple Labs, where a judge found that the company did not violate
federal securities law by selling its XRP crypto token on public exchanges.
Coinbase considers this ruling a significant victory for the crypto sector.
However, the SEC
maintains that its case against Coinbase should proceed, pointing to a
different court ruling in the case of crypto developer Terraform Labs, which
supported the regulator’s position.

In
a court hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Coinbase, is set to argue that the
US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should drop its case against the
platform. Coinbase contends that the tokens traded on its platform are not
comparable to securities, and therefore, the SEC’s regulatory overreach should
be dismissed.

Allegations
and Arguments: Lawsuit Targets Token Trading and Staking Program

This
court battle is closely monitored by the crypto community, as it could provide
clarity on the SEC’s jurisdiction over the digital assets sector. Coinbase’s
primary argument revolves around the assertion that the SEC is overreaching its
authority and that the assets listed on its platform are not securities,
differentiating them from traditional stocks or bonds.

The
SEC filed a lawsuit against Coinbase in June, alleging that the exchange
facilitated the trading of at least 13 crypto tokens that should have been
registered as securities. The regulatory body also accused Coinbase of
operating illegally as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing
agency without proper registration.

One
particular point of contention is Coinbase’s “staking” program, where
the platform pools assets to verify activity on blockchain networks and rewards
customers. The SEC claims that this program should have been registered with
the agency.

Coinbase
Draws Inspiration from Ripple Labs Case in SEC Lawsuit

Coinbase is not alone
in challenging the SEC’s stance. Other cryptocurrency
firms share similar views, collectively arguing that most tokens do not meet
the definition of a security and that legislation is necessary to regulate the
industry.

In
August, Coinbase sought to dismiss the SEC’s lawsuit, citing a separate case
involving Ripple Labs, where a judge found that the company did not violate
federal securities law by selling its XRP crypto token on public exchanges.
Coinbase considers this ruling a significant victory for the crypto sector.
However, the SEC
maintains that its case against Coinbase should proceed, pointing to a
different court ruling in the case of crypto developer Terraform Labs, which
supported the regulator’s position.

B2B Prime Gains Initial Approval for Crypto License in Dubai

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/b2b-prime-gains-initial-approval-for-crypto-license-in-dubai/

B2Prime
Group, a liquidity provider, its subsidiary B2B Prime Digital MENA has been
granted “Initial Approval” for licensing from the Dubai Virtual
Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). The approval covers a spectrum of
activities, including Virtual Asset Exchange Services, Virtual Asset Broker
Dealer Services, and Virtual Asset Transfer and Settlement Services.

VARA’s
Initial Approval: B2B Prime Digital MENA Advances Toward VASP Status

The
Initial Approval from VARA marks a step in B2B Prime Digital MENA’s journey
towards becoming a complete Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP). While the
licensing remains subject to meeting pre-operating conditions and qualifying
for operational approval, this development positions the company to offer
comprehensive Exchange, Broker Dealer, and Transfer and Settlement virtual
asset services in the MENA region in the future.

Arthur Azizov, Co-Founder of B2B Prime Digital MENA, Source: LinkedIn

Eugenia
Mykuliak, Founder of B2Prime, stated: “We are excited to contribute to the
growth of Dubai’s ever-growing Virtual assets ecosystem.”

This
approval allows B2B Prime Digital MENA to progress in the licensing process,
paving the way for the company to offer virtual asset services under the VASP
License for Transfer & Settlement, Broker-Dealer, and Exchange, contingent
upon operational approval by VARA.

Arthur
Azizov, Co-Founder of B2B Prime Digital MENA, highlighted the company’s
commitment to regulatory compliance, stating: “We’ve built a powerful
ecosystem that not only meets but exceeds the industry’s standards,
guaranteeing a safe and efficient gateway to virtual assets for users.”

Meeting
Demand for Crypto Prime of Prime Brokerage Services

B2B
Prime Digital MENA’s strategic goal is to meet the growing market demand for a
reliable provider of crypto Prime of Prime brokerage services, focusing on the
spot digital assets sector. The company aims to provide access to a wide range
of assets and deliver trading conditions catering to both retail and
institutional clients through its advanced platform.

The
company, part of the B2Prime Group, operates as a Prime of Prime Multi-Asset
Liquidity Provider, serving institutional and professional clients globally.
Licensed in Cyprus and Mauritius, B2Prime is recognized
for its expertise across Forex,
Crypto CFDs, and
other markets.

Adriana
Paredes Herrera, CEO of B2B Prime Digital MENA, said: “The receipt of the
Initial Approval for all three licenses, particularly the Transfer and
Settlement License, was eagerly awaited and has brought immense joy to our
entire team.”

B2Prime
Group, a liquidity provider, its subsidiary B2B Prime Digital MENA has been
granted “Initial Approval” for licensing from the Dubai Virtual
Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). The approval covers a spectrum of
activities, including Virtual Asset Exchange Services, Virtual Asset Broker
Dealer Services, and Virtual Asset Transfer and Settlement Services.

VARA’s
Initial Approval: B2B Prime Digital MENA Advances Toward VASP Status

The
Initial Approval from VARA marks a step in B2B Prime Digital MENA’s journey
towards becoming a complete Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP). While the
licensing remains subject to meeting pre-operating conditions and qualifying
for operational approval, this development positions the company to offer
comprehensive Exchange, Broker Dealer, and Transfer and Settlement virtual
asset services in the MENA region in the future.

Arthur Azizov, Co-Founder of B2B Prime Digital MENA, Source: LinkedIn

Eugenia
Mykuliak, Founder of B2Prime, stated: “We are excited to contribute to the
growth of Dubai’s ever-growing Virtual assets ecosystem.”

This
approval allows B2B Prime Digital MENA to progress in the licensing process,
paving the way for the company to offer virtual asset services under the VASP
License for Transfer & Settlement, Broker-Dealer, and Exchange, contingent
upon operational approval by VARA.

Arthur
Azizov, Co-Founder of B2B Prime Digital MENA, highlighted the company’s
commitment to regulatory compliance, stating: “We’ve built a powerful
ecosystem that not only meets but exceeds the industry’s standards,
guaranteeing a safe and efficient gateway to virtual assets for users.”

Meeting
Demand for Crypto Prime of Prime Brokerage Services

B2B
Prime Digital MENA’s strategic goal is to meet the growing market demand for a
reliable provider of crypto Prime of Prime brokerage services, focusing on the
spot digital assets sector. The company aims to provide access to a wide range
of assets and deliver trading conditions catering to both retail and
institutional clients through its advanced platform.

The
company, part of the B2Prime Group, operates as a Prime of Prime Multi-Asset
Liquidity Provider, serving institutional and professional clients globally.
Licensed in Cyprus and Mauritius, B2Prime is recognized
for its expertise across Forex,
Crypto CFDs, and
other markets.

Adriana
Paredes Herrera, CEO of B2B Prime Digital MENA, said: “The receipt of the
Initial Approval for all three licenses, particularly the Transfer and
Settlement License, was eagerly awaited and has brought immense joy to our
entire team.”

Ripple Delays IPO Plans Citing Hostile US Regulator

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/ripple-delays-ipo-plans-citing-hostile-us-regulator/

Ripple
has temporarily halted its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) due to
what is described as a ‘hostile’ regulatory environment in the United States.
The delay is attributed to the ongoing legal battle with the US Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC).

IPO
Plans Deferred amid US Regulatory Challenges

Ripple,
the blockchain-based firm behind the cryptocurrency XRP, had previously
expressed its intention to explore a public listing once the SEC lawsuit,
initiated in 2020, concluded. However, the regulatory challenges faced by the
company in the U.S. prompted it to explore alternative jurisdictions with
clearer regulatory frameworks.

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO, Ripple, Source: LinkedIn

In
an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse highlighted the difficulties of going public in
the US, stating: “In the United States, trying to go public with a very
hostile regulator that’s approved your S-1, that doesn’t sound like a lot of
fun to me.” He pointed to the example of Coinbase, a US-based
cryptocurrency exchange, which faced legal action from the SEC even after its
S-1 filing was approved.

The
Ripple CEO has been critical of the SEC’s approach to regulating the
cryptocurrency industry, describing SEC Chair Gary Gensler as a “political
liability.” Garlinghouse suggested that Ripple might reconsider a US
listing once there is a change in SEC leadership.

Share
Buyback: Ripple Invests $1 Billion to Ensure Investor Liquidity

Despite
the delay in IPO plans, Garlinghouse emphasized that the option remains open
for Ripple, stating: “We’ll evaluate again, as we have new regulators
sitting at the United States SEC.” He clarified that going public is not
an immediate priority for the company, and it will be assessed over time.

In
a move to provide liquidity to its investors, Ripple confirmed a share buyback
program, repurchasing $1 billion worth of its stock. Garlinghouse expressed the
importance of shareholder liquidity and noted that some investors have been
with the company since its inception in 2012.

The
cryptocurrency industry has witnessed increased regulatory scrutiny globally,
with companies like Ripple navigating complex legal landscapes. As Ripple keeps
its IPO plans on hold, the broader crypto market continues to evolve, with
other firms, such as Circle,
pursuing public listings amid a buoyant year for cryptocurrencies.

Ripple
has temporarily halted its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) due to
what is described as a ‘hostile’ regulatory environment in the United States.
The delay is attributed to the ongoing legal battle with the US Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC).

IPO
Plans Deferred amid US Regulatory Challenges

Ripple,
the blockchain-based firm behind the cryptocurrency XRP, had previously
expressed its intention to explore a public listing once the SEC lawsuit,
initiated in 2020, concluded. However, the regulatory challenges faced by the
company in the U.S. prompted it to explore alternative jurisdictions with
clearer regulatory frameworks.

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO, Ripple, Source: LinkedIn

In
an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse highlighted the difficulties of going public in
the US, stating: “In the United States, trying to go public with a very
hostile regulator that’s approved your S-1, that doesn’t sound like a lot of
fun to me.” He pointed to the example of Coinbase, a US-based
cryptocurrency exchange, which faced legal action from the SEC even after its
S-1 filing was approved.

The
Ripple CEO has been critical of the SEC’s approach to regulating the
cryptocurrency industry, describing SEC Chair Gary Gensler as a “political
liability.” Garlinghouse suggested that Ripple might reconsider a US
listing once there is a change in SEC leadership.

Share
Buyback: Ripple Invests $1 Billion to Ensure Investor Liquidity

Despite
the delay in IPO plans, Garlinghouse emphasized that the option remains open
for Ripple, stating: “We’ll evaluate again, as we have new regulators
sitting at the United States SEC.” He clarified that going public is not
an immediate priority for the company, and it will be assessed over time.

In
a move to provide liquidity to its investors, Ripple confirmed a share buyback
program, repurchasing $1 billion worth of its stock. Garlinghouse expressed the
importance of shareholder liquidity and noted that some investors have been
with the company since its inception in 2012.

The
cryptocurrency industry has witnessed increased regulatory scrutiny globally,
with companies like Ripple navigating complex legal landscapes. As Ripple keeps
its IPO plans on hold, the broader crypto market continues to evolve, with
other firms, such as Circle,
pursuing public listings amid a buoyant year for cryptocurrencies.

Bayern Munich Scores Big in Crypto with Bitpanda Partnership Kickoff

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/bayern-munich-scores-big-in-crypto-with-bitpanda-partnership-kickoff/

German
football club Bayern Munich has solidified its presence in the crypto space by
sealing a multi-year partnership with Austrian cryptocurrency company BitPanda.
The deal, effective immediately, designates BitPanda as the new platinum
partner and official crypto trading sponsor of the reigning German champions.

Bayern
Munich and BitPanda Forge Crypto Partnership

The
collaboration was officially unveiled at Bayern’s home ground, the Allianz
Arena, during their match against TSG Hoffenheim on January 12. BitPanda will
be a prominent presence at all home matches throughout the duration of this partnership.

Eric Demuth, Chief Executive, BitPanda, Source: LinkedIn

BitPanda’s
Chief Executive, Eric Demuth, emphasized the shared values and winning
mentality that unite the football giants and the crypto platform, laying the
groundwork for a long-term and fruitful partnership. Demuth stated: “Bayern
Munich and Bitpanda are united by a strong winning mentality and the
expectation of themselves to get better every day. For us, these shared values
are the perfect basis for a long-term partnership.”

BitPanda’s
foray into sports sponsorships has seen similar successful deals with the
Italian Rugby Federation in 2023, covering the men’s Rugby World Cup, a
sponsorship deal with tennis’ Madrid Open in 2022, and a premium sponsorship of
the World Padel Tour in the same year.

Ideal
Partnership as Bayern’s Finances Soar

Jan-Christian
Dreesen, the Chief Executive of Bayern Munich, expressed his enthusiasm for the
collaboration, stating: “Like FC Bayern, Bitpanda is the market leader in
its field. We want to achieve our goals together in the future.” This
sentiment was echoed by Andreas Jung, Bayern’s Chief Marketing Officer, who
emphasized the synergy between the two brands.

While
Bayern embraces a new era of crypto sponsorship, the club has also celebrated
financial success. The 2022-23 financial year saw
Bayern Munich posting record revenue, totaling €854.2 million, along with a
remarkable year-on-year increase in profit. Earnings before taxes more than
tripled, soaring from €17.1 million to €54.5 million.

Lukas
Enzersberger-Konrad, Deputy Chief Executive of Bitpanda, emphasized
the fitting nature of the partnership, commenting: “Bayern Munich are
record champions. Bitpanda is the market leader in Europe. Both together in
a partnership: That’s a good fit!”

German
football club Bayern Munich has solidified its presence in the crypto space by
sealing a multi-year partnership with Austrian cryptocurrency company BitPanda.
The deal, effective immediately, designates BitPanda as the new platinum
partner and official crypto trading sponsor of the reigning German champions.

Bayern
Munich and BitPanda Forge Crypto Partnership

The
collaboration was officially unveiled at Bayern’s home ground, the Allianz
Arena, during their match against TSG Hoffenheim on January 12. BitPanda will
be a prominent presence at all home matches throughout the duration of this partnership.

Eric Demuth, Chief Executive, BitPanda, Source: LinkedIn

BitPanda’s
Chief Executive, Eric Demuth, emphasized the shared values and winning
mentality that unite the football giants and the crypto platform, laying the
groundwork for a long-term and fruitful partnership. Demuth stated: “Bayern
Munich and Bitpanda are united by a strong winning mentality and the
expectation of themselves to get better every day. For us, these shared values
are the perfect basis for a long-term partnership.”

BitPanda’s
foray into sports sponsorships has seen similar successful deals with the
Italian Rugby Federation in 2023, covering the men’s Rugby World Cup, a
sponsorship deal with tennis’ Madrid Open in 2022, and a premium sponsorship of
the World Padel Tour in the same year.

Ideal
Partnership as Bayern’s Finances Soar

Jan-Christian
Dreesen, the Chief Executive of Bayern Munich, expressed his enthusiasm for the
collaboration, stating: “Like FC Bayern, Bitpanda is the market leader in
its field. We want to achieve our goals together in the future.” This
sentiment was echoed by Andreas Jung, Bayern’s Chief Marketing Officer, who
emphasized the synergy between the two brands.

While
Bayern embraces a new era of crypto sponsorship, the club has also celebrated
financial success. The 2022-23 financial year saw
Bayern Munich posting record revenue, totaling €854.2 million, along with a
remarkable year-on-year increase in profit. Earnings before taxes more than
tripled, soaring from €17.1 million to €54.5 million.

Lukas
Enzersberger-Konrad, Deputy Chief Executive of Bitpanda, emphasized
the fitting nature of the partnership, commenting: “Bayern Munich are
record champions. Bitpanda is the market leader in Europe. Both together in
a partnership: That’s a good fit!”

CoinShares Initiates Acquisition: Executing Option to Merge with Valkyrie Funds

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/coinshares-initiates-acquisition-executing-option-to-merge-with-valkyrie-funds/

CoinShares
International Limited has officially exercised its option to acquire Valkyrie
Funds LLC, the US digital asset manager’s investment advisory business
specializing in actively managed cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
This strategic move follows the recent approval by the US Securities and
Exchange Commission for the issuance of Valkyrie’s spot Bitcoin ETF, The
Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund.

CoinShares
Awaits Strengthened AUM through Valkyrie Funds Acquisition

The
Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund commenced trading on January 11 at 09:30 am ET on Nasdaq,
marking a milestone for the company as part of the first cohort of issuers for
such products in the US. CoinShares’ decision to acquire Valkyrie Funds aligns
with the positive developments in the US regulatory landscape and reflects its
strategy to expand its digital asset offerings in the American market.

Leah Wald, CEO of Valkyrie Funds, Source: LinkedIn

Upon
completion, the acquisition
is anticipated to strengthen CoinShares’ existing assets under management (AUM)
of $4.5 billion by approximately $110 million. This addition represents the
current level of AUM within Valkyrie’s existing ETF products, including The
Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund, The Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ether Strategy ETF, and The
Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF.

Jean-Marie
Mognetti, CEO of CoinShares, commented on the development, stating:
“Exercising our option to acquire Valkyrie Funds aims at extending our
European success in the US, offering unparalleled access to regulated digital
asset products to American investors. This expansion is a clear statement of
our appetite for acquisition to support our ambition to be a global leader in
the digital asset space.”

Valkyrie
Funds Anticipates Successful Partnership

The
exercise of this acquisition option marks a pivotal step in the process,
underscoring CoinShares’ commitment to incorporating Valkyrie Funds into its
portfolio. The integration of Valkyrie’s funds and operations into the
CoinShares group is expected to enhance the company’s position in the American digital asset
investment market.

Leah
Wald, CEO of Valkyrie Funds, expressed excitement about the partnership, saying:
“CoinShares has established itself as a premier player in the digital
asset space, and we’re excited to see how they continue advancing the space by
leveraging Valkyrie’s team and expertise.”

The
acquisition is pending the completion of satisfactory due diligence, the
finalization of necessary legal agreements, and final approval from the CoinShares board.
Valkyrie Funds will maintain its operational independence until the acquisition
is fully executed and finalized.

CoinShares
International Limited has officially exercised its option to acquire Valkyrie
Funds LLC, the US digital asset manager’s investment advisory business
specializing in actively managed cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
This strategic move follows the recent approval by the US Securities and
Exchange Commission for the issuance of Valkyrie’s spot Bitcoin ETF, The
Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund.

CoinShares
Awaits Strengthened AUM through Valkyrie Funds Acquisition

The
Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund commenced trading on January 11 at 09:30 am ET on Nasdaq,
marking a milestone for the company as part of the first cohort of issuers for
such products in the US. CoinShares’ decision to acquire Valkyrie Funds aligns
with the positive developments in the US regulatory landscape and reflects its
strategy to expand its digital asset offerings in the American market.

Leah Wald, CEO of Valkyrie Funds, Source: LinkedIn

Upon
completion, the acquisition
is anticipated to strengthen CoinShares’ existing assets under management (AUM)
of $4.5 billion by approximately $110 million. This addition represents the
current level of AUM within Valkyrie’s existing ETF products, including The
Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund, The Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ether Strategy ETF, and The
Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF.

Jean-Marie
Mognetti, CEO of CoinShares, commented on the development, stating:
“Exercising our option to acquire Valkyrie Funds aims at extending our
European success in the US, offering unparalleled access to regulated digital
asset products to American investors. This expansion is a clear statement of
our appetite for acquisition to support our ambition to be a global leader in
the digital asset space.”

Valkyrie
Funds Anticipates Successful Partnership

The
exercise of this acquisition option marks a pivotal step in the process,
underscoring CoinShares’ commitment to incorporating Valkyrie Funds into its
portfolio. The integration of Valkyrie’s funds and operations into the
CoinShares group is expected to enhance the company’s position in the American digital asset
investment market.

Leah
Wald, CEO of Valkyrie Funds, expressed excitement about the partnership, saying:
“CoinShares has established itself as a premier player in the digital
asset space, and we’re excited to see how they continue advancing the space by
leveraging Valkyrie’s team and expertise.”

The
acquisition is pending the completion of satisfactory due diligence, the
finalization of necessary legal agreements, and final approval from the CoinShares board.
Valkyrie Funds will maintain its operational independence until the acquisition
is fully executed and finalized.

SEC Escalates Ripple Legal Battle, Demands Financial Documents

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/sec-escalates-ripple-legal-battle-demands-financial-documents/

In
a recent filing on January 11, the US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) has intensified its legal pursuit against Ripple Labs, Inc., seeking to
compel the blockchain company to provide crucial financial documents. The SEC’s
move is part of the ongoing legal case, which originated in December 2020 when
the regulatory body alleged that Ripple’s sales of XRP constituted unregistered
securities offerings.

Regulator
Seeks 2022-2023 Financial Statements

The
SEC’s latest filing specifically requests a court order that mandates Ripple to
produce its financial statements for the years 2022 and 2023. Additionally, the
regulatory body seeks documents related to contracts governing institutional
sales of XRP after the SEC’s original complaint. Notably, the SEC argues that
Judge Analisa Torres had previously identified institutional sales as
unregistered securities sales during the pre-complaint period.

Furthermore,
the SEC is pushing for Ripple to answer a formal written question, known as an
interrogatory, regarding the amount of proceeds received from institutional
sales after the SEC’s complaint. This applies to contracts entered into before
the complaint was filed.

The
SEC contends that these documents and the interrogatory are crucial for Judge
Torres to make informed decisions on potential relief, including injunctions
and civil penalties. The regulatory body asserts that the financial information
requested is fundamental for tailoring a penalty that would effectively deter
future violations.

Future
Compliance Pledged Amid $729M Profit Admission

Ripple,
on its part, argues against facing injunctions, asserting that its future XRP
sales are exempt from registration and securities laws. The SEC counters this
argument by emphasizing the importance of the requested financial information
for determining appropriate penalties to discourage future violations.

“Ripple
intends to tell the Court that even though it generated more than $729 million
in illegal pre-Complaint Institutional Sales profits, it intends to comply with
the law going forward—and therefore the Court need not enter an injunction. But
Ripple does not get to make that determination. The Court does,” the filing
states.

The
legal battle between the SEC and Ripple has seen various
developments over time. In July 2023, Judge Torres ruled in favor of Ripple on
certain sales, such as programmatic and exchange sales, stating that they were
not securities offerings. However, institutional sales were deemed securities offerings,
favoring the SEC.

The
dispute appeared to reach resolution in October 2023, as the SEC dropped
charges against two Ripple executives. Despite this, the case continued to
progress, with Judge Torres issuing a summary judgment on certain remaining
matters in December 2023.

While
Ripple’s trial with the SEC
is scheduled to begin in April, the recent SEC filing requesting new
information suggests that the regulatory body is poised to pursue penalties
against Ripple. Ripple’s Chief Legal Officer, Stuart Alderoty, has previously
criticized the SEC, referring to it as an “out of control regulator”
due to its stance on cryptocurrency.

In
a recent filing on January 11, the US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) has intensified its legal pursuit against Ripple Labs, Inc., seeking to
compel the blockchain company to provide crucial financial documents. The SEC’s
move is part of the ongoing legal case, which originated in December 2020 when
the regulatory body alleged that Ripple’s sales of XRP constituted unregistered
securities offerings.

Regulator
Seeks 2022-2023 Financial Statements

The
SEC’s latest filing specifically requests a court order that mandates Ripple to
produce its financial statements for the years 2022 and 2023. Additionally, the
regulatory body seeks documents related to contracts governing institutional
sales of XRP after the SEC’s original complaint. Notably, the SEC argues that
Judge Analisa Torres had previously identified institutional sales as
unregistered securities sales during the pre-complaint period.

Furthermore,
the SEC is pushing for Ripple to answer a formal written question, known as an
interrogatory, regarding the amount of proceeds received from institutional
sales after the SEC’s complaint. This applies to contracts entered into before
the complaint was filed.

The
SEC contends that these documents and the interrogatory are crucial for Judge
Torres to make informed decisions on potential relief, including injunctions
and civil penalties. The regulatory body asserts that the financial information
requested is fundamental for tailoring a penalty that would effectively deter
future violations.

Future
Compliance Pledged Amid $729M Profit Admission

Ripple,
on its part, argues against facing injunctions, asserting that its future XRP
sales are exempt from registration and securities laws. The SEC counters this
argument by emphasizing the importance of the requested financial information
for determining appropriate penalties to discourage future violations.

“Ripple
intends to tell the Court that even though it generated more than $729 million
in illegal pre-Complaint Institutional Sales profits, it intends to comply with
the law going forward—and therefore the Court need not enter an injunction. But
Ripple does not get to make that determination. The Court does,” the filing
states.

The
legal battle between the SEC and Ripple has seen various
developments over time. In July 2023, Judge Torres ruled in favor of Ripple on
certain sales, such as programmatic and exchange sales, stating that they were
not securities offerings. However, institutional sales were deemed securities offerings,
favoring the SEC.

The
dispute appeared to reach resolution in October 2023, as the SEC dropped
charges against two Ripple executives. Despite this, the case continued to
progress, with Judge Torres issuing a summary judgment on certain remaining
matters in December 2023.

While
Ripple’s trial with the SEC
is scheduled to begin in April, the recent SEC filing requesting new
information suggests that the regulatory body is poised to pursue penalties
against Ripple. Ripple’s Chief Legal Officer, Stuart Alderoty, has previously
criticized the SEC, referring to it as an “out of control regulator”
due to its stance on cryptocurrency.