Cryptocurrency is a controversial and fascinating topic in the world of tech. There is always something interesting happening when it comes to crypto news!
While some still swear it is the future of global finance, others consider it to be a scam. While it has made some people rich, or richer, there are many stories of people losing everything they have to crypto scams and investments.
Regardless, it’s incredibly influential and there is a lot happening in the world of crypto!
Let’s take a look at some of the latest crypto news.
Problems At Binance, The World’s Biggest Crypto Firm
After the complete meltdown of FTX last year, Binance took over as the world’s leading crypto exchange. While things looked bright for Binance, they are currently facing some huge issues.
One, US agencies are threatening regulation for crypto as a whole, and actions against Binance. Over the past three months, more than a dozen senior executives have left.
The company has also layed off over 1,500 employees, downsizing significantly. While at the beginning of 2023 they handled about 70% of all crypto trades. Now they handle abour half, according to data provider Kaiko.
What happens to Binance will have huge impacts on the entire industry. Some other companies are likely waiting in the wings, hoping to take their place if the company fails.
An institutional trader even told the Wall Street Journal that his company has begun taking measures, and are preparing to take all of their assets out of Binance should it melt down completely.
Currently, there are a few charges and federal investigations revolving around binance and its co-founder Changpeng Zhao.
For one, the US Justice department has been investigating both the company and Zhao for years. According to sources close to the investigation, this could result in criminal charges and millions in fines.
Binance also faces an SEC lawsuit which alleges that it was operating illegally in the US and misusing customer funds.
Recently, Binance has fully exited Russia by selling its business there to CommEx.
Failed Crypto Lender BlockFi Moves Forward with Bankruptcy
The Collapse of FTX negatively affected many businesses in the crypto space. This included crypto lender BlockFi, which went bankrupt soon after.
They filed for bankruptcy in New Jersey, and there has recently been some news about the entire legal process. This is great news for BlockFi’s former customers, who are one step closer to getting the money they are owed.
Bankruptcy Judge Michael A. Kaplan approved BlockFi’s third amended Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan in a Sept. 26 court hearing.
Estimates show that BlockFi currently owes up to $10 billion to over 100,000 creditors. To its 3 largest creditors alone, it owes about $1 billion. This includes over $200 million to bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
JP Morgan Chase to Block Crypto Transactions from UK Accounts
Starting October 16, JPM will ban all crypto transactions for its UK customers. The company said they will do this because of the prevalence of scams in the space. According to a bank spokesperson:
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of crypto scams targeting UK consumers, so we have taken the decision to prevent the purchase of crypto assets on a Chase debit card or by transferring money to a crypto site from a Chase account.”
They are not the only bank to become suspicious of crypto in the last year or so. This March, NatWest limited customers’ daily and monthly crypto transfers due to scam concerns.
Santander Spain even said it would block UK customers from sending real-time payments to crypto exchanges entirely, in order to attempt to protect users from scams.
Many banks around the world are taking similar measures, more or less implying that crypto is not safe to engage with.
However, some crypto evangelists claim that this is because banks do not want crypto to compete with their hold on global finance.
Big Crypto News: Kraken Makes Moves in Europe
Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has recently received an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from the Central Bank of Ireland. They have also gotten a virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration from the Bank of Spain.
According to the Sept. 26 announcement, the EMI license allows Kraken to expand euro-to-crypto trading services. This expansion includes 27 European Union member states and European Economic Area countries.
Meanwhile, the VASP registration in Spain allows Kraken to offer exchange and wallet custodial services to residents of Spain. The firm is registered as a VASP in Italy and Ireland as well.
According to Kraken’s vice president of global operations, Curtis Ting:
“We see a firm foundation for crypto in Europe, which has forward-looking regulation that enables us to grow with confidence.”
The platform currently supports over 200 trading pairs across six fiat currencies:
- British pounds
- U.S. dollars
- Canadian dollars
- Swiss francs
- Australian dollars
Earlier in 2023, Kraken applied for restricted dealer registration in Canada. This was done to comply with new rules requiring all VASPS to register with securities administrators or be expelled from Canada.
Exchanges Binance and OKX actually left Canada entirely following the new rules.
Ethereum Wallet Found To Be Tied To Mexican Drug Trade
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) just updated its sanctions list to include ten individuals tied to illegal narcotics trading. One of these individuals is using an Ethereum Wallet as a part of their illegal drug dealings.
The listed Ethereum address allegedly belongs to Mario Alberto Jimenez Castro. He is also known as “Kastor.”
Jiminez Castro is a 34-year-old Mexican man involved with the Sinaloa cartel. The wallet currently contains just 0.017 ETH ($27). However, it has been used to make stablecoin transfers such as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Most of its transaction history includes inbound transfers from Coinbase, followed by outbound transfers to Binance. Many of these transfers are large. For example, One transfer in October 2022 sent 143,965 USDT to Binance.
According to the US State Department, Jiminez Castro is a money launderer using crypto to move fentanyl proceeds across the border.
“Since at least approximately August 2022, Jimenez Castro has directed individuals to pick up money from various traffickers in the U.S., and to then deposit that cash into various cryptocurrency wallets controlled by other high-level members of the organization.”
Many in the US government have accused cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum of being the main funding mechanisms of fentanyl trafficking in the US.
HSBC Customers Can Now Pay Bills With Crypto
FCF Pay, a prominent crypto processor, recently announced in a Tweet that HSBC users can now use their platform to pay their mortgages and various bills with cryptocurrencies.
HSBC customers!— FCF PAY – Blockchain Payment System (@fcfpay) September 26, 2023
We are delighted to announce that @HSBC users are eligible to pay their mortgage bills and loans with cryptocurrencies through FCF Pay.
Some of the accepted cryptocurrencies you can pay with:
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, Ripple, Doge, Shiba Inu + Many more!… pic.twitter.com/SEzcveJ5vq
Some of the currencies users can make payments with include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
According to FCF Pay’s bill payment portal, repaying your mortgage via crypto only takes 3 steps. It is the same as traditional payments, in which you select a payee, add billing info, and send the payment.
FCF Pay claimes to execute all of the processes for payment delivery in just 24 hours. They charge 2% of the bill and a statutory $3 fee.
However, as of now, this service is only available to United States residents. However, FCF Pay has said it has plans to expand this service to other countries in the future.
Per the disclosure, FCF Pay supports all crypto wallets, including centralized exchanges. Besides, it confirmed that it does not connect with users’ crypto wallets. “We don’t connect to your wallet, so your wallet is kept safe,” FCF Pay stated.
Final Thoughts on the Latest Crypto News
As you can see, a lot is happening in the world of cryptocurrency!
It is both a highly competitive and incredibly controversial space. As you can see, some institutions are embracing it and others are not.
Ever since the fall of FTX, which had begun to gain legitimacy for the space, many have been interacting with Cryptocurrency with renewed suspicion.
However, as you can see, while there are some legal issues and platforms like Binance are struggling, platforms like FCF Pay and Kraken are expanding in exciting ways.
While some say that crypto should be illegal as it is used to fund scams and criminal operations, it is worth noting that people have been doing the same things with fiat currency for centuries.
In fact, in general, digital scams are on the rise. Whether through email phishing, cash app scams, and romance scams against individuals, or the recent high-profile casino hackings.
Regardless, many global governments, including the US, are making moves to regulate the crypto space in the future, so it’s likely that big changes are coming.
What do you think? Comment below.
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