Too hot to handleSerum looks like the latest of SBF's projects to get caught up in the crossfire of FTX's collapse.
- Exchange giant Binance is delisting three pairs associated with Serum – the decentralized exchange created by Sam Bankman Fried. Users will no longer be able to trade SRM against BNB, SRM/BTC, or SRM/USDT from today onwards.
- Serum’s been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons recently. The exchange is built on the Solana blockchain, and the Solana Foundation said it held some 134m SRM ($33.3m) in FTX – SBF’s crypto exchange which went down in flames earlier this month.
- It’s an even bigger blow for SRM given that the majority of its trading occurs on Binance. The community carried out a fork of the project after FTX was seemingly hacked two weeks ago, but the token has still fallen by around 75% in the wake of the exchange’s downfall.
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A $1bn rescue fund?Crypto billionaire and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is once again looking to hop on his white horse and rescue the crypto industry – this time with $1bn in his saddlebag.
- Binance has added $1bn to its industry recovery fund, which is dedicated to supporting struggling crypto players in the wake of the FTX disaster. Zhao has become somewhat of a savior for the struggling crypto industry, taking on a role formerly held by SBF himself – others are joining in the fun, with another $50m in donations coming in from various crypto firms.
- Zhao also confirmed that Binance.US will be making a fresh bid for Voyager, the crypto lender previously in acquisition discussions with FTX – there had been rumors that Binance held back from initial chats for over regulatory concerns, which the CEO has now denied, saying he doesn’t think national security will be a concern.
- Crypto itself has actually edged toward a recovery of some kind over the week, giving people hope that the FTX fallout might be starting to ease. That being said, both Bitcoin and Ethereum are still down over 70% in the last twelve months, so that road to recovery could be a long one.
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Binance to the rescue?Binance’s Changpeng Zhao looks ready to replace Sam Bankman-Fried as crypto’s guardian angel. Although, is there such a thing anymore?
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Pledge allegiance to the Chief TwitThe craziness that was the Twitter/Elon deal may have drawn to a close, but there’s no shortage of hot goss coming out of HQ – and some of it points to a bullish future for crypto.
- Binance’s CEO has confirmed the exchange is an equity investor in Musk’s buyout of Twitter, contributing $500m to the $44bn deal. Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange, so you can bet your bottom dollar crypto is going to be a focus at the new Twitter going forward – and the ball is already rolling.
- Binance is creating a new team to help Elon Musk incorporate blockchain technology into Twitter’s refreshed business model. The social platform had already begun to explore ways to incorporate crypto under former CEO Jack Dorsey, but this team will step it up and explore ways to use on-chain solutions to address issues like bots.
- BNB’s native token had its best week since August 1, and it wasn’t alone in receiving a boost from Twitter-related news. Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have been on an absolute tear, with Doge up a whopping 45% on Saturday and 95% for the week to its highest price since May and Shiba rallying 17% last week – bulls reckon Musk’s newfound power offers an improved adoption case.
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Binance offers a lifeboatBinance takes its role as one of the world’s leading crypto mining pools seriously, starting a new fund to help the embattled industry.
- Binance has revealed a new $500m lending pool for Bitcoin miners struggling to withstand current conditions. The lending pool will be available to mining groups who need help to stay afloat, but only on the condition that they post collateral to secure the loan. Seems like a fair deal.
- Bitcoin miners have been struggling to stand up to the heat, facing a perfect storm of low prices, soaring energy prices and record high mining difficulty levels. Ethereum miners that were de-homed by the Merge and moved to BTC mining have also been worsening this mining difficulty problem.
- The situation’s so bad that many mining groups are having to shut down their operations. In just the last month, Compass mining had to shut down its operations in Georgia and one of the largest BTC mining pools in the world, Poolin, had to freeze withdrawals. Maybe the Binance lending pool is the lifeboat they’ve been waiting for.
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A potential exploitBinance battened down the hatches on Thursday as the possibility of one of the biggest hacks in crypto history loomed.
- BNB chain halted all activity on Thursday after detecting suspicious activity on the network. Initial analysis of the activity suggested that around $500m worth of assets could have been stolen by the attacker, but the real losses are now looking to be around $100m due to the network suspension.
- The chaos caused the chain’s BNB token to drop 3% after the network halt, with the known offending addresses blacklisted by stablecoin issuer Tether, and $7m worth of the assets being frozen.
- The hack had the potential to be the largest crypto hack of all time if the chain had not been halted, with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao confirming that $100m had been stolen. For now a crisis has been (somewhat) averted, but investor confidence has probably been shaken a bit.
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A hack in transitWhen the founders of Transit Swap named the exchange, they probably weren’t hoping it would mean a hacker would swap their in-transit money into their own bank account.
- Exchange aggregator Transit Swap was hacked to the tune of $21m on Saturday after a bug on its smart contract was exploited by an attacker. The funds stolen were mostly Ethereum and Binance’s BNB, with the platform’s operator tweeting that they were “deeply sorry”.
- There was a bit of a happy ending however (not that kind) as the hacker actually returned 70% of the funds to the platform yesterday. It might have been to do with the fact the attacker’s IP was traced, or maybe their conscience was just eating away at them – although apparently not enough to return all of it.
- Binance isn’t letting crypto hack szn get it down and has continued aggressive expansion despite the broader market downturn. The exchange just expanded its global operations with a new crypto exchange in Kazakhstan, and continues to develop its Law Enforcement Training Program which focuses on preventing cybercrime.
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Binance opens the minesEx-ETH miners get ready to dust off their pickaxes as Binance announces the grand-opening of its EthereumPoW mining pool.
- Crypto exchange Binance has opened a mining pool for ETHW, the forked proof-of-work chain created after Ethereum’s Merge, with a promotional ‘fee-free period’ which will run until October 29 – it’s good news for Ethereum miners who ceased operations after its transition to proof-of-stake and are ready to get back to work.
- The pool got people rather excited and the ETHW token popped 15% on the news. Even before the announcement, ETHW had been making moves – nearly doubling in price since this time last week. Strangely though, the exchange isn’t going to actually list the ETHW token for trading.
- Other proof-of-work ETH tokens haven’t been faring quite as well, with over 80% of Ethereum mining rigs going offline after the Merge. ETC has seen most of its pre-Merge gains wiped out, down 15% this month, and RVN – which was also riding a wave of Merge-related excitement – has plummeted almost 50% since it the upgrade. Maybe ETHW will emerge from the dust on top? Or maybe not. Never know with crypto.
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Binance flexes stablecoin strengthThe world’s largest cryptocurrency marketplace is trying to stand out from the stablecoin crowd after watching Terra kick off a crypto contagion.
- Binance is sharing data about the money behind its BUSD stablecoin in an effort to prove that it’s more, well… stable than everyone else. Binance says that BUSD is unlike others because it’s not only 100% backed by cash and cash equivalents but is also regulated by the NY State Department of Financial Services.
- The exchange will provide regular monthly updates about the reserves behind the stablecoin. Right now, reserves include $10.6bn in US treasury bills and $6.3bn in treasury repurchase agreements, with the remaining $738m (only 4.1% of BUSD) allocated to cash-related backings.
- It’s trying to increase the transparency of the business, not only because the collapse of Terra’s stablecoin earlier this year thrust uncertainty upon investors, but also because regulators are increasingly stepping up their oversight of stablecoins on the back of the collapse.
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More 'celebrities' get involved with NFTsBinance is betting big on NFTs as it brings in some of the hottest stars around, and they’re not the only ones making room for the hype.
- Binance is luring in influencers to help with its campaigns. The crypto platform just signed TikTok’s most silent star, Khaby Lame (you know, the dude that makes fun of overcomplicated life hacks) to explain how crypto works. It comes just a week after Binance scored a partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo, who wants to “change the NFT game.”
- A ton of people and companies are jumping on the non-fungible train. NFT platform OpenSea has seen trading volume more than double since this time last year, major financial giants like Goldman Sachs and Mastercard are exploring NFT integrations, and Meta’s Facebook has just started testing NFTs as profile pictures.
- But all is not well in DeFi-land. The overall DeFi market has lost over 75% of its value this year, made worse by Terra’s collapse and a number of hacks. Speaking of, OpenSea has warned customers of possible phishing attacks after reporting a data breach through its email vendor. Stay safe, kids.
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Keep the satoshis, you filthy animalCrypto exchange giant Binance will now offer zero fees on Bitcoin transactions, flexing its muscle to the likes of a quietened Coinbase and Robinhood.
- Binance.US has scrapped trading fees for Bitcoin spot market trades, hoping the move will encourage retail investors to trade on their platform over the likes of Coinbase, Gemini, and Robinhood. CEO of the US biz, Brian Shroder, said the exchange was the first of its kind to offer zero fees.
- More free-traded crypto could be on the way too. Binance.US plans to introduce a tiered pricing system this summer in which crypto assets beyond just Bitcoin are put into three categories, with Tier 0 being totally free, while Tier 1 and 2 have a price attached.
- Given Binance has just announced plans to hire 2k staff while everyone else seems to be cutting back, this sort of news could further cement its position as the #1 crypto exchange in the US. Archenemy Coinbase sank 10% on Wednesday, still trading near all-time lows as investors look to see how they’ll respond to this whole “free trading” dealio.
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Binance wants all the headlines this weekFrom SEC probes to money laundering enablement allegations to pancake investments, Binance sure has had a busy week – and it’s only Tuesday.
- Binance is under investigation by the SEC for its airdrop of BNB tokens in 2017 – regulators are now trying to determine whether it broke the law by not registering these tokens as securities. Binance has hit back against the move by distinguishing Binance.com from Binance.US – the latter of which is compliant with regulations, according to the crypto exchange.
- Elsewhere, Reuters has made some weighty claims, publishing a report on Monday that alleges Binance’s platform enabled the illicit usage of around $2.35bn through “hacks, investment frauds and illegal drug sales”. Reuters claims it calculated this from blockchain data and court and law enforcement records, but Binance responded that their calculations were inaccurate.
- In lighter news, Binance Labs has invested in PancakeSwap to expand its web3 horizons. Nobody knows how much was exactly, but CAKE spiked almost 15% on Monday thanks to the support. It did come right back down again to finish the day a modest 4% up but hey – if you flip a pancake, you want it to flop back onto the pan, right?
Illustration by TradingView
Binance breaks the bankBinance Labs fills its web3 piggy bank, aiming to “accelerate the mass adoption of the blockchain technology and crypto”.
- Binance Labs has raised a $500m fund that’s set to support novel projects across the web3 space – be it based in DeFi, NFTs, gaming, or social platforms. The fund managed to pull in global investors including DST Global Partners and Breyer Capital, despite the markets looking pretty bearish rn.
- That’s a lotta money. Remind me, what’s web3 again? The ELI5 explanation: it’s the internet, with less centralization – using blockchain tech to improve user experiences and efficiency.
- Only last week did we see a $4.5bn fund for crypto startups, all thanks to Andreessen Horowitz’s far-reaching influence. Despite the news, Binance’s BNB token is still trading down 42% since the start of the year.
Illustration by TradingView
Knocking on another European doorFrom Paris to Berlin and every country I get in, my heart is pumping for reg, pumping for reg.
- Binance is in talks to gain regulatory approval in Germany. CEO Changpeng Zhao said his team are banding together in Deutschland to get an operating license over the line. The effort will try to fix the shaky start it had in trying to operate in Europe.
- The crypto exchange is going on a worldwide tour, it seems. It recently secured regulatory approval in France, while it also got the nod in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai.
- BNB was trading at $287 on Wednesday, down 20% for the month of May. Investors are prolly hoping it doesn’t drop a whole lot more – $260 has proven to be a key level of support since March 2021, testing it four times without a daily close below. The fifth time mightn’t be a charm.
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Binance gets its foot in Twitter’s doorElon is using his connections to bulk out his GoFundMe Twitter pot, and this one comes with a crypto twist.
- Elon Musk garnered over $7bn in fresh financing for his Twitter deal – all while rocking the red carpet with his mom at the Met Gala – with over 19 investors like Sequoia Capital piling into the fund, all of which reduces the personal risk he has to take to complete the deal. One investor in particular has a crypto-specific agenda…
- Binance has contributed $500m to help fund Elon’s Twitter deal – CEO Changpeng Zhao hopes the investment will support Binance’s goal to make crypto more mainstream. Zhao wants to see the social media giant adopt web3 and blockchain technology in earnest, and is making sure his voice is heard.
- How’s the takeover going so far? Rumors coming out of Twitter HQ suggest Elon's gonna take Parag Agrawal's place as CEO for a while to oversee efforts to put his stamp on the platform. While it’s clear Musk will be taking Twitter private, further rumors are swirling of another IPO within just 3 years. It’s subtweets-galore out there atm.
Heisenberg Media / Flickr
Bonjour to BinanceFrance says “bienvenue” to Binance, pointing to positive moves in the platform’s push into Europe.
- Binance has received regulatory approval in France to operate as a trading platform – now registered as a Digital Asset Service Provider, Binance will be able to expand its operations in France to make crypto more accessible to its fans over there.
- It’s the first license the crypto exchange has received in Europe. Full regulatory approval from the UK was shot down by the Financial Conduct Authority in 2021, with the regulator claiming Binance posed a “significant risk” to consumers.
- However, it seems Binance has a bit of that je ne sais quoi at the moment. It just secured approval to provide services in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. Could this charm see other European countries follow France’s lead?
Public Domain Pictures
BNB up in a Gulf of flamesFolks at Binance are burning their tokens, and Gulf Energy is ready to add fuel to the fire.
- Binance is throwing its tokens onto the burn pile, announcing that 1.8bn tokens (worth around $740m) have been burnt through various mechanisms to bring down the 200bn supply – the total now burnt comes in at a toasty 36bn.
- Gulf Energy wants to fan the flames. The Thai energy giant announced it has invested in Binance US and has plans to bring its exchanges over to Thailand, calling the CEX “one of the fastest user scale-up exchanges in the world”.
- BNB was up a modest 1.3% on Tuesday to hit $422 after ranging between $350 and $440 since the end of Jan. Could an aggressive burning schedule and a spreading global outreach wake the crypto giant from its three-month slumber?
Marek Piwnicki / Unsplash
Binance flies better with EmiratesBinance gets the green light to bring liquidity to the desert, with plans to operate as a crypto brokerage in Abu Dhabi.
- This is no mirage – this’ll allow Binance to broker digital assets in the UAE, including crypto. The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has given its In-Principle Approval (IPA), offering Binance the chance to become an oasis for crypto in the Middle East. It’s another win for the peeps at Binance, who have already got the go-ahead from Bahrain.
- Binance’s US arm has also received $200m in its first-ever funding round as the platform looks to use the cash to improve its marketing and educational initiatives, cementing it as the biggest player in the crypto exchange game.
- But don’t pop open the champagne just yet, bc Binance’s native token dropped 2% on Sunday and 7% last week. However, with CEO Brian Shroder revealing the company has plans to go public in the next couple of years, this sort of global expansion will be v much welcomed.
Saj Shafique / Unsplash
Bridge Over Centralized WaterCe-Fi and De-Fi have just made a love child in the form of Binance’s latest bridge.
🔍 Key points:
- Binance’s Bridge 2.0 allows De-Fi to trickle into the river of Ce-Fi, supporting operability between different blockchains. Users can now ‘bridge-in’ a token from its native blockchain onto the BNB chain via a regular deposit.
- Originally it only supported tokens listed on Binance.com, but now users can get whatever favorite low-cap shitcoin they found on a dark alcove of the internet in their Binance Funding Wallet. For now, the Spot Wallet is off-limits.
- BNB buoyed around on Wednesday, closing the day up a fairly modest 4%. However, bridges have been getting some bad PR recently. Unless you were consumed by the Oscars drama on Sunday, you’ll know all about the latest $625m Ronin bridge attack – so Binance better watch its back out there…
Is Dubai the new crypto hotspot?Crypto exchanges are flocking to the Middle East in the next wave of digital asset domination after the U.S., Europe and China.
🔍 Key points:
- Binance just got its first regulatory approval in the Middle East. The prominent exchange has received a license to open in the Dubai World Trade Center and has won approval from Bahrain’s central bank to provide crypto services.
- Binance has been facing regulatory probes at a global level. Founded in China, it has since been banned from the region (along with the rest of the crypto crowd), as well as having faced investigation in the U.S., U.K. and India – its goal is “to be fully licensed and regulated around the world”. Good luck with that…
- It’s not the only one that thinks the Middle East abounds with opportunities. Crypto exchange FTX was also given a virtual asset license for Dubai and plans to set up its regional headquarters in the city, so the race is on.
David Rodrigo / Unsplash