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CZ Slams CoinDesk, Tells Binance Staff to Deliberate Career Choices

Binance, Animoca Brands and Solana continue their fight with the SEC, Google challenges hackers, and Pudgy Penguins CEO ventures into licensing

June 9, 2023

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Welcome to Blockhead's Daily Digest, your go-to source for staying informed on the dynamic and ever-changing world of cryptocurrency. Whether you're a seasoned investor, blockchain enthusiast, or simply curious about the latest developments, we've got you covered with the most comprehensive news and analysis.

Happy Friday... Unless you're CZ. It's been a rough week for the crypto industry, and particularly for the Binance CEO. What started out as an SEC lawsuit, which then became an asset freeze request, has now become an internal review for the world's largest crypto exchange.

In an internal memo, Zhao cautioned employees that anything they say could potentially be used in court or become public. The caution came after leaked chat logs between employees showed them discussing "dumping" BNB tokens and operating an unlicensed securities exchange, which aligned with the SEC's allegations.

CZ told staff that the chat logs "did a lot of damage" to the company's reputation and that the SEC would likely ask for chat history as part of its investigation. Additionally, Zhao said that employees "not satisfied working at Binance" should "seriously consider" their career options.

Zhao also took to Twitter to take aim at CoinDesk, which accused Binance of redirecting $12 billion to firms controlled by him. "This is simply false," Zhao tweeted. "Not sure if it's the journalist or the source. To the best of my knowledge, Binance.US had in total roughly $2 billion in user funds."

In other news:

  • US regulations have scared off yet another Web3 giant. This time, it's Animoca Brands shifting focus away from America. The move comes as the SEC classified $SAND (Animoca's native crypto token) as an unregistered security. “Animoca Brands is not focused on a single territory but operates globally,” company co-founder and chairman Yat Siu said. “The SEC focuses on the US, so that should not have an impact on Animoca Brands in broader markets where Sand is widely available and accepted, including in more progressive jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Japan.” It could be another blow for the US crypto scene as Animoca just posted a whopping 401.5% jump in 2020 deferred revenue.
  • The Solana Foundation is also disputing the SEC's claim of SOL as an unregistered security. “The Solana Foundation strongly believes that SOL is not a security,” the Solana Foundation said in a statement. “SOL is the native token to the Solana blockchain, a robust, open-source, community-based software project that relies on decentralized user and developer engagement to expand and evolve.”
  • Google Cloud is offering up to $1 million in protection to Google's Security Command Center Premium customers affected by undetected crypto-mining attacks. Google's Cybersecurity Action Team revealed that 65% of compromised cloud accounts were exploited for cryptocurrency mining, often through automated methods. Google has pledged to cover expenses up to $1 million if a hacker manages to evade Google's detection. However, the protection is specific to mining software usage including monero (XMR) and has nothing to do with Bitcoin mining.
  • Pudgy Penguins CEO Luca Netz is launching a Web3 licensing marketplace called Overpass in late June. The platform aims to simplify complex licensing procedures through blockchain technology. Netz believes that NFT licensing will foster sustainable growth in the industry by focusing on tangible real-world revenue, rather than speculative models. Through Overpass, companies can license IPs directly from NFT holders, providing a scalable way for holders to generate monetary gains. Netz considers virtual assets and airdrops as liabilities.

That's it for this week. Enjoy your weekend!