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Binance's Bizarre Plans With the UK, Nigeria, The Weeknd

What do Nigeria, the UK and The Weeknd have in common? Binance, apparently. Meanwhile, Do Kwon gets jail time, Hong Kong hits 150 Web3 company registrations, and Napoleon Dynamite has a reunion thanks to NFTs

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Binance continues to dominate headlines, but the headlines are getting weirder. Just yesterday we reported that the world's largest exchange pulled out of the Netherlands and is under investigation in France for alleged illegal canvassing of clients and aggravated money laundering.

Now, Binance itself has requested the cancellation of several permissions given to the crypto exchange's UK subsidiary Binance Markets Limited (BML) by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Effectively, Binance is no longer authorized to conduct regulated activities in the UK, at the behest of Binance.

Binance has clarified that the decision, which comes against the backdrop of its SEC lawsuit, will not affect its operations as BML had not yet conducted any regulated business in the UK.

Over in Nigeria, Binance has issued a cease and desist notice to "Binance Nigeria Limited" less than two weeks after the country's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered it to cease operations after determining its local unit was operating illegally. The SEC said the exchange was not registered or regulated.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has since called Binance Nigeria Limited a "scammer entity" and advised his followers "don't believe everything you read in the news."

According to a research note published yesterday by Kaiko, Binance.US has seen its market share in trading volume drop to 1%, down from its all-time high of 27% just a few months ago.

Indeed, Binance is in quite the pickle, to say the least. But fret not, the solution could come in the form of The Weeknd. Yes, that one.

In an effort to revive its brand, Binance is launching a new metaverse partnership with the "Die For You" singer for his "After Hours Til Dawn" tour. The interactive digital experience will allow fans to participate, regardless of whether they have tour tickets. Fans can explore the metaverse and win exclusive merchandise or future concert tickets.

Ticket holders may receive NFT souvenirs that could unlock autographed merchandise or VIP experiences.

Binance also plans to release an exclusive NFT collection for the tour, with 5% of the sales supporting the XO Humanitarian Fund initiated by The Weeknd and administered by World Food Program USA.

It's certainly a strange step and we can't exactly say we could "feel it coming."

Elsewhere:

  • Do Kwon has finally been sentenced to prison but not for long enough, if you ask us. A court in Montenegro has charged the LUNA founder and his associate with using forged passports, sentencing them to just four months in prison. The pair were caught attempting to board a flight to Dubai with Costa Rican passports, which Interpol deemed were fake. Kwon and his associate face extradition and are also wanted by US authorities on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, commodities fraud, and conspiracy. A bail amount of €800,000 was previously scrapped by the higher court.
  • Hong Kong is experiencing a boom in Web3 registrations. Over 150 Web3-related companies registered in the city's Cyberport region in the past year, according to Paul Chan, Hong Kong's financial secretary. HK$50 million was allocated to Cyberport to develop Web3 companies and support the growth of the technology sector. Hong Kong has also been pushing its banks to extend its services to Web3 clients and recently had its regulation day of reckoning on 1 June 2023.
  • The Napoleon Dynamite cast has been reunited thanks to NFTs. Comic book actor Rob Feldman has brought Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder (Napoleon) and Efren Ramirez (Pedro) together for his animated series called "Cyko KO." The 12-minute pilot was only made possible due to sales of Cyko KO NFT access passes, which amounted to $118,000. Vote For Web3.
  • Head of Digital Assets at Franklin Templeton, Roger Bayston, is remaining optimistic about the crypto space, encouraging investors to play the long game. "As the regulatory environment becomes clear, there’ll be continued innovation in these software protocol development platforms … don’t expect it to end just at Bitcoin and Ethereum," he said. At the heart of the digital and data-driven economy is blockchain technology, Bayston believes. "These protocols are trying to address very large TAMs where there’s application for these public databases that help reduce friction of one database not being the exact copy of another," he said.


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