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.
It's not exactly been the smoothest of sailing for Binance. Whilst it still proudly retains the title of the world's biggest crypto exchange, regulatory pressure is proving to be its Achilles heel, reducing its global market share to 52% to 60% at the start of the year.
Following the SEC's request to the court to freeze Binance.US assets, Binance's US arm has seen its market share drop to a dismal 0.9%, from over 22% in April.
Things aren't exactly looking up Down Under either. As part of an ongoing investigation, Australia's financial markets regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has conducted searches at Binance's offices in Australia. ASIC, which revoked Binance Australia's license for derivatives operations in April, is now examining how the firm classified its retail and wholesale clients.
Australia is yet another country turning against Binance. Just last month, Germany's financial regulator, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), decided not to grant a custody license to Binance. The exchange also faces heat from regulators worldwide including the US, Belgium, France and the UK.
In response to regulatory heat in Europe, Binance is now looking to hire a policy officer for its European operations. Under the title "Policy Officer EU," the new job entails creating new policies, standards, guidelines, and procedures for the company.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is also trying to stay relevant by weighing in on the recent slew of Bitcoin ETF applications from the TradFi space. During a recent Twitter Spaces session, Zhao said large entities like BlackRock moving into the sector is "hugely beneficial" and that Binance welcomes more players.
In a recent update, Binance announced the temporary suspension of deposits and withdrawals for eight altcoins connected to the bridging platform Multichain: Alchemy Pay (ACH) via the BNB Smart Chain, Spell Token (SPELL) via the Avalanche C-Chain. Six other lower market-cap altcoin projects via Ethereum and Fantom were also suspended.
No exact explanation was given for the suspension of these specific altcoins but Binance cited how deposits for multiple multichain-bridged tokens were previously suspended last month.
It's a tough time for the firm but as Binance is the biggest crypto exchange in the world, we still have high, high hopes.
- CFTC investigators have determined that Celsius and its former CEO, Alex Mashinsky, violated U.S. regulations prior to the company's collapse. The investigators found that Celsius misled investors and should have registered with the CFTC. The agency could file a case in federal court soon if all its commissioners agree with the findings.
- Circle considering launching a stablecoin in Japan following the implementation of stablecoin regulations on 1 June 2023. Circle's co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Allaire described the regulations as “the most important thing the government and the Financial Services Agency have done," adding that if stablecoins gain broader acceptance globally, Japan would become a significant market.
- Meta has launched its new app called Threads, which aims to take on Twitter. Just like Twitter, Threads allows users to post text, photos and videos, as well as engage in real-time conversations. The service is linked to users' Instagram accounts, through which their profiles and followers can be ported over. Beyond the Musk vs Zuckerberg rivalry, the move could be an interesting shift for the crypto community, which is heavily dependent on Twitter for comms, alphas and degen-ing. If you're already on Threads, be sure to give Blockhead a follow.
- BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who was previously notoriously sceptical about cryptocurrencies, has now stated that Bitcoin has the potential to revolutionize the financial system. "We do believe that if we can create more tokenization of assets and securities – that’s what bitcoin is – it could revolutionize finance,” he said, despite once calling out digital assets for facilitating “illicit activities.” Fink went on to say," Bitcoin is an international asset, it’s not based on any one currency and so it can represent an asset that people can play as an alternative.” His comments come just weeks after BlackRock filed its application with the SEC for a Bitcoin ETF.