Binance faces accusations, the U.S. government sells Bitcoins seized from Silk Road, and the EU is limiting anonymous crypto wallets. These stories and more, this week in crypto.
Binance Accused of Breaking US Financial Laws
The U.S. regulator, CTFC, brought a lawsuit accusing Binance of building its US business without registering properly with authorities, alleging that the firm has been operating illegally in the country. Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, has come back with a strong and comprehensive response to the lawsuit, describing it as “unexpected” and “disappointing”.
U.S. Government Confirms Selling Seized Bitcoin
A court filing shows the U.S. government sold 9,861 Bitcoins for nearly $216 million on March 14. The assets sold were part of the Bitcoins seized in November in the case related to a hack of darknet market Silk Road. The government intends to liquidate the remaining 41000 bitcoins in four separate offerings over the course of this year.
EU To Limit Anonymous Crypto Wallets
EU lawmakers have voted in favor of imposing limits on payments by unverified crypto wallet users, as part of a larger overhaul of money laundering laws. The new limits prohibit traders from making or receiving anonymous crypto transfers exceeding a 1,000 euro. The measures would not prevent crypto payments entirely, as the cap would not apply to regulated wallet providers.
MicroStrategy Buys Bitcoin Again
The world’s largest corporate holder of bitcoin, MicroStrategy, has resumed its accumulation of Bitcoin after a three month halt. The firm bought 6,455 BTC worth nearly $150 million, which grew the company’s total holdings to just shy of 139,000 BTC, acquired for roughly $4 billion. Additionally, the business intelligence giant has repaid its Bitcoin-collateralized loan to Silvergate at a substantial discount.
Ledger Raises €100M Funding
Ledger, the market leader in hardware wallets for storing digital assets securely offline, has raised $109 million in its latest funding round, lifting its valuation to $1.4 billion. Ledger is thought to have benefitted from recent crises in the industry as hodlers became nervous about leaving their assets in the custody of online platforms.
American Banks Wary of Crypto
During the recent downturn of the financial sector, banks became increasingly wary of dealing with crypto. First Citizens Bank agreed to buy most of the remnants of Silicon Valley Bank only to exclude crypto and loans backed by crypto from the deal. Similarly, New York Community Bank, which bought up Signature Bank also refused to buy Signature’s substantial crypto banking arm.
Forecast: Mass Crypto Adoption Driven by CBDCs
In its latest report, investment bank Citi suggests that the next influx of crypto adoption will be driven by the rise of central bank digital currencies and the tokenization of real-world assets. The report, named “Money, Tokens and Games” says society is approaching an inflection point, after which blockchain technology will experience mass adoption with billions of new users.
Nearly 1,000 New Tokens Enter the Market
Despite the recent regulatory pressure on the crypto industry, momentum is returning to the market, as evidenced by the launch of nearly a 1000 new tokens since the beginning of this year. The market now has over 23,000 cryptocurrencies and in just three months the overall market capitalisation has rocketed from just under 800 billion to nearly $1.2 trillion.
That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.