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🔴Binance Crisis – The Aftermath | This Week in Crypto – Nov 27, 2023

CZ and Binance plead guilty, agreeing to billions in fines; Kraken faces yet another new lawsuit, and a bitcoin transaction fee for how much?! These stories and more, this week in crypto.

Binance and CEO CZ Plead Guilty

The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to a settlement with Binance after it pleaded guilty to money laundering charges, unlicensed money transmitting and sanctions violations. As part of the settlement, Binance has agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines. Changpeng Zhao has stepped down as CEO of the exchange and is facing up to 10 years in prison.

Bitcoin Responds to Binance News

After a volatile week, crypto markets have resolved to the upside, showing strength in the trend. Confirmation of the news of Binance’s guilty plea and $4.3 billion fine briefly shook markets, including a rapid 6% drop for Bitcoin; but within 24 hours, BTC had regained its footing and continued higher to record a net gain for the week.

Binance Settlement – Good News for Crypto

Investment bank, JPMorgan says the results from the Binance case will benefit the crypto sector as the settlement all but eliminates the potential systemic risk from a hypothetical Binance collapse. In addition, many industry commentators believe Binance’s settlement with the United States to be the final hurdle in the path toward spot Bitcoin ETF approvals.

Kraken Faces Major Lawsuit

Major crypto exchange Kraken, faces an SEC lawsuit for operating as an unregistered securities exchange. In a blog post response, Kraken says it plans to defend its stance. Clashing with the SEC’s push for federal oversight, Kraken stated “Congressional action by elected lawmakers, not agency enforcement, is the right path to creating new law…”. Kraken’s former CEO Jesse Powell warned other crypto firms that if they can’t afford a $100M lawsuit, they better get out of the U.S.

Tether Collaborates with US Secret Service

USDT issuer, Tether, has frozen $225 million worth of its stablecoin linked to a human trafficking group in Southeast Asia. Acting on a U.S. Secret Service request, Tether cooperated in a months-long investigation with the DOJ and OKX exchange, where the frozen tokens were associated with an international human trafficking syndicate involved in a global romance scam.

Millions Stolen in Crypto Bridge Hack

An estimated $115 million so far has been stolen by hackers who exploited two cryptocurrency platforms linked to high-profile entrepreneur Justin Sun. HTX, formerly known as Huobi, was targeted by hackers who stole $30 million worth of crypto and Heco Chain suffered $85 million in theft. HBTC’s native token dropped over 5% within 24 hours of the hack’s disclosure.

Secret Crypto Mines Exposed

Forbes has uncovered Bhutan’s secret bitcoin mining sites using satellite images, revealing state-owned operations in multiple cities and one on a former failed educational project site. The government agency overseeing Bhutan’s crypto ventures didn’t disclose details but confirmed their existence. The mining operations, crucial for Bhutan amid declining revenues, remain somewhat clandestine, raising questions about their financial impact and future.

Bitcoin User Pays Millions in Fee

On-chain data has revealed a staggering incident where a bitcoin user inadvertently paid a fee of 83.65 BTC, amounting to a costly mistake of $3.1 million, for a single transaction. The mistake occurred in a block mined by Antpool, marking the highest fee ever recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain. The resolution for the user’s error remains unclear.

That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.

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