Friday, December 8, 2023

FTC enhances investigative procedures to deal with AI-related lawbreaking

The FTC unanimously approved a measure to streamline its staff’s ability to issue civil investigative demands (CIDs) — a form of compulsory process similar to a subpoena — in investigations relating to AI while retaining its authority to determine when CIDs are issued. Continue Reading on Cointelegraph

Changpeng Zhao, the crypto king and Binance chief, ousted for US crimes

LONDON (Reuters) -The most powerful man in crypto has lost his crown - and could see his freedom curtailed as well.Binance chief Changpeng Zhao on Tuesday stepped down and pleaded guilty to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws as part of a $4.3 billion settlement resolving a years-long probe into the world's largest crypto exchange, prosecutors said.The deal with the Justice Department, part of a large settlement between Binance and other U.S. agencies, resolves criminal charges for conducting an unlicensed money transmitter business, conspiracy and breaching sanctions regulations.It also leaves Zhao's future uncertain."Today, I stepped down as CEO of Binance," Zhao tweeted. "Admittedly, it was not easy to let go emotionally. But I know it is the right thing to do. I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility."Zhao, known as CZ, will personally pay $50 million and is barred from all involvement with Binance.U.S. sentencing guidelines call for prison time of 10 to 18 months for the charges he faces. Prosecutors are seeking an 18-month prison sentence, the New York Times reported.Zhao and his lawyers did not return calls seeking comment.LOFTY AMBITIONSAfter launching Binance in Shanghai in 2017, Zhao dreamed big. "We want to take over the entire market!" he told staff in a company chat group that year.The 46-year-old CEO did not waver in his belief as he built up his crypto exchange. Even this year, Zhao felt a major goal was within reach."The idea that a five-year-old start-up could mature and operate at the same level as a financial institution that has been around for 200 years was once impossible to fathom," Zhao wrote in January in a review of the previous year. "But we are nearly there today."In that review, Binance hailed its progress in complying with regulations across the world. The exchange had strived through the year to strengthen client checks, it said, developing crypto's "best security and compliance team."Zhao's public aim to be a part of all that has been dashed by Tuesday's guilty plea and settlement."By failing to comply with U.S. law, Binance made it easy for criminals to move their stolen funds and illicit proceeds on its exchanges," U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Tuesday. "Binance also did more than just fail to comply with federal law. It pretended to comply."'ZHAO ANSWERS TO NO ONE'Zhao was born in China before moving to Canada in 1989 at age 12, two months after China's Tiananmen Square crackdown  on pro-democracy protesters, he wrote in a blog last year.The tycoon crisscrossed the globe in his quest for  success, working in Tokyo and New York before moving to  Shanghai, where he embraced crypto and founded Binance.Its expansion was dramatic. Binance became the world's biggest crypto exchange within six months.While its market share has slipped this year, it still accounts for about half of global crypto  trading volumes, according to research firm CCData.From the company's earliest days, Zhao kept a tight grip on Binance, as a powerful leader committed to secrecy and focused on market domination, a Reuters report last year found. As CEO, he remained in control of minute operational detail, at the same time posting social media selfies with world leaders and city mayors.Zhao installed a tight circle of associates, many of  whom had worked or studied in China, into top jobs. Co-founder Yi He now runs Binance's venture capital arm, as well as other key departments.As Binance hired more widely from traditional financial and regulatory worlds, Zhao's tight control over his company was undiminished. The company, which calls itself an "ecosystem," has set up more than 70 entities, most controlled by Zhao personally."Zhao answers to no one but himself," the Commodity Futures Trading Commission wrote in March after suing Binance for operating what it called a "sham" compliance program.It is unclear whether Zhao will now relinquish control of the firms. In the meantime, one of his appointees will take over running Binance.Richard Teng, a senior Binance executive who joined in 2021, is the new CEO, Zhao posted on social media on Tuesday. Teng "will ensure Binance delivers on our next phase of security, transparency, compliance, and growth," he said.

Root Network token surges 627% on KuCoin debut

The Root Network is designed to provide a secure experience for users within the metaverse. It utilizes a Modular Development Toolkit to ensure scalability and interconnectability across various applications. By integrating with the XRP Ledger (XRPL) and offering Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility, the network facilitates seamless transactions and interactions within the digital universe.A particularly notable rally occurred on KuCoin where ROOT's value soared by 627% to $0.030288. This impressive performance highlights the market's enthusiasm for new ventures in the rapidly growing metaverse sector.The integration of XRP as the gas token for transactions within The Root Network is a strategic move that not only enhances the utility of Ripple-backed cryptocurrency but also supports its case in the ongoing lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Ripple Labs has consistently argued that XRP functions as a utility token, and its role in The Root Network could help further this claim by demonstrating its practical use in facilitating transactions within the metaverse platform.This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

Ethereum surpasses $2,000 as wallet creation soars

On Tuesday, data from Santiment revealed a significant increase in Ethereum network participation, marked by the registration of 94,700 new wallets as the cryptocurrency price breached the $2,000 mark. This level of activity has not been observed since the price highs of May 2022.Continuing this positive trend into today, analysis from Santiment shows that the top 200 Ethereum wallets have expanded their holdings considerably, amassing over $124 billion worth of ETH. This accumulation comes despite recent market uncertainties and a nearly 20% decrease in ETH held on exchanges over the past six months, reaching its lowest point within this period. The reduction in exchange-held Ethereum coupled with an uptick in active addresses suggests a strong investor conviction in the asset's value.The current enthusiasm around Ethereum also aligns with IntoTheBlock's charts, which corroborate the increase in both active addresses and new wallet creations during this upward trend. As Ethereum's price aims for the $2,200 level—a price point last seen in May 2022—market participants are keenly watching for potential Bitcoin ETF approvals that could further influence sentiment.Despite facing challenges such as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao's actions that have previously shaken market confidence, heavyweight Ethereum investors have demonstrated their resilience. They have continued to purchase and hold onto their ETH assets since November 21 last year, even as the cryptocurrency experienced a descent to $900 following FTX's downfall.While Ethereum has shown some depreciation recently, it has fared better than Bitcoin, which has seen a more pronounced drop to $36,480. Analyst FieryTrading suggests that Ethereum could be poised for an imminent rise towards $2,350 based on current 'bull-flag' formations observed in trading patterns.This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

Crypto market sees slight dip with $1.42T cap, Bitcoin resilient

In the midst of these market conditions, Bitcoin has shown resilience, with its value increasing by 2.2% to $36,500. The leading cryptocurrency also saw a significant 33% surge in trade volumes, totaling $27.7 billion. Although volatility metrics stayed compressed, RSI indicators suggested bearish tendencies.Ethereum has faced slight resistance, with its price marginally declining to $1,996, which represents a daily loss of less than 1%. However, it still managed to post a modest weekly gain of 0.81%. Ethereum's trading volumes have increased by 13%, climbing to $14.6 million amidst fluctuating market conditions and bearish technical analysis outlooks.BNB is contending with downward pressure, having dropped in value to $235.8 after a 9% decline over the day. Despite this daily loss, BNB has maintained a weekly gain of 4.4%. Trading volumes for BNB have spiked by 60%, reaching $2.5 million following the announcement that CZ will step down as CEO of Binance.THORChain's RUNE token has also faced intraday depreciation, dropping by 6.8%, yet it has achieved a weekly increase of 1.9%. Its trading volumes have dramatically increased by 83%, hitting $570 million, despite erratic market sentiment and bearish signals from analytical tools like Bollinger bands and RSI.BLUR stands out with its price surging by 15% on the day and registering an 18% increase over the past seven days. The bullish trend for BLUR is supported by a 66% increase in trading volume, which reached $430 million amid substantial volatility but favorable conditions for bulls according to technical analysis indicators such as Bollinger band spreads and RSI positioning above average levels.This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.