Binance Korea to Improve KYC/AML Framework With Coinfirm’s Compliance Solution

  • Binance South Korea unveiled a unique partnership with Blockchain analytics firm, Coinfirm that will help Binance remain compliant with the strict AML framework in the jurisdiction.
  • Coinfirm will offer real-time monitoring and flag any transactions deemed illegal on the Binance South Korea platform.

News has emerged regarding a strategic partnership between South Korean Chapter of Crypto exchange – Binance and Coinfirm. Coinfirm will assist Binance in flagging transactions that are deemed suspicious.

The strategic partnership was a last-ditch effort by Binance to remain compliant with the Anti Money Laundering (AML) framework set out by South Korean authorities. This was after the introduction of regulations by the country’s financial watchdogs aimed to align with the standard requirements stipulated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Travel Rule.

Binance’s leading platform opts for a rather conservative approach that allows them to be lax with the AML and CTF regulations. They instead prefer open but separate affiliate chapters in Jurisdictions that have a harsher stance towards compliance concerning AML/CTF requirements. Examples are such as Binance US and South Korea.

Coinfirm’s Progress In Blockchain Regulations

Founded in 2016, Coinfirm works with crypto firms and exchanges to provide expertise real-time Blockchain Analytics and compliance with risk management solutions. They have previously worked with several banks and crypto firms, including CoinGecko and Ripple, in a bid to offer compliance solutions to the FATF guidelines.

Late last year, they worked with Kroll to launch ReclaimCrypto. This initiative uses forensic tech to try and recoup pilfered cryptocurrencies charging 30% for their efforts, while the rest of the recovered crypto would be handed over to respective owners.

How the partnership will affect their customer base is unknown. This is because of the real-time method of screening transactions. Coinfirm Cofounder, Grant Blaisdell, has reiterated that it would be Binance’s obligation to act on the flagged transaction as Coinfirm will just provide the data from analytics carried out.

South Korea AML/CTF Stance

South Korea has been on the lookout for illicit transactions while implementing strict guidelines for crypto operations in the country. This is after an Anti-Money Laundering Annual Report indicated that more than half a million dollars worth of crypto transactions in South Korea were declared suspicious and more often than not funneled funds to sponsor illicit activities.

This led to the implementation of stringent rules on crypto participation, including verification of real names in the KYC protocols introduced in 2018 by the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

Notably, Binance was called out on money embezzlement claims in South Korea. This involved $1 million in frozen assets from a client’s account, which Binance revealed was at the authorities’ behest. The South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance has recently proposed that all crypto-fiat transactions and revenue generated from ICO’s and token sales are subjected to taxation.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Steem is ‘Overly Centralized’ Says CZ While Announcing Support for the Controversial Hard Fork

The leading spot exchange Binance has received a request to upgrade the STEEM network to version 0.23.

This controversial hard fork earlier this week aimed to freeze 23.6 million STEEM tokens worth $5 million of 65 accounts and reduce the un-staking time to 4 weeks from 13 weeks.

In an attempt to prevent the takeover of these funds, they were sent to crypto exchange Bittrex but as we reported the exchange has decided to not turn over these funds to their owners as they would be following the “consensus of the blockchain.”

Now, Binance has also agreed to support the upgrade and allow the users the “freedom to use their STEEM tokens as they see fit.”

“We don’t want to support this upgrade. But there is a flip side. If we don’t support it (technically), no users can withdraw any STEEM coins. The wallet stopped syncing at a certain height, and there are no other forks,” said Binance co-founder and CEO Chagpeng Zhao.

Over the next two months, the exchange will further reduce support for STEEM by cutting down its trading pairs to just one from the current 3 pairs.

CZ also advised one of the victims who reportedly lost $1 million due to this fork to “create a fork of STEEM just before the hard fork, and we will likely support that.”

As CZ himself wondered, “Thought you would have sold those for HIVE long ago,” the Twitter user They Call Me Dan shared it was because he “fought in the voting war and kept my steem powered up until Hive was born.”

He powered down his Steem but as it takes 13 weeks to fully unstake Steem, which has now been reduced to just 4 weeks, they remained stuck on the Steem network.

Earlier this month, when Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun had a hostile takeover of the Steem, which he acquired late last year was with the help of Binance, Huobi, and Poloniex, a crypto exchange also acquired by Sun last year.

Later on, Binance and Huobi retracted their influence, which they gained through the tokens staked on the exchange.

Although this time there is no “power-up and voting” involved, this one is tricky, because this upgrade turns the asset balances on a few addresses into zero of which Binance is against, explained CZ.

“The fact that this can happen on a blockchain means it is overly centralized,” he said. And in that case, “fork away from it.”

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Author: AnTy

EOS-Based DeFi, Equilibrium, Adds Binance, Eosfinex to EOSDT Stablecoin Governance Council

  • Binance and Eosfinex, Bitfinex’s decentralized exchange, are some of the big names in crypto to join Equilibrium’s EOSDT stable coin governance committee.

According to official reports, the two companies joined the council alongside independent block producers, EOS Nation and EOS Cannon, to provide oversight over approval of contracts and amendments made on smart contracts on the EOSDT stablecoin blockchain.

Equilibrium is an EOS based open finance platform that offers similar capabilities to Maker platform with EOSDT similar to the DAI stablecoin. With the new governance team in place, Alex Melikhov, CEO of Equilibrium, said this will allow the network to fully utilize the features on EOS in his statement,

“One of the main advantages of EOS lies in updatable smart contract code. In other words you can migrate to new versions of your application seamlessly without hard stop of the whole system.”

Binance involvement in the governance of the Equilibrium chain will see the exchange oversee every smart contract on the platform, granting access to upgrades or rejecting them. However, the governance council regulations require at least two parties to give their consent before the smart contract is implemented.

“You can also consider it as establishing a four-eyed principle for Equilibrium’s EOSDT.”

The decision to add the new members was voted by the existing council members not only Equilibrium, Alex said. This is to ensure the best and most reliable participants in governance are chosen for the slots. Such decisions are uncommon on Ethereum DeFi platforms whereby the founders hold the admin keys of the protocol giving them absolute power over the system.

Equilibriums governance council, while not fully trustless, offers the blockchain “decentralization by creating a proof-of-authority framework which consists of trusted counterparts that are independent according to their background.” Alex further said,

“Instead of a single owner who can potentially do whatever they want there is a group of reputable and known ecosystem participants who bid their reputation on the integrity/relevance of these updates.”

While the verdict remains unknown on why Binance joined the governance council, the possibility of BNB being added as a backing asset to the EOSDT stablecoin has improved. According to one spokesperson from the largest crypto exchange, top management is looking forward to BNB getting added as collateral on the Equilibrium DeFi platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera

CoinMarketCap Wanted to Fix Fake Volumes, CZ Said To Implement a Simple, Short-Term Fix

  • Once again, Binance founder and CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, is trying to clarify that CoinMarketCap works independently of the leading spot exchange.
  • Binance and Zhao have received a lot of new flak over the acquisition of crypto data site CMC in a $400 million deal a month back.

Just last week, as Bitcoin Exchange Guide reported, in an attempt to address wash trading, CMC completely removed a metric that highlighted the discrepancy between published and real volume to focus on traffic volume.

This new metric provided Binance with 1000 points and the first position followed by Coinbase, BitMEX, and Kraken.

Ciara Sun, Head of Global Business and Markets, Vice President of the competing exchange, Huobi, which is now ranked 18th on CMC, also shared her displeasure with the new ranking system.

Get Over it, Binance Bought it!

Yes, the company has bought CMC, making it the latest “part of the Binance ecosystem and family.” But like other teams, they make their own decisions and work towards their own goals “fairly independently,” explained CZ in a post today.

And unlike many, CZ doesn’t have a “binary interpretation” of words like decentralization and independence. Instead, he perceives them on a “gradient scale,” and when it comes to autonomy, Binance offers a lot of it to its users.

CZ also cleared that he has regular meetings with the CMC team and provides them with his suggestions but does not “dictate them.”

But if you think he won’t be tweeting about CME, the business he recently acquired, then you have something else coming. CZ said,

“Should I not tweet about CMC to be seen as more distant or “independent”? Well, get over it. We bought it. You can safely assume I will continue to tweet heavily about CMC, just like I will continue to do so for Binance, BNB, Trust Wallet, WazirX, and all of the teams and projects in the Binance ecosystem.”

He further shared how, based on twitter feedback, they decided to go with the simple metric as a short-term fix rather than going with CMC team’s initial plan to “fix the exchange ranking and fake volumes issue in one month.”

The plan was to have a combination of updated liquidity metric and web traffic but CZ’s “feedback” was, it’s “too slow” and to “find a simpler way to fix it in a week.”

And here we go.

Unavoidable Conflict of Interest Will Remain

Although Binance has the “largest trading volume on most days” and ranks highest by some metrics while not by others, they will be using a combination of metrics to improve CoinMarketCap in the long-run.

But everyone isn’t happy with CZ’s “Rolling with the punches, but staying transparent,” plan.

Analyst Mati Greenspan, who has been very vocal about his displeasure of CMC’s acquisition by Binance yet again tweeted “Ownership inherently causes an unavoidable conflict of interest.” He added,

“The equivalent of this would be if JP Morgan bought Moody’s rating agency. Then, Jamie Dimon claiming that they’re still independent because he’s not the one making decisions about how they rate things.”

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Author: AnTy

Binance Crypto Exchange Gets Approval for Chinese Domain; Focus is on Tech and Education

Binance has acquired a Chinese domain name, following approval by authorities back in April.

The newly registered, binance.cn, was given the go-ahead by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. This development will see Binance expand its tech and education services into the Chinese market as opposed to the platform’s services.

In a recent tweet confirming this milestone, the exchange’s CEO and popular crypto figure, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) highlighted they will be taking one step at a time:

“One step at a time. Let’s focus on education and technology first.”

According to public records on this registration, the binance.cn domain falls under a company dubbed ‘Shanghai Bi Nai Shi Information Technology LLC’. Notably, the pronunciation is similar to ‘Binance’ in Chinese.

ChainNews, the crypto media outlet which first reported on this development, noted that the firm has one legal rep going by the name, Junxi He.

Binance Expands Blockchain Tech & Education to China

While most expected the launch of a crypto exchange, Binance seems to have taken a more conservative approach with China’s prospective market. The new website touts the firm as the global leader in blockchain development.

It goes on to further state that Binance aims to equip China’s blockchain market through consulting, investment, development charity, and research. Also included is a section of guiding blogs meant to help crypto newbies and veterans navigate finance, cryptography, and blockchain.

Just recently, Binance had pioneered a research institute in China with a focus on blockchain tech. This was initiated under the firm’s non-profit education subsidiary, Binance Academy, and is expected to be another growth factor in the new binance.cn domain.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Binance Invests in Indonesian Regulated Crypto Exchange, Tokocrypto, Driving New Initiatives

Binance is ready to bet on the Indonesian crypto market, as it has made an undisclosed investment in Tokocrypto, a crypto exchange based and regulated in Jakarta.

On Tuesday morning, Binance announced it’s going to put funding into Tokocrypto, for this exchange to build new products and offerings, improve its tech stack and expand its customer base.

Tokocrypto launched back in 2018. Since then, it became the first business of its kind to obtain a 2019 business license from Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI).

What’s Indonesia’s Stand on Crypto?

As far as digital assets, Indonesia has enforced strict laws. Crypto is not a way of making payments in the country. In contrast, the new regulations from early 2020 have had investors putting up a rather high minimum capital if they want to trade with crypto derivatives.

However, it seems there are a few holes in the governmental regulation when it comes to crypto trading in Indonesia do exist. While no unbiased reports are revealing the details of the Indonesian crypto market, a Reuters report from early 2020 says the country’s crypto market is as big as the stock market here.

Here’s what Changpeng CZ Zhao, the CEO and co-founder of Binance had to say about this and the Tokocrypto investment:

“Indonesia will become one of the leading centres of the blockchain ecosystem in Southeast Asia. Our investment in Tokocrypto will allow us to explore exciting new opportunities together for the Indonesian market with a regulated local partner to enable the freedom of money further.”

Huobi Also Made a Move-in Indonesia

Binance’s competitor Huobi was the first big exchange to begin operating on the Indonesian crypto market by establishing a local branch in 2018. Binance’s arrival is more recent and started after the Indonesian rupiah currency had been added last month to Binance’s peer-to-peer (P2P) platform. By investing in Tokocrypto, Binance gains exposure to the crypto scene in Indonesia, yet without having to go through regulatory requirements.

The Investment Sum Hasn’t Been Disclosed

While the sum for the investment Binance made in Tokocrypto hasn’t been revealed yet, at least the purpose of the funding is known. As mentioned earlier, new services, products and technological improvements are going to be promoted, together with a blockchain education initiative and national expansion.

Tokocrypto has already been backed by the Singapore-based investment and asset trading firm QCP Capital. Its advisory board has Darius Sit and Joshua Ho from QCP Capital, also Digix’s Shaun Djie, sitting as members. Besides, the exchange collaborates with PPTAK, the Indonesian financial intelligence agency, trying to partner up further with other industries’ players.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Binance.US Rolls Out An OTC Desk With A $10,000 Minimum Trade Value

The US branch of the largest crypto exchange in the world, Binance US has announced the introduction of an over-the-counter (OTC) platform to serve large trades worth $10,000 and above.

According to an official statement released by the company, the new feature will enable Binance users to easily process orders worth at least $10,000 directly amongst themselves.

Over-the-counter trades involve customers negotiating with each other on orders which are not indicated in the public order books exchanges, Binance clarified through its FAQ. in this regard, the platform will help the clients to easily move huge orders with utmost privacy and with no any effect in the market.

The platform was introduced by Binance America CEO, Catherine Coley, during Consensus: Distributed on Monday. According to Coley, the service could not have been rolled on at an opportune time when there is high interest in Bitcoin as the halving event is just days to go.

At the moment, the OTC platform is supporting 12 cryptos and the US dollar (USD). However, for one to be permitted for USD withdrawal, you must pass Level 3 Fiat Verification that contains very tough and stringent KYC rules within the platform. The communique also clarified that every settlement will be directly deposited to the existing client’s Binance.US accounts.

Whereas the OTC platform will not charge any fees, spreads will be applied. This indicates that the price provided will either be higher or lower compared to the market prices, determined by if the client is buying or selling.

The new platform will be accessible to Binance US clients in 37 states where the exchange operates. However, Coley stated that the firm was working on getting the requisite operation licences in the remainder of the 13 states.

Coley explained that the launching of the OTC platform will help in complimenting Binance.US various trading options. Binance had previously launched the OTC trading platform for the global exchange clients in January last year.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Privacy-Focused Browser Brave Adds Binance Exchange Widget to All Versions

Privacy-focused browser Brave has made an April 30 announcement that it has integrated the Binance widget into all their desktop offerings.

Brave users can now exchange Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) and all the other cryptocurrencies supported on Binance through their browser. More than this, they get to enjoy many other functions such as buying, trading, depositing and checking summaries, all without having to use other apps.

The Widget Enabled by Default

The same announcement from April 30 says the Binance widget is already enabled by default. This means the millions desktop users of Brave are going to hear about the crypto exchange Binance if they haven’t until now. In the past, the same widget was available in Brave Beta and Brave Nightly, also only for testing.

Now, all Brave users who open a new window or tab in the browser are going to be introduced to Binance and the Brave crypto rewards widget that’s on the page’s right side. After, they will be prompted to connect their Binance account with the widget. After authentication, they will be able to view the assets they’re holding and to trade straight from the browser.

Security and Mobile Versions

Since the widget is built straight into the browser, it preserves the users’ privacy by communicating with the Binance API via authenticated interaction only. Obviously, the widget can be disconnected, which means the browser would no longer interact with the users’ Binance account until the authentication process would get to happen again. Even if enabled by default, the widget can still be manually hidden.

At the moment, Brave has more than 13.5 million users who are active every month across all platforms. The Binance widget is for now integrated into the desktop Mac, Windows and Linux desktop versions of the browser, but it has been announced to have its iOS and Android mobile apps later this year.

Binance said the integration with Brave is another step in encouraging the adoption of cryptocurrency. Neither of the two companies revealed anything about the business the partnership between them will bring. You can try using the Brave Privacy Browser here.

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Author: Oana Ularu

BitPay Adds Binance’s USD-Pegged Stablecoin, BUSD To Its Merchant Payment Platform

  • BitPay adds Binance exchange’s stablecoin, Binance USD (BUSD) to its merchant payment processing platform.
  • BUSD is the latest in a string of crypto payment options including BTC, ETH and XRP.

In an announcement by BitPay, a merchants’ crypto payments processing firm, announced the addition of Binance USD (BUSD) on it platforms. Merchants will now be able to accept Binance stablecoin across the U.S boosting adoption rates in daily usage of cryptocurrency.

The CEO of BitPay, Stephen Pair, expects the partnership with Binance will open up cross border payments using the platform given the top exchange’s reach across the global market. He also expects the partnership between the two crypto companies to yield a wider market base as they provide users with a stable and quick gateway to purchase everyday goods.

He further said,

“With BUSD, BitPay expands blockchain payment choices for all our customers across the global payments space who want the flexibility of paying on the blockchain with the stability of the US dollar.”

Users can start depositing BUSD tokens in their BitPay Wallets starting April 27he service is set to be rolled out to respective merchants across the globe in the coming days. BUSD will also be available on its debit card, BitPay Card, a functionality only available in the U.S. The Card will support users across all the 50 states.

Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao also showed appreciation for the partnership with BitPay in his statement. CZ said,

“We believe a growing number of merchants and businesses will start adopting crypto, and we are glad to provide the payments solution together with BitPay, making the process simpler and easier.”

BitPay currently supports over 2 million customers across all the 50 states in the U.S and other points of sale across the globe. BUSD, adds in to a pot of cryptocurrency payment options already available including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple-led crypto, XRP, and other stablecoins.

Binance USD was approved back in 2018 by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) allowing its trade across the 50 states. The partnership

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Author: Lujan Odera

Binance Chain Adds Ontology-backed Token ONT-33D; To Be Listed on Decentralized Exchange

Binance has issued ONT-33D token that is pegged by ONT coin on a 1:1 ratio. The coin has been developed on the Ontology Blockchain different from the token which is hosted on the exchange’s DEX Blockchain.

Reports have surfaced that Binance is now issuing their own token. They are offering the ONT token on their Blockchain. Dubbed ONT-33D according to a spokesperson of the crypto exchange, it has been built on their Blockchain being subject to oversight from the BEP2 protocols.

ONT 33D backed 1:1 by ONT Coin

The tokens are backed by ONT coins at a ratio of 1:1. This was in a bid to ensure that the token price is equivalent to the ONT traded on open crypto as further highlighted by the spokesperson. The ONT coins based on Ontology’s very Blockchain would put them out of sync with the exchange’s decentralized Blockchain known as DEX as the coin and the token are operating on entirely different Blockchains.

“It will allow ONT holders to have decentralized exchange service”

Similarly, in 2017 Binance had unveiled BTCB token on their native Blockchain that was 100% pegged by Bitcoin. Traded against BTC, users would be able to BTCB for the currency it was backed by. The ideology was behind the move was that it would grant Binance DEX users access to tokens that have Blockchains other than Binance’s.

Notably Ontology has been ranked top 30 by analytics firm Coin Market Cap acquired by Binance in a $400 million deal. As per the writing it is currently enjoying a market cap of $271 million and trading volume of about $93 million USD. Although the total ONT supply has been estimated to be around 1 billion they are just over 650 million in circulation.

Binance through their spokesperson have reiterated that more is still to come as they intend to increase their capabilities soon. They have cited thay may add a staking feature and once its integration with their DEX Blockchain is complete the users will have a say in the governance as well as full control over their assets.

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Author: Lujan Odera