Binance.US Hires New President to Begin its “Journey Toward IPO,” VC Giant Onboards Former CFTC Official

Brian Shroder, who was previously an executive at Ant Group and Uber, believes it will be “an extremely successful IPO.” Meanwhile, Brian Quintenz, who left CFTC last month, will advise a16z on crypto policy issues.

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s US entity, Binance.US, has appointed a new president after former OCC head Brian Brooks stepped down in just three months, and before that, Catherine Coley, who became the CEO in late 2019 and left this April.

At the time of Brooks’ departure, Matthew Graham, CEO at VC Sino Global Capital, had said that foreigners taking executive-level positions at Chinese companies “frequently ends in disaster.”

The latest hire is Brian Shroder, who was previously an executive at Ant Group, where he oversaw South East Asia operations, and Uber Technologies, where he was the head of strategy and business development for the Asia-Pacific region.

He will oversee the exchange’s strategy, execution, business and corporate development, fundraising, and manage its legal, product, and technology functions, the company said in a statement.

Shroder further said that he is looking “forward to sharing our exciting story with the broader investment community as we begin our journey toward IPO.”

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, CZ, the chairman of the board at Binance.US, recently said that the US entity, which was launched in 2019, is expecting to close a funding round shortly and is planning an eventual public offering (IPO).

“Based on our current trajectory, I believe we could have an extremely successful IPO in the next two to three years,” Shroder told Bloomberg, adding, the exchange looks to “close its first seed round by the end of the year.”

Ongoing Dialogues With Regulators

Binance has been facing a lot of regulatory scrutiny from regulators all over the world, the latest being Singapore. But Binance says it is currently having ongoing dialogues with regulators all around the world.

“Right now, the regulators around the world are paying attention to crypto.” When they do that, they pay attention to Binance because it is one of the largest players globally, so “of course they look at us” as such, “we have taken a lead example of some of the regulatory compliance measures,” said CZ in an interview with CNBC this week.

These measures include implementing mandatory full KYC on all of its platforms, and before that, they limited certain products in certain regions, said Zhao adding, “we have a lot of other things in the pipeline, but I think overall the situation is regulators are paying attention to this industry.”

While bad from the perspective of PR, it’s “also good that we can help shape the regulatory narrative,” CZ added.

Regulatory Response To Crypto Innovation

Another big hire in the crypto industry was made by Silicon Valley venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), who onboarded former CFTC commissioner Brian Quintenz to advise on crypto policy issues.

Quintenz, who served at the CFTC from 2017 until last month and gave the green light to the listing of the first future contracts based on virtual currencies during his tenure, will be working with the team involved in crypto-related investments. He will be joining other crypto advisers at the firm, including Brent McIntosh, former top Treasury Department official for international affairs during the Trump administration, and Bill Hinman, who ran the corporate filings division at the SEC.

“The regulatory response to crypto innovation will be critical in whether an openly accessible, fully transparent, and decentralized value-creating financial ecosystem can be truly achieved,” Quintenz said in a statement.

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Author: AnTy

Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Turns Himself in To US Authorities

Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Turns Himself in To US Authorities

Former chief executive officer of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, has turned himself into the US authorities on Tuesday in the case against the platform, him and other top executives, Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed, for violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

Hayes, a Singapore resident, surrendered in Hawaii six months after federal prosecutors charged them with conspiring to skirt U.S. laws requiring the implementation of money-laundering controls.

As agreed previously, he appeared before a federal judge in Honolulu and was released on a $10 million bond.

Hayes’ lawyers said in a statement that the “self-made entrepreneur” had been wrongly accused of crimes that he didn’t commit. Having already voluntarily appeared in court, Hayes now looks forward “to fighting these unwarranted charges,” they added.

Launched in 2014, Seychelles-based BitMEX was first probed by CFTC in 2019 regarding whether the exchange broke the rules by allowing US customers to trade on the platform. Serving US customers requires registration with the agency.

Back in October, the same day charges were unveiled by the agencies; Reed was arrested in Massachusetts while Delo turned himself in March. Delo has vowed to fight the charges, calling them unfounded and an overreach by U.S. authorities. Both have been pleaded not guilty and released on bond.

Gregory Dwyer, the company’s first employee and head of business operations who was also charged, meanwhile remains at large. Dwyer’s lawyers said they have been in touch with the government and have informed them of his whereabouts as well. The lawyers said in a statement,

“They are also aware that he has every intention to defend himself in court against these meritless charges and is eager to do so.”

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Author: AnTy

Barclays Bank Executive Bashes ‘Uninvestable’ Bitcoin for Its Volatility

Barclays Bank Executive Bashes ‘Uninvestable’ Bitcoin for Its Volatility

Barclays exec. Gerald Moser is warning investors to refrain from holding Bitcoin due to its volatility.

With almost 100 percent gains in the past month, Bitcoin has become a darling for shrewd investors and organizations worldwide. However, some bank executives remain unimpressed with its performance.

Too Volatile to Track

Gerald Moser, the Chief Strategist at British banking giant Barclays, bashed Bitcoin’s volatility and warned that investors keep the asset out of their portfolio.

In an interview with the London-based Financial News, the bank executive criticized the top cryptocurrency, explaining that its price movements have made it ‘uninvestable’ from a portfolio perspective.

Moser’s Bitcoin assessment seems unrealistic, with the Chief Strategist claiming that the asset’s recent rally was primarily due to retail investors jumping on the trend. Ultimately the rally will become unsustainable, and Bitcoin will come crashing down, Moser posits.

The assessment conflicts significantly with other industry experts, who have seen several institutions plow millions of dollars into the leading cryptocurrency.

Institutions Love Crypto, Even in the U.K.

Institutional investment has flown in from the United Kingdom as well. Last year, Ruffer Investment, an investment management firm based in Bitcoin, pledged about 2.5 percent of its Multi-Strategies Fund into the leading digital asset. The fund itself holds about $2 7.2 billion in assets under management, making Ruffer’s Bitcoin commitment as high as $745 million.

In an investment review from earlier this month, Jonathan Ruffer, the company’s chief executive, explained that they had moved into Bitcoin due to their belief that it could eventually challenge gold as the world’s “supra-currency.”

The CEO pointed out that while Bitcoin was a “nonsensical asset,” is aligned with the company’s vision. At the same time, the company had also assessed Bitcoin’s performance for a while before deciding to take the plunge. Ruffer said,

“We have done much work on assessing the danger that bitcoin is a wrong’un. We have been watching it for a longish time, and our judgment is that it is a unique beast as an emerging store of value, blending some of the benefits of technology and gold.”

Even British banks have alluded to the rise of cryptocurrencies and are now bracing up. Last month, Standard Chartered, a fellow banking giant, announced plans to provide crypto custody solutions to institutional investors.

In its press release, Standard Chartered unveiled Zodia in partnership with investment management firm Northern Trust. The new custody platform is subject to regulations from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and it is expected to begin operating this year.

Zodia will initially provide support for Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and XRP. With the SEC’s hammer ready to come down hard on Ripple, it’s unclear if the partners will go forward with XRP support.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

SoftBank CEO Sold his $200M Bitcoin Investment in 2018 Because He Couldn’t Stop Price Watching

Every Bitcoiner knows this feeling.

And we can relate to Masayoshi Son, the founder, and chief executive of SoftBank.

But what we can’t relate to is that he still does not understand Bitcoin.

At the DealBook Online Summit on Tuesday, Son, who has made billions from his bets that involves an early investment in Alibaba, said he was convinced by a friend to invest “1% of his personal assets” into bitcoin, as such investing “about 200 million.”

But much like any crypto community member, he would spend five minutes each day looking at BTC prices fluctuating, he said. He was stuck tracking the movement of his Bitcoin investment and found it to be “distracting [his] own focus on [his] own business.”

This led him to sell his stake in BTC in 2018, and according to him, he lost an estimated $50 million, which could actually be closer to $130 million.

“I feel so much better,” Son said.

If he had kept patience and held on to his BTC investment, Son’s investments would have been getting ready to turn into billions. After the bear market of 2018, Bitcoin has been gradually entering the bull market, which came in full force in 2020, especially in the Q4 of this year.

Two days ago, BTC/USD jumped to nearly $19,000, a level not seen since the Bitcoin bull market’s peak in December 2017. The digital asset is now just inches away from hitting a new all-time high.

While personally, Son couldn’t keep up with the bitcoin volatility, he still believes the “digital currency will be useful,” adding, “But I don’t know what digital currency, what structure, and so on.”

Son also missed the opportunity to be an early investor in Tesla and Amazon. In the case of Amazon, despite speaking with its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos about a 30% stake in the company before it went public. But of course, he didn’t take it, “I’m so stupid!” he said. He rather made a big mistake by pouring billions in WeWork.

While talking about the missed opportunities during the Summit, Son said his philosophy is “I would rather accept my stupidity and my ignorance — my bad decisions — so that I can learn from my mistakes,” he said. “It’s better to accept them, so I become smarter.”

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Author: AnTy

BitMEX Now Former CTO, Samuel Reed, Released On A $5 Million Unsecured Bond

Troubled BitMEX exchange executive Samuel Reed released on a $5 million bond paid to the district of Massachusetts court following his arrest on October 1. According to a document first shared by The Block, the court approved the unsecured bond payment on October 3rd on condition that Samuel Reed will show up to court and accept to serve a sentence if convicted.

The U.S Department of Justice (DoJ) charged BitMEX executives on October 1 due to allowing unlicensed trading to Americans and violating the anti-money laundering and know your customer rules and measures set in place. Founders of BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed, and Benjamin Delo have all been charged with breaking the Banking Secrecy Act, carrying a maximum jail term of five years. Reed was arrested in Massachusetts earlier this month charged with

“willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an adequate anti-money laundering (‘AML’) program at the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange or ‘BitMEX.’”

This was the second arrest amongst the company executives with the head of business development, Gregory Dwyer, also charged and arrested.

Reed’s $5 million bond payment will be secured with a $500,000 cash payment. Reed and his wife’s passports have also been confiscated by the authorities to mitigate flight risk.

The U.S Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) has also filed a civil lawsuit against the three founders in the Southern District Court in New York on the AML/KYC breaches on the exchange.

In an attempt to please customers and halt the hammering exodus from the exchange, HDR Global, wholly owner of the BitMEX exchange, announced the three executives charged would step back from their respective roles. Arthur Hayes and Samuel Reed have stepped back from their respective roles as CEO and CTO, respectively.

Despite the charges, 100x Group chairman David Wong said, “it will be business as usual” for the exchange aiming to provide the best features and “maintain the highest standards of corporate governance.”

Also Read: ‌DOJ’s First-of-its-Kind Crypto Framework Targets Decentralized, P2P Platforms & Privacy

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Author: Lujan Odera

Here’s Why An Outspoken Bitcoin Supporter, Hedgeye CEO, Sold All His BTC

Keith McCullough, the chief executive officer of Hedgeye Risk Management, has sold all his Bitcoin to get back into the USD.

McCullough actually has been an outspoken Bitcoin supporter for some time now, but yesterday, he announced on Twitter that he is exiting his bitcoin position.

This certainly got the crypto community talking, with some pointing out how MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor decided to buy bitcoin at a higher price than McCullough sold his BTC at.

McCullough first jumped into the leading digital asset right at the height of the 2017 crypto rally.

Interestingly, his latest tweet came just two weeks after he said, “Bitcoin looks like a long” and that he will buy some more BTC. He further noted how it’s “inversely correlated, at an increasing rate, with the US dollar index.”

And this is the reason why he went short on BTC.

As McCullough retweeted Luca Balestrieri’s tweet, “He understands correlations, and he is not a permabull. He sold all his Bitcoins today, he didn’t say he won’t buy Bitcoin anymore. If the USD strengthens so all the (many) correlated things to it will go down, Bitcoin included. He booked a profit today to buy lower next future.”

“USD: was end of AUG the low? #Quad4 is US Dollar Bullish,” tweeted McCullough.

According to Hedgeye Risk management, the US economy is in Quad4 when GDP growth and inflation are slowing. And this is why he sold all his BTC; however, he did make money on his BTC trade.

Besides BTC, he also sold his Barrick Gold, bullion mining company, investment, and is shorting silver as well. And the reason is the same – while the yellow metal enjoyed US dollar weakness in the previous quarter, the precious metal would decline in this quarter with McCullough expecting the dollar to strengthen.

He also tweeted that bitcoin has today fallen under 410,600 “after failing Hedgeye TRADE resistance yesterday #Quad4.” According to him, “Evidently Bitcoin needed stimulus.”

Moreover, he sees Bitcoin as a long-term play.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple Looks For Options In Europe & Asia As the US Lags Behind In Clear Crypto Laws

  • Ripple Inc. could be leaving the United States, Executive Chairman at the company, Chris Larsen, stated on Tuesday.
  • The digital payments firm is looking for options to relocate, including Singapore, Japan, the U.K, or a friendlier country to crypto as the U.S. struggles with regulation policies in the field.

In an interview with Fortune Magazine’s Jeff John Roberts during the online LA Blockchain Summit on October 6th, Ripple Inc.’s executive chairman and founder, Chris Larsen, spoke of possible relocation. The U.S. to “crypto-friendlier nations.” As one of the largest crypto firms in the country, Ripple feels undone by the lack of regulation or policies in place and is looking at options in Europe and Asia.

Over the past few years, the payments firm has faced increased scrutiny from U.S. government authorities, especially the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The securities authority has, in the past, raised claims that XRP is a security claiming Ripple should apply for a securities license – a claim Ripple has vehemently denied.

While the pursuit from the SEC could be welcome, a lack of regulation or laws governing crypto payments or blockchain innovation is key in Ripple’s decision to move from the U.S. Speaking on the issue, Larsen said,

“The message is blockchain, and digital currencies are not welcome in the U.S. You want to be in this business, you probably should be going somewhere else. To be honest with you, we’re even looking at relocating our headquarters to a much more-friendly jurisdiction.”

Larsen also said that while the move from the U.S would not completely overrule jurisdiction from the authorities, Ripple would “feel relief” to have another country be the company’s chief regulator. Circle did just this last year.

The move has raised support from some of the top cryptocurrency influencers, including TechCrunch, Crunch Base, and XRP Capital founder, Michael Arrington, who tweeted the lack of crypto regulation in the U.S. a “disaster.” Supporting the tweet, Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, wrote,

”Strongest internet companies built in the US, in part b/c of regulatory clarity. We have that opposite with blockchain + digital assets. Responsible players like Ripple aren’t looking to avoid rules; we want to operate in a jurisdiction where the rules are clear.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Morgan Stanley Head of Emerging Markets: Millennials Prefer Bitcoin (BTC) To Gold

  • Expect heightened inflation as early as 2021, Morgan Stanley’s executive states.
  • Millennials prefer Bitcoin to gold in investments.

Morgan Stanley’s executive states Bitcoin (BTC) and gold are favorable options for investors to hedge against the central banks’ expansionary monetary policies. Speaking on a First Move with Julia Chatterley’s interview on CNN, Morgan Stanley’s head of emerging markets and chief global strategist, Ruchir Sharma, further explained that when it comes to asset investing, more millennials are showing an affinity to the digital gold than its physical counterpart.

As global health teams work to kill off the COVID-19 pandemic, central banks rushed to their printers to print money to stimulate their economies. According to Sharma, the increased monetary expansion policies by the central banks will cause inflation in the economy – predicting the United States could experience it as early as 2021.

The money printing, expansionary monetary, and fiscal policies are setting investors towards looking for more stable assets to invest in, he continued.

“There is this lingering feeling out there that given what central banks are doing in terms of printing so much money, there is a search for alternative assets.”

The seasoned investor advised investors to look at gold as a possible investment asset to cover themselves from the impending inflation. He claims having “about 5% of gold in your portfolio is not a bad idea.” However, for the younger generation and more risky investors, cryptocurrencies are their choice of an investment asset.

“If you’re a bit more adventurous — and I guess it’s more to do with demographics — then obviously search for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. […] I think some of the older [investors] are still buying gold, and millennials are buying more of the Bitcoins and the cryptocurrencies.”

According to a report on BEG in March, over $970 billion in wealth could move into the crypto market as the generational shift happens in the U.S.

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Author: Lujan Odera

ZEC Breaks Out of 3-Year Bear Market as Executive Director Bids Adieu to Zcash Foundation

The inaugural executive director of Zcash Foundation, the company behind the 24th largest cryptocurrency by market cap $845 million ZEC, has left the Foundation. Josh Cincinnati in his farewell statement said,

“It was the best team I’ve ever had the honor of working with, and I will miss them terribly.”

Cincinnati believes that after leading the Foundation for over three years, he isn’t the right person to do it anymore and that he shouldn’t do so indefinitely either. Moreover,

“whatever power that has vested to the Foundation should stay in check institutionally, and not accrue to a single leader,” he said, adding that he is “ready for a break and a change of pace.”

Another reason for his departure is that the negotiation and successful conclusion of the dev fund has taken a toll on his “relationship with ECC leadership and damaged my ability to collaborate with them effectively.” Because the Electric Coin Company is unlikely to change its leadership “ever,” “I instead chose to leave.” Before leaving, he shared his prediction that the,

“prospects for private digital cash are bright,” and “the Foundation’s technical efforts will make a big splash this year.”

On Cincinnati’s departure, Analyst Qiao Wang shared some bullish facets about ZEC. He noted how the digital asset has broken out of the 3-year bear market. Up 20% in the past 24 hours, ZEC is currently trading at $87.27.

Zcash started surging this week after bitcoin broke its key levels to make new 2020 highs. ZEC has recorded 205% returns YTD but is still 99% down from its all-time high hit during the last bull market.

Textbook W-shaped bottom, coinciding with governance crisis, usable shielded clients, imminent 1st halving, increasing awareness on privacy, and global return of socialism, Wang pointed out all the reason to be bullish on this digital currency, He said,

“if this isn’t a generational buying opportunity Iono what is.”

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Author: AnTy

IMF Official Says Private Sector Could Play Pivotal Role in CBDC Dev; Contrary to The Fed’s Take

A top executive at the IMF believes that the private sector could play a pivotal role in the development and integration of CBDC’s with existing financial ecosystems. Tobias Adrian, a Monetary and Capital Markets director & financial counselor at the IMF, shared these sentiments during the R3 sponsored “Building CBDC: A Race To Realityconference that took place last week.

Surprisingly, this take is completely different from the U.S Fed view on private sector contribution in CBDC development, which thinks monetary functions should be carried out solely by financial watchdogs.

IMF ‘Take’ on Private Sector Role in CBDC

As more debate continues in hopes of arriving at a consensus, stakeholders have contributed their views on how a CBDC could be implemented. Adrian has since added to this discussion following the keynote speech at last week’s conference. In his opinion, the private sector could be on-boarded for value addition in two ways.

The first approach would be a collaboration with central banks such that private entities issue the CBDC’s on behalf of monetary authorities. This is the synthetic model whereby the issued digital assets are, in turn, guaranteed by a central bank. Therefore, financial institutions involved in this process would carry out qualifying and onboarding processes, leaving the watchdogs to deal with oversight.

Another probable model highlighted by Adrian is the two-tier, which is currently in motion with China’s digital yuan. In this case, central banks like the PBoC issue their digital assets and oversee transaction settlements but leverage technological advancements for these processes. China, for instance, is working with some state-backed and private financial institutions as it prepares for the massive roll-out of its digital yuan. According to Adrian, this angle is more likely to spur fundamental innovation which,

 “could be extremely valuable, given the pace of technological change, and given many central banks’ limited experience in providing retail services.”

However, he was also keen to point out some probable challenges that might arise from working with the private sector. They include payment network stability, unfair competition, and interoperability, given most solutions are yet to prove their effectiveness should network scale at global levels.

The Fed’s Contrary Take

As the IMF signals a consideration in working with the private sector, U.S Fed Chair recently said that they should not be part of the CBDC creation and deployment process. Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee last month, Jerome Powell pointed out that monetary functions ought to be left to central banks. This is because they are the best suited in upholding the good of the public compared to private entities, which merely have the public’s trust.

“I don’t think the public would welcome the idea that private employees who are not accountable solely to the public good would be responsible for something this important.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui