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Crypto Flipsider News – Reuters Accuses Binance; Bitcoin Back Under $30k; NY Bill, Gemini Lawsuit; Pintu Raises $113M

Read in the Digest:

  • Reuters accuses Binance of facilitating money Laundering of $2.4 billion – the SEC investigates the exchange.
  • Bitcoin falls below $30k after losing $120 billion market cap in May.
  • IRA Financial sues Gemini over  $36 million Bitcoin and Ethereum theft.
  • New York passes bill to limit crypto mining powered by fossil fuels.
  • Indonesian crypto exchange Pintu raises $113 million in race to become “the Coinbase of Southeast Asia”.

Reuters Accuses Binance of Facilitating Money Laundering of $2.4 Billion – the SEC Investigates the Exchange

Global news agency Reuters has accused the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, of becoming a hub for hackers, fraudsters and drug traffickers. Reuters claims that the minimal identity requirements for using Binance has made the exchange an attractive platform through which to launder money.

According to the investigation, Binance has served as a conduit for the laundering of at least $2.35 billion in illicit funds between 2017 and 2021. Reuters reports that Lazarus processed a portion of the $5.4 million stolen during its Eterbase hack through Binance.

Reuters also reports that part of the $622 million stolen from the Ronin sidechain in March 2022 was processed through Binance. Additionally, Hydra, the Russian darknet marketplace, used Binance to process payments for drugs totalling $780 million. 

In a move unrelated to the revelation, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether Binance Holdings broke securities rules when launching its BNB token as an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017.

Flipsider:

  • Binance has refuted Reuters‘ claim, stating it has identified and frozen more than $5 million connected to the Ronin sidechain hack.

Why You Should Care

With accusations already levied towards the exchange in regards to “bad business etiquette,” the Reuters report serves to mount regulatory pressure on Binance, which already faces multiple investigations by regulators.

Bitcoin Falls Below $30k After Losing $120 Billion Market Cap in May 

After breaking out of the bearish streak that lasted 9 successive weeks, pumping 7%, investors had been anticipating the start of a bull run. However, just a day after hitting $31,700, the price of Bitcoin has once again fallen to below $30,000.

Losing 6% over the last 24 hours, the price of Bitcoin plunged to as low as $29,300, fully erasing the week’s gains. As of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at $29,500.

The 24 hour price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: CoinMarketCap

Over the last 24 hours, the notable dip has seen the liquidation of approximately $143.08 million, with long positions accounting for 84% of the wipeout. The loss piles further bearish pressure onto Bitcoin, which has been in sub $50k territory since the start of 2022. 

In May alone, Bitcoin lost over $120 billion in terms of market cap as its price dropped from $37,720 to close the month at $31,200. Bitcoin had opened May with a market cap of approximately $732 billion, but closed the month with $605 billion. 

Flipsider:

  • Investors are still adding to their Bitcoin positions despite the prevalent bearish trend. 
  • According to CoinShares, net inflows for publicly traded Bitcoin products hit $126 million last week.

IRA Financial Sues Gemini Over $36 Million Bitcoin and Ethereum Theft

IRA Financial Trust, a platform for managing self-directed retirement accounts and pension plans, has launched a lawsuit against the Gemini Trust for allegedly failing to secure the IRA’s crypto assets.

In February, hackers stole $21 million in Bitcoin and $15 million in Ethereum from IRA Financial Trust retirement accounts, which were hosted on the Gemini platform.

IRA blames Gemini for the hack, stating that the exchange “failed to freeze accounts within a sufficient time frame immediately following the incident.” IRA alleges that Gemini’s delay in freezing the account led to the theft reaching $36 million.

The lawsuit further outlines that the Gemini crypto exchange platform’s API was designed with a point of failure, demonstrating a lack of transparency with its cyber security procedures.

Flipsider:

  • IRA has stated that it intends to use the proceeds from the lawsuit to compensate customers affected by the hack.

Why You Should Care

Gemini has refuted the lawsuit, claiming that its security standards are among the highest in the industry.

New York Passes Bill to Limit Crypto Mining Powered by Fossil Fuels

The state of New York has passed a bill putting a moratorium on crypto mining operations leveraging fossil fuel-generated power. The bill is the first of its kind in the United States. 

The legislation looks to impose a two-year moratorium on air permit issuances and renewals for electric generating facilities providing fossil fuel-generated power for crypto mining. The measure marks part of the state’s efforts to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050.

The NY State Assembly Bill A7389C, if signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, would place a two-year ban on Proof of Work (PoW) mining. However, the governor has gone on record to say that she has not yet decided whether to sign it.

She explained that a balancing act needs to be considered to protect the environment (the primary objective of the bill), while also protecting the opportunity for jobs that mining would otherwise provide.

Flipsider:

  • The bill does not disclose how changes to bitcoin mining would improve renewable energy demand, or how it can reduce emissions. Galaxy Digital’s Amanda Fabiano has expressed concern that other states could follow this “bad example”.

Why You Should Care

The bill has moved forward with the intent to protect the environment in New York, which is fast becoming one of the more popular mining zones in the United States.

Indonesian Crypto Exchange Pintu Raises $113 Million in Race to Become “the Coinbase of Southeast Asia”

Today, Indonesian cryptocurrency exchange and wallet ‘Pintu’ announced that it has raised $113 million in a Series B funding round to expand its services to the burgeoning local market. Series A and A+ rounds saw Pintu raise a total of $41 million in 2021.

Pintu will use the fund to develop its product offerings and expand its educational arm, Pintu Academy. Pintu currently offers more than 65 crypto assets, including a native PTU token. 

The fund will help Pintu scale its operations by enabling the listing of more tokens, adding more blockchain compatibility, increasing staff size, and the addition of new products and services.

Pintu’s latest funding round was backed by Lightspeed, Pantera Capital, Northstar Group, and Intudo Ventures. Eddy Chan, a founding partner at Intudo, believes Pintu will become “the Coinbase of Southeast Asia.”

Flipsider:

  • In April, the Indonesian government imposed an income tax of 0.1% on crypto income, and VAT on crypto purchases.

Why You Should Care

With Indonesia still a young crypto market, the expansion of Pintu could be a key catalyst in driving crypto adoption in the region.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial legal or tax advice. Trading Forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs poses a considerable risk of loss

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Author

Milko Trajcevski has been in the crypto world for years, and as such has gathered both a skill for writing as well as a native prowess when it comes to understanding everything that occurs within that world. Through skilled writing and determination, he covers articles about cryptocurrency, tokens, blockchain, crypto-asset regulations, crypto wallets, exchanges, liquidity, DApps, forks, mining, security, and blockchain technologies. He is a professional with a track record of proven expertise within the crypto space.