The crypto world has lost another scalp just weeks after the Bankman-Fried trial, as the billionaire founder of the largest cryptocurrency exchange has been fined USD50 million and resigned his post.
Changpeng Zhao stepped down from Binance on Wednesday after pleading guilty to breaking US anti-money-laundering legislation and, in addition to the fine, has agreed to pay a USD4.3 billion settlement.
And in addition to the financial damage, Zhao could yet be joining disgraced FTX founder Bankman-Fried in jail if the US Department for Justice seeks further action.
But that two of the largest crypto organisations have faltered so catastrophically has done little to deter the UK government from pursuing opportunities for digital assets with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announcing 110 measures for growing the nation’s economy in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement including implementation of the Digital Securities Sandbox (DSS) which paves the way for widespread use of crypto across the financial markets.
It has been a busy week for crypto news on IAM too with a trio of merger and acquisition announcements.
First we report that Coincover, a blockchain protection company, has joined forces with Utila, a crypto operations platform in a move designed to bring together Coincover’s protection solutions and Utila’s secure, non-custodial wallet infrastructure.
Given the current state of the crypto sector it is no surprise that the firms are at pains to point out that the partnership will “contribute to greater trust, security, and ease of use in the evolving landscape of digital asset management”.
Elsewhere digital asset business Fineqia International has made a strategic investment in Criptonite Asset Management SA, a digital asset management firm, regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.
Finally, Digital asset exchange, Bullish, has announced the acquisition of CoinDesk, an integrated media, events and index platform, from Digital Currency Group.
Kevin Worth, CEO of CoinDesk, notes that “renewed momentum in the crypto economy” is opening up new opportunities and he hopes the investment will create “meaningful and everlasting business”, but as we have seen from the fates of Binance and FTX nothing in the world of crypto is ever certain.
Gill Wadsworth, Editor