Binance Founder & CEO Steps Down From His Position

Here are some of the major crypto developments over the past few days
Binance Founder & CEO Steps Down From His Position
Binance Founder & CEO Steps Down From His Position

Changpeng Zhao, the founder-CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has stepped down from his position after pleading guilty to violating US anti-money laundering rules, according to Reuters.

Prosecutors in the case told the news agency that Zhao consented to a $4.3 billion settlement arrangement in a Seattle court on November 21, including a personal reimbursement of $50 million. They also stated that this is one of the highest corporate penalties in the country’s history.

Binance will pay $1.81 billion over 15 months, followed by a $2.51 billion forfeiture as part of the arrangement, according to prosecutors.

While this latest development is another major setback for the crypto business after FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted of fraud earlier this month, legal experts told Reuters that the arrangement is "a good outcome" for Zhao personally. It preserves his money and allows him to keep his interest in Binance, they say.

Grayscale met with SEC to discuss spot Bitcoin ETF details

Grayscale executives and lawyers met with the SEC to discuss a rule change to list the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

Grayscale executives met with the Securities and Exchange Commission to discuss the mechanics of its flagship Bitcoin trust, which the company wants to convert to a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein, legal chief Craig Salm, ETF head Dave LaValle, and four other officials, as well as five Davis Polk law firm personnel, met with the SEC's division of trading and markets, according to a Nov. 20 SEC memo.

Those discussions, according to the document, "concerned NYSE Arca, Inc.'s proposed rule change to list and trade shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) under NYSE Arca Rule 8.201-E."

According to a filing published by Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart, Grayscale indicated that it had signed into a Transfer Agency and Service Agreement with BNY Mellon.

The bank will serve as the agent for its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), allowing the issue and redemption of shares as well as the maintenance of shareholder accounts.

Seyffart said in a Nov. 21 X (Twitter) post that the trade and markets division is responsible for accepting or denying 19b-4s – a form used to notify the SEC of a proposed rule change by a self-regulatory organisation.

Grayscale's agreement with BNY Mellon, according to Seyffart, was "likely something that was always going to be required at some point" and isn't an indication that the GBTC will be converted soon.

Bankrupt crypto lender Genesis sues Gemini to recover $689M of ‘preferential transfers’

Genesis claims Gemini made preferential transfers of about $689 million from Genesis and wants the court to “correct this unfairness.”

According to a Nov. 21 court filing, bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global Capital has filed a lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange Gemini to reclaim $689 million in preferential transfers.

According to the lawsuit, Gemini withdrew a "aggregate gross amount of no less than approximately $689 million" at the expense of other creditors over the 90-day period before Genesis filed for bankruptcy in January and continues to benefit by maintaining the property Genesis seeks to reclaim. Genesis' counsel asked the court to employ the remedies available under the United States Bankruptcy Code to address the "unfairness and return Defendants to the same position as Plaintiff's other similarly situated creditors."

After the collapse of crypto exchange FTX in November 2022, the two crypto titans were entangled in a public fight over the recovery of cash, which developed into lawsuits.

Circle launches ‘bridged USDC standard’ for deploying to new networks

Circle published a new standard that allows developers to launch an unofficial bridged version of USDC that can later become native and official.

According to a Nov. 21 blog post, Circle has established a new standard to speed up releasing its stablecoin, USDC, on new networks.

The new "bridged USDC standard" allows developers to issue the token in two stages. During the first phase, the token contracts are controlled by a third-party developer, and the token on the new network is backed by a native equivalent on another network. Circle takes control of the contracts in the second phase, and the token is backed directly by Circle's reserves. The second phase may not be observed in all deployments.

According to the post, the first-phase coin would be "unofficial and not issued nor redeemable by Circle," but will act "as a proxy to USDC that's extensible to any ecosystem where bridging is made possible." If Circle and the third-party developer decide to make the token official in the future, they will be able to "seamlessly upgrade to native issuance in the future."

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