Judge Orders Binance Founder CZ To Stay In US Until Sentencing, El Salvador Introduces Citizenship Programme With $1 Million Bitcoin Investment

Here are some of the major developments from the world of crypto over the past few days.
El Salvador El Salvador Introduces Citizenship Programme With $1 Million Bitcoin Investment
El Salvador El Salvador Introduces Citizenship Programme With $1 Million Bitcoin Investment

A federal judge has ordered former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) to stay in the US while awaiting his sentencing in a money laundering case as he is a flight risk if he returns to the UAE.

Seattle District Court Judge Richard Jones ordered Zhao on December 7, 2023 to stay in the US until his February 23, 2024 sentencing date. Zhao faces up to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to money laundering on November 21, 2023. Zhao has also agreed not to appeal any potential sentence up to that length.

Judge Jones wrote in this order: “The defendant has enormous wealth and property abroad, and no ties to the United States. His family resides in the UAE and it appears that he has favoured status in the UAE. Under these circumstances the Court finds that the defendant has not established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee if he returns to the UAE. Based on the foregoing reason, the Court grants the government’s motion, and the defendant shall remain in the continental United States during the period between his plea and sentencing.”

Previously, federal prosecutors had said that they “would not be able to secure his return” if Zhao decided not to return to the United States.

El Salvador Introduces Citizenship Programme With $1 Million Bitcoin Investment

El Salvador has introduces the “Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program,” which offers citizenship through a $1 million Bitcoin or USDT investment. El Salvador is apparently looking at 1,000 participants in the programme.

Announced on December 7, 2023 by El Salvador’s government and Tether, the programme seeks to raise $1 billion with a non-refundable $999 deposit credited toward the total.

Critics have, however, said that the programme is globally uncompetitive, as there are more affordable EU alternatives, such as Malta’s €750,000 pathway or similar options starting at $100,000 in the Caribbean. Malta’s citizenship-by-investment program, which also offers access to the EU’s visa-free Schengen Area, presents a more cost-effective alternative.

President Nayib Bukele’s pro-Bitcoin policies, which recognises Bitcoin as a legal tender and also provides tax incentives, could attract crypto investors.

YieldMax Submits Proposal On MicroStrategy Shares

Investment firm YieldMax has submitted a proposal to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its option income strategy exchange-traded fund (MSTY) centred on MicroStrategy shares. If approved, the ETF will distinguish itself by adopting a “synthetic covered call” approach, involving the trading of call and put options to generate monthly yields for investors.

This strategy, capped with a 15 per cent monthly gain limit on call options, positions YieldMax’s ETF as an innovative investment avenue, independent of MicroStrategy’s stock performance.

The move by YieldMax also reflects a broader trend in the investment landscape, catering to conservative investors seeking stable returns amid market volatility. The ETF’s design allows investors to earn yields even in the face of potential declines in MicroStrategy shares.

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