Troubles for Binance continue...

Binance ship has started taking water....

GM, frens! Ambire here with our weekly newsletter, crypto seems to be slowly recovering from the bearish market of these last few months, but there's plenty of news and updates to go along with it. Today we'll talk about FTX and their plans to reboot the exchange, Polygon and Warner Music starting a joint accelerator program, Binance’s ongoing legal troubles, attempted coup in Russia and how crypto reacted and some bullish news from Hong Kong - the largest Hong Kong bank is rolling out crypto services. Let’s get down to it:

FTX plans to reboot - the news send FTT flying

FTX token (FTT) is on a winning streak that's got everyone buzzing. It's been five consecutive days of non-stop growth, and the bankrupt FTX exchange’s token is apparently making a big comeback. Talk about a plot twist!

Many investors are jumping on the bandwagon, claiming that FTT is a bargain due to the potential reboot of the bankrupt exchange. They're hopeful that this fresh injection of funds will magically revive the exchange from its financial grave. But wait a minute, can we trust this so-called reboot mission?

The previous implosion of the exchange left investors skeptical, and rightfully so. Trust took a massive hit, and it's going to take a lot more than flashy marketing buzzwords to win it back. John Ray III claims he'll turn the tide and regain trust through efficient service delivery, product rebranding, enhanced security, and greater accountability.

To lure in potential investors, the exchange's leadership is flaunting the fact that they've managed to recover a whopping $7 billion in customers' funds. Sure, repaying a portion of the platform's creditors is a step in the right direction, but it's like putting a band-aid on a broken bone.

Maybe it's finally time to learn from past mistakes and rebuild the industry on a solid, secure foundation rather than shooting for a quick fix. For sure, it's going to take a lot more than cash injections and publicity stunts to restore the confidence of the community.

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Polygon and WMG launch a music accelerator program

Polygon has somehow managed to partner up with Warner Music Group to launch a music accelerator program that will promote the use of blockchain and Web3 by entrepreneurs and companies.

Polygon sees this as an opportunity to drive the development of new music-related projects and dApps that can be launched directly on the Polygon network. The new platform is apparently going to be used to explore and push the boundaries of music-related businesses in the crypto, but also for stuff like merchandising, ticketing solutions, digital/physical collectibles and even maybe the creation of decentralized music production and distribution systems.

The projects that will be chosen will be awarded funding and also gain access to some of the most influential people in the industry, including mentorships from experienced music professionals like songwriters, publishers and producers. Additionally, the companies will be supported with strategic consulting, networking and connection building opportunities, marketing and promotional efforts in order to help them succeed. Sounds like a great opportunity to make some music-related apps on the Polygon network.

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Troubles for Binance continue

Binance, the biggest CEX out there, is facing regulatory scrutiny from various countries including the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, and now Brazil. The legal team of Binance.US has previously raised concerns about the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allegedly making misleading statements in their lawsuit, but now, apart from allegations related to pyramid schemes, Binance is also being probed for allegedly aiding customers in circumventing restrictions on cryptocurrency derivatives investments in Brazil.

Recently, Brazilian Deputy Alfredo Gaspar urged Guilherme Haddad, the head of Binance Brazil, to testify before the Brazilian government's legislative body as part of an investigation into potential pyramid schemes in the country.

The Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) is expected to decide on June 27 whether to grant or reject Gaspar's request for Haddad's appearance before the Parliament. Depending on the outcome of the vote, Haddad might be obliged to testify before the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies.

Meanwhile in Europe, Binance's current EUR banking partner, Paysafe, has decided that it will cease providing services to Binance users from September 25th, 2023.

This announcement follows Binance.US's recent disclosure that its USD banking partners intend to discontinue their services. Paysafe's decision to discontinue services aligns with the implementation of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Act (MiCA) by the European parliament, and it mirrors their previous action of halting services for UK customers due to regulatory complexities.

It's pretty clear now that Binance ship has started taking water; however, it’s too early to call the game over yet.

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Attempted coup in Russia and how crypto reacted

During the recent failed coup attempt in Russia, there was a significant increase in trading volume between the stablecoin USDT (Tether) and Russian rubles. This surge in activity was observed on platforms such as Binance and Huobi, with volumes surpassing 5 million on June 24th, compared to less than 2 million on previous days. However, these figures are lower than the peak volumes seen during the invasion of Ukraine. Analysis of more exchanges by CCData revealed a daily trading volume of over $15 million on June 24th, compared to less than $5 million on the preceding and following days.

The fluctuation in the exchange rate between rubles and dollars is an important factor to consider. The ruble's purchasing power has experienced significant changes in recent months, with fluctuations tied to geopolitical events. The exchange rate between rubles and dollars hit record lows during the war in Ukraine but subsequently rebounded. However, it has since declined significantly and is currently at its lowest level ever. This has made buying dollars with rubles less favorable, prompting a shift towards stablecoins like USDT.

USDT is a crypto token fully collateralized in US dollars, offering the advantage of maintaining a stable value relative to weaker currencies like the Russian ruble. Additionally, its censorship-resistant nature on blockchain networks provides protection against government restrictions. Non-custodial wallets offer further security by allowing users to move USDT tokens beyond the reach of authorities.

While the impact of the failed coup attempt on the financial markets, including the ruble, remains largely uncertain due to the closure of markets during the event, there was an evident increase in demand for USDT in rubles. The market capitalization of USDT experienced a slight rise during the incident, indicating a shift in investor sentiment towards stablecoins. These changes, though small, hold significance within the crypto industry. Currently, USDT has a market capitalization of approximately $83.24 billion.

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Bullish: Hong Kong’s largest bank rolls out crypto services

HSBC, the largest bank in Hong Kong, has reportedly launched its cryptocservices, making it the pioneering bank in the region to offer such a service. Customers can now buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs listed on the Hong Kong exchange through HSBC. This move expands cryptocurrency exposure for local users and includes ETFs such as CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF, and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF.

HSBC has also established the Virtual Asset Investor Education Centre, which requires investors to review educational materials and risk disclosures before engaging in virtual asset-related products through HSBC's digital platforms. This comes after reports of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority pressuring major banks to accept crypto exchanges as clients.

The HKMA had discussions with UK-based firms and the Bank of China, urging them to reconsider their reluctance to work with cryptocurrency exchanges. The HKMA circular sent to banking institutions in April emphasized the importance of staying updated with market trends and adopting a proactive approach towards emerging sectors, including the cryptocurrency market.

Little by little, it seems that the long-awaited HK crypto boom is approaching, as the HKMA is pushing financial institutions to explore opportunities in digital assets. This is an important milestone for the industry, as it shows increasing acceptance of crypto and its potential in financial markets.

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Other worthy reads:

An interesting thread from Jay:

Some analytics from ZeroToTom:

Some data on apparent to selloffs from Nay:

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The fun page: our weekly meme collection

That's all for now, frens.

We'll see you next week. And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better DeFi is here to stay. Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

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