WuBlockchain Weekly: Binance Reaches Major Settlement and Top10 News
Colin Wu . 2023-11-24 . Data
1. US Department of Justice Settles with Binance for Over $4 Billion, CZ Resigns

On November 21st, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (commonly known as “CZ”), reached a significant settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. CZ pleaded guilty to charges of violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws. As part of the settlement, he stepped down from his position as CEO of Binance. Binance agreed to pay a fine of over $4 billion, and CZ acknowledged the failure to establish effective anti-money laundering procedures within Binance. Currently, CZ still faces undetermined legal consequences and is prohibited from participating in Binance’s operations for three years.

2. SEC Files New Lawsuit Against Kraken Alleging Unregistered Trading Platform Operation link

On November 21st, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, accusing it of violating securities laws. The SEC stated in its complaint, “Kraken acted as a broker, dealer, exchange, and clearing agency regarding these crypto assets without registering with the SEC in any capacity. In doing so, Kraken created risks for investors and collected billions of dollars in fees and trading revenue from investors without complying with, or even acknowledging, the requirements of U.S. securities laws designed to protect investors.” The SEC also pointed out that Kraken sometimes commingled customer crypto assets worth over $33 billion with its own assets and mixed customer cash balances worth over $5 billion with its own cash to directly pay operational expenses from the bank accounts holding customer cash. The SEC seeks a judgment that includes a permanent injunction against the defendants from violating securities laws and orders to return ill-gotten gains.

In response to the lawsuit filed by the SEC, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken issued a statement expressing its disagreement with the SEC’s allegations and plans to vigorously defend its position. Kraken emphasized that the SEC’s charges will not impact its current offerings of products and services, and the company will continue to serve its customers without interruption. Furthermore, Kraken noted that while the SEC has repeatedly called for cryptocurrency exchanges to register, there is no clear legal basis or established registration pathway supported by existing law. Kraken will continue to advocate for effective regulation of the U.S. market to address the unique risks associated with digital assets while maximizing the benefits they offer to individuals.

3. F2Pool Admits Filtering Four Bitcoin Transactions Based on US Sanctions link

On November 22nd, Bitcoin developer @0xB10C posted a message stating that, according to their Bitcoin mining pool transaction scrutiny and monitoring service called miningpool-observer, F2Pool had likely intentionally filtered out four transactions involving addresses sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the past few weeks. The author pointed out that there are many reasons why transactions are not included in blocks, such as differences in the speed at which transactions propagate across the network, each node having its own effective transaction set, and mining pools possibly prioritizing transactions for various reasons, including special payments received. However, in the case of these four transactions not being included by F2Pool, the author analyzed the fee rate distribution of the missing transactions and their included alternative transactions (with the former offering higher miner fees), along with the block space availability (enough space to accommodate but not actually included), and concluded that this was a case of intentional filtering.

On November 24th, as reported by Bitcoin.com, F2Pool admitted to filtering Bitcoin transactions originating from addresses marked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). After the post by Bitcoin developer @0xB10C had raised strong opposition within the community, co-founder Wang Chun acknowledged that these transactions were filtered using compliance filters and announced that they would be disabled until a community consensus on the issue is reached.

4. Bloomberg Intelligence Estimates Potential $100 Billion Size for Spot Bitcoin ETF link

On November 20th, according to estimates by Bloomberg Intelligence, the potential development of physically-backed Bitcoin ETFs, with the participation of heavyweight companies like BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco, could grow to a value of $100 billion. According to an insider, Galaxy Digital, which applied jointly with Invesco, held a conference call earlier this month with 300 investment professionals participating, discussing how to allocate Bitcoin as the launch of physically-backed Bitcoin ETFs approaches.

On November 23rd, as reported by DL News, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company, recently met with the SEC to discuss its potential physically-backed Bitcoin ETF. Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas noted that redemption is currently a sticking point in the approvals, as issuers have rejected the SEC’s cash redemption requirement. Cash redemption means that investors’ shares would be sold by the fund company and returned in cash, while BlackRock and Ark Invest firmly support in-kind redemption, meaning market makers would receive Bitcoin as a redemption and then sell it for cash. Analysts suggest that this may be more tax-efficient for investors.

5. MtGox Trustee Plans to Begin Repaying Creditors Soon link

On November 22nd, some of the MtGox creditors received an email from the bankruptcy trustee, stating that the trustee plans to start repaying creditors soon and is working to begin making cash payments in 2023. However, due to the large number of rehabilitation creditors who will receive repayments and the various types of claims, as well as different preparation and processing times required, repayments will continue into 2024. Mt. Gox will distribute its holdings, which include 142,000 BTC, 143,000 BCH, and 69 billion JPY, among other assets.

6. Tether and OKX Announce Largest-Ever USDT Freeze link

On November 20th, Tether announced that, through a collaborative investigation with OKX and the Department of Justice (DOJ), it had voluntarily and proactively frozen approximately 225 million USDT. These tokens were held in a self-custodied wallet associated with an international human trafficking group in Southeast Asia responsible for a global-scale Ponzi scheme. This action represents the largest USDT freeze in history.

7. Crypto Exchange Bullish Acquires 100% Stake in CoinDesk in All-Cash Deal link

On November 20th, the cryptocurrency exchange Bullish, operated by former New York Stock Exchange chairman Tom Farley, acquired 100% of the shares of the cryptocurrency media company CoinDesk through an all-cash transaction. The specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. CoinDesk’s parent company, DCG, had acquired CoinDesk for $500,000 in 2016. Bullish, which was established by Block.one, the developer of EOS, injected capital of up to 164,000 bitcoins into the acquisition. Bullish has also been involved in the acquisition of FTX2.0. CoinDesk was previously owned by a consortium, and this acquisition marks another change in ownership, with rumored valuations exceeding $200 million.

Bullish CEO Tom Farley stated that they would immediately inject funding into several of CoinDesk’s most exciting growth initiatives, which would drive the launch of new services, events, and products. He also expressed strong support for CoinDesk’s commitment to editorial independence. CoinDesk will continue to be led by Kevin Worth and the existing management team and will operate as an independent subsidiary within Bullish. CoinDesk also announced the appointment of former Wall Street Journal editor Matt Murray as the chairman of the editorial committee to ensure news independence.

8. Sam Altman Returns to OpenAI as CEO, Forms New Board link

On November 22nd, it was reported by Bloomberg that Microsoft, which actively recruited Sam Altman, stated that he could return to OpenAI as long as certain conditions were met. These conditions included requiring OpenAI to expand the board of directors and raise the required level of experience for its members. Microsoft has invested approximately $13 billion in OpenAI and is primarily waiting for the emergence of a new board of directors. Negotiations have started between Altman, members of the OpenAI board, and interim CEO Emmett Shear, with the aim of possibly reinstating the ousted CEO and co-founder.

Shortly after, OpenAI announced that they had reached a preliminary agreement to bring Sam Altman back as CEO and to form a new initial board of directors consisting of Bret Taylor (Chairman), Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo.

Sam Altman stated in a post, “I love OpenAI, and everything I’ve done in the past few days has been to keep the team and its mission intact. When I decided to join Microsoft on Sunday, it was clear that this was the best choice for me and the team. With the new board and Satya’s support, I look forward to returning to OpenAI and continuing to build on the strong foundation of our collaboration with Microsoft.”

9. KyberSwap Hacked, Loses Approximately $47 Million link

On November 23rd, it was reported by @spreekaway that the DEX aggregator KyberSwap had likely suffered an attack, resulting in losses of approximately $47 million. These funds include $20.7 million on Arbitrum, $15 million on Optimism, $7 million on Ethereum, $3 million on Polygon, and $2 million on Base. According to the DeFi monitoring firm, the attacker’s address from KyberNetwork had transferred 1,000 WETH (approximately $2.06 million) to an address starting with Ox84e on the Arbitrum chain, which had previously interacted with the Indexed Finance exploiter on the Ethereum network about 705 days ago.

The KyberSwap team posted negotiation messages on-chain to the hacker, offering to let them keep 10% of the stolen funds as a bounty in exchange for the safe return of all users’ funds. KyberSwap claimed to know how the attacker executed the attack and set a deadline for the hacker to return 90% of the stolen funds to an address starting with 0x8180 by November 25th, 14:00 Beijing time. Otherwise, they would continue to pursue the hacker’s information.

10. Over $100 Million Stolen from HTX and HECO BRIDGE link

On November 22nd, HTX Hot Wallet and HECO BRIDGE were hacked, resulting in a theft of over $100 million, including $86 million from HECO BRIDGE and $12.4 million from the HTX Hot Wallet address (TU1ZA). The stolen funds have been converted by the hacker into ETH and TRX through DEXes. Huobi has stated that they are working to identify the source of the attack and have temporarily suspended deposits and withdrawals for HTX on the Huobi platform and for the HECO chain gateway. The losses from the HTX Hot Wallet will be fully compensated.


  • The NFT gaming company Matr1x has announced the successful completion of a $10 million Series A-2 funding round. link
  • Privy, a data privacy solution, has secured $18 million in Series A funding, with Paradigm leading the investment. link
  • Blast, an L2 network launched by the founder of Blur, has successfully raised $20 million in funding, with Paradigm participating. link
  • Saga, a Web3 game developer protocol, has completed a $5 million seed extension round led by Placeholder. link
  • Panoptic has successfully secured $7 million in seed funding led by Greenfield Capital, intended for the development of their options platform. link
  • OMTrade has announced the acquisition of $6 million in seed funding, with lead investors including Find Satoshi Lab. link
  • Credix has declared the completion of a $60 million credit financing round. link

Learn more, check out crypto-fundraising.info.

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