Crypto Headlines of the Week: 7 Days of Fines, Pleas, Lawsuits and Hacks

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Binance has largely dominated the news last week. And in what seems like a greatest hits compilation of crypto, SBF, Do Kwon, Kraken, and Justin Sun all appear in the headlines in less than favorable terms.

It has been another eventful week in crypto. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and its CEO Changpeng Zhao have pleaded guilty to charges related to U.S. anti-money laundering laws as part of a $4.3 billion settlement.

Following the news, crypto prices crashed as fear gripped the industry. However, the market quickly started recovering amid assurances that Binance would be able to fully pay the $4.3 fine and resume operations.

And in what seems like a greatest hits compilation of crypto, SBF, Do Kwon, Kraken, and Justin Sun all appear in the headlines in less than favorable terms.

Here are this week’s major crypto stories:

Binance and CEO Plead Guilty

On Tuesday, Binance and Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to anti-money laundering and U.S. sanctions under a sweeping deal with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The deal, which will allow the company to continue to operate, saw Zhao step down as CEO, with the exchange agreeing to pay a $4.3 billion fine.

Advertisements

Binance and CEO Plead Guilty to Federal Charges in $4B Resolution (Department of Justice)

Binance Sees Over $1 Billion in Weekly Outflows

Following the guilty plea, Binance has registered $1.2 billion in net outflows over the past week. Before the plea, the exchange had more than $2 billion in monthly net inflows. But with the recent week of turmoil, the exchange has seen more than $56 million in monthly net outflow.

Binance Sees $1.2 Billion Leave Exchange in A Week After Guilty Pleas (Techopedia)

C.Z. Required to Stay in the U.S.

Federal prosecutors have said that C.Z. cannot leave the U.S. before his February sentencing on one charge of violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

They claimed C.Z., as a citizen of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had “minimal ties to the U.S.” and may not return should he be allowed to leave.

Binance’s Ex-CEO CZ ‘Poses a Serious Risk of Flight,’ Prosecutors Claim in Asking He Stay in U.S. (CoinDesk)

Binance to Maintain its Leading Position

Binance is expected to remain the dominant global crypto exchange, even after reaching a settlement with the DOJ. According to a research report by broker Bernstein, Binance’s reputation with retail non-U.S. customers has remained strong throughout the crisis.

Despite the settlement, Binance is expected to remain a “material entity in non-U.S. markets.” 

Bernstein Report: Binance Will Remain the Top Global Crypto Exchange Despite DOJ Settlement (Cryptonews)

SEC Sues Crypto Exchange Kraken

The SEC has sued Kraken, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, alleging it had illegally operated without registering as a securities exchange.

The agency said Kraken has illegally made “hundreds of millions of dollars” since 2018 and alleges it “has deprived investors of significant protections” by operating while unregistered.

SEC Charges Kraken for Operating as an Unregistered Securities Exchange, Broker, Dealer, and Clearing Agency (SEC)

U.S. Court Rejects Bankman-Fried’s Bid for Release

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has rejected Sam Bankman-Fried’s bid for release, citing previous attempts to tamper with two witnesses while on pretrial release. “We have reviewed the Defendant-Appellant’s additional arguments and find them unpersuasive,” the court said.

Appeals court rejects Sam Bankman-Fried’s bid for release (Cointelegraph)

Do Kwon’s Extradition Approved

A court in Montenegro has approved the extradition of cryptocurrency entrepreneur Do Kwon, leaving a minister to decide if he will be handed over to South Korea or the United States, both of which want him.

However, before the extradition process takes place, Kwon will serve a four-month prison sentence in Montenegro for the crime of document forgery.

Montenegro court approves extradition of ‘cryptocurrency king’ Do Kwon (Reuters)

Justin Sun’s Crypto Ventures Lose Over $100 Million to Hacks

Justin Sun’s crypto businesses have come under repeated attacks from hackers over the past two months, with at least four hacks on platforms related to the crypto entrepreneur. More recently, HTX said some $30 million worth of cryptocurrencies were stolen from its exchange wallet.

Crypto exchange HTX suffers US$30 million hack after another platform linked to entrepreneur Justin Sun was hit (South China Morning Post)

Bittrex Global Shuts Down

Crypto exchange Bittrex Global has shut down months after its U.S. arm was shut down. The exchange said trading on the platform will stop on December 4, and the company urged customers to complete “all necessary transactions” by then, after which only withdrawals will be available. 

Crypto Exchange Bittrex Global Shuts Down Following Battle With SEC (Decrypt)

Crypto Exchange Bullish Acquires CoinDesk

Bullish, a digital asset exchange led by ex-NYSE chief Tom Farley, has purchased CoinDesk from Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group. CoinDesk will operate as an independent subsidiary of Bullish. Terms of the purchase haven’t been disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal reported that it’s an all-cash deal.

Company Led by Former NYSE President Buys Crypto News Site CoinDesk (The Wall Street Journal)

Tether Freezes $225 Million Stolen USDT

Tether has “proactively and voluntarily” frozen about $225 million worth of USDT held in self-custodied wallets linked to an international human trafficking group in Southeast Asia responsible for a “pig butchering” romance scam. 

Tether freezes $225 million worth of stolen USDT after DOJ investigation (The Block)

The Bottom Line

This week was dominated by largely negative stories across crypto, with Binance being the news that dominated the news cycle.

Market onlookers may appreciate seeing some of the rougher corners of crypto being smoothed out as the path to acceptance continues.

Advertisements

Related Reading

Related Terms

Advertisements
Ruholamin Haqshanas

Ruholamin is a crypto and financial journalist with over three years of experience. Apart from Techopedia, he has been featured in major news outlets, including Cryptonews, Investing.com, 24/7 Wall St, The Tokenist, Business2Community, and has also worked with some prominent crypto and DeFi projects.  He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechatronics. Ruholamin enjoys reading about tech developments, writing, and nature-watching