Five things in crypto this week: Binance, NFTs, and the Walmart Hoax

Another busy week for cryptocurrencies saw the spotlight on Binance, Dogecoin, and non-fungible tokens.

As regulators continue to crack down on the sector, some of crypto’s largest companies, including Binance and Coinbase, are taking steps to get on the right track.

Several scandals also took center stage this week, including a case of insider trading on a large NFT marketplace and a Litecoin hoax that fooled several large news outlets.

In case you missed it, here are five things that happened in crypto that you should know.

Restructuring Binance eyes

Binance will set up a permanent headquarters after regulators objected to the lack of transparency about the structure of their business, which means a major move away from decentralization.

The cryptocurrency exchange, which does not have a clearly defined headquarters but rather operates through a global network of offices, has come under fire from watch dogs such as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority for refusing or unable to answer questions about its composition and governance Employees to answer.

Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao said the company will soon move into a new structure to meet regulatory requirements.

“As we operate a centralized exchange, we have realized that we need a centralized entity to work well with regulators,” Zhao said in an interview with the South China Morning Post on September 16. “We need clear records of ownership, transparency and stakeholder risk controls.”

READ Binance CEO is looking to reorganize to allay regulators’ concerns

The FCA banned Binance’s UK entity, Binance Markets Limited, from operating in the country in June and joined a chorus of regulators in Japan, Hong Kong, Italy and elsewhere that made similar decisions.

Binance’s global website was also recently put on an investor list by Singapore’s financial regulator, although its local subsidiary is allowed to continue operations while its application for a payment services license is reviewed.

NFTs face the first major insider trading scandal

OpenSea, one of the most popular platforms for trading unique digital collectibles created on blockchain networks known as non-fungible tokens, this week called on one of its senior executives to step down after the marketplace faced allegations of insider trading .

Nate Chastain, OpenSea’s product director, resigned from the business on September 16 following allegations of misconduct that surfaced days earlier.

A thread on Twitter had claimed to show evidence that Chastain ran popular NFTs at the top before they went up for sale on OpenSea, citing several Ethereum digital wallet addresses associated with the insider.

The Twitter user claimed that Chastain would buy digital works of art that he knew would soon be on the OpenSea homepage and then put them up for sale once the increased promotion drove their price up .

OpenSea said it had the resignation of the employee responsible for violating its rules on Jan.

Chastain’s own Twitter bio also changed to say he stopped working for OpenSea that day, and one of the marketplace’s co-founders confirmed to CoinDesk that Chastain was the person asked to step down.

“After learning of this behavior, we immediately engaged a third party to thoroughly review the incident and make recommendations to strengthen our existing controls. This review is ongoing, but we are determined to act quickly on its recommendations, “OpenSea said in a September 16 statement.

OpenSea has more than 20 million listings for NFTs on its platform, with some works of art being sold via the cryptocurrency Ether in tens of millions of dollars in transactions. It’s backed by Silicon Valley investors like Andreessen Horowitz after raising $ 100 million in funding earlier this year.

Coinbase wants to get into crypto futures

The Coinbase crypto exchange has filed for approval as a futures provider in the United States to join the crowded derivatives market for digital assets.

Coinbase announced that on Jan.

The move would be Coinbase’s first entry into crypto derivatives, a lucrative place for exchanges. Many of Coinbase’s competitors already offer access to derivatives, including Kraken, Binance, and CME Group.

READ Coinbase is applying to join the crypto futures market

“This is the next step in expanding our offering and offering futures and derivatives trading on our platforms,” ​​Coinbase said in a tweet. “Goal: Let the crypto economy continue to grow.”

Crypto futures are also popular with traditional financial institutions, which have strict regulations prohibiting them from physically holding digital assets like Bitcoin.

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are among the largest companies offering futures products in Bitcoin and Ether, while others are building partnerships with crypto exchanges to gain access.

Walmart falls victim to a crypto hoax

Crypto traders, journalists, and even the social media team at the top parenting organization of cryptocurrency Litecoin were fooled this week by a hoax that linked the digital currency to a partnership with retail giant Walmart.

A fake press release – posted on GlobeNewswire on September 13 with a link to a fake Walmart company website created just a month earlier – claimed that the supermarket should start accepting Litecoin for payment.

News reported by Reuters and other outlets raised the price of Litecoin by more than 30%. Litecoin’s official Twitter account falsely retweeted the announcement, giving it credibility, before Walmart later said it hadn’t made such a deal.

READ Cryptocurrencies are regulated according to the Walmart hoax

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee said his social media team believed the announcement was true after it was reported by Reuters, adding that the network does not require an official partnership for a merchant to accept the token as payment.

“As the Litecoin Foundation, there is not much we can do,” Lee said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “People can post fake news about cryptocurrencies all the time, and this also happens with the traditional exchange.”

The cryptocurrency later gave up most of its profits after Walmart denied the report. Both Walmart and GlobeNewswire said they have opened an investigation into the matter.

Goldman’s Dogecoin millionaire

A Goldman Sachs executive who reportedly quit his job at the bank after making millions investing in Dogecoin has reappeared in a new role, ending up at a healthcare startup in Manchester.

Aziz McMahon, Head of Emerging Markets Sales at Goldman in London, has been named Executive Chairman of SpectrumX, the company said in a September 15 statement.

McMahon left Goldman Sachs in May and reportedly deposited millions from trading Dogecoin.

READ Goldman Sachs’ Dogecoin millionaire reappears at a UK healthcare company

His stroke of luck and the subsequent departure from the US banking giant was originally reported by eFinancialCareers, followed by numerous other publications. McMahon’s crypto profits have not been verified by Financial News.

McMahon spent 14 years with Goldman Sachs before stepping down. In the announcement of his appointment, his interests included “early stage biotechnology, environmental renewal and digital assets”.

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