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27/11/2023. Weekly CryptoNews Digest (November, 20 – November, 26)

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Hello guys. Welcome to the MNO blog where I keep updating you on the latest trends of the investment world which is now consisting mostly from the cryptocurrency enthusiasts and marketers effectively replacing the HYIP admins ruling the industry in the past. Having been established back in 2007, MNO has seen all the ups and downs of the HYIP industry, which was considered to be a big thing once upon a time.

However, all the good things have come to an end and as you might be aware of, the overall situation has drastically changed since then and the HYIP industry is nearly dead at the moment. The good old admins have all abandoned the once lucrative money-making niche and their replacements are just a bleak shadow of the greatest ones MNO had to deal with before.

My website is not dropping the idea of following HYIPs completely – it just means that my site will switch attention to what really matters now. Except for major cryptocurrency trends and latest news from the crypto world I plan to replace HYIPs with other money-making opportunities that my readers can utilize to actually make a passive income with no risk whatsoever.

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And now with all introductions said and done let’s have a look at the Weekly CryptoNews Digest. This time it covers the period from November, 20 to November, 26, 2023. I will be covering some most talked about news surrounding the crypto markets last week and such important events that happened last week. Let’s start now, shall we?


BINANCE PLEADS GUILTY IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

We will start with the most discussed news of the last week. On November 21, 2023, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), pleaded guilty to violating US anti-money laundering (AML) laws and agreed to pay a $4.3 billion settlement to resolve a years-long investigation. The settlement was announced by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The DOJ charged Binance with operating as an unregistered money transmitter and failing to implement adequate AML safeguards. The CFTC charged Binance with making false statements about its compliance with AML and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.

As part of the settlement, Binance agreed to pay a $1.81 billion criminal fine to the DOJ and a $2.5 billion forfeiture to FinCEN. CZ also agreed to pay a $50 million fine and step down as CEO of Binance.

The settlement is a major victory for US regulators in their ongoing efforts to crack down on illicit activity in the cryptocurrency industry. It is also the largest ever criminal penalty imposed on a cryptocurrency company.

The settlement is likely to have a significant impact on Binance, which has been one of the most unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The company will now be required to implement stricter AML and KYC procedures, and it will be subject to increased scrutiny from US regulators.

The settlement is also likely to have a broader impact on the cryptocurrency industry, which has faced increasing scrutiny from regulators around the world. The settlement is a sign that regulators are taking a hard line on illicit activity in the cryptocurrency industry, and it could lead to increased regulatory scrutiny of other cryptocurrency exchanges.


JPMORGAN AND OTHERS REACT ON BINANCE SETTLEMENT

Investment bank JPMorgan believes that the above-mentioned settlement between Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and US regulators will ultimately benefit the crypto sector. The bank’s analysts argue that the settlement will provide much-needed regulatory clarity and could pave the way for institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies.

In a recent note to clients, JPMorgan analysts wrote that the settlement “removes a significant overhang from the crypto sector” and “could be a catalyst for institutional adoption.” The analysts pointed out that the settlement “provides a clear roadmap for how crypto companies can comply with US regulations” and “could help to reduce the perception of regulatory uncertainty” that has been holding back institutional investors.

JPMorgan is not alone in its belief that the Binance settlement will benefit the crypto sector. Other analysts and industry experts have also expressed optimism about the potential impact of the settlement.

For example, Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at CoinDesk, said that the settlement is “a significant step forward for the crypto industry” and “could help to legitimize crypto in the eyes of regulators and institutions.

Similarly, Arcane Research analyst Vetle Lunde said that the settlement “is a positive development for the crypto industry” and “could help to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that have been circulating about crypto.

Of course, there are also some risks associated with the Binance settlement. For example, some analysts worry that the settlement could lead to increased scrutiny of other crypto companies and could make it more difficult for them to operate.

However, JPMorgan analysts believe that the potential benefits of the settlement outweigh the risks. The analysts argue that the settlement is a necessary step towards mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies and that it will ultimately help to make the crypto sector more mature and sustainable.

Overall, it is still too early to say definitively what the long-term impact of the Binance settlement will be on the crypto sector. However, there is a growing consensus among analysts and industry experts that the settlement is a positive development that could help to pave the way for institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies.


TETHER FREEZES MILLIONS TO FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

In a major move to combat illicit activities in the cryptocurrency space, Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin USDT, has frozen $225 million worth of its tokens linked to a human trafficking syndicate operating in Southeast Asia. This action marks the largest-ever freeze of a stablecoin and highlights the growing efforts of cryptocurrency companies to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to curb criminal activity.

The frozen funds were reportedly associated with a “pig butchering” scam, a type of online romance fraud that targets victims by building trust over social media and messaging apps before manipulating them into investing in fraudulent crypto schemes. The syndicate allegedly used USDT to launder their illicit gains and evade detection by law enforcement.

Tether’s decision to freeze the funds was prompted by a months-long investigation conducted in collaboration with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and crypto exchange OKX. The investigation utilized blockchain analysis tools provided by Chainalysis to track the movement of the illicit funds and identify the wallets associated with the trafficking group.

The freezing of USDT is a significant step towards disrupting the criminal activities of human trafficking organizations and protecting vulnerable individuals from falling victim to these scams. It also demonstrates Tether’s commitment to working with law enforcement to combat illicit activity in the cryptocurrency sector.

This incident underscores the importance of cryptocurrency companies implementing robust anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures to prevent their platforms from being used for criminal activities. As the cryptocurrency industry continues to grow, it is crucial for companies to collaborate with law enforcement and regulators to ensure that the sector remains free from illicit activity.


LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST KRAKEN EXCHANGE

On November 20, 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, alleging that it had violated U.S. securities laws by offering and selling unregistered securities. The SEC’s complaint stated that Kraken’s staking-as-a-service (SaaS) program, which allowed customers to earn rewards for depositing crypto assets with the exchange, constituted a security under U.S. Law.

The SEC further alleged that Kraken had failed to register as a securities exchange or broker and that it had also failed to comply with certain other securities laws. The agency sought a permanent injunction against Kraken’s unlawful conduct, as well as civil penalties and disgorgement.

Kraken denied the SEC’s allegations and stated that it would continue to fight the lawsuit in court. The exchange argued that its SaaS program was not a security and that it had complied with all applicable laws.

The SEC’s lawsuit against Kraken is part of a broader crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry by the agency. The SEC has been increasingly scrutinizing cryptocurrency exchanges and other businesses in the industry, concerned that they may be offering or selling unregistered securities or engaging in other illegal activities.

The lawsuit against Kraken is significant because it could have a major impact on the cryptocurrency industry. If the SEC is successful in its case, it could force Kraken to register as a securities exchange or broker, which would subject the exchange to increased regulatory scrutiny and compliance requirements. The lawsuit could also lead to other cryptocurrency exchanges being sued by the SEC.

The outcome of the SEC’s lawsuit against Kraken is likely to have a significant impact on the future of the cryptocurrency industry. If the SEC is successful, it could lead to increased regulation of the industry and could make it more difficult for cryptocurrency businesses to operate. However, if Kraken is successful, it could set a precedent for other cryptocurrency exchanges and could help to legitimize the industry.


MILLIONS STOLEN IN CRYPTO HACK FROM TWO PLATFORMS

On November 23, 2023, it was reported that hackers had stolen an estimated $115 million in cryptocurrency from two platforms linked to high-profile entrepreneur Justin Sun. The targeted platforms were the HTX cryptocurrency exchange (formerly Huobi) and the Heco Chain, a decentralized blockchain bridge.

The HTX hack reportedly involved the theft of $30 million worth of cryptocurrencies, while the Heco Chain hack resulted in the loss of $85.4 million worth of digital assets.

Sun, who is an investor in HTX and is connected to the Heco Chain, confirmed the events on Twitter, stating that HTX and the Heco Chain were undergoing “hacker attacks.” He also assured users that the relevant teams were “taking urgent measures to protect user assets and investigate the incident.”

The exact methods used by the hackers in these attacks are still under investigation. However, it is believed that they may have exploited vulnerabilities in the platforms’ security systems. The attacks have raised concerns about the security of cryptocurrency platforms and the potential for further hacks in the future.

The cryptocurrency market has reacted negatively to the news of the hacks, with Bitcoin prices dropping by around 2% in the hours following the announcement. The hacks have also prompted calls for increased regulation of the cryptocurrency industry in order to better protect investors’ funds.

The cryptocurrency community is still reeling from the impact of these hacks, and it is likely that the full extent of the damage will not be known for some time. However, the attacks have served as a stark reminder of the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrency and the need for increased security measures.


FORBES REVEALS SECRET MINING FACILITIES IN BHUTAN

And finally, in a groundbreaking investigation published on November 22, 2023, Forbes magazine revealed the existence of four covert bitcoin mining facilities operated by the government of Bhutan, a small Himalayan kingdom known for its pristine environment and commitment to sustainability.

Utilizing satellite imagery from Planet Labs, Satellite Vu, and Google Earth, Forbes identified the locations of these mining sites, which were strategically concealed within dense forests and mountainous terrain across the country.

The report detailed the extensive infrastructure of these facilities, including long rectangular mining units, data center cooling systems, and high-capacity power lines connected directly to Bhutan’s hydroelectric plants.

Sources with knowledge of Bhutan’s cryptocurrency investments confirmed the existence of these mining sites and provided insights into their operations. They revealed that the Bhutanese government had established a state-owned holding company, Druk Holding & Investments, to oversee these ventures.

The report also uncovered that Bhutan had invested millions of dollars in cryptocurrency holdings, which were inadvertently exposed through the bankruptcies of lenders BlockFi and Celsius.

This revelation of Bhutan’s secret bitcoin mining operations has raised concerns about the country’s commitment to environmental sustainability, given the energy-intensive nature of cryptocurrency mining.

Bhutan’s government has yet to publicly comment on Forbes’ report, but the findings have sparked discussions about the country’s role in the cryptocurrency industry and the potential environmental implications of its mining activities.

The report’s findings also highlight the growing trend of government-backed cryptocurrency mining operations, as countries seek to capitalize on the potential economic benefits of this emerging technology.

Forbes’ investigation has shed light on a hidden aspect of Bhutan’s economy and raised important questions about the role of governments in the cryptocurrency industry. The report’s findings are likely to have a significant impact on Bhutan’s reputation as a sustainable nation and could influence the country’s future cryptocurrency policies.

That’s about it for this latest Weekly CryptoNews Digest on the MNO blog. I’ll be posting the next update on cryptocurrency in a week, and there will be all the latest developments and news covered. So, if you’re genuinely interested in what is going on in the cryptocurrency world, then make sure you check it out next Monday.

That will be it for tonight, guys. I hope your business week will be fruitful and productive and I will be back with the next blog post in a few days time. Keep following MNO – For Money Lovers!

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