Daily Crypto, Finance and Tech News Summary – June 19, 2023

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Welcome, and thank you for being part of the MyZucoins community! Dive into our daily crypto, finance and tech news summary to stay in the know.

Yellow boats leaving UK dover port

An End to Binance’s UK Ambitions

Binance Markets Limited (BML), the UK subsidiary of global crypto exchange Binance, has officially withdrawn its registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), signalling an end to Binance’s operational approvals in the UK. The FCA confirmed that BML’s cancellation request was completed on May 30, 2023, resulting in the firm no longer being authorized by the FCA. This move follows regulatory scrutiny of Binance by multiple financial market watchdogs worldwide, including the FCA, which imposed restrictions on Binance Markets Limited last year.

Despite the withdrawal, Binance’s Sub-Regional Manager for Growth in the UK and Europe clarified that the cancellation of BML’s registration did not impact its operations, as the unit never conducted any business. Binance acquired BML in 2020 with the intention of launching a regulated business in the UK, but the plans remained dormant since the acquisition. The focus now shifts to the newly amended Financial Promotions Order, effective from October 8, 2023, which is a mandatory rule for operating in the UK.

Alongside the UK withdrawal, Binance is also facing legal challenges in the US, with civil lawsuits brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). As a result, the exchange is reducing its European presence, having deregistered its subsidiary in Cyprus and decided to exit the Netherlands due to the inability to obtain a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license. Additionally, Binance’s regulated subsidiary in France is reportedly facing a probe.

The withdrawal of Binance’s UK registration and its challenges with regulators marks a setback in the exchange’s global ambitions. As regulatory scrutiny continues and Binance adjusts its operations, the cryptocurrency industry faces an evolving landscape where exchanges navigate compliance requirements while striving to maintain their presence in various jurisdictions. Read more here.

Zucoins’ Zutopia Project: Transforming the Future of Trading

Zucoins has revealed its solution to the chaotic world of crypto exchanges, Zutopia, which is focused on being a decentralized marketplace. Zutopia offers users a simple, direct peer-to-peer (P2P) platform to trade Zucoins and related products powered by the Splitchain Layer 1 native protocol. This strategic move represents a significant step forward in the evolution of peer-to-peer marketplaces.

Stay tuned for Zucoins’ upcoming article, where they will provide detailed insights into the Zutopia project. The article will shed light on the vision, features, and benefits of this groundbreaking initiative. Once the document is released, we will do a breakdown overview to keep you informed about it.

Zutopia aims to simplify the way users interact and transact within a P2P decentralized ecosystem, offering an easy marketplace for Zucoin traders to manage themselves. Read our earlier coverage here.

Coinbase Criticizes SEC’s Lack of Transparency Amid Legal Battle

Coinbase, a leading crypto exchange, has criticized the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to provide clear answers in response to its rulemaking petition. In a letter filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals, Coinbase’s lawyers accused the SEC of avoiding direct questions and repeating talking points. The letter was a response to the SEC’s request for an additional 120 days to reply to Coinbase’s petition, a delay that Coinbase claims further burdens the crypto industry.

Coinbase has expressed concerns about the SEC’s silence and enforcement actions, stating that the delays and lack of transparency negatively impact the industry and risk damaging a U.S. public company and the entire crypto sector. Coinbase’s chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, highlighted the unusual nature of the government defying a direct question from a federal court. Coinbase is now seeking a writ of mandamus, urging the court to order the SEC to fulfil its duties under the law.

In a separate case, the SEC sued Coinbase on June 6, accusing the platform of violating securities rules by offering unregistered cryptocurrencies. Despite the regulatory scrutiny, a Hong Kong legislator has extended an invitation to Coinbase to establish a presence in the region. Coinbase continues to advocate for transparency and a more transparent regulatory framework for digital assets as it navigates its legal battle with the SEC. Read more here.

Conflict Questions Arise as Crypto.com’s Internal Trading Teams Come to Light

Crypto.com, a major cryptocurrency exchange endorsed by actor Matt Damon, has faced scrutiny over the existence of its internal trading and market-making teams. The Singapore-based exchange, ranked among the top 10 in the world, operates proprietary trading desks, raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest. In traditional markets, such activities are typically conducted by separate private companies. US regulators have recently cracked down on similar practices, with the Securities and Exchange Commission charging Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, for engaging in manipulative trading. The commingling of functions within these platforms has drawn criticism from regulators, highlighting potential conflicts.

The internal trading teams at Crypto.com, which had not been widely known since its launch in 2016, have sparked controversy. Employees were allegedly instructed to deny any involvement in trading to external market participants. However, Crypto.com denies asking employees to lie and states that its internal market maker operates similarly to third-party market makers, facilitating tight spreads and efficient markets on the platform. The company claims that its revenues primarily come from its app for retail traders, where Crypto.com acts as the counterparty for transactions. It emphasizes that its exchange operates as a level playing field for institutional traders.

Crypto.com’s proprietary trading desk conducts trades on its own exchange and other venues, solely focusing on generating profits rather than facilitating an exchange. The market-making desk aims to enhance liquidity on the platform. The company defends its practices by stating that all participants, including market makers, are treated equally, and it continuously strives to improve order book liquidity and reduce spreads for a more efficient market. Crypto.com, known for its high-profile sponsorships and sports deals, including partnerships with Matt Damon and LeBron James, has seen significant trading volumes this year but has decided to shut down its institutional US trading exchange due to limited demand in the current market landscape following SEC enforcement actions. Read more here.

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