Payment Expert’s Blockchain Bulletin analyses how the world of blockchain is constantly evolving and having a major impact on the payment industry, with cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse revolutionising the space. 

This week, the fallout from the SEC’s regulatory action saw speculation increase over an exodus of exchanges from the US, with Coinbase invited to set up in Hong Kong and slowing activities in the region.

Binance.US freezes fiat deposits following being sued by SEC

Binance’s US arm announced last week that it froze all US dollar deposits on its exchange following the announcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suing the world’s largest exchange and its US subsidiary. 

The SEC sued the exchange on the basis they believe Binance to be running an unregistered securities exchange in the US, as well as circulating and trading unregistered securities tokens in the form of Binance’s native tokens BUSD and BNB. 

A Binance statement read: “The SEC has taken to using extremely aggressive and intimidating tactics in its pursuit of an ideological campaign against the American digital asset industry. Binance.US and our business partners have not been spared in the use of these tactics, which has created challenges for the banks with whom we work.” suspends US offerings but retains LA Lakers arena rights

In the midst of regulatory uncertainty surrounding crypto and US policymakers, announced it will suspend “institutional offerings” of the exchange in the country due to “limited demand from institutions in the US in the current market landscape”. 

Despite this, the exchange will remain as the rights holders of the ‘ Arena’ the home of the NBA’s iconic franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers. 

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Coinbase welcomed into Hong Kong after SEC fallout

Coinbase has been invited by a Hong Kong lawmaker to set up shop in the region after being sued by the SEC in the US. 

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has been open to inviting cryptocurrency exchanges from 1 June with all registrations able to serve investors and customers in the region.

SBF seeks to dismiss additional extradition charges

Bahamas Supreme Court Judge, Loren Klein, has granted FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) to handle the terms of his extradition back to the US following his involvement in the collapse of the exchange last year. 

US enforcement is seeking to indict SBF on two additional charges as part of his extradition, fraud and bribery charges, amongst several other charges claimed against the former FTX CEO, who has pleaded not guilty on all accounts as he awaits trial this October. 

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Bitstamp receives UK clearance in midst crypto regulation shake-up

Bitstamp has received a full licence to operate in the UK under the supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

This marks the first time a crypto exchange has been registered under FCA regulation since the UK Treasury’s February consultations on strengthening the country’s crypto asset infrastructure and regulatory approach. 

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Sberbank enables crypto trading for Russian nationals 

Customers of the biggest bank in Russia – Sberbank – will soon be able to make use of a new crypto trading service to buy and sell digital assets. 

Part of the reasoning behind the launch is that the bank sees crypto becoming a significant part of the daily transaction volume in the future. Enabling crypto trading through the largest financial institution in Russia will certainly attract more foreign investors interested in the space.