Robinhood Board Approves Plan to Buy Back Sam Bankman’s $578 Million Stake in the Company
Following the fall of FTX, Robinhood’s board of directors has given the nod to buy back a $578 million stake which Sam Bankman invested in the company.
The company stated in its fourth-quarter report published on Feb, 8 2023.
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX co-founder Gary Wang bought the Robinhood shares in 2022. The 55 million share were bought in May 2023 through Emergent Fidelity Technologies by taking out loans directly from FTX’s sister firm, Alameda Research.
“Our Board authorised us to pursue purchasing most or all of our shares that Emergent Fidelity Technologies bought”. Robinhood’s Chief Financial Officer, Jason Warnick said.
The shares however generate some controversy when a lending platform BlockFi claims ownership of it. The assets were seized following a court filing stating that Bankman-Fried and Wang used the shares as collateral to take out a loan from BlockFi.
However, on Dec. 23, FTX asked the court to stop BlockFi from claiming the Robinhood shares.
Meanwhile, during the early stage of the collapse, world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, Binance also offered to acquire FTX but walk away after due diligence was done.
Binance also sold all its positions in FTX token, FTT, roughly 23 million FTT tokens valued at about $529 million.
Investors King could recall a major cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, went bankrupt in early November 2022 following a report by CoinDesk highlighting potential leverage and solvency concerns involving FTX-affiliated trading firm Alameda Research.
The FTX’s collapse shook the volatile crypto market, which lost billions at the time, falling below a $1 trillion valuation after FTX faced a liquidity crisis and searched for bailout funds.
Subsequently, the cryptocurrency exchange FTX was hacked in which hundreds of millions worth of tokens were stolen.
In January 2, 2023, FTX founder and ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to all charges after he was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the United States.
Investors Withdraw 3,423 BTC from Binance Within 24 hours of CFTC lawsuit
Investors withdrew 3,423 bitcoins from Binance immediately after the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued the crypto exchange and its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao for regulatory violations.
This saw a reduction in Binance’s total Bitcoin balance while other exchanges registered an increase within the period.
Data from Coinglass shows that US-based crypto exchange, Coinbase, Bitfinex, OKX and Gemini saw a combined Bitcoin deposit of 1,032 as some investors worried about what may befall the Binance exchange.
Investors King understands that Monday’s bitcoin withdrawal on the Binance platform constitutes more than 90% of the total withdrawals in the past seven days. A total of 3,915 BTC were withdrawn from the Binance platform in the past week.
It would be recalled that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) alleged that the world’s biggest crypto exchange by trading volume is running unregistered securities and also tried to evade regulators by asking customers in the U.S. to use VPN.
Binance’s compliance programme has been “ineffective” and the firm, under the direction of Zhao, told employees and customers to circumvent compliance controls, the CFTC said.
Responding to the development in a series of tweets, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) who was born in China and moved to Canada at the age of 12, called CFTC’s complaint “unexpected and disappointing”.
“Upon an initial review, the complaint appears to contain an incomplete recitation of facts, and we do not agree with the characterisation of many of the issues alleged in the complaint,” the crypto billionaire said.
CZ however stated that the crypto exchange will collaborate with U.S. regulators to resolve all grey areas.
Meanwhile, some crypto enthusiasts have expressed huge concern with respect to the offensive launched against crypto firms in the U.S. They observed that the renewed offensive is coming amid the collapse of some big banks in the United States.
US Regulatory Body Sues Binance for Breaking Trading Rules
The world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) were sued on Monday by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The U.S. regulator alleged that Zhao and his company violated trading and derivatives rules.
According to a lawsuit filed by the CFTC in a Chicago federal court, Binance operates a facility for trading digital assets without necessary registration, thereby offering unregistered crypto derivatives products to consumers in the U.S. against federal law.
The suit also alleged that the company, under CZ’s leadership, directed its customers to spoof their locations through the use of virtual private networks (VPN), Investors King learnt.
“VPN use by customers to access and trade on the Binance platform has been an open secret, and Binance has consistently been aware of and encouraged the use of VPNs by U.S. customers,” the suit read.
“The company directed important customers such as trading firms to set up shell companies in places such as Jersey, the British Virgin Islands and the Netherlands to avoid restrictions”, the filing added.
In a press release on Monday, CFTC Chief Counsel Gretchen Lowe called Binance’s actions “willful evasion of U.S. law,” pointing to internal chats and emails.
Lowe is making reference to internal chats between Binance employees, where the company’s Chief Compliance Officer directed an employee to ask U.S. customers to hide their location.
As a penalty, the CFTC seeks to compel Binance to repay allegedly ill-gotten gains that stem from the misconduct it is accused of. It also wants Binance to pay civil penalties and accept bans on trading as well as its ability to register within the U.S.
Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin fell around $1,000 to trade below the $27,000 mark after the lawsuit was first filed. Similarly, Binance’s exchange token BNB fell about 3% while crypto-related stocks also fell after the suit was published.
Statista Predicts 150 Million Indians to Have Crypto By the End of 2023
A Statista report has predicted that India’s crypto community will surge to more than 150 million members by the end of the year. This was estimated at more than 11% of India’s total population.
The report added that most Indians who deal with digital assets are well-educated and aged between 18-40. Going by the report, by the end of 2023, India’s crypto adoption rate is expected to surpass that of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Russia.
Statista noted that educated younger individuals with middle-income status in India are seeking alternatives to the shaking banking system with residents of the Federal Capital, Delhi most inclined to buy and hold digital currencies for the long term.
The uncertainty in the traditional financial system and the search for higher returns are the main factors pushing Indians toward the digital asset sector.
Last year’s KuCoin survey indicated that the total number of domestic crypto investors in India is around 115 million, of which around 40% fall in the 18-30 age group.
Several reports have earlier projected more crypto adoption in the years ahead with countries in Europe, America, Asia and Africa leading the adoption chart. Investors King learnt.
According to HedgewithCrypto research, Australia is the biggest country when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption in 2023 as 7.37 out of 10 persons owned a digital currency. The sale of cryptocurrency and other digital assets is legal and regulated in Australia.
Other countries on the top ten list include the United States, Brazil, UAE, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Canada, Turkey and Singapore.
Meanwhile, a number of analysts have predicted that Bitcoin could begin a new macro uptrend in a matter of days despite facing problems flipping $28,000 to support.
Bitcoin has so far shown an impressive performance since the beginning of the year.
The flagship cryptocurrency is up more than 50% in 2023 despite the series of challenges that have impacted the banking system and the anti-crypto approaches from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
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