Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and Guangying “Helina” Chen have been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of receiving billions of dollars in customer funds through their holding company.
The allegations were revealed in a court document filed by the SEC, shedding light on a complex web of financial transactions.
According to the SEC, the funds were funneled to companies controlled by Zhao via an intermediary holding company called Key Vision Development Limited. The evidence supporting these claims comes from testimony provided by Sachin Verma, an accountant employed by the SEC, whose forensic analysis of bank statements exposed the alleged wrongdoing.
The court filing highlights the perplexing nature of the transactions, as the SEC states, “The SEC has been unable to determine why a Zhao-controlled entity that was purportedly trading on the Binance.US Platform using Zhao’s personal funds would have acted as a ‘pass through’ account for billions of dollars of Binance Platforms customers’ funds.”
The SEC alleges that $12 billion was sent to Zhao, while a Guangying Chen-controlled company in Singapore received $162 million. Notably, Chen and Zhao oversaw several companies with no apparent connection to Binance, and the SEC claims that a significant portion of the funds has been moved to offshore accounts.
Chen, identified as Binance’s back office and financial manager, is alleged to have controlled accounts belonging to Binance.US, contradicting the unit’s supposed independence. These findings raise concerns about the commingling of customer deposits and company funds, an assertion that Binance has vehemently denied.
Binance has defended itself, asserting that Merit Peak serves as a vehicle for CZ to trade his “self-made wealth.” However, the SEC’s investigation into Binance.US, ongoing since at least 2020, has revealed that Binance maintained custody of its U.S. affiliate’s assets until December 2022, despite earlier claims of separation.
As the legal battle between Binance and the SEC escalates, the regulator is seeking a temporary restraining order to freeze assets held by Binance.US. A court date has been set for June 13 to address this critical matter.
The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the cryptocurrency industry, as regulators strive to maintain transparency and protect the interests of customers.
The allegations against Binance and its executives have sent shockwaves through the financial world, emphasizing the importance of regulatory oversight in this rapidly evolving sector.
Mixin Network Halts Services After $200 Million Security Breach; Recovery Plan in Progress
Mixin Network, a prominent decentralized wallet service provider, has been rocked by a massive security breach resulting in a loss of $200 million.
The breach, attributed to vulnerabilities in its cloud service provider’s database, has raised questions about the platform’s dependence on centralized infrastructure.
Mixin Network, known for its support of 48 public blockchains and an impressive total network asset value exceeding $1 billion, halted deposit and withdrawal services following the breach.
This incident has prompted discussions within the crypto community regarding the risks associated with centralization in decentralized platforms.
In response to the breach, Mixin Network has taken swift action, enlisting the expertise of blockchain security specialists from SlowMist.
The company has pledged to resume services only after thoroughly addressing identified vulnerabilities, a decision reached through consensus among all network nodes.
The plan for asset recovery will be announced in due course, and Mixin founder Feng Xiaodong will provide a detailed explanation in a public livestream.
The Mixin incident follows closely on the heels of the JPEX cryptocurrency exchange scandal in Hong Kong, which has left countless individuals reeling from financial losses totaling $178 million.
Experts now speculate that these recent setbacks may lead the Hong Kong government to reconsider its enthusiastic promotion of Web3 technologies, as concerns over security and public sentiment cast a shadow on the region’s cryptocurrency ambitions.
Carlton Lai, head of blockchain and cryptocurrency research at Daiwa Capital Markets, said, “I think this scandal will have a pretty sizeable negative impact on retail sentiment, given its significant local presence and the various celebrities involved.”
As Hong Kong grapples with the fallout from these high-profile incidents, the future of cryptocurrency in the region remains uncertain, with questions of regulation and security taking center stage.
Dallas Mavericks Owner and Billionaire Tech Investor, Mark Cuban, Falls Victim to Phishing Attack, Losing $870,000 in Crypto Assets
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a prominent billionaire technology investor, recently fell prey to a phishing attack, resulting in a loss of approximately $870,000 worth of tokens.
The incident occurred over the weekend after months of inactivity on Cuban’s crypto wallet.
Phishing attacks, a prevalent threat in the crypto industry, deceive users into revealing sensitive information, downloading malicious software, and exposing their private data.
These attacks exploit users’ trust, often causing them to overlook the authenticity of incoming requests on their crypto wallets or unwittingly download counterfeit applications designed solely to pilfer their assets.
Cuban’s crypto wallet was emptied of various assets, including U.S.-pegged stablecoins, staked ETH (stETH), SuperRare (RARE) tokens, and some Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains, according to blockchain data.
The initial discovery of these suspicious transactions was made by the vigilant on-chain investigator @wazzcrypto.
Fortunately, Cuban was alerted to these transactions, and he managed to safeguard over $2.5 million worth of Polygon’s MATIC tokens.
He accomplished this by promptly logging into his wallet and transferring the tokens to a secure Coinbase exchange address.
Cuban revealed that the phishing attack was apparently initiated through a fraudulent MetaMask wallet application that he had unwittingly downloaded.
This incident marks the second high-profile phishing attack in as many weeks, following Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s experience in early September. Buterin’s X account was compromised in a phishing attack, although he did not appear to lose any of his own funds.
Nevertheless, unsuspecting users collectively suffered losses of up to $700,000 by sending tokens to a malicious link that falsely appeared to have Buterin’s endorsement.
As the crypto industry continues to thrive, it is crucial for users to exercise caution and remain vigilant to safeguard their digital assets from the ever-present threat of phishing attacks.
RxR Analysis Reveals: Ether’s True Worth 27% Higher than Market Price
RxR, a research-driven partnership between Republic Crypto and Re7 Capital, has revealed that Ether (ETH), the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, is currently trading at a 27% discount to its actual fair value.
This revelation comes as a result of RxR’s innovative approach to evaluating the worth of cryptocurrencies. Instead of relying solely on traditional metrics, RxR’s methodology incorporates a blended version of the Metcalfe law that takes into account both the active user base on the continuously expanding Ethereum scaling networks and the users on the Ethereum mainnet.
Ether, as a fundamental component of the Ethereum ecosystem, facilitates a wide range of activities, from simple transactions to participating in network security through staking, earning interest, and even storing non-fungible tokens. As such, the value of Ether has long been intertwined with Ethereum’s network usage.
Lewis Harland, an analyst at RxR, explained the significance of this approach, stating, “Ethereum’s network valuation exhibits a closer alignment with the updated Metcalfe law index when the active user base of Ethereum’s scaling networks is included in the model, in contrast to when it is omitted.”
Harland continued, “The updated model, which factors in these networks, places ETH’s valuation at $275 billion, indicating that the current market capitalization is trading at a substantial 27% discount.”
Ether’s market capitalization consistently tracks the blended Metcalfe law model more accurately than the traditional model, which fails to consider the growing activity on layer 2 networks or offchain solutions built atop the Ethereum mainnet.
In essence, this analysis challenges the perception that Ether might be overvalued, as suggested by the traditional Metcalfe law Model.
The emergence of Layer 2 technology has undoubtedly become one of the most dynamic and exciting developments in the crypto market. Key protocols, such as Coinbase’s BASE, Arbitrum, and Optimism, have found their unique niches within this landscape.
According to data from L2Beat, the total value locked in layer 2 protocols has surged more than threefold in just two years, reaching an impressive milestone of over $9 billion.
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