Weekly Newsletter – 26 May 2023

Bitcoin Drops Below $27k As Large Cryptos Fall

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Weekly Summary

  • Binance Allegedly “Commingled Customer Funds”
  • Ledger Key Recovery Service Paused amid Backlash
  • Hong Kong to Open Crypto Exchange Access for Retail Users
  • Hotbit Exchange Shutters Crypto Exchange, Urges Users to Withdraw Funds
  • ConsenSys Debunks MetaMask Withholding Customer’s Crypto for Tax Rumors
  • Web3-Friendly Browser Brave Introduces NFT-Gated Video Calls

Industry Stories

Binance Allegedly Commingled Customer Funds, Reuters Reported: According to unnamed sources cited in a Reuters report, Binance has been accused of commingling customer funds with its own corporate revenue in violation of U.S. financial regulations. The alleged breach occurred in 2020 and 2021, with one source claiming that the commingled sums reached billions of dollars. However, Reuters found no evidence of customer funds being lost or taken. Binance has faced regulatory scrutiny before, including a recent lawsuit by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Despite the allegations, Binance’s native token, BNB, experienced a price increase on Tuesday amidst a broader crypto market surge.

Ledger Key Recovery Service Paused amid Backlash, Will Open-Source Code: Crypto wallet provider Ledger has announced a delay in releasing its key recovery feature, Ledger Recover, following backlash from the crypto community. The service would allow users to store encrypted backups of their seed phrases with custodians, enabling restoration of private keys if the seed phrases are lost. Critics expressed concerns about sharing seed phrases and potential risks such as hacks, data leaks, and lack of code transparency. In response, Ledger’s CEO Pascal Gauthier stated that the company will release the code before introducing the feature and will accelerate its open-sourcing roadmap. Ledger believes that key recovery services are crucial for onboarding new crypto users.

Hong Kong to Open Crypto Exchange Access for Retail Users: The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced plans to allow retail investors access to virtual asset platforms. Licensed platforms that comply with the SFC’s guidelines will be able to serve retail investors. The guidelines include requirements for asset custody safety, cybersecurity standards, and client asset segregation. While the guidelines will be effective in June 2023, no virtual asset trading platform has been approved yet. The SFC received 152 written submissions during the consultation period and will implement measures for investor protection. The announcement also stated that unregulated platforms should plan for an “orderly closure” of business operations in Hong Kong. 

Hotbit Exchange Shutters Crypto Exchange, Urges Users to Withdraw Funds: Hotbit, a crypto exchange, has announced the cessation of its operations and urged users to withdraw their funds by June 21. The decision was attributed to deteriorating operating conditions and the uncertain future of centralised exchanges in the crypto industry. Hotbit cited complex compliance requirements, increasing decentralisation trends, high risks on certain assets, and repeated cyber attacks as contributing factors. The collapse of other exchanges like FTX has further fueled scepticism about centralised forms of crypto custody and trading, with calls for greater adoption of decentralised exchanges and individual ownership of cryptocurrencies.

ConsenSys Debunks MetaMask Withholding Customer’s Crypto for Tax Rumors: ConsenSys, the blockchain firm behind MetaMask, has debunked rumours that the wallet was withholding customers’ crypto assets for tax purposes. The company clarified that MetaMask does not collect taxes on crypto transactions and that the section in its terms of service regarding taxes applies only to specific products and paid plans. The misinformation had circulated on social media platforms, including Twitter and Reddit. This incident follows a previous privacy mishap where ConsenSys faced backlash for collecting user data, but the company has since made updates and clarified its data storage practices to address privacy concerns.

Web3-Friendly Browser Brave Introduces NFT-Gated Video Calls: Brave, a web browser known for its Web3 integration, is embracing NFTs by introducing token-gated video calls through its Brave Talk video service. The new tool allows hosts to manage access to calls using NFTs and POAPS, enabling NFT projects to engage with other token holders. Users with a premium subscription to Brave Talk can participate in the token-gated video calls using any browser with a Web3 wallet, although compatibility is currently limited to Ethereum-based NFTs. Hosts can use NFTs to configure avatars, assign moderator permissions, and more, creating a fully integrated Web3 live event platform in combination with Brave Wallet. Brave has recently surpassed 50 million monthly active users and has been expanding its support for various blockchain ecosystems.

Matrixport Highlight

Sell in May and go away? Common Wall Street advice suggests selling stocks in May and locking in the year’s gains as markets tend to rally at the beginning of the year, while later the excitement of a new year gives way to uncertainty.

The odds that Bitcoin prices continue to rally in June are weak from a seasonality point of view. But, the odds improve with Bitcoin rallying by +11% in July, and in seven out of the ten years prices are positive. To read more, subscribe to our Matrix on Target reports and unlock fresh market insights.

>> Stay tuned for our market analysis

Matrixport News

Matrixport’s Omid Zadeh, Head of Business Development, is joining the DigiAssets Conference in London. This institutional digital assets conference will provide a great opportunity to discuss ways to navigate fragmented digital assets marketplaces, tokenizing and trading real-world assets on the blockchain, and much more. Feel free to connect with us at the conference to exchange industry insights and get firsthand knowledge about our latest developments.

Register here.


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