June was a tough month for Binance as it faced global stress testing after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the crypto exchange and its leadership.
In a nutshell, in the past 30 days, the Belgian financial regulator has ordered Binance to shut down all crypto services, the exchange has not been licensed in the Netherlands, the Brazilian head of Binance has been subpoenaed to appear before Congress in connection with an investigation to a Ponzi scheme, and just a few days ago another ongoing investigation in France went public.
And there’s more: Binance’s UK-based subsidiary has canceled its registration with the Financial Conduct Authority, and in the US, the exchange still has a long way to go in its battle with regulators. In addition, the exchange was denied a crypto custody license in Germany and lost its euro banking partner.
But despite all these developments, Binance remains untouched as the best among centralized exchanges, with a total value of $58.11 billion, down from $63.8 billion on June 1, according to data from DefiLlama. The exchange’s next big focus is in the United Arab Emirates, a supposed “first destination” for crypto companies looking for a clear path forward.
“We keep building,” said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a tweet on June 28, after a long and hectic month.
This week’s Crypto Biz looks at the story behind Binance’s debanking in Australia, Bitcoin (BTC) miners preparing for the next halving, MicroStrategy’s latest Bitcoin purchase and Bitfinex’s expansion in Latin America.
Binance Australia was given 12 hours notice before being debanked, says exec
There was no prior warning, consultation or recourse. In the middle of the night, the Binance Australia team was suddenly told it would be “cut off” from the country’s banking system. Binance regional manager Ben Rose shared details of the exchange’s debanking in the country during Australian Blockchain Week on June 26. In May, the company announced that its dollar services had been suspended after its payment provider Zepto was told to drop support for Binance. According to Rose, the move affected about 1 million Australian-based customers, with Binance now looking for an alternative payment provider.
Riot Platforms Adds 33,000 Bitcoin Miners Ahead of 2024 Halving
Bitcoin mining company Riot Platforms is gearing up for its next halving cycle by purchasing 33,280 “next-generation” rigs for its Texas facility, costing $162.9 million. The miners, coming from MicroBT, will increase the company’s self-mining capacity by 7.6 exahashes per second (EH/s) to 20.1 EH/s once the machines are installed in the first quarter of 2024. Of the machines, 8,320 are M56S+ models with a hash rate of 220 terahashes per second (TH/s), while the remaining 24,960 M56S++ are slightly more powerful at 230 TH/s.
MicroStrategy buys $347 million worth of Bitcoin as the market thaws
MicroStrategy announced the purchase of 12,333 Bitcoin on June 28, worth $347 million at release. MicroStrategy now owns 152,333 BTC worth $4.52 billion, with an average purchase price of $29,668 per coin. The coins were purchased between April 27 and June 27, with the purchase partly financed by the issue of new shares. MicroStrategy has been actively buying Bitcoin with cash and equity financing during the crypto bear market, sometimes regardless of price. In the first quarter of 2023, the company reported its first profitable quarter since 2020 thanks to a one-time tax break.
Bitfinex launches P2P trading platform in Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia
Digital asset exchange Bitfinex is expanding its business into Latin America. The crypto firm has launched a peer-to-peer trading platform in Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia, enabling users in the South American countries to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), Tether’s euro-pegged stablecoin, and Tether. . EURt (EURT) and Tether Gold (XAUT). In April, Bitfinex’s El Salvador arm received a license to provide digital assets from the National Digital Asset Commission. Last month, the exchange partnered with Chile-based crypto platform OrionX to support local education and financial literacy programs.
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