Filipino Thinktank Infrawatch PH Blows Whistle on Binance

Filipino think-tank Infrawatch PH has called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to investigate Binance exchange for illegally operating in the Philippines.


According to a report from Bitpinas, who obtained a copy of the letter sent by Infrawatch convener, Terry Ridon, the regulator’s attention is being called to what it called Binance’s local promotions that do not come with a permit.

“We would like to bring to your immediate attention the illegal sales promotion of Binance, which presumably have been launched without the necessary DTI permit considering the absence of a DTI permit number in the promotional advertisements and the general lack of applicable license and registration of Binance in the Philippines,” the letter reads.

Ridon said the Binance exchange is a breeding ground for criminal activities as the exchange is known as a hub for money launderers. The Think-Tank’s position is hinged on an earlier report from Reuters which noted that billions of dollars have been laundered through the trading platform in the past few years, a claim Binance has debunked.

Infrawatch Claims Binance is Operating Illegally

Drawing on his previous experience as a lawyer and a former legislator, Ridon noted that Binance is operating illegally in the country and that the trading platform does not have regard for Philippines laws.

“As you may be aware, Binance, an unregistered entity in the Philippines, has been offering its services in the country for several years already. Their unregistered activity allows Filipinos to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and with wanton disregard of Philippine regulations, they perform the functions of a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) through an unregulated platform,” he added.

The year 2021 was a tough one for Binance as many regulators revoked its license beginning from the UK to Hong Kong, and South Africa. In the past 12 months, the trading platform has improved its relationship with regulators and has secured operation licenses in key regions like Italy, Dubai, and France.

While the call by Infrawatch PH may serve as a major setback if acted upon by the DTI, Binance has often reiterated its plans to work with regulators, a move that may be brought into play this time around.

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Binance.US Hires Ex-Paypal CFO Jasmine Lee as CFO

Jasmine Lee, a veteran financial expert has joined Binance.US as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).


The appointment of Lee by Binance.US is primarily centred on tapping her expertise as the former CFO and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of fintech firm, Acorns.

Prior to her joining Binance, Jasmine Lee had an 8-year stint with Paypal. At Paypal, she held various leadership positions, driving PayPal’s growth through strategic partnerships, pricing initiatives, and acquiring new businesses, and served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for the Consumer Product Group at PayPal.

Over the years, Jasmine Lee has gathered all the experience that will be suited for Binance.US as the trading platform works to go public over the next few years.

“Jasmine is a rare talent who possesses more than 20 years of deep knowledge in both fintech and high-growth startup environments. Her experience at Paypal, a public Fortune 500 company, in particular, will be invaluable as we chart our path to an IPO in the coming years,” said Brian Shroder, Chief Executive Officer of Binance.US. “Binance.US entered the current crypto market environment from a position of strength, with significant capital, active hiring plans, and a robust pipeline of new value-add products and services. We are pleased to continue to execute our growth strategy with Jasmine as a key part of the executive team.”

Jasmine Lee will be answering to Brian and she will lead the trading platform’s finance department and oversee all aspects of financial operations, accounting, investor relations, treasury, and tax.

Binance.US is valued at $4.5 billion after it raised $200 million back in April this year. While the trading platform has not fixed an exact timeline for its Initial Public Offering (IPO), efforts are currently underway to achieve this feat, as it looks to trail the paths of Coinbase Global Inc which went public on the Nasdaq Exchange back in April 2021.

Image source: Binance.US


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UK Fund Managers Urge Regulators to Approve Blockchain-Traded Funds

UK fund managers under the aegis of the Investment Association, the trade body representing Britain’s asset management industry, have called on the government and the City regulator to approve blockchain-traded funds.


While the Investment Association controls as much as £10tn for clients worldwide, the entity believes that issuing tokens instead of traditional shares and fund units will have a way to enhance productivity on all sides. 

According to the Financial Times, the association believes that the blockchain-traded fund products, if approved, will grant end-users more cost-saving investment offerings across the board. Chris Cummings, Investment Association Chief Executive, called on regulators and policymakers to “drive forward innovation without delay.”

“Greater innovation will boost the overall competitiveness of the UK funds industry and improve the cost, efficiency, and quality of the investment experience,” said Cummings.

The embrace of tokenisation in the United Kingdom is growing rapidly. Per the FT report, a fintech group, FundAdminChain is notably working with the London Stock Exchange and four global asset managers to develop live tokenised funds for the UK market.

“Asset managers have realised that there is potential to generate alpha [market-beating returns] via tokenisation. Tokenised funds can deliver more transparency, instant settlement, improvements in data and analytics which will contribute to a more efficient system for investors but we need regulatory support to ensure that the UK remains competitive with other jurisdictions,” said Brian McNulty, CEO at FundAdminChain.

Financial innovation bordering on blockchain technology is being advocated in several jurisdictions today. In the EU, a new framework to regulate the cryptocurrency industry has been created and agreed upon, and according to stakeholders, it will pave the way for the active growth of the ecosystem across the board.

While the UK has no comprehensive framework guarding the blockchain ecosystem, its regulators are actively providing guidance to innovators and the investing public as a whole.

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Argo Bitcoin Miner Sells 637 BTC to Offset Costs & Outstanding Loans

Argo Blockchain plc, a major global cryptocurrency mining firm, announced Thursday an update of its business operations for June 2022.

Argo said it mined 179 Bitcoins in June compared to 124 BTC in May 2022. The firm said the rise in Bitcoins mined during June is primarily because of an increase in total hashrate capacity and greater uptime at its Helios mining facility compared to May.

The firm stated that its mining revenue generated in June amounted to $4.35 million compared to $3.89 million in May.  

This means that in the previous month, Argo’s mining revenue increased by 10% to £3.38 million ($4.35 million) as the firm produced 46% more Bitcoin than in May because of higher uptime and increased hashrate.

The better performance was achieved as the firm shipped in and installed more S19J Pro machines from Bitmain, a commitment that keeps the Argo on track to install all 20,000 machines as agreed with Bitmain.

Peter Wall, Argo CEO, talked about the development: “Ongoing efforts to significantly upscale Argo’s mining operations are reflected in this month’s numbers and our increased hashrate,” adding that “These numbers, along with our continued installations of the S19J Pro machines, put us in a solid position with regards to our mining capacity. We believe the company is well-positioned to navigate the current market conditions and further increase our efficiencies.”

Argo mentioned it generated the profit at a time when Bitcoin and Bitcoin Equivalent Mining Margin stood at 50% during June, compared to May’s 55%. The decrease in mining margin was majorly driven by the reduced Bitcoin prices and higher electricity costs at its Helios facility in Texas.

As of June 30, Argo said it held 1,953 Bitcoins, out of which 210 were BTC Equivalents.

Besides that, the Bitcoin miner further disclosed that it hired an in-house derivative trader in June to help better navigate the extreme market conditions that have seen Bitcoin drastically plunge its price.

Argo mentioned that it has been using derivatives to reduce downside risk since October last year. The firm said it hired a full-time in-house derivative trader last month to improve the company’s capabilities within risks and treasury management.

Argo also disclosed that it sold 637 BTC at an average price of $24,500 in June in order to pay for operating expenses and a BTC-backed loan from Galaxy Digital.

At the end of last month, Argo said it had an outstanding $22 million balance loan with Galaxy Digital. In December last year, Argo signed the $30 million loan collateralized by Bitcoin.

Argo said that with the outstanding loan balance standing at $22 million, it is confident that it has adequate liquidity to avoid any potential liquidations of the BTC-backed loan in case Bitcoin prices continue dropping.

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