Binance Announces Upgrade to Proof-of-Reserves Verification

The cryptocurrency exchange Binance made an important announcement regarding an upgrade to its proof-of-reserves verification system on February 10. The company stated that it would now incorporate zk-SNARKs, a cutting-edge technology that, according to Binance, will enable the company to verify its reserves in a manner that is both more secure and transparent.

After the failure of FTX in 2022, the verification of proof-of-reserves became an essential component of the cryptocurrency sector. This is because it helps to validate that cryptocurrency exchanges really own the assets they assert they have. Binance was one of the first exchanges to implement the system, and it did it in the beginning utilizing the more conventional forms of encryption. However, its latest update to add zk-SNARKs is expected to dramatically increase the verification process’s level of security and openness.

The Chief Executive Officer of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, indicated that the zk-SNARKs improvement, which was first proposed by the creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, would give “greater privacy and security.” He claims that this is a significant advancement in PoR technology. Everyone in the business sector is welcome to take use of our open-source PoR solution, which enables us to offer all users with the confidence they need to experience SAFU.

Zk-SNARKs is an acronym that stands for “zero-knowledge A method known as “succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge” is a sort of cryptography that enables one party to demonstrate to another that they own a certain quantity of assets without disclosing any other information in the process. This apparently makes it a better option for certifying Binance’s reserves, since it enables the exchange to establish the existence of its assets while keeping sensitive information hidden. Consequently, this supposedly makes it a better solution for validating Binance’s reserves.

In the wake of the FTX crisis, many notable cryptocurrency exchanges, including OKX, Bybit, and, among others, including Binance, developed a Merkle tree-based proof-of-reserves system. This was done in an effort to promote transparency. In spite of these efforts, there are still some experts who have doubts about how successful the system is.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Paul Munter, acting chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, expressed concerns that proof-of-reserve reports do not provide sufficient evidence for stakeholders to determine the financial stability of a company. Munter is concerned that stakeholders rely on these reports to determine a company’s financial stability. Binance and other exchanges continue to move ahead with their commitments to increase openness in the cryptocurrency business, despite the accusations that have been leveled against them.


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SEC Chair Gary Gensler Called Out by House Representatives Over FTX

The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, has been criticized by two members of the United States House Financial Services Committee “regarding the timing of the charges filed against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.” This criticism is based on the fact that Mr. Gensler is scheduled to appear at a hearing.

The chair of the committee, Patrick McHenry, and the chair of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Representative Bill Huizenga, stated in a notice dated February 10 that the timing of Bankman-charges Fried’s and arrest in the Bahamas raised “serious questions about the SEC’s process and cooperation with the Department of Justice.” The two congressmen requested that Gensler disclose documents and correspondence relating to SBF’s accusations that were exchanged between November 2 and February 9 from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, his office, and between the agency and the Justice Department during that time period.

On December 13, the House Financial Services Committee was going to hold a hearing to investigate the failure of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and Bankman-Fried was set to speak before the committee. On the other hand, the previous CEO of FTX was taken into custody in the Bahamas in line with an extradition arrangement with the United States of America. The Justice Department has filed eight criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, one of which is for wire fraud. Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have each filed separate civil lawsuits against the former CEO.

In a tweet sent out on February 10, Huizenga said, “Since Gary Gensler won’t follow by his own policies to ‘come in and speak,’ the House GOP will hold him responsible.”

McHenry and Huizenga made a request to Gensler to provide the material by the 23rd of February at the latest. This week, the chair of the SEC was subjected to an increased level of scrutiny as a result of the agency’s announcement of a settlement with Kraken, in which the exchange agreed to cease providing staking services or programs to customers in the United States.

FTX CEO John Ray was the only witness at the hearing that took place in December since Bankman-Fried was unable to attend. However, the Senate Banking Committee had its own hearing on December 14 to investigate the “bubble bust” that occurred with FTX. On February 14, there will be a further hearing about the “crypto collapse” of 2022 that has been planned by the banking committee.


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Secret Network to Restructure as Nonprofit with ‘Transparent Operation’

The decentralized autonomous organization known as Secret Network, which regulates the blockchain with an emphasis on privacy, has apparently made the decision to reorganize its foundation so that it functions as a nonprofit organization with a “transparent operation,” as stated on the website for the proposal. On the webpage devoted to the proposal, this decision was disclosed to the general public.

According to the plan that was developed, the newly established group “would be registered as a NPO [nonprofit organization] and present an annual account of its operations, including key performance indicators (KPIs), funds, and objectives.” At least three people who are already involved in the community that the foundation serves will make up its board of directors, which will be responsible for overseeing the organization’s operations. It is proposed that no one entity be permitted to have more than two seats on the board at the same time if the notion is to be implemented as it is now. The present restriction of one seat per corporation would be increased to accommodate this new provision.

The victory was theirs to take with 90.13 percent of the vote in their favor. There was not a single vote cast by DAO members in support of vetoing the move, and 9.87% of the membership elected not to take part in the vote. There was also not a single vote cast in favor of vetoing the proposal.

After a public dispute that erupted between two independent entities that promote Secret Network named SCRT Labs and Secret Foundation, the license was finally granted. The dispute revolved about who would be given priority when it came to advertising Secret Network. Guy Zyskind, the chief executive officer of SCRT Labs, accused Tor Bair, the chief officer of Secret Foundation, of cashing out SCRT tokens as a dividend paid out to himself without disclosing the transaction. Guy Zyskind is the chief executive officer of SCRT Labs. Tor Bair is the chief officer of Secret Foundation. On the 14th of January, this claim was brought forth.


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Deposit Coins May Be the Best Blockchain Option for Commercial Banking

JPMorgan Chase and Oliver Wyman, which is a corporation that specializes in consulting, worked together to do research on the potential applications of blockchain technology in commercial banking. The subsequent steps were for the two businesses to publish their findings in a report on February 9th, which was then made available to the entire public. On the other hand, the writers make it a point to underline the advantages given by deposit coins in terms of their dependability and stability. They say this as a point of differentiation between deposit coins and other cryptocurrencies. The authors highlight the benefits that may be obtained by using deposit coins, despite the fact that stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have been the market leaders up until this point in time. Despite the fact that deposit coins could be utilized instead, this is still the case.

A depository institution will issue deposit tokens on a blockchain in order to guarantee that an accurate record of a deposit claim that has been made can be preserved. This will be done in order to ensure that an accurate record of a deposit claim that has been made can be maintained. Stablecoins and CBDCs, on the other hand, are often issued by a private company rather than a financial institution such as a bank. This stands in stark contrast to all that was just discussed. The fact that the issuer does not conform to the typical sort of financial institution is something that may work out to the issuer’s favor in a significant way. “Given that deposit tokens are commercial bank money embodied in a new technical form, they sit comfortably as part of the banking ecosystem, subject to regulation and supervision applicable to commercial banks today.”

The authors of the research note that regulation contributes to the development of trust, reduces the likelihood of a run on deposit tokens, and guarantees dependability all at the same time.


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Tether Holdings Hires Major Wall Street Firm to Manage Treasury Portfolio

According to a story published on February 10 by The Wall Street Journal, stablecoin issuer Tether Holdings has contracted the services of a prominent Wall Street business in order to manage its portfolio of Treasury securities.

The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed persons familiar with the situation in reporting that the financial services business Cantor Fitzgerald is assisting Tether in managing a bond portfolio consisting of United States Treasury securities that is valued at $39 billion. According to the study, there are certain companies on Wall Street who are eager to help cryptocurrency service providers despite the continuous regulatory worries that are impacting the business.

Cantor Fitzgerald is an investment banking firm that was established in 1945 and specializes in providing services such as institutional equity and fixed-income sales. It is said that the corporation employs more than 12,000 workers. Cantor Fitzgerald’s precise role with the stablecoin issuer was not detailed in the material that appeared in the Journal. The only mention of Cantor Fitzgerald’s participation was that it “managed” a piece of Tether’s portfolio.

Tether has become the most significant participant in the digital assets sector, and the company is actively engaging with high-quality counterparties and investigating new business prospects on a regular basis.

As of the 31st of December, Tether’s total assets amounted to $67 billion, which was more than its consolidated liabilities, which were $66 billion, and provided the corporation with surplus reserves of at least $960 million. According to an independent attestation provided by BDO, the corporation’s net earnings for the fourth quarter came in at $70 million million dollars.

While Tether has made efforts to dispel rumors about its solvency and accounting standards, the company has been called out repeatedly by major publications for not being transparent about the assets that back its USDT (USDT) reserves. Tether has responded to these criticisms by saying that it will continue to work toward this goal. In the year 2022, the focus of the criticism switched from the question of whether or not Tether’s USDT is completely supported to the question of the makeup of the assets that support the stablecoin. In response to increased public scrutiny about its portfolio, namely its purported excessive exposure to Chinese commercial paper, Tether had, by the month of October, unwound its exposure to commercial paper and switched to investing in Treasury bills instead.

According to CoinMarketCap, the USDT token issued by Tether continues to be the most valuable stable currency with a market valuation of about $68.2 billion.


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FTX’s Physical Assets in the Bahamas

The joint provisional liquidators of FTX Digital Markets, which is the parent company’s subsidiary in that nation, has made public a report on the company’s tangible holdings in the Bahamas. The report details the company’s assets physically located in the Bahamas.

According to an affidavit that was filed with the Bahamas’ supreme court on February 8 by a PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, FTX’s joint provisional liquidators, or JPLs, stated that the company had purchased 52 properties in the Bahamas, including units “in the name of individual employees or relatives of Sam Bankman-Fried, despite FTX Digital providing the funding.” An FTX entity shelled out around $255 million to acquire these properties, which comprised living quarters for FTX employees as well as office space for rent by the commercial sector. The FTX subsidiary purchased these different pieces of real estate.

The JPLs also discovered “a fleet of vehicles” that the employees of FTX had used around the island and that were worth approximately $2.4 million, office furniture and computer equipment that was worth $500,000, and 13 leased storage units whose contents have yet to be evaluated. All of these items were located on the island. On the island, each and every one of these goods might be found. The liquidators have said that they would “commence disposals” once they have received clearance to do so from the highest court in The Bahamas.

In the middle of the procedures for FTX’s bankruptcy, it is unknown where the majority of the people who were still employed by the company were working. During his testimony on February 6 in the bankruptcy court, FTX CEO John Ray indicated that the firm did not have any physical offices anymore and instead conducted all of its operations in the metaverse. When Mr. Ray made this comment, he may have been referring to the headquarters of FTX rather than its local subsidiaries. It is probable that he had this in mind.


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BAYC Copycat NFT Collection’s Founder Files Opposition being filed

An objection notice was filed against Yuga Labs’ 10 trademark registrations by one of the original creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) imitation NFT collection, RR/BAYC.

This action signals yet another bizarre turn in the continuing fight over intellectual property between the people who created BAYC, Yuga Labs, and the people who founded RR/BAYC, Jeremy Cahen and Ryder Ripps.

On February 9, Cahen submitted the objection notice to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). At the time that this article was being written, the opposition status on each and every trademark application was listed as “pending.”

The majority of Yuga Labs’ trademark applications were sent in during the second half of the year 2021. They went through a number of BAYC logos, pieces of artwork, and branding that may potentially be used across a variety of digital goods, such as artwork based on nonfungible tokens (NFTs), trading cards, and metaverse wearables.

The files also include a potential for tangibly produced BAYC goods such as apparel, jewelry, watches, and keychains, in addition to the possibility of providing entertainment services like as gaming, television, and music.

In an interview on the 11th of February with Bloomberg Law, a spokeswoman for Yuga Labs played down the possibilities of Cahen’s challenge being successful and said that the action was only another effort to generate difficulty for the company.

Jeremy Cahen’s filing is just another attempt to distract from the real issue at hand, which is his infringement of the Yuga intellectual property, they said. “The Trademark Office has preliminarily approved Yuga Labs’ trademark applications for registration, and we look forward to their full approval in due course,” they added.

Cahen provides a comprehensive list of “grounds for disagreement” to the files made by Yuga Labs in the notice that he submitted. In particular, Cahen asserts that the corporation “abandoned all rights” to certain logo and artwork designs as a result of BAYC NFT sales transferring “all rights” to the digital pictures’ owners. Cahen bases this argument on the fact that the company sold BAYC NFTs.

In addition to this, he asserts that Yuga Labs is not the legitimate owner of certain skull designs since the company is said to have transferred ownership of these rights to the ApeCoin decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in March of 2022.

In addition, Cahen contends that Yuga Labs failed to provide a “bona fide intent to lawfully use” the trademarks in its filings, despite the fact that NFTs ought to be registered and categorized as securities in accordance with federal law. Cahen’s argument is based on the fact that NFTs should be registered.

Yuga Labs, the company that developed BAYC, filed a lawsuit against digital artists Ryder Ripps and Cahen in June 2022, accusing them of exploiting BAYC graphics in their RR/BAYC collection. The company also claimed that the two individuals were purposefully “trolling Yuga Labs and tricking customers” into buying their imitation NFTs. This was an additional allegation made by the company.

Cahen’s action comes only three days after Yuga Labs resolved a separate case against RR/BAYC website and smart contract creator Thomas Lehman. Cahen’s move also comes just three days after Yuga Labs’s settlement.

As part of the agreement, Lehman basically consented to a permanent injunction that prevents him from taking part in future “confusingly comparable” BAYC-related ventures. This provision was included in the settlement. Lehman has distanced himself from Ryder Ripp and Cahen in a statement that he has released.


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Kazakhstan plans to reduce tax fraud and unlawful business operations

Kazakhstan, which is one of the main centres for Bitcoin (BTC) mining in the world, has revealed intentions to establish new crypto legislation in order to cut down on tax fraud and illegal business activities.

On February 6, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a new legislation that renewed the nation’s stance against the unlawful issuance of crypto assets and mining activities. This law also reinstated the nation’s stance against illegal mining operations. The first of the two separate pieces of law mandates that issuers of secured digital assets get authorisation from the government.

In addition to this, such issuers will be monitored in accordance with the legislation that is now in effect in the country, which is titled “On Combating the Legalization (Laundering) of Proceeds from Crime and the Financing of Terrorism.” The new regulation will go into effect on the first of April in 2023.

The second piece of proposed law targets insecure digital assets, which are often acquired via the process of crypto mining. In Kazakhstan, cryptocurrency miners will soon be required to sell at least 75% of their earnings via licensed cryptocurrency exchanges. This measure is being taken to limit the likelihood of tax avoidance. This regulation, which will take effect on January 1, 2024, will remain in force until January 1, 2025, and its primary objective is to gather “information on the revenue of digital miners and digital mining pools for tax reasons.”

Every cryptocurrency mining license in Kazakhstan is only valid for a period of three years and varies in price according on whether or not the miner owns the mining facilities. In Kazakhstan, all mining licenses are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alongside the implementation of the aforementioned regulations, Kazakhstan initiated the “digital tenge” pilot project for its central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) initiative.


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Shopify Launches Blockchain Commerce Tools to Enhance User Experience

E-commerce giant Shopify, which is crypto-friendly, has released a suite of blockchain commerce tools with the intention of improving the customer experience of its Web3-focused businesses that are housed on the platform.

Particularly noted are the improved functionality for connecting crypto wallets and the “tokengating” application programming interface (API) tools. The latter was previously exclusively accessible to a limited number of retailers until it entered early access beta access mode in June 2022.

Through the use of tokengating, relevant Shopify merchants now have the ability to build up their businesses in such a way that they may choose which tokenholders have access to exclusive items, nonfungible token (NFT) drops, and advantages and which do not.

The application checks a user’s eligibility by using the associated wallet, and it is being marketed to NFT Merchants as a convenient method to reward certain customers or add an element of exclusivity to certain items.

Shopify has merged with the sign-in with Ethereum (SIWE) protocol, which is led by the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and the Ethereum Foundation. This integration enables Shopify to provide enhanced support for cryptocurrency wallets.

SIWE enables secure user sign-ins and authentication of Ethereum accounts and ENS domains without giving away private identifiers to third parties such as names, phone numbers, and residential addresses. Essentially, SIWE makes it possible for users to securely sign in and authenticate themselves to Ethereum accounts and ENS domains.

In the past, Shopify has had some issues when it comes to protecting the privacy of its customers’ information. Concerning a significant breach of user data that occurred in 2020, a group of dissatisfied customers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company and the vendor of hardware wallets, Ledger, in April of 2022.

“The statementGenerator prop gives you the ability to modify the statement that is shown whenever a Sign-In with Ethereum message is presented. According to the paper, “the function gets the address of the wallet that has linked, which enables you to extend and adapt your message statements so that they are more aligned with your brand.”

At this stage, once a merchant hooks up the SIWE feature on Shopify wallet connect, it appears that users will be able to click a “sign-in with Ethereum” button to connect their addresses via SIWE’s partnered intermediaries such as Coinbase, Fortmatic, WalletConnect, Portis, and Torus. This is something that users will be able to do once the merchant has hooked up the SIWE feature on Shopify wallet connect.


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The Importance of Community in Bitcoin’s Success

Although Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with being the anonymous creator of Bitcoin (BTC), what frequently goes unnoticed are the altruistic contributions made by members of the Bitcoin community, such as miners, developers, designers, hodlers, and investors, which help make the original vision a reality. Nevertheless, it was discovered that one of these substantial contributions had concealed a defect for more than a decade that was not obvious to the human eye.

On November 12, 2010, a member of known as bitboy (not to be confused with the YouTube user known as BitBoy Crypto) shared the vector files of the now-iconic Bitcoin logo, which is well recognized all over the globe. Zooming in on the original Bitcoin logo reveals that there is a thin orange line running from the background into the white colored “” in the middle of the design, whereas Bitcoiners preach the “zoom out” narrative during bad times in the cryptocurrency market.

The disclosure does not have any effect on the functioning of Bitcoin, and members of the community have not expressed any worry over it. Even if anyone were to generate new vectors after resolving the faults, it would not become widely accepted until the community as a whole thinks that it should.

CleanSpark, a Bitcoin mining company, is continuing to acquire equipment from mining firms that are in financial difficulties even as the markets maintain a good trajectory toward recovery.

According to Gary Vecchiarelli, chief financial officer of CleanSpark, the firm plans to achieve “explosive growth” in 2023 via a combination of mergers and acquisitions.

“With regard to our strategy regarding M&A, we have been one of the most active miners to date in purchasing infrastructure and machines, and we will continue to be active,” he said. “We have been one of the most active miners to date in acquiring infrastructure and machines.”


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,751.44 1.45%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,648.40 0.52%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.64 0.60%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 232.45 2.23%