In a recent tweet, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, shared his insights on building strong teams and the role of external pressure in the company’s success.
CZ began his tweet by addressing a frequently asked question about the best way to build tight and strong teams. He revealed that the secret is not found in team-building dinners, outings, coaching exercises, mentors, or inspirational speeches. While these elements can be beneficial, their effects tend to fade over time. Instead, he pointed out that the key to building a strong team is external pressure.
Drawing an analogy, CZ suggested that if aliens were to visit Earth, the existing issues between countries like the US and China would vanish instantly, highlighting the unifying effect of external pressure. He also referenced the movie Blackhawk Down, where a soldier explains that the bond between soldiers is not about glory or heroism, but about the men next to them.
CZ clarified that he’s not advocating for life-threatening pressure, but he believes that facing challenges together is the best way to build tight teams. This approach fosters reliance, alliance, resilience, and most importantly, trust among team members.
This, according to the CEO of Binance, is one of the primary causes of the company’s strong team dynamics. FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) has kept the corporation in the trenches with one another since it has constantly faced external pressure.
CZ concluded his tweet by noting that while pressure creates tight teams internally, he is equally focused on collaboration and cooperation that builds trust externally. This insight into Binance’s team-building strategy provides a unique perspective on the company’s success and its approach to overcoming challenges.
Binance and CZ’s recent regulatory and legal pressures
This perspective is particularly relevant given the recent challenges Binance has faced.
On June 5, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Binance Holdings Ltd., its U.S.-based affiliate BAM Trading Services Inc., and CZ with a variety of securities law violations.
A month later, on July 5, Binance’s offices in Australia were searched by the country’s financial markets regulator.
The following day, Binance’s chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann confirmed his departure from the crypto exchange, amid reports that other top compliance executives in the United States, including general counsel Han Ng and senior vice president for compliance Steven Christie, had also resigned.
Tether has reaffirmed its commitment to transparency and announced its completion of reporting obligations to the New York Attorney General’s Office. Under the terms of its 2021 settlement, Tether fulfilled its quarterly reporting requirements for a period of two years. There have been no indications of incomplete disclosures or inadequate reserves during this time, cementing Tether’s position as a reliable stablecoin. Furthermore, Tether proudly boasts its largest market cap in history, highlighting its strengthened position within the market.
Following the settlement last year, CoinDesk sought public disclosure of Tether’s quarterly reports through New York’s Freedom of Information Law. Today, the New York Attorney General’s Office provided responsive documents to CoinDesk as Tether decided to withdraw its opposition to the request. Tether initially contested the release of confidential customer data and sensitive commercial information, citing concerns over potential exploitation by malicious actors. However, Tether’s unwavering dedication to transparency led to the prioritization of openness over prolonged legal battles that could divert attention from critical community matters.
Among the disclosed documents are statements from Tether’s banks, confirming the existence of the company’s reserves. These statements align with the publicly disclosed, independent third-party assurance attestations, further substantiating Tether’s commitment to transparency. The provided materials also shed light on Tether’s implementation of best-in-class asset management strategies, including short-term investments and diversification, as evidenced by the various bank statements. Tether aims to dispel the unfounded fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) surrounding the backing of its stablecoin through these documents. Additionally, it is important to note that the materials are outdated and do not accurately reflect the present state of Tether’s reserves, considering the transformative changes within its ecosystem. Tether has significantly reduced its commercial paper holdings to zero in mid-2022 and intends to bring its secured loans portfolio down to zero in the near future.
The timing of today’s attack on USD₮, affecting both decentralized finance (DeFi) and centralized exchanges, coincides with the handover of materials to CoinDesk, raising questions about potential motives. Nonetheless, Tether emphasizes its transparency and expresses utmost confidence in the accuracy of its financial figures. While the sensitivity surrounding the release of confidential data to government agencies has diminished since 2021, Tether remains vigilant regarding customer data. Despite potential biases in CoinDesk’s coverage, Tether calls upon them to refrain from publicly disclosing any past or present customer names to avoid exposing individuals within the community to physical or digital risks.
While CoinDesk is still likely reviewing the provided information, Tether closely monitors the USD₮ markets for signs of manipulation that could induce panic if and when CoinDesk decides to publish its findings. Despite the associated risks, Tether firmly stands in favor of transparency. The published information, if interpreted correctly, serves as public proof of Tether’s legitimate business operations and the existence of its reserves.
Tether proudly asserts its position as the leading stablecoin, making positive contributions to the community. The company takes pride in the deep liquidity of its reserves, as demonstrated through its strength and stability during numerous industry-wide challenges. Tether remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding customers, personnel, and the wider community against any malicious attacks.
Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether and Bitfinex, has responded to growing fears in the crypto market with an assertive tweet stating, “Markets are edgy in these days, so it’s easy for attackers to capitalize on this general sentiment. But at Tether we’re ready as always. Let them come. We’re ready to redeem any amount.” The statement seems to address recent speculations and rumors (FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) circulating around increased deposits of Tether’s stablecoin USDT into the Curve 3Pool.
An analyst using the Twitter handle ‘Fortitude’ had raised concerns about the sudden increase in USDT deposits into the Curve 3Pool. “Why is USDT being deposited into the Curve 3Pool in such great quantities? Now the percentage is 50%, up from 30% just 48h ago. Do they know something we don’t?” questioned Fortitude.
The commentator went on to suggest that such sharp spikes in asset deposits often precede significant market events, citing examples of the USDT depeg in May 2022 in relation to Luna/Terra, the FTX incident in November 2022, and the USDC depegging in March 2023. The analyst expressed hope that the increased USDT deposits were a “nothingburger”, while maintaining an interest in the ensuing developments.
USDT has a longstanding history of being a focal point for FUD within the cryptocurrency space. Critics frequently express skepticism towards the stablecoin’s peg to the US dollar, and rumors of insolvency have circulated in the past. Tether has consistently refuted these claims, maintaining that every USDT token is fully backed by reserves.
In response to the concerns, Ardoino’s tweet portrays a confident stance, emphasizing Tether’s preparedness to handle any potential market turbulence. By asserting that Tether is ready to “redeem any amount,” Ardoino implies the company’s robust reserve position, seeking to quell anxieties surrounding its solvency and the stability of USDT.
This public response from Tether’s CTO is part of an ongoing effort by the company to address concerns and maintain transparency in its operations. The rapidly evolving cryptocurrency landscape continues to prompt companies like Tether to stay proactive in dispelling market fears and ensuring stability for their users.
KuCoin Exchange’s Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Lyu, has continued to dispel all rumours that the trading platform is turning insolvent.
The rumours emanated from a now-deleted Twitter account with the name Otteroooo, claiming he had insider information about the exchange’s ongoing woes.
Otteroooo operates more like a whistleblower to alert users to companies’ struggles in the Centralized Finance (CeFi) ecosystem. It acquired a massive following up until it deleted the account.
Per the whistle blown on KuCoin, he calmed the exchange does not have the liquidity issue that it can use to process customer redemption as it concerns its exposure to the Terraform Labs ecosystem tokens LUNC and wLUNC.
In a blog post with evidence of the conversations between himself and Otteroooo, Lyu explained that the only exposure that KuCoin has to the LUNA ecosystem tokens is because it supports the trading of those coins.
“It is our responsibility to keep them secure and make sure users can always withdraw in full whenever they want. Having a LUNC wallet does not necessarily mean KuCoin as a company is holding lots of LUNC tokens, and I’m sure the difference is obvious,” the blog post clarified.
The digital currency ecosystem is now very sensitive to news of insolvency after the likes of Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, Babel Finance, and the likes shut down withdrawals, locking billions of dollars in collective funds belonging to clients. As a trading platform, KuCoin is bound to have much more user’s funds as deposits, and investors will want to avoid a situation where they are cut unable to access their funds.
While the FUD also suggested that the latest $10 million in strategic investment received by KuCoin from Susquehanna International Group is an attempt by the trading platform to cover its basis, Lyu has reiterated that there is no connection between the funding acquired and its insolvency concerns.
Over the weekend, the Chief Executive Officer of KuCoin Exchange Johnny Lyu allayed all Fears, Uncertainties, and Doubts (FUD) related to rumours spreading on Twitter as the trading platform may halt withdrawals due to the distress by the ongoing market meltdown in market.
Talking to Twitter, Lyu said there is absolutely no plan to halt withdrawals and that, unlike the claims that the firm is having liquidity issues, it has no exposure to crypto projects and companies that are struggling at the moment including LUNA, and Three Arrows Capital (3AC) amongst others.
“Be aware of FUDs! Not sure who’s spreading these sheer rumours, and what their intentions are, but #KuCoin does not have any exposure to LUNA, 3AC, Babel, etc. No “immense suffer” from any “coin collapse”, no plan to halt withdrawal, everything on KuCoin is operating well,” Lyu said in his short Twitter thread.
In a bid to further exert his stance that the exchange is faring well, the CEO shared the company’s milestones as the trying times the ecosystem is facing gain momentum. Lyu implied that the exchange has sufficient liquidity, going by its massive valuation of $10 billion following the $150 million raised back in May.
KuCoin is more active in this bear market and comes off as one of the fear exchanges after Binance and BitGet which has announced plans to continually hire before the end of the year, Lyu added. Slamming those spreading unverified information, Lyu said the company’s performance report for the first quarter of the year will soon be released.
“Being transparent is always one of our key principles. We will soon publish our 2022 H1 review report where you can know more about our operations. For FUDers who intentionally spread unverified info., KuCoin reserves the right to take legal action. Don’t FUD, BUIDL,” he said.
Justifiably so, a lot of crypto-linked companies, including Three Arrows Capital (3AC), and Babel Finance are currently highly distressed currently.
On-chain analyst Willy Woo says Bitcoin (BTC) could increase its market cap by more than 20 times from current levels in the next decade.
In a new interview, the on-chain analyst says that Bitcoin could reach a market cap of nearly $20 trillion within 10 to 20 years.
“I think it [Bitcoin’s market cap] will be more. Maybe close to $20 trillion.”
Bitcoin is trading for $43,936 at time of writing while the flagship cryptocurrency’s market cap stands at slightly over $830 billion.
Woo says that whether Bitcoin realizes a multi-trillion market cap will be determined by how the regulatory landscape pans out.
“I think a lot’s got to do with how this plays out within regulation. A lot of unknowns right now.”
According to Woo, authorities in places such as Europe are impacting Bitcoin negatively by triggering fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).
“The central bankers, particularly in Europe, are dooming Bitcoin and there’s a lot of FUD right now. I think how that resolves matters.”
In 2021, the president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, branded Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset” used to conduct “funny business” and called for global cooperation aimed at regulating the flagship cryptocurrency.
Last month, vice-chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority Erik Thedeen called for the banning of Bitcoin mining in the Europe Union bloc.
The on-chain analyst also says that Bitcoin could end up failing to realize its full potential.
“There is a fair chance that it [Bitcoin] will be relegated to a ‘good try’ and will be a $1 trillion sort of exotic asset class and not something that’s major.”
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Many crypto enthusiasts turned to social media on Friday to voice their frustrations with the state of the crypto market. One Reddit user named imyourkingg allegedly invested 30% of his net worth into Bitcoin (BTC) a few months ago, saying:
“I don’t need this money for the next 5 to 10 years, but I have to admit sometimes I get so afraid of Bitcoin’s future; I mean it crashes or never reach $100k, $200k as the predictions for 2025+ says or at least $55k again lol, and I lose that money, especially when all of my friends, my mom and family call me crazy for investing on it.”
Crypto’s decentralized nature means there are no circuit breakers equivalent to the ones that exist on traditional stock exchanges. The resulting bull/bear cycles can be extreme, and difficult for the uninitiated to become accustomed to. Another Reddit user took the podium with a post titled “$60k and panicked:
Ok, so I was very new to crypto and a victim of thanksgiving dinner, but I need help should I sell or hold. Guys, I’ll HODL [Hold on for Dear Life], but I can’t afford to buy a lot more rn.
Bitcoin’s price has had disappointing start in 2022, with the digital currency falling 11.4% in the past 24 hours, and 44.7% from its all-time highs of approximately $68,000 in Nov. 2021. Early BTC investors may already be sitting on relative fortunes, making them more capable of weathering through these downfalls. The same cannot be said for investors who had only recently entered the game, however. According to a report by Huobi Group, 70% of current crypto holders in the U.S. started investing in crypto in 2021.
Why dont it just go to zero directly..Im tired of buying new dip#BitcoinCrash #cryptocrash pic.twitter.com/pdJ6LlA4Mr
Even Wikipedia fell for the environmental FUD surrounding Proof-Of-Work mining. A proposal to “stop accepting cryptocurrency donations” is currently under discussion. It starts with the same very thin arguments that the whole mainstream media irresponsibly uses. However, it gets better and more interesting. In general, it’s amazing to see both sides of the argument unfolding. Even though there might be some information suppression going on.
Related Reading | Human Rights Foundation Accepts Fully Open Source Bitcoin Donations
Well do our best to summarize the whole thing, but people interested in the topic should take time to read it all. It’s full of twists and turns. The most amazing thing about the document is that real people wrote it. Wikipedia editors are not a sample of the world’s population, but, they’re heterogeneous enough to make the discussion interesting.
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Wikipedia Falls For The Environmental FUD
The original proposal poses three problems with receiving cryptocurrency donations, but, in reality, we can summarize them all in the ESG FUD category. The three points are:
“Accepting cryptocurrency signals endorsement of the cryptocurrency space.”
“Cryptocurrencies may not align with the Wikimedia Foundation’s commitment to environmental sustainability.”
“We risk damaging our reputation by participating in this.”
It’s a shame that, to try to prove their points, the original author uses a questionable source and a discredited one.
“Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most highly-used cryptocurrencies, and are both proof-of-work, using an enormous amount of energy. You can read more about Bitcoin’s environmental impact fromColumbiaorDigiconomist.”
Counterpoint: That Data Is Compromised
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Even though it’s widely cited, an “employee of the Dutch Central Bank” posing as a neutral journalist runs Digiconomist. That fact alone disqualifies him as a credible source. However, his datais also under questionbecause “Digiconomist Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index is not being driven by real world metrics and profitability as stated in the methodology.” So, we’re dealing with an intellectually dishonest individual who’s presumably paid to attack the Bitcoin network.
For more information on this shady character, go to the section “The Digiconomist is Disinformation.”
The Columbia report is newer, but it cites outdated data and debunked studies. Like the ridiculous one that doesn’t understand how PoW scales, or even works, and irresponsibly claims that crypto-mining could raise the Earth’s temperature by two degrees. Columbia’s main source, though, is the “University of Cambridge analysis.” That same organization literally said that “There is currently little evidence suggesting that Bitcoin directly contributes to climate change.”
However, they suspiciously erased that part from their report. They changed the wording and nowtheir FAQjust contains a “radical thought experiment” in which “all this energy comes exclusively from coal.” Even under those extreme circumstances, which are far-far away from reality, the energy use would be marginal. “In this worst-case scenario, the Bitcoin network would be responsible for about 111 Mt (million metric tons) of carbon dioxide emissions1, accounting for roughly 0.35% of the world’s total yearly emissions.”
ETH price chart for 01/13/2022 on Poloniex | Source: ETH/USD on TradingView.com
Protecting The Process Or Information Suppression?
Under the whole thread, there’s a section called “Discussion moved from proposal section.” It contains several suppressed pro-cryptocurrencies arguments. The reason is that the accounts that made them had “no other editing records”. What do the people proposing that those opinions should be removed argue? That they “risk that both vote gaming and manipulation of discussion to introduce bias and fake “bitcoin” news.”
Coincidentally, those low-edit accounts are the ones bringing forward the information on how bogus the original poster’s sources are. Someone had to say it and they did. And the administrators removed them from the main thread. Is this really what Wikipedia is about.
Luckily, other Wikipedia contributors managed to say that “Bitcoin is therefore agreen energy stimulus, aligned with the Wikimedia Foundation’s commitment to environmental sustainability. “ Anotheruser urged “everyoneto understand more about Bitcoin as a whole package beyond its energy footprint (negligible when compared to the cost in oil and warfare of backing the US Dollar) as well as the continual exponential progress that has been made in making Bitcoin greener and greener.” Yet another one said “bitcoin core is a FLOSSproject attempting to promote monetary freedom.”
In any case, the crypto detractors trying to game the vote might have a point. Except for the ridiculous “fake “bitcoin” news” claim. The header of the discussion says, “this is not a majority vote, but instead a discussion among Wikimedia contributors”. And the administrator tells them that they can’t remove their opinions or votes. However, “an optimal RfC scenario would not actively silence any voices, but would allow community members to inform each other which participants are not community members, who may have alternative interests.” That’s fair.
What About The Votes? Is Wikipedia Banning Crypto Donations?
The vote doesn’t look good for crypto donations, but that doesn’t mean Wikipedia will ban them. At the time of writing, the “support” votes are approximately double than the “oppose” ones. Plus, roughly 150 Wikipedia persons have voted. Does this mean the ESG FUD worked and cast a shadow over the whole crypto space that will be hard to shake? Absolutely it does.
Related Reading | New Contender Emerges Despite Wikipedia’s Begrudging Listing of Cardano
It also means that people WANT to believe. And are not willing to accept the overwhelming evidence that points to PoW mining being a net positive for the environment.
Fortunately, Bitcoin doesn’t care. Tick tock, next block.
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