Crypto exchange Binance published a lengthy response to an article published by Reuters that claims that the exchange has been a “hub for hackers, fraudsters and drug traffickers,” saying that there’s at least “$2.35 billion in illicit funds” laundered within the exchange.
In a blog post, Binance addressed the issue and noted that the article’s allegations are not only untrue but are also attempts by certain interested parties to “mislead the general public” by spreading disinformation. Binance wrote:
“We highly suggest you ignore those authors and pundits who cherry-pick data, rely on conveniently unverifiable "leaks" from regulators, and feed into the cult of crypto paranoia for fame or financial gain. Instead, just look at the facts.”
The exchange also pointed out that traditional finance platforms are more tainted with illicit funds than crypto, which is transparent in nature. Moreover, the exchange cited statistics from the United Nations that 2%–5% of fiat money is associated with illicit activities.
Lastly, within the blog post, Binance published its email correspondence with Reuters. This includes Binance's complete responses to Reuter’s inquiries before it published the article that criticized Binance.
On Monday, Reuters published a special report claiming that the Binance exchange is involved in money laundering involving illicit funds in the billion. From investment fraud and darknet dealings to weak Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering protections, the media outlet laid down its critique of the exchange.
Back in February, the exchange also faced an investigation from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the exchange's relationship with market-making firms Sigma Chain AG and Merit Peak, which engage in the buying and selling of digital assets on the Binance.US exchange.
After rolling out the ability to buy and sell crypto on its platform in October 2020, PayPal is finally allowing users the ability to natively transfer, send and receive digital assets between PayPal and other wallets and exchanges. As of Tuesday, the feature is available to select U.S. users, with the feature expanding to all eligible U.S. users in the coming weeks. The first batch of supported coins consists of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).
In addition, customers who transfer their crypto onto PayPal can spend it via Checkout at millions of merchant terminals. The company has been granted a full Bitlicense by the New York Department of Financial Services for the conduct.
Users would simply need to log in to their accounts and enter the crypto section of the application to start transferring transfer coins. Users are generally required to complete a one-time ID verification before the procedure.
Crypto transfers to recipients outside of PayPal would incur a network fee based on their respective blockchains, but transfers between PayPal users will not incur such fees. To protect users' privacy, the firm generates a new recipient address for each transaction into one's PayPal account. PayPal will also not charge fees for incoming transfers,
The company is also working to integrate other forms of cryptocurrency services, such as central bank digital currencies, to boost its digital footprint. It is also exploring the possibility of launching its own stablecoin, dubbed "PayPal Coin." The discovery came after a developer found evidence of such a stablecoin within the source code of the company's iPhone app.
Neal Stephenson, the author who coined the term “Metaverse” 30 years ago, is launching a metaverse-focused blockchain project called LAMINA1.
He has also revised his vision for the Metaverse, stating that the experience is likely to be geared more toward flat 2D screens rather than virtual reality or augmented reality tech such as headsets and lenses, as in the model proposed by Meta and Microsoft.
Stephenson is a popular speculative fiction author who explored the concept of a virtual reality world called the Metaverse in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash in 1992. Outside of writing, the 62-year-old also served as the chief futurist for an augmented reality (AR) firm called Magic between 2014 and 2020.
According to a Wednesday announcement from OG crypto investor and former Bitcoin Foundation chairman Peter Vessenes, he and Stephenson have co-founded a new layer-1 blockchain called LAMINA1 that they hope will act as the “base layer for the Open Metaverse.”
“A place to build something a bit closer to Neal’s vision — one that privileges creators, technical and artistic, one that provides support, spatial computing tech, and a community to support those who are building out the Metaverse,” Vessenes wrote, adding that the network will “probably” be carbon negative.
Specific details on the project are sparse at this stage. However, Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin marks a notable name on the project’s list of early investors.
Commenting on what the co-founders’ roles will be at LAMINA1, Vessenes stated:
“Neal brings his vision, wisdom, experience, and some core goals: helping get artists and other value creators paid properly for their work, helping the environment [...] and seeing a truly Open Metaverse get built instead of seeing the Metaverse vision co-opted by monopolies.”
Vessenes noted that he will be focused on getting the blockchain off the ground quickly as he works to get “the necessary governance, technology, node operators, IP partners, artists, business partners, and funds up and running.”
Stephenson’s 1992 novel depicts the Metaverse as a virtual urban environment that is accessed via a worldwide fiber-optic network and VR headsets. There are themes of social inequalities, centralized control and constant advertisements, while the concept of virtual real estate also features in the book.
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