News Headlines (21st November 2023)

According to CryptoPotato, Weiss Crypto has upgraded Chainlink to an ‘A-‘ rating, making it the second-highest-rated cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. The rating algorithm considers factors such as historical data, technology and adoption developments, and market performance. Chainlink and Bitcoin are now the only two cryptocurrencies with an ‘A’ rating.

Other digital assets in the ‘B’ category include 0x (ZRX), Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), Status (SNT), and Ethereum (ETH). Weiss rates a total of 324 crypto assets, with only a few ranked ‘A’ or ‘B’. There are 109 in the ‘C’ category, and the majority, or almost 60%, are rated as ‘D’ or ‘E’. Weiss analyst Chris Coney advised new investors to start with Bitcoin, but the firm has also placed Chainlink on the same level as Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency miner Phoenix Group (PHX) closed its initial public offering on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), saying it was 33 times oversubscribed.

The UAE-based company said last week it was offering 907,323,529 shares at 1.50 dirhams a share for a target raise of 1.36 billion dirhams ($368 million), giving investors 17.64% of the company.

Phoenix Group offers mining both through hosting services and a cloud-based service whereby clients rent hashrate. It also runs a crypto exchange called M2, powered by its native Ethereum-based token, MMX.*1mvb2tk*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTQ4MTExMjA4Ny4xNzAwNTcwOTA1*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMDU3MDkwNC4xLjEuMTcwMDU3MDkyMi4wLjAuMA..

Though freshly elected Argentinian president Javier Milei only declared victory yesterday, he’s already done much with his recent time in the global spotlight.

On the campaign trail this year, Milei proposed legalizing the sale of human children via a “free market for babies.” He also pledged to lower Argentina’s age of consent, laid out plans to mandate forced labor in Argentine prisons, and repeatedly attempted to rehabilitate his country’s former pro-Nazi dictatorship. And he said much of this, reportedly, under telepathic advice from his dead dog, Conan.

Crypto community members on X (formerly Twitter) have turned their focus to a $3.9 billion Tether USDT $1.00 transaction between Binance wallets that surfaced on social media following reports claiming the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is negotiating a $4 billion settlement with the company.

On Nov. 20, a Bloomberg report citing anonymous sources said the DOJ is negotiating an agreement with crypto exchange Binance requiring the company to pay $4 billion in fines. Once paid, the firm will be allowed to operate in the U.S. while complying with its laws. The report stated this could be announced as soon as the end of November.

On Nov. 9, Binance transferred 3.9 billion USDT from its wallet called “Binance-Cold 2” on Tron to its wallet labeled “Binance 3.” After the transfer, 300 million USDT was transferred to another wallet, leaving around $3.6 billion in “Binance 3.” According to blockchain intelligence firm ChainArgos, this transaction is the eighth-largest USDT transaction on the Tron blockchain.

Leading stablecoin issuer Tether and crypto exchange Okx announced Monday that they have collaborated with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) “in an investigation that led to Tether proactively and voluntarily freezing approximately 225 million in USDT tokens in external self-custodied wallets.” The wallets are “linked to an international human trafficking syndicate in Southeast Asia responsible for a global ‘pig butchering’ romance scam,” the crypto companies detailed, adding:

The joint investigation was conducted using tools from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, and the action by Tether represents the largest-ever freeze of USDT in history.

According to CryptoPotato, a recent report from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) revealed that 19 leading banks across North America, Europe, and other regions have collectively invested €9.4 billion (approximately $10.27 billion) in various crypto assets, with XRP emerging as a favorite. XRP constitutes about 2% of the total exposure, amounting to €188 million or $205 million, making it the third-largest altcoin in the banks’ reported commitments. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) remain the dominant coins in the banks’ crypto investments, with BTC accounting for 31% and ETH at 22%.

Investment vehicles tracking these leading cryptocurrencies also play a significant role, representing 25% for BTC and 10% for ETH. The BCBS report also highlighted other popular cryptocurrencies in the financial institutions’ portfolios, such as Polkadot (DOT), Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL), and Litecoin (LTC). Although these coins have smaller percentages, their inclusion indicates a growing interest and acceptance of public blockchains within the banking sector.

All trading on the platform will be disabled on Dec. 4, several months after Bittrex’s U.S. arm filed for bankruptcy and stopped operations.

Crypto exchange Bittrex Global is winding down operations just months after its U.S. arm was shut down, according to a Monday announcement.

Trading on the platform will stop Dec. 4, and the company urged customers to complete “all necessary transactions” by then, after which only withdrawals will be available. The exchange, which is regulated in Lichtenstein and Bermuda, did not give a reason for the decision.*1pawber*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTQ4MTExMjA4Ny4xNzAwNTcwOTA1*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMDU3MDkwNC4xLjEuMTcwMDU3MDkyMi4wLjAuMA..

The Solana ecosystem is buzzing again, thanks in part to a recent surge in the price of SOL, which is up by 90% over the last 30 days alone. But now the network’s top meme coin, BONK, is outpacing even those already dramatic gains.

The price of BONK has surged 110% over the last week, according to data from CoinGecko, landing at a current price of $0.00000383 as of this writing. Earlier Monday, BONK hit a new all-time high price of $0.00000539.

It’s clear at a glance that the price has tumbled since the morning peak, and indeed, the drop marks a 29% decline in the span of just 11 hours since hitting that mark. Even so, BONK is up 1,700% over the past month.

A mix of highly influential and controversial characters make up the latest list of the 10 most popular crypto entrepreneurs based on their social media presence, with Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao leading the pack in first place and convicted fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried trailing in 10th.

The top 10 list was compiled by CoinLedger after shortlisting CryptoWeekly’s 30 most influential people in cryptocurrency in 2023, combined with their respective social media followings to determine the most widely followed crypto personality worldwide.

Sitting at the cool kids’ table with CZ are Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Twitter co-founder and Block CEO Jack Dorsey, occupying the top three spots, in that order. In CoinLedger’s study, CZ emerged as the most popular personality in cryptocurrency, with nearly 9.1 million followers on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram combined.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Monday that it has charged “Payward Inc. and Payward Ventures Inc., together known as Kraken, with operating Kraken’s crypto trading platform as an unregistered securities exchange, broker, dealer, and clearing agency.” This is the SEC’s second lawsuit against Kraken this year. The first was in February over the crypto exchange’s staking program, which Kraken agreed to pay $30 million to settle.

In its lawsuit filed on Monday, the SEC alleged that since at least September 2018:

Kraken intertwines the traditional services of an exchange, broker, dealer, and clearing agency without having registered any of those functions with the Commission as required by law.