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Crypto Weekly: Binance sued by CFTC, Gucci and Yuga labs announce multi-year partnership, and Sotheby's halts its latest NFT auction

4 min read  ·  30 Mar 2023

Patrick Amadon, Static Glitch (2013). Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.

⚖️ Regulation

Binance and Its CEO Sued by CFTC Over US Regulatory Violations. Binance Holdings Ltd, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and CEO Changpeng Zhao were sued by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday for allegedly breaking derivatives rules. Since at least 2021, the CFTC has been probing Binance over whether it failed to keep US residents from buying and selling crypto derivatives. CFTC rules generally require platforms to register with the agency if they let Americans trade those products. (Reuters)

New Indictment Says Bankman-Fried Bribed Chinese Government. Manhattan federal prosecutors on Tuesday added a new Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charge to the growing fraud case against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, alleging that he paid Chinese government officials $40 million in bribes to unfreeze certain accounts. SBF has pleaded not guilty to the additional charges. (Reuters)

SEC Chair Gensler: Existing rules regulate crypto, legislation unnecessary. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said additional legislation is unnecessary for crypto, but should Congress act, it’s important that lawmakers not undermine existing laws. (The Block)

👾 NFTs

Sotheby’s Has Paused Its Latest NFT Auction After an Artist Withdrew His Work in Protest of the All-Male Line-Up. The sale was supposed to be the latest lucrative edition of Sotheby’s NFT outgrowth, Natively Digital, instead it’s drawing renewed attention to the lack of inclusivity in the crypto art space. Artist Patrick Amadon withdrew his work citing the sale’s lack of female-identifying artists. Within hours, the auction house had paused “Glitch-ism,” promising to rethink and relaunch. (Artnet)

Gucci and Yuga Labs have announced a multi-year partnership. According to a report from Business of Fashion, the pair aim to collaborate within Yuga Lab’s Otherside metaverse and 10KTF collection with a goal of exploring joint opportunities in Web3 fashion and entertainment. (CoinDesk)

Ticketmaster has launched a feature that allows artists to grant NFT owners special access to events. Such “token-gated ticket sales” are compatible with Ethereum-minted tokens stored in digital wallets, including MetaMask or Coinbase, Ticketmaster said in a statement on Monday. (Blockworks)

🪙 DeFi

Nasdaq Eyes Crypto Custody Launch by End of Second Quarter The global exchange group is pushing ahead to get all the necessary technical infrastructure and regulatory approvals in place, joining a growing pool of traditional financial firms that could fill the role of crypto middlemen following a spate of bankruptcies in the industry. (Blockworks)

Banks Step Up to Serve Crypto Firms After Signature, Silvergate Blowups. Crypto executives say they have received a positive reception from regional and smaller upstart banks (WSJ)

Chinese Banks are Courting Crypto Firms in Hong Kong. Chinese banks have been directly reaching out to crypto businesses in Hong Kong over the past few months, adding to signs that the city’s push to become a major digital asset center has backing from Beijing, even though trading of crypto has been banned on the mainland for well over a year. (Bloomberg)

Binance Hid Extensive Links to China for Several Years, According to the FT. Binance hid substantial links to China for several years, contradicting executives’ claims that the crypto exchange left the country after a clampdown on the industry in late 2017, according to internal company documents seen by the Financial Times. (FT)

Crypto Exchange Gemini are Looking to Launch an Overseas Derivatives Operation. The U.S.-based crypto exchange Gemini founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss is reportedly looking to launch an international cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, The Information reported. (CoinDesk)

🧭 Metaverse

Disney Eliminates Its Metaverse Division as Part of Company’s Layoffs Plan. The unit, once seen as developing a new form of storytelling, had about 50 employees (WSJ)

📖 Everything Else

How We Ended Up in the Era of ‘Quantitative Aesthetics,’ Where Data Points Dictate Taste The Humanities Crash and the McNamara Fallacy in culture. (Artnet)

Can Artificial Intelligence Write Fiction with Real Tension? Synthetic Stories is an intriguing new podcast series created entirely by AI (FT)