In this edition we explore the ongoing saga behind Sam Altman’s firing, Binance’s settlement with the DOJ, Tether’s $225M of frozen USDT, Blockchain.com’s $110M raise and more.
🤯 CZ Stepping Down from Binance
Early Tuesday morning, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, CEO of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, pled guilty to criminal and civil charges which included anti-money laundering and sanctions violations. As part of the settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CZ is also stepping down as CEO and Binance will pay $4.3 billion in penalties. CZ took to X (formerly Twitter) acknowledging that he had “made some mistakes”.
😱 OpenAI CEO Fired, Hired by Microsoft
It was a turbulent weekend in the AI industry as OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman, was let go from the company, asked to return, and then hired by Microsoft. On Friday the board of OpenAI decided to fire Altman as he was “not consistently candid in his communications." Shortly after, many investors, including Microsoft, called for his return and the replacement of the OpenAI Board. It was then announced on Sunday that Altman will be joining Microsoft to lead the new advanced AI research team. Altman’s WLD coin reflected the news, dropping 12% only to rise to 20% between November 16-20.
❌ Tether Freezes $225M in USDT
On November 20th, Tether and crypto exchange OKX froze $225 million in USDT. The Department of Justice used Chainanalysis’ tools to link the frozen funds to a human trafficking syndicate. According to Tether CEO, Paolo Ardoino, the collaboration with the DOJ “underscores our dedication to fostering a secure environment” and upholds their efforts to provide the “highest standards of integrity in the industry.”
💰 Blockchain.com Raises $110 million
On November 14th, crypto exchange and wallet Blockchain.com announced its success in raising $110 million during a funding round. According to Bloomberg, this comes at a time when the company is worth less than half of its $14 billion valuation from the prior year. The funding was led by Kingsway Capital and reportedly includes investors such as Coinbase Ventures.
💻 BlackRock Formally Files for Ethereum ETF
Following a Nasdaq proposal in Delaware last week, BlackRock has formally applied for a spot Ethereum ETF. On November 15th, BlackRock submitted its official application with the SEC, titled the iShares Ethereum Trust. According to lawyer Jake Chervinsky, it may be difficult to deny a spot Ethereum ETF with prior existence of an Ethereum futures ETF.
⭐️ NORDEK Launches $10M Grant
Crypto payment platform, NORDEK, has announced a $10M grant program. The program is focused on “revolutionizing Web3 payments” and offers a combination of financial, networking and mentoring opportunities to startups looking to grow in the Web3 space. The cofounder of NORDEK, Nawal Kishor, says: “This substantial funding pool serves as a catalyst, providing crucial financial support for ideation, experimentation, and execution of innovative projects on the NORDEK chain”.
📚 N+1 Recommendations
The N+1 reading and media recommendations are sourced from our team of experts and offer weekly suggestions for learning more about blockchain, crypto, finance and technology.
This weeks recommendation is an article by CoinTelegraph: 3 theses that will drive Ethereum and Bitcoin in the next bull market