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NFTs represent ‘technological Renaissance’ in art, Binance exec says

Binance’s head of non-fungible tokens (NFT) and fan tokens, Helen Hai, said today that the exchange is looking to offer courses to empower women to make money from NFTs. In an on-stage conversation at the Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam, Hai spoke about the benefits of blockchain for removing intermediaries in the art world and beyond. She said that the ultimate goal for NFTs is a “technological Renaissance” in art. She said that the answer to the question of whether …

Reuters report says Lazarus Group used Binance to launder stolen funds

In September 2020, hackers from the North Korean Lazarus Group broke into Slovakian crypto exchange Eterbase and stole currency worth roughly $5.4 million. Using only encrypted email addresses, the hackers opened at least two dozen anonymous accounts on Binance and used them to “convert the stolen funds and obscure the money trail,” according to a new Reuters investigation. According to the report, the interactions between the exchange and the well-known state-sponsored hacking group are part of a much larger picture …

SEC is investigating Binance’s BNB token: Bloomberg

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly investigating whether Binance’s BNB token was a security at the time of its sale in 2017. Bloomberg reported Monday that the SEC has launched a probe into the BNB token. The US securities regulator is taking a look at the early days of the exchange, examining whether the sale of its BNB token during a 2017 initial coin offering amounted to an unregistered sale of securities. SEC chair Gary Gensler has been …

PancakeSwap (CAKE) price rises 9% as Binance Labs purchases tokens

Quick Take Binance’s venture capital arm said that it had invested in PancakeSwap’s governance token CAKE on Monday. The price of CAKE jumped on the announcement. PancakeSwap’s governance token CAKE rose 9% on the news that Binance’s venture capital arm had purchased CAKE as an investment. As a result of the bump in price, CAKE was up 9.8% on the day trading at $4.78 at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko. Despite today’s bounce, the token is still in …

Binance sponsors The Weeknd’s upcoming music tour

Crypto exchange giant Binance announced Thursday that it is the official sponsor of The Weeknd’s “After hours Til Dawn” tour, marking one of the first instances of a prominent crypto firm funding a popular performing artist. Binance has also partnered with the incubator and accelerator HXOUSE to help release The Weeknd’s NFT collection and to give attendees commemorative NFTs from the tour.  “It made perfect sense to work together [with Binance] and I can’t wait for fans to experience crypto …

55 key crypto hires, exits and moves: May 2022

Quick Take Some large crypto companies are slowing down their hiring plans in light of market conditions. Despite this, many crypto firms are still hiring, with a big focus on regulatory and compliance hires, plus marketing. This feature story is available to subscribers of The Block News Plus. You can continue reading this News Plus feature on The Block.

FTX surpassed Coinbase as second-biggest centralized crypto exchange in May

FTX overtook Coinbase’s spot in May as the second biggest centralized crypto exchange in terms of market share, according to data compiled on The Block Research. The dominant player in the market was still Binance by far, which commanded a 64.1% share, followed by FTX (10.8%) and Coinbase (9.6%) during the monthly period. Coinbase has recently faced some struggles, posting a net loss of $430 million for Q1 2022 and falling on the stock market by roughly 36% in May. …

Binance’s VC arm raises $500 million fund — its first with outside capital

Binance Labs, the venture capital and incubation arm of crypto exchange Binance, has raised a new $500 million fund to back web3 projects. Backers of the fund include DST Global Partners, Breyer Capital and unnamed private equity funds, family offices and corporations as limited partners, Binance Labs announced today. This is the firm’s first fund with outside capital, a Binance spokesperson told The Block. Binance Labs’ new fund is a sign of confidence among crypto-focused venture capital firms, even as …

Binance is ‘reviewing all possible options’ for Forbes investment after scrapped SPAC

Crypto exchange Binance may still invest in Forbes, despite reports that the media firm has scrapped plans to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listing. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the SPAC was off amid a cooling in investor appetite for such deals and greater regulatory scrutiny. Forbes had hoped to raise $400 million through a merger with a SPAC called Magnum Opus Acquisition Ltd. Half of that was set to come from Binance, …

Forbes to ditch SPAC funding plan: NYT

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Forbes has canceled its plan to raise funds via a special purpose acquisition vehicle or SPAC. Citing two sources familiar with the matter, the Times said that the decision was made “amid cooling investor appetite for the once-popular financial instrument.” Scrutiny from officials at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also raised pressure on the market for SPACs.  Per one source, an announcement regarding the decision will be made in the …