Binance slashes costs, Ripple ready for US banks and crypto VCs return

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) crackdown on cryptocurrency companies appears to have had a serious impact on Binance’s business. In the past few weeks, the cryptocurrency exchange has reportedly laid off more than 1,000 employees and cut some benefits.

According to Binance, the “current market and regulatory environment” is causing earnings to decline, suggesting further cuts may be under consideration. A spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the company would consider scaling back “certain products, business units, employee benefits and policies” in response to business and regulatory concerns.

Binance has yet to appear in court or face the 13 indictments filed against the company by the SEC or the outcome of the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into its activities and executives.

Despite the cloudy outlook, Binance remains the world’s most popular centralized cryptocurrency exchange, with over $63 billion worth of assets. Token breakdown by DefiLlama show The majority of assets held on Binance include Tether (USDT) (27.55%), Bitcoin (BTC) (26.95%), BNB (BNB) (12.82%), and Wrapped Ether (10.08%).

In comments on Binance’s founding anniversary on July 14, the exchange’s CEO Changpeng Chao recalled that the company’s journey “wasn’t all smooth sailing.”

In this week’s Crypto Biz, we look at Binance’s continued efforts to curb profit declines, Ripple’s hopes that U.S. banks may soon adopt XRP (XRP), and the first signs that venture capital is returning to cryptocurrencies.

Ripple CLO says court ruling may encourage banks to adopt XRP

Ripple Labs Chief Legal Officer Stu Arderoti believes US-based banks may turn to XRP for cross-border transactions following a recent court ruling. “Hopefully there will be a lot of conversations with customers in the U.S. this quarter and some of those conversations will turn into real business,” he said in an interview. With XRP no longer appearing to be labeled as “security,” Ripple’s partnership with banks, chilled by SEC lawsuits, could find new life. Bank of America eyed the blockchain firm in 2019, and American Express partnered with Ripple for the first time in 2017.

Binance Cuts Employee Benefits Due To “Decreasing Profits”

Global crypto exchange Binance has cut some employee benefits amid an internal reassessment effort. The company has reportedly stopped reimbursing employees for certain expenses such as cell phone use, fitness and working from home. Binance cited the “current market and regulatory environment” that led to lower profits, suggesting further cost-cutting measures may be needed. The report comes after major job cuts in June that affected more than 1,000 employees at the exchange. Both Binance and Zao have been sued by the SEC for allegedly offering unregistered securities in the United States.

Marathon shareholders file lawsuit against management

Cryptocurrency mining firm Marathon Digital faces court allegations that CEO Fred Thiel, along with other executives, violated fiduciary duties, unfairly enriched their pockets and squandered corporate assets. The complaint alleges that the company’s management downplayed its problems, artificially inflated Marathon’s valuation, overpaid, conducted favorable insider sales, and received unfairly high bonuses based on false and misleading statements.

Polychain Capital, Coinfund Raises $350 Million For New Crypto Fund

Web3 ventures are gearing up for new investments in crypto projects, with Polychain Capital raising $200 million in new investment funds and Coinfund securing $152 million in seed funding. Polychain will continue to raise a total of $400 million for the new fund. It currently manages three funds with approximately $2.6 billion in assets under management. As for CoinFund, CEO Jake Burgmann said the company set a goal of raising $125 million, but managed to raise another $27 million due to renewed interest in the industry. Total venture funding for cryptocurrency startups fell 76% year-on-year due to the bear market and industry turmoil.

Before You Go: Bitcoin Rally Will Lead to ‘Speculative Spike’ in 2024, Marc Yusko Predicts

According to Mark Yusko, chief investment officer and founder of Morgan Creek Capital, BlackRock’s application for the Spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund is sparking the beginning of a new cryptocurrency bull market, which will go up in a parabolic fashion at some point approaching the scheduled halving in April 2024.

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