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More troubles for Binance, the NFT edition of Fortune, and the crypto market tips US$2 trillion

More troubles for Binance, the NFT edition of Fortune, and the crypto market tips US$2 trillion

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Crypto roundup: Are retailers like Walmart and Amazon looking to hire cryptocurrency experts?

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Nicholas Sokic, Special to Financial Post Binance faced intense global regulatory scrutiny over its ability to manage its crypto assets in recent months.Binance faced intense global regulatory scrutiny over its ability to manage its crypto assets in recent months. Photo by Dado Ruvic/REUTERS files

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Yet another problem for troubled Binance, as a London, U.K., court has ordered the crypto exchange to hunt down who made off with US$2.6 million from a single account.

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Binance is working with the AI company Fetch.ai to track them down and seize the assets. The exchange has, in recent months, faced intense global regulatory scrutiny over its ability to manage its crypto assets.

Thanks to that scrutiny, Binance has bolstered its international compliance team.

“We need to dispel the myth that crypto assets are anonymous. The reality is that with the right rules and applications, they can be tracked, traced and recovered,” Syedur Rahman, a partner at Rahman Ravelli, which is representing Fetch.ai, told Reuters.

According to Fetch, on June 6, the hackers sold the crypto to a third party in under an hour. Binance had already frozen a sum and the claimants will have to prove they’re victims of fraud before seeking a recovery order.

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The exchange said in a statement: “Binance routinely freezes accounts that are identified as having suspicious activity occurring in line with our security policies and commitment to ensuring that users are protected while using our platform.”

While the court order itself may be routine, the situation as a whole is another ball for Binance to juggle and a test of the system’s ability to tackle cryptocurrency fraud.

Fortune magazine has officially joined the NFT business. Its August/September issue is crypto-themed, so naturally the business mag sold 256 limited edition NFTs of its cover starting at 1 ETH apiece. The cover itself was designed by the digital artist pplpleasr. The sales netted 429 ETH total, which at the time of sale last Friday was worth US$1.3 million. A single Ethereum token at the time of writing is worth US$3,100.21, down 2.20 per cent over the last 24 hours.

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The auction was held on the NFT marketplace OpenSea, which experienced tech issues during the sale, likely because of the traffic the sale brought with it. Fortune also reported that resales are selling upwards of seven times their original value.

Fortune CEO Alan Murray called it a “crazy, live, digital experiment.”

The magazine’s tech editor tweeted that they would be donating 50 per cent of the sale to non-profit organizations and keeping the rest. Given the recent NFT adoption by many organizations (see the Chicago Bulls), this is yet another sign that  non-fungible tokens will be sticking around.

Another Bitcoin rally led to the value of the entire crypto market being pushed above US$2 trillion for the first time in three months. Bitcoin climbed to US$48,126.47 on the weekend, its highest point since May 17. This, after reaching April peaks of US$64,000 and July valleys of below US$30,000.

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It wasn’t just Bitcoin that helped with this surge; Ether and Cardano have increased 11 and 53 per cent respectively from last week. The market’s peak was on May 12 at US$2.5 trillion, but it was US$1.19 trillion on July 20, which means its value nearly doubled within the month.

This latest crowning comes after hackers stole $600 million in crypto last week, a haul that included Bitcoin. Analysts say that Bitcoin may climb to US$55,000, before a pullback to sub-US$30,000 levels, “resetting the stage for a long steady march” to US$100,000 in 2022.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Bitcoin increased ever so slightly by .03 per cent to $45,823.65.

Naturally, that huge surge from Cardano has its own implications. Their ADA token recently became the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency by market value. With a value of US$69 billion, it beat Binance Coin and Tether, and is behind only Bitcoin and Ether.

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Over the past year, there has been a 1,400 per cent jump in returns on the token, exceeding its rivals. Cardano was launched in 2017 and bills itself as the only peer-reviewed blockchain. It regularly publishes academic articles on its site.

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The platform will continue to compete directly with Ethereum in terms of scalability and sustainability. Its all-time high was US$2.47. On Wednesday afternoon, Cardano was at US$2.07.

On Monday, Walmart was looking for a digital currency and cryptocurrency product lead. By Wednesday, the link to the posting led to a 404-error page.

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The position was to be based in Walmart’s Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters, and responsible for developing the retailer’s “digital currency strategy and product roadmap.”

Amazon had a similar job posting in the last few weeks amid rumours the company wanted to build their own token. Regardless of the current status of Walmart’s job search, the rumours and postings indicate the widespread interest among major retailers in the crypto world.
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