FTX US under investigation by Texas regulators
Joe Rotunda told on FTX, and now the crypto exchange FTX, FTX US, and founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried are all in trouble for potential securities violations.
Texas securities regulators are investigating whether yield-bearing accounts offered by FTX US should be considered unregistered securities, as described in a filing related to Voyager Digital's bankruptcy proceedings.
Joe Rotunda, the Texas State Securities Board enforcement director, downloaded the FTX app on his phone, created an account, and linked it to an existing personal bank account. Even though the company's terms and conditions state that FTX will not offer services to US residents, the app said he was eligible for a yield-bearing account. Overstep? Probably.
"I am aware that FTX Trading…may be offering unregistered securities in the form of yield-bearing accounts to residents of the United States," Rotunda wrote in the filing.
FTX spokesperson said that the firm has been in communication with Texas regulators:
"We have an active application for a license which has been pending, and believe we are operating fully within the bounds of what we can do in the interim. We look forward to continue working with Texas."
Not just FTX, Voyager is also being investigated by Texas regulators for its yield-bearing accounts, which may be considered unregistered securities.
FTX won the top bid for Voyager Digital in September for $1.4 billion. The firm apparently seeks to return crypto funds to Voyager users impacted by the firm's abrupt shutdown.
Mastercard to help banks offer cryptocurrency trading services
Mastercard hopes to take cryptocurrency to the masses by assisting banks in crypto services. The payments behemoth intends to introduce a programme that will function as a "bridge" between banks and cryptocurrency platform Paxos to provide trading services.
Security and regulatory compliance are the two major reasons banks shun the asset class, but now these will be handled by Mastercard and Paxos. It also offers KYC and anti-money laundering checks. If banks adopt this Mastercard collaboration model, Coinbase and other American exchanges may face more competition.
In recent weeks, Mastercard and its main rival Visa have progressed in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries. Visa recently announced launching a debit card in more than 40 countries by partnering with the crypto exchange FTX.
Coinbase CEO to sell 2% of its stock to scientific research
According to the company's 2022 proxy statement, Coinbase Global Inc. CEO Brian Armstrong holds 59.5% of the voting shares and owns 16% of Coinbase. To support scientific research, he intends to sell around 2% of his firm ownership over the following year.
"I'm passionate about accelerating science and tech to help solve some of the biggest challenges in the world. To further this, I'm planning to sell about 2% of my Coinbase holdings over the next year to fund scientific research and companies like NewLimit and ResearchHub." wrote the CEO in a recent Twitter thread.
ResearchHub is a service that intends to promote the open publication and discussion of scientific research, whereas NewLimit is a biotechnology firm that focuses on prolonging human life through epigenetic reprogramming, adding that the CEO backs both companies.
Armstrong explained that the announcement of the sale was made to prevent misunderstandings and reaffirmed that he remains highly enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies and is focused on building Coinbase.