Morning Minute | Binance Settles for $4.3B, CZ Resigns

Morning Minute | Binance Settles for $4.3B, CZ Resigns

TylerD's Market Summary

So what does it mean for broader crypto? And catch up on the bullish $BLUR action from overnight.

๐Ÿšฉ Binance Settles U.S. Case for $4.3B

There has been smoke around Binance for several months.

Many were expecting a major negative event and preparing for the worst (i.e. an FTX-like situation).

Well it looks those fears were overblown.

Serious charges have come for Binance and its CEO CZ, but the fallout for broader crypto seems contained.

What Happened?

Binance was accused of anti-money laundering violations, sanctions violations, and operating an unlicensed money-transmitter business.

Here are the primary outcomes for Binance:

  • Settlement includes a $4.3B fine, one of the largest in U.S. corporate history
  • CZ pleads guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act, fined $50M
  • CZ resigns as CEO, Richard Teng to take over
  • Settlement requires Binance to appoint an independent compliance monitor for three years

From U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland:

"Binance employees knew and discussed that the company was serving thousands of users in sanctioned countries, and they knew that facilitating transactions between U.S. users and users in sanctioned countries would be in violation of U.S. law. But they did it anyway."

That's a clear violation of U.S. law but also a fundamental tenet of the early crypto era.

The freedom to transact, and the freedom to transact anonymously.

It seems the U.S. is coming after that second part, and truly anonymous participation will become harder and harder.

Why It Matters

There's good and bad in the fallout of this Binance situation.

The bad - the U.S. government continues its actions against major crypto players. 

They will now have their hands all over Binance via the independent compliance monitor in place for the next 3 years.

And in yesterday's presser, the government crew made it clear they're coming for more players, perhaps in the DeFi sector.

The reality is, several major players have likely violated sanctions and anti-money laundering program rules, spanning crypto and NFTs.

OpenSea for a fact violated sanctions in its early days, leading to its abrupt removal of art from Iranian and Cuban artists in 2021 (amongst others).

So it may just be a matter of time before more lawsuits come.

But as for the good - how much does it matter?

Binance got off relatively unscathed. $4B is a relative drop in the bucket for them.

They still have 150M global users, thousands of employees, and they are set up to remain a powerhouse.

Crypto prices didn't crash after the news, signaling faith in the market.

And now a major negative outcome (a potential worse Binance scandal) has been removed from future scenarios.

That's likely a win, and the path to a bull run in 2024 has become more clear.

Now the open question remains - who is the U.S. government coming for next?

๐Ÿ“ˆ The Bullish $BLUR Unlock

The consensus view was that the $BLUR token would tank after the SZN2 airdrop.

Well the public was wrong again.

$BLUR popped 22% overnight to $0.45, a full 50% gain from its local bottom a few hours after the airdrop claim on Monday evening.

The drivers?

Great incentives and tokenomics, plus faith in the new L2 Blast.

For those who aren't following, the $BLUR airdrop claim came with the option to keep ones $BLUR staked.

And there were major incentives to keep that $BLUR staked, with 4x points on day 1, 3.5x points day 2, 3x points day 3, etc. for the first week (points will be tied to a "REDACTED" airdrop from Blast coming in May 2024).

They even included a live points-tracker updating by the second.

It's all dopamine - and it's working.

Farmers aren't selling their airdrops, at least yet.

And other traders are buying $BLUR to stake and get those points.

The team managed to created incentives to avoid $100M in sell pressure on 300M+ tokens - just brilliant.

Your personal thoughts on Pacman Blur and team aside, they are clearly good at this.

Perhaps even more impressive?

They've got $110M already bridged into Blast and locked til February.

And that number is likely only going to go up.

It's Pacman's world, and we're just living in it.

๐Ÿšš What else is happening in NFTs?

Here is the list of other notable headlines from the day in NFTs:

  • Trading volume came in at $12.35M on Tuesday, while the Blur leaderboard saw a mix of red and green
  • The Grapes and Yogapetz led top movers, with Grapes at a whopping 2.45 ETH floor now ahead of its upcoming token and Yogapetz up 86% on the week at 0.5 ETH
  • Zentrum by Herbert W. Franke minted out its 200 supply drop at 2.45 ETH in PROOF's mint yesterday (nearly a $1M primary sale), though it has since fallen to 1.3 ETH on secondary
  • Tensorians led top movers on Solana, jumping ~40% to a 26 SOL floor as traders speculate on the Tensor marketplace becoming "the Blur for Solana"
  • Dokyo NFTs saw nearly $1M in volume on Avalanche, as they've become the hot new collectible for red coin backers
  • DraftKings Reignmakers is running its annual Millionaire Maker contest tomorrow; catch up with all the latest and prepare for the tourney with our Reignmakers Report!

๐ŸŒŽ Around Crypto and Web3

A few other Crypto and Web3 headlines that caught my eye:

  • The crypto market was mixed on the day; BTC -1.75% at $36,540; ETH +0.6% at $2,020; SOL -3% at $54.72
  • $BLUR jumped 22% to $0.45 overnight as traders realize the incentives behind the Blur staking program
  • Privy announced an $18M Series A, led by Paradigm with participation from Sequoia and more, as they aim to make building crypto apps easier and more accessible

๐Ÿš€ NFT Total Volume

  • BAYC (1,542 ETH, 26.39 ETH Floor)
  • MAYC (602 ETH, 4.96 ETH)
  • DeGods (752 ETH, 3 ETH)
  • Yogapetzi (278 ETH, 0.48 ETH)
  • Pudgy Penguins (242 ETH, 5.6 ETH)

๐Ÿ“ˆ NFT Floor Price Increase

  • PX Quest (21%, 0.18 ETH Floor)
  • CyberKongz (20%, 0.5 ETH)
  • Otherdeed (13%, 0.62 ETH)
  • The Grapes (12%, 2.44 ETH)
  • Sappy Seals (11%, 0.41 ETH)

๐Ÿ—“ Upcoming NFT Mints and Reveals

Today is another busy day of drops in a short hoilday week.

Jack Butcher is doing his Velocity Pass drop today, likely his final major act for 2023.

ACK has his Avant Arte raffle results coming this morning, with secondary trading going live.

And Operator is set to return with Human Unreadable ACT 2.

See the full list and dive in for more details with Swizzy's daily mint monitor

  • Velocity Pass x Jack Butcher (9:00 a.m. ET)
  • ACK "Warothy" (9:00 a.m. ET)
  • Memes by 6529 (11:00 a.m. ET)
  • Michael Hafftka x Noble Gallery (11:00 a.m. ET)
  • Operator - Human Unreadable ACT II (12:00 p.m. ET)

Enjoy this write-up and/or want to sponsor the Morning Minute? Follow along with me on Twitter @tyler_did_it or reach out via email tyler.warner@luckytrader.com.

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