ProBit Bits — ProBit Global’s Weekly Blockchain Bits Vol. 80

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 Binance Transfers Billions in USDT Ahead of DOJ Settlement, Raising Speculation

In the days leading up to finalizing its record $4.3 billion settlement with US authorities, cryptocurrency exchange Binance conspicuously moved $3.9 billion worth of Tether (USDT) stablecoins from one of its cold wallets, according to an analysis published by Decrypt. Curiously, the timing of the sizeable transfer occurred just ahead of the slated discussions with US officials. While Binance denied any link between the wallet movement and the upcoming penalty negotiations, the timing and amount have raised speculation among onlookers.

Separately, in the aftermath of the settlement being publicly announced and CEO Changpeng Zhao opting to resign from his leadership position, Binance processed nearly $1 billion in withdrawals from users' accounts over a 24-hour timeframe. According to sources, the funds leaving the exchange were higher than typical outflow volumes but avoid causing major price instability. The sizable yet orderly withdrawal handling helped assuage fears among some in the crypto community of a possible bank run unfolding similarly to events at collapsed firm FTX last year.

Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke at an industry event, stating that the unprecedented Binance deal sends a message to other crypto companies about expectations for regulatory compliance, especially with anti-money laundering rules. The reports from Decrypt and Blockworks dissected Binance's monetary movements and user activities surrounding its resolution with US authorities over past regulatory lapses.

 Study Ranks Crypto Figures by Social Clout, With CZ Ahead Of Buterin and Dorsey

A new report from CoinLedger analyzing social media influence in the crypto industry has revealed Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao as the most widely followed individual. The ranking scored 30 key crypto personalities identified by CryptoWeekly based on their total social followings across platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey followed in second and third place, with over 7 million and 6 million total followers respectively.

Other leading figures included MicroStrategy's Michael Saylor and ARK Invest's Cathie Wood. Interestingly, disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried still ranked tenth despite his role in the exchange's collapse, maintaining over 1 million social followers. The study underscores the importance of online networks and communities in spreading crypto adoption and shaping mainstream discussion around emerging trends in the space.

 Dodgy Netflix Director Used Show Budget to Score $27 Million in Dogecoin

A New York Times investigation has uncovered what caused Netflix's $55 million sci-fi series "Conquest" to never see the light of day. The show's director Carl Erik Rinsch reportedly used over $4 million of the budget to purchase Dogecoin, scoring $27 million in profits. However, he then lost $5.9 million trading stocks during the COVID-19 downturn. Rinsch went on a $8.7 million spending spree on luxury cars, watches and furniture as his erratic behavior worried Netflix. With the project far behind schedule, Netflix pulled funding, only for Rinsch to demand $14 million more while in arbitration.

The report details Rinsch's declining mental state and obsession with COVID-19 conspiracy theories. It remains unclear if arbitration will compel Netflix to pay further, or if the fiasco could have been avoided with tighter oversight of the director.

 Tensions Grow Between OpenAI Board and Investors After CEO Firing

Investors in AI lab OpenAI are considering taking legal action against the company's board according to a Reuters report. The possible lawsuit comes amid turmoil surrounding the recent firing and return of CEO Sam Altman within a week. Multiple sources indicated to Reuters that investors fear losing hundreds of millions invested in OpenAI. They are worried the intense leadership upheaval could destabilize or damage the valuable startup.

OpenAI is considered a leader in generative AI research. However, the board's swift termination of Altman upset staff, raising threats of a major exodus. With Altman's return, the situation has temporarily quelled but left unresolved tensions. OpenAI has yet to clarify its long-term plans, concerning the investors who have poured substantial funds into the company. Their mounting frustration with the board's handling of the situation and lack of transparency has now escalated to exploring potential litigation.

 South Korea Takes Major Step Toward Central Bank Digital Currency

The Bank of Korea has announced plans to undertake a central bank digital currency trial program next year that will involve 100,000 citizens. In collaboration with financial authorities, the central bank will issue digital tokens backed by deposits to selected participants. The trial will allow goods to be purchased with the tokens, replicating usage of existing voucher systems. However, transactions will be restricted to designated payments only rather than broad personal use cases.

Technological experiments will also assess the viability of issuing and distributing these new financial products. Separately, the BOK is working with the Korea Exchange on testing carbon emissions trading integration. While marking progress, observers note the pilot stops short of a full central bank digital won launch. It remains unclear when such a system could be rolled out nationally.

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