ProBit Bits — ProBit Global’s Weekly Blockchain Bits Vol. 81

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 Philippines SEC Issues Strong Warning Against Binance Operations

The Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission has taken action against Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, by preparing to block access to its website within the country. The SEC issued a statement advising that Binance is not a registered corporation in the Philippines and therefore not authorized to provide securities-related services.

In addition, the regulator has asked social media giants to ban online ads for Binance. The moves come after former Binance chief Changpeng Zhao stepped down as CEO and pleaded guilty in the US to charges related to anti-money laundering violations. Zhao's legal troubles have prompted a tougher response from Philippines regulators, who also warned that local residents promoting or enabling Binance could face criminal penalties. Filipinos have been given a three-month window to withdraw any investments from the exchange before its site is blocked.

 Munger Meme Coin Rakes in Over $3 Million in Trading Volume

The death of legendary investor Charlie Munger, a prominent critic of cryptocurrencies, has led to a frenzied pump in a new meme coin named in his honor. Within 15 minutes of Berkshire Hathaway announcing Munger's passing at age 99, the 'MUNGER' token was launched on Uniswap and quickly gained over 31,500%. Although volatility has seen gains reduce, trade volume surpassed $3.5 million, increasing the coin's market value.

Munger had routinely bashed bitcoin as "rat poison" and condemned the entire crypto sector. Nevertheless, speculative traders capitalized on news of his death to pump the new token for profits. There are now fears the anonymous MUNGER developers could disappear with investors' funds in a 'rug pull', given meme coins' history of speculation without protections. The volatile episode underscores the subversive appeal of crypto tokens for some, even in honoring their critics.

 Ongoing Risk Assessments Needed for CBDCs, Says BIS

A new report from the Bank of International Settlements has highlighted that central banks need to reconsider their risk profiles as they explore issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The report warns that CBDCs represent a major operational shift in how central banks function, rather than just a technology project. It advises regular reassessment of emerging risks.

BIS Chief Augustin Carstens also underscored the importance of international cooperation to develop consistent rules for CBDCs globally. With CBDCs fundamentally changing transaction processes, the report outlines the necessity of a holistic risk management framework for CBDC programs. It suggests robust continuity plans will be essential as risks evolve. The guidelines emphasize that CBDCs require recognition as a fundamental change in central bank operations to successfully balance innovation with prudent oversight.

 US Treasury Seizes Sinbad Website After Accusations of Enabling Criminal Activity

The US Treasury Department has sanctioned the cryptocurrency mixing service Sinbad, accusing it of laundering millions stolen by the North Korean state-sponsored hacking group Lazarus. According to the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), Sinbad processed funds from thefts like Horizon Bridge and Axie Infinity. They claim it was also used to launder over $100 million stolen last year.

As of Wednesday, the Treasury had seized Sinbad's website as part of the sanctions. Advocacy groups are still disputing similar sanctions against Tornado Cash in court. Analytics firms Chainalysis and Elliptic previously linked Sinbad to the previously blacklisted mixer Blender. The sanctions come amid ongoing regulatory scrutiny of the crypto industry and efforts to curb illicit crypto activity. Treasury officials warned other mixers could face consequences if enabling criminal actors.

 Jack Dorsey Backs Launch of Bitcoin Mining Startup

Crypto entrepreneur Jack Dorsey is supporting a new startup called Mummolin that aims to launch a non-custodial Bitcoin mining pool called OCEAN. The $6.2 million in seed funding will go towards creating a pool that pays block rewards directly from the Bitcoin network to miners, without a centralized third party holding funds. This approach removes the risk of censorship that some say legacy pools present.

The new pool is being developed by Bitcoin core developer Luke Dashjr and will utilize upgraded code from his previous zero-fee Eligius pool. OCEAN is positioned as bringing more decentralization to mining by ensuring miners have control over block rewards without pooled interference. Its debut comes as some major mining pools have faced backlash for potentially censoring certain transactions, conflicting with Bitcoin's founding principles of resistance to censorship.

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