Binance reportedly in talks to launch crypto exchange in Indonesia

Binance is reportedly in talks with the richest family in Indonesia regarding a new crypto venture.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, is reportedly in talks with Indonesia’s richest family, the Hartonos, to open a crypto exchange. 

As per a report published in Bloomberg, Binance Holdings Ltd. is looking to finalize a crypto venture with billionaire siblings Budi and Michael Hartonos-controlled PT Bank Central Asia (BCA), and Indonesia’s largest state-owned telecom firm PT Telkom Indonesia. 

The report also claimed that the BCA may enter into the partnership using a separate business entity and the terms of the partnership could vary at the time of finalization. If finalized, it would be the second crypto venture for Binance in Indonesia. The first came in the form of a partnership with crypto trading platform Tokocrypto.

A new crypto venture involving the country’s richest family and the largest telecom firm would give Binance a strong foothold in the country with positive crypto regulations. The Indonesian government treats the crypto market as an investment class and allows its trading alongside commodity futures.

BCA didn’t immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s requests for comments. Binance declined to comment.

Related: Binance plans to become registered UK firm despite regulatory setbacks

After facing major regulatory challenges in the second and third quarters of 2021, Binance is now looking to expand its footprint in the Asia Pacific region. The Singapore arm of the crypto trading giant recently acquired an 18% stake in a local private securities exchange, Hg Exchange. The crypto exchange giant led another $1.5 million funding round for an Asian tokenized messaging platform, the BBS Network.

Apart from new acquisitions and fundings, Binance’s sister company in the United States, Binance.US, is reportedly in the final stages of closing a multi-million funding round. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the global exchange, had revealed in November this year that the firm is expected to raise “a couple hundred million.”

Binance Investment Director Ken Li Talks About Investing in Web3, Gaming and More Exciting Trends

Binance Investment Director Ken Li Talks About Investing in Web3, Gaming and More Exciting Trends

Binance Labs is a chain-agnostic investor and incubator focused on supporting the global blockchain ecosystem and decentralized web. Their portfolio includes 1inch, Audius, Axie Infinity, Chiliz, Elrond, Injective, Matic / Polygon, Sandbox and Terra.

Ken Li is an Investment Director at Binance Labs, with a focus on equity & token investments in Web3 social, gaming & crypto adoption platforms. He recently joined the Bitcoin.com News Podcast to talk about the market:

Binance Investment Director Ken Li Talks About Investing in Web3, Gaming and More Exciting Trends

Ken also helps lead the Binance incubation program. Prior to Binance, Ken led blockchain investment & incubation strategy at BCG Digital Ventures and started his career as a management consultant at Bain.


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Coinbase users launch online refund campaign following GYEN troubles

Many Coinbase customers are understandably frustrated after the company decided to freeze their accounts for weeks.

Coinbase has come under fire recently following a technology snafu that reportedly resulted in the company closing many of its customer’s accounts. 

When users attempted to purchase Japanese stablecoin GYEN and Powerledger (POWR), they suffered from technical difficulties. This was then followed by an error in the system response. Now, deeply frustrated customers have launched an online campaign demanding refunds. 

Chris Flemming, a Coinbase user, has started an online petition against the exchange called “Accountability for COINBASE GYEN account freeze,” which has already garnered 1,620 signatures. It states, “We as a whole recognize that mistakes happen and there is the potential for loss when investing in any cryptocurrency or asset. Though in this case the losses came from internal technical errors of Coinbase.”

On Nov. 10, according to a CNBC report, Coinbase listed GYEN for the first time. Somehow, the coin became detached from the Japanese yen’s price it was supposed to track starting around Nov. 17. The token’s value rose to a peak of 0.065643, which is more than 7.5 times greater than investors had anticipated in fiat currency. Transfer activity on Coinbase increased on Nov. 18 and peaked at $122 million, according to the report.

It’s still unclear how many clients were affected, how much money was lost, or whether anybody made a profit by selling before the price tumbled again. The currency is now trading at the yen peg rate as it was originally intended.

Related: Binance CEO reveals one key factor for token listings

A Coinbase representative told CNBC that the company would provide a thorough explanation of what occurred and how concerns would be addressed. The Nasdaq-listed exchange “will publish a blog article on the November 19 event involving GYEN and POWR assets in the coming weeks,” the representative said. They noted that both GYEN and POWR have resumed trading on Coinbase Pro, and withdrawals are enabled on Coinbase.com.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, recently suggested that cryptocurrency owners transfer their funds out of centralized exchanges to safeguard them. “Any crypto wallet that won’t give you your private keys should be avoided at all costs,” Musk said.

Binance Singapore arm acquires 18% stake in private stock exchange

Binance’s most recent acquisition is still subject to some regulatory requirements.

Binance Asia Services, the Singapore arm of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has acquired a stake in a local private securities exchange, Hg Exchange (HGX).

On Dec. 7, the company officially announced an acquisition of a post-money 18% stake in HGX, a stock exchange licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Binance Singapore CEO Richard Teng said that the new investment will help Binance and HGX further expand the scale of products and services “supported by blockchain technology” in Singapore.

“Crypto and traditional financial offerings continue to converge. We aim to work collaboratively with HGX to enhance the blockchain ecosystem in Singapore,” Teng stated.

HGX is a community-driven private stock exchange, founded by financial institutions like wealth management firm PhillipCapital, local financial services group PrimePartners, and Fundnel, a Southeast Asian private investment technology platform. The exchange reportedly uses the Zilliqa blockchain.

After working as CEO of Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market, Teng joined Binance Singapore as CEO in August 2021, a few years after the Singaporean branch was launched. According to the CEO, Binance continues working closely with “key government agencies” to support the growth of the blockchain ecosystem and is actively hiring local talent.

Related: Singapore suspends exchange Bitget’s license over K-pop coin promotion

The new investment comes soon after Binance experienced some regulatory issues in Singapore. In late September, Binance restricted Singapore users from using its platform, citing compliance matters. Previously, Binance limited product offerings in Singapore amid regulators alleging that the company may have violated payments laws.

Huobi opted to exit Singapore as a global company in order to launch a dedicated local entity in November 2021.

Sophia AI robot to be tokenized for Metaverse appearance

A collection of 100 “intelligent NFTs” will be auctioned in Binance on Dec. 16 as Sophia takes a trip into the Metaverse.

A virtual anime version of Sophia, the world-famous humanoid artificial intelligence (AI) robot, is set to be tokenized and auctioned off as part of an up-and-coming Metaverse project dubbed “Noah’s Ark.” 

Sophia was developed by Hong Kong-based firm Hansen Robotics in 2016 and is known across the globe for her conversation skills and articulate speaking ability. In her first 5 years, Sophia has addressed the United Nations and obtained Saudi citizenship.

Earlier this month, former Hansen Robotics CEO and Sophia co-creator Jeanne Lim launched a virtual anime version of the robot dubbed “Sophia beingAI” at her new company beingAI under a perpetual license and co-branding partnership.

According to the Dec. 7 announcement, beingAI has partnered with intelligent nonfungible token (iNFT) production firm Alethea AI to launch 100 iNFTs featuring Sophia beingAI on Binance’s NFT marketplace in an Intelligent IGO (Initial Game Offering) on Dec. 16.

The auction will take place over 5 days, with twenty iNFTs being released each day until it concludes on Dec. 21.

The term iNFT refers to revolutionary NFTs that are embedded with intelligence in the form of an AI personality that adds programmability into their immutable smart contracts. These intelligent NFTs can interact in real-time with people in a gamified environment autonomously.

The collection is named “The Transmedia Universe of Sophia beingAI” and as part of the partnership, the 100 iNFTs will be supported in Alethea AI’s decentralized Metaverse project Noah’s Ark.

The collection is being illustrated by comic artist Pat Lee, who previously worked with DC Comics and Marvel Comics on franchises such as Batman, Superman, Ironman, and Spiderman.

Alethea AI unveiled Noah’s Ark in October, and is aiming for its Metaverse to be “inhabited by interactive and intelligent NFTs.” Lim stated that:

“We hope Sophia beingAI will bring together humanity and technology to help humans attain our true nature of unconditional love and pure possibilities.”

Related: Sophia the robot set to auction NFT digital artwork

It is not the first time Sophia has been involved in the NFT space. In March, Sophia held an NFT auction via the Nifty Gateway platform as reported by Cointelegraph.

In a famed speech at the 2017 Future Investment Initiative Conference, Sophia demonstrated that she can show emotion by making faces that were happy, sad, and angry. In 2019, Sophia stated that she knew what cryptocurrencies were but didn’t own any.

Crypto Exchange Binance Is Making ‘Substantial Changes’ to Become ‘Fully Licensed and Fully Compliant’ in UK

Crypto Exchange Binance Is Making 'Substantial Changes' to Become 'Fully Licensed and Fully Compliant' in UK

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has unveiled its plan to become a “fully licensed and fully compliant” exchange in order to serve users in the U.K. The crypto exchange is reportedly “making a number of very substantial changes” in the way it operates in order to comply with the country’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Binance Plans to Launch a Fully Licensed Crypto Exchange in the UK

Binance is working to become a fully licensed and fully compliant cryptocurrency exchange in order to launch in the U.K. where it recently ran into trouble with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), said in an interview with The Telegraph that Binance will reapply for a license with the FCA. He believes that his exchange’s relationship with the British regulator has improved. He told the news outlet:

We’re fully re-engaged there … We’re making a number of very substantial changes in organizational structures, product offerings, our internal processes, and the way we work with regulators.

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority issued a consumer warning on Binance in June stating that no entity “in the Binance Group holds any form of U.K. authorization, registration or license to conduct regulated activity in the U.K.” In August, the FCA said that Binance was no longer in violation of its rules but noted that the company has not applied for a license to operate a crypto exchange.

“We want to continue to establish a presence in the U.K. and serve U.K. users in a fully licensed and fully compliant manner,” Zhao emphasized, adding that Binance hopes to become a registered crypto asset firm in six to 18 months.

Following the warning by the FCA, several major banks in the U.K. began restricting payments to Binance, including Barclays, HSBC, Natwest, and Santander.

Besides the FCA, a number of other regulators have issued warnings of various kinds about Binance, including regulators in the U.S., South Africa, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, India, Malaysia, and Lithuania. In August, Binance said it was making regulatory compliance its top priority.

Zhao further shared with the publication that when regulators asked Binance “a very simple question: ‘Where’s your headquarters?’ and our response was that we have no headquarters, that we’re a decentralized organization, they didn’t know how to work with us.” The CEO concluded:

We understand that now. So now we’re in the process of setting up real offices, legal entities, a proper board, proper governance structures in most places, including the U.K.

What do you think about Binance launching in the U.K. after regulatory trouble with the FCA? Let us know in the comments section below.