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Binance closes zero-fee BUSD trading, Meta lays off 10,000 in NFT wind-down

Binance closes zero-fee BUSD trading, Meta lays off 10,000 in NFT wind-down
CEO Barry Silbert's, left,Digital Currency Group and former FTX.US president Brett Harrison, right, have provided some hope amidst the banking meltdown.

Binance pulls the plug on zero-fee BUSD to bitcoin trading

Binance is moving its zero-fee bitcoin trading programme from its own stablecoin BUSD to TrueUSD, or TUSD.

Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao announced the switch on Twitter, saying the swap was motivated by “recent events.”

Zhao did not explain what events he was referring to, but BUSD has been standing on shaky ground after regulators forced stablecoin issuer Paxos to stop minting BUSD in February.

Comparatively, TUSD has proven particularly resilient over the past few days. Despite it having had 40% of its reserves in the collapsed tech-focused bank Signature, it barely moved at all over the weekend while other stablecoins dramatically depegged

The Binance update will take effect on March 22.

The news follows Zhao’s announcement on Sunday that it would convert $1 billion BUSD into other crypto assets including bitcoin, Binance coin, and ether.

NOW READ: Stablecoin with 40% of its reserves in Signature defies bank crisis fallout

Digital Currency Group memo eases crypto banking woes

Crypto giant Digital Currency Group (DCG) is looking for new banking partners, and a company memo indicates that there are still some banks willing to work with crypto companies.

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Last week’s wave of tech bank collapses stoked fears that crypto firms may have difficulty finding banks to deal with, but the internal DCG memo lists major banks HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Santander among others as amicable clients.

HSBC’s UK subsidiary purchased collapsed Silicon Valley Bank’s UK arm over the weekend, expressing confidence that tech banks will remain a vital part of its strategy despite last week’s bank runs.

READ NOW: Crypto investors drive USDC rebound amid Silicon Valley Bank fallout

Meta nixes NFT support, slashes 10,000 jobs

Meta’s NFT ambitions seem to be at an end, as CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the layoffs of 10,000 employees in coming months as part of a “winding down” of NFT support.

Meta laid off 11,000 employees in November, as its Metaverse aims fizzled with low adoption or enthusiasm for the technology, which included support for “NFT real estate.”

The company appears to be pivoting from NFTs and the metaverse to artificial intelligence technology, with Zuckerberg stating that Meta intends to build AI tools to improve efficiency and cut labour costs.

READ NOW: Bitstamp CEO on 30% staff cut, the crypto meltdown, and why ‘we’re the good guys’

Binance halts UK withdrawals and deposits

Following a loss of support from its UK-based payment provider, Binance halted deposits and withdrawals in the UK on Tuesday.

Payment provider Paysafe, which acted as an onramp for Binance’s UK service, said in a statement “that the UK regulatory environment in relation to crypto is too challenging” to continue to offer their product.

This comes as UK banks such as HSBC placed limits on crypto transfers to exchanges, reflecting a divergence from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s previously stated goal to make the country “a global hub for crypto asset technology.”

NOW READ: London’s crypto hub status may slip to ‘not even number three’ after Brexit deal

EU Parliament votes for ‘kill switch’ bill critics say will undermine blockchain

The European Parliament voted in favour of a controversial bill on Tuesday that may directly impact the way smart contracts are built.

The 2022 Data Act, which was overwhelmingly approved by EU lawmakers in Tuesday’s vote, includes provisions that smart contracts must contain a “kill switch” to reset activity.

While not crypto-focused, the bill contains language that may be applied to smart contract technology used on the blockchain.

Critics of the bill contend that DeFi smart contracts are built to be immutable, and that the new law would undermine that core component of their design.

NOW READ: Bank regulators won’t ban crypto, they’ll ‘starve’ it

US authorities were investigating Signature Bank prior to Sunday seizure

US investigators are reported to have looked into Silvergate Bank’s crypto dealings prior to its Sunday closure.

NY Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission investigators conducted inquiries in regards to the bank’s vetting and monitoring processes, highlighting the agencies’ focus on illicit activity such as money laundering.

No charges had been pressed by the time of Signature’s seizure, though Signature board member and former politician Barney Frank alleged that the Sunday enforcement action was intended to paint crypto as “toxic” to the public.

NY authorities rebuffed Franks claim, citing “a crisis of confidence in the bank’s leadership.”

READ NOW: Stablecoin with 40% of its reserves in Signature defies bank crisis fallout

Former FTX.US president finds silver lining in last week’s bank collapses

Former FTX.US president Brett Harrison is optimistic about crypto banking following the demise of three major crypto-friendly banks last week.

Harrison stated in a podcast interview that the vacuum left by Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank, and Signature Bank allows smaller banks to compete where they previously couldn’t, owing to the “large percentage of market share” held by the big three.

Harrison’s new Architect venture recently raised $5 million in a January funding round.

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