First Mover Americas: Crypto Auditing Hits Snag

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Binance’s proof-of-reserves auditor Mazars has paused all work for its crypto clients, Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange by trading volume, said in an emailed statement. "Mazars has indicated that they will temporarily pause their work with all of their crypto clients globally, which include, KuCoin and Binance. Unfortunately, this means that we will not be able to work with Mazars for the moment," a Binance spokesperson said. The accounting firm performed a proof-of-reserves assessment of Binance earlier this month, finding its bitcoin reserves were overcollateralized. Bitcoin coin (BNB) fell after the announcement. It has lost about 5% in the past 24 hours, CoinDesk data shows.

FTX, the crypto exchange that filed for bankruptcy last month, wants to sell its functioning units, including its U.S.-based derivatives wing LedgerX. On Thursday, the exchange petitioned a U.S. bankruptcy court for permission to sell several subsidiaries, including FTX Japan, FTX Europe and Embed Business. "Based on their preliminary review, the debtors own or control a number of subsidiaries and assets that are regulated, licensed and/or largely not integrated into the debtors’ operations, within and outside of the United States," the filing said. "The debtors believe a number of these entities have solvent balance sheets, independent management and valuable franchises."

Crypto trading firm Amber Group changed its fundraising strategy to raise $300 million in a Series C round, as a reaction to the fall of FTX. The collapse of the exchange affected some of Amber’s products and customers, increasing the need to raise capital quickly. Amber decided to move from its efforts to raise a Series B+ round at a $3 billion valuation in favor of a Series C. "Post the FTX collapse, we paused [the series B+ fundraise] after a partial closing and instead moved forward on Series C," the firm said.

Bitcoin (BTC) was down 4% to just below $17,000 early Friday Eastern time, and ether (ETH) dropped 6% to $1,212 as more bad news in the crypto world keeps coming forth. U.S. stock futures also pointed down after the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 764 points on Thursday on recession fears.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows daily trading volume in bitcoin and ether futures markets since December 2020.
  • Trading activity has slowed to levels last seen roughly two years ago, representing the impact of global liquidity tightening and widespread deleveraging and contagion from the collapse of several industry bigwigs, including Terra, Three Arrows Capital and FTX.
  • The exodus of leverage traders means less speculation, which is perhaps a positive development in the eyes of those averse to the cryptocurrencies' high volatility. It's not great for liquidity, however.

– Omkar Godbole

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