Sam Bankman-Fried facing long sentence, Binance CEO denies CommEx and other crypto stories

Temitope Akintade
Sam Bankman-Fried facing long sentence, Binance CEO denies CommEx

The whole crypto community continues to anticipate the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the man behind the collapse of the once second-largest crypto exchange globally, which starts next week. 

In a build-up to the court proceedings, the judge overseeing the case, U.S District Judge Lewis Kaplan said on Thursday that the embattled founder could be facing a very long prison sentence, if he is convicted. The trial starts next Tuesday and is expected to last for six weeks.

Here are major crypto stories from around the world this week.

It wasn’t me: Binance CEO denies owning CommEx

On Wednesday, we reported how crypto exchange Binance sold its Russian subsidiary to CommEx, a newly launched exchange focused on Russia. 

Related post: Binance exits Russia after selling its subsidiary to CommEx for an undisclosed amount

And on Thursday, Changpeng CZ came out to deny that he is the owner of the mysterious company that has bought Binance’s business in Russia.

Binance launches amazing feature for calculating taxes on crypto transactions
Binance, CEO, Chinpeng Zao

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), CZ said:

“I am not their UBO [ultimate beneficial owner], nor do I own any shares there.”

Historic transactions between the two companies related to the “testing phase” of integration, and Binance had asked for CommEX to have a similar design and technical features to smooth the transition, CZ added.

MicroStrategy adds to Bitcoin stash

Per reports this week, Software developer, MicroStrategy purchased nearly $150 million worth of Bitcoin between August 1 and Sept.24.

In a Monday regulatory filing:

MicroStrategy, together with its subsidiaries, acquired approximately 5,445 bitcoins for approximately $147.3 million in cash, at an average price of approximately $27,053 per bitcoin, inclusive of fees and expenses.”

MicroStrategy now holds approximately 158,245 BTC, which were acquired at an aggregate purchase price of approximately $4.68 billion at an average purchase price of roughly $29,582 per bitcoin.

SBF could face a long sentence if convicted 

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the indicted founder of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, may face a “very long sentence” if convicted at his fraud trial starting next week. This was according to the judge overseeing the case, Lewis Kaplan, on Thursday. 

Sam Bankman-Fried lands in the US for trials
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at court in Nassau, Bahamas on December 21, 2022. Photo: Kris INGRAHAM / AFP Source: AFP

The United States District Judge’s comments came just before he denied the 31-year-old former billionaire’s request to be released from jail temporarily during the trial to better help his lawyers mount his defence. 

Related post: Prosecutors say SBF must be jailed

Kaplan said SBF was a flight risk:

Your client in the event of conviction could be looking at a very long sentence. If things begin to look bleak … maybe the time would come when he would seek to flee.”

Notably, SBF has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of fraud and conspiracy stemming from FTX’s collapse in November 2022. His trial starts on October 3rd and could last up to six weeks.

PayPal USD now on, a cryptocurrency exchange, has joined forces with payment giant PayPal and blockchain infrastructure firm Paxos to establish itself as the preferred platform for trading in PayPal’s USD.

According to a press release on Thursday, currently boasts the most extensive liquidity for PYUSD trading pairs on a global scale. The exchange has promptly listed PYUSD for both retail and institutional users. It is anticipated that it will provide additional “trading features” in the near future.

PayPal entered the stablecoin arena in August 2023 with the launch of PYUSD. This stablecoin is built on the Ethereum blockchain.

UK Bank bans crypto payments

Per reports, Chase Bank has decided to prohibit crypto-linked payments for its clients in the United Kingdom. The new development was communicated to customers via email on Wednesday.

According to the email, Chase’s policy shift is aimed at safeguarding customer funds from the increasing risk of fraud and scams that leverage crypto assets to illicitly obtain substantial sums of money. Starting from Oct. 16, any payment that is suspected to be related to crypto assets will be declined by the bank.

That’s all from us this week. See you same time next week.

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