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• Binance Could Face U.S. Fraud Charges, but Prosecutors Worry About Risk of Bank Run: Semafor

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Crypto exchange Binance could face U.S. Department of Justice fraud charges, though prosecutors are weighing alternatives given the risk of an FTX-style bank run, Semafor reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The price of bitcoin (BTC) and Binance’s BNB token immediately fell following the report.

U.S. officials are worried an indictment could imperil the broader cryptocurrency industry, according to Semafor. For that reason, they are weighing alternatives such as “fines and deferred or non-prosecution agreements,” sources told the publication.

• KPMG touts ESG benefits from Bitcoin, counters misperceptions in new report

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KPMG has released a report on Bitcoin and ESG (environment, social and governance) issues. The Big Four professional services firm found that Bitcoin “appears to provide a number of benefits across an ESG framework.”

Looking at each component of ESG separately, the report noted that emissions is a more significant indicator of environmental damage than energy usage. It contextualized Bitcoin emissions in relation to those of other sources that ranged from tobacco to tourism and found it was the second smallest contributor behind “Video (US).” It concluded: “Bitcoin’s emissions may be lower than often discussed.”

• Asset Managers Line Up To File for Ethereum Futures ETFs

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U.S. asset managers Grayscale, VanEck, Bitwise, Volatility Shares, ProShares and Round Hill Capital have submitted new applications to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track Ether (ETH) futures contracts.

Volatility Shares was the first one to kick off the most recent round of ETH ETF applications, as their proposal was filed on Friday.4 By Tuesday, five others had joined the fray. If approved, the funds would not hold any ETH directly. Instead, they would follow the price movements of the futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

• Hong Kong debuts retail crypto trading with HashKey and OSL

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Hong Kong is expanding cryptocurrency trading exposure to individual investors, with at least one exchange getting the regulatory green light to offer the services.

Local digital asset firm HashKey has successfully obtained all necessary licensing to expand its business from serving professional investors to taking on retail users, the firm announced on Aug. 3.

HashKey’s new regulatory milestone has been enabled by upgrading two major licenses issued by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

• MicroStrategy returns to profit and now owns $4.4B worth of Bitcoin

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“Our bitcoin holdings increased to 152,800 bitcoins as of July 31, 2023, with the addition in the second quarter of 12,333 bitcoins being the largest increase in a single quarter since Q2 2021,” said MicroStrategy CFO Andrew Kang.

Kang said it used cash from operations to add more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, and did so against the “promising backdrop” of institutional interest, accounting transparency and increasing regulatory clarity for Bitcoin.

In a June 13 interview with Bloomberg, MicroStrategy chairman Michael Saylor said he believes recent enforcement actions from the Securities and Exchange Commission would eventually play out in favor of Bitcoin — the only crypto excluded from being a security by SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

• Breaking: Curve Finance pools exploited by over $47M due to reentrancy vulnerability

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Several stable pools on Curve Finance using Vyper were exploited on July 30, with losses reaching over $47 million. According to Vyper, its 0.2.15, 0.2.16 and 0.3.0 versions are vulnerable to malfunctioning reentrancy locks. 

According to initial investigation, some versions of the Vyper compiler do not correctly implement the reentrancy guard, which prevents multiple functions from being executed at the same time by locking a contract. Reentrancy attacks can potentially drain all funds from a contract.

Vyper is a contract-oriented, pythonic programming language that targets the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Vyper’s similarities to Python make the language one of the starting points for Python developers jumping into Web3. 

Concluding Notes:

  • Binance Could Face U.S. Fraud Charges
  • Bitcoin’s emissions may be lower than often discussed
  • Potential Ethereum Futures ETFs
  • Hong Kong debuts retail crypto trading
  • MicroStrategy now owns $4.4B worth of Bitcoin
  • Several stable pools on Curve Finance using Vyper were exploited on July 30

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