Today in Crypto: US Court Issues a Summons for Binance's CZ, EU Targets Instagram, YouTube, TikTok & Twitter Over Crypto Ads, Commonwealth Bank of Australia Limits Customers' Ability to Send Money to Crypto Exchanges
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- A United States district court in Washington reportedly issued a summons for Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued the exchange. "A lawsuit has been filed against you," the document said. "Within 21 days after service of this summons on you [...] you must serve on the plaintiff an answer to the attached complaint or a motion [...]." Should Zhao fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against him for the relief demanded in the complaint. However, it is not clear if the summons has been served at this point.
- A US district court judge dismissed a lawsuit against the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform PoolTogether. The judge said there are concerns related to the startup, but a lawsuit in a federal court is not "an appropriate way to address them." Furthermore, the plaintiff, Joseph Kent, "suffered no concrete harm at the hands of the defendant," and therefore, "the Court holds that Kent lacks standing to sue and, accordingly, grants the defendants’ motions to dismiss on that ground. The alternative motions to compel arbitration are denied as moot," the order said.
- The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the umbrella group for 46 independent consumer organizations from 32 countries, filed a complaint with the European Commission and consumer authorities against Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter for "facilitating the misleading promotion of crypto assets," which results in exposing consumers to "serious harm," said a June 8 announcement. The group called on the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network to request that the social media platforms establish stricter advertising policies and enforce them, as well as to adopt measures to prevent influencers from misleading consumers about the nature of crypto, among other points.
- Crypto services advertisers will face tougher rules in the UK from October 8, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced. There will be a 24-hour "cooling-off" period for first-time crypto investors under these new marketing rules unveiled on Thursday. Also, "refer a friend" bonuses for crypto buyers will be banned, while those promoting digital assets will have to include clear risk warnings and ensure adverts are clear, fair, and not misleading.
- The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) introduced measures to restrict customers' ability to send money to crypto exchanges in order to "help protect" them from crypto-related scams. "From today, CBA will decline or hold for 24 hours certain payments to cryptocurrency exchanges. In coming months the Bank will also introduce $10,000 limits in a calendar month where the Bank can identify the customer payments are to exchanges for cryptocurrency purchases," it said on Thursday.
- The US SEC Chair Gary Gensler offered to serve as an adviser to Binance's parent company in 2019, said the lawyers representing the crypto exchange and its founder Changpeng Zhao, as reported by CNBC. Documents filed by the SEC on Wednesday indicated that Binance's attorneys alleged that Gensler had offered to serve as an advisor in several conversations with Binance executives and Zhao in March of that year. He also met Zhao in Japan for lunch later that month, and Zhao stayed in touch with Gensler after that, they claimed. However, an earlier The Wall Street Journal report suggested that Binance approached Gensler first in 2018.
- A proposal by bankrupt crypto exchange Bittrex to return customer cash and crypto faced challenges from the US authorities, given that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is owed $5 million. The debtors, aka Bittrex companies, "have not demonstrated why the issues of ownership of cryptocurrency assets needs to be determined prior to the confirmation of the [bankruptcy] Plan," the government's filing said. Furthermore, "siloing creditors into subordinated classes outside of the confirmation hearing is improper.” Therefore, the motion was denied.