Today in Crypto: US Treasury Sanctions Crypto-Using Russian Money Launderer, Northern Data Expects Loss and May List Cloud Unit
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- The US Department of Treasury sanctioned Ekaterina Zhdanova, an alleged Russian money launderer who reportedly helped the country’s oligarchs move funds out of Moscow using cryptocurrency in order to evade Western sanctions, according to a Treasury announcement. “Through key facilitators like Zhdanova, Russian elites, ransomware groups, and other illicit actors sought to evade U.S. and international sanctions, particularly through the abuse of virtual currency,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “We remain focused on safeguarding the U.S. and international financial system against those who seek to exploit this technology, among other illicit finance risks in the virtual assets ecosystem.” Zhdanova used entities that lack Anti-Money Laundering/Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) controls, such as OFAC-designated Russian crypto exchange Garantex Europe OU (Garantex), said the press release.
- Europe’s largest Bitcoin mining company, Northern Data AG, may float its cloud computing unit Taiga, it said on Thursday as it unveiled a debt financing package to buy more chips and boost its generative AI offerings, Bloomberg reported. The ramp-up costs for its AI cloud business means the firm will record a loss between €5 million and €20 million before EBITDA this year. The company expects revenue of between €65 million and €75 million. “We have absolutely structured the company in a way that gives us more flexibility,” Rosanne Kincaid-Smith, the firm’s chief operating officer, said at a meeting with investors and analysts in Frankfurt. “A listing of our Taiga unit could absolutely be an option,” she said and added that the bitcoin mining operations may also warrant a flotation in the US at some point.
- Bitget announced the launch of a Euro (EUR) fiat gateway tailor-made for all verified Bitget institution accounts. Per the press release, it will provide versatile offerings and seamless access to deposit and withdrawal features. It comes with “a minimal fee structure, enabling institutions to benefit from exceptionally low deposit and withdrawal fees, as low as 0.5%,” the exchange said. The institutional service for EUR transfers is bolstered by advanced security protocols, it added.
- BingX announced its latest collaboration with platforms for automated crypto trading Runbot.io and Cryptohopper. Runbot offers BingX users access to crypto market indicators. They can connect their automated strategies with various services, while Runbot’s customizable alerts facilitate swift responses to market changes, the press release said. Cryptohopper enables BingX users to configure strategies and automate trading activities across multiple platforms. Its setup ensures easy configuration and uptime for trading bots, eliminating concerns about internet connectivity or system compromises, the exchange stated.
- Lido DAO, the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that manages Lido Finance’s liquid staking protocols, has finalized the deployment of wstETH to Ethereum Layer 2 Base. “The availability of wstETH on Base marks a major milestone in the journey to scaling wstETH adoption. Expanding the protocol’s network of compatible L2s bridges the gap between scalability limitations and the growing demand for decentralized staking to benefit the broader Ethereum ecosystem,” said Marin Tvrdić, Protocols Relations Contributor for Lido DAO.
- Crypto exchange Bitget announced its strategic plans of investing in blockchain startups based in India, under its Blockchain4Youth (B4Y) $10 million Web3-focused project. The initiative kicks off on November 6 and will conclude on December 4, according to the press release. With this program, Bitget aims to identify valuable and promising projects in the crypto space and provide them with comprehensive support, accelerating innovation in emerging technologies, the exchange said.