You know what they say, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But when it comes to protecting your crypto funds on centralized exchanges (CEXes), the old adage should be “when life gives you regulations, make a self-custody wallet.” Self-custody is undoubtedly a better solution for protecting the interests of customers in crypto. Regulation alone is not enough.
The following opinion editorial was written by Joseph Collement, General Counsel at Bitcoin.com.
Don’t get us wrong, regulation is important. It’s like a flimsy umbrella on a sunny day – better than nothing, but not something you want to rely on during a monsoon. Just ask the folks at Gemini, who despite being the “most regulated” CEX out there, still managed to lose all of their “Earn” customer money. Talk about “earn-ing” a bad reputation! Ouch.
But let’s be real here, the crypto world is like the Wild West. And let’s be honest, the U.S. Government is like the sheriff who just got to town, trying to make sense of this new frontier. They’re like the Dad at a teenage party, trying to understand what’s going on, but ultimately just getting in the way.
Working 5+ years full-time in crypto as a lawyer, I’ll dare to say that the problem with CEXes is not regulation (or the lack thereof), it’s the business model itself. When an entity takes control of customers’ funds, they’re incentivized to trade and gamble with that money, like a stockbroker playing blackjack with your retirement savings. Meanwhile, customers are left holding the bag (or in this case, the empty wallet) when things go south.
“Regulated” CEXes also commingle services such as trading, custody, and market making. Unlike on a traditional regulated stock exchange platform, users on many CEXes face-off against the exchange itself on a trade, as opposed to another client of the exchange. This gives CEXes the ability to trade ahead and against their customers, a well-known practice perpetrated by top-tier exchanges, even in the U.S.
And let’s not forget about hacking. To date, about $5 billion of users’ funds have been stolen in the past 3 years, with just under $3 billion just in 2022. But don’t worry, the DOJ is always here to protect you. With their massive blows to well known crypto criminal organizations like Bitzlato, they’ll make sure that your funds are safe.
Complying with regulation costs CEXes billions of dollars in revenue, and the cost is often passed onto the customer. CEXes are spending more money on legal and compliance than on product development. This month, Coinbase invested $50M in its compliance department as per a settlement with NYDFS but cut out 20% of its workforce. Lawyers are blockers not UX designers. And if you follow their advice blindly, you risk ending up with the good old cookie pop-up.
In all seriousness, self-custody is the way to go to protect your crypto funds. Honest business practices and non-custodial wallets are the key to protecting the interests of investors and customers in the crypto world. Instead of relying solely on regulations, let’s shift towards a more decentralized model, where users have full control over their own funds and are not at the mercy of centralized entities. Only then can we truly ensure the safety and security of users’ funds in the crypto world.
What are your thoughts on self-custody as a solution for protecting crypto funds? Do you agree that it’s a better alternative to relying solely on regulations, or do you think there’s a different approach that should be taken? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Hotbit Exchange, a global crypto trading platform, officially listed $ESCROW (Cryptegrity DAO) on January 27, 2023. The ESCROW/USDT trading pair is now available for all users of Hotbit Exchange.
To increase trust and protect the funds of buyers and sellers, Cryptegrity DAO (ESCROW) has introduced a means to trade crypto for goods and services without fear of theft or services not rendered, providing Security via smart contract technology. Its native token $ESCROW has been listed on Hotbit Exchange at 07:00 AM UTC on January 27, 2023, to expand its global reach further and maintain a secure and reliable platform for the exchange of goods and services using crypto.
INTRODUCING CRYPTEGRITY DAO
Cryptegrity is a blockchain-based platform that aims to increase trust between buyers and sellers of goods and services. The platform utilizes smart contract technology and cryptographic techniques to ensure transactions’ integrity and funds’ security.
Cryptegrity’s web3 platform offers transparency and peace of mind that is impossible with traditional web2 competitors. Buyer funds are locked in an audited smart contract and released to the seller only when goods are received or services are rendered. This ensures that buyers and sellers can have confidence in the security of their transactions and reduces counterparty risk.
25% of revenue is distributed to $Escrow holders in real-time through smart contract technology. This revenue sharing continues for the lifespan of the platform or until all tokens are repurchased from public circulation. The Cryptegrity platform incentivizes the community and holders to help create liquidity and earn rewards by offering $Escrow for creating $Escrow LP pairs and staking them. Additionally, the Cryptegrity DAO rewards participants for contributing and resolving issues on the platform.
In conclusion, Cryptegrity is an innovative platform changing our thoughts about online identity verification. With its cutting-edge technology, user-friendly interface, and listing on Hotbit, this project is poised to make a big impact in the industry.
About $ESCROW Token
The Escrow Token serves dual purposes: it distributes platform fees to Token holders via revenue sharing and functions as a governance token with voting rights in the Cryptegrity DAO. It is the native token of the Cryptegrity Platform and is built on the Bep-20 and Erc-20 standards.
ESCROW has a total supply of 100 million tokens, with the following allocation: 10% to founders, 10% to the team, 10% for marketing and development, 10% for promotions, 10% for partnerships, 10% for liquidity for future DEX and CEX, and 40% available for sale to the public.
The ESCROW token is now available for trading on Hotbit Exchange starting at 07:00 AM UTC on January 27, 2023. Investors can easily buy and sell the token in relation to the Cryptegrity Project. The listing on Hotbit Exchange will aid in expanding the project’s reach and increasing market attention.
Founded in 2018 and holding Estonian MTR license, American MSB license, Australian AUSTRAC license, and Canadian MSB license, Hotbit cryptocurrency exchange is known as a leading trading platform that continues to develop and integrate various forms of businesses such as spot trading, financial derivatives, cryptocurrency investment and DAPP into one platform. Hotbit has already gained over 8 Million registered users from more than 210 countries and regions. Based on its globalized and unified strategies, Hotbit continues to focus on world’s emerging markets, such as Russia, Turkey and Southeast Asia markets and was ranked one of the top 3 most welcomed exchanges by Russian media in 2019. Hotbit is constantly introducing and listing high-quality crypto projects so its users can directly trade, manage, track, and analyze cryptocurrencies, making the entire experience easier for ordinary people.
“If demand for trading on the FTX platform increased, demand for the FTT token could increase, such that any price increase in FTT would benefit holders of FTT equally and in direct proportion to their FTT holdings,” the SEC wrote in its complaint. “The large allocation of tokens to FTX incentivized the FTX management team to take steps to attract more users onto the trading platform and, therefore, increase demand for, and increase the trading price of, the FTT token.”
A new report shows that the fallen crypto exchange FTX had already caused concerns with the Australian regulator months before its collapse. According to a document on The Guardian Australia’s website, the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) started investigating the firm’s local operation last March.
An article in the Australian Financial Review prompted the concerns. The article outlined the now-bankrupt exchange’s plans to launch in Australia within a few weeks. FTX caused more concerns when rumors that it would allow users to purchase cryptocurrencies with margin loans of 30 times their investment started making rounds.
In early April 2022, several Australian regulators held meetings with FTX leadership, and at that time, the exchange promised to operate under the stipulated while cautioning its customers about potential scams. However, the regulators somehow remained concerned about the FTX business.
Report Shows ASIC Issued Several Notices to FTX Australia Within a Few Months
In a span of four months, the ASIC had issued about four notices to FTX’s Australian subsidiary, requesting more information about its business operations. However, to avoid interfering with its law enforcement activities, ASIC did not issue the notices via a freedom of information request.
The Guardian Australia’s briefing document released on November 12, 2022, a day after FTX had filed for bankruptcy, indicates that, indeed, the ASIC had been carrying out what’s described in the document as a ‘surveillance activity’ on the fallen exchange since last March.
The document stated that since March 2022, the Australian regulator has been requesting information from FTX Australia regarding its financial offerings. Among the issues raised included the firm’s compliance with the ASIC’s product intervention order alongside pricing and how it registered new users.
FTX Licensing Strategy
It has been discovered that FTX Australian began its operations without ASIC’s approval because it evaded the usual licensing procedures by buying out an existing firm that had possessed an Australian Financial Services License since 2021.
Another revelation shows that IFS Markets, the company acquired by FTX, had also gotten the license by taking over another financial firm called Forex Financial Services a few months earlier.
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