Today in Crypto: Binance.US Starts Affiliate Program; S. Korea Probes Crypto-Linked FX Transactions

Crypto, Binance.US, Coinbase

Binance.US is touting the rollout of its affiliate marketing program, citing the fact that rival Coinbase has closed its own because of the bear market conditions.

As CoinDesk noted Wednesday (July 20), the Binance.US affiliate program will incentivize third-party influencers and entrepreneurs to promote the exchange, whether on social media or other places.

“The program is an example of how much the firm is ‘leaning in while competitors and peers pull back in the current market environment,’” a Binance.US representative said.

In other news, Solana network active wallets are up by 58% this year, a bigger increase than some other blockchains, per data from CoinMarketCap.

This comes despite a market-wide price decline, CoinDesk wrote Wednesday. Solana’s “New Daily Addresses,” meaning first-time wallet users, were consistently growing for Solana, even through the bear market.

Furthermore, South Korean financial regulators have been looking into strange foreign-exchange transactions at big banks, looking for money laundering or currency speculation with crypto.

Some transactions involved crypto exchanges, according to an unnamed source with the Financial Supervisory Service cited by Bloomberg. One transaction had to do with around 800 billion won, or $611 million, which could have involved broken laws surrounding money laundering and foreign exchange trading.

In more crypto news, Zipmex announced Wednesday that it has paused withdrawals.

“Due to a combination of circumstances beyond our control including volatile market conditions, and the resulting financial difficulties of our key business partners, to maintain the integrity of our platform, we would be pausing withdrawals until further notice,” the exchange wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Coinbase said Wednesday that is has not had any exposure to troubled firms like Three Arrows Capital and Celsius Network.

In a company blog post, Coinbase said those firms were “caught up in the frenzy” of a crypto bull market and didn’t practice basic risk management.

Coinbase added that it has “not engaged in these types of risky lending practices and instead have focused on building our financing business with prudence and deliberate focus on the client.”

Additionally, bets against Grayscale Investment’s Bitcoin Trust, or GBTC, have seen almost a 50% return from the start of June to mid-July, Bloomberg wrote Wednesday.

This was the second-best showing for any exchange-traded fund over that time, the report noted.

Short sellers have had crypto-centric stocks and funds as there’s been a historic drawdown for the sector, the report added, with the Federal Reserve and other central banks raising interest rates. That has made things risky for crypto and other more volatile assets.

Finally, the market rout is showing the strains of margin loans, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Trading on margin is a longstanding but risky practice — investors borrow from their brokers to amplify their bets. When the value of collateral dips below a predetermined level, the broker can choose to ask for more or have it paid off by the investors.

In one example, a Los Angeles resident, Eugene Erlikh, borrowed $4,000 recently to buy cardano. As Celsius paused withdrawals in June, Erlikh reportedly couldn’t close the loan or post collateral as needed.

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