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Home Business Binance hits back at WSJ, Hong Kong crypto ETF’s take ‘$50B equivalent’: Asia Express

Binance hits back at WSJ, Hong Kong crypto ETF’s take ‘$50B equivalent’: Asia Express

Binance and DWF Labs accused of market manipulation, Web3 music festival concludes in Thailand, Hong Kong ETFs gain relative traction, and more!

by Tunae
Asia Express NEW UPDATED

Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.

Binance is under scrutiny yet again

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been accused of firing its own investigators after discovering that its VIP client, props trading firm DWF Labs, engaged in alleged acts of market manipulation.

A May 9 Wall Street Journal report claimed that DWF Labs engaged in market manipulation, wash trading, and inflated trading volumes amounting to $300 million through deals with crypto projects. After the exchange’s surveillance team recommended offboarding the client, Binance allegedly sided with DWF Labs and fired the investigator, arguing insufficient evidence for the claim.

DWF Labs co-founder Andrei Grachev. (X)
DWF Labs co-founder Andrei Grachev. (X)

Binance has denied involvement. “We affirm our strict market surveillance program. We do not tolerate market abuse,” said the exchange in a tweet. “Market maker competition is fierce and our investigation team’s job is to be neutral and look at the evidence without any bias, including bias that might come from market-making firms’ claims against their competitors.”

According to the exchange, its staff has offboarded 355,000 users with a transaction volume of $2.5 trillion for violating its terms of use in the past three years.

DWF Labs, too, has denied the allegations. “We want to clarify that many recent allegations reported in the press are unfounded and distort the facts,” they said. “DWF Labs operates with the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and ethics, and we remain committed to supporting you and our over 700 partners across the crypto ecosystem.”

Binance’s co-founder and spouse of its co-founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao, penned a response dripping in irony, writing:

I am very grateful to the WSJ for their consistent and long-term devotion to Binance, which has greatly increased our exposure and saved us a lot of marketing budget. However, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon where some mainstream media articles are increasingly driven by emotions and biases rather than facts. For example, the complaints of former employees can become the basis of an article, while Binance’s proactive assistance to law enforcement agencies in investigating and apprehending the mastermind behind Zkasino (as a matter of fact) is not deemed worthy of reporting.”

DWF Labs is a prominent trading firm in the crypto industry. Founded by Andrei Grachev in 2021, the firm invests in promising projects and provides long-term financial support to them, as stated on its website.

Thailand Web3 Music Festival concludes

Music idol protocol Fansland’s music festival in Bangkok, Thailand attracted over 30,000 festival go-ers from May 4 to 5.

The Web3 aspect was perhaps of less appeal than a performance by South Korean pop star PSY, the creator of “Gangnam Style.” More than 20 other artists graced the stage, including renowned Cantonese Hip-Hop artist Edison Chen, powerhouse vocalists Henry Lau, Gen1es, BKPP, Chanyeol, BUS, Dreamnote, Pretzelle, Sistar19, Taemin, and 24kGoldn.

“Their electrifying performances set the stage ablaze, creating an atmosphere of pure excitement and energy that left the audience in awe,” organizers breathlessly reported.

In addition to human performances, the festival featured tokenized music products and AI-generated music idols.

The festival featured a unique NFT ticketing system where tickets were minted as NFTs on Fansland and became tradable on secondary markets. The tickets can also be used as an access point to interact with Fansland DeFi.

The first batch of NFT ticket holders for this music festival automatically became early participants in Fansland.AI, unlocking perks such as token airdrops and future whitelist qualifications.

Fansland aims to create a decentralized fan economy infrastructure so that global music lovers can interact with their singers and idols. It focuses on Web3 music festivals, NFT ticketing, and real-world asset DeFi. Last month, Fansland secured a $10 million funding round led by IME, Linear Capital, and Falablock.

The debut of the Fansland music festival in Bangkok.
The debut of the Fansland music festival in Bangkok.

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