Mar 03, 2023

OKX Airdropping 3 Million USDT After Token Trading Fiasco

The Cryptocurrency Exchange Scene in East Asia: OKX Airdrop, Binance AI NFTs, FTX Japan, Russia & China Blockchain Partnership, and BitFlyer’s CEO Reinstatement

The cryptocurrency exchange scene in East Asia has been abuzz with news this week. OKX announced an airdrop of 3,014,381 Tether (USDT) to users affected by the Celestial (CELT) token trading incident, Binance launched a novel AI product dubbed “Bicasso”, FTX Japan nearly completed withdrawals, Russia and China completed the first blockchain letter of credit worth more than 100 billion Chinese yuan ($14.5 billion), and BitFlyer’s CEO Yuzo Kano wants to return as CEO and take the exchange public.

OKX Airdrop

OKX will airdrop 3,014,381 Tether (USDT) to users who suffered losses as a result of the Celestial (CELT) token trading incident, the cryptocurrency exchange announced on March 1. On Feb. 26, Celestial revealed the development of a novel blockchain game, followed by extensive social media campaigns promoting the project’s alleged backing by OKX. Shortly afterward, the price of CELT pumped nearly 100% in two days before plummeting over 60% after OKX clarified it had no affiliation with the project other than a $100,000 investment from OKX Ventures in November 2021.

OKX concluded that there was evidence of “malicious market manipulation” associated with the incident. The exchange explained shortly afterward that it froze 714,381 USDT held in five accounts suspected in the market manipulation and clawed back 1.3 million USDT from Celestial developers. Combined with 1 million USDT of its own money, OKX will airdrop a total of 3 million USDT to users who purchased CELT between Feb. 25, 12:00 pm Hong Kong time and Feb. 28, 12:00 pm Hong Kong time and suffered losses. The airdrop will be delivered to affected users within the next 48 hours.

OKX has also decided to double down on its proof-of-reserves (PoR) model. On March 2, the exchange stated that its upcoming PoR report would “enhance transparency by allowing anyone to download the full liability Merkle tree” and that users can “verify all client deposits are accounted for” and claims it “guarantees solvency by comparing net equity,” via novel zero-proof methods. In its most recent update, OKX claimed that it held $8.6 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Tether on the exchange. OKX’s next monthly PoR publication will take place on or around March 20.

Binance and AI NFTs

On March 1, cryptocurrency exchange Binance launched a novel AI product dubbed “Bicasso.” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said users “can turn their creative visions into NFTs with AI” by uploading an image with a limit of 50MB and a description of the uploaded picture. There is currently a waitlist as AI NFT minting was limited to a maximum of 10,000 collectibles. CZ has apparently taken an interest in exploring AI after the popular chatbot ChatGPT reached 100 million users just two months after its launch.

FTX Japan nearly completes withdrawals

FTX Japan users have withdrawn almost all of their assets since withdrawals reopened on Feb. 21, the Japanese subsidiary of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX revealed in a Feb. 28 update. According to FTX Japan, the exchange had 80 Ethereum and 28.48 Bitcoin left unclaimed, worth $793,000 at the time of publication, among other residual assets.

Previously, FTX had disclosed that it held 6.672 billion Japanese yen ($48.83 million) in users’ assets before regulators halted exchange in November as part of international bankruptcy proceedings. As Japanese law required exchanges to segregate client assets from their own, many users reported being able to withdraw their FTX Japan balance in full, albeit first transferring their account to Liquid Japan, a related entity.

Russia and China’s blockchain friendship

The Credit Bank of Moscow (MCB) has issued the first blockchain letter of credit for more than 100 billion Chinese yuan ($14.5 billion). In international commerce, sellers in one country typically ship purchased goods to buyers in another country and present a letter of credit to the intermediary bank for payment. According to the bank, “the advantage of a digital bank guarantee is that the beneficiary does not need to wait for the paper version and make a separate request to the bank to confirm the authenticity of the issued document.”

The letter of credit is minted on MCB’s Masterchain blockchain network and is displayed to all three parties of international commerce. It cannot be altered or falsified. Natalya Bahova, director of the international and structured finance department at MCB, said the decision “will be especially relevant for large groups of companies that have many subsidiaries that accept letters of credits in large quantities and on a regular basis.”

BitFlyer CEO wants to reinstate himself

Yuzo Kano, the co-founder of BitFlyer Holdings, wants to return as CEO and take Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange public, according to a Feb. 26 Bloomberg report. Kano, who owns 40% of BitFlyer, stepped down in 2019 after the exchange was ordered to adopt stronger Anti-Money Laundering measures. Since then, the exchange has been embroiled in a drama culminating in a proposed sale to Singaporean fund ACA Partners in 2022, which Kano derailed.

The blockchain executive alleges that ACA and current management worked together to sell the exchange on the cheap, which is why he quashed the sale. BitFlyer currently has three million accounts and handles more Bitcoin transactions than any other exchange in Japan. If he returns, Kano aims to introduce stablecoins, build a token-issuance operation, and potentially open up its Miyabi blockchain technology to the public. He plans to bring forth a reinstatement proposal at

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