Binance.US users “may convert” their U.S. dollar holdings to stablecoins or other digital assets to withdraw the funds from their accounts, the firm said.
Binance.US updated its terms of service on Oct. 16, modifying the section about the “BAM Fiat Wallet,” referring to Binance.US services related to U.S. dollar custody.
In the updated terms, Binance.US wrote that users “may convert” their U.S. dollar holdings to stablecoins or other digital assets to withdraw the funds from their accounts.
Similarly to previous terms of service updates, Binance.US stressed that digital assets are not eligible for insurance protection by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
“Any U.S. dollar deposits that are not withdrawn by the deadline provided in the notice will be converted to stablecoin digital assets and transferred to your digital assets account.”
BAM — Binance.US’ operator — is not a member of FDIC and is not a bank but has “worked with the USD custodians” to ensure U.S. dollar deposits are held by custodians in omnibus accounts at FDIC-insured banks.
Subject to BAM‘s and the U.S. dollar custodian‘s compliance, it’s BAM’s intention that the funds be eligible for FDIC insurance coverage limit at $250,000 per eligible individual, “which would only be applicable if a bank were to fail,”
“In the event the bank does fail […]it is possible that your account(s) with the bank and the fiat […] will be aggregated for purposes of determining your eligibility for FDIC deposit insurance. FDIC insurance does not protect against the failure of BAM or malfeasance by any BAM employee.”
Edward Snowden Emphasizes BTC Fundamentals at Bitcoin Amsterdam
Prominent Bitcoiners and contemporary adopters highlight the need to focus on the fundamental value proposition of Bitcoin to continue its push to mainstream acceptance.
“We’re contorting ourselves to pass through the keyhole of tyranny.” Edward Snowden’s words to the audience at the packed Genesis Stage hall at Bitcoin Amsterdam stressed the preeminent cryptocurrency’s ever-increasing importance in a world beset by creeping government surveillance, devaluing fiat currencies, and restrictive policies.
The renowned whistleblower’s address summed up a recurring theme during the conference, driving home the role of decentralized protocols like Bitcoin and Nostr in giving individuals some control over their wealth and privacy.
While many prominent figures highlighted the value proposition of Bitcoin as a store of value against the diminishing purchasing power of fiat currencies, Snowden was critical of the continual focus on the value of BTC over its importance as a decentralized tool:
“We are all part of a bigger game, and Bitcoin is one of the strongest levers in that. The systems that we are influencing, that we are exerting leverage on, [such as] payments and finance, will shape what the world of tomorrow looks like.“
Snowden’s address arguably attracted the biggest gathering of visitors during the conference, as he revisited Bitcoin’s role in his journey rebelling against the United States government and its wanton surveillance of citizens.
Europe’s AML Regulations: Balancing Privacy and Cost
The European Union’s financial regulatory landscape is in flux with the introduction of multiple Anti-Money Laundering (AML) directives and related laws. These regulations, although designed to protect the financial system, come at a hidden, and sometimes steep, cost to consumers and financial institutions alike. It’s imperative to understand their wider implications and to question whether the costs — both monetary and ethical — are simply too high.
To name just a few, the AML Directive 5, MiCa, and the Transfer of Funds Regulation have reshaped the European financial framework. These laws mandate a rigorous monitoring system. However, the depth and breadth of these regulations are unparalleled in their scope. One cannot help but wonder if such comprehensive oversight is truly sustainable in the long run Banks, crypto asset managers, and even sports clubs now face complex due diligence processes, requiring them to verify customer identities, assets, and transaction patterns. With the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Travel Rule and equivalents of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in play, data collection, sharing, and monitoring become increasingly invasive. This begs the question: to what extent should the quest for security compromise the sanctity of personal data?
The unforeseen costs of these regulations are burdensome. Financial institutions bear the brunt of technology upgrades, intensive man-hour investments, and processes that have been revamped. This not only hampers their agility in a fast-evolving market but also deters potential new entrants from contributing to the financial ecosystem. Unfortunately, these overheads don’t vanish into thin air. They trickle down, affecting consumers in the form of higher fees and limited financial product offerings. In essence, the common man pays a tangible price for these regulatory shifts. Such economic ramifications must be weighed against the purported benefits of these regulations.