CZ’s multibillion-dollar travel request denied, SEC delays Ether ETFs, and more: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 21-27

Binance’s CZ pledged billions for travel permission, the SEC again delays a decision on Ether ETFs, and X payments account suggests “everything app” is on the way.

Former Binance CEO Changpeng CZ Zhao tried to pledge his multibillion-dollar stake in Binance.US as security to be permitted to travel back to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) temporarily, according to a newly unsealed court filing. According to a letter to Judge Richard Jones, Zhao’s equity on the exchange was worth $4.5 billion, based on a funding round two years ago. Zhao intended to travel to the UAE for up to four weeks in early January to see a friend or family member undergoing surgery and staying in hospital. Court records show Judge Richard Jones denied the request in a Dec. 29 closed-door hearing.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has pushed a decision on BlackRocks spot Ethereum ETF to March, citing the need for more time to review the proposed rule change. In a separate decision, the regulator also invited public comments on Grayscale’s Ether ETF proposal, therefore pushing the deadline for a decision back by an additional 35 days upon publication in the Federal Register. Many experts speculate the commission could take the maximum allowable 240 days to decide on whether to approve or deny the investment vehicle. Ether ETF applicants also include VanEck, Ark 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy and Fidelity.

Elon Musks everything app X (formerly Twitter) has created a dedicated account for its upcoming payments feature, fueling crypto community speculation about whether cryptocurrencies will be implemented. There is anticipation that the X app will introduce in-app payment services by mid-2024. However, its unconfirmed whether the feature will support payments beyond traditional fiat currencies. While no posts have been made on the account yet, it holds the gold badge, indicating it is a verified organization. Additionally, it carries the X badge, suggesting it is associated with X.

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