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Former Binance US CEO Catherine Coley is still missing, and no one seems to be talking

The former CEO of Binance.US hasn't been active on social media for 276 days, and no one seems to have reported seeing her for months.

Around the time Binance.US announced former Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks would be leading the crypto exchange, former CEO Catherine Coley effectively dropped off the face of the digital world.

Coley, who had regularly posted updates on Binance.US and her personal life to her Twitter account, has been inactive on the social media platform since April 19. Her job experience on LinkedIn ends with her two years as CEO of Binance.US in June 2021, and her online silence has led at least one news outlet to reach out to San Francisco authorities to determine if she had been reported missing — as of October, the answer was reportedly “no”.

Major figures in crypto also noticed the absence of Coley. Ripple CTO David Schwartz said in July that the former Binance.US CEO had not responded to his messages, but he had not tried to reach her by calling. Sam Fischer, a representative for Binance.US, told Cointelegraph said that the exchange had no information on Coley “beyond the fact that she left Binance.US."

Related: Most Crypto Users Think QuadrigaCX CEO Faked Own Death

Naturally, rumors have been floating around Crypto Twitter, speculating that Coley has met an untimely end, is alive and well and vacationing in Puerto Rico, or is forced to be quiet due to some kind of unsorted legal matter related to her departure from Binance.US — none of which Cointelegraph has been able to confirm. One of her last public statements on social media in April was reporting high levels of traffic on Binance.US, but she also addressed attendees of the LA Blockchain Summit in October 2020.

Before her disappearance, Coley was one of the most prominent names in the crypto space. As a young female leader of a major exchange, she made Forbes Magazine’s list of 40 under 40 as an influential entrepreneur in 2020. 

Cointelegraph reached out to Catherine Coley, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Banking Giant BNY Mellon Expects Significant Revenue From Its Crypto Services: Report

Canadian restaurant chain reports earning 300% gains on BTC investment to weather pandemic

“We keep a working capital for about three to six months in cash, and then the rest all goes into Bitcoin,” said co-owner Aly Hamam.

More than a year after a Canada-based Middle Eastern restaurant chain converted its fiat cash reserves into Bitcoin, the owner reported the move helped save the business during the pandemic.

According to a Tuesday report from Canadian news outlet Toronto Star, when Tahini’s restaurant owners Aly and Omar Hamam and their cousin Ahmed decided to convert the company’s savings into Bitcoin (BTC) in August 2020 because it offered “a much better alternative to saving cash,” the price of the crypto asset was roughly $12,000. Aly Hamam reported the business had benefited from the initial crypto investment.

“We made the move to the corporate balance sheet on a Bitcoin-standard back in August of 2020, and since then, we’re up more than 300 percent on our initial investment,” said Hamam. “It’s really done its job of protecting us against inflation and it worked as we intended it to.”

The BTC price rose to an all-time high of more than $67,000 in November before dropping to $41,729 at the time of publication. Despite the company’s sales dropping 80% in a week at the start of the pandemic, Hamam said the crypto investment had allowed them to expand from three restaurant locations to nine at a time when many in the industry are facing financial difficulties, and it planned to increase that number to up to 25 by the end of the year.

“We keep a working capital for about three to six months in cash, and then the rest all goes into Bitcoin,” said Hamam. “So, whenever we have an expansion, we’re not forced to sell our Bitcoin to fund that expansion. We try to operate conservatively, where we never have to sell our Bitcoin and we just keep accumulating on our treasury.”

None of Tahini’s locations in Ontario currently accept BTC or other cryptocurrencies for payments, but they are each home to a Bitcoin ATM, allowing patrons to purchase tokens before, during, or after meals. At the time of the initial investment — the amount of which is still unclear — Hamam hinted the business would continue to use Bitcoin as a reserve asset indefinitely if there wasn’t “a need for fiat.”

“We’re going to continue to strive to make the best food that we can… and with Bitcoin, we’re also wanting to help people financially.”

Related: Landry’s Restaurant Group to introduce Bitcoin loyalty program

While restaurants like Tahini’s don’t seem to be the target of regulators in the Canadian province, it isn’t always the same story with local crypto firms. The Ontario Securities Commission has cracking down on crypto exchanges operating in the region, including Binance, OKEx, Bybit, KuCoin and Polo Digital Assets. On Jan. 14, Bitfinex announced it would be closing the accounts for Ontario-based customers who have no balances on the platform, while many users “will no longer have access to any services” starting on March 1.

Former Binance US CEO Catherine Coley is still missing, and no one seems to be talking

Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph raises $170M to scale operations

The company said it planned to use the funds to scale its NFT technology and hinted at a series of partnerships aimed at expanding its user base.

The nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace Autograph co-founded by Super Bowl champion Tom Brady has announced it closed on a $170 million funding round.

In a Wednesday announcement, Autograph said Andreessen Horowitz, or a16z, and VC firm Kleiner Perkin co-led the $170-million Series B round with contributions from crypto investor Katie Haun’s firm, Nicole Quinn of Lightspeed Venture Partners, and San Francisco-based venture firm 01A. The company said it planned to use the funds to scale its NFT technology and hinted at a series of partnerships aimed at expanding its user base.

In addition to the funding round, Haun, a16z general partner Arianna Simpson, and Kleiner Perkins partner Ilya Fushman will join Autograph’s board of directors, with a16z general partner Chris Dixon joining the firm’s board of advisors. According to the new members, Autograph will continue to aim for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Since its launch in August 2021, Autograph has partnered with major names in sports and entertainment, often for NFT collections. In December, Brady dropped a series of ​​digital collectibles representing moments from his football career, including cleats and a jersey, from the NFL combine. The marketplace also features NFTs from tennis star Naomi Osaka, skateboarder Tony Hawk and others.

Related: Touchdown! Goal! Knockout! Crypto and sports collide in 2021

Andreessen Horowitz has been behind some of the biggest funding rounds for crypto and blockchain projects as well as its own crypto-focused funds dedicated to expanding the size and marketability of blockchain projects. The firm’s portfolio includes Coinbase, Compound, Maker and many others.

Former Binance US CEO Catherine Coley is still missing, and no one seems to be talking

Crypto IRA iTrustCapital raises $125M, pushes valuation over $1B

The company said it planned to use the funds for expanding its existing product and service line in addition to exploring strategic acquisitions.

Cryptocurrency individual retirement account and 401(k) provider iTrustCapital said it had raised $125 million in a growth equity investment, making its valuation reach $1.3 billion.

In a Wednesday announcement, iTrustCapital said it had completed a $125 million Series A growth equity investment led by New York-based VC firm Left Lane Capital. The company said it planned to use the funds for expanding its existing product and service line in addition to exploring strategic acquisitions.

"We are equally excited to partner with iTrustCapital to help support their mission to provide access to cryptocurrency and other alternative investment products through self-directed IRAs,” said Left Lane Capital board member Matthew Miller. “iTrustCapital serves clients that seek long-term, tax-advantaged exposure to cryptocurrency as an asset class.”

Providing access to 25 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Cardano (ADA) in addition to physical gold and silver, iTrustCapital allows United States-based investors to incorporate crypto investments into their retirement portfolios. The company reported it had reached more than $4.5 billion in total transaction volume, with its client base including many working professionals from 45 to 65 years old.

Related: Crypto IRA integrates Coinbase Custody as trade volumes top $1.5B

Many investment platforms based in the U.S. have attempted to attract investors by offering tax-free options for holding or mining crypto. Under current U.S. tax law, income is often the only taxable source of funds for many who file returns, with many able to use questionable but legal methods to avoid paying the government.

In June 2021, ProPublica reported PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel had used a Roth IRA — an account generally not taxed — to invest $2,000 more than 20 years ago and turn it into a $5 billion fund. Offering “tax-advantaged” access to crypto through IRAs, iTrustCapital seems to be aiming for a similar way to reduce potential tax payments using crypto investments.

Former Binance US CEO Catherine Coley is still missing, and no one seems to be talking