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Binance Removes Trading Pairs for FTX-Linked Serum Token



As the Serum ecosystem spirals and SRM tanks, Binance has removed the token’s primary trading pairs. 

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, will remove multiple trading pairs for the DEX protocol Serum (SRM), which is known to have deep ties to both FTX and Alameda Research. 

The token will no longer be tradeable for Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), or Binance’s native BNB token. 

What is Serum?

Binance revealed Serum’s trading restrictions, alongside a handful of other pair removals, in an announcement on Friday. Other restricted assets include the BTC hash rate-backed BTCST token, and the Gifto protocol’s GTO token. 

Binance will remove the 16 mentioned pairs starting Monday at 3:00 UTC. Other pairs related to the listed assets will remain available for trade.

“Users are strongly advised to update their trading strategies prior to the cessation of strategy trading services to avoid any potential losses,” it said. Binance also temporarily suspended deposits for Solana-based USDT and USDC last Thursday, and has thus far only resumed USDC deposits.

Serum is a decentralized exchange protocol on Solana created by a consortium including the FTX, Alameda Research, and the Solana Foundation. Its native token, SRM, gives holders fee discounts while using the protocol, alongside governance rights. 

Earlier this month, both FTX and Alameda filed for bankruptcy and froze withdrawals for almost all counterparties. Meanwhile, the Solana Foundation revealed on Monday that it currently has 134.54 million tokens trapped on the exchange. Since FTX’s withdrawal troubles began on November 6th, SRM has fallen from $0.80 down to $0.27 at writing time. 

Adding to the uncertainty is the word that Serum is actually a centralized project, explicitly controlled by FTX. According to Mango Markets co-founder Max Schneider, the Serum’s program update key is connected to FTX, rather than the SRM DAO. 

FTX was hacked by an unknown party shortly after its bankruptcy, meaning the key may have been compromised (though Bahamas regulators claim they were the one behind the purported “hack.”)

Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko echoed this claim weeks ago, adding that developers that depended on Serum were joining forces to “fork” the program in response. 

“This has nothing to do with SRM or even Jump,” he said, referring to Jump’s crypto division that took part in the movement. “ A ton of protocols depend on serum markets for liquidity and liquidations.”

Exposure to Serum

As one of Serum’s co-creators, FTX had $5.4 billion in SRM listed as assets on its balance sheet as of November 10th, as leaked by the Financial Times. According to CoinGecko, the asset only has a circulating market cap worth $100 million, and a daily volume of $40 million. 

Many DeFi projects are now distancing themselves from SRM by disabling services for the asset. Jupiter, another Solana-based DEX aggregator, told users on November 12th that it turned off Serum as a liquidity source “due to security concerns about upgrade authorities.”

“The ecosystem is working on a fork right now, and we will support it asap,” it added.

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