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The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

October 16, 2018 |

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

Today’s edition of The Daily starts where Monday’s left off: by looking at the latest on Tether, whose stablecoin anchors so much of the cryptoconomy. In related news, we detail Bitfinex’s banking situation and reveal why Coinbase has chosen Dublin to be its European headquarters.

Also read: Tether Sheds Its Peg

Tether Regains Ground

The chart below isn’t your average Binance altcoin experiencing some characteristic volatility. It is in fact that of two supposed stablecoins trading against one another: tether (USDT) and trueusd (TUSD). Following yesterday’s shenanigans, which saw tether slip to around $ 0.88 on some exchanges, the token has regained a little ground and now sits at $ 0.95, according to Blockmodo.

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

The data remains skewed, however, by the fact that tether is valued at a flat $ 1 on Bitfinex, where it is the only U.S. dollar trading pair. Sites such as Coinmarketcap, which record tether’s seemingly perfect dollar parity on Bitfinex, create the impression that USDT’s global average is higher than it actually is. At the time of publication, 1 TUSD was trading for 1.06 USDT on Binance. While Binance offers a range of stablecoins, it remains heavily invested in tether, with holdings of ~$ 850 million, meaning it owns more USDT than even Tether itself. On Monday, Tether came out fighting, with chief compliance officer Leonardo Real insisting:

Although markets have shown temporary fluctuations in price, all USDT in circulation are sufficiently backed by U.S. dollars (USD) and that assets have always exceeded liabilities.

Huobi, the world’s fourth largest exchange, has now followed the lead of Okex and introduced a handful of new stablecoins to alleviate traders’ concerns. TUSD, USDC, GUSD and PAX will all be listed on Oct. 19. The market capitalization of Circle’s USDC has grown by 85% in the past week, surpassing $ 25M, with more than 40 platforms now supporting the stablecoin. Bitfinex, meanwhile, has confirmed that its fiat deposits are on course to be restored, a move that ought to restore a measure of confidence in the exchange:

Coinbase Seeks Dubliners to Join Irish Outpost

“Coinbase is expanding its European presence by opening a new office in Dublin,” revealed the serpentine exchange, whose tentacles span multiple continents and crypto sectors. “We look forward to tapping into the city’s diverse talent pool and contributing to its burgeoning crypto economy,” they added. What Coinbase didn’t mention is that Ireland’s famously low corporate taxes will have been pivotal in sealing the deal. The California-based firm will be joining the 700 other U.S. companies to date that have made Dublin the seat of their European operations, including Apple.

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

“I am delighted that Coinbase is opening an office in Dublin,” said Ireland’s Minister for Financial Services and Insurance Michael D’Arcy. “This decision highlights the competitive offering and attractiveness of Ireland for financial services.” Coinbase has now embarked on a recruitment drive ahead of the opening of its Dublin office.

Eraswap and X Cloud Usher in
Censorship-Resistant Platforms

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin
Cloud X

We’ve written a lot lately about censorship and the tools being developed to thwart crackdowns by the dominant web platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Decentralized applications have the potential to ease some of the pain points that are afflicting web users, including account shutdowns and permabans. Eraswap, a platform that aims to refine social media via a social economy and marketplace dapp tailored to the user’s interests, can be added to that list. Then there’s Internxt, which has just released the beta of its X Cloud decentralized storage with 10GB provided for free.

Distributed storage is big business right now, with the likes of Akash also releasing its own cloud storage solution designed to thwart internet censorship. Having inked partnerships with Blackberry, Civic and Y Combinator, Internxt has already drummed up a fair bit of interest in its decentralized storage solution.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Fall of Tether and What It Means for the Cryptocurrency Markets

October 15, 2018 |

The Fall of Tether and What It Means for the Cryptocurrency Markets

The demise of Tether has been a car crash in slow motion. An unswervable event that has played out over the course of months, it has reached a crescendo in the past 24 hours, with tether slipping significantly from its dollar peg. It is possible, perhaps even probable, that it will regain parity with the U.S. dollar. But by then, the damage may have already been done.

Also read: The Daily: Tether Sheds Its Peg

The Beginning of the End
or the Start of a New Dawn?

The Fall of Tether and What It Means for the Cryptocurrency MarketsA cryptocurrency losing 10 percent of its value in a week would not normally be news. But when that cryptocurrency is a supposedly “stable” coin — and one whose very stability is relied on by a huge tranche of the market — its slippage is big news. One small slip for tether can result in a giant leap for other cryptocurrencies; it is no coincidence that BTC’s climb to $ 7,500 in the past 12 hours, as well as its subsequent decline, was triggered by tether’s instability.

A precis of the events that led to this state of affairs goes as follows:

  • Tether’s trading volume has built up over time, leading to it becoming the second most traded crypto after BTC (USDT 24-hour volume currently stands at $ 4.8B)
  • Bitfinex’s failure to publish an audit has led to fears that tether could be backed by nothing, or at least not enough to cover the 2.5 billion tethers in circulation
  • Bitfinex’s struggle to obtain a banking partner has exacerbated the problem
  • Rumors of Tether/Bitfinex being subpoenaed and potentially shut down have swirled for months
  • Last week Bitfinex lost its latest bank, HSBC, forcing it to suspend fiat deposits
  • A steady stream of criticism has poisoned the Tether brand, leaving confidence in the stablecoin at an all-time low
  • Wary of being trapped in an asset that’s a prime target for FUD (both real and false), traders have exchanged USDT for BTC or other stablecoins
  • This has caused the price of tether to slip and other stablecoins to trade at a premium

Which leads us to where we are today, which is a cryptocurrency market that doesn’t know what’s going on. Tether bears are loving the collapse of USDT, other stablecoins are relishing their time to shine, memers are meming, arbers arbing, and BTC is leading the market on a merry dance from the low $ 6000s to the high sevens.

 

The Fall of Tether and What It Means for the Cryptocurrency Markets
Tether’s drop-off has occurred sharply, as can be seen when viewed over a three-month window.

On cryptocurrency forums, traders shared apocalyptic predictions of what tether’s demise might do for the ecosystem, and whether it would presage Mt Gox 2.0. Hyperbole reigned supreme. “It took almost four years for people to regain some kind of confidence after Gox,” wrote one. “This is far worse than Gox, and will hurt crypto immensely in the eyes of even the bagholders and basic bitches.” They continued:

Without dumb money entering the system, you can’t offload your shitcoins, thus you’ll all be sitting on bags, and the market will become inert. It’s gonna be a bad, bad turn, regardless of what happens.

Exchanges Rush to Introduce New Stablecoins

The Fall of Tether and What It Means for the Cryptocurrency MarketsWith tether’s card marked, so to speak, cryptocurrency exchanges have sought to expedite the introduction of alternative stablecoins. Today (Oct. 16), Okex went stablecoin crazy, adding TUSD, USDC, GUDC, and PAX. On Binance, meanwhile, TUSD is trading at $ 1.12 against tether, having reached a high of $ 1.24 at one stage. At the time of publication, tether was averaging $ 0.93 across exchanges, but with some marked disparities between platforms. On Binance and Bittrex, for example, where there is a greater choice of stablecoins, tether has fared worse. On Kraken and Bitfinex, on the other hand, traders have little option but to trust in tether.

Should Bitfinex succeed in restoring its banking arrangements this week, as the exchange has promised, it is conceivable that the move could restore faith in tether, which may regain the $ 1 peg it has adhered to so faithfully until this week. Whether tether is backed or unbacked, audited or unaudited, its status — from a technical perspective — has not changed in the past seven days. Psychologically, though, everything has changed. Like a cheating spouse, a stablecoin that’s been caught out once will always be suspected of straying again. While the markets will weather this period of uncertainty, for tether there may be no way back. Where tether and Bitfinex go from here is anyone’s guess.

Do you think this is the end for tether, or will the stablecoin recover? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, 4chan and Twitter.


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The post The Fall of Tether and What It Means for the Cryptocurrency Markets appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Daily: Tether Sheds Its Peg

October 15, 2018 |

The Daily: Tether Sheds Its Peg

What kind of a world are we living in when bitcoin and tether, two of the stablest currencies in the cryptosphere, break out at the same time? Bitcoin is headed north while tether has taken a tumble in events that are closely linked. Of course, there’s other news in this edition of The Daily, like an NBA star selling his sneakers for bitcoin, but there’s only one story that’s got everyone talking: the crazy, topsy-turvy tale of tether, the stablecoin that couldn’t keep its peg.

Also read: Report: Barclays Drops Plan for Cryptocurrency Trading Desk

Tether Slides, Bitcoin Glides

After enduring months of scarcely moving — BTC because it was trapped within a tight range and USDT because that’s its job — both coins have made big moves over the past 12 hours. BTC began to soar around 2 a.m. EST, hitting $ 7,500 per coin before settling around the $ 6,900 mark. Tether, meanwhile, began to slide on Bitfinex, flash-crashing to as low as $ 0.88 after struggling to maintain dollar parity all week.

The Daily: Tether Sheds Its Peg
USDT dropped to under $ 0.90 against TUSD on Kraken.

“Watching tether die,” tweeted constant critic @Bitfinexed, who had likely been waiting for this moment all his life. In the midst of all the drama, Bitfinex issued a clarification, stating that fiat deposits should be re-enabled by Tuesday, Oct. 16. Meanwhile, the Kucoin exchange temporarily stopped USDT deposits and withdrawals due to “wallet system maintenance.” Needless to say, the movements of BTC and USDT are closely correlated, with traders seeking to escape the uncertainty of tether in favor of a safer haven. We’ll have more on this story, and what it means for Bitfinex, Tether and the cryptoconomy as a whole, later today.

 Muun Launches Bitcoin Core Wallet

A new everyday wallet for storing and sending bitcoin core has been released in beta. Muun is now available on Google Play, with an iOS version to follow soon. “Muun is designed for people who use at least a small portion of their bitcoins. Some use cases are introducing new people to cryptocurrencies, sending money to friends, paying for online services, or getting paid for a remote job,” its developers explain.

The Daily: Tether Sheds Its Peg

In action, the wallet is easy to use, but is short on the sort of features that more advanced users might desire. There’s no ability to paste in wallet addresses, for instance — it only works with a QR code — and users are obliged to register an email address upon signup. For sending and receiving BTC to friends and family, however, Muun looks just the ticket. That said, for a more feature-rich wallet that’s equally user-friendly, and accepts BTC and BCH, the Bitcoin.com Wallet has got you covered.

Spencer Dinwiddie Sells Sneakers for Bitcoin

The Daily: Tether Sheds Its PegBrooklyn Nets star Spencer Dinwiddie is big on three things: height, basketball and cryptocurrency. The first two go hand in hand for the 6-foot-5-inch NBA point guard — or hand on rim, rather. Since buying his first bitcoin at $ 3,000 last year, Dinwiddie’s been hooked. This season his signature K8IROS sneakers, developed in cooperation with a company called Project Dream, will be buyable in bitcoin.

Dinwiddie also had some interesting comments to make about cryptocurrency, and bitcoin adoption in general.

“Blockchain in essence is transparency. So if as humans we’re looking, searching for transparency, we’re gonna get there eventually,” he said. “Now, what does that mean for the price? I don’t know. Is it a $ 10K bitcoin, $ 5K, $ 500K? Nobody knows; I think everyone’s guesstimating. But the tech base in general, if we as a people — all seven-and-a-half or eight billion of us — say we want truth and transparency, it’s the next step.”

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, Blockmodo, and Bleacher Report.


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The post The Daily: Tether Sheds Its Peg appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Exchanges Roundup: Tether, Bitfinex Drop Noble Bank, Bitmex Hires COO

October 3, 2018 |

Exchanges Roundup: Tether/Bitfinex Drops Noble Bank, Bitmex Hires COO

In recent news pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges, Noble Bank is looking to sell after reportedly losing Bitfinex and Tether as clients, Bitmex has announced the former compliance head of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited as its new chief operating officer, and Huobi’s director of research into blockchain applications has discussed the company’s goals for its upcoming transfer of operations onto its public ledger.

Also Read: Chrome Extensions Will Soon Protect Against Miners and Hackers

Noble Bank to Sell Amid Loss of Clients Tether and Bitfinex

Exchanges Roundup: Tether/Bitfinex Drops Noble Bank, Bitmex Hires COONoble Bank International, a Puerto Rican financial services firm known for servicing Tether and Bitfinex, is reportedly looking to sell.

Informed by “a person with direct knowledge of the situation,” Bloomberg reports that “The bank has lost many of its customers, including Bitfinex and Tether, and is no longer profitable […] The company could sell itself for a price between $ 5 million and $ 10 million, based largely on the value of its Puerto Rican license to operate as an international financial entity.”

Bitmex Hires Former Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited Compliance Head

Bitmex has hired Angelina Kwan as the exchange’s new chief operating officer. Mrs. Kwan is the former managing director and head of regulatory compliance for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, and has also spent eight years working for the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.

Exchanges Roundup: Tether/Bitfinex Drops Noble Bank, Bitmex Hires COOMrs. Kwan stated: “In addition to being a true market leader among trading platforms, Bitmex shares my value of gender inclusion, particularly in STEM fields. Cryptocurrency markets present an exciting new opportunity for women to get involved in the intersection of finance and technology, two fields in which they are chronically under-represented. Bitmex has made its commitment to meritocracy clear, and is sending the message that women with deep backgrounds in finance and business can execute at the highest level within cryptocurrency companies.”

Arthur Hayes, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Bitmex welcomed Mrs. Kwan to the company, stating: “I believe Angelina’s decision to join us is a signal that the global markets are shifting focus to the rapidly-expanding domain of crypto-coins. Angelina’s vast experience in regulation, trading platforms, business development, restructuring, and investor and stakeholder relations will be pivotal as we continue the push towards mainstream cryptocurrency adoption and broaden our community.”

Huobi Readies to Transfer Operations to Public Blockchain

Exchanges Roundup: Tether/Bitfinex Drops Noble Bank, Bitmex Hires COOThe second largest cryptocurrency exchange according to Coinmarketcap’s adjusted volume rankings, Huobi, is preparing to migrate its operations to the company’s public blockchain.

In a recent interview, the director of Huobi Research of Blockchain Application, Hubery Yuan, stated: “We want it to become the world’s top public chain in terms of technolog[ical] sophistication. And a highly competent public chain coupled with strong operations, ecosystem, and communities can bring out great synergy.”

Voting to appoint the head of Huobi’s operational transfer project is currently underway.

Do you think that more cryptocurrencies will seek to conduct their operations on the blockchain? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption

October 1, 2018 |

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption

Rumors, allegations, and assertions can all be found in today’s news roundup. Specifically, we have rumors of impending trouble with Tether, allegations of another Chinese exchange conjuring up fake volume, and assertions that Bitcoin and blockchain’s mass adoption is “inevitable”. We’ll reveal who made that bold claim, as well as substantiating the others, in this episode of The Daily.

Also read: A Guide to Building Your Own Crypto Mining Rig

Magical Chinese Trading Volume

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption
CER alleges several Chinese exchanges to be producing magical trading volume

Like a dog worrying a bone, Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER) has been toiling away at uncovering fake trading volume for months. Much of the suspicious activity it’s unearthed during the course of its meticulous and granular investigation has originated in the East. Its latest target is ZB.com, a Chinese exchange that appears in Coinmarketcap’s top five by reported volume, placing it above the likes of Bithumb and Bitfinex. CER is having none of that, and has torn ZB.com’s claim to shreds in its usual dogged manner.

“While analyzing ZB.com, we found definite patterns of unnatural and obviously artificial trade volume performance on 10 out of the top-20 most-traded exchange’s pairs,” reports CER. “Furthermore, we discovered that 4 dash pairs volume on this exchange totaled more than $ 288m, accounting for 24.58% of the exchange’s total 24h volume and for 80.56% of all dash traded on all exchanges. All of this directly points to the fact that trade volume manipulations are taking place on ZB.com.” The full report is pretty damning.

Maltese Prime Minister: Global Bitcoin and Blockchain Adoption “Inevitable”

Maltese PM Joseph Muscat is known for his pro-crypto stance, having welcomed major players from the burgeoning cryptoconomy to his island state with open arms. In a recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister preached ebulliently, espousing his belief that Bitcoin and blockchain will inevitably enjoy mass adoption. “I passionately believe [the] technology revolutionizes and improves systems,” said Muscat. “This is why in Malta, we have launched ourselves as the blockchain island…the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate this new technology that previously existed in a legal vacuum. Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies [the] inevitable future of money.”

Tether’s Bank in Trouble?

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass AdoptionNoble, the Puerto Rico-based bank whose most famous crypto customer is Tether, could be in trouble. It has been reported that the bank has cash flow problems and, if it can’t find a backer, may be forced to wind up operations. Where this would leave Tether, and the customer assets it presumably has stored in the bank is unclear. The story, while unverified, comes from Modern Consensus, a site which broke the story of the Circle-Poloniex takeover weeks before anyone else, and thus has some credibility.

Modern Consensus also reports a figure at a “major trading crypto desk” as claiming that an entity has been trying to offload “tens of millions of tethers” but failed to find a buyer. While publicly all signs point to Tether losing its grip on the stablecoin market, it remains top dog in terms of trading. Despite several exchanges announcing that they are phasing out the controversial stablecoin, volume has remained steady at over $ 3 billion a day, 30x more than its closest competitor, Trueusd.

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption
Solid: the new web decentralization project from Tim Berners-Lee

The Web’s Creator Wants to Decentralize It

If decentralization is a meme, it’s one that’s spread so far and wide that even the web’s creator is jumping on the bandwagon. On Saturday, Tim Berners-Lee revealed Inrupt, a project he has been developing in stealth for the past nine months. It aims to remove power from the web monopolies by returning data to its owners and allowing them to assign it to platforms on a permissioned basis only. Solid is the name of the platform Berners-Lee is developing in which each user’s data is contained in a “pod”. He said defiantly: “We are not talking to Facebook and Google about whether or not to introduce a complete change where all their business models are completely upended overnight. We are not asking their permission.”

“It’s time to reset the balance of power on the web and reignite its true potential,” proclaims Inrupt.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Inrupt.


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The post The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

U.S. Rebuffs Effort to Tether Bank Fine to Pastor’s Release

August 20, 2018 |

The Trump administration rejected an effort by Turkey to tie the release of a U.S. pastor to relief for a Turkish bank facing billions of dollars in U.S. fines, telling Ankara other issues are off the table until the minister is freed.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

U.S. Rebuffs Effort to Tether Bank Fine to Pastor’s Release

August 20, 2018 |

The Trump administration rejected an effort by Turkey to tie the release of a U.S. pastor to relief for a Turkish bank facing billions of dollars in U.S. fines, telling Ankara other issues are off the table until the minister is freed.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao: With Tether ‘Concern is Always There’

August 4, 2018 |

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao: With Tether 'Concern is Always There'

During a recent conference in South Korea, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao responded to questions about the company’s relationship with controversial stablecoin Tether. He acknowledged that “concern is always there,” according to regional reporting. Binance is one of the largest holders of Tether.

Also read: Bitcoiners Hope to Have a Friend in Top US Regulator Jay Clayton

Binance CEO Voices Concern Over Tether

According to Anca Faget of Romania-based Coindoo, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, responded to questions about the company’s relationship with controversial stablecoin Tether. One question came from Ran Neu-Ner who asked about the impact a Tether crash would have on Binance.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao: With Tether 'Concern is Always There'
Mr. Zhao

Mr. Zhao answered, “We have seen fiat currencies go down in history a lot. Probably more times than they have been in cryptocurrencies. So yes, the concern is always there and that’s also why we’re listing other stable coins as well, so we actively promote other stable coins including True USD and others.”

Binance launched in the summer of last year with an initial coin offering that raised around $ 15 million. It’s a cryptocurrency exchange, catering to a multi-language, international clientele. This year has been a busy one for the exchange. On its way to a very ambitious goal of earning $ 1 billion this year, Binance invested in a Maltese bank, is attempting to conquer the South Korean market, and recently teamed up with Libra Credit.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao: With Tether 'Concern is Always There'

Tether and Bitfinex 

Mr. Neu-Her also asked about the connection between Tether and Bitfinex. Many in the ecosystem have long accused both of bitcoin price manipulation, with some actually attributing the entire price run-up of 2017 to Tether’s inflation (another study, however, came to the opposite conclusion).

“I haven’t personally seen their bank accounts,” Mr. Zhao assured, “but from a logical point of view they have so many profits from their regular exchange business, they don’t need to do anything crazy about the Tethering. I think the reason they cannot release their bank account details is because if they release whichever bank they’re using, then the bank account gets shut down,” the CEO said at a Korea Blockchain event.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao: With Tether 'Concern is Always There'

Ironically, accusations against Tether have slowed toward the middle of this year. When yet another study suggests a Tether collusion, this time between it and Kraken, the exchange took to its blog and blasted journalists whom it felt understood little how its business works. Last month Tether brought in an establishment figure to head its compliance division, perhaps in an effort to assuage future fears.

How important is Tether to the ecosystem? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images via Pixabay, Binance, and Tether.


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Tether Announces Appointment of New Chief Compliance Officer

July 13, 2018 |

Tether Announces Appointment of New Chief Compliance Officer

Tether has announced the appointed of Leonardo Real, a former anti-money laundering (AML) quality control manager at Bank of Montreal, as the company’s new chief compliance officer (CSO). The announcement comes just one week after Phil Potter, one of Tether’s directors, announced that he will be leaving sister company, Bitfinex.

Also Read: Japanese Police Seize Cryptocurrency for Parking Violations

Tether Announces New CCO

Leonardo Real, former AML control manager of Canada’s fourth-largest financial institution, Bank of Montreal, has been announced as Tether’s new chief compliance officer.

A press release issued by Tether has stated that Mr. Real has been brought in “to assist in setting the highest standards in compliance.” Jean-Louis van der Velde, the chief executive officer of Tether welcomed the arrival of Mr. True, stating “We are all very excited to introduce Leonardo as Chief Compliance Officer at Tether, as he joins us on what has already been a remarkable journey to date disrupting the legacy financial system. His depth of experience managing AML risk in capital markets, as well as the wealth management and commercial banking sectors, combined with his proven expertise in quality control management and strategy formulation will make him an invaluable asset to our company. All of us at Tether have every confidence in his ability to oversee and manage all relevant compliance issues as we continue to move forward and grow.”

“We are particularly excited to announce this key hire at a seminal point in the life of the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. As the industry matures, all actors within the space shall be expected to meet a higher standard of industry best practices. As Tether continues to work to realize our vision of total transparency and unparalleled security within the cryptocurrency market, we will always endeavor to set the gold standard in regulatory compliance. Leonardo will play an important role in realizing these aims, and we are very excited to welcome him aboard as we look forward to all that lies ahead,” the Tether CEO added.

Mr. Real’s Cryptocurrency Resume

Before working with Bank of Montreal, Tether states that Mr. Real “also has experience working in financial day, stock, and futures trading,” adding that “Real is a proven thought leader in the industry, having co-written the 2016 ACAMS Today Article of the Year which focused on money laundering risks associated with cryptocurrencies.”

“Joining Tether as CCO is an incredibly exciting move for me personally, and I am particularly impressed by the motivation, dedication, and talent of the Tether team. I look forward to helping showcase Tether’s commitment to transparency and regulatory compliance within the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. As a longtime advocate of blockchain technology and the integration of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream, I am looking forward to putting my experience in AML and regulatory compliance in traditional financial institutions to use, to ensure that the Tether project can continue its work disrupting traditional industries,” said Mr. Real.

Mr. Real “also organized a Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and AML event held in Toronto, Canada in August 2016, bringing together regulators, bankers, law enforcement professionals, and companies in the blockchain space to discuss responsible use of cryptocurrencies.”

Phil Potter to Stand Down From Bitfinex

Tether Announces Appointment of New Chief Compliance OfficerTether director, Phil Potter, recently announced that he would stand down from his role as the Bitfinex’s chief security officer, before soon leaving Tether’s supposed sister company.

Mr. Potter stated: “As Bitfinex pivots away from the U.S., I felt that, as a U.S. person, it was time for me to rethink my position as a member of the executive team.”

Tether Sends 100 Million USDT to Bitfinex

At 12:53:29 AM, 13th of July, 2018, 100 million USDT was sent to wallet that is owned by Bitfinex, following one of few major Tether issuances of recent months.

At 11:59:27 PM on the 25th of June, Tether created 250 million USDT, following the creation of the same quantity of USDT on the 19th of May.

What is your response to Tether’s appointment of Leonardo Real to the position of chief compliance officer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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Kraken Goes Savage Against Tether Manipulation Allegations

July 2, 2018 |

Kraken Goes Savage Against Tether Manipulation Allegations

Following a Bloomberg News expose, alleging market manipulation of controversial alternative token Tether (USDT) on its exchange, Kraken fires off a savage blog post mocking journalists and defending their business’ integrity.

Also read: Red Flag Waved in Tether’s Relationship with Kraken Exchange

Kraken Goes Savage On Bloomberg

On Tether: Journalists Defy Logic, Raising Red Flags reveals the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange is having exactly none of it. A journalist “covering market structure for Bloomberg News inexplicably fails to comprehend basic market concepts such as arbitrage, order books and currency pegs.  More troubling, however, was the applause from other ‘journalist’ lemmings as they followed in walking their reputations off a cliff.  It defies logic.”

Kraken Goes Savage Against Tether Manipulation Allegations

Kraken is a scrappier exchange in the crypto world, and if the present rebuttal doesn’t convince readers of that fact, remembering back to its verbal joust with no less than the New York Attorney General would suffice. The AG issued its notorious Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Questionnaire to leading cryptocurrency exchanges throughout the United States, and then, as now, Kraken went savage. CEO Jesse Powell shot back, referring to the AG’s request directly, “When I saw this 34-point demand, with a deadline 2 weeks out, I immediately thought ‘The audacity of these guys — the entitlement, the disrespect for our business, our time!’” 

Kraken Goes Savage Against Tether Manipulation Allegations
Matt Leising

True too is the fact it has been one hell of a week for Kraken’s current object of scorn and derision, journalist Matt Leising. Not only was he principal author in the offending Tether story, he also released viral speculation about Satoshi Nakamoto’s reemergence via new writings. For Kraken, however, “The would-be Tether takedown was indefensible and handily dismantled by the community.  Each comment a prelude to a thorough evisceration,” and nearly half a dozen scathing Tweets follow. Mr. Leising has since announced he is “off Twitter until July 9. Go yell at someone else.”

For the exchange, the need to push back on Mr. Leising’s work in this manner comes down to the presumption “lawmakers are reading this stuff. The title sure was sensational, and it undoubtedly grabbed eyeballs but what of the readers who are not following the outrage on Reddit and Twitter? What of those who rely on the journalistic integrity and expertise of their news sources? If we are to take up our pitchforks against market manipulation, guide your torches toward this illumination: the Bloomberg News piece was published on June 29th, the last business day of trading for Q2, and expiration date of numerous futures contracts. It raises red flags,” the post chastised at Mr. Leising’s methodology.

Kraken Goes Savage Against Tether Manipulation Allegations
“Taking a look at a snapshot of the order book, we see that there is well over $ 1 million dollars of resting buy and sell orders within a very close range around a price level of $ 1 US dollar. As a result, price changes in USDT are typically very small.”

Tether’s Price is Not Being Manipulated by Kraken

After explaining USDT’s price stability is a function of the token’s inherent design and rather banal arbitrage, the exchange turns to its overall influence on the tether market at large. “As much as we pride ourselves on the level of recognition we enjoy in the industry,” Kraken explains, “we sadly cannot claim to be the arbiters of the price of USDT.  It is more likely determined by the billions of USDT traded over markets like BTC/USDT or ETH/USDT on other platforms. If 1 BTC trades for ~6,350 USDT on one platform and ~$ 6,350 US dollars on Kraken, then the implied price of each USDT is logically $ 1 US dollar. This level of USDT price discovery happens on markets with hundreds of millions of dollars of volume, not on Kraken’s USDT/USD market, which has currently traded less than $ 1 million in the last 24 hours.” They further invite anyone to check their logic against publicly available data.

The exchange bills itself in terms of euro liquidity and volume “the world’s largest bitcoin exchange.” It operates in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Japan. Owned by Payward Inc., ironically it provides bitcoin core (BTC) pricing to the Bloomberg Terminal. It was founded largely in the wake of the Mt. Gox implosion, and established itself as a viable alternative. It was launched by Mr. Powell in Fall of 2013, and, with some noted hiccups, has been an ecosystem staple.

Kraken Goes Savage Against Tether Manipulation Allegations
“For a real-world historical picture of a massive pegged market, take a look at USD/CNY in 2004,” above.

“We take allegations of manipulation very seriously,” the exchange insisted. “We strive to operate a platform that is open and fair to all of our users.” Nevertheless, “After reading the Bloomberg article, we scratched our heads, questioning just what type of manipulation was being claimed.” Rhetorically, it asks, “Is it so hard to believe that an asset-backed stablecoin could trade, well… with so much stability?  As we discussed previously, one need only take a look at the order book to understand why trades of different sizes result in little-to-no change in price levels. If an order book is too hard a concept to grasp, think about stock at your grocery store.  Why doesn’t the price on avocados change every time you put one in your basket?”

As for the charge of wash trading, “If you’re looking around for potential wash trading in USDT, we recommend you look elsewhere.  That said, it’s not clear what harm could come from wash trading of a pegged asset against its peg. In Kraken’s case, USDT is only traded against its peg, USD, which itself is an explicitly manipulated asset.” And that pesky 13,076.389 number thought to be so very maniacal? They “asked the botter responsible for the mysterious 13076.389 orders. The answer: ‘literally randomly selected.’ So, there you have it,” they conclude.

Is tether’s price being manipulated? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay, Twitter.


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