When it comes to the current Bitcoin price momentum, it is rather evident things may not necessarily evolve in a positive direction moving forward. In fact, the opinions on cryptocurrency prices throughout 2019 are all over the place, although CoinFi co-founder Timothy Tan isn’t too impressed at this stage. In fact, he has identified some potential signs which indicate this most recent drop off was a matter of time.
A Premeditated Cryptocurrency Dump
For as long as cryptocurrency has been around, it appears there have been concerns regarding potential insider trading. Although none of these claims have been proven to be correct – so far – it would appear the number of allegations isn’t necessarily diminishing either. That in itself always makes for some interesting discussions, albeit it also highlights one of the main problems this industry faces right now. Distrust leads to more volatility, which is not necessarily what this industry needs right now.
According to CoinFi co-founder and CEO Timothy Tam, the most recent market dump was somewhat premeditated. While that may be a stretch too far first and foremost, it would appear there is some evidence which can back up these suspicions. Tam identified a massive Ether transfer of 40,000 ETH – worth roughly $5m at the time of the transaction – was moved to an undisclosed exchange prior to the drop off materializing.
While that in itself might not necessarily be a sign of misconduct, it is evident someone was well aware of the Ethereum price declining in the near future and decided to take appropriate action ahead it is materializing. Considering how the latest wave of bearish pressure triggered a near 15% decline for Ethereum, it is evident this one large transaction had its role to play in those proceedings. To date, Tam ha snot confirmed which exchange was involved in the process, but he did state:
“Usually transfer of Ethereum onto an exchange indicates an intent to sell, and if there is a sell-off on one exchange it compounds like dominoes to another because arbitragers will sell immediately on the other exchanges as well.”
Although the overall drop affected Bitcoin and other markets as well, it is evident this Ethereum transaction raises a lot of questions which are not all that easy to answer. One would have expected the Ethereum Classic price to drop significantly following its recent 51% attack, but that only happened once all other major markets started to lose value. A very peculiar trend, but it also shows the markets are not evolving in a rational matter at this time.
Based on the findings by Tam, one has to wonder if this most recent market drop was orchestrated, or just a sheer coincidence. Considering how these drops seem to occur on a very regular basis over the past 12 months, it does appear as if there is some coordination involved to make these market drops succeed in spectacular fashion. Proving anything nefarious is going on will always be the main problem, though.
The Swiss National Bank has been requested by Swiss stock exchange SIX to issue a stablecoin
- SIX are the principal Swiss stock exchange to issue a crypto asset in the form of stablecoin.
- “SDX would accept CHF payments from member banks in central bank money and issue equivalent tokenised CHF in SDX, which is the company’s upcoming platform.
The SNB has been request by the principal Swiss stock exchange SIX to exploring issuing a stablecoin, according to local media. The report suggests that the crypto asset would be used to settle payments on its new digital securities trading platform.
SIX announced recently at the Crypto Valley Association that their users will be able to partake in its upcoming SDX platform and perform a swap of fiat currency for a new stablecoin.
Additionally, SIX noted that the tokens can also be coined on-demand and explained:
SDX would accept CHF payments from member banks in central bank money and issue equivalent tokenised CHF in SDX. The value of tokenised CHF would be pegged 1:1 with CHF at all times. We most definitely favour a central bank issued stablecoin.
SIX further added:
“SDX would accept CHF payments from member banks in central bank money and issue equivalent tokenised CHF in SDX. The value of tokenised CHF would be pegged 1:1 with CHF at all times. We most definitely favour a central bank issued stablecoin.”
Chainalysis Hires FinCEN Vet to Tackle Crypto’s New Hires FinCEN Vet to Tackle Crypto’s New ‘Travel Rule’ Challenge
The blockchain investigations firm Chainalysis has hired a top official from the main U.S. anti-money-laundering agency to help its cryptocurrency clients comply with tough new international data-sharing requirements.
Announced Wednesday, Mike Mosier, the former chief of strategic advancement and tactical development at the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), has joined Chainalysis as chief technical counsel.
Mosier has spent a decade in various financial regulatory bodies: before FinCEN, he worked at the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the National Security Council and the Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section.
Leveraging his experience in financial crime prevention, Mosier will first and foremost tackle legal and technical solutions for the “travel rule” that is now being imposed on the crypto industry by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Under that standard, finalized last week, FATF’s member countries will require crypto exchanges and wallet providers to identify both the sender and recipient of funds and pass this information to each other along with each transfer.
While this is a longstanding requirement for banks when they transmit money on customers’ behalf, it presents a daunting challenge for the crypto industry given the pseudonymous nature of wallet addresses.
Chainalysis itself had warned during the public consultation period that this requirement would force “onerous investment and friction” onto regulated firms, potentially putting some out of business and driving activity into the shadows.
Speaking to the need to balance the benefits and risks of crypto, Mosier told CoinDesk:
“There is a really important moment: there is this censorship resistant and financially inclusive industry that also was involved in the Dark Web and election intervention.”
The challenge ahead
Chainalysis will keep engaging with the blockchain community, as it has been for a while now, to work out technical solutions for implementing the travel rule, Mosier said. No particular technology has been agreed upon so far, he said.
“There have been a few ideas, but I think it’s a bit too early to see something that will work,” he said, adding that looking at how banks struggled to implement the original travel rule and how they solved that issue might be helpful.
While stressing that it is “technology-neutral,” the FATF guidance released Friday did offer several examples of existing technologies that the industry might consider to help identify recipients of crypto transfers and transmit this data.
These include public and private keys, Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer (TLS/SSL) connections, X.509 certificates and APIs, the FATF said.
The other issues on Mosier’s plate will be data privacy and product development, he said.
He will be also making sure that Chainalysis’ solutions for blockchain transaction monitoring (its namesake offering) will be compatible with regulations in jurisdictions other than the U.S. where the company also has clients, Mosier said.
Building a team
Talking about his motivation to join the blockchain industry, Mosier said that working in financial crime prevention he has been looking at new areas of financial monitoring.
“As I was moving more and more towards innovation at FinCEN, Chainalysis had a really sweet spot for me,” he said. “They focus on maintaining financial integrity but also privacy, to understand what the risks are but not getting into the personal data, making sure that the industry is growing, but not on the risk side.”
Mosier is joining Chainalysis’ Washington D.C., office soon after Jesse Spiro, who recently came from Refinitiv, a provider of finance risk management solutions owned by Blackstone Group and Thomson Reuters, and Kristofer Doucette, Chainalysis’ vice president of government affairs, who worked 14 years at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The company is also looking to fill a new position of a federal account executive, who will “engage with defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and state/local entities” to help them investigate illicit cryptocurrency activity, the recent job posting by Chainalys says.
Getting experienced government alumni on board is especially helpful when regulators are paying such close attention to the crypto space, Chainalysis CEO and co-founder Michael Gronager said in the company’s announcement.
“As we anticipate major global regulatory developments over the coming months, the strength of our team will ensure all our customers are fully equipped with the technology and the information they need to comply with regulation and combat money laundering in cryptocurrencies,” said Gronager, whose company raised $30 million in a Series B round in February.
This new chapter for crypto, after the FATF ruling, will require a difficult balancing act between the speed and convenience of the technology on one side and adhering to regulations on the other, Moiser said, concluding:
“It doesn’t have to be exactly like with SWIFT or traditional banking, but not that anything goes. I believe there is a middle ground for that.”
Six Arrested Over Cloned Crypto Exchange That Stole €24 Million
A fake exchange website has managed to steal €24 million (over $27 million) in cryptocurrency from thousands of victims.
European law enforcement agency Europol said in a press release Wednesday that six individuals have now been arrested over the scam in an operation that also involved the UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit and National Crime Agency, along with Dutch police and Eurojust.
Five men and one woman were simultaneously arrested yesterday at their homes in several U.K. locations, as well as Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Europol said the criminal endeavor involved a “typosquatting” scam in which a “well-known” (but unnamed) online crypto exchange was cloned in order to gain access to victims’ crypto wallet login details and steal funds.
All in, the scam is thought to have led to at least 4,000 victims in 12 countries losing bitcoin to the scam, though Europol says the number of known victims are still growing.
The case was initially referred to the European Cybercrime Centre and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce at Europol after U.K. authorities identified possible suspects living in the Netherlands.
Operational meetings organised at Europol’s headquarters between the U.K. and Dutch authorities allowed for the “smooth exchange of intelligence and evidence which led to these successful arrests,” according to the release.