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Breaking: NY AG Alleges Bitcoin Exchange Misused Tether to Hide $850M

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By CCN: The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James has officially obtained a court order to request iFinex Inc, the operator of bitcoin exchange Bitfinex and Tether, to cease operations in New York.

The Attorney General’s office found that Bitfinex allegedly handed over $850 million in co-mingled client and corporate funds to Crypto Capital Corp, a company based in Panama.

Bitfinex is said to have never received the funds from the Panamanian firm, leading to the loss of more than $850 million.

The Attorney General’s office alleged Bitfinex granted itself access to Tether’s treasury and mismanaged $900 million of the stablecoin’s cash reserves to “hide” the loss of $850 million.

Attorney General James said:

“Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘Tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds. New York state has led the way in requiring virtual currency businesses to operate according to the law. And we will continue to stand-up for investors and seek justice on their behalf when misled or cheated by any of these companies.”

HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

The core problem with Tether is that it does not issue public audits like strictly regulated stablecoins such as Gemini Dollar and Circle’s USDC. As a result, investors are unaware of what the potential “receivables” could be and the dealings of Tether.

A public audit would have forced Tether to disclose the alleged $900 million transactions initiated by Bitfinex had it been recorded on the financials of Tether Limited.

LACK OF PUBLIC AUDITS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PROBLEM FOR TETHER

Since its creation in 2014, for more than five years, Tether has been a subject to consistent criticism from both investors and experts in the cryptocurrency sector for its lack of public audits.

Last month, CCN spoke to iFinex, the company that oversees Tether, about its new Terms of Service which read that every USDT is backed by cash and other receivables, but not 100% in cash.

“Every tether is always 100% backed by our reserves, which include traditional currency and cash equivalents and, from time to time, may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties, which may include affiliated entities (collectively, “reserves”),” the altered Terms of Service read.

Kasper Rasmussen, the director of marketing at iFinex, told CCN that Tether is still 100% backed even though it may include other assets.

“Tethers remain completely stable and 100% backed, so Tether’s reserves always equal or exceed the number of issued Tethers. The only change is that the composition of the assets that provide that backing includes a combination of cash, cash equivalents, and may also include other assets or receivables from loans issued by Tether,” Rasmussen said.

HOW DOES AFFECT BITCOIN?

Immediately after the release of the New York Attorney General’s report, the bitcoin price fell below $5,400, indicating a dip in the confidence of the crypto market.

Source.ccn

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Buy Bitcoin? Legendary Investor Dalio Expects “Paradigm Shift” in Finance

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Since Bitcoin (BTC) was birthed in the wake of 2008’s Great Recession, the macroeconomy has changed dramatically. Following the brutal collapse of the stock market and the housing bubble, which resulted in mass unemployment and bankruptcy, central banks commenced “easing strategies”.

By keeping Federal Fund and interest rates lows and participating in Open Market Operations (OMOs)/Quantitative Easing (QE), the U.S. Federal Reserve spawned a reflationary environment, during which stocks rallied to new heights and economic indicators flipped positive.

Across the pond, the story was similar, with the European Union also participating in QE and the Bank of Japan forcing interest rates to move under 0%.

In a recent blog post, however, a legendary hedge fund manager warned that a “paradigm shift” is on the horizon, leading him to advise readers to buy gold.

Unsurprisingly, many in the cryptocurrency community have taken that as a suggestion to scoop up Bitcoin. Why is this the case though?

Buy Bitcoin, Buy Gold

According to Ray Dalio’s latest LinkedIn post, titled “Paradigm Shifts”, the world’s economy is poised to enter a tough time. In the essay-esque piece, the Bridgewater Associates co-chairman warned of central banks’ effort to devalue their currencies and inflate the economy somewhat artificially.

He also used historical shifts in the macroeconomic and geopolitical climate, like the World Wars and the Great Depression, to explain that the economy is poised to see a “paradigm shift”.

This paradigm shift, according to Dalio, who has a net worth of $18 billion, will see “the value of money depreciate ” and “significant domestic and international conflicts. In other words, the writing is on the wall for an alternative asset and stores of value, like gold or Bitcoin.

Dalio recommends gold, writing that it may be “risk-reducing and return-enhancing” for investors to add the precious metal to their portfolio, adding that securities and bonds could face diminishing returns.

Arguably, that was also a tacit recommendation to buy Bitcoin. You see, the inflationary policies currently being enlisted are, according to former Wall Streeter Travis Kling, “brazenly bullish for a non-sovereign, hardcapped supply, global, immutable, decentralized digital store of value.” And by that, he obviously means BTC.

Unlike traditional monies and even gold (in some cases), Bitcoin is not susceptible to warrantless, hidden inflation and is not controlled by a central authority. So, if (or when) the economy collapses due to a mishap on the part of central bankers, many, including Kling, are sure that alternatives monies will see massive inflows.

Dalio, Not a Fan of BTC

While Bitcoin arguably exhibits the same properties as gold, Dalio’s isn’t a big fan of digital assets, presumably hence why he didn’t dare to utter BTC.

In fact, as reported by NewsBTC last year, Dalio called cryptocurrencies a “bubble”, noting that the Bitcoin market is based mostly on speculation, meaning that there is a lack of real-world usage.

But one thing is for certain, there is some financial turmoil right on the horizon. As the Bridgewater co-chairman explained in an interview earlier this year:

“There are a lot of parallels between now and the late 1930s. From 1929 to 1932 we had a debt crisis — interest rates hit zero. Then there was a lot of printing of money, and purchases of financial assets brought their prices higher.”

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Everyone Is Talking About Bitcoin and Crypto This Week

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The attention around Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies this week has been incredible. The focus on both seemed to have stepped up sometime around the time when President Donald Trump (or someone in his media team) tweeted out to the public that he was not a fan of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies.

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.”

He continued to talk about Facebook and their plans to create their digital asset Libra.

“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International.”

After Trump’s quotes about Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency stumbled, briefly falling below $10,000. CNBC was sure that this was in direct relation to the President’s tweets.

Next was Jerome Powell’s statement before the Senate Banking Committee where he compared Bitcoin to gold.

“I think things like that [the obsolescence of today’s reserve currencies] are possible but we really […] haven’t seen widespread adoption. Bitcoin is a good example, almost no one uses it for payments […] it’s a speculative store of value like gold.”

Once again, Bitcoin seemed to regain lost traction, recovering from a similar drop in price, yet again under the $10,000 mark – after prices had reached $13,000 just a few days earlier.

Trump was then joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who stated that he had “very serious concerns” about cryptocurrencies.

So at the beginning of the week, we could see factions in the US government work to bring down Bitcoin and make a bearish case for cryptocurrencies. 

Competition from cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin’s decentralized nature are a welcomed addition

Fast forward a couple of days and we could see further fuel being added to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency discussions.

“I like Bitcoin.” – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNBC that he was a fan of Bitcoin and the decentralized nature of blockchain, the technology behind it. He also shared his thoughts about the upcoming cryptocurrency from Facebook, Libra. He’s not a fan.

“When I’m on Facebook, I’m not the customer, I’m the product. Facebook is free because they sell your data to make money. Now they want to get into the business, and they’re not bitcoin, in this Libra. They’re not decentralized.”

He was joined by former presidential candidate and former Congressman Ron Paul.

“I’m for the least amount of regulation. I don’t know what’s gonna happen to cryptocurrencies. I think it’s a great idea. And I only have one rule: no fraud … I think that the government has a role. And [if] somebody has a case that there is fraud, I think it should be investigated … What I want to do is legalize the freedom of choice, absent blatant fraud.”

Paul, who was less negative about Libra than McCarthy, believes it could help open up the market and bring down the government’s monopoly on fiat currencies.

“Historically, governments always have to have monopoly control over money and credit. That’s why we have a Federal Reserve instead of allowing the market to operate.”

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KuMEX completes first round of simulated trading, top trader up 6,336%

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KuCoin have concluded their first round of simulated trading for their new margin trading platform set to launch within the next month.

KuCoin’s margin trading platform, KuMEX has completed their first round of simulated trading to test the platform out with users. The simulated trading competition saw 10,000 KuCoin Shares (KCS) up for grabs. 

After a successful round one, the top trader managed to turn one demo Bitcoin into nearly 64 Bitcoin. While the 1 Bitcoin being given on the exchange does not represent an actual Bitcoin, but rather a demo BTC, the top trader was up 6,336% to take top spot and claim 1,000 KCS, roughly $1,350. 

Second place managed to turn their 1 Bitcoin into 5,176% with the rest of the top 10 all clearing 1,000% in gains. 

Round 2 has already begun for the KuMEX simulated trading competition, which sees another 10,000 KCS up for grabs. Round 2 runs from 15 July to 22 July and will once again see the top spot claiming 1,000 KCS.

Source:chepicap

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