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.”
Crypto Analyst: Ethereum Has Bottomed, Expected To See Extended Rally
2019 has been the year of Bitcoin, while altcoins like Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and others have continued to suffer and fall further from their all-time high prices set back at the height of the crypto hype bubble in late 2017 and early 2018.
But according to one crypto analyst, Ethereum may have bottomed and an extended bullish rally may be ahead as the second-largest crypto by market cap catches up on ground it lost against Bitcoin during the year.
Ethereum Primed for Parabolic Rally After Pullback Following Disbelief Phase
At the start of the year, the entire crypto market appeared to be rebounding out of the crypto winter it had long been trapped in and started showing signs of a bullish uptrend forming once again. But starting in April, Bitcoin and altcoins like Ethereum diverged, and the alternative crypto assets began to plummet even further, erasing what little gains had amounted during the year thus far.
Since then, Bitcoin sucked the life out of the altcoin market, including Ethereum, and only now that Bitcoin is once again falling too are altcoins beginning to show a glimmer of hope that their ongoing downtrend may finally be coming to an abrupt end.
According to one popular crypto industry analyst, that is true for Ethereum, which may have bottomed and is ready to break out of a consolidation pattern it has been trading in. The crypto analyst also expects Ethereum to go on to experience “parabolic price growth,” on the ETH/USD trading pair.
ETH Prices Could Revisit All-Time High in Less Than One Year
After fully bottoming in December 2018 along with the rest of the market, the crypto analyst says that Ethereum has just experienced its first pullback after the disbelief stage, and following that phase in normal market cycles typically comes a revival of hope that ultimately becomes a full-blown bull market.
If Ethereum has indeed bottomed and has just confirmed former resistance as support during a pullback ahead of a rally, the analyst believes that not only will the smart contract-focused crypto-asset rise in the coming days ahead, but could revisit its all-time high of over $1,400 per ETH within less than one year’s time.
Such performance in Ethereum markets would result in an over 650% return on investment from current prices of $180 per ETH to the asset’s previous all-time high of $1,400 it set at the start of 2018 – before the bear market took hold and eliminated as much as 99% of the value from most altcoins – including Ethereum.
Ethereum, like Bitcoin, often moves the entire crypto market and an extended rally for Ethereum may also mean an extended rally in the overall crypto market may be around the corner.
Altcoins Energized as XRP, XLM and ZRX Leave Bitcoin Behind
Another day of inactivity and consolidation for Bitcoin has kept the king of crypto just above support. Its lethargy has resulted in another dip in market share as a few of the altcoins start to make bigger moves. Ripple’s XRP, Stellar Lumens and 0x are among them.
Bitcoin Dominance Dip Good For XRP
A couple of very brief touches of $8,400 was all that BTC could muster over the past 24 hours. Clearly there are too many bears lurking here and resistance is proving too strong for another day. On the low side Bitcoin dropped to $8,240 but recovered back to site smack in the middle of its ranging channel at just over $8,300 again.
The continued tedium on BTC markets has been music to the ears of altcoin traders, especially those into XRP. The Ripple token has made over 11% since the weekend, adding half of that today as it approaches strong resistance.
According to Tradingview.com XRP is one of the day’s top performing digital assets as it hit $0.298 a couple of hours ago. The move has invigorated the ‘XRP Army’ on CT who has turned bullish on their baby which has posted a 20% gain in October.
XRP price October 2019 – Tradingview.com
What should be noted however is that even after this increase, the Ripple token is still down 15% since the beginning of the year so has a long way to go.
The upcoming Ripple Swell event in Singapore early this month appears to be driving momentum as it has done in previous years. The gathering of Ripple executives and XRP advocates is the most bullish event of the year for the company and its token deserves some long awaited love.
There is a massive wall of resistance at $0.30 which is currently being tested, but a break of this could see a bigger pump for XRP.
Stellar, 0x Lifting Off
As usual when XRP moves, its little sister follows. XLM has made 8% over the past 24 hours as it climbs to $0.065, however it too is way down from previous highs and has a long way to go. Stellar momentum is likely to mimic Ripple’s as the two tokens often move in tandem.
There is little fundamentally driving XLM at the moment so the Swell event could be beneficial to it too. Stellar is currently ranked tenth in terms of market cap which has reached $1.3 billion today.
Today’s other big mover is ZRX which has made a larger 10% jump to reach $0.337. Daily volume for the DEX protocol token has doubled to $64 million as it creeps back up the market cap charts outperforming those around it. Plenty of updates were announced at Devcon 5 as development on the protocol continues.
Bitcoin’s slowdown is finally starting to benefit some of the altcoins with XRP, XLM and ZRX leading the way today.
eToro launches sentiment-based portfolio for crypto investors
eToro users can now invest in a professional-grade algorithmic strategy from The TIE
eToro, the leading global investment platform, announces the launch of TheTIE-LongOnly CopyPortfolio, offering users access to a sentiment-based, AIgo-driven investment strategy from The TIE, a cryptocurrency data analytics platform trusted by some of the largest traditional quantitative hedge funds as well as crypto-specific funds. Guy Hirsch, US Managing Director of eToro, said,
“In traditional markets, retail investors have historically lagged behind the ‘smart money’ when it comes to the data and tools available to them. This puts individual investors at a major disadvantage. In the spirit of crypto and decentralized technology, we believe that offering institutional-grade tools to every investor will level the playing field and democratize investing.”
Cryptocurrency fundamentals are still maturing. They have no revenue, dividends or debt. As a result, social sentiment – people’s positive or negative perceptions – is a significant indicator of crypto asset price movement. The Tie’s proprietary machine learning and language processing models ingest 850 million tweets per day, quantifying the positive and negative tone of conversations on Twitter. TheTIE-LongOnly CopyPortfolio strategy allocates based on positive sentiment, algorithmically rebalancing once per month.
Joshua Frank, CEO of The TIE, said,
“eToro is well-known as a community where some of the smartest crypto traders share insights and strategies. We’re proud to offer investors of all experience levels a way to employ artificial intelligence and machine learning in an automatically-executed strategy, unified with eToro in our goal to make traders more active and informed.”
Since launching the strategy in October 2017, the algorithm has generated a 281% return after fees, compared to a 41% return generated by Bitcoin alone. Annualized, The TIE’s Long-Only portfolio strategy generates on a return of 123% on average, compared to a 29% return from an equally weighted basket of the same underlying crypto assets.
The TIE’s Partner CopyPortfolios were developed in collaboration with Social Market Analytics, an investor in The TIE and a premier provider of quantified sentiment data to the world’s largest financial firms. eToro will be debuting two additional CopyPortfolio strategies from The Tie, including a Long-Short and Market-Neutral strategy, in 2020.
eToro has been a leader in the global fintech and blockchain revolution for over 10 years, servicing more than 11 million registered users from over 140 countries. eToro users trade over $1 trillion in volume per year and share their insights, portfolios, and real-time track records on eToro’s suite of social and educational trading features. Transforming the traditional money management industry, eToro users can automatically copy the trading strategy of the leading traders in our community. Copy the smart money with eToro at website.
About The TIE
The TIE is a leading cryptocurrency information services firm providing sophisticated and proprietary digital asset data solutions to buy-side firms and other market participants. The TIE has developed algorithmic cryptocurrency trading models powered by the wisdom of the crowd which have achieved significant historical outperformance and reduced risk as compared to an equally weighted benchmark. Based in New York, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut, The TIE, LLC was founded in December 2017 by co-founders Joshua Frank, Joseph Gits, Ben Latz and Eric Frank.
The TIE has committed to a strict ethics policy ensuring our independence and the integrity of our data and offerings. For additional information on our commitment to trust, transparency, and accountability you can read our ethics statement by clicking here. Follow The TIE on Twitter.