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Crypto News Roundup and Interviews for Jan. 23, 2020

In addition to our news roundup, for the next few episodes we’ll also be highlighting select interviews from the CoinDesk crew reporting inside the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.  Today we’ll hear from former CFTC Chair Christopher Giancarlo on his proposed Digital Dollar push. We’ll end the show by taking a walk with a modern cypherpunk and senior reporter Leigh Cuen.

  • Bitcoin finally breaking out of a range where it’s held over the past week, but it’s bad news for the bulls
  • During an 18-hour deposition, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov pushed back against a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • In a separate case tying together two recent scandals, former QuadrigaCX users want information about the recently indicted ‘Shadow Bank’ Crypto Capital
  • US Exchange Gemini completes accounting firm Deloitte’s SOC Type 2 evaluation, their highest security rating.
  • In Virginia, a lawmaker is pushing the state government to study how blockchain might be used to secure elections and how it might impact the economy moving forward.
  • In Nevada, a former beauty queen turned bitcoin-friendly entrepreneur is running as a Republican for a U.S. congressional seat
  • Amun, a Swiss digital-asset issuer has launched a new vehicle for traders who want to bet on a drop in bitcoin’s price
  • In Tokyo, two men have been accused of stealing 78 million yen (roughly $712,000) from blockchain project VIPSTAR
  • GreekReporter.com said Thursday that Greece’s Council of State approved Alexander Vinnik’s extradition to France where he will face charges of money laundering.

Today’s interviews:

  • Ex-CFTC Chair Christopher Giancarlo on why he launched Digital Dollar Project
  • Why is a Cypherphunk in Davos?

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Crypto Analyst: Evil Whales Behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS and Altcoin Market Rallies in 2020

Crypto analyst Jacob Canfield thinks that criminals from China and Korea are behind a crypto Ponzi scheme driving the bullish price trends of Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS and the greater altcoin market.

The infamous scam PlusToken launched in 2018, promising investors high-yield returns from “exchange profit, mining income, and referral benefits.” It reportedly drew in three million registered users.

The organizers of the scam initiated an exit strategy in June of 2019, stealing an estimated 90,000 to 200,000 Bitcoin (BTC), 790,000 Ethereum (ETH) and 26 million EOS.

Now, after multiple accusations that PlusToken scammers have sold Bitcoin and driven the price down, Canfield says he believes the thieves may be re-entering the world of crypto, manipulating the market and steering the bullish rally of 2020.

“They are sitting currently around $600 million worth of capital cash, and it was done on what we believe was Huobi and OKEx exchanges which are in China, and the problem with Huobi is the order books are closed so you can’t really view them or see them.

If they’re using their capital to push the Ethereum market, they can use $100 million, $200 million and push Ethereum back to 300, 500, 600, 900, 1,000, and then they’re going to get a much bigger bang out of their buck.”

With the stack of cash they may have accumulated, Canfield says the scammers are now more than capable of rigging the market.

“A lot of analysts, a lot of really smart analysts believe that PlusToken was the real big catalyst of why Bitcoin went from $3,500 all the way up to $14,000. Now, how does that work? When all of these people are buying Bitcoin, that’s removing Bitcoin from the circulating supply, so it’s artificially removing over 1% of the circulating supply of Bitcoin.

It’s creating artificial FOMO, that fear of missing out on Bitcoin. You see two things. You see your reduced supply, but you also see an increased demand, and that’s the economics of what moves the market. You also add in the derivatives market wherein in 2018, when we saw that massive drop in the start of 2019, we saw shorts at an all-time high because they believed that was going to go all the way down back to $1,000. So when we broke out 4,000 and all of these people are FOMO-buying Bitcoin, Ethereum and EOS to try and get into these markets, it creates artificial buying pressure.”

Canfield also cites Google Trends which shows that searches for Bitcoin have not increased at the same pace as the price of BTC. He says that indicates something is amiss with the current price trends in cryptocurrency relative to people’s interest in the king of crypto.

“This was not retail FOMO – it was a very small part of it. This was artificial buying pressure because of this PlusToken scam.”

In June of last year, six Chinese nationals accused of participating in the scam were arrested in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.

Despite the arrests, there have continued to be large movements of BTC with suspected links to the alleged crypto Ponzi scheme.

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European Union’s Latest AML Directives Means Banks Can No Longer Shut Down Crypto

If regulators around the world, or at least within the EU, recognize that cryptocurrencies can be researched and analyzed it is possible to avoid de-risking.

The crypto company is faced with a lot of obstacles in the way forward. Anyone interested in the cryptocurrency sector is aware that it is not only regulations that pose the greatest threat to the viability of the venture, but also lack of access to very basic financial requirements, such as a bank account. This is threatening to bring down the crypto business by shutting it out of the mainstream economy.

Such practices are referred to as de-risking. De-risking can be brought about by a number of factors such as prudential needs, profitability concerns, anxiety after the global financial crisis or even esteem concerns. Actually, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identifies de-risking as the event where financial institutions discontinue or limit their business relationship with some clients or a sector of clients.

Nevertheless, the FATF only allows financial institutions to put an end to business relationships on a case-by-case basis, not to cut off the entire business field. Nevertheless, this remains a major obstacle for the cryptocurrency industry. Nevertheless, this may soon change due to the much-awaited Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the European Union, also referred to as AMLD5

Cryptocurrency Business Falls Under the Same Designation as Banks

The Directive, which was introduced in July 2018, considers virtual assets and virtual asset service providers as ‘ ‘obliged entities.’ This means that cryptocurrency organizations, such as exchanges and wallet service providers, come under the same designation as banks, payment processors, gaming and gambling entities. Provided a cryptocurrency business is approved and compliant with the relevant authorities, it should be treated in the same manner as the above entities.

Going forward, in the light of AMLD5, financial institutions such as banks should handle AML risks individually or directly. They should not deny services to the entire sector but deal with such cases on an individual basis. A bank can not deny service solely because an entity belongs to the cryptocurrency sector.

Indeed, this presents both an opportunity and a challenge to the digital assets industry. To realize its true potential and even reshape the financial sector, crypto and blockchain technology should welcome criticism from regulators across the globe. These businesses should use the AMLD5 as a stepping stone, a drive to prove to the whole world the significance and commitment to providing real-life solutions and transparency. Those working on developing solutions using the blockchain technology should be open to working with the government, the regulators and even financial institutions to create a regulated, clear business framework that recognizes the fundamentals of the crypto world.

Furthermore, we can say the AMLD5 is a very positive development for the virtual assets space. It is of utmost importance now for the founders and developers to work with EU regulators and even others to build a working relationship that works for everybody. Although the AMLD5 has its own disadvantages, it is a start for the digital currency industry to put a foot inside the mainstream economy positively. This will enable the industry to expand, grow and even flourish. 

In Conclusion

It is my aspiration that AMLD5 should be a message to financial institutions that the virtual currency industry should be treated in the same way as all other business sectors. Cryptocurrency should be treated fairly, on a case-by-case basis, like all the others. It is time for all stakeholders to come together and use this technology to provide real-life solutions to the world.

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Indicator That Signaled 4,593% Bitcoin (BTC) Rally Now Flashing – But This Time Ethereum (ETH) Is the Coin to Watch, Says Crypto Analyst

A signal that flashed at the start of a historic 4,593% Bitcoin (BTC) rally is back, but this time it’s happening to the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum (ETH).

A trader known in the industry as Alunaut tells 68,000 followers on Twitter that the price of ETH has crossed above the Ichimoku Cloud.

The cloud, also known as the Ichimoku Kinko Hyo, is a mashup of several indicators that identify levels of support and resistance, track momentum and spot potential trend shifts.

The same indicator flashed green for BTC in April of 2016, ahead of its long-term move from about $430 to an all-time high of $20,089.

However, in the highly volatile world of crypto, Bitcoin remains king, and the direction it takes will likely determine where the market at large is ultimately heading.

To that end, the prominent crypto analyst DonAlt warns that if BTC begins to retrace below $9,184, he’ll become “super bearish” on the market in the short term.

If Bitcoin begins a significant retracement, he identifies $7,900 as an area of support on both the weekly and monthly charts. DonAlt says he’s paying especially close attention to the monthly close of BTC.

“The absolute state of this current monthly candle. Bulls better fix this in the next 10 days.”

Source: DonAlt/Twitter

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