Prolific Bitcoin Dealer ‘Blew a Giant Hole’ Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal Framework

A Mexico-based “prolific bitcoin dealer” has been indicted and held without bond in the US on a number of international money laundering charges. He used Bitfinex for his exchange needs after Coinbase closed his account. His “activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws,” the Department of Justice wrote.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitcoin Dealer Indicted

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that a bitcoin dealer, Jacob Burrell Campos, was indicted for international money laundering and is being held without bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Ciaffa said during Burrell’s bond hearing on August 17 that:

Burrell was a prolific bitcoin dealer who sold approximately $750,000 worth of bitcoin to hundreds of buyers throughout the United States. He conducted 971 separate transactions with over 900 individual customers, and accepted cash in person, through his bank accounts, and through Moneygram.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkCiaffa told the court that Burrell operated as a “bitcoin exchanger” and his activities constituted a money transmitting business. He was therefore required to register with the Department of Treasury and comply with all anti-money laundering requirements including “reporting suspicious cash transactions.”

However, Ciaffa claimed that Burrell accepted cash “with no questions asked,” adding that he “supplied hundreds of individuals with an easy outlet to avoid the anti-money laundering laws applicable to all financial institutions, including licensed and registered bitcoin exchanges,” for a 5% fee.

The indictment states that Burrell sent 28 wire transfers totaling over $900,000 from his bank accounts in the U.S. to a bank account in the name of Bitfinex in Taiwan. Ciaffa elaborated:

Burrell sent the money from the United States to buy bitcoin and fund his business. With these and other funds, Burrell bought over $3 million worth of bitcoin in over 2,600 transactions. Burrell resorted to buying bitcoin through Bitfinex after his account was closed by Coinbase, a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange, for circumventing its ID verification process.

Blowing Giant Hole Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkBorn in San Diego, Burrell lives in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. He was arrested on August 13 while trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico. The 21-year-old “was ordered held without bail today in connection with a 31-count indictment charging him with operating an illegal money transmitting business, failing to maintain an anti-money laundering program, international money laundering and conspiracy to structure monetary transactions,” the DOJ announcement reads.

The indictment also charges him with conspiracy to structure the importation of monetary instruments. Ciaffa told the court that “Burrell agreed with others to smuggle over $1 million in U.S. dollars into the United States from Mexico, in amounts slightly less than $10,000, in order to avoid the currency reporting requirements.”

The Justice Department reported the assistant U.S. attorney saying:

Burrell’s activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws by soliciting and introducing into the U.S. banking system close to $1 million in unregulated cash.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkU.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford “ordered him held without bail,” citing that he has “significant ties to Mexico, citizenship in three countries, no steady employment in the United States, the ability to access large sums of cash, and a disdain and unwillingness to comply with U.S. laws.” She, therefore, “concluded that Burrell posed a substantial risk of flight.”

According to the DOJ, the 31 counts in the indictment against Burrell carry different prison terms and fines. The first count carries a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The second carries ten years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The third through 30th counts, for the charge of international money laundering, carry “twenty years in prison for each count, [and a] $500,000 fine.” The last count carries five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the Justice Department clarified that the charges and allegations “are merely accusations” and the defendant is “considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Tumbles to $5,995 on Bitstamp as Market Hits 6-Week Low

The bitcoin price dipped below the $6,000 mark on cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, forcing the flagship cryptocurrency to a six-week low. The market had made a lukewarm recovery earlier in the day, with bitcoin creeping up to $6,600 and other large-cap cryptocurrencies following suit. However, as CCN reported earlier today, bitcoin remains trapped in a severe … Continued

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Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement

Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement

Cryptocurrencies are dropping in value once again on Wednesday, August 8 as most of the top digital assets are down between 9 to 18 percent over the last 24 hours. Prices started dropping yesterday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended the Cboe exchange-traded fund decision. Immediately after the announcement, bitcoin core (BTC) values shaved off $400 in an hour and the currency has lost another $300 in spot value today.

Also read: CFTC-Regulated Ledgerx Launches Interest-Bearing BTC Savings Platform

After the SEC Announcement Cryptocurrency Prices Slide Significantly  

Digital currency values are hurting today as the entire cryptocurrency market capitalization has dropped since our last markets update from $250B to $231B on August 8. Despite the drop in value, trade volumes for all 1600+ coins has increased to $15B over the last day. A few days ago, cryptocurrencies saw the first dip before the SEC announcement, which took place after the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) deal was revealed. However, after the quick dip, BTC/USD prices moved back up to the $7,140 region for a short period of time. The next two significant drops in value occurred after the SEC revealed delaying the ETF decision leading to today’s BTC/USD low of $6,391 per coin.

Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement
BTC/USD prices over the last 48 hours on Bitcoinwisdom (15M-chart).

Bitcoin Core (BTC) Market Action

Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC AnnouncementBitcoin core (BTC) prices at the moment are around $6481 per BTC and the cryptocurrency’s market valuation today is $111B. Daily trade volume is decent but nothing spectacular at $5B USD in BTC traded over the last 24 hours. According to Satoshi Pulse statistics, the exchanges swapping the most bitcoin core this Wednesday include Bitflyer FX, Binance, Bitfinex, Okex, and Coinbene. The top currency traded with BTC currently is tether (USDT) which captures 54.2 percent of trades. This is followed by USD (24%), JPY (11.3%), EUR (3.9%), and KRW (2.6%). BTC is seeing a daily loss of around 8 percent today but the coin’s market dominance among all 1600+ currencies is 49 percent.

Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour BTC/USD chart on Bitstamp and Coinbase shows bears have a tight grip over markets right now. The chart’s two moving averages (MA) has the 100MA above the longer-term 200MA trendline which means things will likely stay bearish for the short term. However, RSI levels (24.5) show extremely oversold conditions and there could be a small uptick if prices sink lower. Order books show heavy resistance from the current vantage point up until $6750 if bulls can manage to climb that high. On the backside, foundational support is bountiful and moving back is going to take some time. If negative prices continue, there will be longer pitstops between $6,300 and $5,900 as there is solid support in this region.

Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement
BTC/USD Coinbase August 8, 2018.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH)Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement values have also dipped considerably since our last markets update as one BCH is trading for $604 at press time. This Wednesday, BCH has an overall market capitalization of around $10.5B and 24-hour trade volume is about $443M. The top five bitcoin cash trading platforms on August 8 include Coinex, Huobi, Okex, Binance, and Hitbtc. BCH is seeing a daily loss of around 14.2 percent and is the fourth highest market valuation among every coin in existence. The top currency swapped for BCH today is tether (USDT) with 54 percent of today’s BCH trades. Tether is followed by BTC (26%), USD (10.9%), QC (2.2%), and ETH (2.1%).

Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

The 4-hour BCH charts on Bitfinex and Bitstamp indicate that BCH markets have seen better days. Now the 100MA and 200MA gap is much smaller on the BCH/USD 4-hour chart and it looks like the two may cross hairs soon. If they do cross hairs, this means the path towards the least resistance would be the upside but for now, it remains on the downside. RSI levels also show oversold conditions as the oscillator hovers around 21.4 at press time. Looking ahead at order books, BCH bulls need to surpass mega-resistance from now until $640 and after that, it may be easier to move northbound. If bears get their way, the fall to sub-$600 regions will hold decently between $590 through $530 for some time.

Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement
BCH/USD Bitfinex August 8, 2018.

The Verdict: Skepticism Increases as Prices Draw Closer to the Perceived Bottoms

Of course, now there are a bunch of traders calling for lower prices and most cryptocurrencies are nearing close to the bottoms they touched a few times already. For instance, BTC/USD spot prices have dipped three times to the $5,600-5,800 region but have not dropped lower than that yet.

Markets Update: Crypto-Prices Slide After SEC Announcement
The top ten cryptocurrency capitalizations on August 8, 2018, according to Satoshi Pulse.

Today’s verdict adds increased skepticism towards bullish prices in the short term, and most traders assume things will trade sideways for a while and values may slide a touch further. Questions still remain: Will crypto-prices stay above the last few bottoms or will they sink lower this time around?

Where do you see the price of BTC, BCH and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

 

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

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.


Be sure to check out the podcast, Blockchain 2025; latest episode here.

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Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge

Over the past few days, cryptocurrency markets have been showing bullish gains after a few small retractions during the weekend. At the moment the entire digital asset economy is valued at $285Bn while $14.3Bn worth of trades were swapped over the past 24-hours. Today on July 23 bitcoin core (BTC) markets are holding an average price of $7,700 per BTC. Meanwhile, bitcoin cash (BCH) prices are hovering around $815 per BCH at press time.

Also read: A Discussion With the Prolific Bitcoin Developer Unwriter

Are the Tides Turning for Cryptocurrencies?

A good portion of cryptocurrencies on Monday are seeing some gains after some good dips that took place over the weekend. Most digital assets are consolidating losses while a few others like BTC, BCH, LTC, and XMR are up between 1-2% today. Bitcoin core dominance  (the percentage of BTC’s market capitalization among all 1,600+ assets) has been steadily moving up over the past few weeks and touched a high of 46 percent today. The top five digital currencies with the most trade volume today includes BTC, USDT, ETH, EOS, and BCH. Many crypto-enthusiasts and traders are optimistic the tides have changed after months of bearish prices plagued cryptocurrency markets.

Bitcoin Core (BTC) Market Action

Bitcoin core (BTC) market action shows the cryptocurrency is being sold at prices between $7,650-7,710 per coin. BTC’s market capitalization is around $132Bn, and 24-hour trade volume is about $4.8Bn worth of swaps. The top exchanges trading the most BTC include Bitlfyer, Bitfinex, Fcoin, Binance, and Coinbene.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge

The Japanese yen is the most dominant pair today with BTC commanding more than 54 percent of global trades. This is followed by tether (USDT 28.8%) USD (11.3%), EUR (2%), and KRW (1.5%). The top trade today on the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange Shapeshift.io is ethereum (ETH) for bitcoin core.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the BTC/USD charts on Bitstamp and Coinbase shows BTC bulls are trying to break massive resistance between the current vantage point to get past the $7,950-8,100 regions. The 4-hour chart shows the Relative Strength Index (RSI 62.9) is nearing the overbought zone at press time. However, the 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) is above the longer term 200 SMA, which means buyers could take the upside after breaking some more resistance. MACd lines continue to confirm short-term upper movement is in the cards as the MACd histogram shows room for more improvement.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge

So far it looks as though bulls could press past the $8K region as the upside trend looks strong while observing the Average Directional Index (ADX). Looking at order books shows BTC bulls have some thick resistance to crack above the EMA 200 resistance $7,950 zone and there will be another pitstop around the $8,250 region. On the backside, if bulls get exhausted and bearish sentiment takes over there is strong support between now and $7,350 and also another stop at $6,850 if markets dropped lower.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) markets are showing an average price of $820 per coin this Monday. The cryptocurrency currently has a market valuation of around $14.1Bn and trade volume has dropped a touch since our last markets update to $617Mn over the last 24-hours. The top trading platforms exchanging the most BCH today includes Coinex, Okex, Binance, Hitbtc, and Bitfinex.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge

The biggest trading pair with BCH today is tether (USDT) which captures 50.4 percent of global BCH trades. This is followed by BTC (29.1%), USD (9.8%), KRW (2.4%) and ETH (2.35%). The EUR also commands roughly 1.7 percent of today’s BCH swaps on July 23.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Observing the technical indicators on the daily and 4-hour Bitfinex BCH/USD charts show the price has been somewhat stable lately with charts showing slight variances here and there over the past week. The short-term 100 SMA is slightly above the 200 SMA trendline indicating the path of least resistance should be towards the upside. The 4-hour chart indicates that the Relative Strength Index (RSI 52.4) is meandering in the middle showing a small period of trading uncertainty.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge

The Average Directional Index (ADX) confirms bulls still have the reigns, and the strength of market conditions remains solid for the short term. Looking at order books and the EMA 200 shows strong resistance between the $850-925 zone. BCH bulls will need to eat away at these orders to continue maintaining upward momentum. On the back side, order books show some strong foundations between the current vantage point and $760, while after that region books begin to thin out.

Could We Be on the Cusp of a Massive Bull Run?

Enthusiasts and traders are still skeptical of what will take place next within the land of cryptocurrency markets. All of the digital assets have had mediocre trade volumes since last week as general markets are seeing a slight dip in crypto-swaps over the past few days. Bulls are making some moves northbound but the volumes show conviction is lacking. However, many crypto-proponents believe the upcoming bitcoin-based exchange-traded-fund (ETF) decision this August is what’s fueling the current pumps over the last week. For example, the senior market analyst at Etoro, Mati Greenspan, believes a market reversal is imminent. Greenspan explains to his Twitter followers:

We might just be on the cusp of the largest bitcoin bull run in history.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Bulls Continue to Charge appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads

Cryptocurrency prices have once again dipped some more as most digital assets are seeing 24-hour losses of around 2-10 percent today. Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets have dipped below the $6K region to a low of $5,774 per coin but have since rebounded a hair to $5,907. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) markets dropped to a low of $630 per coin but are now averaging $661 per BCH on June 29, 2018.

Also read: Japanese Economist Explains Why Another Bitcoin Price Surge Is Unlikely

Cryptocurrency Markets Drop a Hair Lower

Digital currency markets are at a turning point today as most cryptocurrencies have lost quite a bit of value erasing nearly all the gains achieved since last October 2017. Since Bitcoin Core’s (BTC) all-time high (ATH) at $19,600, the cryptocurrency has lost 70 percent of its value. The entire cryptocurrency capitalization of all 1600+ coins is $234Bn as it has lost nearly ⅔ of value since December 2017. Today, on June 29, there’s been an 11.7Bn worth of digital currencies traded as trade volumes continue to grow weaker. On the other hand, there’s been a lot of development taking place behind the scenes, and big crypto-focused firms like Coinbase, Blockchain, Circle, and others are now enticing institutional investors from venture capital firms.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads
The 2018 crypto-bear market continues.

BTC Market Action

BTC market action has been tough on bulls as bears continue to wreak havoc and shorting every chance they can get. However, many short positions on exchanges like Bitfinex are being liquidated and dwindling down as long positions are starting to grow. At press time, BTC has a market capitalization of a little over $100Bn and 24-hour trade volume of around $3.7Bn. The top exchanges today swapping the most BTC include Binance, Bitfinex, Okex, ZB.com, and Bitstamp. The Japanese yen is capturing 59 percent of today’s BTC trade volume which is followed by tether (USDT 17.4%), USD (16.2%), EUR (2.5%), and KRW (1.5%).

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour and daily BTC/USD charts on Coinbase and Bitstamp shows bulls are exhausted after pushing back to the $6,200 range and losing it. Just like our last markets update, right now the long-term 200 Simple Moving Average (SMA) is well above the short-term 100 SMA. This indicates the path to least resistance will be towards the downside. MACd levels look as they’ll be heading southbound after seeing a slight lift during the early morning trading sessions. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) oscillator is showing oversold conditions at the moment (32.04) which means we could see a slight increase northbound in the short term. Looking at order books shows that bulls need to get past the $6K region but bigger resistance is above the $6,200-6,400 zone. The walls looking northbound are not that tall and things could change directions in an instant. On the backside, there are mountains of buyers between now and $5,000.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads     BCH Market Action

BCH action shows bulls are struggling to hold current market spot prices as well. Today the Bitcoin Cash market capitalization is resting at $11.4Bn with around $390Mn in 24-hour trade volume. BCH is holding the 5th highest trade volume today out of all 1600+ cryptocurrencies in existence. The top exchanges trading the most BCH on the last week of June are Okex, Bitfinex, Huobi, Hitbtc, and EXX. Data collected from Crypto Compare shows BTC commands roughly 40 percent of today’s BCH trades. This is followed by tether (USDT 29%), USD (17%), KRW (6.3%) and JPY (1.8%). The addition of the yen joining the top five is interesting and ETH trades account for 1.59 percent of BCH swaps as well.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the BCH/USD charts on Bitfinex indicates BCH bulls have their work cut out for them. The 200 SMA is above the short term 100 SMA but the gap is smaller than the 4-hour BTC/USD chart. However, this still indicates that the least resistance is the downside if any uptrends are squashed along the way today. MACd is meandering in the middle as we speak and could head in one of two directions. RSI levels (31.7) are similar to the BTC/USD charts as the oscillator on the BCH/USD 4-hour is also showing oversold conditions. Bulls need to press past $685 to find smoother seas ahead and at the moment that’s still attainable in the short term. Looking at the backside shows bears will see pit stops between the current vantage point and $620 through $590 because of extremely large buy walls.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads

The Top Crypto Markets Today

The second largest market cap belonging to Ethereum (ETH) is down 5.3 percent over the last 24-hours. ETH markets are also down 13 percent over the last week with a price average of around $412 per token. Ripple (XRP) markets are down 5.2 percent today and 13 percent over the last seven days as one XRP now trades for $0.43 cents. Lastly EOS still commands the fifth position but EOS markets have dropped 5.5 percent over the last 24-hours. EOS charts show seven-day losses of around 17 percent with one EOS priced at $7.38 per coin.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads

The Verdict: Cryptocurrency Markets Are at the Crossroads

Today’s verdict is still filled with uncertainty and skepticism on whether or not we will see a bear market reversal soon. There has been a triple bottom and so far most cryptocurrency prices have remained above these key areas for now. People are still in the midst of coordinating newer positions like a game of musical chairs in search of the next wave up or even down.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices at the Crossroads appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitfinex Chief Strategy Officer Phil Potter Tenders Resignation

Phil Potter, the chief strategy officer at the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange, will be leaving the exchange and replaced on an interim basis by J.L. van der Velde, the company’s chief executive, according to Reuters. A company spokesperson told Reuters Potter’s departure was a “mutual” parting. Potter believed it was time to leave the executive team … Continued

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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Chief Strategist Quits Bitfinex, Cryptos Climb Capitol Hill

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Chief Strategist Quits Bitfinex, Cryptos Climb Capitol Hill

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief, “U.S. person” Phil Potter, Chief Strategy Officer at crypto exchange Bitfinex, is departing the company as it pivots away from the United States. In America, the Supreme Court mentions Bitcoin and cowrie shells in the context of money. On Capitol Hill, congressmen have been warned to disclose their crypto holdings, while a Republican Rep. calls for “light touch” ICO regulations.

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: McAfee Backs Off, Crypto World Cup and the Mystery of 21e8

Chief of Strategy Leaves Trading Platform Bitfinex

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Chief Strategist Quits Bitfinex, Cryptos Climb Capitol HillPhil Potter, the Chief Strategy Officer of Bitfinex, is leaving his post at the exchange, Reuters reported quoting both him and the company. Potter will be replaced by Chief Executive JL van der Velde, Bitfinex announced. Speaking of new opportunities he did not specify, 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.

Bitfinex, currently the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is owned by a company based in the British Virgin Islands. The platform offers traders the opportunity to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. In April, Bitfinex also introduced trading for 12 altcoins.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Chief Strategist Quits Bitfinex, Cryptos Climb Capitol Hill

The exchange shares management with Tether Limited, the company that issues the Tether token (USDT) which, according to its developers, is pegged to the U.S. dollar. The claim, however, has been contested by critics who doubt the company holds $1 USD in reserve for every minted coin.

According to a research paper by the University of Texas, Tether may have been used to manipulate the price of bitcoin last year – an allegation that Bitfinex rejects. An investigation opened by the U.S. Justice Department into possible manipulations is believed to be one of the main reasons for the recent crypto market losses.

US Supreme Court Mentions Bitcoin

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Chief Strategist Quits Bitfinex, Cryptos Climb Capitol HillSince the announcement of the US DOJ probe, several other interesting developments have been reported in the U.S. In a ruling not directly related to cryptocurrencies, the Supreme Court of the United States mentioned Bitcoin, arguably for the first time. The dissenting opinion in the Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States case, authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, puts forward the first cryptocurrency as an example of how views regarding money are changing over time.

The case is centered on a taxation dispute stemming from the government’s assertion that the railroad company’s stock option payments to its employees represent “money remuneration” and should be taxed, while Wisconsin Central and its workers claim the opposite. The majority opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, supported the company’s view in a 5-4 vote stating that stock options were not money and could not be subject to taxation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1934.

However, the dissenting opinion, authored by Breyer and backed by three of his colleagues, argued that the stock options were in fact money remunerations. Justice Breyer specifically refers to Bitcoin, stating that “[…] what we view as money has changed over time. Cowrie shells once were such a medium but no longer are […]; our currency originally included gold coins and bullion, but, after 1934, gold could not be used as a medium of exchange […]; perhaps one day employees will be paid in Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency […]. Nothing in the statute suggests the meaning of this provision should be trapped in a monetary time warp, forever limited to those forms of money commonly used in the 1930’s.”

US Congressmen Advised to Disclose Crypto Holdings

The members of the House of Representatives will have to disclose information about their investments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The obligation covers holdings of more than $1,000 in US dollar equivalent, according to an announcement issued last week by the Committee on Ethics of the congressional lower house. The “Memorandum to All House Members, Officers and Employees” reads:

In particular, the Committee has determined that with respect to financial disclosure, cryptocurrencies will be treated as an “other forms of securities” and are therefore subject to reporting both on a financial disclosure filer’s annual Financial Disclosure Statement (FD Statements or Statements) and on Periodic Transaction Reports (PTRs) throughout the year.

The Committee also recommends, “due to the evolving nature of cryptocurrencies,” that anyone with questions about digital currencies or intentions to participate in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) contact the Committee for guidance prior to investing. In addition, House members are now obliged to report, within 45 days, any transactions with crypto assets, again in excess of $1,000 USD, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Congressman Calls for Light ICO Regulations

Speaking of crypto investments and the Capitol, a call was issued last week to adopt a “light touch regulatory framework” for the young crowdfunding industry. In an interview with CNBC, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) said: “We want to make sure that the United States’ capital markets stay strong and vibrant, and one of the ways to do that is to provide regulatory certainty.”

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Chief Strategist Quits Bitfinex, Cryptos Climb Capitol HillDavidson, who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said lawmakers have been working with representatives of the industry, including regulators, to determine how regulations should be shaped in order to drive capital. He also noted that “right now there are concerns that there is a regulatory arbitrage going on” and that “everything starts looking as a security to a securities’ regulator.”

The congressman also shared concerns that without coherent regulations the ICO sector in the U.S. may end up being regulated by a disparate patch of court rulings. “We want to protect that market,” Warren Davidson emphasized.

What are your thoughts on today’s Bitcoin in Brief topics? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Tether Shows Law Firm Its Funds But Stops Short of an Audit

Tether Shows Law Firm Its Funds But Stops Short of an Audit

Tether has released a surprise “Transparency Update” that purports to show it has enough funds in the bank to cover the $2.6 billion of USDT in circulation. The company has stopped short of a full audit, however, leaving critics bemoaning  Tether’s inability to settle the solvency debate once and for all.

Also read: Major Korean Crypto Exchange: $31 Million Vanishes

Tether Tries to Dispel the FUD

Tether Shows Law Firm Its Funds But Stops Short of an AuditSpeculating over the solvency of Tether, and specifically whether its dollar-pegged stablecoin is actually backed by fiat reserves, is a pastime that has spawned entire Twitter personas devoted to the issue. Vocal Tether critic Bitfinexed has been joined by a growing chorus of critics demanding full transparency from Tether, which is part owned by Bitfinex. Tether has now obliged, producing, for the second time in six months, a legal report into its financial standing.

The report, which was produced by the law firm of a former FBI director, carries weight from a legal perspective. But it fails to provide cast iron guarantees that Tether is not operating a fractional reserve. Until the company’s accounts are professionally audited, the true state of Tether’s finances will remain a point of speculation.

“As many are aware, Tether and related parties have been the subject of scrutiny over the course of the past several months,” begins the Transparency Update. “We have spent our time largely disregarding these allegations, instead letting our efforts, and the continued faith of our community of users, speak for themselves.” Many cryptocurrency traders would rather Tether had addressed these issues sooner rather than letting the blind “faith” of its community serve as a guarantee.

Enter Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan

Tether Shows Law Firm Its Funds But Stops Short of an AuditThe magnificently named Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan are the legal firm who were handed the task of taking a snapshot of Tether’s bank balance. This they did on June 1, whereupon they confirmed that there were sufficient funds to cover all USDT in circulation on a 1:1 basis.

“Recent reports have opened our eyes to the fundamental lack of understanding surrounding Tether, the issuance and redemption mechanisms, and the compliance procedures that we have built,” continues the Transparency Update document. “To mitigate this, we will be taking additional steps aimed at opening up Tether to the general public and clearing away any uncertainty that may exist.”

The simple answer, and the one that cryptocurrency holders have been screaming out for, is for Tether to commission an independent audit. Only once that has been completed can the lingering doubt disperse and faith in Tether be restored. While today’s report is hardly the all-clear that the crypto community might have hoped for, its release still helped propel BTC up by $150, undoing the damage inflicted hours previously by the news of Bithumb’s $31 million hack.

Do you think Tether has the funds to cover all of the USDT in circulation? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

Cryptocurrency markets are steadily coasting along after suffering from some volatile low swings last week. Over the past 24 hours, most cryptocurrencies are still in the red nurturing losses between 1-3 percent, and a few are in the green by a few percentages. At the time of publication, the price of bitcoin cash (BCH) is hovering around $850 per coin. Meanwhile, bitcoin core values are meandering just above the $6,500 region.

Also read: William Shatner Joins Bitcoin Mining Project, Admits He Doesn’t Quite Get It

SEC Announcement Adds Second Wind Into the Cryptocurrency Market Sails

Since last week’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ cryptocurrency market have seen some slight recovery but not by much. Markets were dropping pretty low up until the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed cryptocurrencies that are decentralized are not securities. After the SEC’s head of the Division of Corporate Finance, William Hinman, made these statements digital asset markets saw a small rally and this push has kept markets from drawing lower, at least for a short period of time. The overall market valuation for all 1600+ cryptocurrencies is currently worth around $280Bn USD and 24-hour trade volume for the entire lot of digital currencies is $10.8Bn.

BCH Market Action

Bitcoin cash markets have steadily held above the $840 – $855 region over the past few hours with around $303Mn in 24-hour trade volume. Just like before last week’s dump, trade volume is pretty flat and action has simmered down over the past day. The top exchanges swapping the most BCH today are Okex, Exx, Hitbtc, and Bitz. Bitcoin core (BTC) currently represents 48.8 percent of the trades swapped with BCH today. This is followed by tether (USDT 28.8%), USD (13%), KRW (4%) and ETH (2%). As of this writing, one BCH is equivalent to 0.1309 BTC, and bitcoin cash is the fifth highest trade volume.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

The daily and 4-hour charts on Bitfinex show that BCH bulls have some resistance ahead in order for the markets to progress upwards. The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) on the 4-hour BCH/USD chart show the short-term 100 SMA is above the long-term 200 trendline.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The two SMAs recently crossed hairs and this indicates a move to the upside could be in the cards. Both the Relative Strength Index (RSI) oscillator (54) and the MACd show deep consolidation and a touch of uncertainty. Looking at order books shows BCH bulls have some solid resistance past the $870 mark and some more between $900 – $950. On the backside, stronger foundations have been built up over the past few days and BCH bears will see some pit stops around $825 and $775.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BTC Market Action

As mentioned above, bitcoin core markets have been hovering just above the $6,500 territory for most of today’s trading sessions. Trade volume over the past 24 hours for BTC is around $3.1Bn and the overall market capitalization today is $111Bn. The top five exchanges by BTC trade volume on June 16 are Bitfinex, Coinbase, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Neraex. The Japanese yen today is dominating BTC trades today by over 71 percent. This is followed by tether (USDT 14.3%), USD (9.1%), KRW (1.6%), and the EUR (1.3%). Currently, BTC dominance amongst all the other markets is 39.9 percent.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

4-hour and daily charts for GDAX and Bitstamp’s BTC/USD markets show quite a bit of consolidation as well. We can see from this chart that the two SMAs have also crossed paths with the 100 SMA just above the 200 SMA trendline. This indicates the path of least resistance will be towards the upside, but much like the BCH/USD 4-hour chart the gap is small, and the two could easily cross again.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

RSI levels are the same as well (52) and the MACd looks to be heading southbound soon. The current resistance zone for BTC bulls is between $6650 and $6775 (20 and 50 MA) at press time. On the back side, bears will meet resistance between 6400 and 6200 and significant foundational buy support beyond that. If things were to go into the sub-$6K region, the $5K region will likely hold for a very long time. However, at any time between this vantage point and that theoretical region, we could see a strong impulse leg upward.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The Top Cryptocurrency Markets

On Saturday, June 16 the second highest valued market held by ethereum (ETH) is up 1.7 percent and one ETH is averaging around $500. Ethereum values over the last seven days are down 14 percent. Ripple XRP markets are down 0.4 percent over the last 24-hours and down 18 percent during the course of the week. One XRP is trading for $0.53 cents per token. The fifth largest market, EOS, is up 0.12 percent and down 23 percent over the last seven days. The EOS token is trading for $10.67 and the currency holds the fourth highest trade volumes today.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The Verdict: Skepticism Remains Strong

The verdict this weekend still leans towards the bearish side taking into consideration the current charts, but mostly, market volumes have been considerably low. The SEC news helped add some positivity to an otherwise extremely gloomy week as far as markets were concerned. Traders are likely to remain skeptical for the time being until some bullish signals appear. The good news is markets have found support once again but where it will take us from here is hard to say.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


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EOS Mainnet Now Two-Thirds of the Way to Activation

The EOS mainnet has still not gone live, but it’s inching closer to activation now that the block producer voting threshold has reached two-thirds of the required participation. As CCN reported, blockchain development company Block.one released the first version of the EOSIO software on June 2 at the conclusion of its yearlong initial coin offering

The post EOS Mainnet Now Two-Thirds of the Way to Activation appeared first on CCN

New Report Blames Tether for Bitcoin’s Bull Run

New Report Blames Tether for Bitcoin’s Bull Run

Tether is back in the news thanks to a new report alleging it played a pivotal role in bitcoin’s mega-bull run last year. This isn’t the first time the dollar-pegged stablecoin has been blamed for market manipulation, but is the most compelling evidence to date that 2017’s record highs may not have been entirely organic.

Also read: Ripple CEO: Bitcoin Controlled by Chinese, Absurd to Think it Could be Primary World Currency

How Untethered Is Bitcoin?

Meet the Stablecoins Trying to Take on Tether“Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered?” runs the title of a provocative new research paper published today. Its authors have taken an algorithmic investigative approach, using blockchain analysis to determine the extent to which timed release of tethers into the cryptocurrency ecosystem may have served as a tool for artificially inflating prices. Long-time tether critic Bitfinexed has been alleging as much for months, and successfully persuaded a portion of the cryptocurrency community that tether-led market manipulation was rampant.

At the time, though, when BTC was hitting new all-time highs virtually every day all through November and December, most traders didn’t care; they were too busy watching their portfolio go up. But in the sober light of 2018’s enduring bear market, tether’s ability to influence the price of BTC is of major concern. If it transpires that last year’s record prices were the result of manipulation then without tether’s support, the prospect of bitcoin hitting another all-time high is remote. In fact, with BTC currently languishing below $6,500, even five figures feels like a long way off.

Tether Consistently Pumps BTC, Claims Report

Tether Back in the Printing Business With Massive $300 Million BatchThe abstract to the report by John M. Griffin and Amin Shame states: “We find that purchases with Tether are timed following market downturns and result in sizable increases in Bitcoin prices…such heavy Tether transactions are associated with 50% of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin and 64% of other top cryptocurrencies…These patterns cannot be explained by investor demand proxies but are most consistent with the supply-based hypothesis where Tether is used to provide price support and manipulate cryptocurrency prices.”

This flies in the face of a previous study which found little correlation between tether printing and BTC price increases. “[The author’s] testing does not support the claims that BTC prices are moved by USDT printing — although, Ivanov explains, his statistical analysis doesn’t necessarily fully disprove tether manipulations,” we wrote in February. The author of that report conceded, however, that only a complete audit of tether would settle the matter once and for all.

Not everyone is convinced that prices increasing following tether printing is proof of manipulation

Tether Rises to Claim 12th Spot by Market Cap

For a cryptocurrency whose price is designed to stay constant, at $1 a token, tether has been on the rise recently. It recently leapfrogged dash and monero to claim 12th spot in the cryptocurrency charts based on market cap. This feat is due to the decline of the cryptocurrency market in general, which currently stands at $273 billion. As the markets continue to bleed red, tether, together with other stablecoins, forms one of the few safe harbors.

New Report Blames Tether for Bitcoin’s Bull Run

Bolstering the findings of today’s report into tether is the revelation that cryptos such as ether and zcash also pumped following the release of tether, with the green candles often breaking out on USDT exchanges first. When Bitfinex stopped issuing tethers for a while earlier this year, the cryptocurrency breakouts also ceased.  At 66 pages, and complemented by meticulous charts, citations, and algorithmical analysis, the authors of today’s report have produced the most comprehensive tether investigation to date.

The report finishes: “Overall, our findings provide substantial support for the view that price manipulation may be behind substantial distortive effects in cryptocurrencies. These findings suggest that external capital market surveillance and monitoring may be necessary to obtain a market that is truly free. More generally, our findings support the historical narrative that dubious activities are not just a by-product of price appreciation, but can substantially contribute to price distortions and capital misallocation.”

Do you think tether played a part in inflating prices last year? Let us know in the comments section below.


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