March Weekly Recap 2 March 15th – March 22nd, 2020 Welcome to our 3rd weekly recap for March. Overview      Crypto News COINBASE CARDS CAN NOW BE USED WITH GOOGLE PAY Coinbase announced Tuesday that Coinbase Cards can now be added to users’ Google Pay wallets, enabling crypto-backed payments from Google Pay-enabled devices, such as phones or smartwatches. Coinbase Cards launched its new Visa debit card for U.K. and European customers in April 2019. Holders can purchase everyday goods and services – up to £10,000 ($12,100) per day – with cryptocurrencies held in their exchange accounts that are instantly exchanged into the relevant fiat currency. The cards initially supported payments BTC, ETH, LTC and BCH. On November 2019, XRP, BAT, XLM tokens were also added to the roster. ARGENTINA’S GAS REGULATOR BUILT WITH BLOCKCHAIN Gasnet, a permissioned blockchain platform was launched Wednesday with approval from regulator Enargas. Running on an enterprise version of the RSK Smart Contract Network, Gasnet is designed to secure and speed Argentina’s chronically delayed gas certification processes.Continue reading »

March Weekly Recap 2 March 8th – March 14th, 2020 Welcome to our 2nd weekly recap for March. Overview      Crypto News ETHEREUM CONFERENCE ATTENDEES URGED TO TEST FOR COVID-19 On March 11, the co-founder of decentralized login service provider TorusLabs, Zhen Yu Yong (Zen), tweeted that he had been diagnosed with coronavirus COVID-2019. Zen urged people who may have been in contact with him during the ETHLondon hackathon or the Ethereum Community Conference (ECC) to take “extra precautions and/or get tested.” The coronavirus threat has impacted several major cryptocurrency conferences in recent weeks, leaving many crypto events canceled or postponed until later dates. CASH IS THE NEW SAFE HAVEN AS CRYPTO & GOLD CONTINUES TO FALL Liquidations set in on the cryptocurrency market the day after the U.S. announced European travel restrictions due to coronavirus fears Wednesday. Bitcoin is down 21 percent and Ethereum is down 27 percent over the past 24 hours. That’s more than the traditional markets, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 down nearly 8 percent. TradersContinue reading »

March Weekly Recap 1 March 1st – March 7th, 2020 Just like the January and February Report, our goal is to visually summarize the cryptocurrency market into an easy to understand and informative way. However, instead of the monthly duration, we will attempt to be more interactive with the market in a weekly format. Overview      Crypto News BAFIN CLARIFIES CRYPTO CLASSIFICATION IN GERMANY In a press release issued on Monday, March 2nd, 2020, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) clarified cryptocurrency as: “a digital representation of a value that has not been issued or guaranteed by any central bank or public body and is not necessarily linked to a currency specified by law and that does not have the legal status of a currency or money, but is accepted as a medium of exchange by natural or legal persons and can be transmitted, stored and traded electronically.” According to BaFin, the new classification echoes the guidelines of intergovernmental agencies like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). BaFin’sContinue reading »

February Recap   COVID-19  The new coronavirus strain continues to spread across the globe, and infection rates are only increasing exponentially. The World Health Organization has re-affirmed that there are no current effective treatment, and the viral mutation is still being researched. By March 1st, the coronavirus, now named COVID-19, has infected more than 90K people across 90 countries around the world. Outbreaks in South Korea, Italy and Iran have been especially infectious. City quarantines and factory closures are still in effect, and economic relations are still being affected. Mining difficulty and hash-rate for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has also been drastically influenced by the lack of production. Provided below is a visual representation of the comparison and differences between traditional markets and cryptocurrencies, and the continued effects of this virus outbreak has affected global economics for February. Overview Stock Indexes Traditional Stocks Cryptocurrencies Crypto News   Sources: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/24/808914718/secretive-church-sect-at-the-center-of-south-koreas-coronavirus-outbreak https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51673053 https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html?fbclid=IwAR2TqPvjKTFX9Divbax9Gjm2pgaJuStjwZ0eqhZRzGL8NnvePmOhrmlOqFA#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-28/germany-boosts-border-checks-google-scraps-event-virus-update https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-anthony-fauci-trump-admin-stops-discussion-2020-2 https://decrypt.co/20515/coronavirus-will-delay-chinas-digital-currency https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-us-live-updates-cdc-symptoms-prepare-how-mask-san-francisco-latest-a9360196.html?page=1#post-1185157259 https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/coronavirus-death-toll-infections-outbreak-evacuations-quarantine-latest-updates-2020-02-10/ https://thenextweb.com/neural/2020/03/02/alibabas-new-ai-system-can-detect-coronavirus-in-seconds-with-96-accuracy/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/us-marshals-to-auction-37m-in-confiscated-bitcoin-in-february https://cointelegraph.com/news/tesla-stock-now-looks-exactly-like-bitcoin-at-20k-in-2017 https://cointelegraph.com/news/tesla-stock-now-looks-exactly-like-bitcoin-at-20k-in-2017 https://cointelegraph.com/news/australia-to-release-national-blockchain-roadmap-after-year-of-preparation https://cointelegraph.com/news/trumps-new-budget-would-have-secret-service-investigate-crypto-crimes https://cointelegraph.com/news/egyptian-national-bank-turns-to-blockchain-to-boost-remittance-business https://cointelegraph.com/news/what-caused-bitcoin-price-to-surge-past-10k-over-the-weekend https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoins-mining-difficulty-stagnates-as-coronavirus-outbreak-delays-new-equipment https://www.coindesk.com/south-koreas-central-bank-is-building-a-new-blockchain-system-for-the-bond-market https://cointelegraph.com/news/samsung-keeps-cryptocurrency-functionality-in-galaxy-s20-models https://www.coindesk.com/dusk-network-plans-to-tokenize-equity-for-thousands-of-dutch-companies https://cointelegraph.com/news/hong-kong-and-abu-dhabi-change-crypto-regulations-to-align-with-fatf https://cointelegraph.com/news/house-committee-to-hold-hearing-on-benefits-of-blockchainContinue reading »

January Recap January 2020 has proven to be an interesting start to the new decade. Within a short period of a few weeks, the world experienced multiple crises in quick succession. Iran On January 3rd, 2020, the Trump administration authorized an airstrike which took the life of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The strike was justified by the administration as an act of self-defense, citing “imminent” threats to U.S personnel and assets. This event was the catalyst for widespread concern. But regardless of the reason, rising tensions between the two nations has understandably caused worldwide civil unrest, as further conflicts will deescalate into further violence in the Middle East. If war is declared, forces of both countries and their allies will undoubtedly also be involved. Q: Global relations aren’t the greatest right now, but what do you do when life gives you lemons that taste like imminent war? A: You invest in the military complex and commodities such as precious metals, oil and in recent times – cryptocurrency. Overview The tensionContinue reading »

Cryptocurrencies have grown from a niche underground market to become a diverse financial industry with many applications in daily life and in economics. The cryptocurrencies in circulation are versatile, and can be utilized as a store-of-value, investment, and /or as a currency to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. Growth has been a steady progression on multiple fronts for the market. Adoption has been growing at a faster rate than before since 2017, due to an increase in mainstream awareness.  As of now, Bitcoin alone has completed and recorded more than 400 million transactions. The daily transactions of BTC is currently an average of 350k transactions per day or 15k/hr. That’s about 4 transactions per second for Bitcoin. Bitcoin dominance is currently 66.6% in a market of 2957 cryptocurrencies. Due to sheer influence, it is no surprise that BTC’s metrics are often used to gauge the momentum and overall health of the industry. For BTC, and cryptocurrencies in general, one of the largest issues holding back user adoption interestsContinue reading »

According to the prosecution, Ivan Manuel Molina Lee is a member of the international drug cartel.   On Thursday evening, CASA, a transport aircraft, landed at Warsaw Chopin Airport; onto which Ivan Manuel Molina Lee was escorted into by the Polish police. Publicly known as the CEO of Crypto Capital, according to the Polish prosecutor’s office, he is also a member of the international drug cartel and has been prosecuted of international money laundering. Molina Lee was detained on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant issued by the prosecutor’s office in Wrocław. The RMF24 news source, which was the first to inform about the arrest of Molina Lee, reaffirms our own investigations, confirming that Molina is the president of the Crypto Capital company registered in Michałowice in Mazovia. This company, Crypto Capital – in turn, belongs almost entirely to a similar company in Panama, a company which maintains the deposit accounts of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, BitFinex, at the Bank Spółdzielczy in Skierniewice. ItContinue reading »

For the finale, let us show you where the Part I – III have been leading.  Though this is not the end of the “rabbit holes” we have been following, it is the point where we felt comfortable to really form a solid hypothesis of what is going on based on all of the data we have found.   Bank frauds As of April 30th, 2019, two individuals were charged with bank fraud in connections to cryptocurrency exchanges. Court documents released by the Justice Department reported that the alleged money services businesses operated between February and October 2018. It is interesting to note that this is within the same time frame as when Bitfinex saw $850mil disappear. Prosecutors say during this time, the two “opened and used numerous bank accounts at financial institutions that were insured by the [FDIC]”. [1] Two of the bank accounts named in the court document are allegedly held under the name Global Trading Solutions LLC, one apiece from HSBC Bank USA and HSBC Securities USA/Pershing LLC. GlobalContinue reading »

This is where the pieces come together. Have you noticed how often Bitfinex has been referenced in this story? It doesn’t feel like a coincidence.   Tether (USDT) Aside from the multiple incidences of hacks and lost funds, Bitfinex also still have to answer for their sister company’s controversies, Tether. It is no secret that Bitfinex and Tether have received subpoenas from U.S regulators. [1] Speculations that Bitfinex has been “operating a fractional reserve and is covering over its reserve deficit in complicity with Bitfinex” has existed since early 2017. These allegations are nothing new. [2] And remember when Bitfinex and CryptoCapital supposedly severed official relations? Not even a few months later, Bitfinex is still associated with CryptoCapital, and the relationship has not improved for the better.  According to statements in April 26, 2018, Bitfinex sent $850 million of customer and corporate funds to CryptoCapital Corp., and along the way it was “lost”. Representatives of Bitfinex and Tether reported to the NY Attorney General’s office that CryptoCapital claims the funds wereContinue reading »

Laundering money is one of the hardest things for cartels to do…so we are told.  As Part 2 unfolds,  we dig into the “potential” cartel involvement and start to paint the larger picture of how this is all intertwined together.   Cartel association On April 7th of 2018, reports originating from Poland sources informed readers that Polish prosecutors seized €400 mil from two companies, referred to as company M and company C, involving a long link of individuals and eventually leading to Bitfinex; and potential association to cartel involvements. [1] The story began when the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was in the process of building a new embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Company M, owned by a Canadian of Panamanian descent, impersonated the building contractor and intercepted the $400mil payment. Through an investigation with Interpol, it was revealed that company M was associated with company C, owned by a Colombian with Panamanian citizenship, who was in turn associated with a large online exchange of cryptocurrencies. PolishContinue reading »