Bitcoin Stolen in 2016 $72 Million Bitfinex Hack Moving

Some of the stolen BTC during the $72 million hack of crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016 has been just moved.

Whale Alert that tracks large movements of top cryptocurrencies reported that 28.3 BTC worth more than $255k has been moved to an unknown wallet.

Four years back, Bitfinex lost 120,000 BTC worth $72 million, when the price of bitcoin was about $600. Today, with each BTC at $9,160, this stash is now worth more than $1 billion.

This isn’t the first time that these hackers are moving their funds. Back in June, last year about 185 BTC were transferred to unknown addresses, at that time BTC price was up over 60% YTD at around $10,000. Then in August, 30 BTC were also moved.

Now, just as happens with large transfers, the crypto community fears the worst.

One twitter user said, “If btc does not crash to sub 4k in 1 month, I’ll delete my twitter.”

Large amounts of Bitcoin on the move surely affects the price as happened on May 10. The BTC price fell about 16% that day after a large deposit took place on Gemini; but that deposit was “abnormally” large at 2,500 BTC unlike just over 28 BTC.

Such kind of big deposits result in heightened activity on the exchange where they were made but also triggers market sell on other exchanges as well. This causes a significant increase in trade volume across all exchanges, resulting in a drop in Bitcoin’s price.

However, at times, relatively small and few orders can also have a significant impact on liquidity across many major exchanges.

Just this week, there was speculation led sell-off that resulted in a brief decline of about 7% in BTC price.

It was after Whale Alert reported that 50 Bitcoin had been moved from a wallet dormant since February 2009. Whale Alert suggested it might have been bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto who moved the coins, triggering the panic among the market, but as we reported it was very unlikely.

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Author: AnTy

Bitfinex Partners With Koine to Offer Institution-Grade Crypto Custody to Clients

The digital asset trading platform Bitfinex has closed a partnership with Koine to provide the exchange’s customers institutional-grade digital asset custody services.

Koine made the announcement of its new partnership on Wednesday. The exchange is registered in the British Virgin Islands and aims to draw in new institutional investors through this new collaboration. Offering them the opportunity of storing their holdings safely. Koine’s CEO and chairman Hugh Hughes said this about the new agreement:

“Collaborating with Bitfinex to help bring new funds into their trading environment is an extremely important step in our evolution.

It is leading exchanges like these that will benefit from the shift to a more traditional market structure that will quickly lead to institutional capital participation and the rapid growth of trading from algorithmic funds.”

Koine Is FCA Regulated

London-based Koine has been regulated by the UK’s financial market authority known as the Financial Conduct Authority or in short, the FCA. It offers custody solutions and features a platform that provides both digital assets and fiat currencies segregated and settlement custody services.

In the Wednesday announcement was also detailed how Koine’s customers who have Bitfinex accounts are going to be able to obtain for their trades a line of credit on the exchange. Koine has in place a security model that replaces the hot wallet and cold storage model, which isn’t so secure seeing private keys still need to be eyed by staff.

It can be that Koine’s security model, together with its DvP settlement and the fiat custody services is a post-trade alternative to traditional capital markets.

Bitfinex Runs an Aggressive Expansion of Services

A little bit controversial, Bitfinex has an aggressive approach when it comes to the way it expands its services. Only last month, it launched a social networking platform for its traders to interact with each other.

Furthermore, it offers multiple staking services and up to 10% annual interest. After it added Tezos (XTZ) staking to its platform yesterday, it did it again today for Algorand (ALGO). Here’s what Bitfinex’s CTO, Paolo Ardoino, had to say about the new partnership:

“We have always focused on building a service fit for institutional trading.

In this collaboration with Koine for the delivery of custody post-trade infrastructure, we make another step on the path towards massive institutional participation in the crypto-trading market.”

In the meantime, Koine is closing other partnerships with many crypto players, as it aims to expand its custodial services. For example, it recently announced its collaboration with London-based digital asset OTC broker Digital RFQ.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bitfinex Applies for 3 Subpoenas to Help Recover $880M in Crypto Capital’s Frozen Funds

BitFinex seeks subpoenas from U.S courts to depose U.S based banks after its payment processing firm, Crypto Capital, had its funds frozen in 2019. According to the subpoenas sent to Colorado, Arizona, and Georgia, Tether’s sister company, iFinex, looks to the federal courts to intervene in the release of over $800 million in its funds held in the U.S bank accounts after its payment processing firm accounts were seized by international authorities.

BitFinex Requests Bank Records From U.S Affiliated Banks

Bitfinex aims to obtain a court order that asks the banks that stored funds for Crypto Capital including SunTrust Bank in Georgia, Bank of Colorado, ABT & Trust in Arizona, to release their bank records. This allows BitFinex to prove the company held funds in Crypto Capital’s bank accounts in Poland, Lisbon, London, and across other countries that seized the company’s assets.

The statement from BitFinex reads,

“Crypto Capital subsequently transferred funds between and among various banks, including in Europe and the United States.

In the U.S. alone, Applicant has information that Crypto Capital used accounts held not only at SunTrust, but also Bank of America, Bank of Colorado, Citibank, Enterprise Bank & Trust, HSBC, Stearns Bank, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, and US Bank.”

As the global banks across the world shut its doors for BitFinex given the regulatory requirements regarding crypto, the exchange chose Crypto Capital to process its payments. The exchange claims to have deposited over $800 million in the bank accounts over the years. Now under investigation under criminal charges for AML compliance, the exchange cannot access their funds.

This is the second wave of subpoenas sent out by the exchange after October 2019 filed in Californian courts. The court granted the exchange a testimony from a former TCA Bancorp executive on the Crypto Capital accounts. The exchange was also successful in obtaining a court order in Arizona to check Crypto Capital accounts too.

The Freeze: Crypto Capital

BitFinex’s payment processing bank, Crypto Capital, saw its accounts frozen in 2019 after the President of the company, Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, was charged in Poland for being part of an international money-laundering ring. Ivan is accused of helping drug cartels and mobsters to launder over $360 million on its exchange.

Notwithstanding, Crypto Capital’s, Oz Yosef, is also in trial on conspiracy to commit bank fraud, actual bank fraud and plans to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitfinex Launches A Social Network, Giving Traders a ‘Pulse’ on the Latest Market Insights

Major crypto exchange firm, Bitfinex has launched a new social network for its users. According to Cointelegraph, the exchange platform is seeking to take advantage of the social network craze. The new social network is dubbed Bitfinex Pulse and users will now have a chance to trade, collaborate on different concepts as well as various market related aspects.

According to a report published by Finance Magnates, the new social network will offer users an advantage in the trading space since they will now be able to easily communicate with various traders around the world.

Differs From The Existing Social Trading Network

Bitfinex is the latest entrant in the social trading space. There are different platforms with their own similar products like eToro, which offers trader profiles, copy trading, messaging as well as statistics. The eToro platform also allows users to easily participate in comparable or related positions like other traders.

However, according to Bitfinex, the new product will be different from the one by eToro. The firm explained that unlike eToro, Bitfinex Pulse is designed to specifically address the needs of traders within the platform. Bitfinex explained:

“The emphasis will be on the niche, high-quality content that this more technically proficient audience requires.”

Bitfinex also clarified that its social network will not contain copy trading features. However, there are scanty details on how users will be verified on the new social network.

Crypto trading is highly a digital activity and traders and crypto enthusiasts have always been highly active on various social media platforms. Twitter as well as other social networks have always been platforms holding different discussions especially when there are unexpected events in the market.

Bitfinex has been in the news for various controversies in the recent past. The parent company iFinex has been involved in a class action lawsuit with claims of market manipulation.  However, the firm has been involved in various activities aimed at enhancing its growth. Earlier this month, the firm launched staking services.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Now Offers Staking on EOS, VSYS, and ATOM; XTZ Coming Soon

One of the largest crypto exchanges, Bitfinex, is ready to begin offering staking services to their customers as a result of high consumer demand for it.

The announcement was made on April 3 and says the staking rewards offered by Bitfinex will be up to 10% per year on crypto assets that use the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm. Here’s what Paolo Ardoino, the exchange’s CTO, had to comment about the news:

“We’re committed to engaging our existing users and the wider community with new products and innovations. The Bitfinex Staking Rewards Program provides our users with another avenue to increase their holdings on our platform.”

Customer Demand for Staking Has Been High

Ardoino also mentioned that the exchange’s customers asked in very high numbers for staking, the service that allows traders to make passive income on the crypto assets they hold with Bitfinex. Staking here will support 3 cryptocurrencies: Cosmos (ATOM), V-Systems (VSYS) and EOS. It was specified that more stackable tokens are going to be added in the following months and that Tezos (XTZ) will launch in May.

Furthermore, Ardoino talked about the launch of P2P margin trading or lending-related products and derivatives sometimes soon. The promotion of the new staking service includes a competition in which Bitfinex branded apparel can be won.

Passive Income Options Are Now Everywhere

Crypto exchanges are in a fierce competition when it comes to offering their customers opportunities to generate passive income on the crypto assets they’re holding. Back in March, OKEx consolidated its Earn interface for staking, lending and term-deposit services, offering passive income streams for up to 32 crypto assets. OKEx’s director of financial markets, Lennix Lai, said that traditional banking could never offer the opportunity of staking when it comes to generating passive income.

Crypto.com launched on March 23 the Crypto Earn service that offers returns of as much as 12% per year on its platform’s deposited TrustToken stablecoins. Crypto.com’s CMO Sean Rach said the more products that help customers generate passive income with crypto are created, the more the crypto industry gets a chance to compete fairly with banks and traditional banking models.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bitfinex Rolls Out Shimmer Surveillance Tool To Reduce Suspicious Trading Activities

One of the largest digital currency exchanges, Bitfinex, has made on Tuesday the announcement that it’s going to deploy a proprietary surveillance tool that can combat all the abuse happening in the crypto trading market.

The tool is called Shimmer and will help Bitfinex both identify and investigate potential suspicious and manipulative practices, an activity that’s supposed to improve the market’s visibility and integrity, according to the exchange.

Bitfinex Decided to Develop Its Own Surveillance System

Bitfinex’s CTO, Paolo Ardoino, said about the new tool that:

“Comprehensive market and trade surveillance capabilities are integral to operating a leading cryptocurrency exchange. To meet the complex needs of an evolving digital asset class and to protect our sophisticated participants, Bitfinex has chosen to develop its own state-of-the-art surveillance system. This will help to assure that potentially manipulative practices are rooted out and suspicious behaviour detected.”

In case Shimmer finds anything unusual, it immediately sends the details of the potential manipulation to the exchange’s surveillance team. The information arrives in the form of emails and includes summaries of the suspicious trading patterns on the exchange’s pairs.

What Measures Will be Taken to Stop Manipulation?

One of Shimmer’s ways to block manipulative tactics is wash trading. Wash trading can take place when users buy and sell assets to mislead the market, or are trying layering, the situation of buy orders being used to confuse what’s being circulated about the demand and supply of a specific token.

Bitfinex Suspected of Market Manipulation

Some voices are saying Shimmer is only a mirage, as Bitfinex has ties with Crypto Capital, the controversial payment processing company. It seems the exchange lost funds worth about $1 billion more than a year ago, and the money were in Crypto Capital’s holding. Crypto Capital claims Portuguese, American and Polish officials have seized those funds.

In other words, Bitfinex faces charges of manipulation the market itself, seeing it lost so much through Crypto Capital. More than this, iFinex, which is the company owning Bitfinex and Tether, has a lawsuit going on. This lawsuit was filed by the New York Attorney General’s office and charges the iFinex with using Tether reserves illegally to replace about $850 million of Bitfinex users’ funds.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bitfinex Exchange to Remove 87 Crypto Trading Pairs Next Week to Improve Liquidity

Invoking low liquidity, the digital assets and crypto trading platform Bitfinex announces that it’s going to delist more than 87 of its trading pairs starting next week.

The move indicates an increased competition in the market, especially within the altcoin space, which can lead to greater volatility. Some altoins will only lose their Ethereum (ETH), or Bitcoin (BTC) pairing, while others will be completely dropped from the exchange.

Bitfinex Has Many Trading Pairs

Bitfinex, known for its vast selection of altcoins to trade against BTC/ETH helped it to achieve its success early on. However, it has witnessed a substantial drop in volume in the last 2 years. It has lost its popularity as one of the top exchanges in the market, especially for newcomers.

Removing the coins that aren’t performing as well as they once did is only logical. This change will improve and consolidate liquidity, which would further lead to a more optimized and streamlined trading experience for Bitfinex users.

The Crypto Community Is Not Very Supportive of Bitfinex

This move may not come as a surprise to most crypto traders, the exchange dropped out of the ranking as a top exchange when users became skeptical about the financial situation between the exchange and its sister company, Tether.  So much so that the NYAG filed a suit against them.

While the cryptocurrency space is becoming more and more mainstream, the Bitfinex’s position is unsustainable. Not only popular among traders and having a large trading pair selection, but Binance has also worked to comply with governmental laws and regulators, not to mention it offers transparency when it comes to operations. This is the reason why it has shown so much growth lately.

Altcoins Will Be Impacted by the Delisting

This delisting is not the only one in the altcoin space as of late. Many crypto enthusiasts said platforms are going to fail at some point, so being cut by exchanges is just the beginning.

Earlier this year Bittrex and Poloniex have also dropped their alts that weren’t performing so well. The challenge for projects isn’t to only have a high market cap or to be listed but to implement the adoption and use of blockchain technology, which is a criterion most altcoins won’t meet.

You can find the full list of pairs here.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bitfinex Exchange Adds $280M Crypto Hedge Fund, Targeting Institutional Investors

Crypto exchange Bitfinex has listed Bahamas based $280 million Fulgur Alpha Hedge Fund. The fund has their assets stored by custodian Delchain Limited. Fulgur Alpha relies on the absolute returns model which guarantees steady returns all through.

Reports have emerged that digital asset trading platform Bitfinex have now taken up a multimillion dollar listing. Through an announcement Bitfinex has cemented their reputation as a source of liquidity for investors when they listed $280 million Fulgur Alpha hedge fund. These were sentiments shared by Bitfinex Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino.

“The onboarding of Fulgur Alpha cements Bitfinex’s position as the go-to venue for major crypto funds, market makers and arbitrageurs.”

Bahamas based Hedge Fund Fulgur Alpha is an absolute return fund which means that they guarantee steady returns regardless of how the market is doing. Their funds are held by custodian Delchain Limited steered by Deltec Fund Services which is also based in Bahamas.

Bitfinex’s top brass is confident that the Fulgur Alpha approach which is an emerging trend is likely to be picked up by other funds

Tailored for Institutional Investment

As highlighted by Paolo Ardoino, the fund would only be open to institutional investors coined ‘professional’. They would limit investments to minimums of $10 million. This is seen as an attempt to try and expand the assets they manage.

According to Bruno Macchialli, Executive Head of Operations at Delchain, was confident that their new approach is an instrumental benchmark for institutional investments in crypto.

“We’re bringing a traditional fund set up to the crypto space, with a diversification of risk, making this a unique proposition that has not been seen before.”

This is as crypto hedge funds have seen their fortunes swell with 21.15% returns in January amidst the ongoing crisis as COVID-19 virus has had a direct impact on the day to day operations.

Notably Hedge funds have increased their fortunes when they included crypto assets. This was witnessed first-hand when Bill Miller’s Hedge fund saw 46% increment in the first half of 2019 that were directly linked to BTC and in part Amazon.

Not available to US markets yet

They have however been keen to exclude US and Bahama’s investors amongst other restricted jurisdictions such as North Korea and Iran.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Tether’s Gold-backed Stablecoin (XAU₮) Now Available For Futures Trading on Bitfinex, FTX

The crypto derivatives exchange FTX has announced the listing of Tether Gold (XAUT), whereas Bitfinex, the Tether’s company sister exchange, rolls out XAUT futures trading.

FTX users are now enabled for XAUT against the US dollar trading. Aside from the XAUT/USD pair they can use, they will also be able to buy and sell perpetual or quarterly expiring Tether Gold futures contracts. Starting today, Bitfinex users will be able to trade futures contracts on XAUT against Tether (USDT), the US dollar-pegged stablecoin.

iFinex Financial Technologies to Provide Trading on Bitfinex

Bitfinex made the announcement on Friday, saying that traders are now able to buy and sell up to 100x leverage assets at an established data and price in future. The service will be provided by an iFinex product division called iFinex Financial Technologies. iFinex is the parent company of Tether and Bitfinex.

Only certain jurisdictions will have the XAUT/USDT futures trading active, also verified users, even if Bitfinex doesn’t ask for accounts to be verified. The jurisdictions are the same with those mentioned on the Bitfinex official website. Venezuela, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Crimea’s annexed regions’ residents are prohibited from using the service.

News Was Released After XAUT Hit the $21 Million Market Cap

Bitfinex says in its Friday announcement that this launch of futures contracts trading for XAUT will bring much more exposure to the asset. XAUT crossed the $21 million market cap on Wednesday, March 4, when it became the world’s biggest digital asset backed by gold and overtook PAX Gold (PAXG).

At the moment, XAUT’s market cap accounts for $26.8 million, whereas PAXG’s for around $18.7 million, says crypto tracker Etherscan. PAXG was launched a few months before XAUT, being the first crypto asset that could be redeemed in gold. XAUT came at the end of January 2020 and immediately rolled out trading on Bitfinex.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bitfinex To Delist 46 Crypto Trading Pairs Due to Low Liquidity On March 6th

Bitfinex crypto exchange has revealed that it will kickoff a delisting process starting from coming Friday to remove crypto trading pairs that have very low volumes.

In a blog post released on March 2, Bitfinex stated that it will delist 46 cryptocurrency trading pairs starting on March 6 as a result of low liquidity within the platform. The exchange platform also stated that the removal of the said trading pairs is a normal procedure that is meant to enhance the platform’s liquidity. The blog post also stated that the exercise will streamline as well as optimize the trading experience of the platform’s clients.

Most of the crypto trading pairs which are set to be delisted coming Friday comprise a big list of altcoins that trade against Ether (ETH) which is the second-largest crypto as per its market cap. The list comprises 30 trading pairs such as OKEx tokens (OKB), Nucleus Vision (NCASH) and Verge (XVG).

The rest of the trading pairs comprises of altcoins that trade against Bitcoin (BTC) such as Hydrol Protocol (HOT) as well as Medicalchain (MTN/BTC). The exchange also lists two altcoins that trade against Dai (DAI) which include OmiseGO (OMG/DAI) as well as 0x (ZRX) /DAI. The other trading pair facing the chop trades against Yen (XVG/JPY).

Bitfinex advises its clients to cancel all open orders with the targeted trading pairs by 10.00 AM UTC on March 6. The exchange stated that any remaining open orders by that time will instantly be canceled.

As per data retrieved from the crypto tracking platform, CoinGecko, as of now, Bitfinex supports approximately 350 trading pairs within its platform. By publication time, Bitfinex’s trading volume per day stands at $118 million, Coin360 data shows.

Liquidity within the crypto industry is the ease at which a certain crypto asset can become cash with no effect on its price. Delisting is a common activity to enhance liquidity for crypto exchanges. Bitfinex is not the only platform to delist trading pairs with low liquidity. In 2019, Binance conducted a delisting exercise where 30 crypto trading pairs were removed.

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Author: Joseph Kibe