Bitfinex & Tether Class Lawsuit Revised; Adding Bittrex and Poloniex to Alleged Manipulation

  • Revised lawsuit on Bitfinex’s alleged price manipulation of the market using Tether (USDT) during the 2017 bull run to $19,800 has added two U.S based cryptocurrency exchanges
  • US Based Bittrex Exchange and Justin Sun owned, Poloniex
  • Bitfinex still claiming they are “false allegations”

According to a recently revised class action lawsuit filing to the U.S. Southern District Court of New York, Bittrex and Poloniex are the recent defendant additions to alleged charges on supposedly manipulating the Bitcoin market using unbacked Tether (USDT) stablecoins back. The plaintiffs claim the Bitfinex Inc. and its affiliated companies caused billions of losses to traders from the manipulation.

The filing claims that if BitFinex, Bittrex, and Tether would not have manipulated the market, the sharp rise is seen at the end of 2017 and the successive year-long bloodshed would not have happened at such proportions. Multiple class lawsuits arose from the case claiming BitFinex Inc. and its ring of exchange affiliates enabled the printing of billions of dollars of USDT and artificial pumping of BTC and the altcoin market.

The lawsuits were merged into one last year and have now revised it to include Poloniex and Bittrex – also allegedly involved in the manipulation of markets. The lawsuit states,

“Bittrex and Poloniex accepted these transfers and knowingly allowed Bitfinex and Tether—as owners of the addresses holding the USDT—to sell the debased USDT for crypto-commodities on their exchanges, driving up the crypto-commodity prices.”

According to the original filing, BitFinex and Tether were accused of printing USDT and using the stablecoins to boost the prices of at least $1 trillion USD in different crypto assets. The NY federal court shut down efforts by BitFinex to dismiss the class-action lawsuit in November and the second lawsuit in the US Court for the Western District of Washington was opened a fortnight later.

Two plaintiffs have been dropped from the case, David Leibowitz and Global Trades Solution AG, both of whom were represented in the original filing. The new filing also includes Matthew Script as a new plaintiff alongside Benjamin Leibowitz, Jason Leibowitz, Aaron Leibowitz, and Pinchas Goldshtein.

BitFinex and Tether Denounces the Lawsuit

BitFinex and its sister company, Tether released a statement on June 4, 2020, claiming the lawsuits filed with the U.S District court are “false allegations”. Stuart Hoegner, General Counsel for Bitfinex said the lawsuit claims causation due to a correlation between the USDT demand growth and BTC price surge. Hoegner further said,

“This meritless lawsuit is an insult to the ingenuity of Tether’s customers, as well as the success and innovation of the industry and all who play a role in it.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

EOS-Based DeFi, Equilibrium, Adds Binance, Eosfinex to EOSDT Stablecoin Governance Council

  • Binance and Eosfinex, Bitfinex’s decentralized exchange, are some of the big names in crypto to join Equilibrium’s EOSDT stable coin governance committee.

According to official reports, the two companies joined the council alongside independent block producers, EOS Nation and EOS Cannon, to provide oversight over approval of contracts and amendments made on smart contracts on the EOSDT stablecoin blockchain.

Equilibrium is an EOS based open finance platform that offers similar capabilities to Maker platform with EOSDT similar to the DAI stablecoin. With the new governance team in place, Alex Melikhov, CEO of Equilibrium, said this will allow the network to fully utilize the features on EOS in his statement,

“One of the main advantages of EOS lies in updatable smart contract code. In other words you can migrate to new versions of your application seamlessly without hard stop of the whole system.”

Binance involvement in the governance of the Equilibrium chain will see the exchange oversee every smart contract on the platform, granting access to upgrades or rejecting them. However, the governance council regulations require at least two parties to give their consent before the smart contract is implemented.

“You can also consider it as establishing a four-eyed principle for Equilibrium’s EOSDT.”

The decision to add the new members was voted by the existing council members not only Equilibrium, Alex said. This is to ensure the best and most reliable participants in governance are chosen for the slots. Such decisions are uncommon on Ethereum DeFi platforms whereby the founders hold the admin keys of the protocol giving them absolute power over the system.

Equilibriums governance council, while not fully trustless, offers the blockchain “decentralization by creating a proof-of-authority framework which consists of trusted counterparts that are independent according to their background.” Alex further said,

“Instead of a single owner who can potentially do whatever they want there is a group of reputable and known ecosystem participants who bid their reputation on the integrity/relevance of these updates.”

While the verdict remains unknown on why Binance joined the governance council, the possibility of BNB being added as a backing asset to the EOSDT stablecoin has improved. According to one spokesperson from the largest crypto exchange, top management is looking forward to BNB getting added as collateral on the Equilibrium DeFi platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitfinex Derivatives Rolls Out New Perpetual Swaps to Speculate on BTC Dominance

Bitfinex’s derivatives platform has launched a new perpetual swap product for traders based on Bitcoin’s market dominance.

Bitcoin’s dominance refers to the overall market cap share of the crypto market and is considered among one of the key metrics for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, being the king of cryptocurrencies, has the highest market dominance which currently stands at 68% at the time of press.

Coin360-5-7
Source: Coin360.com

The Bitifinex derivatives platform claimed that its Bitcoin Dominance Perpetual Swap is the first of its kind, believing that it is much more of a capital-efficient than a traditional long and short futures trade.

The derivative platform also claimed that its newly introduced perpetual swap is also less volatile than other products.

The newly launched Bitcoin dominance perpetual swaps are bound to be less volatile, given Bitcoin’s market dominance has remained stable over the time of its existence. Its volatility is way less than its spot market price.

For example, Bitcoin’s dominance a year ago was 55% and has remained between 60-70% since June of 2019, except for the recent market crash on March 12th.

One of the representatives from the exchange explained the thought process behind the launch of such unique perpetual swaps saying:

“Bitcoin has proven time and time again to be a safe haven for traders and it is continuing to be seen as digital gold.

Since global markets crashed in March as the COVID-19 crisis took hold, we have seen a huge increase in trading volume, reaching over $2B over a 24-hour period during the crash on March 13th. We believe the demand will still be there after the halving whilst the supply will be halved.”

Bitfinex’s subsidiaries continue to thrive and launch new products, despite its parent company iFinex being in hot waters for lawsuits filed against it on charges of market manipulation at the start of the year.

Last month, Bitfinex launched its own social media platform for traders – called Bitfinex Pulse – to help traders communicate more efficiently. Along with that it also launched a staking service at the start of the last month.

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Author: James W

NYAG Responds To Bitfinex, Tether Calls The Case A ‘Highly Misleading Factual Presentation’

The New York Attorney General Office (NYAG) has responded to Bitfinex’s appeal to have the authority stop the ongoing investigations against them and Tether. This filing was made with the Appellate court in New York and seems to be slowly mounting pressure on both Tether and Bitfinex whose NY operations were halted as early as January 2017.

Bitfinex and Tether’s Fund Mismanagement Background

Investigations on securities misconduct and operating as one entity began when the NYAG raised claims that Bitfinex was using funds from Tether’s USDT reserves to meet its liquidity needs. This was later spiked by the arrest of Crypto Capital officials, a financial institution, which operated as a shadow bank for crypto projects until authorities cracked down on some illegal activities they had facilitated.

Bitfinex found itself in the middle of the Crypto Capital collateral damage having stored around $625 million funds with the ‘crypto bank’. This forced the crypto exchange to use proceeds from Tether to meet withdrawal demands despite the prohibitions on such activities. In doing so, Bitfinex was looking to meet a short of $850 million arising from the frozen funds but instead attracted the authorities. Reports from the NYAG office claim that the two entities have common shareholders and executives; a position which may have influenced the funds movement.

The NYAG Argument for Investigating Bitfinex

In the latest filing, the NYAG defended itself based on the Martin Act which gives this office the authority to initiate investigations before starting legal proceedings on financial market misconduct. Basically, the appeal will determine the extent to which the NYAG can request for information or start a legal process to prosecute Bitfinex and Tether.

However, Bitfinex in their defense had claimed that the human resources in New York linked to the firm’s operations is not sufficient to place it within the state’s jurisdiction. According to the NYAG, this is not entirely correct given the exchange’s Chief Strategy Officer was based in New York as well as a number of representatives. Furthermore, there has been evidence to show that the Bitfinex platform has been accessed from New York in 2019 despite its ban for almost 2 years.

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Author: Lujan Odera

VeChain Foundation to Buy Back $25 Million Worth of VET Tokens

VeChain Foundation to Buy Back $25 Million Worth of VET Tokens
  • VET surges over 4% on the back of buyback plan
  • After Tron and Bitfinex’s LEO, VeChain is the latest one to announce the buyback plan

VeChain Foundation took to Twitter to share the exciting and bullish news with the community that involves a buyback plan.

Per this announcement, Sunny Lu, the CEO of VeChain, during the AMA marathon, announced that the VeChain Foundation Steering Committee has decided to conduct a VET buyback plan of up to $25 million USD over the course of the next twelve months.

This buy back plan reportedly will be used to incentivize the ecosystem builders for long term success.

VeChain is the 28th largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $463 billion. Its token VET is currently trading at $0.0083 with 24 hours gains of 4.48 percent, at the time of writing.

The community is excited about this news as is VET which is among the few cryptocurrencies that are in the green as top digital currencies are down 3 to 8 percent. It is also the only coin among the top 35 that is green by over 4 percent.

VeChain, however, is not the only one to come up with the buy back plan. Earlier this week, Tron Foundation announced a $20 million buyback plan that is part of its initiative to boost community activity and market stability. The official announcement reported it to be the largest Tron buyback plan so far and on January 1, 2020, it will reveal its TRX holding.

This month itself, crypto exchange Bitfinex announced a transparency initiative to provide a full view of the buyback and burning of its LEO exchange token. Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange already had a buyback and burn plan for its native digital currency Binance Coin (BNB).

This buyback plan followed the big news of Walmart China joining Vechain and PwC for its new blockchain traceability program.

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Author: AnTy