Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Turns Himself in To US Authorities

Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Turns Himself in To US Authorities

Former chief executive officer of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, has turned himself into the US authorities on Tuesday in the case against the platform, him and other top executives, Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed, for violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

Hayes, a Singapore resident, surrendered in Hawaii six months after federal prosecutors charged them with conspiring to skirt U.S. laws requiring the implementation of money-laundering controls.

As agreed previously, he appeared before a federal judge in Honolulu and was released on a $10 million bond.

Hayes’ lawyers said in a statement that the “self-made entrepreneur” had been wrongly accused of crimes that he didn’t commit. Having already voluntarily appeared in court, Hayes now looks forward “to fighting these unwarranted charges,” they added.

Launched in 2014, Seychelles-based BitMEX was first probed by CFTC in 2019 regarding whether the exchange broke the rules by allowing US customers to trade on the platform. Serving US customers requires registration with the agency.

Back in October, the same day charges were unveiled by the agencies; Reed was arrested in Massachusetts while Delo turned himself in March. Delo has vowed to fight the charges, calling them unfounded and an overreach by U.S. authorities. Both have been pleaded not guilty and released on bond.

Gregory Dwyer, the company’s first employee and head of business operations who was also charged, meanwhile remains at large. Dwyer’s lawyers said they have been in touch with the government and have informed them of his whereabouts as well. The lawyers said in a statement,

“They are also aware that he has every intention to defend himself in court against these meritless charges and is eager to do so.”

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Author: AnTy

Here’s Why An Outspoken Bitcoin Supporter, Hedgeye CEO, Sold All His BTC

Keith McCullough, the chief executive officer of Hedgeye Risk Management, has sold all his Bitcoin to get back into the USD.

McCullough actually has been an outspoken Bitcoin supporter for some time now, but yesterday, he announced on Twitter that he is exiting his bitcoin position.

This certainly got the crypto community talking, with some pointing out how MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor decided to buy bitcoin at a higher price than McCullough sold his BTC at.

McCullough first jumped into the leading digital asset right at the height of the 2017 crypto rally.

Interestingly, his latest tweet came just two weeks after he said, “Bitcoin looks like a long” and that he will buy some more BTC. He further noted how it’s “inversely correlated, at an increasing rate, with the US dollar index.”

And this is the reason why he went short on BTC.

As McCullough retweeted Luca Balestrieri’s tweet, “He understands correlations, and he is not a permabull. He sold all his Bitcoins today, he didn’t say he won’t buy Bitcoin anymore. If the USD strengthens so all the (many) correlated things to it will go down, Bitcoin included. He booked a profit today to buy lower next future.”

“USD: was end of AUG the low? #Quad4 is US Dollar Bullish,” tweeted McCullough.

According to Hedgeye Risk management, the US economy is in Quad4 when GDP growth and inflation are slowing. And this is why he sold all his BTC; however, he did make money on his BTC trade.

Besides BTC, he also sold his Barrick Gold, bullion mining company, investment, and is shorting silver as well. And the reason is the same – while the yellow metal enjoyed US dollar weakness in the previous quarter, the precious metal would decline in this quarter with McCullough expecting the dollar to strengthen.

He also tweeted that bitcoin has today fallen under 410,600 “after failing Hedgeye TRADE resistance yesterday #Quad4.” According to him, “Evidently Bitcoin needed stimulus.”

Moreover, he sees Bitcoin as a long-term play.

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Author: AnTy

CoinMarketCap’s Top Execs Jump Ship; Did Binance Push Them Out or Seeking Greener Pastures?

After two years at CoinMarketCap as a chief strategy officer, Carylyne Chan, who has also been the acting CEO, is exiting the renowned cryptocurrency market data firm. Following Chan on the exit door are Spencer Yang and Jeremy Seow, the Vice Presidents in charge of Operations and Product, respectively.

Chan joined CoinMarketCap in January 2018 and announced that she would be leaving the company on Aug. 31. Chan was appointed as the interim CEO following the acquisition of CMC by Binance in April this year.

Seow was appointed as CoinMarketCap’s vice president in charge of products in June 2019. Yang also joined the data firm in June last year as the vice president in charge of operations, growth as well as revenue.

During her time at CoinMarketCap, Chan has implemented various policies which have seen the firm play a major part in the mainstreaming of the crypto market. Chan saw the firm launching on various platforms such as Reuters, Nasdaq as well as Bloomberg, with the firm’s crypto indices offering cryptocurrency data to a larger audience.

Speaking to Bitcoin Exchange Guide, Chan stated that she is leaving the company with hopes that CMC will play a vital role when it comes to crypto education and awareness. A crucial aspect of the strategy that she introduced was a feature known as CMC Alexandria, which is an educational sphere of CMC which looks to orient newbies to the crypto world.

Chan explained that there is a lot to do to ensure the mass adoption of crypto. She explained:

“Apart from shedding light on the complicated inner workings of crypto, I believe that there is also a lot more that we need to do to make the actual use of the technology easier. We’ve all known for a while that better user experiences and simplified interfaces and products will be key to ramping up adoption of crypto.”

Chan noted that she was proud that she was involved in hiring as well as training more than a quarter of CMC staff and is hopeful they will continue offering the best to the clients.

At publication time, the company was yet to communicate on the team that will take over from the departing management.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Insufficient Clarity for Regulations And Taxes May Force US Investors Move On: Coinbase Tax VP

The Chief Tax Officer of Coinbase, Lawrence Zlatkin, believes that lack of clarity in the US’ crypto taxes could alienate prospective investors. He shared these sentiments during a Unitized panel held on July 7, where he joined Rob Massey and Jessica Reif-Caplan, who are also tax leaders at Deloitte and Fidelity, respectively.

According to the point of view of this panel, plenty of countries are advanced when it comes to crypto taxation, compared to the U.S. Therefore, a move to such jurisdictions will soon be a no-brainer if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not match the global pace.

Most of the challenges in tax definition are a result of the complex underpinnings of crypto ecosystems. At the moment, digital assets are still in the grey zone with much ambiguity on operations, including tax issues. For instance, staking rewards that have gained popularity with the DeFi frenzy are still complex assets for a good number of crypto market stakeholders. Fidelity’s Reif-Caplan reiterated that:

“There are so many differences between various digital assets, and staking alone is such a complicated thing to understand if you are not that close to digital assets.”

A Motive for Overseas Expansion

As the IRS continues to forge clarity in reporting crypto taxes, firms like Coinbase, which already operate in the U.S, are already considering a shift to countries with more solid frameworks. Currently, U.S citizens are required to report crypto in their tax filings despite the lack of proper guidelines.

Zlatkin noted that this uncertainty would eventually cause an outflow of capital towards countries with a more mature view on the digital currencies. Coinbase has already considered expanding its footprint beyond the U.S market. Zlatkin said,

“It’s a growth model for us, just where we operate, accessing more customers, being able to trade more assets […]. Generally speaking, most customers in the space particularly would be from major jurisdictions like Canada, the U.K., the EU, and within Asia.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

VaultAge Solutions CEO Declared Bankrupt After Scamming Crypto Investors Out of Over $13M

Willie Breedt, chief executive officer of the crypto investment firm, VaultAge Solutions, has been declared bankrupt, who is currently on the run after defrauding thousands of investors, reported News24.

Started in 2018, the company traded Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its investors and promised to act as a “digital vault that grows wealth over time” to “alleviate financial strains from individuals, entrepreneurs, investors, and communities.”

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has sent a sequestration order that forces debtors into bankruptcy, to Breedt, who is currently under investigation for defrauding 2,000 investors for 277 million South African rands ($13.3 million).

The order was given after one of the company’s most prominent investors, Simon Dix, who entrusted R7.5 million (just over $440k) to Breedt, applied for it. Insolvency was granted, and previously, two accounts belonging to the company were also frozen.

Breedt went into hiding two weeks ago after some irate investors sent a group of “debt collectors” to recover their money from him. Just before he disappeared, he told police that he was being intimidated.

After the court granted the order, the police and a team of specialist cryptocurrency forensic investigators raided a house in Silver Lake where Breedt was allegedly hiding since mid-June, but he hasn’t been arrested yet.

The police, however, did find several electronic devices, including a laptop and his hardware wallet, Ledger Nano, that store cryptos.

The central bank of the country, South African Reserve Bank has now assigned PricewaterCoopers to investigate ValutAge and all the agents that were involved in selling cryptocurrencies.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple CTO Bullish on Bitcoin But Has Been Selling His Stash for Years

David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple, recently shared that he is still bullish on bitcoin but is currently selling his BTC stash.

On being asked by Adam Back, co-founder and chief executive officer of the blockchain technology company, Blockstream, “aren’t you pro-BTC and converting XRP into Bitcoin?” Schwartz shared,

“Nope. I’ve been slowly selling bitcoin for the past several years.”

And the reason behind selling bitcoin is the risk. “I’m still bullish on bitcoin, it’s just the level of risk that has me selling,” he said.

This snippet is from the discussion about who is the pseudo-anonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Stop Searching for Satoshi; We are all Satoshi

A Twitter user declared Adam Back as Satoshi Nakamoto to which the cryptographer replied with a simple “not me.”

Some also see Hal Finney, a cypherpunk and early Bitcoin contributor and Nick Szabo, a cryptographer who designed BitGold, as the pseudo-anonymous creator. Both are among the top runners for being Satoshi.

“FWIW they both said it wasn’t them also. We’ll never know – many cypherpunks had no social media footprint, and anon posts. Probably a digital ghost, who burned the nym to be safe,” said Back about Finney and Szabo being Nakamoto.

“Bitcoin is better as a decentralized digital commodity without a founder. We are all Satoshi,” he added.

This is where software engineer and Director at Ripple, Nik Bougalis, came who agreed with Back about Bitcoin being better without a founder.

“Abandoning the Satoshi Nakamoto persona and leaving Bitcoin to the world was a brilliant move,” he said.

A Ripple enthusiast also feels Ripple CTO Schwartz could be Satoshi Nakamoto. Still, Bougalis dismissed this, stating Schwartz has publicly denied it and that “his code & writing style simply don’t match Satoshi’s.”

And, “unfortunately” for Schwartz, he “didn’t find out about bitcoin until 2011.”

Schwartz chimed in to say that he thinks it’s plausible that instead of just an individual, Satoshi was a small group of people.

And that’s where Schwartz shared that he doesn’t have millions of Bitcoins, but he hasn’t lost the keys to his BTC holdings either, which he has been slowly selling for the past some years now.

“Bullish on X but Selling the X? Charlie is that you?,” a user commented on this statement.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Loses Chief Legal Officer To US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Brian Brooks, the chief legal officer of Coinbase, has left the crypto exchange in order take the second senior role with the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

The announcement was made by the OCC on Monday. It says that Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, has appointed Brooks as deputy starting with April 1. Brooks used to be Fannie Mae’s general counselor, corporate secretary and executive vice president. He also worked as chief legal officer for Coinbase from September 2018. Mnuchin said the cooperation with him will improve the financial system’s security.

What Does the OCC Do?

The OCC supervises and regulates US financial institutions and national banks. It was formed back in 1863 and is an independent entity that makes sure banks meet risk requirements and capital. Joseph Otting, who runs the OCC, was nominated and sworn by President Donald Trump back in 2017. About the collaboration with Brooks, he said that it will bring to the agency extensive banking, career and legal innovation. Here are his exact words about Coinbase’s former chief legal officer:

“He is a visionary thinker with a passion for service and a deep understanding of how the financial services industry supports our nation’s prosperity. We are fortunate to attract such an experienced and talented individual to join our federal agency.”

Brooks Supported the Development of a Private Digital Currency in the US

Brooks has been very vocal when it comes to the US creating a private virtual currency. He even wrote in the Fortune Magazine, back in 2019, that the digital dollar would be better built by private corporations. Furthermore, he conceptualize a process in which the public sector sets the monetary policy and the private space builds the actual technology for it. Here’s what a spokesperson for Coinbase said about Brooks and its future role at the OCC:

“Brian is an amazing and accomplished leader who has been invaluable in shaping the Coinbase legal and compliance programs, and helping policymakers and regulators better understand the opportunities and benefits of crypto. We’re always proud of Coinbase alumni who go on to serve in government, bringing a crypto-friendly perspective with them.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

Ex OKEx COO To Launch Crypto Derivative Exchange ACDX By Mid-Year, Seeking $40M Raise

Andy Cheung who served as the chief operations officer (COO) at renowned crypto exchange firm OKEx, is aiming at raising $40 million to roll on his own crypto derivatives exchange, CoinDesk reports.

The outlet reports that Cheung is planning to raise the funds through selling tokens as well as equity investment mostly in the crypto funds. The proprietor is also targeting family offices in Asia and Europe and private equity companies to raise the required amount.

Cheung left his top position at one of the largest crypto exchange platforms in the world in December. He started his own consultancy firm dealing with matters blockchain in Hong Kong.

After careful study of the crypto market, Cheung noticed that demand for crypto-base derivatives is increasing rapidly and has now decided to start his own platform. He said that the new platform will be started before the end of the current quarter.

Cheung’s platform will target both retail and institutional clients. He stated that he wants to come up with a platform which allows retail clients to access its services. This will help in opening up the derivatives market which is largely a preserve of the institutional investors. The new crypto derivatives exchange is also set to serve high-end institutions as well as allow wealth managers to better manage their investments. He stated:

“One of our main goals for the exchange is to provide retail investors with … structured products that are more commonly used by accredited crypto investors and wealth managers,”

The exchange platform plans to roll out different investment instruments that comprise of futures, fixed coupon notes, options, warrant contracts as well as callable bear/bull contracts.

The new crypto derivatives platform aims at serving the Asian markets as the demand for services is rising at a higher rate.

Cheung also stated that the new platform has already acquired a backing of more than $4 million mostly from the co-founders. Currently, the startup is in talks with various potential investors and more investment is expected soon. At the moment the firm has about 25 employees who are busy developing the products.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

We Left Facebook Led Libra Association Due Lack Of Transparency: MasterCard CEO

MasterCard’s Chief Executive Officer has said the payment processor abandoned the Libra project, which was led by Facebook after realizing that there were some issues regarding its business model as well as some revolving regulatory compliance.

Ajay Banga, the president and CEO of MasterCard since 2009 recently sat down with the Financial Times and had a candid conversation pertaining to the Libra project. According to Ajay, his attitude towards this project began to weaken when some of the members in this project advanced proposals that would have seen it get linked to Calibra, a proprietary digital wallet.

His problem with this proposal stemmed from the fact that when the idea to develop Libra was first muted, the currency was supposed to be all-inclusive. It was to be accessible to all people across the globe. Banga told the Times that:

“It went from this altruistic idea into their own wallet. I’m like: ‘this doesn’t sound right.’”

Global Financial Inclusion

Banga noted that financial inclusion would imply that governments and other authorities would be in a position to pay its people using a given currency. Once paid, the recipients would be in a position to understand how that currency is used, and would thus be able to use it in their day-to-day lives, e.g., paying for their daily food supplies. He went on to note that:

“If you get paid in Libra [coin]…. which go into Calibras, which go back into pounds to buy rice, I don’t understand how that works”

According to the CEO, the lack of a viable business model also raised some concerns for MasterCard. Based on the proposals being put forward, the proponents of the project had not identified a way in which the Libra Association would start making money after launch, which would then make it profitable.

He noted that when an investor is unable to understand how money is being made, it may end up being made in ways that he or she will not be proud of. Other issues that concerned him was the lack of commitment by the project members to abide by data management, AML, and KYC rules.

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Author: Daniel W

Former ConsenSys Strategy Chief Planning to Launch Aligned Capital Venture Fund

Sam Cassatt, the chief strategy officer at ConsenSys has indicated that he plans to step down from his post to concentrate on launching his venture fund. The venture fund referred to as Aligned Capital has already received backing from Joe Lubin, the ConsenSys founder. According to a statement from ConsenSys, the chief strategy officer will remain part of the company and will hold an advisory capacity.

TransTech Conference

On Friday, Cassatt was speaking at the TransTech conference held in San Francisco where he pointed out that his venture fund was interested in raising at least $50 million in its first round of funding.

According to a statement released by Cassatt, the venture fund is expected to primarily focus on new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and healthcare. He added that the venture fund was “designed to anticipate civilization-scale, evolutionary changes in human behavior.”

Andrew Keys, managing partner at DARMA Capital, and another former executive at ConsenSys is also backing Aligned. It was, however, not disclosed the amount of money or capital that Keys and Lubin would be injected into the new venture fund.

While Aligned is a completely separate entity from ConsenSys, during a phone interview, Cassatt pointed out that he would continue to apply the same principles as those of his former employer.

He added that Aligned was still in its formative stages, but that it was looking into how it would tackle issues affecting society today such as mental health and the use of artificial intelligence in today’s digital age.

Nichol Bradford is expected to join Aligned Capital as an advisor. Nichol is currently an executive working with Transformative Tech Lab, which was responsible for organizing the event held in San Francisco on Friday. Nicholas Paul Brysiewicz has also been named as an advisor, with Seth Goldstein coming in as a venture partner.

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Author: Daniel W