Tether FUD: USDT is Regulated and Market Manipulation Accusation is Just “Nonsense,” says CTO

Tether, which has grown to nearly $25 bln market cap, is following the law, collaborating with the regulators, and registered with FinCEN, said Paolo Ardoino.

While the market has been making new highs, some people are still keeping to the same old FUD.

The oldest FUD lately permeating the cryptocurrency market is Tether (USDT), the popular and dominant stablecoin. With the Treasury proposing rules and regulations related to the fiat-backed cryptos and the SEC suing XRP, the market expects more action from regulators.

However, people calling out for Tether to be targeted next is not happening as Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether and its sister company Bitfinex, a crypto exchange, explained,

“Tether is registered and regulated under FinCEN as all the centralized competitors. Strict KYC/AML is applied to all Tether direct users, as the other main issuers are doing. Less regulated is just FUD.”

However, this hasn’t stopped people from speculating and voicing their concerns on Crypto Twitter (CT), which, according to the people involved with Tether, are baseless.

Tether came into existence to solve the issue of discrepancy in Bitcoin prices between different exchanges and making spreads more like traditional finance. USDT also cut down the time-consuming process of wire transfers.

Tether’s market cap has grown 6 fold in the last ten months to nearly $25 billion from $4.2 billion in April 2020.

During the 2017 bull market, Tether became big, and all the speculation around the stablecoin backing and legitimacy brought NYAG into the picture.

Tether is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General (NYAG), but it is not for ‘pumping Bitcoin; rather, it is accused of co-mingling client funds and losing $850 million of them without disclosing any of this information to the public. This leads to Tether not being fully backed by cash reserves.

As for manipulating the market by printing Tether, it is all “nonsense” because Tether is issued when a counterparty makes a wire payment, said Ardoino on Peter McCormack’s podcast, What Bitcoin Did.

According to him, the growth of Tether is just driven by the actual demand of Tether’s market, so the entire manipulation thing is nonsense. He further added that during the last bull run, crypto saw a “boom of interest in retail that made the crypto going balloon,” and that’s just it.

Trader and economist Alex Kruger says that while the “NYAG argues tethers are a commodity,” the whale Tether drama doesn’t have any market impact.

Recently, the lending rates on Bitfinex went to 7% per day, which led many people to speculate that the company is run out of USDT.

However, it is USD that it ran out of because of “big users re-balancing their longs against USD,” clarified Ardoino. Also, the accounting delay, along with the massive size, can cause a delay in the lending books.

Overall, Tether is following the law, collaborating with the regulators, and registered with FinCEN, said Ardoino.

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Author: AnTy

Solana (SOL) Added to Coinbase Custody; Cue in the Institutions

Solana has announced a partnership with Coinbase Custody, a registered fiduciary under the New York State Banking Law.

Over the past few weeks, the Solana Foundation has been working with the Coinbase team to integrate the Solana blockchain.

“This partnership closely aligns with our mission to bring speed and security to decentralized finance,” said Solana team.

Now, in addition to non-custodial wallet SolFlare and TrustWallet, investors get another option to store SOL in the offline cold storage system of Coinbase Custody.

With this move, Solana will be attracting institutional attention as Coinbase custody offers a comprehensive set of insurance policies for larger institutions to safely and more securely custody SOLs.

Additionally, Coinbase Custody, which also provides its services to Grayscale, offers staking and governance, “which are equally crucial for the long-term health of the network.”

Solana recently gained spotlight after derivatives exchange FTX launched its decentralized derivatives platform on it. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried described Solana as a “fully decentralized blockchain,” which is “fast as fuck” and doesn’t need a trusted centralized sidechain.

Solana can “process 10,000 times as much as Ethereum; and it’s 1,000,000 times cheaper,” said Bankman-Fried at that time.

On the back of Coinbase Custody news, SOL jumped 26% but has since dropped 6% to now trade at $3.42.

For now, SOL is only available on Binance and FTX, but after this partnership, it might get listed on Coinbase as well. Solana has announced several partnerships so far in 2020, including Chainlink, KIN, and Terra Stablecoin.

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Author: AnTy

DApp Q2 Market Report Shows Massive DeFi Impact in The Decentralized App Ecosystem

The DeFi realm has registered tremendous growth in the past quarter (Q2) with some products posting some impressive figures. $4.9 Billion was channeled through DeFi dApps, a stellar 67% increase from Q1’s figures.

Q2 Dapp USD Vol

Q2 Dapp Market
Source: Dapp.com

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) emerged as the most popular token in Decentralized Finance Q2 figures recording a transactional value of $930 Million. The token that is utilized by parties in the digital advertising sector, dwarfed Ethereum’s numbers by a cool $300 and more than Ether and Dai combined.

The Ether, on the other hand, saw their active user numbers soar to an All-Time High of 1,258,527 more than doubling Q1’s figures. Their daily average active users have also increased from the 7,682 in the first quarter to over 40% in the second quarter, mostly attributing the COMP governance token launch.

The COMP token, incentivizing debt and lending facilities, has perhaps posted the most notable growth following massive response from the market on launch. Their market capitalization is skyrocketing from $131 Million to more north of $3 Billion in just the second month. Daily user numbers also more than doubling 2,629 to 11,879 as their value of the token achieved an all-time high of $372.27 on 21st June.

However, the supply of the BAT has dipped steadily from $324 million to $155 million last week and now just at $24 Million. This happened as soon as Compound restructured their reward system to scrape off the incentives after the Compound community voted to change their COMP token issuance criteria on 30th June. Just a meager $67 Million BAT has been lent in Compound since the dawn of July.

Notably, after the Hive hard fork from Steem after Sun’s hostile takeover, some budding dApps have opted to move to Hive from Steem. With Steem failing to launch new projects recently, the active users in Hive have now surpassed Steem’s.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Over 22,000 BTC Flows Out of Coinbase; Users Retaliating to Exchange’s Deal with the Govt.?

Earlier this week, a massive outflow of funds was registered on US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

The exchange saw a negative flow of 22,137 BTC, worth more than $214 million on Monday.

Source: Glassnode

WhaleAlert reported the transfer of 1,975 BTC from Coinbase to an unknown wallet on June 9th. On June 6th three separate transactions were made to unknown wallets of 6,000 BTC, 2,000 BTC, and 1,859 BTC.

Such massive outflow of bitcoin funds came after it became public knowledge that Coinbase would allow the IRS and DEA to use their blockchain surveillance software Coinbase Analytics.

A Delete/Stop Using Coinbase poll conducted on Twitter by trader Josh Rager revealed that 66% of the 5000 respondents are willing to delete to stop using their Coinbase account while only 33% are interested in continuing to use the platform.

But these massive outflows could be just in-house movements as Rafael Schultze-Kraft of Glassnode, a crypto data firm points out, “it’s very well possible Coinbase is creating new cold wallets and aiming at reshuffling their funds.”

Coin Metrics co-founder Jacob Franek agrees with this as the destination address looks like an exchange address or mixer and it’s “always possible that a large withdrawal is a cold wallet transfer to a new address (not always easy to verify) unless a single whale withdrew >$22m+. Unlikely that it represents lots of little withdrawals.”

Interestingly, Coinbase is the largest bitcoin holder with 984,300 BTC in its wallets. Coinbase leads with a big margin as it is followed by Huobi (413,000) which doesn’t hold even half of the funds held by Coinbase. The list further moves down to Binance (318k BTC), OKEx (268k BTC), and BitMEX (217k BTC).

But the latest disaster has #DeleteCoinbase trending on Twitter yet again while the exchange maintains that they are not selling personal data of its clients.

“Data in our Analytics tool is fully sourced from publicly available data, and does not include any personally identifiable information,” said John Mart, a Coinbase executive.

Competitor exchange Kraken’s co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell countered if it isn’t augmented by any other information provided by clients.

“It is fully-sourced from public data, so yes, any other company can arrive at the exact same product with publicly available data,” said Mart.

Coinbase’s deal with the IRS and DEA is just the latest piece of information causing a public uproar as people are already fed up with the exchange’s constant service outages during times of bitcoin volatility.

Previously, the exchange was criticized for its Neutrino acquisition, privacy violations, and suspending Wikileaks’ bitcoin account.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Derivatives Exchange ErisX, Opens API Service for BCH, BTC, ETH, and LTC Block Trading

  • ErisX REST API will now grant registered clients access to their Block Trade platform. This will be a reserve for the Institutional investors due to the large volumes of minimum trades required.
  • The pre-negotiated deals will only be reported for automated verification and instant clearing by the ErisX clearing win.

ErisX has now unveiled a REST API that grants its clients access to their Block Trade. This is a facility that allows investors to make big trades, within the given array of listed spot and futures commodities, privately.

Authorized users will be able to table already struck Block deals to the exchange via the REST API or their web-based platform. This will then be subjected to verification from the exchange. It’s also set to include verifying credit for both parties and then submitted to their clearing arm, ErisX clearing for immediate settlements.

It’s only after the deals have already gone through that they can be published on their portal. This system would be restricted to spot trades of 10 BTC, 100 BCH, 100 ETH and 250 LTC while including 10 Future BTC contracts and 50 ETH contracts according to the release.

They have, however, insisted that this feature would only be afforded to Clearing members that had already joined and those currently onboarding ErisX.

They would then be required to pre-fund their accounts before attempting any trades to ensure transactions go through smoothly, whilst mitigating counterparty woes. The parties would be required to either submit their trade dates to the system or within 15 minutes of execution.

This, according to CEO, Tom Chippas, would mitigate risks brought about by OTC based workflows while ensuring competitive prices for their clients.

“We are removing the friction and risks associated with OTC based workflows…. Our Members with a competitively priced service.”

Other exchanges have also launched similar Block trades for their institutional investors including Coinbase and Japanese based Nomura. However, Carlos Mosquera Benatuil, CEO of Solidus OTC is confident that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission oversight would rule out counterparty settling risks.

Notably, the TD Ameritrade backed crypto exchange recently launched physically settled Ether contracts in the US. These would be offered under the supervision of the CFTC.

This was bolstered by the fact that ErisX clearing was able to get approval for the coveted BitLicense by the NYFDS. This license has only been issued to 25 other companies since it was introduced in 2015. It is a must-have for any crypto firm that intends to engage with New York-based clients.

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Author: Lujan Odera

NYFDS Gives Crypto Firms 30 Days to Submit A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Contingency Plan

New York’s Financial regulator, NYFDS, has given crypto firms registered within this state one month to have submitted a preparedness plan for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The watchdog sent out letters to crypto entities it regulates which was followed by a state of emergency declaration by New York’s Mayor, Bill De Blasio.

These firms are required to outline how they plan to tackle short term and long-term operational risks amongst others as the world’s economy dips due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The letter sent out to over 15 firms regulated by the NYFDS partly reads;

“COVID-19 has already had adverse economic effects domestically and globally. It is critical that each regulated entity establish plans to address how it will manage the effects of the outbreak and assess disruptions and other risks to its services and operations.”

Markets across the world have been red with crypto also falling victim. These highly volatile assets lost over 30% this week despite stakeholders having faith that they would be a great alternative for value realization during black swan events. The NYFDS concern with players in this field is, therefore, no surprise given the industry’s brief history.

The NYFDS Risk Mitigation Proposal Outline

Crypto firms targeted by the NYFDS are required to highlight a minimum of 9 areas that pose an operational risk to their businesses. In addition, they should have 3 separate plans to tackle the identified shortcomings.

Basically, the operational outlook will cover company specifics that are exposed including probable solutions that can be implemented in a scalable manner. The NYDFS took this approach as it yet to quantify how much financial damage Coronavirus (COVID-19) has done and will do in the coming days.

This development means the likes of Ripple, BitPay and Coinbase will have to analyze the options of working remotely. Furthermore, the regulator requires them to update health protection tactics to prevent their employees from COVID-19 exposure.

Apart from coming up with a contingency plan, crypto firms operating in New York have to regularly check whether their suggested strategy is effective. As of reporting date, the number of reported COVID-19 cases in New York is below 100 but the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, might spike to 1000 hence the state of emergency.

Coinbase Ahead in COVID-19 Prevention

This San Fransisco based crypto exchange appears to have already taken initiatives to prevent more risks than the markets are already experiencing. Coinbase rolled out its contingency plan last month and it comprises four tiers; 0-3. At the moment, only Japan is at tier 1 with all the other subsidiaries still at 0. Ideally, all employees will work remotely in case it reaches a point where all outlet locations are placed in tier 3; this will probably be at the extremes of COVID-19.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Grayscale Investments Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) Becomes The First Registered SEC Reporting Company

Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin (BTC) Trust is now registered as a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting firm.

In May 2015 the trust was the 1st publicly traded BTC investment channel in the over-the-counter market. In November 2019, Grayscale filled with SEC a Form 10 that allows it to make the trust available to investors having restrictions with non-regulated channels. Its Form 10 became effective automatically, sixty days from it’s filing date.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is the First SEC Reporting Crypto Investment Vehicle

The shares of the trust, registered under the Exchange Act of 1934, means the GBTC is the first SEC reporting crypto investment vehicle. This means it now has to send quarterly and annually reports to the SEC, also to publish any unscheduled events or changes within the corporation and to send audited statements together with other forms required to the SEC. Under its new status, it has to reduce the accredited investors’ statutory period from 12 to 6 months. The changes will have to take place 90 days after the SEC registration approval, and only if the trust meets the Securities Act’s requirements.

The Fund Was Given Private Placement Exemption from SEC in 2013

In 2013, GBTC was given a private exemption from being registered to SEC, but Grayscale decided on its own it needs to give the fund’s compliance standard a boost for investors to trust it more. This is what the Grayscale’s managing director, Michael Sonnenshein, had to say about it:

“Grayscale voluntarily pursued this designation and will continue to work within existing regulatory frameworks. Today’s announcement should signal to investors that our regulators are willing to engage with our products and our space as a whole.”

GBTC Has Been a Success in 2019

Over the last year, GBTC has been very successful, having more than $471 private placement total inflow, which is twice more than in 2018. Sonnenshein has explained before that it doesn’t want GBTC to become an ETF, even if its products are similar in structure with ETFs and are modeled after the most popular investment ones.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Crypto Asset Broker Voyager Adds Three Interest-Earning Stablecoins; USDT, USDC, TUSD

Voyager Digital, the cryptocurrency brokerage company has just registered three new stablecoins. While making the announcement on Wednesday, the company also mentioned that it would soon make it possible for its clients to earn interest in their crypto assets.

The company stated that its support of true USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), and tether (USDT), meant that its clients were now better placed to fund their trading accounts as well as get to manage risks without having to visit a banking institution.

Stephen Ehrlich On the New Listing

Voyager CEO and co-founder Stephen Ehrlich spoke about these new listings and had the following to say about them:

“Adding these three new stablecoins to our platform gives our customers an alternative funding mechanism and another means to hedge their risk in the crypto market.”

The cryptocurrency brokerage company makes it possible for both its institutional and retail traders to engage in commission-free trading activities on various crypto exchange platforms. Investors can use a single account when trading.

According to the company spokesperson, Voyager has invested in the latest tech innovations meant to ensure that their clients get access to the best crypto prices available. The company is able to earn money by taking a spread from trading orders that have been finished at better closing levels than when the trading submissions were made.

Stephen Ehrlich was formerly the E*Trade Chief Executive Officer. He started Voyager together with the former CTO of Uber, Oscar Salazar during the summer season of 2018. Voyager started to offer interest on three percent APR on BTC at the start of November 2019. This was after it has acquired Ethos, the wallet startup sometime in early 2019.

While still on the new listings, Stephen Ehrlich went on to note that:

“Voyager customers will also be able to earn interest on these stablecoins, giving them another way to grow wealth in the crypto industry.”

Withdrawals and deposits for the three newly registered stablecoins began officially on Wednesday, 15th January 2020. It’s expected that clients will start to earn interest on their holdings as from 1st February.

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Author: Daniel W

JPMorgan Strategist: “High Anticipation” Among Institutional Investors for CME’s Bitcoin Options Launch

  • Strong activity registered in BTC futures before the options launch on Jan. 13
  • Bitcoin’s intrinsic value is still below BTC price, says JPMorgan’s strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou

According to JPMorgan Chase, institutional interest in Bitcoin-related contract is building up and there is high anticipation for the upcoming launch of CME Group’s options on Jan. 13.

Intercontinental exchange’s Bakkt has already launched options last month but the volumes and open interest on them have been “rather small,” wrote JPMorgan’s strategists led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou in a note on Jan. 10.

Given CME’s dominance in trading Bitcoin futures on regulated exchanges, it is expected this new offering may change things.

In the past few days, “there has been a step increase in the activity of the underlying CME futures contract” as the open interest on CME futures contracts has increased 69% from year-end. The number of large open-interest holders has also grown.

“This unusually strong activity over the past few days likely ref lects the high anticipation among market participants of the option contract,” Panigirtzoglou wrote.

The introduction of bitcoin futures for the first time in December 2017 by CME itself led BTC price to top out at about $20,000. When ICE debuted its physically settled futures contracts, Bakkt in Sept. the prices fell that time too. Now, it’s to be seen how will the price react next week.

Currently, BTC/USD is trading at $8,165 with 24 hours gains of 2.27%, as per Coincodex.

But although Bitcoin’s intrinsic value has been rising, it is still below the market price. JPMorgan calculates the intrinsic value of BTC by treating the world’s leading cryptocurrency as a commodity and taking its marginal cost of production into account.

“The market price has declined by nearly 40% from its peak while the intrinsic value has risen by around 10%,” Panigirtzoglou wrote. But “the gap has not yet fully closed, suggesting some downside risk remains.”

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Author: AnTy

“Next ALTS Run Gonna Be Crazy” These Altcoins Have Already Surged 100 to 1000%

In 2019 to date, Bitcoin price has registered an increase of 145% as it trades near $9,300 BTC/USD level. Unlike the leading cryptocurrency, top cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (34.7%), EOS (28.8%), Tron (1.08%), Cardano (0.82%), and XMR (32.39) are only green in the lower percentages.

Here is how other popular crypto altcoins have been performing in the 2019 calendar year: XRP (-18.5%), IOTA (-23.11%), Dash (-9.91%), Ethereum Classic (-4.93%), Zcash (-34.74%), NEM (-35.55%), QTUM (-2.30%), OmiseGo (-30.60%), Lisk (43.51%), DigiByte (-30.91%), Waves (-74.13%), and many others are meanwhile deep in red in 2019.

Source

In 2019, despite going through a bull rally in Q2 and then seeing another bout of a surge in late October, the majority of the altcoins have failed to show any progress.

During the recent spike in crypto prices, Chinese altcoins registered significant gains but even that hasn’t been able to provide much relief to the digital assets that have been down 90 to 95% from their ATH.

Davos Cryptos, community building of mobile wallet Bolt believes the next bull run is going to be a “crazy” one.

However, a handful of cryptocurrencies have already recorded tremendous gains this year.

According to Coincodex’s top 100 cryptocurrencies, with more than 1,500% of gains, Synthetix, Seele, and EDUCare are at the top.

Source

One of the hottest cryptocurrencies of 2019 among the top cryptos is Link, the 15th largest cryptocurrency, which has seen a spike of 846% trading at $2.82. In July it was up over 2,000%.

Ravencoin is another digital asset that jumped 118% in 2019 to date currently trading at $0.03. However, in June it surged to $0.75.

A few other coins enjoying significant gains YTD are Matic Network (164.5%) and REN (114%).

However, exchange tokens are outshining the top top altcoins with OKB of OKEx exchange leading this pack with over 370% gains while it trades at $3.25.

BNB, the native token of the leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance is up 235% YTD as it trades at $20.15. Similarly, Huobi Token (HT) of exchange Huobi is up 261% at $3.94 and KuCoin Shares (KCS) of KuCoin exchange has jumped 153%.

Just remember there are bitcoin maximalists who believe bitcoin is the one and only so be careful where you get your information from as some have motives and some have no care to entertain the rest of the cryptocurrency market, which accounts for roughly $82 billion as of November 2, 2019.

Whether you take that insight with a grain of salt or not, the truth is alts are poised and positioned to do a big run should the bitcoin rally take place too.

Now, it remains to be seen if any digital asset from the top 10 cryptocurrencies would register any gains this time or stay dormant. By many expert estimations, we are just under 200 days before the bitcoin mining halving as many predict the next six months to be an extremely bullish trend to unfold as the crypto market cap looks to break its previous high of just over $830 billion back in January 2018.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: AnTy