Commodity Futures Trading Commission CFTC

Understanding Tether: Why it accounts for a substantial part of the crypto market cap and why its the #1 outstanding issue in crypto markets today

In this post I will go in-depth on:
  1. How Tether got to be what it is today
  2. Why Tether's market cap is a lot more than 0.5% of the total market cap for crypto you see on CoinMarketCap
  3. Tether printing timing
  4. Tether reserves
  5. What could happen to the market if Tether is found to not be backed by reserves
Tether is incredibly important to the cryptocurrency market ecosystem and I've noticed far too few people understand what is going on.
Very little actual discussion of the 2nd biggest crypto by volume happens here and whenever someone starts a discussion they most often got slapped for "FUD". Tether themselves recently hired the major New York based PR firm 5W to spread positive information online and take down critics, I'm sure some of their operatives are probably on Reddit.
But its absolutely critical you understand the risks behind Tether and especially now with the explosion in reserve liability, breakdown in relationship with banks and their auditor and recently announced subpoena.

What exactly is Tether and what happened so far?

Tether is a cryptocurrency asset issued by Tether Limited (incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and a sister company of Bitfinex), on top of the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omni Protocol Layer. It is meant to give people a "stablecoin", for example a merchant who accepts bitcoin but fears its volatility could shift bitcoin into tether, which can be easier to do than exchanging bitcoin for dollars. Recently they've also added an Ethereum-based ERC20 token. Tether Ltd claims that each one of the tokens issued is backed by actual US dollar (and more recently Euro) reserves. The idea is that when a business partner deposits US dollars in Tether’s bank account, Tether creates a matching amount of tokens and transfers them to that partner, it is NOT a fractional reserve system.
Tether makes the two following key promises in its whitepaper on which the entire premise is build:
Each tether issued will be backed by the equivalent amount of currency unit (one USDTether equals one dollar).
Professional auditors will regularly verify, sign, and publish our underlying bank balance and financial transfer statement.
Tether is centralized and dependent on your trust of Bitfinex/Tether Limited, and that the people behind it are honest people. For the new entrants to this market it will be greatly beneficial understand the timeline of Tether and their connection to Bitfinex.
A brief timeline:

Most common misconception: Tether is only a small part of the total market cap

One of the most common misconception people have about cryptocurrencies is that the "market cap" amount they see on CoinMarketCap.com is actually the amount of money that is invested in each coin.
I often hear people online dismiss any issue with tether by simply claiming its not big enough to cause any effect, saying "Well Tether is only $2.2 billion on CoinMarketCap and the market is 400 billion, its only 0.5% of the market".
But this misunderstands what market capitalization for cryptocurrency is, and just how different the market cap for Tether is to every other token. The market cap is simply the last trade price times the circulating supply. It doesn't take into account the order book depth at all. The majority of Bitcoin (and most coins) are held by those who either mined or purchased for a very low price early on and simply held on as very small portions of the total supply was rapidly bid up to their current price.
An increase in market cap of X does NOT represent an inflow of X dollars invested, not even close. A 400 billion dollar market cap for crypto does NOT mean that there is 400 billion dollars underwriting the assets. Meanwhile a 2 billion dollar Tether market cap means there should be exactly $2 billion backing up the asset.
Nobody can tell for sure exactly how much money has been invested in cryptocurrency market, but analysts from JPMorgan found that there was only net inflow of $6 billion fiat that resulted in $300 billion market cap at the time. This gives us a roughly 50:1 ratio of market cap to fiat inflow. Prominent crypto evangelist Julian Hosp gives the following estimate: "For a cryptocurrency to have a market cap of $1 billion, maybe only $50 million actually moved into the cryptocurrency."
For Tether however the market cap is simply the outstanding supply, 2.2 billion USDT is actually equal to 2.2 billion USD. In order to get $50 USDT you have to deposit $50 real U.S. dollars and then 50 completely new tokens will be issued, which never existed before on the market.
What is also often ignored is that Bitfinex allows margin trading, at a 3.3x leverage. Bitfinexed did an excellent analysis on how tether is entering Bitfinex to fund margin positions
There are $2.2 billion in Tether outstanding and the current market cap of the entire market is $400 billion according to CoinMarketCap. You can actually calculate Tether as a % of total fiat invested in the market according to the JP Morgan estimate, the following table outlines for a scenario of no margin lending and 15/25% of tether being on a 3.3x leverage margin account:
Fiat Inflow/Market Cap Ratio Tether as % of total market (no margin) Tether as % of total market (15% on margin) Tether as % of total market (25% on margin)
JP Morgan estimate (50:1) 27.5 % 36.9 % 43.3 %
Even without any margin lending Tether is underwriting the worth of about 27.5% of the cryptocurrency market, and if we assume only 25% was leveraged out at 3.3x on margin we have a whole 43% of the market cap being driven by Tether inflow.
A much better indicator on CoinMarketCap of just how influential Tether is actually the volume, its currently the 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by volume and there are even days where its volume exceeds its market cap.
What this all means is that not only is the market cap for cryptocurrencies drastically overestimating the amount of actual fiat capital that is underwriting those assets, but a substantial portion of the entire market cap is being derived from the value of Tether's market cap rather than real money.
Its incredibly important that more new investors realize that Tether isn't a side issue or a minor cog in the machine, but one of the core underlying mechanisms on which the entire market worth is built. Ensuring that whoever controls this stablecoin is honest and transparent is absolutely critical to the health of the market.

Two main concerns with Tether

The primary concerns with Tether can be split into two categories:
  1. Tether issuance timing - Does Tether Ltd issue USDT organically or is it timed to stop downward selling pressure?
  2. Reserves - Does Tether Ltd actually have the fiat reserves at a 1:1 ratio, and why is there still no audit or third party guarantee of this?

Does Tether print USDT to prop up Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

In the last 3 months the amount of USDT has nearly quadrupled, with nearly a billion being printed in January alone. Some people have found the timing of the most recent batch of Tether as highly suspect because it seemed to coincide with Bitcoin's price being propped up.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/technology/bitfinex-bitcoin-price.html
This was recently analyzed statistically:
Author’s opinion - it is highly unlikely that Tether is growing through any organic business process, rather that they are printing in response to market conditions.
Tether printing moves the market appreciably; 48.8% of BTC’s price rise in the period studied occurred in the two-hour periods following the arrival of 91 different Tether grants to the Bitfinex wallet.
Bitfinex withdrawal/deposit statistics are unusual and would give rise to further scrutiny in a typical accounting environment.
https://www.tetherreport.com
I'm still undecided on this and I would love to see more statistical analysis done, because the price of Bitcoin is so volatile while Tether printing only happens in large batches. Simply looking at the Bitcoin price graph over the last 3 months and then the Tether printing its pretty clear there is a relationship but it doesn't seem to hold over longer periods.
Ultimately to me this timing isn't that much of an issue, as long Tether is backed by US dollars. If Bitfinex was timing the prints then it accounts to not much more than an organized pumping scheme, which isn't a fundamental problem. The much more serious concern is whether those buy order are being conducted on the faith of fictitious dollars that don't exist, regardless of when those buy orders occur.

Didn't Tether release an audit in September?

Some online posters have recently tried to spread the notion that Tether has actually been audited by Friedman LLP and that a report was released in September 2017. That was actually just a consulting engagement, which you can read here:
https://tether.to/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Final-Tether-Consulting-Report-9-15-17_Redacted.pdf
They clearly state that:
This engagement does not contemplate tests of accounting records or the performance of other procedures performed in an audit or attest engagement. Our procedures performed are not for the purpose of providing assurance...In addition, our services do not include determination of compliance with laws and regulations in any jurisdiction.
They state right from the beginning that this is a consultancy job (not an audit), and that its not meant to be assurance to third parties. Doing a consultancy job is just doing a task asked by your customer. In a consultancy job you take information as true from the client, and you have no mandate to verify whether your customer's claims are true or not. The way they checked is simply asking Tether to provide them the information:
All inquiries made through the consulting process have been directed towards, and the data obtained from, the Client and personnel responsible for maintaining such information.
Tether provided a screenshots of twp bank balances. One of these is in the name of Tether Limited, and while the other is a personal account of an individual who Tether Limited claims has a trust agreement with them:
As of September 15, 2017, the bank held $60,919,810 in an account in the name of an in individual for the benefit of Tether Limited. FLPP obtained an engagement letter for an interim settlement plan between that individual and Tether Limited and that according to Tether Limited, is the relevant agreement with the trustee. FLLP did not evaluate the substance of the letter and makes no representation about its legality.
Even worse is that later on in Note 1, they clearly claim that there is no actual evidence that this engagement letter or trust has any legal merit:
Note 1: FLLP makes no representations about sufficiency or enforceability of any trust agreement between the trustee and the Client
Essentially what this is saying is that the trust agreement may not even be worth the paper it’s printed on.
And most importantly… Note 2:
FLLP did not evaluate the terms of the above bank accounts and makes no representations about the clients ability to access funds from the accounts or whether the funds are committed for purposes other than Tether token redemptions
Basically Tether gave them a name of an individual with $60 million in their account according to a screenshot, Tether then gave them a letter saying that there is a trust agreement between this individual and Tether Limited. They also have account with $382 million but no guarantee that this account holds to any lien or other commitments, or that it can be accessed.
Currently Tether has 2.2 billion USDT outstanding and we have absolutely no idea whether this is actually backed by anything, and the long promised audit is still outstanding.

What happens if its revealed that Tether doesn't have its US dollar reserves?

According to Thomas Glucksmann, head of business development at Gatecoin: "If a tether debacle unfolds, it will likely cause quite a devastating ripple effect across many of the exchanges that see most of their volumes traded against the supposedly USD-backed cryptocurrency."
According to Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley: "You could see a spike in prices in tether-only bitcoin exchanges. So, on those exchanges only you will see a run up in price compared to the bitcoin exchanges that actually work with actually money. So you would see a huge price diverge as people see that only way they can turn tether into real money is to buy other cryptocurrency then move to another exchange. That is a bank run."
I definitely see the crypto equivalent of a bank run, as people actually try to secure their gains an realize that this money doesn't actually exist within the system:
If traders lose confidence in it and its value starts to drop, “people will run for the door,” says Carlson, the former Wall Street trader. If Tether can’t meet all its customers’ demand for dollars (and its Terms of Service suggest that in many cases it won’t even try), tether holders will try to snap up other cryptocurrencies instead, temporarily causing prices for those currencies to soar. With tether’s role as an inter-exchange facilitator compromised, investors might lose faith in cryptocurrencies more generally. “At the end of the day, people would be losing substantial sums, and in the long term this would be very bad for cryptocurrencies,” says Emin Gun Sirer, a Cornell professor and co-director of its Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts.
Another concern is that Bitfinex might simply shut down, pocketing the bitcoins it has allegedly been stockpiling. Because people who trade on Bitfinex allow the exchange to hold their money while they speculate, these traders could face substantial losses. “The exchanges are like unregulated banks and could run off with everyone’s money,” says Tony Arcieri, a former Square employee turned entrepreneur trying to build a legally regulated exchange.
https://www.wired.com/story/why-tethers-collapse-would-be-bad-for-cryptocurrencies/
The way I see it, this would be how it plays out if Tether collapses:
  1. Tether-enabled exchanges will see a massive spike in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices as everyone leaves Tether. Noobs in these exchanges will think they are now millionaires until they realize they are rich in tethers but poor in dollars.
  2. Exchanges that have not integrated Tether will experienced large drops in Bitcoin and alts as experienced investors flee crypto into USD.
  3. There will be a flight of Bitcoin from Tether-integrated exchanges to non-Tether exchanges with fiat off-ramps. Exchanges running small fractional reserves will be exposed, further increasing calls for greater reserves requirements.
  4. The exchanges might slam the doors shut on withdrawals.
  5. Many exchanges that own large balances of Tether, especially Bitfinex, will likely become insolvent.
  6. There will be lawsuits flying everywhere and with Tether Limited being incorporated on a Carribean Island whose solvency and bankruptcy laws will likely ensure they don't ever get much back. This could take years and potentially push away new investors from entering the space.

Conclusion

We can't be 100% completely sure that Tether is a scam, but its so laiden with red flags that at this point I would call it the biggest systematic risk in the crypto space. Its bigger than any nation's potential regulatory steps because it cuts right into the issue of trust across the entire ecosystem.
Ultimately Tether is centralizing one of the very core mechanics of the cryptocurrency markets and asking you to trust one party to be the safekeeper, and I really see very little reason to trust Bitfinex given their history of lying and screwing over their own customers. I think that Tether initially started as a legit business to facilitate the ease of moving money and avoiding regulations, but somewhere along the lines greed and/or incompetence took over (something that seems common with Bitfinex's previous actions). Right now we're playing proverbial hot potato, and as long as people believe that Tether is worth a dollar everything is fine, but as some point the Emperor will have to step out from hiding and somebody will point out they have no clothes.
In the long term I really hope once Tether collapses we can move on and get the following two implemented which would greatly improve the market for all investors:
  1. Actual USD fiat pairings on the major exchanges for the major currencies
  2. Regulatory rules on exchange reserve requirements
I had watched the Bitconnect people insist for the last 2 years that everything about Bitconnect made perfect sense because they were getting paid daily. The scam works until one day it suddenly doesn't.
Tether could still come clean and avoid all of this "FUD" by simply getting a simple review of their banking, they don't even need a full audit. If everything was legit with Tether, it would be incredibly easy to have a segregated bank account with the funds used solely to back up Tether, then have an third party accounting firm simply review the account and a bank reconciliation statement then spend a few hours in contact with the bank to ensure no outstanding liabilities are held on that balance. This is extremely basic stuff, it would take a few hours to set up and wouldn't take a lot of man-hours for a qualified account to do, and yet they don’t do it. Why? Why hire a major PR firm and spend god knows how much money to pay professional PR representatives to attack "FUD" online instead?
I think I know why.
submitted by arsonbunny to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Drama: BitFinex, one of the largest trading platforms, was hacked. Approx. $70million of user funds stolen. Is the exchange liable? Discuss!

Ok, so here's a summary of events thus far, as I understand them:
BitFinex.com, one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms by volume, was hacked. The hacker made off with approximately $70million worth of bitcoin. That much is known and confirmed.
BitFinex, as I mentioned, handled a huge chunk of trading volume. They also allowed margin trading and margin lending (the latter of which they referred to as "swaps" until the CFTC recently told them to knock that off).
Customer "wallets" on BitFinex were handled by a third party company (supposedly for security purposes) called BitGo, who advertises "100% security" on their website.
The wallets managed by BitGo were "multi-sig wallets", which basically means that everyone involved in the transaction (BitFinex, BitGo, and the individual user) must 'verify' a transaction with their key for it to be processed. Somehow, this hacker managed to bypass this or exploit something to be able to drain customer accounts. Presumably this is due to the hacker somehow manipulating BitFinex's wallet system to "tell" BitGo that the customer's key was valid, and use BitFinex's key to validate the transaction, similar to how a bank will process a transaction on a stolen debit card if you know the owner's PIN number. BitGo's system saw these transactions as valid as a result and processed them accordingly, emptying hundreds or thousands of user accounts per the hacker's request.
Now comes the fun part.
These users are understandably upset. BitFinex had individual users as well as corporate clients. Some accounts likely lost millions. Many, many accounts likely lost tens of thousands of USD equivalent.
BitFinex is proposing bringing the site back online so users can see whether or not their accounts fell victim to the hacker and eventually allowing those who weren't to withdraw their bitcoin. No one knows what will happen to those whose accounts were drained though.
To make this even more interesting, BitFinex seems to be domiciled in either Hong Kong or The British Virgin Islands, depending on which corporate entity you're looking at (according to what I've heard, anyway. I have no idea what the truth is there or how their organization is structured).
Here are some articles about this fiasco:
http://insidebitcoins.com/news/bitfinex-hack-means/36353
http://www.coindesk.com/bitfinex-bitcoin-hack-know-dont-know/
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/business/dealbook/bitcoin-bitfinex-hacked.html?_r=0
http://hackingdistributed.com/2016/08/03/how-bitfinex-heist-could-have-been-avoided/
Here are some of the other Reddit threads:
https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4vtuxo/bitfinex_security_breach_trading_will_be_halted/
https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4vupa6/p2shinfo_shows_movement_out_of_multisig_wallets/d61oe33
https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4vztlv/bitfinex_update/
The guy in charge of BitFinex's community outreach and PR is zanetackett and his post history gives an interesting glimpse into the situation as well (and honestly, I commend him for busting his ass to answer everyone's questions and concerns, even if they hate the answers. I know I would hate to be in his shoes right now). I'm sure if I'm wrong on any of these facts, he will come in here to correct me, since I've usertagged him here.
Now for the questions and discussion points:
-Is BitFinex legally liable for customer losses here?
-Is BitGo legally liable for customer losses here?
-What, if any, recourse do customers who had their bitcoin stolen have, and against who?
-Should BitFinex "socialize losses" by making every remaining account take a loss in order to contribute to a fund intended to return some of the lost bitcoin to the victims, as some users without much legal knowledge have proposed?
To me, this whole thing is fascinating. I have no horse in this race, and I did not lose anything as a result of this hack, but this area is so new, law wise, that it creates several very unique issues due to the lack of regulation (even though there is some now, at least in some countries), the jurisdictional issues, and the confusion surrounding liability.
I'd love to see a serious legal discussion ensue here and hear everyone's thoughts.
Hopefully we can avoid the "har har, that's what you get for playing with fake money" comments and stick to the legitimate legal discussion.
Enjoy!
UPDATE: Regarding the jurisdiction issues, according to their VP of business development, Bitfinex operates under a Hong Kong corporation, Renrenbee Limited (holder of the MSO license), which is wholly owned by a BVI corporation, iFinex Ltd. (the holding company). The information released by the CFTC, however, is a bit different: "BFXNA Inc. d/b/a Bitfinex is a corporation formed and existing under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, and has its principal place of business [in Hong Kong]."
UPDATE #2: BitGo has made an official announcement.
As you know, a large amount of Bitcoin has been taken from Bitfinex, and Bitfinex utilized BitGo software as part of its security solution. While we have worked tirelessly with the team at Bitfinex to investigate the theft, the Bitcoin is gone. Our focus now is to protect the remainder of Bitfinex coins and all of our other customers’ coins.
Our job is to protect your Bitcoin and continue to improve the security of the service. BitGo systems were not breached in this attack and our software functioned correctly. This may seem like an inadequate explanation, because everyone wants to know “what needs to change to avoid what happened in this case,” and we understand that. Fortunately, the Bitfinex configuration was unique and other BitGo customers do not need immediate changes.
UPDATE #3: zanetackett just posted this update:
We are still working out the details so nothing is set in stone, however we are leaning towards a socialized loss scenario among bitcoin balances and active loans to BTCUSD positions. The numbers being quoted are erroneous as nothing has been decided as of yet and we are still in the process of settling positions and balances. More details are to follow tomorrow. Furthermore, tomorrow we will be posting a FAQ on the blog that will answer most of the questions we have been asked over the past couple days.
Presumably they are being advised by counsel, but this just sounds crazy to me. Not only did the users never agree to a socialized loss system for losses resulting from a hack, but that seems to be implying that they accept liability for the loss. Personally I feel this puts them in the worst possible scenario, one where they are likely liable for all losses, and the users who are not made 100% whole will likely be able to successfully sue for the difference between what they are paid back and what they lost. Yikes.
UPDATE #4: BitFinex has announced how they plan to move forward and compensate for losses.
Following the theft on August 2nd, the Bitfinex team has been working tirelessly towards bringing the platform back online in a secure and controlled manner. We have finalized the accounting of losses incurred and are currently coordinating strategic plans for compensating customers.
We intend to come online within 24-48 hours with limited platform functionality. Additional announcements will be made as we progressively enable more platform features and return to full operations. We appreciate that our customers and the public want this handled quickly, but it needs to be done a way in which all assets are secure and immune from vulnerabilities. Every resource is being leveraged to make that happen in a safe and optimal way.
As disclosed in earlier announcements, all withdrawals, open orders, and open funding offers have been canceled and all financed positions have been settled. Exact settlement prices were published on August 3rd.
After much thought, analysis, and consultation, we have arrived at the conclusion that losses must be generalized across all accounts and assets. This is the closest approximation to what would happen in a liquidation context. Upon logging into the platform, customers will see that they have experienced a generalized loss percentage of 36.067%. In a later announcement we will explain in full detail the methodology used to compute these losses.
We are actively discussing various strategic options with numerous potential investors as part of our strategy to fully compensate our customers. Such discussions, however, are in early stages and will likely take time to play out. In the meantime, In place of the loss in each wallet, we are crediting a token labeled BFX to record each customer’s discrete losses. Tokens will be distributed without release or waiver. The BFX tokens will remain outstanding until redeemed in full by Bitfinex or possibly exchanged—upon the creditor’s request and Bitfinex’s acceptance—for shares of iFinex Inc. We are still sorting out many details on this; we will post further updates in the coming days.
Thank you for your continued patience and for the many generous offers of support that we have received over the last several days. Notwithstanding this attack, we continue to believe in the possibilities associated with bitcoin. We will continue to update our customers and the public as and when we can.
Maybe it's just me, but between converting customer funds to compensate other customers, and issuing an unregistered security, this sounds like horrible ideas all around and I'm surprised any legitimate lawyer would sign off on such a plan.
submitted by grasshoppa1 to legaladviceofftopic [link] [comments]

Online Platforms Trading Cryptocurrencies; Continued Uncertainty In Crypto Space

I have been writing often about the cryptocurrency marketplace and the SEC and other regulators’ statements and concerns about compliance with the federal securities laws. On July 25, 2017, the SEC issued a Section 21(a) Report on an investigation related to an initial coin offering (ICO) by the DAO, concluding that the ICO was a securities offering. In that Report the SEC stated that securities exchanges providing for trading must register unless an exemption applies. In its numerous statements on cryptocurrencies since then, the SEC has consistently reminded the public that exchanges that trade securities, including cryptocurrencies that are securities, must be licensed by the SEC.
The SEC has also stated that as of today, no such licensed securities cryptocurrency exchange exists. However, a few CFTC regulated exchanges have now listed bitcoin futures products and, in doing so, engaged in lengthy conversations with the CFTC, ultimately agreeing to implement risk mitigation and oversight measures, heightened margin requirements, and added information sharing agreements with the underlying bitcoin trading platforms.
The topic of the registration of exchanges for trading cryptocurrencies is not new to regulators. Years before the Section 21(a) DAO Report and crypto craze, on December 8, 2014, the SEC settled charges against BTC Virtual Stock Exchange and LTC-Global Virtual Stock Exchange, which traded securities using virtual currencies, bitcoin or litecoin. According to the SEC release on the matter, “the exchanges provided account holders the ability to use bitcoin or litecoin to buy, sell, and trade securities of businesses (primarily virtual currency-related entities) listed on the exchanges’ websites. The venues weren’t registered as broker-dealers despite soliciting the public to open accounts and trade securities. The venues weren’t registered as stock exchanges despite enlisting issuers to offer securities for the public to buy and sell.” The exchanges charged and collected transaction-based compensation for each executed trade on the platforms.
Since the Section 21(a) DAO Report, most of the statements from the SEC and other regulators have focused on ICOs and the issuance of cryptocurrencies as opposed to focusing on the exchanges that trade cryptos. On March 7, 2018, the SEC finally issued a public statement directed specifically to online platforms for the trading of digital assets – i.e., cryptocurrencies. This blog will summarize that statement. Also, at the end of this blog is a list with links to my numerous other blogs on the topic of distributed ledger technology (blockchain), cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
SEC Statement on Potentially Unlawful Online Platforms for Trading Digital Assets
Online trading platforms have become prevalent for the buying and selling of coins and tokens, including new cryptocurrencies offered in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Many platforms bring buyers and sellers together in one place and offer investors access to automated systems that display priced orders, execute trades, and provide transaction data. If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an “exchange,” as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration. As mentioned above, no such SEC-registered platform exists as of today.
In its statement, the SEC cautions investors that “[T]o get the protections offered by the federal securities laws and SEC oversight when trading digital assets that are securities, investors should use a platform or entity registered with the SEC, such as a national securities exchange, alternative trading system (‘ATS’), or broker-dealer.”
The SEC is concerned that online platforms have the appearance of regular licensed securities exchanges, including using the word “exchange” when they are not. The SEC does not review the standards these “exchanges” use to pick or vet digital assets and cryptocurrencies, the trading protocols used to determine how orders interact and are executed, nor any internal controls or procedures of these platforms. Furthermore, the SEC warns that data provided by these trading platforms, such as bid and ask prices and execution information, may lack integrity.
The SEC provides a list of questions for investors to ask when considering trading on an online platform, including:
Registration or Exemption of an Exchange
Section 5 of the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) makes it unlawful for any broker, dealer, or exchange, directly or indirectly, to effect any transaction in a security, or to report any such transaction, in interstate commerce, unless the exchange is registered as a national securities exchange or is exempted from such registration. A national securities exchange registers with the SEC under Section 6 of the Exchange Act.
Section 3(a)(1) of the Exchange Act defines an “exchange” as “any organization, association, or group of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated, which constitutes, maintains, or provides a market place or facilities for bringing together purchasers and sellers of securities or for otherwise performing with respect to securities the functions commonly performed by a stock exchange as that term is generally understood….” Exchange Act Rule 3b-16 further defines an exchange to mean “an organization, association, or group of persons that: (1) brings together the orders for securities of multiple buyers and sellers; and (2) uses established, non-discretionary methods (whether by providing a trading facility or by setting rules) under which such orders interact with each other, and the buyers and sellers entering such orders agree to the terms of the trade.” The SEC has also stated that “an exchange or contract market would be required to register under Section 5 of the Exchange Act if it provides direct electronic access to persons located in the U.S.”
According to the SEC website, as of today there are 21 licensed exchanges registered with the SEC. Exchanges that trade securities futures are registered with the SEC through a notice filing under Section 6(g) of the Exchange Act. There are 5 such registered exchanges. There are two exchanges that the SEC has exempted from registration on the basis of limited volume transactions.
Continued Uncertainty
Although the SEC is certainly correct that an online trading platform that trades securities must be licensed by the SEC, that would not be the case if the asset being traded is not a security. In fact, if the asset is a currency (and not a security) or a “thing” such as loyalty points, no US federal agency would regulate its trading. The SEC only regulates the trading of securities and security-related products. The CFTC has regulatory oversight over futures, options, and derivatives contracts on virtual currencies and has oversight to pursue claims of fraud or manipulation involving a virtual currency traded in interstate commerce. Beyond instances of fraud or manipulation, the CFTC generally does not oversee “spot” or cash market exchanges and transactions involving virtual currencies that do not utilize margin, leverage or financing. Rather, these “exchanges” are regulated as payment processors or money transmitters under state law.
Likewise, no federal regulator has direct jurisdiction over “exchanges” that trade loyalty points such as converting airline points to use for hotels, cars, consumer goods and services, or cash. Online platforms such as www.points.com and www.webflyer.com operate using contractual partnerships with entities that issue loyalty points. In fact, points.com is owned by Points International Ltd., which trades on the TSX and Nasdaq and refers to itself as “the global leader in loyalty currency management.” Certainly, today there is a vast difference in the trading of loyalty points versus those looking to make profits in cryptocurrency trading, but there are also analogies, especially with the “currency” side. In a recent 6-K, Points has this to say about the loyalty industry:
Year-over-year, loyalty programs continue to generate a significant source of ancillary revenue and cash flows for companies that have developed and maintain these loyalty programs. According to the Colloquy group, a leading consulting and research firm focused on the loyalty industry, the number of loyalty program memberships in the US increased from 3.3 billion in 2014 to 3.8 billion in 2016, representing an increase of 15% (source: 2017 Colloquy Loyalty Census Report, June 2017). As the number of loyalty memberships continues to increase, the level of diversification in the loyalty landscape is evolving. While the airline, hotel, specialty retail, and financial services industries continue to be dominant in loyalty programs in the US, smaller verticals, including the restaurant and drug store industries are beginning to see larger growth in their membership base. Further, newer loyalty concepts, such as large e-commerce programs, daily deals, and online travel agencies, are becoming more prevalent. As a result of this changing landscape, loyalty programs must continue to provide innovative value propositions in order to drive activity in their programs.
Companies that believe that their crypto is truly a utility with currency value may feel they have more in common with a loyalty point than a security, and regulators have yet to be able to give any level of firm ground on which to stand.
In a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on May 16, 2018, Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC Division of Enforcement, told lawmakers that the SEC will continue to look at each case involving a cryptocurrency on a facts-and-circumstances basis. Ms. Avakian and co-director Steven Peiken both gave testimony and sat in the hot seat. The Financial Services Committee members were pushing for more definitive input on how ICOs should be defined and regulated, without result. The hearing became contentious, with Committee members becoming frustrated with the lack of direction and lack of certainty from the SEC as to how they define and view cryptocurrencies, other than “on a case-by-case basis” and using the same federal securities principles that already exist – a mantra that has been repeated.
However, the SEC enforcement division could rightfully feel they are being put in an unfair position with this line of questioning. Commissioner Hester M. Peirce warned against rulemaking by enforcement in a recent speech. Ms. Peirce has strong opinions on the subject. She states, “[D]ue process starts with telling individuals in advance what actions constitute violations of the law.” She continues with “[A] related issue to which I am paying attention is the degree to which our enforcement process is being used to push the bounds of our authority. Congress sets the parameters within which we may operate, and we ought not to stray outside those boundaries through, for example, overly broad interpretations of ‘security’ or extraterritorial impositions of the law. Our canons of ethics specifically caution us against exceeding ‘the proper limits of the law’ and argue for us remaining ‘consistent with the statutory purposes expressed by the Congress.’”
In fairness, Ms. Peirce was talking in the context of enforcement as a whole. Not once did she mention cryptocurrencies, ICOs or blockchain in that speech. However, in light of the prevalence of the topic and many industry leaders, politicians and market participants looking to the SEC for guidance on the question of “what is a cryptocurrency” and “how should it be regulated,” I can’t help but think the SEC is looking back at Congress with the same question.
Further Reading on DLT/Blockchain and ICOs
For a review of the 2014 case against BTC Trading Corp. for acting as an unlicensed broker-dealer for operating a bitcoin trading platform, see HERE.
For an introduction on distributed ledger technology, including a summary of FINRA’s Report on Distributed Ledger Technology and Implication of Blockchain for the Securities Industry, see HERE.
For a discussion on the Section 21(a) Report on the DAO investigation, statements by the Divisions of Corporation Finance and Enforcement related to the investigative report and the SEC’s Investor Bulletin on ICOs, see HERE.
For a summary of SEC Chief Accountant Wesley R. Bricker’s statements on ICOs and accounting implications, see HERE.
For an update on state-distributed ledger technology and blockchain regulations, see HERE.
For a summary of the SEC and NASAA statements on ICOs and updates on enforcement proceedings as of January 2018, see HERE.
For a summary of the SEC and CFTC joint statements on cryptocurrencies, including The Wall Street Journalop-ed article and information on the International Organization of Securities Commissions statement and warning on ICOs, see HERE.
For a review of the CFTC role and position on cryptocurrencies, see HERE.
For a summary of the SEC and CFTC testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs hearing on “Virtual Currencies: The Oversight Role of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission,” see HERE.
To learn about SAFTs and the issues with the SAFT investment structure, see HERE.
To learn about the SEC’s position and concerns with crypto-related funds and ETFs, see HERE.
The Author
Laura Anthony, Esq. Founding Partner Legal & Compliance, LLC Corporate, Securities and Going Public Attorneys 330 Clematis Street, Suite 217 West Palm Beach, FL 33401 Phone: 800-341-2684 – 561-514-0936 Fax: 561-514-0832 [email protected] www.LegalAndCompliance.com www.LawCast.com
submitted by geopayme to BlockchainBanknTrust [link] [comments]

[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] Understanding Tether: Why it accounts for a substantial part of the crypto market cap and why its...

The following post by arsonbunny is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed.
The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link:
np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/7xae98
The original post's content was as follows:
In this post I will go in-depth on:
  1. How Tether got to be what it is today
  2. Why Tether's market cap is a lot more than 0.5% of the total market cap for crypto you see on CoinMarketCap
  3. Tether printing timing
  4. Tether reserves
  5. What could happen to the market if Tether is found to not be backed by reserves
Tether is incredibly important to the cryptocurrency market ecosystem and I've noticed far too few people understand what is going on.
Very little actual discussion of the 2nd biggest crypto by volume happens here and whenever someone starts a discussion they most often got slapped for "FUD". Tether themselves recently hired the major New York based PR firm 5W to spread positive information online and take down critics, I'm sure some of their operatives are probably on Reddit.
But its absolutely critical you understand the risks behind Tether and especially now with the explosion in reserve liability, breakdown in relationship with banks and their auditor and recently announced subpoena.

What exactly is Tether and what happened so far?

Tether is a cryptocurrency asset issued by Tether Limited (incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and a sister company of Bitfinex), on top of the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omni Protocol Layer. It is meant to give people a "stablecoin", for example a merchant who accepts bitcoin but fears its volatility could shift bitcoin into tether, which can be easier to do than exchanging bitcoin for dollars. Recently they've also added an Ethereum-based ERC20 token. Tether Ltd claims that each one of the tokens issued is backed by actual US dollar (and more recently Euro) reserves. The idea is that when a business partner deposits US dollars in Tether’s bank account, Tether creates a matching amount of tokens and transfers them to that partner, it is NOT a fractional reserve system.
Tether makes the two following key promises in its whitepaper on which the entire premise is build:
Each tether issued will be backed by the equivalent amount of currency unit (one USDTether equals one dollar).
Professional auditors will regularly verify, sign, and publish our underlying bank balance and financial transfer statement.
Tether is centralized and dependent on your trust of Bitfinex/Tether Limited, and that the people behind it are honest people. For the new entrants to this market it will be greatly beneficial understand the timeline of Tether and their connection to Bitfinex.
A brief timeline:
  • Bitfinex operators Phil Potter and CFO Giancarlo Devasini set up Tether Limited in the British Virgin Islands, but told the public that Bitfinex and Tether are completely separate. Throughout 2015 and 2016, the amount of Tether stays relatively flat.
  • In August 2nd, 2016, the second-largest digital currency exchange heist in history happened, when Bitfinex lost nearly 120,000 bitcoin. Bitfinex never revealed full details of the hack, but BitGo (the security company that had to sign off on the transactions) claims its servers were not breached.
  • Just 4 days after the hack Bitfinex “socializes” its losses from the theft by announcing a 36 percent haircut for almost all of its customers. In return, customers receive BFX tokens, initially valued at $1 each.
  • Two weeks after the hack Bitfinex announces it has hired Ledger Labs, to investigate the theft and perform a financial audit of its cryptocurrency and fiat assets. The public nevers sees the results of the investigation, and months later, Bitfinex admits it never actually hired Ledger Labs to perform an audit to begin with.
  • In May 2017, after long standing calls for an actual audit, Bitfinex hires Friedman LLP to "complete a comprehensive balance sheet audit."
  • November 7, 2017: Leaked documents dubbed “Paradise Papers” reveal Bitfinex and Tether are run by the same individuals.
  • November 19, 2017: Tether is hacked, with 31 million USDT suddenly disappearing. Tether Limited reacts to this by creating a hard fork.
  • December 4, 2017: Right after hiring the PR firm 5W to help improve their image, Bitfinex hires law firm Steptoe & Johnson and threatens legal action against critics.
  • December 6, 2017 - CFTC issues a subpoena to Tether and Bitfinex. This news isn't made public until the end of January.
  • December 21, 2017 : Without making any formal announcement, Bitfinex appears to suddenly close all new account registrations. Those trying to register for a new account are asked for a mysterious referral code, but no referral code seems to exist.
  • After a month of being closed to new registrations, Bitfinex announces it is reopening its doors, but now requires new customers to deposit $10,000 before they can begin trading.
  • Friedman LLP completely cut ties with Tether on January 27, 2017.

Most common misconception: Tether is only a small part of the total market cap

One of the most common misconception people have about cryptocurrencies is that the "market cap" amount they see on CoinMarketCap.com is actually the amount of money that is invested in each coin.
I often hear people online dismiss any issue with tether by simply claiming its not big enough to cause any effect, saying "Well Tether is only $2.2 billion on CoinMarketCap and the market is 400 billion, its only 0.5% of the market".
But this misunderstands what market capitalization for cryptocurrency is, and just how different the market cap for Tether is to every other token. The market cap is simply the last trade price times the circulating supply. It doesn't take into account the order book depth at all. The majority of Bitcoin (and most coins) are held by those who either mined or purchased for a very low price early on and simply held on as very small portions of the total supply was rapidly bid up to their current price.
An increase in market cap of X does NOT represent an inflow of X dollars invested, not even close. A 400 billion dollar market cap for crypto does NOT mean that there is 400 billion dollars underwriting the assets. Meanwhile a 2 billion dollar Tether market cap means there should be exactly $2 billion backing up the asset.
Nobody can tell for sure exactly how much money has been invested in cryptocurrency market, but analysts from JPMorgan found that there was only net inflow of $6 billion fiat that resulted in $300 billion market cap at the time. This gives us a roughly 50:1 ratio of market cap to fiat inflow. Prominent crypto evangelist Julian Hosp gives the following estimate: "For a cryptocurrency to have a market cap of $1 billion, maybe only $50 million actually moved into the cryptocurrency."
For Tether however the market cap is simply the outstanding supply, 2.2 billion USDT is actually equal to 2.2 billion USD. In order to get $50 USDT you have to deposit $50 real U.S. dollars and then 50 completely new tokens will be issued, which never existed before on the market.
What is also often ignored is that Bitfinex allows margin trading, at a 3.3x leverage. Bitfinexed did an excellent analysis on how tether is entering Bitfinex to fund margin positions
There are $2.2 billion in Tether outstanding and the current market cap of the entire market is $400 billion according to CoinMarketCap. You can actually calculate Tether as a % of total fiat invested in the market according to the JP Morgan estimate, the following table outlines for a scenario of no margin lending and 15/25% of tether being on a 3.3x leverage margin account:
Fiat Inflow/Market Cap Ratio Tether as % of total market (no margin) Tether as % of total market (15% on margin) Tether as % of total market (25% on margin)
JP Morgan estimate (50:1) 27.5 % 36.9 % 43.3 %
Even without any margin lending Tether is underwriting the worth of about 27.5% of the cryptocurrency market, and if we assume only 25% was leveraged out at 3.3x on margin we have a whole 43% of the market cap being driven by Tether inflow.
A much better indicator on CoinMarketCap of just how influential Tether is actually the volume, its currently the 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by volume and there are even days where its volume exceeds its market cap.
What this all means is that not only is the market cap for cryptocurrencies drastically overestimating the amount of actual fiat capital that is underwriting those assets, but a substantial portion of the entire market cap is being derived from the value of Tether's market cap rather than real money.
Its incredibly important that more new investors realize that Tether isn't a side issue or a minor cog in the machine, but one of the core underlying mechanisms on which the entire market worth is built. Ensuring that whoever controls this stablecoin is honest and transparent is absolutely critical to the health of the market.

Two main concerns with Tether

The primary concerns with Tether can be split into two categories:
  1. Tether issuance timing - Does Tether Ltd issue USDT organically or is it timed to stop downward selling pressure?
  2. Reserves - Does Tether Ltd actually have the fiat reserves at a 1:1...
submitted by censorship_notifier to noncensored_bitcoin [link] [comments]

Subreddit Stats: btc posts from 2017-10-03 to 2017-10-09 13:22 PDT

Period: 6.50 days
Submissions Comments
Total 837 20193
Rate (per day) 128.85 2692.43
Unique Redditors 489 2132
Combined Score 26601 69285

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 1086 points, 17 submissions: increaseblocks
    1. Another all time low achieved - The Blockstream CSO just reported Coinbase to the NYDFS (on Twitter) claiming they are violating the Bitlicense (199 points, 91 comments)
    2. Craig Wright is NOT the face of or "CEO" Bitcoin Cash (181 points, 116 comments)
    3. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Withdrawals now available on Gemini exchange (176 points, 39 comments)
    4. In just the month of September 2017 alone rBitcoin mods censored 5633 posts and comments! (115 points, 19 comments)
    5. Forget stealing data — these hackers broke into Amazon's cloud to mine bitcoin (91 points, 11 comments)
    6. Why Blockstream Is So Loudly Against Segwit2x (72 points, 52 comments)
    7. 10 reasons why Reddit admins should close down Bitcoin and not BTC (63 points, 62 comments)
    8. These are the real enemies of Bitcoin (43 points, 23 comments)
    9. Bitcoin Core developers along with Blockstream are destroying Bitcoin (36 points, 5 comments)
    10. Theory: Bitcoin Cash price is dropping as we get closer to SegWit2X hard fork. People are putting their money back into the SegWit1X chain for now so they can claim coins on both chains come November. (34 points, 43 comments)
  2. 970 points, 8 submissions: MemoryDealers
    1. Repost: "The notion of every #bitcoin user running their own node is as dumb as the notion of every email user running their own server.' (279 points, 233 comments)
    2. Just letting Bitcoin.org know that Bitcoin.com will list S2X as BTC (Just like 95% of the rest of the ecosystem will) (243 points, 146 comments)
    3. Censorship question (158 points, 164 comments)
    4. The newest Bitcoin CASH billboard is coming to Silicon Valley! ($1,000 in Bitcoin Cash giveaway contest) (90 points, 38 comments)
    5. Core supporter mentality: Why would anyone ever switch from Myspace to Facebook? Of course they won't, we are already #1 (73 points, 67 comments)
    6. Insights from "a professional capacity planner for one of the world’s busiest websites" on the block size issue. (59 points, 18 comments)
    7. South Korean Startups Are Preparing To Fight The Government's ICO Ban (48 points, 2 comments)
    8. Meanwhile in Japan: (20 points, 21 comments)
  3. 895 points, 7 submissions: poorbrokebastard
    1. Is segwit2x the REAL Banker takeover? (288 points, 400 comments)
    2. No supporter of Bitcoin Cash ever called it "Bcash." (207 points, 328 comments)
    3. The real upgrade happened on August 1st, 2017 (186 points, 206 comments)
    4. We are building a Big Blocker's Arsenal of Truth and we need your help! (143 points, 163 comments)
    5. Understanding the Implications of Restricting Capacity in a Peer to Peer Cash System. (53 points, 42 comments)
    6. Block space is a market-based, public good, NOT a centrally controlled, restricted commodity. (18 points, 48 comments)
    7. Crypt0 on youtube talks about the Segwit2x Banker Takeover (0 points, 3 comments)
  4. 866 points, 4 submissions: jessquit
    1. I think we need an EDA fix before the Nov hardfork (540 points, 352 comments)
    2. If you still think that SW2X is going to be a nice clean upgrade per the NYA you're smoking crack (136 points, 177 comments)
    3. Bitcoin Cash is the real Bitcoin, even if Segwit currently has greater market share due to its stronger shilling (104 points, 140 comments)
    4. "Firing Core" by running SW2X makes as much sense as firing the Linux kernel devs by running Ubuntu. (86 points, 69 comments)
  5. 785 points, 8 submissions: btcnewsupdates
    1. Overstock accepts Bitcoin Cash - BCH holders can now buy Home Goods, Bed & Bath Essentials, Jewellery & More! (586 points, 117 comments)
    2. Bitcoin Cash Gains More Infrastructure In the Midst of Segwit2x Drama - Bitcoin News (80 points, 35 comments)
    3. To commemorate its Bitcoin Cash addition, GMO has launched a cash-back campaign for bitcoin cash of up to 25,000 yen (40 points, 0 comments)
    4. India’s Koinex Exchange to Enable Bitcoin Cash Trading Soon (31 points, 13 comments)
    5. Unregulated Is Not Lawless - CFTC is investigating Coinbase’s Ethereum flash crash (23 points, 6 comments)
    6. SimpleFX, online Forex & Cryptocurrency broker recently introduced Bitcoin Cash as a deposit currency (22 points, 0 comments)
    7. Bitcoin Cash Popularity Allows ViaBTC Mining Pool to Surpass 1 Exahash (3 points, 0 comments)
    8. Trade Bitcoin Cash CFDs - The Rapidly Rising Crypto - plus500.co.uk‎ (0 points, 0 comments)
  6. 745 points, 18 submissions: cryptorebel
    1. Great analysis by singularity and jessquit on how anti-btc trolls shifted: "suddenly last year they all disappeared, and a new type of bitcoin user appeared who were fully in support of bitcoin but they just so happened to support every single thing Blockstream and its employees said and did." (102 points, 50 comments)
    2. Don't fall for EDA Dragons Den FUD. EDA is a powerful weapon that could kill off or cripple the segwit chain for good. Legacy coin has no EDA crash barrier as this article explains. This is why small blockers use FUD us to disarm the EDA (78 points, 118 comments)
    3. Roger Ver CEO of bitcoin.com says that from his point of view the segwit2x split just gives him more coins to sell for the Bitcoin Cash version which he thinks is the more useful Bitcoin @3min41s mark (71 points, 33 comments)
    4. Proof the new Dragons Den plan could be to try to split BCC with an EDA change. Mrhodl is confirmed Dragons Den, and Cobra Bitcoin is the leader of bitcoin.org which is making enemy lists for big block supporting businesses. (70 points, 47 comments)
    5. Right now segwit2x (BT2) is trading for $1143 and segwit1x (BT1) is $3070 on Bitfinex futures markets. Even with not the greatest terms, you would expect 2x to be much higher. I believe this bodes well for BCC. (61 points, 112 comments)
    6. The other day people were suggesting we do an EDA change before the November 2x fork. Here is why I think that is a terrible idea, and why we should only consider EDA change AFTER the 2x fork. (58 points, 40 comments)
    7. "Nick, Adam and others saw the flaw in the system being that they could not ensure one vote one person.. The flaw in that reasoning is assuming that one vote one person was ever a goal. Miners act economically not altruistically." (57 points, 14 comments)
    8. Original chain is now only 4.8% more profitable than Bitcoin Cash chain after the most recent EDA adjustment on BCC. Very normal blocktimes. Where is the EDA dragons den FUD now? (53 points, 33 comments)
    9. Great Explanation from Peter Rizun at 6min mark, on why Segregated Witness no longer fits the Definition of Bitcoin in the Whitepaper as a Chain of Signatures. (51 points, 19 comments)
    10. Right now segwit2x is $650 and segwit1x is $3906. Search for BT1 and BT2 on this page and you can see the futures prices. (51 points, 102 comments)
  7. 640 points, 3 submissions: BeijingBitcoins
    1. "Am I so out of touch?" (441 points, 163 comments)
    2. Bitcoin Cannot Be Only a Store of Value - excellent article by OpenBazaar dev Chris Pacia (189 points, 47 comments)
    3. Interesting research paper: Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation (10 points, 2 comments)
  8. 622 points, 2 submissions: routefire
    1. "Everyone who supported UASF and now complains about S2X out of fear of confusion/lack of mandatory replay protection is a hypocrite. UASF did not have ANY replay protection, not even opt-in. UASF did not even have wipe-out protection!" (394 points, 133 comments)
    2. While /bitcoin was circle-jerking to the idea that no exchange would list the SW2x chain as BTC, Bitcoin Thailand's comment to the contrary was removed from the very same thread! (228 points, 70 comments)
  9. 510 points, 6 submissions: BitcoinIsTehFuture
    1. Bitfinex announcement about issuing BT1 & BT2 "Chain Split Tokens" to allow Futures trading. (BT1 = Segwit1x; BT2 = Segwit2x) (172 points, 173 comments)
    2. By proving that it can be done (getting rid of Core) this will set a HUUGE precedent and milestone that dev teams and even outright censorship cannot overtake Bitcoin. That will be an extremely bullish occasionfor all crypto. (149 points, 84 comments)
    3. Bitfinex is going to call Segwit2x coins "B2X" and let Core chain retain "BTC" ticker symbol. Bitfinex is therefore calling Segwit2x an altcoin and Core the "real chain". (138 points, 70 comments)
    4. The goal of all the forks appears to be to dilute investment in the true forks: Bitcoin Cash and Segwit2x. A sort of Scorched Earth approach by Blockstream. They are going to try to tear down Bitcoin as they get removed. (35 points, 11 comments)
    5. Blockstream be like (10 points, 11 comments)
    6. In light of all these upcoming forks, we need a site where you can put in a BTC address and it checks ALL the forks and says which chains still have a balance for that address. This way you can split your coins and send coins carefully. (6 points, 6 comments)
  10. 508 points, 3 submissions: xmrusher
    1. Can we take a moment to appreciate Jeff Garzik for how much bullshit he has to deal with while working to give BTC a long-needed upgrade that Core has been blocking for so long? (278 points, 193 comments)
    2. The very objective article "Bitcoin is not ruled by miners" on the "bitcoin wiki" was added by theymos on 8th of August this year. Nothing strange to see here, just an objective, encyclopedia-quality overview! (155 points, 58 comments)
    3. According to Crooked Greg, Jeff merging opt-in replay protection is "alarming", because it must mean Jeff wants to blacklist people's addresses too. Core devs keep lying and manipulating to stir more drama and further the split in the community. Disgusting! (75 points, 16 comments)
  11. 505 points, 4 submissions: WalterRothbard
    1. Sam Patterson on Twitter: Can anyone explain why miners and CEOs agreeing to a 2mb hard fork was no big deal with the HKA but is a "corporate takeover" with the NYA? (221 points, 85 comments)
    2. Apparently Bitcoin requires trust now - trusting Core. I didn't get that memo. I think I'll opt out. (169 points, 139 comments)
    3. Erik Voorhees on Twitter: Nothing about NYA was secret (106 points, 34 comments)
    4. How much BTC is in segwit addresses? (9 points, 25 comments)
  12. 480 points, 3 submissions: BitcoinXio
    1. Friendly reminder: if you haven't yet, watch this video which shows reddit is gamed and manipulated by professional shills paid by companies with huge million dollar budgets. It is up to our community to defend itself against these bad actors. (325 points, 99 comments)
    2. Blockchain CEO Peter Smith on Twitter: "We've dedicated our lives to building bitcoin products, introduced millions to bitcoin, evangelized, long before it was cool. Enemies?" (in response to Adam Back) (147 points, 47 comments)
    3. Liberty in North Korea: Reddit online community members join forces to assist in the placement of North Korea’s Hermit Kingdom refugees (8 points, 3 comments)
  13. 459 points, 4 submissions: singularity87
    1. The entire bitcoin economy is attacking bitcoin says bitcoin.org! You can't make this shit up. (435 points, 279 comments)
    2. Understanding Bitcoin - Incentives & The Power Dynamic (13 points, 1 comment)
    3. Understanding Bitcoin - What is 'Centralisation'? (9 points, 9 comments)
    4. Understanding Bitcoin - Validity is in the Eye of the Beholder (2 points, 25 comments)
  14. 434 points, 3 submissions: Gregory_Maxwell
    1. Wikipedia Admins: "[Gregory Maxwell of Blockstream Core] is a very dangerous individual" "has for some time been behaving very oddly and aggressively" (214 points, 79 comments)
    2. Gregory Maxwell: I didn't look to see how Bitcoin worked because I had already proven it (strong decentralized consensus) to be impossible. (122 points, 103 comments)
    3. LAST 1000 BLOCKS: Segwit2x-intent blocks: 922 (92.2%) (98 points, 99 comments)
  15. 419 points, 1 submission: Testwest78
    1. Making Gregory Maxwell a Bitcoin Core Committer Was a “Huge Mistake” Says Gavin Andresen (419 points, 231 comments)
  16. 412 points, 14 submissions: knight222
    1. Kudos to Theymos who wanted to clear things up... (311 points, 89 comments)
    2. COINFUCIUS on Twitter: We are working with the machine's manufacturer to incorporate Bitcoin Cash support. This is a priority for us. (76 points, 2 comments)
    3. Cash, credit ... or Bitcoin? St. John's gets 1st cybercurrency ATM - Newfoundland - Labrador (9 points, 1 comment)
    4. Banks like the potential of digital currencies but are cool on bitcoin, UBS says (3 points, 0 comments)
    5. The Feds Just Collected $48 Million from Seized Bitcoins (3 points, 1 comment)
    6. while Bitcoin users might get increasingly tyrannical about limiting the size of the chain so it's easy for lots of users and small devices. (3 points, 3 comments)
    7. ‘Fraud.’ ‘More than a fad.’ The words Wall Street CEOs are using to describe bitcoin (2 points, 0 comments)
    8. Bitcoin is creating stark divisions on Wall Street (1 point, 0 comments)
    9. Bitcoin: Bitcoin's rise happened in the shadows. Now banks want in (1 point, 0 comments)
    10. Japan’s Biggest Bank Plans to “Overcome” Bitcoin Volatility with 'MUFG Coin' (1 point, 0 comments)
  17. 406 points, 5 submissions: jonald_fyookball
    1. Normal, real twitter users don't add [UASF], [No2x] or any "causes" to their user handles. Obvious astroturfing is obvious. Do they really think they are fooling anyone? (175 points, 134 comments)
    2. Greg Maxwell (and others) may be engaging in the illegal harassment of Jeff Garzik. (92 points, 24 comments)
    3. Bitcoin Cash FAQ updated. Explains why Bitcoin Cash doesn't have SegWit and why it was not considered a capacity increase (87 points, 11 comments)
    4. Is it all a bait and switch campaign? (32 points, 14 comments)
    5. Possible EDA simulation algorithm sketch (20 points, 12 comments)
  18. 404 points, 3 submissions: Annapurna317
    1. Everyone should calm down. The upgrade to 2x has 95%+ miner support and will be as smooth as a hot knife through butter. Anyone that says otherwise is fear monguring or listening to bitcoin propaganda. (364 points, 292 comments)
    2. Notice: Redditor for 3-4 months accounts or accounts that do not have a history of Bitcoin posts are probably the same person or just a few people paid to manipulate discussion here. It's likely a paid astroturfing campaign. (38 points, 30 comments)
    3. The latest TED Radio Hour titled “Getting Organized” talks about the decentralized algorithms of ants and how centralization is not the most ideal state of an organization. (2 points, 0 comments)
  19. 385 points, 1 submission: squarepush3r
    1. Dangerous direction for /btc, possible jump the shark moment. Witch-hunting, paid troll and Dragon Den's accusation to justify censorship. (385 points, 201 comments)
  20. 381 points, 1 submission: hunk_quark
    1. Why is there so much debate on whether Bitcoin is store of value or digital currency? Satoshi's white paper was pretty clear it's a digital currency. (381 points, 182 comments)
  21. 369 points, 5 submissions: craftercrafter
    1. Gavin Andresen on Twitter: Early bitcoin devs luckily picked the right project at the right time. None are irreplaceable, bitcoin will succeed with or without us. (293 points, 57 comments)
    2. Antpool, BTC.TOP & Viabtc all said EDA is a temporary design for BCC. They are just waiting for the new algorithm. (34 points, 19 comments)
    3. SimpleFX, an Online Forex & Cryptocurrency Broker, Adds Bitcoin Cash Payments as well as Bitcoin Cash Trading Pairs! (27 points, 1 comment)
    4. BCC Miners, two EDAs have locked in. This will reduce mining difficulty to 64.00%. If you are aiming to achieve profit parity, you should start mining after the next EDA (in 2.5 hours), because then the difficulty will be at 51%, which gives profit parity on both chains and steady block rate. (9 points, 14 comments)
    5. Antpool, Viabtc, Bitcoin.com, BTC.com, we need to hear your voice. In the case of a scheduled hardfork for updating the EDA, will your pool follow? (6 points, 18 comments)
  22. 348 points, 6 submissions: specialenmity
    1. Fact: proof of work which is the foundation of bitcoin and not invented by Adam back was designed to counter attacks where one person falsely represents to be many(like spam). Subreddits and twitter dont form the foundation of bitcoin for a reason. (156 points, 27 comments)
    2. I'm a small blocker and I support the NYA (87 points, 46 comments)
    3. Devs find clever way to add replay protection that doesn't change transaction format which would break software compatibility and cause disruption. G. Max responds by saying that this blacklisting is a sign of things to come. (49 points, 57 comments)
    4. Five ways small blocks (AKA core1mb) hurt decentralization (36 points, 4 comments)
    5. Even if bitcoins only use to society was avoiding negative interest rates, bail-ins + bail-outs, that is incredibly useful to society. Of course a banker like Jamie Dimon would call something a fraud that removes a "bank tax" on society by allowing them to avoid these fraudulent charges. (18 points, 0 comments)
    6. There are different kinds of censorship. The core propagandists are unwittingly great advocates of economic censorship (2 points, 1 comment)
  23. 286 points, 2 submissions: coincrazyy
    1. Rick Falkvinge on Twitter - "Blockstream's modus operandi is not particularly hard to copy. It's just so cheap and shortsighted." -Gets 5000 ReTweets and 5000 likes in 30 mins. TO PROVE A POINT. ASTROTURFING DOES NOT MEAN CONSENSUS (164 points, 15 comments)
    2. Segwit was invented by "cypherpunks" THAT FAILED TO CREATE A VIABLE DIGITAL CURRENCY. Bitcoin was created by a cypherpunk that SUCCEEDED. (122 points, 118 comments)
  24. 257 points, 2 submissions: olivierjanss
    1. Why Bitfinex’s “Chain Split Tokens” are completely biased towards the small block side (again) (205 points, 165 comments)
    2. Reminder of what took place behind closed doors in 2016, revealing Blockstream & Core's quest for domination & lies. (52 points, 3 comments)
  25. 254 points, 9 submissions: SeppDepp2
    1. #SegWit2x is an upgrade to BTC and will use the BTC ticker. (103 points, 59 comments)
    2. Core rage quitting Swiss Bitcoin Association ? - Due to a CSW free speech ? - OMG - grow up little prejudges! (76 points, 141 comments)
    3. "Venezuela could soon decide to adopt the Bitcoin as its new currency" - Hope they'll use Satoshi's Bitcoin Cash - They cannot afford high fees like most No2X / NoCash puppets! (36 points, 6 comments)
    4. A short logical layman proof definition of Bitcoin: Look up, what Bitcoin really is: 1) Whitepaper 2) First code version Bitcoin is Bitcoin Cash and includes e.g. the witness. Segwit - Bitcoin is an alternative to this (ALT). (17 points, 3 comments)
    5. Core gets hyperallergic about a free speach of CSW in neutral Switzerland (6 points, 35 comments)
    6. Different Bitcoins: Value proposition, trust, reputation - confidence (6 points, 0 comments)
    7. Four Different November Scenarios (6 points, 24 comments)
    8. Swiss biggest FinTech launches BITCOIN Tracker (valid up to 2020) (2 points, 1 comment)
    9. Watch out for this kind of pattern! If it comes to such a segregation of good old members into good and enemy its gonna be dirty! (2 points, 0 comments)
  26. 230 points, 2 submissions: williaminlondon
    1. PSA: latest rbitcoin post "It's time to label (and remove from reddit.com) what is plainly obvious: btc is a monetized subreddit for bitcoin.com." (126 points, 57 comments)
    2. Did anyone notice how angry Blockstream / Core people are whenever good news are posted here? (104 points, 108 comments)
  27. 227 points, 1 submission: dskloet
    1. All the #no2x bullshit is the fault of the people who agreed to activeate SegWit before 2x. (227 points, 199 comments)
  28. 226 points, 5 submissions: opling
    1. Japan's Largest Bitcoin Exchange Bitflyer Launches Bitcoin Visa Prepaid Card (112 points, 1 comment)
    2. Large Japanese Energy Supplier Adds Bitcoin Payments With a Discount (44 points, 4 comments)
    3. Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia (40 points, 2 comments)
    4. Russia's Central Bank Instructs Clearinghouse Not to Settle Cryptocurrency Contracts (18 points, 1 comment)
    5. Government Head of IT Department Fired for Mining Bitcoin Using State-Owned Computers in Crimea (12 points, 2 comments)
  29. 222 points, 2 submissions: GrumpyAnarchist
    1. Xapo just sold off another 70,000 BCH today, that might explain the price. They're down to 176K in their main wallet now. (166 points, 132 comments)
    2. Roger, can you make Bitcoin Cash an option, with maybe a link to info, in the original wallet setup phase for the Bitcoin.com wallet? (56 points, 28 comments)
  30. 216 points, 7 submissions: uMCCCS
    1. TIL a BS employee, Chris Decker, and some other people released a study that says "4 MB blocks don't cause centralization" (128 points, 19 comments)
    2. Without ASICs, there would be large botnets that are more centralized (44 points, 43 comments)
    3. Bitcoin-ML Bucketed UTXO Commitment (a.k.a. Blockchain pruning!) (27 points, 6 comments)
    4. Bitcoin Cash is Satoshi's BitCoin, not altered Bitcoin (10 points, 10 comments)
    5. TIL BashCo has a website "2x Countdown" (5 points, 1 comment)
    6. How true is rBTC censorship? (2 points, 7 comments)
    7. If S1X lives and Core Never HardForks, BTC will die in year 2038 (0 points, 7 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. williaminlondon (3150 points, 739 comments)
  2. poorbrokebastard (2114 points, 518 comments)
  3. cryptorebel (1768 points, 257 comments)
  4. space58 (1313 points, 201 comments)
  5. Adrian-X (1109 points, 235 comments)
  6. knight222 (1037 points, 157 comments)
  7. bitcoincashuser (946 points, 188 comments)
  8. jessquit (901 points, 150 comments)
  9. ---Ed--- (758 points, 185 comments)
  10. LovelyDay (742 points, 125 comments)
  11. jonald_fyookball (720 points, 106 comments)
  12. Not_Pictured (701 points, 111 comments)
  13. awemany (675 points, 173 comments)
  14. BitcoinXio (611 points, 41 comments)
  15. Gregory_Maxwell (609 points, 90 comments)
  16. singularity87 (608 points, 44 comments)
  17. 2dsxc (587 points, 79 comments)
  18. BitcoinIsTehFuture (567 points, 79 comments)
  19. BTCrob (534 points, 214 comments)
  20. H0dl (531 points, 79 comments)
  21. dskloet (517 points, 94 comments)
  22. Ant-n (509 points, 132 comments)
  23. nullc (497 points, 66 comments)
  24. tippr (483 points, 284 comments)
  25. todu (476 points, 63 comments)
  26. GrumpyAnarchist (472 points, 127 comments)
  27. tophernator (462 points, 78 comments)
  28. livecatbounce (456 points, 61 comments)
  29. kenman345 (453 points, 49 comments)
  30. cryptonaut420 (403 points, 50 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Overstock accepts Bitcoin Cash - BCH holders can now buy Home Goods, Bed & Bath Essentials, Jewellery & More! by btcnewsupdates (586 points, 117 comments)
  2. I think we need an EDA fix before the Nov hardfork by jessquit (540 points, 352 comments)
  3. "Am I so out of touch?" by BeijingBitcoins (441 points, 163 comments)
  4. The entire bitcoin economy is attacking bitcoin says bitcoin.org! You can't make this shit up. by singularity87 (435 points, 279 comments)
  5. Making Gregory Maxwell a Bitcoin Core Committer Was a “Huge Mistake” Says Gavin Andresen by Testwest78 (419 points, 231 comments)
  6. "Everyone who supported UASF and now complains about S2X out of fear of confusion/lack of mandatory replay protection is a hypocrite. UASF did not have ANY replay protection, not even opt-in. UASF did not even have wipe-out protection!" by routefire (394 points, 133 comments)
  7. Dangerous direction for /btc, possible jump the shark moment. Witch-hunting, paid troll and Dragon Den's accusation to justify censorship. by squarepush3r (385 points, 201 comments)
  8. Why is there so much debate on whether Bitcoin is store of value or digital currency? Satoshi's white paper was pretty clear it's a digital currency. by hunk_quark (381 points, 182 comments)
  9. Everyone should calm down. The upgrade to 2x has 95%+ miner support and will be as smooth as a hot knife through butter. Anyone that says otherwise is fear monguring or listening to bitcoin propaganda. by Annapurna317 (364 points, 292 comments)
  10. Friendly reminder: if you haven't yet, watch this video which shows reddit is gamed and manipulated by professional shills paid by companies with huge million dollar budgets. It is up to our community to defend itself against these bad actors. by BitcoinXio (325 points, 99 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 194 points: cryptorebel's comment in Dangerous direction for /btc, possible jump the shark moment. Witch-hunting, paid troll and Dragon Den's accusation to justify censorship.
  2. 167 points: EH74JP's comment in The entire bitcoin economy is attacking bitcoin says bitcoin.org! You can't make this shit up.
  3. 158 points: BobWalsch's comment in I think we need an EDA fix before the Nov hardfork
  4. 157 points: BitcoinXio's comment in Dangerous direction for /btc, possible jump the shark moment. Witch-hunting, paid troll and Dragon Den's accusation to justify censorship.
  5. 149 points: MemoryDealers's comment in All the #no2x bullshit is the fault of the people who agreed to activeate SegWit before 2x.
  6. 116 points: Testwest78's comment in Making Gregory Maxwell a Bitcoin Core Committer Was a “Huge Mistake” Says Gavin Andresen
  7. 115 points: 2dsxc's comment in I think we need an EDA fix before the Nov hardfork
  8. 106 points: Piper67's comment in jgarzik please do not add replay protection
  9. 106 points: singularity87's comment in The entire bitcoin economy is attacking bitcoin says bitcoin.org! You can't make this shit up.
  10. 99 points: zowki's comment in Bitcoin.com Pool stabilized the Bitcoin Cash blockchain (prevented excessive EDAs)
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TOP 10 REASONS THE SEC/CFTC WILL AFFECT CRYPTO FOREVER! Full Committee – Public Hearing: Review the 2016 Agenda for the CFTC Future of Bitcoin: Key CFTC Meeting 2/14/18 Cryptocurrency Senate Committee Meeting with SEC & CFTC- TESTIMONY REVEALS FUTURE OF BITCOIN & ICO's Senate Banking Commitee SEC & CFTC Hearing on ...

On Wednesday, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Committee’s (CFTC) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) held a public meeting at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. During the meeting, members of the Bitcoin and cryptoasset industry shared information regarding this emerging market and offered guidance on how the CFTC may approach regulating the space in 2018. The CFTC settled its case against Bitfinex, wherein the CFTC accused Bitfinex of trading off-exchange Bitcoin futures and failing to register as a futures commission merchant, in June 2016. The view that bitcoin can be regulated as a commodity received support on March 6, 2018 when U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein ordered that the CFTC could ... CFTC diskutiert Blockchain Tech während der öffentlichen Anhörung - CoinDesk 2020 - Bitcoin on air . UPDATE 2 (9. Februar 16: 20 BST): Die CFTC hat angekündigt, dass ihr Technologieberatungsausschuss am 23. Februar zusammenkommen wird, um die Blockchain-Technologie zu diskutieren. Die US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) diskutiert die Anwendung der Blockchain-Technologie in ... CFTC to Discuss Blockchain Tech During Public Hearing. Jan 8, 2016 at 21:37 UTC Updated Feb 9, 2016 at 16:21 UTC. Stan Higgins. CFTC to Discuss Blockchain Tech During Public Hearing. UPDATE 2 (9th ... The laws authorizing CFTC’s activities and the regulations issued by CFTC to carry out those activities, as well as related rulemaking, enforcement, and adjudicatory references. Public Comments Comments submitted to the Commission are available online for public review.

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TOP 10 REASONS THE SEC/CFTC WILL AFFECT CRYPTO FOREVER!

The Cryptocurrency community was biting it's nails leading up to yesterdays Senate Banking Committee hearing with the SEC and CFTC regarding cryptocurrencies... CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee Public Meeting that was Rescheduled to today February 14, 2018. There are points in the video where the call just dropped (if you or anyone else has access ... Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 10:00am 1300 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. Full Committee – Public Hearing RE: To review the 2016 Agenda for the C... Published on Mar 2, 2016. The meeting focus on three subjects: First, the EEMAC will present a report summarizing its 2015 proceedings. Second, the EEMAC will examine the Commission’s Proposed ... The heads of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are set to testify on cryptocurrencies during a U.S. Senate hearing next week. I ...

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