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Is The Current Volatility a Sign of BTC Whales ‘Dying Out’?

The total crypto market capitalization has lost a massive $38 Billion since last week Wednesday, the 5th of September. Back then, the crypto community was gearing up for a resurgence of Bitcoin to levels of above $7,500 as the total crypto market capitalization stood at $239 Billion. The same market is now worth $201 Billion signifying a drop of 19% in a week. BTC is currently valued at $6,412 and down 10.15% in the last 24 hours.

A concrete explanation of the current market decline has not be pin pointed with many suggesting it was an overreaction to the Goldman Sachs firm, withdrawing their intentions to launching a crypto trading desk in the near future.

Anthony Pompliano, Founder and Partner at Morgan Creek Digital, tweeted the following with regards to the recent crash in the markets.

Want to know why there isn’t a crypto ETF approved yet?

We just saw $100 million of Bitcoin dumped on the market in less than 10 minutes. It caused more than a 5% decline in BTC price.

Some argue volatility, others argue manipulation. The truth is no one knows.

Could It Be The Last Of The BTC Whales Cashing Out?

The crypto community is well aware of the existence of Bitcoin whales who still have some BTC to dispose off in the markets. This theory goes on to postulate that they were the early investors of BTC and are liquidating to move to traditional investment options such as real estate as they retire.

In an exclusive interview with Ethereum World News, BitcoinIRA’s co-founder and COO, Chris Kline, had this to say about the eventual decline of BTC whales in the markets.

Whales are the big players, where the ocean is a metaphor for the cryptocurrency ecosystem. While they currently have the potential to impact investments, over the long term and as the crypto market matures, I believe their ability to impact the market will dwindle.

Using the factor of time as a foundation for this argument, the influence of BTC whales in the crypto markets is dwindling as each liquidates their holdings during periods of a strong BTC. History has proven that every time BTC pumps, there is a massive dump of large amounts of crypto that follows.  As this continues, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations will have the power to dump a huge volume of BTC in the markets at one go as was postulated by Anthony Pompliano. This means that it might get a bit chaotic before it gets better in the crypto markets. In the long run and once it is all over, it will bring about the stability everyone has been yearning for since the market started declining back in February.

[Image courtesy of news.bitcoin.com]

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.

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All Tethers (SDT) Backed By Actual USD Reserves, Confirms New Independent Report

Through an exclusive Press Release, Ethereum World News was made privy of a newly released report from Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP (FSS) confirming that all the Tethers (USDT) in circulation, are sufficiently backed by actual USD reserves. The FSS report was based on a random date balance inspection and a full review of relevant bank account information of Tether Limited. The report confirms that all the Tethers (USDT) in circulation are backed by existing USD reserves as of June 1st this year.

FSS is a Washington, DC-based law firm that conducted an independent review of Tether’s bank accounts. The firm was granted full access to all bank information and corresponding documentation. As of June 1st, FSS confirmed that the bank balances of Tether amount to $2,545,067,236.82. On the same date, the amount of Tethers in circulation was worth $2,538,090,823.52. The report would then conclude that Tether’s assets exceeded the balance of fully backed USDT in circulation as of June 1st.

Tether’s CEO, Jan Ludovicus van der Velde, would comment the following with respect to the new report:

Despite speculation, we have consistently stated that Tether is backed by USD reserves at or exceeding the Tethers in circulation at a given moment, and we’re glad to have independent verification of this to answer some of the questions posed by the public.

He would also add that the company would continue to increase transparency of its operations.

We are by no means done with our efforts to promote increased transparency at Tether. We are planning to build on this report moving forward and, despite the challenges of applying current accounting and assurance standards to cryptocurrency clients, we continue discuss these issues with potential audit partners

This is welcome news from Tether Limited. The digital asset has been under a lot of scrutiny lately due to a recent research paper by faculty from the department of finance at the University of Texas (Austin). The paper postulated that USDT was used to prop up the price of Bitcoin (BTC) during periods of BTC decline.

Professor John M. Griffin, who was part of the research team, would comment that:

I’ve looked at a lot of markets. If there’s fraud or manipulation in a market it can leave tracks in the data. The tracks in the data here are very consistent with a manipulation hypothesis.

The report by FSS now answers one part of the Tether equation that was the actual ‘hard cash’ to back its USDT in circulation. The other lingering questions will be answered with time as was mentioned by Tether’s CEO, Jan Ludovicus van der Velde.

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‘Bitcoin’s (BTC) Price Was Pushed Up Using Tether (USDT) Manipulation’, say Researchers

In a newly available research paper by faculty at University of Texas (Austin), the question as to whether Tether (USDT) has influenced the price of Bitcoin (BTC), has been answered. John M. Griffin, a professor at the University, and Amin Shams, a PhD candidate in Finance at the same institution, co-authored the piece and have ample evidence that there is a pattern of Tether being spent during Bitcoin’s pivotal moments of decline.

The research paper postulates that Tethers are usually created by the parent company Tether Ltd. in large chunks of 200 Million. The coins are then transferred to Bitfinex. What then happens is as soon as the price of Bitcoin drops, Tethers at Bitfinex and other exchanges are used to buy Bitcoin in a coordinated way that drives the price up.

John Griffin is noted in the research paper as observing that:

Tether seems to be used both to stabilize and manipulate Bitcoin prices.

Griffin would also add that:

I’ve looked at a lot of markets. If there’s fraud or manipulation in a market it can leave tracks in the data. The tracks in the data here are very consistent with a manipulation hypothesis.

The paper further outlines several patterns uncovered over a year long period. The flow of Tether was only one way in that when the prices of Bitcoin fell, purchases with Tether tended to increase but not the other way round. This further means that when the prices of Bitcoin rose, there was no reversal of Tether. Griffin would postulate in the paper that Tether was being used to protect the price of Bitcoin during downturns.

The research focused on the time period between March 2017 and March 2018. Griffin highlighted on 87 of the largest purchases of Bitcoin using Tether and observed in some cases, Tether had just been minted three days prior of the purchases and used immediately the price of BTC fell significantly. What then would happen, is an increment in the price of BTC.

The team of Graffin and Shams ran 10,000 simulations to verify that their observations were indeed true before releasing the paper. They would also add that:

[Bitcoin purchases with Tether] strongly increase just below multiples of 500. This pattern is only present in periods following printing of Tether and not observed by other exchanges . If it was random behavior you wouldn’t see it cluster around the thresholds. It indicates it’s a conscious strategy to provide price support.

This research paper and the information it holds, has reignited questions of the link between Tether Inc. and Bitfinex. Both companies are said to share a management team including Van Der Velde, the CEO of Bitfinex.

Tether was earlier on in the year embroiled in investigations as to whether it has the actual cash to back the over 2.5 Billion USDT in circulation. Recent reports also indicate that there was a new batch of $250 Million worth USDT minted on May 18th. The questions keep piling up with respect to Tether (USDT).

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Crypto Markets Continue To Fumble Amidst CFTC Investigations On Bitcoin (BTC) Manipulation

The last 48 hours have blind sided many crypto traders and enthusiasts with two events that have left the crypto-markets in turmoil.

The first one, was the confirmed hacking of popular South Korean exchange known as Coinrail. The total theft during the hack has been estimated to be at around $40 Million but the ripple effect on the cryptocurrency markets has been larger. Analysis indicate that the total market capitalization lost $20 Billion from Saturday night before the hack, rolling into Sunday as news of the hack spread like wild fire in the crypto-verse.

CoinRail further gave information of the tokens that were hacked without disclosing the exact amount stolen of each. These were the tokens of NPXS from the Pundi X project, ATC from Aston and NPER token from the NPER Project.

What then followed soon after news of the hack, is additional news of four exchanges being investigated by the United States CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) with respect to ongoing investigations of Bitcoin manipulation since last December. The exchanges in question are Coinbase, Bitstamp, Itbit and Kraken. These 4 exchanges have been Subpoenaed by the CFTC and the US Department of Justice after delaying to provide trading information when requested to do so by the CME back in January. This is the red flag that brought in the CFTC and the acceleration of the queries about BTC manipulation.

The cryptocurrency markets have since responded by dropping an additional $20 Billion in volume. The current total market capitalization now stands at $293 Billion indicating that the crypto-markets have lost a total of $47 Billion due to both events highlighted above.

One of the first individuals to notice the market drop after the news, was cryptocurrency spokesperson, John McAfee who had this to say via Twitter.

Do not panic about the drop in Bitcoin’s price. It is an overreaction to the news that Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken are being investigated for price manipulation. This will delay the bull market by no more than 30 days. Don’t buy into the fear. Buy the coins.

He would later give similar advice with respect to the ongoing EOS MainNet launch and the effect of the above events on the price of EOS.

EOS launch: ignore any immediate price fluctuations due to the investigations of Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken. Any dop will be short lived and followed by a boom.

In conclusion, the last 48 hours have been a rough time for the cryptocurrency markets. However, the crypto-verse has gone through similar, if not worse events, that forced a knee jerk reaction. One needs only remember the early year FUD associated with South Korean and Chinese regulation as well as the Coincheck hack that left over $500 Million in NEM (XEM) stolen. The crypto-markes shall recover as advised by McAfee.

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Japan To Welcome 6 New Crypto (BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC) Exchanges

As the United States Department of Justice (D.O.J) investigates the allegations of Bitcoin (BTC) manipulation in the crypto-market, Japan is gearing up to welcome plans of 6 more crypto exchanges being launched by public companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. These 6 planned new exchanges, join a budding list of plans by other companies to issue their own crypto exchanges in the country. The current buzz is around SBI Holding’s Virtual Currencies exchange that plans on being launched this summer. There is also Line Corp and Yahoo Japan who are also planning on launching their own exchanges.

The 6 companies earlier mentioned are Money Forward, Drecom, Yamane Medical Corporation, Adways, Avex and Daiwa Securites Group.

This move by the 6 additional companies is natural in the country of Japan. The country has been quoted as being one of the major crypto trading and owning countries in the globe. Current estimates put the number of Japanese trading and owning crypto to 3.5 Million. The vast majority of the traders are between the ages of 20 to 40. This demographic makes up 80% of the 3.5 Million. This age range is a good indicator of what age bracket in the rest of the world, is trading in cryptocurrencies.

Also on the report that highlighted the above, is that the trade volume of BTC in Japan rose from $22 Million in March 2014 to $97 Billion in March 2017. Doing the math, that is a 440,800% increase in trading and overall interest in cryptocurrencies in the country; and in a time period of just 3 years.

These numbers are the main reason as to why there are almost 100 companies in total, applying for crypto trading licenses in the country of Japan through the FSA (Financial Services Agency).

In conclusion, the news of more companies in Japan willing to start crypto-exchanges is an indication that the crypto-verse is not going anywhere anytime soon even with the current market decline being experienced. What might probably happen in the next few years, is that the crypto-trading industry will expand at speeds that were never imagined. Some might argue that the expansion has already begun with the 6 aforementioned Japanese companies showing interest in getting into the space.

What is your take in terms of the general direction of the Crypto-market?