The novel Chinese scam saw perpetrators create fake crypto assets to fleece investors seeking arbitrage opportunities. The listing would need the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) blessing. Were the watchdog to greenlight it, it would represent a landmark victory for cryptocurrency advocates vying for mainstream endorsement. Coinbase could pursue the listing later this year or early next year, the The child actor-turned-entrepreneur-turned politician faces steep odds in launching a virtual presidential campaign with the general election only four… Ripple chief technology officer David Schwartz thinks the market prices of XRP and other cryptocurrencies are true reflections of the public’s confidence, not the products of whale manipulation. Information technology (IT) services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said it has launched a trading solution to allow customers of banks and other financial institutions to make investments and portfolio diversification into cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Today, AUD/USD has made a fresh four-week high. Here are the key levels traders need to consider in the short term.
Chinese police have seized over $15 million in crypto and supercars worth $2 million from the alleged operators of a novel scam that sold counterfeit tokens.
In an article published Thursday, China’s Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the country’s police forces, said police in the city of Wenzhou has arrested 10 individuals suspected of operating the fraudulent scheme.
The criminal case is the first in China where victims were allegedly scammed using blockchain smart contracts to generate fake cryptocurrencies, the ministry said.
Related: Hong Kong’s National Security Law Could Threaten Local Crypto Brokerages
Police seized amounts of the bitcoin, ether and tether cryptocurrencies with a total worth of over 100 million yuan, or $15 million. They also seized cars, a Ferrari and a McLaren, was well as luxury villas owned by the suspects.
The case was first reported to the police by a victim, identified by his surname Li, in April. Li had joined a group on the messaging platform Telegram called “Huobi Global Arbitrage HT Chinese Community.”
The group had advertised a blockchain smart contract claimed to be able to generate Huobi Tokens (HT), Huobi exchange’s own cryptocurrency, that could yield an arbitrage opportunity with a return of 8%, the victim said.
“Simply put, you send one unit of ETH to a designated address, you will receive 60 HT. And then you can sell it to gain the difference,” Li reportedly told the police.
Related: Ride-Hailing Giant DiDi to Trial China’s Central Bank Digital Currency
The police said in the ministry’s report the price of HT on July 3 was at $4, while ETH was at $227. That created a purported $13 profit for every unit of ETH sent by a victim.
However, after Li sent 10 ETH to the ethereum address provided by the Telegram group’s administrator, the 600 HT he received were fake tokens and could not be deposited for selling, at which point he reported the case to the police.
To be clear, there is no suggestion the Huobi exchange had any involvement with the scam.
The ministry said the suspects created dozens of similar chat groups with over 10,000 fake accounts to make potential victims believe that the scam was a legitimate arbitrage opportunity.
After receiving tens of thousands of ether, the police said the main masterminds, Chen, Yu and Xu, who had seven employees working their operation, splashed their gains on an extravagant lifestyle with villas, sports cars and nightclubs.
The police acknowledged this is a new type of crime in China, but did not specify exactly how they located the suspects or if they used on-chain analysis to track down the blockchain transactions that were involved in the case.
In recent months, Chinese police forces have become more experienced in tracking down crypto transactions that may be tainted by illegal activities, such as online gambling, money laundering or economic fraud.
Since June, there have been cases where Chinese over-the-counter traders had their bank accounts frozen due to fiat and crypto transactions being contaminated in this way. Some traders have also been held by police in past weeks to assist investigations.
- Ferrari, McLaren and $15M in Crypto Seized as Chinese Police Bust Arbitrage Scam
- Ferrari, McLaren and $15M in Crypto Seized as Chinese Police Bust Arbitrage Scam
Author: Wolfie Zhao
Exclusive: Crypto exchange Coinbase readies landmark stock market listing, sources say
FILE PHOTO: Representations of virtual currency Bitcoin are seen in this picture illustration taken
By Anirban Sen, Joshua Franklin and Anna Irrera
(Reuters) – Coinbase Inc has started plans for a stock market listing that could come as early as this year, making it the first major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange to go public, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The listing would need the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) blessing. Were the watchdog to greenlight it, it would represent a landmark victory for cryptocurrency advocates vying for mainstream endorsement.
Coinbase could pursue the listing later this year or early next year, the sources said, cautioning that the plans are still subject to change. The company has not yet registered its intention to go public with the SEC, but has been in talks to hire investment banks and law firms, the sources added.
The sources requested anonymity because the listing preparations are confidential.
A Coinbase spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation. The SEC declined to comment.
While the SEC has said some cryptocurrencies may be considered securities and be subject to regulation, it has yet to issue specific guidance on most virtual coins. Many cryptocurrencies have struggled to win legitimacy among mainstream investors and a general public wary of their speculative nature and potential for money laundering.
VALUED AT $8 BILLION
One of the sources said that Coinbase, which was valued at more than $8 billion in its latest private fundraising round in 2018, is exploring going public via a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering (IPO).
In a direct listing, a company does not sell new shares as it does in an IPO and existing investors are not bound by lock-up restrictions on when they can divest their holdings following the market debut.
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the most well-known cryptocurrency platforms globally and has more than 35 million users who trade various virtual coins, including bitcoin, ethereum and XRP.
The New York Stock Exchange, BBVA and former Citigroup Inc <C.N> CEO Vikram Pandit are among those that have invested in the San Francisco-based company. It was one of the top beneficiaries of the bitcoin <BTC=BTSP> boom in 2017, a year in which the original cryptocurrency rocketed from $1,000 to almost $20,000. Bitcoin currently trades at close to $9,400.
On Wednesday, Coinbase said it had hired Facebook Inc <FB.N> deputy general counsel Paul Grewal as its chief legal officer.
(Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bangalore, Joshua Franklin in Pompano Beach, Florida, and Anna Irrera in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Pravin Char)
Author: Anirban Sen, Joshua Franklin and Anna Irrera
This cryptocurrency billionaire wants to be president
Billionaire cryptocurrency pioneer Brock Pierce says he decided to run for president because he is “deeply concerned about the state of our nation, our future.”
Now comes the hard part.
The child actor-turned-entrepreneur-turned politician faces steep odds in launching a virtual presidential campaign with the general election only four months away, and with no clear-cut platform or wide presence on state ballots.
But such is the state of a campaign that he decided to jump in — Pierce, 39, announced his bid in a video over the weekend — and use his candidacy to promote blockchain, which powers cryptocurrency, and help build what he calls a “21st-century economy.”
He plans to formulate a platform in good part through crowdsourcing voters on his website, which is also seeking donations. “Most politicians feel as if they have an answer for everything,” Pierce said. “We are going to do it differently, and invite all Americans to participate in the process to get a consensus and perspectives on where people stand on issues.”
Leveraging his expertise in small business and cryptocurrency, Pierce said he will run as a moderate independent who will embrace technology to spur innovation and the economy — mirroring an approach taken by three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul.
“I’m a small-business entrepreneur making big things out of nothing, and I think entrepreneurs built this nation, and I think entrepreneurs and innovators are the ones that are going to get us out of our current situation,” Pierce said.
The abrupt candidacy of Pierce coincides with Kanye West’s bid for the White House, which Pierce welcomed as a means to spur the involvement of millennials in the electoral process.
See also: Kanye West sheds MAGA hat, takes aim at White House: ‘If I win in 2020, then it was God’s appointment’
“Kanye and I are clearly tapping into the same thing and [I’m] really excited to see his — his running as well,” Pierce said. “Hopefully, collectively, we can deliver a powerful message to the American people at a time where I think we need it.”
Both West and Pierce will encounter a serpentine road in getting on the ballot in 50 states as independent candidates. Each must meet filing deadlines and signature requirements. Some states allow candidates to pay a filing fee to get on the ballot.
“From a ballot perspective, we think that we’ll be on a majority of the ballots and that is the immediate sort of work that we have to do right now as those deadlines continue to hit,” Pierce said.
Pierce could also face scrutiny of his personal life. He was named as a defendant in a 2000 lawsuit over his connection with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Pierce has said “there was no truth to the allegations,” which he described as an “extortion attempt.”
Author: Jon Swartz
Ripple Executive Issues Rare Statement on XRP Price and State of Crypto Markets
Ripple chief technology officer David Schwartz thinks the market prices of XRP and other cryptocurrencies are true reflections of the public’s confidence, not the products of whale manipulation.
Schwartz, one of the founding architects of the XRP Ledger, says via Twitter he would prefer not to think that XRP’s current price (nearly $0.20 at time of writing) is the correct value of the asset. But the basic logic of fair markets says otherwise, according to the CTO.
“I honestly believe (crazy as it sounds) that cryptocurrency prices generally do reflect the wisdom of crowds and a fair assessment of the expected future. I am way in the minority on this view and of course I could well be wrong. But that’s what I truly believe.
My logic is simply that if the price really were ‘obviously too low’ or ‘obviously too high,’ enough wealthy people would buy or sell to push the price into a reasonable assessment of value.
I think when cryptocurrency prices go down generally, for example, that reflects (in a complex, ugly way) a realistic assessment that the prospects for the cryptocurrency space generally have worsened.”
He adds that he believes the cryptocurrency market is “mostly fair.”
“My argument is that the cryptocurrency market is mostly fair (in this sense) because it’s spread over a large number of exchanges, open to the majority of wealth in the word, and participation isn’t artificially limited.
Of course, as I say this, cryptocurrencies seem to be shooting up for no particular reason. So there’s that.”
Schwartz notes that unlike many other people in the crypto industry, he doesn’t believe whales can manipulate prices as they please.
Ripple has been accused of the very manipulation Schwartz says doesn’t exist. The San Francisco-based company owns more than half of the total supply of XRP.
In order to quell investor fears that they might dump their holdings on the open market, Ripple pledged in December of 2017 not to sell all of its tokens at once, locking up 55 billion XRP into a series of cryptographically secured escrow accounts.
The company then set up a schedule to release one billion XRP each month, sell a portion to fund its operations and invest in startups, and return the rest back into escrow.
When some Twitter users pressed Schwartz on whether the markets are truly not manipulable, Schwartz held his ground but also acknowledged his uncertainty.
They would. But why buy up cheap assets when you can collectively suppress them further with derivative markets, and accumulate exponentially more over time. And why sell assets when you can artificially prop up prices with fake fiat (read: USDT) and sell exponentially more?
— Alex Shipp (@AlexShippELA) July 8, 2020
You know what though? Maybe I’m doing the very thing I say I’m trying not to do. Maybe I really do want markets to be rational because I like things that are rational. Maybe I don’t like the idea of shadowy forces controlling a market.
— David Schwartz (@JoelKatz) July 8, 2020
Schwartz says he simultaneously believes cryptocurrency’s success is inevitable but also a long shot. He notes that for every “revolutionary” idea, like the internet, that succeeds, 100 others (“movies in 3D”) fail.
And even if crypto does prove to be revoluationary, the market hasn’t yet determined who will be the winners and losers within the space, according to the CTO.
“I truly think the market isn’t ready to figure out which projects will be successful and which won’t and is still trying to figure out whether cryptocurrencies are a big deal or a bad idea. Like in the early days of search engines when some people thought search engines would be big and valuable, but nobody could have guessed whether the big winner would be Google, Excite, Altavista, Lycos, Ask Jeeves, or any of a dozen others.
If you worked at Google then, you would have told all your friends about how search is the next big thing and your company is going to be the leader. But also if you had worked at any of those other companies.”
Schwartz also acknowledges that he regularly grapples with uncertainty about XRP and its purpose. But he believes that uncertainty keeps him on the right track.
“If I was always confident I was doing the right thing and believed I was certain to succeed, I might miss a necessary course correction.
The idea that founders or entrepreneurs should always have complete confidence in what they’re doing never resonated with me. I think you make better decisions if you are more objective, but that may just be what works best for me personally.”
TCS launches crypto trading solution for banks, other financial institutions
Information technology (IT) services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said it has launched a trading solution to allow customers of banks and other financial institutions to make investments and portfolio diversification into cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
Dubbed Quartz Smart Solution, the digital offering will provide secure trading in multiple cryptocurrencies and stable coins, digital currencies linked to fiat currencies, trading venues and public blockchain networks, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement. Quartz is the IT firm’s platform for blockchain solutions.
The solution will help financial companies offer their customers the ability to transfer payments in the form of digital cash, and benefit from lower transaction costs and quicker access to liquidity, TCS said. The solution is integrated with a hardware security module that enables cryptographic signing of each transaction, thereby ensuring security and authenticity of each transaction, it added.
“Cryptocurrencies, digital fiat currencies and digital assets are poised to become viable alternative avenues for investments, hedging and portfolio diversification. This is ahead of the curve robust, secure and scalable solution for trading, storing and transfer of these assets,” R Vivekanand, global head for Quartz at TCS, said.
TCS said that the solution will have multi-signature wallets with an in-built authorisation engine that enables configurable transaction approval policies, blockchain forensic checks, auto reconciliation and compliance alerts, exchange and over-the-counter desk connectivity and audit capabilities. These features are expected to ensure that a transaction is executed only after proper validation as well as authorisation by the user, it added.
The country’s largest software exporter’s Smart Ledgers solution suite, apart from Smart Solutions, comprises Quartz DevKit, a low code smart contract development kit to enable programming of high-quality code on multiple technologies; Quartz Gateway to integrate existing solutions with multiple ecosystems; and Quartz Command Centre that can administer and monitor entire ecosystems.
Earlier this week, Danish non-life insurance firm Tryg expanded its decade-long partnership with TCS to digitalise its core IT operations that will also see the IT firm deploying an enterprise cloud platform to leverage its machine first approach.
Last month, TCS remotely deployed its DynaPORT solution at the Mundra shipping terminal of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ).
Armonk, New York-based technology giant IBM recently announced an expanded partnership with TCS to help clients accelerate digital and cognitive enterprise transformations to IBM public cloud using IBM Cloud Paks, which will also see TCS establishing an IBM enterprise cloud architecture unit.
Author: Anand J
Australian Dollar Forecast: AUD/USD Price May Rally to a One-Year High
- Australian Dollar benefits from risk-on sentiment
- Bullish signals on AUD vs USD price chart
On June 30, AUD/USD declined to its lowest level in a week at 0.6832. However, the price reversed higher during the week then closed the weekly candlestick with a 1.1% gain.
The market optimism remained intact as the global monotony and fiscal stimulus measures combined with easing the restrictions in some countries led recently to positive data releases. That said, the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in the US continue to keep investors jittery.
On June 16, AUD/USD corrected its upward trend and started a sideways move creating a set of higher lows with lower highs. Later on, the price was rejected on multiple occasions at the low end of the current trading zone 0.6827 – 0.7015 then rallied after indicating that the balance was tipping to the bull’s side. Today, the pair has rallied to a four-week high at 0.7001.
A close above the high and of the zone signals that bulls could push AUDUSD towards the 0.7300 handle, and any further close above that level may encourage them to extend the rally towards 0.7414.
On the other hand, any failure in closing above the high end reflects bull’s hesitation and may cause some bull’s exit the market allowing the pair to fall towards the low end of the zone. Any further close below that level could send the market even lower toward 0.6684.
At the start of July, AUD/USD broke and remained above the middle line on the downtrend lines fan originated from the June 10 high at 0.7064, and generated a bullish signal.
Today, the price tests the higher line of the fan hence, any break above this line would generate another bullish signal, while a break below the uptrend line originated from the July 2 low at 0.6901 could produce a bearish signal.
To conclude, a break above 0.7085 may cause a rally towards 0.7160, while a break below 0.6920 may send AUDUSD towards 0.6837.Nonetheless, the weekly support and resistance levels underscored on the four-hour chart should be watched closely.
Written By: Mahmoud Alkudsi, Market Analyst
Please feel free to contact me on Twitter: @Malkudsi
Author: Mahmoud Alkudsi