Disclaimer: Consider everything you read here to be an opinion that I have formed based on what I have observed and researched personally. These are merely the associations and relationships that I have found and all inferences and insinuations are explicitly my opinion based on the deductive reasoning I used. The individuals mentioned within this article are analyzed solely in their roles as ‘public figures’ and not for any of their personal or physical attributes/characteristics or in the capacity of a private citizen. No criticisms of the individuals named within this article are done outside of this defined scope of examination.
Edits [May 16th, 2018; 12:59 p.m. EST, GMT-4]: Grammar/Spelling Corrections. #NeverForgetToProofread #HardLessonLearned
Bitfinex, Tether, Kraken, Barry Silbert (owner of DCG), Roger Ver, Erik Voorhees+the CME and many other actors in the market appear to all be connected together and complicit in market manipulation of some sort. In addition, Poloniex, CoinDesk, and other parties appear to be at least peripherally involved.
I am aware of the potential implications of this post and am willing to face any and all consequences for posting this information.
I’m going to break this entire post down into major facts. This is not simply a focus on Tether, although they are part of it. Tether is merely at the root. The problem itself is systemic and much larger. Thus, even the elimination of Tether will not cure it.
Some people may call this “FUD”. To that, I say — if the technology is truly revolutionary and life changing, it will always exist the same way that the dollar has existed despite the numerous wars, bloodshed, crimes, evil, laundering, and suffering that has been perpetuated at its hands.
So, perhaps the grand lesson here is that we as humans have the ability to change the nature of money. But money will never change the nature of human.
This entire write-up will be split up into different ‘revelations’, totaling 11 altogether.
Tether and Bitfinex are ran by the same person/people/collective. This was something that was revealed by the release of the Paradise Papers in late 2017/2018.
As the title of the article suggests, Phil Potter & Giancarlo Devasini, both listed as executives for Bitfinex, were revealed to also be in the executive structure of Tether as well.
Went to verify this on the ICIJ website and they are indeed listed there.
This was an association that they had previously denied for obvious reasons. You probably know from the work of Bitfinex’ed that this relationship was implicit in a number of ways based on the fact that Bitfinex was the primary trader of Tether tokens (and still is).
A lot of people think that Tether has been used to pump Bitcoin. On the contrary, I believe that the model for this changed after CME adoption (futures release in December). Rather than pumping Bitcoin, I believe that they decided to pump all of the other USDT traded pairs. I showed the relationship between the timing of Treasury transfers of Tether and ridiculous pumps of random coins that have been occurring since December.
It is my firm belief that different USDT traded pair coins such as $XRP, $NEO, $LTC, $EOS, and several others have been pumped for the purposes of acquiring more Bitcoin. Once that’s acquired, they (Tether) use said Bitcoin to sell OTC (over the counter/not on an exchange/direct person to person).
Or perhaps they merely sell this Bitcoin directly on exchanges after accumulating and this could potentially account for the way that BTC price has been subsequently drilled down since December.
Here is the article where I covered this in full:
This could account for certain price increases in BTC after treasury transfers as well, because, rather than selling BTC for USD/USDT, investors would be selling it for $XRP or whatever coin that they’re pumping. Thus, the total number of BTC available on the sell side of the USD/USDT markets on the exchanges would be minimized and the basic principle of supply/demand tells us, with decreased supply, the price will increase.
However, I could be completely wrong. Given the nature of distributed ledgers and exchanges, it’s virtually impossible to track the flow of currency once it hits an exchange and exchanges aren’t necessarily breaking their necks to provide any greater transparency on their trading activities.
This crucial mistake is what has allowed journalists like myself to venture all the way through to the furthest depths of this rabbit hole.
This article here is very important —
This article was written in November of 2017. It didn’t get too much attention at that point in time, but it is deadly important right now, in my opinionl for a few reasons.
The headline of this article is “Bitfinex Reveals a New Polish Bank Account Under a Panama Registered Company”.
Now, this article was released at a time when there was great speculation about Bitfinex’s banking because Wells Fargo had dissolved their relationship with them around mid-2017.
Here’s an article about this from the New York Times
In my opinion, this is something that should really be beyond dispute at this point, but there are still naysayers in the community. So, it is my hopes that this ‘Revelation’ section will provide a compelling case for why Tether is bogus and, by association, Bitfinex as well.
So, after the Wells Fargo partnership with Bitfinex was dissolved by Wells Fargo promptly (we still don’t have a specific reason from the bank itself), the major concern in the community and, apparently from Bitfinex too, was whether Bitfinex would be able to continue doing business and most notably, whether Tethers could continue to be issued.
This entire saga began in March 2017, when the news initially broke that Wells Fargo was discontinuing any and all banking agreements with the company, Bitfinex, leaving their accounts essentially frozen.
In April 2017, Bitfinex decided to strike back with a lawsuit against Wells Fargo:Source: https://www.scribd.com/document/344831470/1-main
It’s worth noting that in this complaint against Wells Fargo, it was stated, “Wells Fargo’s suspension of U.S. dollar wire transfers also is interfering with plaintiffs’ ability to conduct business, such as their ability to pay employees and suppliers.”
So, in the words of Bitfinex themselves, this action by Wells Fargo essentially compromised their ability to remain solvent.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that they defined the ‘parties’ in this case in a way that depicted Tether as an entity that operated independently from iFinex (parent company of Bitfinex), which isn’t necessarily untrue (two people can own two different, unrelated companies), but it does border heavily on dishonesty and perhaps even perjury due to a failure to accurate disclose the apparent ties between the two businesses.
This lines up with this exposé by an observant Twitter user a few months ago:
As we all know, Bitfinex eventually withdrew their lawsuit against Wells Fargo.
In my opinion, this wasn’t a ‘sudden’ decision and the motivation behind doing so is probably the same reason why they have never followed through with a lawsuit against the user Bitfinex’ed, whom they publicly threatened to sue a few months ago as well — the discovery process.
In the United States, whenever one entity attempts to sue another, for any reason, there is something called ‘discovery’. This is a process where any and all relevant documents/bank records/statements/transactions/tax returns/company information/and even personal correspondence such as e-mails or text messages must be turned over to opposing counsel (the other side’s legal team) so that they can build a cogent defense/offense.
As you can imagine, if your business isn’t operating above board, the results of such a process would be devastating, to say the least.
In the above excerpt, which was published on August 7th, 2017, by Bitfinex’ed in Hackernoon, the dilemma poised by the public withdrawal of banking support by Wells Fargo was epitomized well.
The statement, “Tether [the company] claimed that the supply of tethers [USDT tokens] would not increase until their banking problem was solved…” is corroborated by this archived press release from the company
Tether, an online, digital token that claimed that each token issued was backed by an actual U.S. dollar in reserve in order to preserve it’s ‘peg’ was in serious jeopardy of losing all of its value given the fact that the no-bank situation would prevent the company from accepting anymore wire transfers of fiat in exchange for Tethers.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, both companies, Tether and Bitfinex, were rocked with a subpoena in December (the actual news was released on January 30th by Bloomberg):
Excerpt from the article
So, this created a situation where Bitfinex+Tether essentially lost any and all legitimate banking partnerships and came under federal scrutiny within the space of approximately 7 months. Purchases of Tether have been closed off to the general public for almost a full calendar year now at the time of writing and Bitfinex has just recently opened their website to accept new exchange accounts again (which was spontaneously closed on December 21st — odd timing, right?).
Yet, despite this, Tether has printed an additional +$2 billion in tokens in just the last year alone and claims that each one of these tokens are backed by real U.S. dollars, 1:1.
This is in spite of the fact that the company has no verifiable form of income, published audits, or any other accounting forms/reports/documents/financial statements that would yield any credence to the plausibility that these tokens are backed 1:1 with U.S. dollars.
Fortunately, for those that have had trouble keeping track of Treasury printouts, Paste Magazine has done a phenomenal job in a comprehensive article they published recently on the saga.
[It’s worth noting that several hundred million more Tether tokens have been printed since the inception of the Paste Magazine article]
By ‘this month’, the author is referring to January 2018, when the article was initially published.
In my opinion, the pictures speak for themselves.
This article here is very important —
This article was written in November of 2017. It didn’t get too much attention at that point in time, but it is deadly important right now, in my opinionl for a few reasons.
The headline of this article is “Bitfinex Reveals a New Polish Bank Account Under a Panama Registered Company”.
(trust me this is important as FUCK).
Now, this article was released at a time when there was great speculation about Bitfinex’s banking because Wells Fargo had dissolved their relationship with them around mid-2017, which we went into-depth about above.
This statement in the article is the most important one, in my opinion.
“Bitcoin’s biggest exchange, Bitfinex, which currently handles around half a billion in bitcoin trading volumes, has launched a euro trading pair after seemingly securing a bank account with Bank Spoldzielczy w Skierniewicach which translates to Cooperative Bank in Skierniewice.”
This will be critical to the underpinning of this entire story and displaying how certain characters here are connected.
You can clearly see the name ‘CRYPTO SP.ZO.O’ on here next to ‘Account Name’. This is a Bitfinex deposit form from later in 2017 for those that wished to make a Euro deposit.
Above is a screenshot from that article, which shows the bank details for this shell bank account.
We see that the account that Bitfinex was trying to receive payments to was called, ‘CRYPTO SP. ZO.O.O’ .
This bank account was also related to the Cex.io exchange as well.
Notice how CryptoCapital is up here too.
For those that are curious, I went ahead and purchased all of the company information from a Polish site that aggregates information on public companies (this a registered LLC there).
Here it is for those that want to actually look through this information themselves instead of reading screenshots:
The information is also available here as well (It’s in Polish, so Google Translate is your friend): http://www.krs-online.com.pl/msig-5075-310698.html
From this above screenshot we can see Ivan Manuel Molina Lee is at the head of this Crypto SP ZO O company (SP ZO O = LLC in Polish).
We also see that Crypto Capital Corp. owns 99% of the company and that they acquired this at a value of PLN 4,950.00.
So, based on the currency exchange rate at the time of writing (and you can see from the chart to the right this has been pretty consistent for years), 99% of this company was bought for $1,368.87, which is roughly the value of a 12-year old’s lemonade stand during a summer drought.
Here’s where the company’s “headquarters” is located
So, this company is based in a small, rural village with a population of about 15,000 people somewhere in Poland.
So, this company is based in a small, rural village with a population of about 15,000 people somewhere in Poland with an estimated total value of approximately $1,400 dollars and is owned by a Panamanian guy with Canadian citizenship that owns a slew of other shell companies.
a. We know that Bitfinex has a bank account they were directing customers to in Poland.
b. We know that the bank account is under a shell company called ‘CRYPTO SP. ZO.O.O’ (or some slightly different variant with the period in a different place)
c. We know that this bank was erected specifically for the purposes of the EURO-traded pair.
d. We know that Ivan Manuel Molina Lee is the owner of this shell company and of Crypto Capital Corp. and Crypto Capital Corp holds a 99% stake of Crypto SP ZO O. So, essentially Crypto SP ZO O = Crypto Capital Corp (but not vice versa, this isn’t transformative like math).
e. There is virtually zero information on either company or the people running these companies except for the fact that they own a slew of other shell companies.
f. People/exchanges/entities rarely use shell companies for legitimate purposes. And by rarely, I mean almost never.
You know that company I keep saying owns 99% of Bitfinex’s shell account in Poland?
I checked out the https://cryptocapital.co website (This is the Crypto Capital Corp Company). If you visit that site and scroll down to the bottom, here’s what you’re going to see:
At the bottom of the https://bitcore.co page
You can see Bitfinex is clearly listed as one of the only 5 exchanges that they work with. So is CEX, another company that was linked to this shell bank account in the Trustnodes article. So, that’s 2/5 companies that we’ve accurately linked to that shell bank account that just happen to be on CryptoCapital’s website.
Either that’s the craziest coincidence of all time, or we’ve uncovered an association that Bitfinex apparently wanted to obfuscate for some reason.
Edit/Update: Crypto SP ZO.O was founded in September of 2016. There are no financial records for the company as they have never filed any. They sold 99% of their shares to CryptoCapital for 9000 PLN, which amounts to roughly $1.7k. The town/area that the bank account is located in houses roughly 10k-15k people, which qualifies it as a meager village. This information was installed above within the article as well.
An actual picture of the area where this account is registered; Source: https://mapio.net/a/94948632/
If you don’t, here’s the link: https://cointelegraph.com/news/unconfirmed-polish-prosecutors-seize-400-mln-amid-allegations-bitfinex-is-implicated-in-fraud
Now, I get it. You’ll see the “Unconfirmed” in the title and immediately your ‘This could be bullshit’ radars go off and rightfully so, but I think this story is strongly worth considering.
Now, this was actually something that was brought to my attention by a good friend of mine a couple of days before the story ever hit on CoinTelegraph (which was the only major news publication to even mention it. The rest just spoke on the aftermath of what was going on.)
A good friend of mine posted this tweet here:
Now, he mentions Bitfinex by name, but the article here does not (don’t worry, that doesn’t fuck this connection up. I will explain)
The article is written in Polish as well. To be completely honest with you, when this was first sent to me, I initially waived it off as something that could be bullshit or even fabricated entirely. People have crazy stories they make up in this community all the time, right?
Not the case with this one.
Now here’s a link to a very solid, thorough translation that someone did of this article:
Please read. This story won’t make sense if you don’t. This is not a ‘skim through and get the gist’ type of read either. It’s not long, it’s worth it though.
The source that initially curated the article is also a government-owned source. Here’s a Wikipedia entry on ‘tvp.info’:
“Just weeks after winning the 2015 parliamentary elections, the conservative Law and Justice party passed a media law in December 2015 giving the government direct control over public broadcasting. TVP info is criticized for strong pro-government bias.”
So, this isn’t some asshole in his Mom’s basement that’s reporting this out. This was the Polish government. I have yet to see any reports from the Polish government that have either refuted the claims within the report or even claimed that it was a product of sensationalism, exaggeration, etc. I underestimated or took this fact for granted upon the first read of that article because it was in Polish and I don’t speak that and the site looked kind of blah.
But, upon close inspection, it appears that the fears here were not unfounded.
a. “A billion PLN 270 million taken over in March by the CBSP prosecutor’s office is most likely the money belonging to Colombian drug cartels — according to informer tvp.info.
b. “It is known that the money was on the accounts of two companies from the vicinity of Pruszkow, owned by a Canadian-born Panamanian descent and a Colombian with Panama citizenship. One of these companies was a shareholder of an online cryptocurrency exchange office. Millions of such operations were to flow through a small cooperative bank in Lodz.
c. Later in the article it states, “While checking the connections of this company [the company that they described as a shareholder of an online cryptocurrency exchange office], investigators came across another company C. At its head stood a man with citizenship of Colombia and panama. This, in turn, the company was associated with a large online cantor exchange of cryptocurrencies.
d. “Investigators determined that both companies did not actually carry out any economic activity. They were created solely to share your [probably a mistranslation of ‘your’, I think they meant ‘their’] bank accounts with international criminal financial operations.
“Money probably comes from international drug trafficking, as well as giant deception [Hmm, Tether probably?]. They were deposited at a branch of one of the banks, on the accounts of two companies registered in Poland — the National Public Prosecutor’s Office informed.
So, you might be looking at all that, then thinking to yourself, “Well, there’s no mention of Bitfinex or Tether anywhere in here. How can we even connect the two?”
a. This couldn’t be just ‘any’ old exchange. The 400 mln Euros worth of cash they seized is well over half a billion. So, we know that this needs to be from something that’s big enough to handle the loss of such a great amount of money without being entirely insolvent. We haven’t seen any major insolvencies with exchanges occur, so we can automatically narrow our sights to those in the top 10 strictly.
b. The bank account was in Poland. We know for a fact that neither Bittrex, Binance, Kraken, Coinbase, OkEx, HitBTC, Cryptopia, or Poloniex have bank accounts in Poland. But we do know that Bitfinex does, this is an indisputable fact.
c. We know that this bank account, which we have indisputable proof of Bitfinex owning, is linked to the shell company CRYPTO SP ZO.O.O. Ironically, the name of the company tied to a ‘major online exchange’ started with the letter ‘C’.
d. Even though this is in Poland, the owner of the company was identified as an individual of Panamanian (from Panama) descent. Now, just for reference:
Now, we know that Ivan Manuel Molina Lee is a Panamanian citizen. We also know that:
I’m sure there’s a chance that you’re still skeptical. But ask yourself, ‘If this isn’t Bitfinex, then who is it?’
It can’t be nobody. We know it’s an exchange. We also know that every single fact that we learned about Bitfinex MONTHS ago, line up with the information in this case.
We also know a lot from the Medium user, ‘Untether’ as well (No, he is not Bitfinexed either- I’ve asked Bitfinexed directly if it was. Their writing styles are tremendously different as well).
Curiously, this article was written by them months ago in December 24th, 2017 :
I can assure you that this article did not influence my conclusions here, because I was blissfully unaware that this article even existed. And if I did know, I think I skimmed it once and didn’t give it to much credence. But now, I’m giving it a lot of credence, because the information appears to be very well supported at this point.
Take a look at this:
If you aren’t familiar with those names, the rest of this article should help you get very familiar. These folks are essentially the movers and shakers in crypto in a lot of different ways.
Let’s rewind for a second:
After all of this Polish information came out and I started connected the dots with Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, the shell accounts, etc. (like MANY other people had already done), I remembered something important that I stuffed in the back of my mind.
Remember https://cryptocapital.co ? They’re the account that owns the CRYPTO SP ZO.O.O company.
Remember when I asked, “Why would there need to be a shell company connecting these entities together?” Here’s your answer below:
I know I showed this above, but we have some more information now and we can follow the trail at this point.
If you visit https://cryptocapital.co , you’ll see these exchanges listed right at the bottom of the page.
Now, the one that I want you to pay close attention to is the exchange titled, ‘Coinapult’. I got curious, so I followed that link.
It takes me to this website:
On there, I see:
So, the connection between those two entities is absolutely undeniable. They serve anyone, anywhere, worldwide and identification is entirely optional.
So, who are the folks behind this company?
I highlighted that last sentence to show that Erik has no problem playing it as fast and loose as he wants/needs to.
Here’s the link for that case:
Here’s the link to corroborate that claim: http://www.coindesk.com/shapeshift-raises-525k-reveals-erik-voorhees-as-creator/
Interested in more about Mr. Voorhees? Here he is in a YouTube video posted in 2013, titled, ‘Bitcoin: Subvert Your Government — E Voorhees, V Buterin, I Miller, G Sukenik, J Harvey — PorcFest X. Here’s the link:
Here’s the video description below:
So, we know for a fact that Coinapult is based in Panama. Just like the company CryptoCapital, which also owns the shell company Crypto SP ZO.O.O.
This clip that I posted above is important because it actually comes from a larger documentary that was done, which got a lot of critical acclaim in the Bitcoin, titled, “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin”.
This documentary came out in 2014 and Erik Voorhees had a notable feature in there in Panama. Vitalik Buterin was featured there fairly prominently as well. It’s worth noting that this event occurred two years before Ethereum was ever launched.
Now, I happened to find a link to this documentary and there’s a reason I wanted to show it to you.
First, click on this video:
(it’s kind of in the corner of the screen to avoid copyright but it’s very viewable and the speech is more than clear enough to understand)
Now, scroll forward to the 1:19:10 mark (1 hours, 19 minutes, and 10 seconds).
You’ll see the narrator/producer of the documentary talking with Erik Voorhees in Panama and asking him,
“You guys moved your business to Panama…What was the primary driver in that?”
Erik Voorhees specifically and shamelessly replies that he did so to avoid KYC/AML laws. In fact, to quote him specifically, he said,
“If you’re a U.S. company, you have to follow the arcane, U.S. regulations for all your customers around the world. So, if you do some business with a rural farmer out in Africa, you’re going to need to get his social security number. You’re going to need to get all this information that Washington sells/tells [can’t tell which word he uses] you is important. We do not want to have to comply with the U.S. financial regulatory scheme to customers in sub-Saharan Africa.”
While this argument seemed genuine at the time, the statements are pretty ominous in light of the clear associations made within this write-up thus far.
If it is true that the Cartel or a bad actor like Tether is cleaning hundreds of millions of dollars somehow, it sounds like Coinapult would be a very convenient source to do so.
After all, Erik told us directly that the whole premise of his business is to not ask questions and he made it clear that this fundamental principle was so important to him, that he felt it necessary to emigrate from the United States entirely.
What’s even more interesting is the part where Erik Voorhees shows off the ‘offices’ where his company is located in Panama. Once again, he is audacious enough to even state that the entire office building is empty with the exception of his company, which features about 2 or 3 individuals working on laptops in another, largely empty room.
For some reason, their involvement/investment with this company have went largely unmentioned since the initial news of alleged involvement was published.
But…that doesn’t mean that the association is not well documented nonetheless.
Check this out:
Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/news/2014/10/01/gonzo-in-panama-bitcoin-investors-roger-ver-and.html This article was published in 2014.
Here’s another one from the Bitcoinist:
Cleverly hidden, as always. Firstmark Capital = Right under his baby, DigitalCurrencyGroup.
Digital Currency Group is owned by Barry Silbert (we’re going to get way deeper into this connection as well).
From their website: https://dcg.co/who-we-are/
Now, check this out, if you scroll down on that webpage:
What an odd coincidence!
Now, if you’re sitting here wondering, “What the hell is the ‘Digital Currency Group?’”
They’re the one entity that may possess the most control out of every other entity in blockchain, period.
That last paragraph is REALLY important, so I’ll go ahead and re-post that below for you in case you missed it. Read it carefully.
Here’s another interesting tidbit:
Did you catch that CME mention in there? Yes. That’s the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The guys who launched futures in December!
Here’s confirmation from their website ( http://www.cmegroup.com/cme-ventures.html ) that they are invested directly into DCG:
There’s DCG listed there neatly!
Here’s some more information about the DCG:Scroll to page 40. Link source = https://block.academy/researches/TokenMania.pdf
So, to say that they wield an enormous level of influence in the space would be an understatement. It’s very possible that they (Barry Silbert) were/was integral in pressing forward the Bitcoin futures launch on the CME, especially given the fact that institutional parties were reluctant, if not downright obstinate in their refusal to allow Bitcoin ETFs on the stock exchange.
Barry Silbert, as an individual, isn’t necessarily a polarizing figure, but he’s definitely someone who has shown that he has no problem in “not playing by the rules”.
Check out a cease and desist order that the SEC filed against him for actions related to an attempt to manipulate the markets.Link source: https://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2016/34-78282.pdf
It’s absolutely worth noting that CoinDesk is a subsidiary of DCG.
This one was placed on my list for obvious reasons. So, we’ll move forward from here. Basically all of the evidence posted at the beginning of this article should make the it more than clear why I suspect they may be involved with nefarious activities.
This one is a bit more intuitive of an association to make. Once again, this is not a condemnation of the exchange. Who knows what’s going on. But there are a few things that I find interesting/obscure at this point.
Let’s roll back for a second. The company ‘Circle’ is part of DCG’s (owned by Barry Silbert) investment portfolio:
Now, remember when everyone ran around screaming that ‘Goldman’ had “bought” Poloniex? I’ll show you the headlines below as a refresher.
You get the point by now.
Virtually everyone was claiming that this was a Goldman move. In reality, it wasn’t even close to a move by Goldman. However, this was proclaimed to be so because Goldman was the most notable investor in Circle.
However, the real “owners” here are DCG. CoinTelegraph, once again, uncovered this (solid journalism, good job guys):
source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-vc-firm-digital-currency-group-invests-114-mln-in-pro-crypto-silvergate-bank and here’s the link to said tweet as well: https://twitter.com/DCGco/status/968146179707023362
So, once again — Barry and DCG are back in the saddle here with another major acquisition in the crypto space. So, to be clear this isn’t Goldman Sachs’ acquisition — it’s DCG’s acquisition. Not only that, Goldman made their initial investment into Circle approximately three years ago:
Let’s move forward here. Check out the recent headlines on Poloniex:
It’s worth noting that Poloniex already has USDT markets.
So, why the need to switch to their own token? Is there some sort of mistrust or foreboding sense that USDT may not be a viable option in the near future? Hmm…
There are a number of reasons why I suspect Kraken of suspicious/nefarious behavior. Not the least of which to be Barry’s direct involvement there as well! Yes, Barry is a co-owner of Kraken.
From Kraken’s own website, we know Barry was a major investor early on. Once again, this occurred in 2014, which is a year that oddly coincides with a substantial number of events in the crypto space.
Above is a tweet from Barry Silbert where, interestingly enough, recommends the three exchanges that I have already outlined which are Bitfinex, Poloniex, and Kraken. This is also a coin that Barry has a heavy investment in and has openly violated securities laws (remember, Barry is no stranger to this) in order to promote.
For more about Barry’s involvement with Ethereum Classic, visit this FinanceMagnates article, which sums it up perfectly:
It’s also worth noting that Kraken is the only exchange to my knowledge that possesses a USDT-USD traded pair (seems convenient, right?).
The link here is a bit more intuitive than the Kraken one as well. The reason why I said that Coinbase is under suspicion, in my opinion, is given the fact that this, too, is an investment of DCG.
It’s been linked with Cumberland Mining, which is an ominous character, to say the very least.
And it’s also the perfect place to liquidate/launder money through.
However, it is worth noting that the IRS recently demanded records from Coinbase.
It’s possible that this was a random, one-off event or that the IRS inquiry into Coinbase accounts, which was launched in 2017 and fought unsuccessfully by Coinbase, is a part of a larger investigation into laundering, rather than tax evasion. This is simply conjecture at this point.
Another interesting fact here is the addition of Bitcoin Cash recently.
Much to the chagrin of a good deal of the crypto community, Coinbase made the decision to launch Bitcoin Cash on their exchanges spontaneously in late 2017.
I won’t get into the fallout of this event too much, because this is something that is already well-known at this point.
However, what is important to note is that this seems to line up with the ‘powers that be’ in crypto. Let’s look at the listings that are on Coinbase at this present time:
-Bitcoin -Bitcoin Cash -Ethereum -Litecoin
Bitcoin Cash is a project that has been spearheaded by Roger Ver, who has essentially served as the unofficial ‘figurehead’ of the project. From what I’ve seen, he essentially holds the same role for that protocol that he held when he was aligned with the Bitcoin Core protocol.
Once again, I noted that he is one of those primary investors in Coinapult, which Ian Miller, Erik Voorhees, and Barry Silbert also own/have a stake in. This is the company that is virtually connected directly to Bitfinex and Tether through shell accounts (as explained above).
Given this fact and Barry Silbert’s investment in Coinbase and apparently healthy relationship with Roger Ver, it doesn’t seem out of the question in any way to assume that this relationship helped lead to the addition of Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase’s platform.
Litecoin — Charlie Lee is a former employee for Coinbase. But more importantly, he is in very tightly with Blockstream (we’ll get into that later). That nickname, Chikun, which he has made his profile picture in recent days, betrays this allegiance (although it’s an open thing). For more information, check out our good friend, Samson Mow, whom is the current CSO for Blockstream.
Ethereum — Remember, we saw Vitalik Buterin down there in Panama with everyone else and speaking with them a full two years before the launch of the project. It seems that Ethereum has essentially received the community’s blessing as well.
That covers my suspicions on Coinbase at this present moment.
This is probably the most ominous association of them all. Unfortunately, any and all scrutiny into Blockstream has been summarily ignored by the community at large because it has been assumed that any and all attacks on the protocol are borne out of a need to subjugate Bitcoin Core’s protocol and elevate Bitcoin Cash, being a proponent of r/btc, Roger Ver’s friend, etc. ad nauseum.
Now, if you’ve been reading this far, you’ll see that I’ve already outlined Roger Ver as a major source of suspicion and other sources (Untethered’s Medium) have as well.
It’s also worth mentioning that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are both compositions of code and software. They are not people or living entities. So, none of this information should have any bearing on the technology itself. This is no different than the concept that a dollar is not inherently evil because there are shady/evil activities that take place with the help of a dollar.
DCG (Barry Silbert) is heavily invested into Blockstream.
Ironically, in another valuable article, titled, ‘Blockstream Raises $55 million to build Bitcoin’s blockchain’ (this was not a charity donation) — Check out the disclaimer at the bottom of this article:
Here’s the issue with Blockstream. Yes, I’m going to say it.
They are primarily responsible for the development for Bitcoin.
Oddly enough, the link for the ‘team’ for Blockstream has been noticeably 404’d randomly for a while: https://blockstream.com/team/
Never fear though! That’s what the internet archive machine is here for.
Here’s an entry for Gregory Maxwell from February 22nd, 2016:
Here is a copy of his departure letter:
What’s notable about Greg Maxwell is that he was/is the committer for the Bitcoin blockchain code. We know that from Gavin’s statements on Twitter and other sources:
Trustnodes (once again), delivered quality, unbiased journalism on this:
So, this poses an interesting conflict of interest…to say the least.
It’s hard to argue that someone that was once the CTO of Blockstream (which is not neutral and not a Foundation or a charity), which represents the interests of investors, could act autonomously as the Core Committer.
This was an issue that Mike Hearn had warned about in his famous exit paper titled, ‘The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment’
Once again, the connections from Barry Silbert to Blockstream and subsequently Bitcoin are readily apparent for all those that are curious.
The core point that I wanted to drive home here is that there appears to be a web of nefarious activity among many of the bigger players in the space.
To tie everything up (because I know this is a monster article), Bitfinex and Tether are inextricably linked to a shell bank account and Poland. This bank account is owned by CryptoCapital, and we have more than one way to prove this connection. Cryptocapital is the cornerstone of Coinapult, which Erik Voorhees, Roger Ver, and Barry Silbert all essentially own.
The idea that these individuals are blissfully unaware of this connection is highly unlikely. If they are somehow unaware, they are grossly incompetent as investors and businessmen, which speaks volumes as to their ability.
However, I’m of the mind that this is not the case. I believe that the connection is nefarious in nature and that the obfuscation of these companies is blatant. At the very least, we can pin down cryptocapital as the owner of a clear shell company that Tether and Bitfinex appear to be using for their laundering/deals with the Cartel.
The intuitive suggestion from all of the information here is that these shell accounts are being used to obfuscate a flow of money that is eventually being cleaned.
From what I see, here’s what I imagine happens:
Tether is printed at some point in time (from thin air, because at this point, it’s backed by zilch and they aren’t taking in any customer payments).
It is then used to pump an altcoin that is a USDT traded pair. Once this pump is complete, they then sell/dump these altcoins for Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin is subsequently sold to an exchange like Coinapult or something else that doesn’t require any type of KYC/AML (convenient, right?)
Coinapult, after holding that BTC that they essentially bought can re-trade it to bad actors like the Columbian Cartel or anyone else that has some obscure need for BTC. They may even decide to sell OTC.
Once again, the above list is only speculation, but it makes the best sense. In any case, this process that they are using is extracting Bitcoin from the market because once they ‘dump’ from the top of an alt pump like EOS, for example, they’re extracting millions of BTC from the USDT or USD traded pair markets, which shoots the price up.
Then, they sell these Bitcoin over the counter to another exchange (more than likely something like Coinapult, which will give them USD). Coinapult will then sell this OTC or to anyone that bothers to purchase from them. This will be a major OTC deal.
More than likely, the Bitcoin WILL make its way onto an exchange sooner or later and will result in a dump. IF (and this is a big ‘if’), the CME is colluding in this effort or, at the very least, being used as a tool to facilitate this illicit profit gain, then I’d imagine that the strategy of drilling down the price is one that is also profitable as they manipulate the markets.
However, I’m more inclined to believe that the Futures markets probably serve as more of a ‘hedge’ against price depreciation for exchanges like Coinapult (remember, owned by Barry Silbert). I say this because, if you’re holding a bunch of Bitcoin that you’ve bought from Finex/Tether, then you’re losing money if they happen to depreciate. However, if you’ve placed a short on the Futures market (CME), then you can hedge these losses. You’ll actually gain if you’re leveraging this short position.
If the BTC price is running up, just close your position, ride the wave and sell Bitcoin while you make a profit. Win-win situation.
We know for a fact that Erik Voorhees and Barry Silbert are two individuals that have been sanctioned before by the SEC for price manipulation or securities’ violations. So, they’re no strangers to skirting authorities. When considering the resources that are at the disposal of all of these individuals, the convenience of everything involved, the fact that all of this seems to stem from the same year (2014; Tether, Coinapult, Mt. Gox Hack, DCG receiving investments, Finex launch), among other oddities that have been pointed out in this article, you really can’t help but wonder.
I think the case is pretty closed though on whether Tether/Bitfinex are involved in nefarious activity. However, I’m of the opinion that they don’t care because Bitfinex is essentially a shell company. They’ve already laundered an absurd amount of money through Tether, exchange liquidations, and other illicit activities, in my opinion. So, barring actual criminal prosecution, which would require their locations to be discovered — they can coast in to the sunset with hundreds of millions if their “plan” is ever foiled.
In my opinion, this seems to be what they’re angling for anyway. And who knows, this very well may be the case. It all depends on how thorough the SEC, CFTC, FBI and any other monitoring regulatory bodies are in their apprehension and prosecution procedures. Rest assured, though, they are on it.
Tether’s days are limited. That’s already case closed. However, it remains to be seen whether the days of certain exchanges or individuals in the space will be limited as well.
Only time will tell!
I’m not sure what the immediate consequences of this article will be and I am ready to face any and all of them.