• Are tether tokens really backed by dollars? (via Shutterstock)
    Media,  Opinion,  Tether

    Bloomberg’s Tether story doesn’t answer persisting questions

    The real concern with Tether isn’t whether or not it has enough cash in the bank

    Tether advocates rejoiced on Tuesday after a story by Bloomberg’s Matt Leising seemed to reassure readers that the stablecoin had enough dollars to back each token. “Bank statements reviewed by Bloomberg News suggest those fears may be unfounded,” Leising wrote. The story’s big contribution to the Tether debate was only that Bloomberg saw four separate months’ worth of Tether’s balances and each exceeded the amount of circulating tokens. Yet Tether’s bank balances should be expected to be positive at month’s end. As written in the often-cited study by John Griffin and Amin Shams of the University of Texas on alleged manipulation of Bitcoin prices using tethers: “the strong negative effect on…

  • Bitcoin fire
    Bitcoin,  Cryptocurrencies,  Opinion,  Tether

    Crypto isn’t just having a bad month—this is a full-on crisis

    There’s an even problem bigger than market manipulation

    When history looks back at crypto years from now, the end of November 2018 will go down as a dark period. The drop in values over the past couple of weeks has been astounding, especially given what happened just before. Bitcoin started the month at $6,341, according to data from CoinDesk. The markets seemed content with prices remaining around that level. “Bitcoin volatility sinks to lowest in nearly two years,” proclaimed a Reuters headline on November 6. To be sure, weekly volatility—that is, standard deviation of prices—was at roughly 32 percent on an annualized basis, noted the piece. That was significantly lower than the 140 percent it experienced in February…

  • Bitfinex
    Alt coins,  Bitcoin,  Cryptocurrencies,  United States

    Uncomfortable questions for Bitfinex and Tether as feds search for bitcoin manipulation

    It remains to be seen if Bitfinex and Tether are the subjects of a criminal investigation

    Two Bloomberg stories about bitcoin published within an hour of each other on Thursday seemed barely related. But to those who follow the space closely, they are really the same story—and it’s perhaps the biggest story in crypto, one that may yet turn out to be the Enron of the cryptocurrency world, if not worse. The first piece, which went live at 4 a.m. Eastern Time, said the Department of Justice is conducting a criminal probe into bitcoin price manipulation. The feds are said to be looking at the practices of spoofing and executing wash trades to move the price of the cryptocurrency. [“Spoofing” is when someone puts in a…

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