Fraud, market manipulation, fake volumes, Satoshi, arrests and court cases

It is difficult to remain motivated in the crypto space at times when there is so much obvious fraud, manipulation, FUD, fake news and a bunch of dick heads having a giant public pissing contest.

It is also very difficult to know how to report on all the shady shenanigans and wild accusations from one alledged criminal to another. Can you believe anything John McAfee says knowing he has rape and murder accusations against him? Can you trust Calvin Ayre who has been indicted for illegal gambling and money laundering services (not to mention those videos he posts with young girls/ladies)? What about Craig “Satoshi or Faketoshi” Wright? Bitfinex, Binance and their Tethered friends?

My head already hurts.

Do I share my personal opinion on all of the ongoing controversies and risk one of the crypto big-wigs slapping a court order on my name? Do I link all the manipulation eventually back to Bitcoin and have the Bitcoin maxis trying to hack our website again (ok that one is a stretch as they try to hack us on a daily basis these days)? Do I slam the crypto exchanges I use myself and risk their wrath when I try to withdraw my funds?

The advice I have received is to just stay out of it all and let the courts and regulators do what they need to do. My heart just wants to let rip though, an all out rant and rave about the disgusting practices that are keeping the real cryptos from shining.

Instead I’ll try and find the middle ground, leave my own opinion at the door and list the real confirmed stories, quotes and official sources themselves and try and make a nice story out of it whilst keeping my own ass safe from any possible gang banging by any individual potential bad actor…

Fraud, market manipulation, fake volumes, Satoshi, arrests and court cases

Craig Wright versus Dave Kleiman: Satoshi versus Satoshi

There is an ongoing court case currently being fought in the Southern District Court of Florida. Is Craig Wright the real Satoshi? Was the deceased Dave Kleiman the real Satoshi? Was/Is it neither or both? Will it be proven one way or the other or will there just be a settlement over who owns the mighty stash of Bitcoin (is it all about the money and only about the money)?

I think crypto media needs to stay out of this one until the court case is over, one way or the other. I am not qualified to report on a legal case and I don’t think most crypto bloggers are either.

Dave “Satoshi” Kleiman death: Murder, Suicide or Natural Causes?

There is a growing movement claiming Dave Kleiman may not have died of natural causes. By all accounts Kleiman was very ill during his final weeks and the official cause of death was complications due to MRSA. One website (Gizmodo) however claims there was a bullet hole in Kleimans matrass and a revolver next to his body, though no bullet casing was recovered at the scene.

Despite Gizmodo being an entertainment site rather than investigative journalism, and despite all evidence pointing to his illness, this hasn’t stopped a bevvy of Twitter users jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon and claiming foul play.

Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre versus anyone and everyone

Craig Wright and his SV pals have been threatening to sue anyone who tries to claim he is not Satoshi. Numerous orders have been sent out by the lawyers of Craig Wright (CW).

Calvin Ayre is the Twitter spokesperson for Bitcoin SV and Craig Wright since CW quit Twitter back in March 2019 after throwing his toys out of the tram.

“yup… Dr Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto… and #BSV is the only real #Bitcoin. All others are attacking Craig to sell their dysfunctional snake oil crypto products. Craig has proven this to me directly in a number of ways.”

“Craig has started filing lawsuit against those falsely denying he is Satoshi…. they can all have a day in court to try to prove their fake case but the judge will rule that Craig invented Bitcoin because he did and he can prove it.”

“this is just the start of the regulatory oversight coming down on all the casino scams as underlined by Binance, Kraken and Shapeshift colluding to market manipulate to try to stop real #Bitcoin #BSV from its inevitable rise.”

CZ Binance versus BSV, Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (popularly known as CZ) took to the warpath against Craig Wright.

“Craig Wright is not Satoshi. Anymore of this sh!t, we delist!”

“To be clear, I don’t choose sides on technology. We let market do that. I am against fraud, such as lying to be someone. As such, it is my strong opinion that: Craig Wright is fraud.”

“The real Satoshi can digitally sign any message to prove it. This is as simple as breathing for him/her. And we have the pub key. Until then, everyone is Satoshi, except Craig Wright!”

“Lastly, anyone who supports BSV from a tech perspective should be attacking the fraudulent Craig Wright, who is poisoning YOUR community, and not attack the rest of the world. Anyone thinking CW is Satoshi should read about how a private key works, ie, learn about crypto.”

Binance then announced their exchange was delisting Bitcoin SV (sparking other Binance friendly exchanges to follow suit), crushing the price of the BSV cryptocurrency. Binance cited their delisting terms and conditions as the reason they chose to delist BSV.

CZ cited Craig Wrights claim to be Satoshi as a reason for delisting which beggars the question as to why they listed Bitcoin SV in the first place if CZ knew all along that Craig was not Satoshi. Or why did they not wait till the court case was settled before passing judgement?

CW accuses Binance of money laundering, wash trading and pump scams

Last week Craig Wright was interviewd online and tried to explain how he was the real Satoshi Nakamoto. During the 90 plus minute video Craig Wright accuses Binance and other exchanges of being “bucket shops” and a “criminal organisations”. He mentions North Korea, leaders of African nations and white washing money.

The interview drags on rather a lot and in between his confusing Satoshi claims (and repeated name dropping), he is bashing Binance, he has a go at John McAfee – repeatedly calling him “Conman John” and “the biggest scammer this fucking decade” and sounding rather like a little kid in the school playground, he criticises Bitcoin BTC (childishly he keeps calling it “anonymous loser coin”) and a few other little rants about eg. Wikileaks,Assange…. and how simple it would have been to stop 911 (I kid you not, he goes there at around the 1 hour 4 minutes mark) thrown in for good measure.

During the video he makes some valid points about ICO scams (no shit Sherlock), criticises McAfee pump cons and lays into shady exchange practices, but my overriding feeling about the claims to be Satoshi are:

  1. Is this the sort of holy godfather any Bitcoiners want to credit as their lord and savoiur? I know I for one expected Satoshi to be far more humble, mature and far clearer about his original vision
  2. If he was the real Satoshi, where is the regret about all the mistakes in Bitcoin thus far?
  3. If Craig/Satoshi had this great vision for the good of humanity, why would he try and fix all of the Bitcoin problems he mentions when a few years ago XRP had already fixed all the problems he pointed out plus fixed a whole lot of the other problems that he neglects to mention? XRP is doing everything he says he is out to fix with BSV and so much more.

I’ll list some quotes from the video below.

“Julian Assange is an evil little toad who promotes false truth, not reality… He’s a stalker, he’s an ass hole and he can sue me too.”

“The feebees, the FBI guys want to get rid of Monero. Because it’s, there is a drug trade.”

“We’ve got a whole lot of con men out there who want to keep the industry being con men industry. So you have things like CZ there, and Binance which is super bucket shop which are basically money laundering organizations. They do wash trades and money laundering. That’s how they make money.”

“So they (Binance) do basically the pre-announcement stuff, some of which Mr. Conman John McAfee there helps with… he will scam something up pump up the price, get people to put their savings and investments into, and they will short the crap out it.”

“This is why they don’t want me talking. They want to shut me up. Because this is a criminal organization. What these guys do is they take money from around the world and they pump it through their system and back out through Tether, which is also a criminal money laundering system, so that it gets lost in the banking industry… so that people in Russian groups, in Cyprus, in Africa… they can buy guns, they can buy weapons, they can sell people… without any audit trail, so that’s what things like Binance are really about. Then they can link them into others like Kraken and get them into a pseudo-legitimate one. Or others like Shapeshift.”

“People like CZ support illegal drug industries”

The whole interview was not all bad and not all sensationalist and Craig did also finish the interview very well with a great closing statement:

“All these industries go through phases where they compete and some get flushed out. For every 1 that survives 100 don’t. So the one that is building, is scaling, that’s the one that will be around, not the one that is going – I’m going to be the next big thing, give me money.”

The great Tether debate, seized funds, arrests and denials

It can’t have escaped anyones attention that Tether is in deep shit at the moment and sister company Bitfinex is facing a crisis of epic proportions. Love ’em or hate ’em website The Block has published a “chronological history of Tether” for anyone who wishes to catch up with the whole sorry saga. You can read it here.

Binance why have you STILL not answered to #delistTether

Way back in March, Wise Cryptos started asking CZ and Binance the question: Why hasn’t Binance delisted Tether yet? Of course we have been completely ignored. But pressure is seriously mounting and the #delistTether movement is gathering pace. According to Binances own listing criteria, USDT should have been delisted over a year ago and the evidence against it has only been piling up more and more.

If you can delist Bitcoin SV so easily then get rid of this Tether shit NOW!

But wait… there’s more! Bitfinex have come up with an escape plan involving asking their whales to buy unsecured Bitfinex tokens instead of their supposedly secured (but actually unsecured) Tether tokens. Wow!

Frances Forbes Coppola points out the insanity of the Bitfinex ICO

Famous Forbes FUDster may just have redeemed her reputation slightly as she tweets about the crazy new Bitfinex Coin scam:

“Imagine a bank holding company creates a new subsidiary for the sole purpose of issuing tokens that entitle the holder to various discounts and benefits on the trading platforms operated by other subsidiaries of the holding company.

These new tokens are to be bought with existing tokens issued by another subsidiary of the holding company. Each of the existing tokens is supposedly equivalent to 1 USD, but the subsidiary has recently admitted it does not have the USD reserves to guarantee this value.

The reason the existing token-issuing subsidiary no longer has sufficient reserves is that another of the holding co’s subsidiaries has borrowed the reserves to keep itself afloat after “losing access” to a substantial amount of money placed with a third party.

The tokens issued by the new subsidiary will be traded through the bank holding co’s existing subsidiary trading platforms, including the one that has lost all the money.

Does the fact that the new token is called a “utility coin” and confers discounts and benefits to users of the holding co’s trading platforms (and only to users of those platforms) mean it is not a security?

And if this were actually a bank holding company, rather than the parent company of a bunch of crypto exchanges and issuers, 1/ would the tokens count as capital 2/ would they get away with it?

Here’s another way of looking at it: what iFinex proposes to do is swap supposedly secured money for explicitly unsecured. It doesn’t have the USD reserves to back USDT one-for-one, so it wants to call in 1m USDT and exchange them for money that doesn’t have any USD backing.

Ordinarily, if you swap secured for unsecured you have to do so at a discount, because unsecured is riskier than secured. iFinex isn’t offering a discount on the token price, but it is offering discounts on services provided by Bitfinex (and its other exchanges).

On that basis, I dispute that this is in any real sense a “utility coin”. The utility discounts are simply a way of delivering a price discount on an unsecured security.

Twitter, do you agree with me?

Reducing the quantity of USDT in circulation would restore its 1-1 reserve backing. But imho this is about recapitalising Bitfinex, not Tether. Bitfinex will still hold some of Tether’s reserves, but it will also hold the associated USDT.”

The #deleteBinance movement gathers force

Craig Wright’s rant sounds like the hard luck story of a boy scorned. The fact that his accusations – particularly those leveled against CZ and Binance – come after his BSV was delisted, and coming from somebody so caught up in controversy himself, make the accusations hold little water.

But he is far from the only person worried about Binance. The #deleteBinance movement started quite some time ago. Binance Casino as many call it has long been accused of market manipulation and wash trading and they even advertise the fact that a major account holder can have up to 200 sub-accounts to “Take control of your corporate trading strategy” as stated on the official Binance Medium press release seen here.

Many prominent industry veterans have also questioned Binance’s motives when moving out of China and Japan and into weaker territories like Malta, Uganda, Jersey, Singapore and Bermuda. Binance Coin (BNB) has also been considered a security by some. You can read more questions about Binance ethics here.

Majority of bitcoin trading is a hoax, new study finds

As reported by CNBC, Bitcoin trading is mostly fake volume, market manipulation and wash trading. Ninety-five percent of spot bitcoin trading volume is faked by unregulated exchanges. The top 81 crypto exchanges by volume on industry site CoinMarketCap were analysed. The report shows an aggregated $6 billion in average daily bitcoin volume. The study finds that only $273 million of that is legitimate!

Question: Do you know ANYONE who trades with Tether? No trader in their right mind touches this crap and they haven’t for a long time. Nobody on Crypto Twitter trades to USDT. So exactly who is using it? Tether trading accounts for 90% of Binance volume… so what, who, where, how and why?

Coin Market Cap removes Bitfinex from volumes

Today 5th of May, CMC announced it was removing the troubled Bitfinex from their platform:

“The price of any cryptocurrency is a volume weighted average of market pair prices (1) for the cryptocurrency. … Some prices are manually excluded from the average, denoted by an asterisk (*) on the markets tab if the price does not seem indicative of a free market price; for example, when an exchange disables withdrawals or deposits, or regulatory conditions make it impossible for anyone else outside of a certain geographical region to buy coins. Some prices are also automatically excluded when our algorithms detect that the reported price is a significant outlier when compared to other market pairs for the same cryptocurrency, denoted by three asterisks (***) on the markets tab.”

Regulated and legitimate exchanges don’t need stablecoins – So let’s get rid of them

If a cryptocurrency exchange is legitimate it will have a legit banking partner. It will have some FIAT trading pairs and have easy on and off ramps for fiat deposits and withdrawals. So what is the point in any single stable coin? Why have an extra counterparty risk? What exactly are these exchanges trying to do? If I want to trade to dollars I will trade to dollar. Not some fake dollar. If I want to move funds from one exchange to another I will use XRP as it is the cheapest, fastest and safest mode of money transfer.

So what exactly is the point of a stable coin? NONE. If a crypto exchange doesn’t have a fiat banking partner then can they be trusted? Having fiat on and off ramps doesn’t necessarily mean an exchange is reliable and trustworthy but surely it is an absolute minimum any decent exchange should have to consider using them?

Summary: Without trust crypto will not succeed, but be careful who you believe!

Craig Wright, Calvin Ayre, John McAfee, CZ, Binance, Tether, Bitfinex, CoinMarketCap, CNBC, Forbes, etc. Do you trust any of them? Should you trust them? Hell, should you even trust Wise Cryptos?

The answer is NO. By all means listen to people in crypto. Listen to both sides of any argument. But always – and I mean ALWAYS – DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and make up your own mind about everything you see, hear and read.

Do I think Craig is Satoshi? Doesn’t matter, what do you think? Do I agree with CZ? I love the Binance interface and mobile app and use it a lot, but I always have one eye open on what is happening with any exchange just in case. Do I think the market is manipulated, hell yes but I could be wrong. You never know. #DYOR

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