Tether is untrustworthy and destined to collapse

OPINION / ANALYSIS

Tether is the largest stablecoin by market cap.

The problem: the cryptocurrency is minted and distributed by a company known to have acted unethically in the past.

Here’s 6 times Tether has run into legal trouble:

1 – In February 2021, Tether and its sister company Bitfinex paid a settlement of $18.5 million to the New York Attorney General (NYAG) for misrepresenting its reserves. According to the NYAG:

“Tether made false statements about the backing of the “tether” stablecoin.”

Both Tether and Bitfinex were ordered to cease trading in the state of New York.

2 – In October 2021, Tether and Bitfinex paid a settlement of $42.5 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for misrepresenting its reserves. According to a press release by the CFTC:

“The [CFTC] … issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against [Tether] for making untrue or misleading statements and omissions of material fact in connection with the U.S. dollar tether token (USDT) stablecoin.”

3 – Tether is currently under investigation by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for possible bank fraud. Tether is suspected of misleading banks by hiding the fact its transactions were linked to cryptocurrency.

4 – Tether has been named in multiple class-action lawsuits. The company is currently being sued for allegedly engaging in “unlawful and deceptive” practices.

5 – Tether executives mostly keep a low profile, and rarely speak to the media. Some of Tether’s known employees have previously worked for companies with a history of fraud.

One example is Stuart Hoegner, the general counsel for Tether and Bitfinex. Hoegner previously worked for a shady online poker company that allowed certain parties to cheat.

6 – Tether refuses to provide an independent audit, despite years of requests. An independent audit would ease doubts that Tether’s coins are fully backed and it isn’t printing money out of thin air.

While this doesn’t necessarily prove that Tether is an outright scam, the company is doing very little to ease people’s doubts.

Either Tether is backed like it says it is, or its a house of cards waiting to collapse.

Twitter not loading? Is Twitter down?

Mark Slapinski

1,000s have people reported Twitter not loading properly. The social media network was down for a brief period on Thursday morning, according to tracker Down Detector.

The service appears to have resumed, according to multiple media outlets.

McDonalds took advantage of the situation to poke fun at its often-broken ice cream machines, tweeting “sorry the twitter machine is down.”

Learn more about how to keep your computer safe by watching the video below:

Popular YouTuber claims that ‘women shouldn’t code’

Patrick Shyu, better known by his screenname TechLead, has drawn the ire of social media after claiming “women shouldn’t code.” Shyu made this claim on Twitter, as well as in a YouTube video.

Shyu is known for his YouTube videos focusing on technology, specifically cryptocurrency. He also posts videos on politics. Shyu claims he was formerly a developer and tech lead for Facebook and Google.

Shyu’s remarks were met with sharp criticism. Brianna Wu, software engineer and former Candidate for US House in Massachusetts, slammed Shyu and labelled him a “sexist manbaby.”

Wu claims people like Shyu are the reason women get out of the tech industry. She ended by saying, “I hope this Tweet haunts you your entire career.”

Fellow YouTuber Mutahar was another blue checkmark account to weigh in, asking Shyu about his “scam token.” Shyu has been accused of operating a Ponzi-like scheme with his own cryptocurrency.

Shyu has been accused by “internet detective” Coffeezilla of scamming his followers with his own brand of cryptocurrency called “Million Token.” Coffeezilla accused Shyu of lying to investors about putting a million dollars of his own money into the project.

Shyu has allegedly made millions of dollars from his scheme. To date, Shyu has not faced any criminal charges.

It is not clear if Shyu was trolling or trying to be funny with his coding comments. It doesn’t appear that many people found any sort of humor in his posts. Many found his comments degrading and misogynistic.

It is notable that women have a long history in coding, with the first computer programmer (ever) being a woman named Augusta Ada Lovelace.

Lovelace is known for working with Charles Babbage in creating the first mechanical computer, which was called the analytical engine. The machine was programmed to add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Tether loses its peg: ‘How low will it go?’

Mark Slapinski

Daniel Moncada, known for his role as Leonel Salamanca in Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, called out the stablecoin Tether after it lost its peg, dropping to a low of $0.9508 Thursday morning.

In a tweet posted early Thursday, Moncada wrote that USDT (Tether) is the next to coin “de-peg,” before reminding his followers to be safe. The actor and crypto enthusiast then asked “how low will it go?”

Fears of a Tether crash are prevalent on Twitter, and the hashtag #Tether continues to trend on and off. This comes as the stablecoin Terra collapsed on Monday, sparking uncertainty about the crypto market as a whole.

Tether previously ran into trouble with the New York Attorney General (NYAG), being banned from operating in New York state. An investigation found that Tether wasn’t fully backed at all times.

“Bitfinex and Tether recklessly and unlawfully covered-up massive financial losses to keep their scheme going and protect their bottom lines.”

Attorney General James

Many have theorized that a collapse of Tether would be devastating, and bring down the whole crypto market.

Moncada is one of many celebrities that moonlights as a crypto enthusiast and commentator. It is important to note, his tweets do not constitute financial advice.

‘Censorship’: Bitcoin Magazine gets banned from YouTube

Mark Slapinski

OPINION / ANALYSIS

UPDATE: Bitcoin Magazine had its YouTube channel re-instated.

Original Article:

The YouTube channel belonging to Bitcoin Magazine was unexpectedly taken down late Thursday, as reported by the company on Twitter. At the time of writing, users that try to access the page are met with a dead link and the statement, “this page isn’t available.”

This has lead to claims of “censorship” from Bitcoin enthusiasts. YouTube responded on Twitter, saying that it is “looking into” the matter, and that it will respond when it has an update.

This is not the first time YouTube has been accused on censoring Bitcoin content. In 2019, the platform decided to remove hundreds of bitcoin and cryptocurrency videos from its site. The move was described as a “crypto-purge.”

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency content creators felt unfairly targeted by the search giant. After public pressure, YouTube re-instated the videos, saying it removed them by “accident.”

“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call.”

YouTube spokesperson, 2019

It is not clear what rules Bitcoin Magazine broke, if any.

‘Sh-tcoin conference’: Bitcoin conference gets negative reviews

Mark Slapinski

OPINION / ANALYSIS

As thousands of Bitcoin enthusiasts are gathering in Florida for the Miami Bitcoin 2022 conference, many people are complaining the conference isn’t living up to expectations.

The most common complaint is that speakers have been promoting “shitcoins” – defined by Investopedia as a cryptocurrency with little to no value or a digital currency that has no immediate, discernible purpose.

The events is billed as a four-day pilgrimage for those seeking greater freedom and individual sovereignty. It includes celebrity speakers such as Jordan Peterson and Peter Thiel.

However, attendees are complaining that the main focus is not Bitcoin, leading some feeling cheated, and many others wanting a refund.

The negative experiences were outlined in a Reddit thread. One person wrote,

“Every panel has just been shitcoin shillers, it’s horrible. They even brought on Ryan Selkis on, who said the 21 million cap wasn’t real.

This conference is just soulless corporate shills making one giant attack on Bitcoin. This isn’t our conference, it’s the shitcoiner conference.”

A quick search on Twitter and Reddit turns up dozens of similar reviews.

It’s a shame that 1000s of people spent $1000s just to realize they didn’t get what they paid for. This also highlights how the crypto world is full of scams, and people need to be careful about what they get themselves into.

Did Gerald Cotten fake his own death?

Mark Slapinski

OPINION / ANALYSIS

Gerald Cotten is a wanted man.

Cotten was the head of the infamous QuadricaCX, a large cryptocurrency exchange based in Canada that turned out to be a massive Ponzi scheme.

The customers he ripped off continue to hunt him down, even though he is officially “dead.” Some of them lost their life savings to the scam and are desperately looking to recover the stolen funds.

The story is that Cotten died from complications from Crohn’s disease while he was India. His wife claimed the two were there to build an orphanage.

However, many dispute that narrative, instead presenting a theory that Gerald Cotten faked his own death, and ran away with millions of investor dollars.

Is it possible that Gerald Cotten faked his own death, and is living under a pseudonym in another country? Let’s look at where the evidence leads.

Scam of the century

Gerald Cotten launched Quadriga in December 2013 with the stated intention of making it easier for Canadians to buy Bitcoin.

The company made plans to go public, but Cotten found the work to be overwhelming, and the plans were cancelled in early 2016. At this point, Cotten became the sole director of the company.

Cotten used a spoof account to buy Bitcoin with fake Canadian dollars, and to buy Canadian dollars with fake Bitcoin.

The scam began to collapse in 2018 after the price of Bitcoin started to fall, causing customers to cash out. At this point Cotten started running out of money to pay them.

In addition, the banks began freezing accounts linked to Quadriga.

Mysterious death

Gerald Cotten reportedly died while travelling to India with his wife in 2018. The two had recently married, and were on their honeymoon. The couple had plans to build an orphanage.

Cotten and his wife landed in Jaipur with the plan of spending four nights in the city. However, soon after checking into their hotel, Cotten complained of stomach pains.

The couple went to a hospital. The second day, Cotten’s condition worsened, and he suddenly died. A death certificate was produced, oddly, his name was misspelled.

This has lead to speculation the death certificate was a forgery. But there is evidence that suggests otherwise.

Conclusion

While the circumstances of Gerald Cotten’s supposed death are indeed strange, the story checks out on closer inspection. Not only was a death certificate issued, but a journalist from the Globe and Mail travelled to India and spoke to the doctor that treated him.

There have been no sightings of Cotten since his wife announced his death. No evidence that he has accessed the funds that were said to be lost.

Based on media reports, Cotten’s wife is not exactly living a life of luxury.

It is highly unlikely she would travel to Canada with a fake body, or someone else’s body, then subject herself to constant media scrutiny and legal issues.

It is most likely that Cotten actually did die during his trip to India from an unexpected freak, medical issue. That is what the evidence suggests.

Unfortunately, the people that lost money to Quadriga are out of luck, and are best moving on. Sort of like the guy that accidentally threw out his hard drive containing all his Bitcoins.

That’s not to excuse the actions of Mr. Cotten, and say that what he did was okay. Rather, the time spent hunting down a long dead Gerald Cotten could be better used. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and move on. There are lessons to be learned here; many morals to this story.

This is a story about greed, but also about loss. In the pursuit of riches, people can become greedy, and make bad decisions. Some people lose more than what they had to begin with.

Cotten wanted money, and he wanted it fast, but he didn’t stop to think about the people he was hurting in the process.

It’s also peculiar how an otherwise healthy man could die at such a young age. But, perhaps this says more about the fragility of life, than it does to point to some elaborate conspiracy.

It’s only a matter of time before Bitcoin collapses

Mark Slapinski

OPINION / ANALYSIS

The collapse of Bitcoin is inevitable. Journalists and researchers have been raising the alarm for some time. However, very few people seem to be listening.

The high price of Bitcoin is driven by the stablecoin Tether. Researchers have noted that whenever the price of Bitcoin falls, a large amount of Tether is printed and used to buy it back up, causing the price to rise.

The high price of Bitcoin is not completely based on market demand, rather, market manipulation by Tether. The problem with Tether, is that it doesn’t back its reserves with cash equivalents. The company has the power to print coins out of thin air.

This means that if there ever was a bank run on Tether, customers wouldn’t able to exchange Tether for cash, or anything of value.

Since Tether acts as a half-way point between US dollars and Bitcoin, the collapse of Tether would equal a collapse of Bitcoin. This could lead to a worldwide financial crisis.

Authorities have already started to crack down on Tether. It is moving slowly, but it is only matter of time before Tether executives get hit with heavy financial penalties, and even jail time.

In 2021, the New York Attorney General announced that Tether and Bitfinex were banned from continuing their illegal activities in New York. As a penalty, Bitfinex and Tether were required to pay $18.5 million to the state.

“[Tether] represented that each of its stablecoins were backed one-to-one by U.S. dollars in reserve. However, an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that iFinex — the operator of Bitfinex — and Tether made false statements about the backing of the “tether” stablecoin, and about the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars between the two companies to cover up the truth about massive losses by Bitfinex.”

Attorney General James Ends

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Tether for bank fraud, stemming from its early years in operation. Investigators are probing whether the company misled banks by hiding the fact that transactions were linked to cryptocurrency. Banks often avoid cryptocurrency due to its use by criminals and money launderers.

Additionally, several US politicians are moving to further restrict stablecoins. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) is looking to pass a bill that would require stablecoin issuers to ensure their coins are fully backed by reserves.

Whether it’s through regulation, or through law enforcement action, Tether’s days are numbered. And when it falls, it will bring Bitcoin down with it.

WATCH Jordan Belfort: Tether Is a Scam

Scientists are closer to understanding the origins of the universe

Mark Slapinski

OPINION / ANALYSIS

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new computer simulation that will help them better understand the origins of the universe. The announcement was made on Thursday via press release.

The new computer simulation Thesan, named after an Etruscan goddess, runs models from 400,000 years after the Big Bang, and through the first billion years.

Scientists have begun to use the simulation to conduct investigations into how far light could travel in the early universe.

“When we can put this all together in some kind of machinery and start running it and it produces a dynamic universe, that’s for all of us a pretty rewarding moment.”

Mark Vogelsberger, MIT

There is still a lot scientists don’t know about the early universe, and this new computer simulation will help fill in the gaps. In the future, simulations will form a bigger part of scientific research than they currently do. Eventually scientists will be able to create simulations to demonstrate everything that happened after the big bang, right until now.

Watch a Thesan simulation below on YouTube:

What is Catpay?

Mark Slapinski

OPINION / ANALYSIS

The creators of Catecoin, a new meme coin, have developed a new payment method known as Catpay. Let’s go over what this is.

Catecoin is launching a “play-to-earn” video game titled Rise of the Cats. Catpay is the currency that will be used in the game. The concept is similar to Axie Infinity, where gamers earn a coin called Smooth Love Potion (SLP).

According to its website, Catpay is a decentralized reward token, and can be used as a payment method for decentralized apps aka dApps. The token was launched yesterday, as was announced by the official Catecoin Twitter account:

This seems like a fun concept. And that is where I put this coin, in the “fun” category. If you have a bit of extra money and want to experiment with new coins, this may be the one for you.

I would never recommend dumping a ton of money into a new coin, because that’s just asking for trouble. To be clear, I’m not a financial advisor. But I highly recommend speaking to one, or at least doing your own research before investing into something like Catecoin / Catpay, or really, any cryptocurrency.

I’ve written about Catecoin previously. To learn more, read my previous article, or watch the brief explainer video below.

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