News: Coinbase suspends Bitcoin, Quadriga officially bankrupt, Bittrex out of New York, Bitfinex margin trading on Tethers, Blockstack Reg A+ token offering


Coinbase, the most popular US crypto exchange, suspended trading on the BTC-USD pair for two hours today — the pair that’s one of the most important Bitcoin price measures, as it’s a relatively high-volume channel to and from actual money. Trading was disabled at 06:08 PDT (13:08 UTC) and re-enabled at 07:49 PDT (14:49 UTC) — though they cancelled all outstanding buy or sell orders. Coinbase have not said what the problem was.

Coinbase Pro has listed more altcoins — EOS, Augur’s REP and Maker DAO’s MKR. Coinbase Pro first announced MKR in December — but (according to Larry Cermak) never bothered actually listing it at the time, due to low volume. (Despite considerable coverage in the crypto blogs.)

Coinbase UK is launching a crypto-backed Visa debit card. Despite the massive appeal of these to crypto hodlers, Visa has usually punted the card issuers after investigation — they’re generally really bad at anti-money-laundering compliance. Presumably Coinbase’s partner, Apto Payments, previously Shift Payments, is on a sturdier footing. Hopefully. Update: The FT article appears incorrect — Coinbase say their card issuer is Paysafe.

Quadriga Financial Solutions has been moved from CCAA protection to bankruptcy (archive), as Ernst & Young requested in their fourth report as monitor — the money is gone, the company is dead, and now it’s a matter of cleaning up the mess. EY is the bankruptcy trustee, and “now has the right to compel production of documents and testimony from witnesses.”

When did Michael Patryn and Gerald Cotten start working together? Before Quadriga, they ran a Liberty Reserve exchanger called Midas Gold — send them dollars, they’d credit you LR tokens for a mere 5% fee. You could then exchange the LRs with other Liberty Reserve users for, uh, completely legitimate purposes that certainly didn’t involve drug deals or money laundering. Liberty Reserve was shut down in 2013, and Midas Gold’s domain name was confiscated by the FBI. It’s not clear when Cotten joined — but the exchanger was registered with Liberty Reserve with the email address geraldcotten@​ “A few months after was seized, QuadrigaCX launched in beta.”

The Bittrex exchange has had to cease operations in New York state. Apparently customers were using fake names like “Donald Duck,” “Elvis Presley” and “Give me my money” to trade, and the New York Department of Financial Services was not so happy. Their letter to Bittrex (PDF) is brutal. Bittrex has issued a statement about how unfair this all is.

Bitfinex has enabled margin trading on Tethers! That is, you can bet on the price of a dollar-pegged token, gambling on how much the peg is failing by today — on the exchange that issues the token. Trading pairs are BTC-USDT and ETH-USDT.

Bitfinex has also removed its $10,000 minimum equity requirement for trading — “opening the world’s most advanced trading platform to everyone.” The intention is to encourage developers to interface to their systems. They haven’t announced changes to withdrawal limits, which are still a minimum of $10,000.



Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) warns of seven new crypto scam websites.

Blockstack, a distributed file system blockchain startup, has announced plans to raise $50 million in a token offering — under SEC Regulation A+, rather than as an ICO/SAFT under Reg D 506(c). They previously raised $52m in an ICO in 2017, which was run as a SAFT. The previous sale was only to accredited investors — but the nice part of a Reg A+ is that you can sell to retail investors.



Programmer help site Stack Overflow has released the results of its 2019 Developer Survey — “The more experienced a respondent is, the more likely they are to say blockchain technology is an irresponsible use of resources.”

A bitcoiner takes advantage of the short squeeze to turn a profit, and buys a lovely engagement ring! Surely his fellow Reddit /r/bitcoin posters will be happy for him, and not just post a spew of incel misogyny …

Someone wrote some /r/buttcoin fan fiction featuring Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain.




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