News: Bitcoin’s $13,000 not-even-a-bubble, how Tether say Tether works, Craig Wright shows up in Florida, Facebook Libra

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Q. Should I sell my bitcoins?
A. If you can make back your bagholding from people dumb enough to buy in now, go for it.
Q. But what if it doubles to $20,000???
A. You’re probably not someone who should be investing in bitcoins.

Number go up — Bitcoin crests $13,000! But I’d question even calling this a “bubble” — because there’s no evidence of an influx of retail get-rich-quick dreamers. The only visible cause is manipulation.

There’s no volume increase on actual-dollar exchanges. Crypto apps on mobile devices have seen zero growth. If it was “institutional investors,” you’d see massive buys on Gemini in dollars, not Binance in tethers. “Analysts” are crediting interest in Facebook’s Libra initiative — but these analysts all seem to work for crypto hedge funds or exchanges.

Coinbase went offline during this week’s price crash back to $11,000, and Robinhood reported “degraded performance.” It’s remarkable how often exchanges being unavailable coincides with people wanting to cash out.

Amy Castor’s got a new day job at World of Money, but has taken the time to warn potential Bitcoin retail investors off.



The Bitcoin price rise is entirely an artifact of whales wrecking suckers with tethers — iFinex’s questionable dollar-substitute tokens. There’s been a billion tethers printed in just the last month. Tether volumes are through the roof, at $42 billion on Thursday 27 June.

Remember that Bitfinex themselves admitted that if Tether went down, the Bitcoin price could drop below $1000 — when Tether apologists claim the price rise has nothing to do with tethers, they’re contradicting Bitfinex’s own statements.

I’d like to call everyone’s attention to Ben Munster’s frankly amazing interview with Will Harborne of Ethfinex — another iFinex company, like Bitfinex and Tether — about how tethers work. He sets out, on the record, precisely how tethers are used as a manipulation instrument by the whales:

When you see a large Tether “print,” said Harborne, it means a handful of wealthy clients have essentially preordered batches of tethers, days in advance, to then dump on the market—often before it’s begun to surge. Tethers are useful to these large holders, who can trade them — paired to Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and other coins—on high-liquidity exchanges that don’t accept fiat currencies.

Keep in mind that Bitfinex have been caught making factually incorrect statements previously, so it’s possible this isn’t the whole story — and if that’s the case, then this is the publicly acceptable version of how it all works.

Bitfinex now offers 100× margin trading — to serve that all-important “terminally degenerate gamblers” market. A dependable casino you can totally trust.

Three people have been arrested at last for the Bitfinex hack of 2016 that set all of this off — see chapter 8 of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain. Can we do a rewind and start over?



Kleiman v. Wright continues — and Craig Wright did in fact show up in Florida on Friday 28 June! The morning deposition was closed to the public, but the afternoon session was open. Carolina Bolado was there, and posted a thread on Twitter.

Wright had previously failed to provide the list of Bitcoin addresses that he and Dave Kleiman had supposedly mined, way back when. So he had to explain to Judge Bruce Reinhart why he shouldn’t be held in contempt of court. And he still didn’t produce the list. Judge Reinhart started nailing down what Wright knew, and when — “So, since 2016 you have known that you didn’t have access to these files and wouldn’t have access until 2020? And you knew this in February 2019, and March 2019?”

Wright did burst into tears, he threw a document he didn’t like — to which the judge responded, “You throw another document in my courtroom, you will be in handcuffs so fast your head will spin” — and proceedings went into a cycle of Wright saying he didn’t recognize documents, and the Kleiman estate’s counsel pointing out that it was Wright’s side that had produced them.

They didn’t finish on Friday. The hearing has been adjourned until 7 August, and this should include testimony from expert witnesses.


David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s blockchain project that’s doing Libra, says he wants — and I quote — “someone who knows how economies tend to work.” Gosh, that could be a useful sort of person to have around! If only you’d thought of this before releasing plans to set up a shadow bank to issue systemic-risk quantities of credit as money, that made regulators want to destroy you instantly!

Much as happened with Telegram’s GRAM tokens, scammers are setting up fake Libra sale pages to defraud retail buyers.

My Foreign Policy piece on Libra is still getting the hits — and here’s the DVD extras.

When writing up Libra, it’s helpful to keep in mind that Facebook have an extensive and well-documented history of lying their backsides off. Don’t even assume their stated plans are real until the things in question verifiably exist in the world.


Kik has handed over management of the Defend Crypto fund to the Blockchain Association, a 501(c)6 industry group — with $2 million of the original $5 million of donated cryptos remaining. And that $2 million prominently features the illiquid trash assets — such as $636,000 of Kin tokens.

In shocking news, Kik’s claim to the SEC that Kin tokens are more widely used than bitcoins or ether is inaccurate.

LedgerX finally has approval from the CFTC for their Bitcoin futures contract delivering actual bitcoins. They probably won’t be allowed to offer margin trading on it, though.

Indian crypto exchange Koinex is shutting down due to “regulatory uncertainty” — specifically, that crypto businesses aren’t allowed bank accounts in India. “Regulatory uncertainty” is a phrase crypto promoters use when they have 100% regulatory certainty that what they’re doing is illegal, but they don’t like it.

It’s that time of year again, and the Australian Taxation Office is watching your crypto usage! Talk to your accountant.

The crypto press is $100% trustworthy! Maybe Crypto Briefing really does have Shutterstock models writing for it, and weren’t just doing some pay-for-play shilling! Crypto Briefing were just respecting his privacy.

(I don’t really think Crypto Briefing were doing a pay-for-play. I will point out that using a stock photo is a well-known tell of fake influencers, and probably a bad idea.)

Martin Walker spoke at the panel “Will Blockchains Lead Us to a Trustless World?” at the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank last month. He did his best to defend joined-up thinking. Here are his slides.






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