News: Kraken trouble in Wyoming, Reggie Fowler plea deal, Australia clamps down on crypto exchanges

The shocking allegations against the Kraken crypto exchange — which I broke the story on, and you can thank me at the Patreon! — just made the mainstream press … and may cause issues with Kraken’s plans in Wyoming.

Kraken were hoping to use Wyoming’s somewhat indulgent “blockchain” laws — largely written by the crypto industry — to get a local banking charter. They hoped to use this as a back door into New York state — without getting the New York BitLicense they’d normally need.

Wyoming’s banking commissioner, Albert Forkner, is not happy — “As part of our bank chartering process, the Division of Banking and our federal colleagues will conduct a thoughtful investigation into the lawsuit. If Kraken applies for a SPDI charter, they must meet our rigorous standards for the prevention of money laundering and sanctions violations.”

And, key point from Forkner — “They won’t do business in Wyoming unless the allegations are proven to be false.” So just settling Nathan Runyon’s original wrongful termination suit won’t make Kraken’s Wyoming problems go away.

(You can tell when a news outlet got the story from me, even if they don’t credit me — because they use the copy of the suit that I uploaded.)

In news from other upright and trustworthy exchanges of flawless repute, Bitfinex have the subpoena they asked for, to find out just what Crypto Capital Corp did with their $850 million. Can’t wait for them to “find the real killers.”

Reggie Fowler from Crypto Capital Corp — US money mules to many crypto exchanges, especially Bitfinex — is expected to change his plea to “guilty” — likely as part of a plea deal, which I expect will involve him singing, or having sung, Beethoven’s 9th.



More good news for crypto in Australia — a government agency officially recognises three crypto exchanges! AUSTRAC, the Australian anti-money-laundering agency, just revoked registration for AUSCOIN ATM, MK Buy & Sell and Howzat Domains. One other operator, Cryptocurrency Transaction Machines, was suspended last month.

ICO consent orders are routine now. December 2017 ICO “Blockchain of Things” (BCOT) settles with the SEC for a $250,000 fine, returning the $13 million raised and registering as a security. Anyone claiming this isn’t sufficient “regulatory clarity” is probably a crook, or an aspiring crook.

In Kleiman v. Wright, the Kleiman estate has filed a blistering response to Craig Wright’s appeal against Magistrate Judge Reinhart’s findings against him — detailing all the precedent supporting Reinhart’s decision. Stephen Palley: “I rarely make predictions about cases but I will make one here: not only is Wright going to lose this fight, he might actually get sanctioned more.”

You know the PlusToken crypto Ponzi scam — which is being blamed as the witch that put a curse on the Bitcoin price? The Huobi exchange has been letting PlusToken cash out for the past several months.


Lael Brainard, US Federal Reserve, speaking at a European Central Bank colloquium: Update on Digital Currencies, Stablecoins, and the Challenges Ahead — summary: everyone still hates Libra, and cryptos need more regulation.

Cryptocurrency mining pool Simplecoin and bitcoin gaming platform Chopcoin are both shutting down because of the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. Well done, European Union!

Larry Cermak notes that the 5AMLD directly affects Binance, which is registered in Malta — “I think the only way for Binance to keep the current conditions would be to start geo-blocking all EU users. Wouldn’t be surprised if they announce something similar to when they announced that they’d stop serving U.S. customers.”

Slovenia’s European Blockchain Hub, based in Ljubljana, has quietly gone bankrupt. I wonder how many other loudly-fêted crypto initiatives that you never heard from after launch have gone much the same way.



CryptoRadar: Largest Bitcoin Ownership Survey Reveals 6.2% Of Americans Own Bitcoin, While 7.3% Are Planning To Buy Some! I flatly do not believe 20 million Americans own Bitcoin. The survey has 5000 answers, which is an excellent sample size — so how did they select people?

It looks like they used Google Surveys — which works by publishers putting up surveys instead of using a paywall. This also means no normalisation of the sample, no allowance for prospective participants refusing the survey, and no correction for the profile of the sort of publisher that uses Google Surveys.

Most people would look at a result like “20 million Americans own Bitcoin” and think for a bit about how they could have got it wrong — but not these guys. I wonder what a survey would look like that wasn’t done on the cheap by a crypto advocacy site. It turns out that all the hard bit of doing a survey where you want an accurate answer to a question you care about is making sure your sample doesn’t suck.


Finance Brokerage: Bitcoin Price Currently at Crossroads — with quotes from me.

I did my blockchain debate with Jimmy Song on the question “$BTC will attain global store of value status by 2040,” and it’s up! There’s also a Twitter poll.



Become a Patron!

Your subscriptions keep this site going. Sign up today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.