Ep241: Bitfinex and Tether Subpoenaed by CTFC, OpenBazaar Integrates Bitcoin Cash and Zcash, First Video Episode!

Bitfinex and Tether receive subpoenas from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Facebook’s new ads policy forbids options and crypto trading hype. Blockchains, LLC buys up more than 67,000 acres in a Nevada industrial park. Japanese chat app LINE to open crypto exchange for 200 Million monthly users. OpenBazaar 2.1 integrates Bitcoin Cash and Zcash payment options. BitPay upgrades website plug-ins to help merchants accept Bitcoin Cash. Coincheck suffers a massive hack that sees more than $500 Million in tokens disappear. The SEC steps in on a Texas-based scam ICO. We are moving to video so please let us know how we can do better!

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Traditional Financial Markets Cryptocurrency Markets
Gold $1,347 SegWit (SW) $10,130
Silver $17.30 Ethereum (ETH) $1,102
Oil $64.76 DASH $689
Dow Jones 26,080 points Litecoin (LTC) $162
30Y UST Yield 2.946% Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $1,484

If you are listening to NeoCash Radio with an audio only version you are missing out on seeing our pretty faces! We have begun a soft launch of the video version of NeoCash Radio that will culminate with a new website and more! You can also plan on seeing more of myself as I start a new series called the NeoCash NewsCast! I will be publishing smaller more news focused videos more often so look for those on our blog, YouTube channel and all the other locations you have been downloading the podcast. Just to recap: we have video now! Subscribe to our youtube channel, like and share the videos! NeoCash Media Youtube Channel

U.S. CFTC subpeonas Bitfinex and Tether

On December 6th, 2017 the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sent subpeonas to Bitfinex and Tether. At that time there were about 819 Million USDTethers in circulation. Since then the number of Tethers has more than doubled. At the time of this podcast there are more than 2.28 Billion USDTethers.

The history of tether token creation reminds me of using cheats codes in video games to get more money. At first you tell yourself you just need a little to get that next item but after a while you just hit the cash button whenever you get the itch. Lately tethers are coming out a 100,000,000 per shot, just flooding the market. If you are holding tethers please be careful!

Coindesk is reporting that Tether has officially confirmed that the company’s relationship with Friedman LLP has been terminated. It is yet to be known the reason behind the termination and who broke the relationship.

In a preliminary report released in September, Friedman said Tether had $442.9 million of cash on reserve, matching the outstanding issuance of USDT – but that assessment was not a full audit and contained numerous caveats.

Just hours after admitting that its relationship with the auditing firm Friedman LLC had dissolved, cryptocurrency firm Tether announced it has hired Madoff and Associates to oversee all auditing operations.

Facebook new Ads policy: No more ICO or Crypto ads

Facebook states;
We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

Blockchains LLC getting over 67,000 Acres in Nevada to showcase Blockchain Applications (ethnews.com)

On January 29, 2018, Jeffrey Berns, CEO of Blockchains, LLC, confirmed that his company has acquired 67,125 acres at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial (TRI) Center, estimated at around $175 million.  Eventually, the TRI Center could become home to the world’s first fully-equipped, blockchain-based city.

Led by brothers Jeffrey and David Berns, Blockchains, LLC has the stated goal of acting as a pioneer for the technological future. Since Ethereum went live in July 2015, the company has quietly been working on decentralized application (Dapp) development.

On Twitter, Jeffrey Berns denied rumors of a cryptocurrency mining operation, noting that Ethereum will soon shift to a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm.

The company “conceptualizes and incubates blockchain-powered ideas, ventures, and businesses,” according to its website. It is “developing means of offering traditional financial services in this new age of digital assets.”

The company’s website further explains, “The decentralized nature of blockchain technology can catalyze tremendous economic and social change; we are advocates for such change.”

David Berns was quoted as saying,

“When completed, our corporate campus will consist of over 100,000 square feet at the TRI Center and we expect to employ over 1,000 individuals by 2021,”  “A soon-to-be renovated facility on the outskirts of the TRI Center will act as our temporary headquarters until the campus is completed.”

Major Japanese Chat App LINE to open Crypto exchange for its 200million monthly users

Announced Today Jan 31st, LINE will be launching its own crypto exchange and in-app trading for the applications 200 million monthly users.

LINE’s official statement today included that their application to operate a new cryptocurrency exchange is sitting before Japanese regulators.  It also stated it was establishing a new company

LINE Financial Corporation to serve as a base to “provide a variety of financial services, including a place to exchange and transact virtual currencies, loans, and insurance.” Additionally, the platform aims to “promote research and development of technologies such as blockchain.”

OpenBazaar 2.1 is released – Bitcoin Cash and Zcash Integrated

From Open Bazaar; “Today we are proud to announce Bitcoin Cash and Zcash integration in OpenBazaar! With this update users will have the option to create new nodes for processing Bitcoin Cash and Zcash (Beta) payments, respectively.

OpenBazaar already allows buyers to fund their wallets with a variety of cryptocurrencies through Shapeshift, but before this release all transactions were still resolved with Bitcoin. With the rise in Bitcoin network fees in 2017, it became clear that OpenBazaar users needed support for cryptocurrencies with fees that are more suited for small to medium sized transactions ASAP.

This release is the first step towards allowing more options for cryptocurrencies in OpenBazaar. It includes native support for nodes using one cryptocurrency at a time, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or ZCash.”

BitPay Updates Enable Bitcoin Cash

Merchants looking to accept Bitcoin Cash have also gotten a boost from BitPay. Popular website plugins WordPress & WooCommerce, WHMCS marketplace, and PrestaShop have been updated to integrate with BitPay wallet support for Bitcoin Cash.

Coincheck Loses $533 Million in Hack

Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has confirmed that it has suffered what appears to be the biggest hack in the history of the technology.

In a press conference at 23:30 JST (14:30 UST), the exchange’s president Wakata Koichi Yoshihiro and chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka estimated its loss at 58 billion yen (approx. $533 million). According to Bloomberg, which attended the conference, 500 million NEM tokens were taken from Coincheck’s digital wallets.

Tweets by Nikkei appeared to indicate that the precise amount stolen may not be fully known until further checks have been carried out into the intrusion.

But though the exact dollar figure for the incident is hard to pin down (given the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies and the company’s lack of information), data suggests the figure is now at least over $400 million, factoring for a decline in the value of XEM, the NEM protocol’s token, follo wing the incident.

At press time, the price of XEM was $0.85, down from a high of $1.01 today, according to data from Coinmarketcap.

Notably, the dollar amount stolen from Coincheck is likely greater than the amount stolen from Mt. Gox in 2014 (pegged at $340 million), though the impact on the cryptocurrency market will be much smaller given the immense increases in market capitalization since.

SEC Steps in on AriseBank $600 Million ICO

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a court order freezing the assets of a Texas-based initial coin offering that claimed to have raised more than $600 million.

The order filed in federal court in Dallas halts AriseBank from raising any additional cash from investors, according to a statement from SEC Tuesday. The agency alleges Jared Rice, 29, illegally raised funds from individual investors beginning in November without registering with regulators, according to the complaint. Also accused is co-founder Stanley Ford, 45, who lives in Dubai.

The agency froze crypto assets including Bitcoin, dogecoin and litecoin among others and appointed a receiver to return investor cash.

“This is the first time the commission has sought the appointment of a receiver in connection with an ICO fraud,” said Steve Peikin, co-head of SEC enforcement said in a statement. “We will use all of our tools and remedies to protect investors from those who engage in fraudulent conduct in the emerging digital securities marketplace.”

The asset freeze is the biggest action yet for the agency trying to police a red-hot market that’s raised billions from a range of investors. The regulator has been sounding the alarm about the offerings, which are most likely securities that must be registered to comply with U.S. securities laws.

An Important Disclaimer

We would like to remind you that any content on the Neocash Radio podcast and/or website should not be regarded as financial or legal advice. Please be mindful of any and all regulations regarding cryptocurrency in your particular jurisdiction. Never invest/gamble more than you are willing to lose and always safeguard any digital currencies you own by keeping them in a wallet whose private keys you control.

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JJ – jj@neocashradio.com
Co-Founder, Producer, Managing Director

Darren – Darren@neocashradio.com
Co-Founder, Technical Writer

Pedro – pedro@neocashradio.com
Ethereum and Crypto-mining Expert

Randy – randy@neocashradio.com
Former Co-host and Cool Dude

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BTC Address: 1MmFwDeZPgxJ4GyzbfmZVLJv3aZcpxSfR5
ETH Address: 0xe4689EF88F239C6eed1Ff262876e2499495c1617
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