An Introduction to the Tether/Bitfinex Controversy

Bitfinex is one of the historically largest Bitcoin exchanges and Tether is by far the largest stablecoin. Each potentially has significant influence over the industry on their own, and their interconnectedness makes this more of a concern. However, since both were founded years ago and many of the events have happened and been in revealed in bits and spurts it can be difficult to understand their place in the cryptocurrency environment. This will hopefully serve as a basic introductory document that will then prompt further research.

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The 2015 Bitstamp, 2015 Bitfinex, and 2017 Tether Hacks are Connected

Acknowledgements: I would not have been able to complete this as thoroughly as I did without building off existing work. It needs to be pointed out that years ago u/SpeedflyChris (archive) pointed out these same connections. I also relied heavily on WalletExplorer.com a tool created by Aleš Janda.

In January of 2015 Bitstamp was hacked in what they described as a phishing attack. (Archive) These funds were withdrawn to 1L2JsXHPMYuAa9ugvHGLwkdstCPUDemNCf (referred to as 1L2 for the remainder of this piece for convenience) at first. Bitstamp also sent funds to 1AXsTbi4sSH1M5hccgdEVn5et9xFd7Bxpd (referred to 1AX) and 16KYFJiAoM4aX82xw2V3YBHX72trWNhz48 (referred to as 16KY). All 3 of these addresses which received withdrawals from Bitstamp were part of the same wallet and this can be determined by reviewing the transactions where they ‘co-spent’ or both provided inputs to a transaction, suggesting the same person could sign for both addresses. 1L2 and 1AX co-spent in transaction 7e80957db4514d150899b308b0472b51ce7b3dbd979f2b3e80681cb9067dac13 and 16KY and 1L2 co-spent in transaction 41afc875a478acdf322ea37e6edcd3878627e6d0b4a6c4de280708c822670b2a. This suggests the 2015 Bitstamp hacker was receiving funds from Bitstamp as late as December 19th 2018 in transaction 4a05c4347d5cf797f7eeacc1d1b6881ef9e4e71195025bb3275a18f495b988be. That is a LONG hack.

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My Third Conversation with Cas Piancey on ‘Tether: A Stable Discussion’: Questions and Answers

PART ONE CAN BE FOUND HERE

PART TWO CAN BE FOUND HERE

Cas Piancey, my writing partner and friend, and I are doing several episodes on the history and controversy surrounding Bitfinex and Tether.

This episode is focused on questions we have gotten about Bitfinex and Tether.

You can find the episode here: https://anchor.fm/cas-piancey/episodes/Tether-QA-ev2aun/a-a594gfe

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$ALCX: Alchemix Cannot Turn Lead to Gold

There is a brand new DeFi protocol that lets you immediately take out a loan for half your collateral and the protocol will automatically pay back your loan. Financial magic, involving transmuting one coin, into another, while depositing one in a pool, magically you can get a loan and have no risk of liquidations (not really but that’s what people are claiming [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and the coup de grace their website (archive)]). I think this protocol is flawed. You can find the whitepaper here. (Archive) (My copy)

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Conjure Spectator

This is a homebrew spell that I created for my Dungeons and Dragons group. It is meant to integrate well with the lore surround spectators and their role as summoned protectors of spaces.

Name: Conjure Spectator

Level: 4

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range/Area: 90 feet

Components: Verbal, somatic, four beholder eyestalks, drop of casters blood

Duration: Concentration, creature stays summoned for up to 101 years

School: Conjuration

Spell Text:

You summon to an unoccupied space within 90 feet of you that you can see a spectator.  The spectator is friendly towards you and your companions, unless attacked by one of you.  The spectator should be tasked with protecting a location or item and it will do so for 101 years.  The spectator acts on its own initiative.  For as long as you maintain concentration you can command the creature as a bonus action.  Once concentration is broken, the creature still exists and as a bonus action you can try to ‘suggest’ a course of action to the creature, but it is not guaranteed to follow it. (DM will roll a d100 and if the die roll is less than the number of years the spectator has existed on this plane, then it may interpret it’s directive broadly, otherwise it will follow exactly.) 

This spell consumes all material components.  Creature cannot be dismissed by ending the spell, it remains until sent to another plane using magic, or is killed.  If the creature is not killed it will remain and guard the location or item of the summoner’s choosing for up to 101 years.  The longer it has been since the spectator has been summoned, the more likely it is for the madness that is their type to affect them. 

If this spell is cast at level 7 or higher, then a Gaust is summoned instead of a Spectator.

Note: You must have all material components, and they are consumed in casting this spell.  An arcane focus or component pouch does not allow you to bypass these material components.  

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