Episode 26 — Cryptocurrency Lending is Too Good to Believe — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Cryptocurrency Lending is Too Good to Believe Crypto Critics' Corner

Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey explore the incredible interest rates offered by centralized cryptocurrency lenders, how they likely make their money, and whether or not any of them are "risk-free."

In this episode Cas and I discuss the problems with cryptocurrency lending companies including BlockFi, Celsius, and Nexo. They are marketed as risk-free while actually you take on significant counterparty risk. 

Please enter your email to subscribe to my newsletter:

Episode 22 — Blockchain Terminal with Robert Green — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Blockchain Terminal with Robert Green Crypto Critics' Corner

Robert Green (@robogreen on Twitter), a marketing consultant who ended up doing contract work for Blockchain Terminal – a company claiming to be "the Bloomberg Terminal," but for cryptocurrencies! – joins us to discuss his time at the bold project. The main problem with the company? One of the biggest fraudsters in Canadian history was running things under a pseudonym, "Shaun MacDonald," and was planning his exit scam from day one (perhaps even laundering funds from a pervious scam to bootstrap the project). Tune in to hear the full story.

In this episode Cas and I are joined by Robert Green, a marketing consultant who had worked with Blockchain Terminal. Blockchain Terminal was a fraudulent cryptocurrency company who was claiming to build the “Bloomberg Terminal” of crypto. The biggest issue with the company is that it was run by a known fraudster named Shaun MacDonald who was hiding behind the pseudonym ‘Boaz Manor’. 

Please enter your email to subscribe to my newsletter:

Episode 21 — Bitcoin — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the history, function, positives, negatives, flaws, and potential benefits of Bitcoin.

In this episode Cas and I discuss Bitcoin. What attracted us to it, why we think it’s useful, and the problems we see with it.

Please enter your email to subscribe to my newsletter:

Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-08-08

Binance

After less than four months the CEO of Binance US resigns.

ICYMI

In these two episodes Cas and I are joined by Frances Coppola to discuss inflation, deflation, regulation, stablecoins, and algorithmic stablecoins.

Please enter your email to subscribe to my newsletter:

Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-08-01

This one will be a little bit longer than normal because I was in a wedding last weekend and did not get that week’s post up.

Books I Read

Dolores Clairborne – A fascinating King novel that focuses exclusively on a single woman and the people she did and did not kill as it steps through her life.

Tether

Tether execs likely received target letters from the Department of Justice.

Tether was a specific topic of discussion at Yellen’s working group.

ICYMI

In this episode Cas and I were joined by David Z. Morris to discuss what Enron can still teach us.

In this episode Cas and I are joined by Rohan Grey to discuss money transmitters, CBDCs, stablecoins, and the best way to regulate that morass.

In this episode Cas and I are joined by Preston Byrne to discuss stablecoins, DeFi, regulation, and decentralization theater.

In this article I try to assess the currently available evidence that Bitfinex and Tether have committed bank fraud, it also includes an audio version, a new thing I’m trying out so let me know what you think.

In this episode of the Blockchain Debate podcast I discuss whether or not I think algorithmic stablecoins will ever work.

In this episode of The Daily Dive I discuss Bitfinex and Tether and get to specifically talk about the new information about their Department of Justice probe.

In this episode Cas and I discuss a variety of cryptocurrency charity scams and frauds.

Note: This posts contains affiliate links that help support the blog

Please enter your email to subscribe to my newsletter:

Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-07-18

Stablecoins

Janet Yellen is getting together a whole bunch of regulators and law enforcement to figure out what the heck is happening with stablecoins.

ICYMI

I was able to go on the Grant William’s Podcast to discuss Bitfinex and Tether and he has also made his report on Tether and Bitfinex freely available.

In this episode Cas and I discuss his journey to try to find the offices of Bitfinex and Tether.

In this article I tried to figure out why Tether’s reserves look so…weird.

On this Twitter Spaces I was able to discuss Binance’s current situation with Frances Coppola, Cas Piancey, and David Gerard.

In this article I try to exhaustively document every audit, attestation, consulting memo, and letter meant to prove Tether was sufficiently backed.

Please enter your email to subscribe to my newsletter:

A History of Tether and Bitfinex’s Audits, Attestations, Memos, and Letters: Both Promised and Actual

A History of Tether and Bitfinex’s Audits, Attestations, Memos, and Letters: Both Promised and Actual Bennett's Articles

https://bennettftomlin.com/2021/07/17/a-history-of-tether-and-bitfinexs-audits-attestations-memos-and-letters-both-promised-and-actual/ Amidst all the confusion surrounding Tether and Bitfinex it can be difficult to keep track of what they have actually provided in terms of audits, attestations, and other documents to support their contentions. Here I will summarize, but the important note that needs to be included at the top is that both Bitfinex and Tether once hired an auditor, but neither ever completed the audit. Ever since Tether was founded they have promised to provide a full financial audit. It feature prominently in their whitepaper and on their website for years. They have never provided this audit, but have provided a variety of other documents meant to convince the public that they had sufficient backing for the tethers in circulation. In March of 2015 Tether and Factom announced (archive) they had formed a partnership to provide greater transparency into Tether’s holdings. The partnership never provided any additional transparency into Tether or its operations. In August of 2016 Bitfinex promised (archive) to provide a full financial and security audit after they were hacked. They initially announced that Ledger Labs was hired to perform both. No audit from Ledger Labs was ever released. This was likely in part due to the fact that Ledger Labs was not able to provide financial audits. In May of 2017 Bitfinex announced (archive) they had engaged Friedman LLP out of New York to audit them. As of today in 2021 we have yet to get an update from Bitfinex on the status of this audit. In September of 2017 Tether announced (archive) that they had engaged Friedman LLP out of New York to audit them. This audit would never occur, we would eventually get an update from a Tether spokesperson saying the relationship dissolved, citing the “excruciatingly detailed procedures”(archive) that the auditor wanted to undertake. Also in September of 2017 Tether released from previous attestations from a small accounting firm in Taiwan called TOPSUN. These were monthly attestations attesting to Tether having sufficient backing for the end of the month from December 2016 through March 2017. Strangely these were not completed at the end of the respective months but were all completed on May 23rd 2017. (Strangely approximately two weeks after they announced that Friedman had been brought on to audit Bitfinex) Read more… https://bennettftomlin.com/2021/07/17/a-history-of-tether-and-bitfinexs-audits-attestations-memos-and-letters-both-promised-and-actual/

Amidst all the confusion surrounding Tether and Bitfinex it can be difficult to keep track of what they have actually provided in terms of audits, attestations, and other documents to support their contentions. Here I will summarize, but the important note that needs to be included at the top is that both Bitfinex and Tether once hired an auditor, but neither ever completed the audit.

Continue reading “A History of Tether and Bitfinex’s Audits, Attestations, Memos, and Letters: Both Promised and Actual”

Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-07-11

Binance

Binance in their continual journey to be simultaneously everywhere and nowhere has ended up right back where they started, in Hong Kong.

TrueUSD

I am still worried about the fact that we have yet to get more information from TrueUSD about their acquisition or when attestations may resume. Cas covered it months ago here.

ICYMI

In this article I document the periods where we have definitive proof that Tether was not fully backed.

In this episode Cas Piancey and I are joined by David Canellis of Protos Media to discuss the myriad problems we see with BitClout.

In this Twitter Spaces hosted by ChadSGX and Wolf Financial I am joined by Cas Piancey and Frances Coppola to discuss Tether and Bitfinex

Please enter your email to subscribe to my newsletter:

Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-07-04

Fraud in the art world

Vulture had a fantastic article about a fraudulent art dealer. See if you can find analogies to crypto and especially NFTs. Read it here.

ICYMI

In this article I attempt to challenge those who malign Tether researchers and journalists covering Tether as ‘conspiratorial truthers’.

In this episode Cas and I took a look at Bitcoin becoming ‘legal tender’ in El Salvador. It is a nuanced issue, complicated by a history of foreign intervention.

In this episode Cas and I took a look at the new tendency among crypto companies to hire former regulators.

Please enter your email to subscribe to my newsletter: