Episode 8 – Coinbase Media and Why Venture Capitalism Hates Journalism — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Coinbase Media and why Venture Capitalism Hates Journalism Crypto Critics' Corner

Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss how Coinbase plans on creating a media company to confirm its own version of the facts and report its own version of the truth. Is journalism entering its final death spiral or are VC bros just losing their minds? Read more here: https://protos.com/coinbase-crypto-exchange-media-content-marketing-journalism/ https://bennettftomlin.com/2021/05/31/a-rant-about-coinbase-media-and-coinbase-fact-checking/

In this episode Cas and I dive into the recent reporting surrounding Coinbase launching a new media arm and fact checking situation. We also talk more broadly about what we think the future of media might look like.

Cas wrote about this at Protos.

Coinbase is hunting top editorial talent — for journalism or marketing?

I wrote about this here:

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Elon and the Absurdity of Bitcoin

Elon Musk is considered by fools to be among the smartest people alive. He will be discussed as though he has the intellect of Nikola Tesla, combined with the ability to create products of Thomas Edison. This towering intellect is a facade built on the willingness of others to continue to propagate the myth, and nothing makes that clearer than Elon’s relationship with Bitcoin.

Continue reading “Elon and the Absurdity of Bitcoin”

Episode 7 – QuadrigaCX: the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that just won’t die — Crypto Critics’ Corner

QuadrigaCX: the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that just won't die Crypto Critics' Corner

Bennett and Cas dive into what happened at QuadrigaCX – once the largest Canadian Bitcoin exchange. If you'd like to read a more detailed piece you can find "Death Fraud" here: https://medium.com/coinmonks/death-fraud-6920cc93d0a7

In this episode Cas and I dive into QuadrigaCX, the ill-fated exchange who was using Crypto Capital, lost client funds, got their start in ponzi schemes, may have faked their own death, and more.

Cas wrote an in-depth piece on Cotten’s death fraud.

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Episode 6 – Crypto Capital Corp: the quiet billion dollar cryptocurrency scam — Crypto Critics’ Corner

In this episode Cas and I take a look at the payments processor for Bitfinex, Tether, Kraken, Quadriga, and Bitmex. They’re implicated in money laundering for the cartels, wire fraud, bank fraud, embezzlement, and more.

Episode 6 – Crypto Capital Corp: the quiet billion dollar cryptocurrency scam — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Crypto Capital Corp: the quiet billion dollar cryptocurrency scam Crypto Critics' Corner

Cas and BT discuss Crypto Capital Corp, a defunct, fake, Panamanian money services transmitter that helped service almost every important cryptocurrency exchange, owned and operated by Reginald Fowler, Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, and Oz and Ravid Yosef. 

In this episode Cas and I take a look at the payments processor for Bitfinex, Tether, Kraken, Quadriga, and Bitmex. They’re implicated in money laundering for the cartels, wire fraud, bank fraud, embezzlement, and more.

I covered it here:

Cas discusses tracking Ravid Josef using her Google reviews here

He also discusses Crypto Capital Corp and the web around it more broadly here.

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Sunday Reads – Links I Found Interesting 2021-05-16

https://tether.to/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/TetherWhitePaper.pdf

Tether Releases Asset Breakdown

I wrote up my thoughts on it here.

Cas Piancey and I also did a podcast episode on it:

David Gerard wrote up his and seems to have trouble determining what a ‘reverse repo note’ might be:

http://web.archive.org/web/20210513214721/https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/2021/05/13/tether-publishes-two-pie-charts-of-its-reserves/

Amy Castor (archive) also wrote up her thoughts on this not particularly valuable breakdown.

The Financial Times did some coverage as well and got some great quotes.

Nikhilesh De at Coindesk had some of the best ‘breaking’ coverage of it the morning it came out.

Protos also had some excellent coverage which helped dissect the backing.

Crypto Capital Corp and Backpage

Kyle Gibson discusses some of the links between Crypto Capital (who I covered here) and Backpage.

Zhao Dong Tried and Sentenced

Protos Media covers the sentencing and the trial 

http://web.archive.org/web/20210511061038/https://protos.com/china-crypto-otc-king-zhao-dong-criminal-charges-court-docs-show/

http://web.archive.org/web/20210514141136/https://protos.com/renrenbit-zhao-dong-bitcoin-billionaire-pleaded-guilty-money-laundering/

My co-author Cas Piancey did a summary podcast.

Cas has been one of the most proactive in covering Zhao Dong.

Zhao Dong Still Matters: Here’s Why

Zhao Dong: The Final Word

Another Usecase Bites the Dust

Elon Musk Finally Learns About Bitcoin

Dungeons and Dragons Combat Wheelchair 2.1 Released

This is a really cool item and ruleset if you have players at your table who want to play with a wheelchair.

ICYMI

Protos Media revealed that one of the top Brexit donors Christopher Harborne is a Bitfinex shareholder. It is currently unclear if he is related to Will Harborne, former leader of EthFinex.

I compared Tether to wildcat banks and Liberty Reserve and gave away how I think the story ends.

I spent some time detailing troubling links between the 2015 Bitstamp Hack, the 2015 Bitfinex hack, and the 2017 Tether hack.

This old podcast is worth a listen. Larry Cermak (Director of Research at the Block) and I discuss whether or not Tether is a good actor. He says he would be shocked to find out that Tether was less than 98-99% backed.

I finally got to give this homebrew item to a player in my campaign and they seemed quite excited.

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New Episode of ‘Tether: A Stable Discussion’ with Cas Piancey: Tether’s Pie Charts

Episode One

Episode Two

Episode Three

My co-author and friend Cas Piancey and I got together to discuss the recent pie charts released by Tether. You can find the discussion of it here:

You can find my article on this topic here:

And Cas’ here:

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

Note: An earlier version of this article contained a version of this diagram with a minor typo.

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.

Continue reading “The 2015 Bitstamp, 2015 Bitfinex, and 2017 Tether Hacks are Connected”

My Second Conversation with Cas Piancey on ‘Tether: A Stable Discussion’: Solvency and Backing

PART ONE CAN BE FOUND HERE

PART THREE CAN BE FOUND HERE

PART FOUR 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 mostly focused on the post hack history. We discuss banking, insolvency, and unbacked Tethers.

You can find the episode here: https://anchor.fm/cas-piancey/episodes/Tether-A-Stable-Discussion-Part-II-es1dgc/a-a4sa0qn

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