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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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

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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My Conversation with Cas Piancey on ‘Tether: A Stable Discussion’

PART TWO CAN BE FOUND HERE

PART THREE 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 early history of Bitfinex and Tether, leading up to the second Bitfinex hack. Next episode we should hopefully get into some of the backing issues that the New York Attorney General helped expose.

You can find the episode here: https://anchor.fm/cas-piancey/episodes/Tether-A-Stable-Discussion-erhp88/a-a4qn2vm

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Guest Lecture at WHU – An Introduction to Bitfinex and Tether

UPDATE: I MAKE THE CLAIM THAT BITFINEX LIED ABOUT OWNING TETHER, THIS IS TRUE BUT I WANTED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CONTEXT HERE

Recently I was asked to do a guest lecture on Bitfinex and Tether. You can find it here: https://whu.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?tid=f0fca2e9-f79e-4f81-b659-acd30078104e

YouTube version:

My uploaded version:

You can find the slides here.

You can find the references here.

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My Appearance on The Blockchain Debate podcast with Larry Cermak and Patrick McKenzie

You can find it here.

I had a ton of fun recording this podcast, however, due to time constraints I was not able to get to all my notes on whether or not Tether acts in good faith. I would like to summarize a few of the things I was not able to get to here:

  1. Bitfinex has used the bank accounts of friends and family of Bitfinex in order to service withdrawals.
  2. The firm who provided Tether’s last attestation is no longer operational, and Freeh, one of the lawyer behind it UPDATE: is no longer a lawyer is no longer practicing law, but may still be licensed.
  3. Tether advertised no KYC swaps between Bitcoin and Tether.
  4. Tether held tens of millions of dollars in the bank account of their General Counsel.
  5. The founder of Bitfinex was promoting ponzis right up until he announced Bitfinex.
  6. The founder of Bitfinex once described his own exchange as a bucket shop.

There are many more, but I just wanted to give you a taste of some of the stuff we ran out of time to get to.

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Why I Unpublished My Book

For those who do not know, I use to run a nutrition and health website called Scientific Nutrition. While running this site, I came across intermittent fasting and in reviewing the literature, I thought it was a potentially useful behavioral trick for weight loss. However, I also found a variety of people making entirely nonsensical claims about intermittent fasting. They believed it cured cancer, diabetes, and overall was the solution to greater health. I wrote a book called The Optimized Guide to Intermittent Fasting that was meant to look at a healthy framework for using intermittent fasting for weight loss, combined with scientifically rooted myth busting surrounding claims others had made. I recently chose to unpublish this book and I would like to publicly discuss the reasons.

I always had a fear surrounding intermittent fasting that it looked a lot like disordered eating, but convinced myself that this is true for many diets, and allowed myself to go forward writing about it. However, as I have spent more time reviewing recent literature, and reflecting on my own eating patterns I felt compelled to remove it.

First, let’s address some of the recent literature that has been published and how that factored into my thought process. A recent five year prospective study on Bulimia Nervosa identified intermittent fasting as a strong risk factor for the development of bulimia. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2850570/) Furthermore, it suggested that intermittent fasting is a much better predictor of development than assignment to a weight loss diet. There is also generally a pattern in the pscyhology research that suggests that using any unhealthy or excessively strained eating pattern can correlate with later development of bulimia and binge eating disorder. This is consistent with my own experience.

I have for much of my life struggled with a nearly compulsive need to eat, and have often felt out of control while I am eating. Starting about a year and a half ago I shared this fact with my primary care provider, and have started receiving treatment for it. However, in the past it has been a problem that has repeatedly dogged me. It was always a source of great shame, and as such I was an expert in hiding my eating. If you occasionally grab some things out of the pantry, and eat less at the meals, then people might not notice. If you grab a Wendy’s Dave’s Double combo and eat it before you get home then no one has to know. If you eat this candy bar from the grocery store before you get back then no one will see it. These narratives had always been present in my head, and had influenced my relationship with my body, my weight, and my confidence.

There were periods where these feelings of shame surrounding my eating were nearly overwhelming. I remember several times in college where I would be kneeling over the toilet bowl, hoping I would be able to purge, because if I did then maybe I would not feel so wrong. I never did, and I am grateful for that fact, but in considering my own behaviors and the things I have written I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer endorse my own work.

The fundamental problem with intermittent fasting is that it represents the same thought pattern as certain types of disordered eating. Namely, that you can eat and consume and do all of that to your limit, so long as you follow this other procedure. It seems to serve much of the same purpose for many people as purging does.

Eating disorders are some of the mostly deadly mental illnesses, and lead to badly damaged health across a variety of measures, not to mention the difficulty inherent in living with them. As such, I have unpublished my book, will be removing any older podcast episodes discussing intermittent fasting, and adding a disclaimer to any older articles that will link back to this article. This may take me some time, so please be patient, but it is happening.

I am writing this article, because I have strongly publicly advocated for some of these techniques, and as such now that I no longer believe them I feel that you deserve to know that. I do still believe that intermittent fasting can be effective for some people, but I worry that the people advocating it for broadly or as a panacea may be unintentionally contributing to health problems, and I regret strongly that I did the same.

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