This Week in Crypto – Traders Pull $175 Million, India to Ban BTC, Hamas Raises Crypto Funds

Traders Pull $175 Million From Bitfinex

Over the past day or so, there has been a flurry of activity from crypto traders who have been busy withdrawing $175 million of BTC, ETH and XRP from Bitfinex.

Watchers saw several transfers out of the exchange to undisclosed wallets.

All this came about when there were a series of accusations from the New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The largest transfer was 13,377 BTC which is valued at more than $70 million.

The 23-page report claimed Bitfinex no longer had access to $850 million which was held by a Panama payment processor.

While it was possible to alert the general public, they hid the fact and allegedly used cash reserves which were backing Tether to satisfy customers which were withdrawing FIAT out of the exchange.

Now, they New York Attorney General is making demands that both Tether and Bitfinex cease their operations in New York City as neither holds a Bit License.

Reps from both companies claim they are separate entities, however reports claim Tether was established in the British Virgin Islands in 2014 by Bitfinex officials.

Cryptocurrencies ban in IndiaIndia Set to Ban BTC?

A bill has been drafted by the Indian inter-ministerial committee. While this bill is still in the consulting stage. The finance secretary has gone on record to warn against the dangers of investing in crypto’s.

Cryptocurrencies are neither a currency nor a coin, so they are not being classed as legal tender.

They have sent drafts to all the relevant governments which has been titled “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019” where final feedback is being waited upon.

This will face a decision in the upcoming elections to be held in May.

If this is passed, it will result in one final act that has been ongoing for the keen Indian crypto community.

Over the last several months, there has been an escalation of anti-crypto sentiment. This has seen exchanges facing crackdowns and bank account closures of investors.

Decentralized Finance or DeFiDeFi Grabs Attention

With all the ups and downs of the crypto markets, there is a new movement that is pumping plenty of fresh oxygen into the crypto industry.

DeFi or Decentralized Finance is where crypto entrepreneurs can create decentralized architectures which lay outside of governments and companies control.

This has been strengthened by fresh allegations where funds are misused in centrally controlled Tether. This means there is a more significant argument for decentralizing applications.

Both ETH and BTC are the two primary DeFi applications where they are controlled by computers rather than any central authority.

BTC has been seen as a store-of-value while ETH has been instrumental in helping startups crowdfund their operations.

There are new applications which dominate the DeFi scene where Dai (a stablecoin) is a digital token similar to BTC which also wants to be a global currency that runs outside of any bank control.

Unlike BTC this coin is pegged to the dollar which reduces its volatility and what also prevents BTC being used for everyday purchases.

DeFi goals are to reconstruct banking systems which encompass the entire world in an open way. Interest is piqued because people are interested in the censorship-resistant products which can be developed.

DeFi has garnered plenty of fans, but some individuals see better promise from stablecoins which are presented by large companies where distribution will win. Facebook’s venture into the industry being a prime example.

Cryptokicks by NikeNike Just Doing It

There may be a chance that Nike will introduce crypto’s to the millions of sports fans and athletes. Around the world.

The sportswear behemoth has filed for a trademark with the US Patents and Trademark office for “Cryptokicks.”

This is an indication Nike may be about to enter the crypto sphere. If they go further, it will be evident they will be looking to explore several blockchain products and services.

While the application was submitted on April 19th, it has yet to be reviewed. VeChain which is based in Shanghai and is a platform development company.

It has worked with Nike’s competitor Adidas where a line of shoes based on GOT was created.

Cryptos are still making their way into the apparel industry and are being led by Lil Pump who is a billboard topping rapper who accepts BTC on his online store.

Here, fans are able to purchase t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other accessories from a standard wallet or over the lightning network.
A company of the same name of Cryptokicks sells crypto inspired clothing but is nothing related to Nike.

If Nike proceed, they will be joining the likes of several other Fortune 500 companies such as Samsung, Facebook and Starbucks.

Hamas is using CryptoHamas Raises Crypto Funds

Hamas are turning to BTC in an attempt to deter tracking. While their crowdfunding operations have been attracting attention, Qassam’s brigades are generating new wallets from every transaction they receive.

This was from a report by Reuters and found by the Blockchain analysis firm Elliptic.

Both the EU and the US classify the organization as a terrorist faction, and previously they were using one wallet. With the introduction of multiple wallets, being able to track the groups crypto operations is all the more difficult.

Prior to this, it was easier to block transactions on exchanges as they were easier to flag, but now it is nearly impossible.

On the plus side, even with their best efforts, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades have only been mildly successful in their funding exercises.

Using these methods, the totals received by the group is $7,400.

In creating a new wallet for each transaction, the group faces little risk, but users who are based in western countries do.

The group even suggest which one of several organizations they should use to transfer funds.

Users who donate leave a paper trail when they register, and because of this, the number of Asian based exchanges has increased.

Although their operations appear to be minor at present. The understanding and learning from the group has increased in just the past few months.

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