A comparatively quiet week in crypto where markets are still taking stock from the highs of the SEC clarifications and low of the Bithumb exchange hack that quickly succeeded it.
After months of speculation and investigations USD stable coin Tether released the results of an audit to prove that its digital currency really is backed by the full amount of USD it claims to have in reserve.
On Thursday, law firm Freeh, Sporkin and Sullivan LLP concluded their official audit of the controversial company.
Tether described what the law firm was tasked with:
“As part of the engagement, FSS was tasked with investigating the U.S. Dollar (USD) balances in accounts owned or controlled by Tether at its banks, including randomised selections of the appropriate confirmation dates, and reporting to Tether as to the results of such inquiries. Further to the engagement, FSS selected the date for balance confirmations without any form of prior notice to, or consultation with, Tether.”
The investigating law firm was able to confirm a total of $2,545,067,236.82 in Tether’s bank accounts and that “Tether’s unencumbered assets exceed the balance of fully-backed USD Tethers in circulation as of June 1st, 2018.”
“FSS was able to confirm the U.S. Dollar (“USD”) balances in accounts owned or controlled by Tether at its banks, including selecting the appropriate confirmation dates, and reporting to Tether as to the results of such inquiries. As per the letter of engagement, FSS selected the dates for balance confirmations without prior notice to or consultation with Tether.”
The law firm FSS was founded by former federal judges, including a former FBI director. However the audit was controversial because it was not conducted by an accounting firm, but a law firm, which has made some question the validity of the techniques used for the financial investigation.
How much would I trust a random Chinese government agency?
The Chinese government has had one of the most stringent approaches to cryptocurrency regulation and just this week police seized 200 ether and bitcoin mining rigs on grounds of electricity theft.
So it is strange to see a government agency release a list of their favorite cryptographic assets, compiled by China’s Center for Information Industry Development. The list has created buzz primarily because of the surprising nature of some of the rankings. EOS is listed as their favourite digital asset based on its technology, innovation and application, while Bitcoin is only listed at No.17.
The report lauded EOS saying: “It has outstanding technical advantages in transaction confirmation efficiency, network throughput, and transaction costs,” CCID said in its report. “Although there were some accidents such as short-term delays, it is highly active in technological innovation and the software is updated quickly, making it most closely-watched new public chains.”
"Let’s be clear: Ripple is different than XRP"
This was the loud and clear message from Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse Future of Fintech conference on Thursday. His speech focused on the fact that purchasing XRP was not like buying stock in the Ripple organization, with XRP having its own utility and decentralized network, and thereby not being a security.
He followed these comment by questioning whether Bitcoin was truly decentralized, because according to him “Three miners in China control more than 50 percent of the hash rate of bitcoin".
It appears Garlinghouse is certainly not easing his stance since the SEC said last week that a security could evolve into a decentralized asset.
Toronto Stock Exchange lists blockchain ETF
The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) will list the the Horizons Blockchain Technology and Hardware Index exchange-traded fund (ETF) which aims to differentiate itself by backing companies such as Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd, Nvidia Corp, Digital Realty Trust Inc etc which develop hardware and services which power the blockchain technology.
The Canadian stock exchange has several blockchain companies listed on its board and is notable for its mix of cannabis-related stocks that have integrated “blockchain” into their public name.
The Horizons fund will join similar ETF’s from Harvest Portfolio Group and Evolve Funds Group listed on the TSX. In 2017, the Vinkelvoss twins attempted to launch a crypto-related ETF in the US but failed to get SEC approval. Crytpo exchanges OKEx and Huobi Pro have also listed crypto ETFs.
A comparatively quiet week in crypto where markets are still taking stock from the highs of the SEC clarifications and lows of the Bithumb exchange hack that quickly succeeded it.