Babylon's Bankers

BIG TROUBLE IN THE CRYPTO “CURRENCY” WORLD?

S.D. has been batting 1000 this week, because he found this disturbing article on some trouble in the crypto-currency world, and in a nutshell, one trading platform might be resorting to some questionable accounting practices:

Investigating the Charge "Bitcoin Price is Dependent on $60 Billion Accounting Fraud"

Now I've been trying to warn of the dangers of crypto-currencies since the whole fad started with the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, allegedly a Japanese man who invented the blockchain concept, but a man who proved to be difficult to track down, and whom some in the alternative research community believe might just be a cover for the world of intelligence and spookdom. In any case, it always struck me as an intensely dubious proposition that people would regard putting real money into chasing computer blips, because the whole cyber world is ultimately not secure, and hiding behind blockchains seemed to me to be an open door for all sorts of mischief. After all, the whole system is behind a one-way mirror, to draw upon Catherine Fitts' analogy.

But the allegations in this article are breathtaking, and if true, profoundly disturbing; beginning by noting that a platform called Tether accounts for 80% of Bitcoin trading volume, the article goes on to note the following:

  • The crypto exchange ecosystem has major problems getting access to normal banking. So enter Tether or USDT, a surrogate crypto dollar that theoretically has the same value as a dollar, but can be traded without following regulation on dollars.
  • The model is simple, you give the company a real dollar, they store that real dollar and give you one tether. You trade that tether for whatever you want, and at any point you can redeem that tether back for one dollar. Simple enough.
  • It's a simple pitch: Have dollars, buy tether, do shady things, redeem tether, get dollars. "The virtual dollar for regulatory arbitrage."
  • ...
  • What is clear is that the company has allegedly issued $59 billion virtual dollars. At that scale, it is highly unlikely any bank in the entire world would those reserves on behalf of a crypto company. Not even the dodgiest banks would take on that insane level of risk.
  • ...
  • Now the company that issues these products is notoriously opaque and set up shop in the tax haven of British Virgin Islands to avoid any regulation and reporting obligations. So we really don't know much. What we do know comes from lawsuits and investigative journalists.
  • ...
  • Last Wednesday [May 12], we finally got the court-mandated disclosures of what's actually in the reserves. And not surprisingly when the vault is opened, the money isn't actually there. 
  • What we see is a lot of "commercial paper". Which is a form of short-term debt, a company-to-company unsecured loan. It's put on the books for the face value of the loan, but in reality that value depends on the credit risk of the other counterparty to the loan. 
  • If the counterparty isn't good for the value of the paper then it's worthless, just an accounting trick. And we don't know who the other parties are. Every Tether is backed by a giant pile of IOUs to strangers. And that's worth exactly what you think it is.

Now, at this point, after picking up my jaw off the floor, I had to pause and marvel at the scheme, because what in effect is being done is a classic Prime Minister Tanaka "paper swap": bad bonds, for real dollars, and the crypto-currency blockchain is being used to hide the owners of the "giant pile of IOUs."

In short, we have a vast money laundering operation, one of the possibilities I mentioned when I first blogged about cryto-currencies. In fact, the article says as much:

It's widely suspected that many exchanges are receiving large deliveries of unbacked tethers, using them to wash trade with themselves for bitcoin to drive up demand, and thus the synthetically inflate the price. This is illegal in other markets.

But wait, there's more: because Tether represents such a massive trader in Bitcoin, we end with a massive case of under-capitalization (in other words, a huge bubble that would make the 18th century "Tulip" and "South Seas Bubbles" look mild:

  • A significant portion of bitcoin price formation is therefore quoted in dollars, but paid for in USDT dollars that are only actually backed by three cents. Which would make most of the price formation of bitcoin completely synthetic.
  • Which leads to the obvious inconvenient truth that most people who look at the crypto space come to understand. Most exchanges are *vastly* undercapitalised and will never be able to pay out even a tiny fraction of their customers in real dollars.
  • Crypto markets are not significantly different than Ponzi schemes. Short-term dollar inflows are used to pay-out short-term outflows and the whole thing stays afloat so long as there's not too many withdrawals. When that day comes, it implodes.

The  rest of the article continues with other issues including the author's rejection of the characterization that all crypto-currencies share the danger, but I want to concentrate on one: when bitcoin (and hence, the whole crypto-currency phenomenon) was rolled out, it was touted as being impervious to manipulation from central banks.

And here we are  - as predicted - years later, with clear prima facie evidence that there is massive manipulation, laundering, and fraud occurring and - surprise surprise - in involves bad commercial paper and real dollars.

...and wonder of wonders, it's all taking place in a British tax haven...

The banksters of the Rialto would have loved this...

...oh, wait, I forgot, the current head of the house of Medici wants to reopen the Medici bank, headquarter it in the Caribbean, and specialize in cryptos....

See you on the flip side...

52 thoughts on “BIG TROUBLE IN THE CRYPTO “CURRENCY” WORLD?”

  1. anakephalaiosis

    Elohim-Yahweh, as I understand the dual term, is astronomical and agricultural year, that in everyday use becomes Father Year.

    The adversary, Satan, is an economic class, that worships tulip onions, not as a garden flower, but as a tool in market speculation.

    God cultivates the land, and the devil steals the fruit of God’s labor. There is no grey zone between those two positions.

    The Crucifixion was a confrontation, calling out the thief, exposing the theft.

    Elohim-Yahweh, Venn-diagram:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/bpwszfz0dg5azr4/venn-diagram.jpg

  2. marcos toledo

    Anyone familiar with a certain Hans Christain Anderson story I think it’s titled The Emperor New Clothes.

  3. So what is “MONEY” to begin with????

    what makes any “crypto currency” any different than the fiat dollar???

    asking for a friend….

    1. What is different? Not much, except that the crypto system sort of runs in parallel with the legacy system for the time being.
      IIRC, over the last couple of hundred years or so, financial systems have collapsed (or run into difficulties) every forty years or so. We are overdue.
      It’s a reasonable bet that, when they are ready, the BIS will give the nod and most of the assets in the legacy system will be siphoned into the crypto/digital system, leaving the liabilities behind (in the hands of our pension funds) in the ashes of the current system. IIRC, this is also the opinion of CAF and Dr Farrell – but I may be wrong about that.

    2. System of Federated Systems support for GDP index Economy

      THESIS: All things internet, internet of programmable money are formed using:
      1. Time epochs created by oscillating quartz crystal based silicon chips
      2. Syntax used / not used as programming instructions during epoch time cycles

      GIVEN / FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH: All things internet, net of money blockchains are formed by unicast, multicast, anycast protocols. Programmable money’s improvements are in cryptography. Blockchains are formed by unicast, multicast, anycast and workflow filters.

      Programmable money’s improvements are in cryptography. Internet 3.0 and the new web will be based on the original structure described by Stanford University et al.

      There are no packets, frames, blocks, Satoshi’s traversing the net, stored in a “blockchain” cube.

      INTERNET BUILDING BLOCKS: Time epochs / syntax are the two main internet, internet of money building blocks in coding the Artificial Intelligence A.I. powered economic system of systems / Earth Intelligence Network EIN / Web 3.0 and the programmable economy in terms of temporal consistency, interoperability, and consensus.

      There is no such thing as no “layers”, “bots”, “motes”, “packets”, “frames”, “Satoshi’s” traversing the internet, net of #money forming “blocks” on a “blockchain” that stores “tokens” in a cube with height, width, volume. All ignore SCOTUS Alice 2014 ruling “claims may not direct towards abstract ideas”

      Programmable #money / #economy… gold, #Bitcoin as “digital gold” — fool’s #gold? How will programmable money for the programmable economy be coded?

      A one world #currency needs a stochastically harmonized, synchronized Universal Time Zone UTZ / event i.e., transaction message bus

      Cryptocurrency units of value events, transactions non-repudiation at any time – space, place in the future will be expected required and will be derived from a physical (photonic) light process. Physical is the opposite of abstract in light of SCOTUS Alice Corp Vs CLS Bank 2014 ruling

    3. What is money? . . In one’s opinion, It derives essentially from [an agreement] between two or more bartering merchants or those with goods of interest to another that are agreeing on a means of exchange.

      The money, per se, the gold coin or silver coin (and associated coinage) or specially printed paper is the representation of what is centrally in reserve and agreed upon to back that previously mentioned – the coinage, for instance. Coinage can be heavy to carry around in pouches then sacks that got bigger and bigger. For large quantities it could take large trucks like those armored types to hall that coinage or bullion around.

      The [money] representation is the agreed method for exchanging wealth from one bartering with another without actually bringing, let’s say, a flock of ducks to exchange for herd of cattle at the time of exchange. Medieval markets were such of an arrangement, though. The logistics of transporting one flock for herd are carried out later (usually, for a fee).

      The more prospective merchants (consumer-buyer-sellers) in an expanding geographic area the easier it is to have an agreed upon singular method of exchanging wealth like the historical tolar that is thought to have become the dollar.

      Money is an agreement between consumer-seller-buyer using a centralized monetary system within a geographic location to exchange, acquire, and trade goods and services agreed upon.

      1. The historical reference more accurately, where the term dollar came from, is a cognate, comes from another related term like the German monetary unit taler, or thaler, from which the English word dollar is derived.

  4. Ultimately, whatever winds up being used as currency can only ever be backed by one of two things.

    Either it’s backed by trust,
    or it’s backed by coercion.

      1. But according to bankers coercion is the only way to keep the economy growing. Trust is just a trick they use to get you in the position they want you in before striking.

        1. Trusting one’s instincts go a long way. Educating them almost never seems done.

  5. hmm, should i post the link to the dire straits ‘money for money’ song or hmm, this
    ITALIAN Artist Salvatore Garau Sells Invisible Sculpture For €15,000
    https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2021/05/29/italian-artist-sells-invisible-sculpture-for-e15000/
    “Garau’s sculpture – christened ‘Io sono’ (I am) – is an immaterial sculpture, which, in so many words, means it does not exist, or that if it did exist, then it only exists in the mind of its creator, with many art skeptics criticising the artist’s curious creation, but Garau’s response is that he has not sold ‘nothing, but has sold a vacuum.

    Garau explained it, The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight. Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us”.

  6. If your going to get into crypto , invest in one that has some value in the physical world, like theta , otherwise be weary

    1. I’ll byte. Link me some good sites to read about theta and appropriate wallets please.

  7. Robert Barricklow

    From the beginning of the legend[spycraft backstory] of Satoshi Nakamoto, “inventor” of bitcoin; the crypto currency phenomena has been an “intelligence” pump-and-dump op. As w/all ops; there are layers w/in layers; including the covid1984 Re-Set Chinese social credit corporate coupon op.
    From my perspective,
    crypto territory; is an preplanned, elaborate, and expensive,
    subdivision of Spook Land.
    In fact, in another subdivision of Spook Land are a plethora of intelligence monopoly platforms like; FACEBOOK, Google, Amazon, and other such information banks[ironically, information is currency].

    Later, today’s post…
    White Rabbit

    1. Robert Barricklow

      And there it is.
      Bitcoin is tethered to the “belief”
      that are real dollars to be exchanged for cryptos.
      Problem is, as in most “money”;
      that it is the “public” at large’s belief in the value > that IS The value.
      Once that confidence, is burst; like the bubble it is;
      the value of the bits/bytes > nose dives to zero[without any ones].
      It is a confidence game at heart.
      Like it’s famous historical counterpart;
      the most famous bubble > tulipmania[February 1637]

      P.S.
      A high-octane 1637 historical speculation:

      And, if truth be known; the intelligence gathering apparatus of the time, would have included a Royal spy network – whose inner most secrets and operations, resided w/in an organized network of Court Jesters
      [all representing various ruling Kingdoms].
      Wouldn’t it be surprising if this whole tulip scheme was;
      in fact, a highly organized Fool’s Game? ***

      *** Would he Banking Houses and the “old money”[the main players];
      have liaised w/them, in orchestrating the “mania” scheme?

  8. None of this surprises me. I expected it.

    As I have warned friends and family, and stated on this site on more than one occasion, the easiest form of fraud to commit is electronic. No matter how “secure” they create safe-guards, it is all digital. How does the fraud work? You write false transactions into the system and propagate. Though it is true that things stored on magnetic media and offline remains untouched and can be recovered, it is a flashpoint in time and may be missing critical updates or transactions. It is considered to be an incomplete record–and those by nature would be old. Whereas we have huge chain of custody and provenance issues with digital media, why would you even consider creating a form of digital currency? Even with commerce between planets you can still use the current economic system to accomplish this via “wire” transfers at the speed of light, then the currency system for local transactions against the accounts. You don’t have to be completely electronic. The only reason I can think of for a digital economy is a system of total dominance built on infinite transaction fraud and scarcity. You don’t even have the “security” to prevent the rebellion of one planet in the system. All they have to do is build an underground local economic system outside of the digital one–and they’re off to the races. Human beings are very gifted at creating economic systems. If they want it this badly, it means they cannot be trusted for any reason–including all altruistic ones! This isn’t just dumb. It’s asinine. Excuse me, but I am not the donkey pushing this one.

    1. “…why would you even consider creating a form of digital currency?”
      Well, if you’re The Big Farmer, you see that your existing system has reached the end of its useful life. In 2008, it reached the limit of its capacity to borrow, and it almost fell over. Since then, it has required constant life support to continue functioning. So, in 2009, you publish a proposal under a fake Japanese name for a new all-digital system with features which take your ability to control, manipulate and harvest your livestock to a new level. By 2021, you’re probably ready, or nearly ready, to flip the switch; so you introduce new banking regulations which accidentally-on-purpose siphon all the assets out of the old, broken system into the new, “improved’ one.

      1. That is their rationale–but is clearly not a reason. IMHO: the existing structure has not reached the end of its life cycle. They want this for their own personal gain–and that is not a reason. That is a rationale.

        1. rationale is not the word I am looking for. Justification is. Sorry… Distracted…

  9. Cryptos also help keep down the price of gold, silver and other stocks. Money that would traditionally be heading to those go instead to the quick buck that can be made from crypto trading. Now we find banks are using it to wash away bad loans. My guess is they will run with this scam for as long as they can. Banks and corporations have finally found a use for the crypto markets; trading their bad decisions as crypto for real dollars to offset their losses to their stockholders. Brilliant! Of course they plan to crash it, after draining as much real wealth as they can from the little people looking for a quick buck. Everyone knows cryptos are a bad idea, but they buy in in the hopes of making big quick bucks. Most deep down know it can’t last but they hope they get enough of a heads up to cash out before the music stops for good and they lose real dollars to imaginary values traded around on computers.

    1. Dollars invested in cryptos might otherwise be circulating in the real economy. So maybe cryptos are being used to prevent or delay hyperinflation? In addition to their other uses:
      – suppressing the price of gold (which props up the perceived value of the dollar and allows central banks to accumulate gold reserves more cheaply);
      – facilitating financial shenanigans and hidden systems of finance; and
      – getting the population used to the idea of a purely digital currency.
      Function stacking on steroids!!

      1. What will Whirlpool washingmachines think of next?
        Also, one cannot allow hyperinflation( only shrinkflation) if one is to move into an open-systems economy, yes?

      2. I’m not sure about that. Don’t forget that, as I understand it – and, as usual, I’m no expert – there are broadly two kinds of crypto:
        1. Digital currencies, like Bitcoin and Tether; and
        2. Tokens, which seem to perform the same role as stocks/equities in the legacy system.
        The cash that people invest in type (1) does not evaporate. It is presumably lent to banks in the form of deposits or used to buy other financial instruments which all play a (direct or indirect) role in the real economy.
        The cash that people invest in type (2) provides working capital for business enterprises in the real economy that have chosen this new type of financing.
        As for suppressing the price of gold, while it is true that cryptos might absorb some demand, by far the biggest tools of suppression – at least until the end of this month! – are COMEX futures and their associated fraudulent ETF, GLD (and SLV).
        Shenanigans are definitely built into the new system.
        As with smartphones, they have managed to build a lot of utility into cryptos (like speed, cost and convenience) to encourage the population to adopt.

        1. I’m far from an expert on the subject too… My assumption, possibly wrong, is that no one knows for sure where type (1) goes. To the extent it becomes a bank deposit or is invested in equities, it stays out of the “real” economy, by which I mean the Main St. economy and other businesses that, either by themselves or in the aggregate, buy, sell, and hire in large quantities. I also assume type (2), just like regular dollars invested in the stock market, mostly ends up not circulating outside of Wall St. and corporate or bank balance sheets. Many of the most cash-rich companies use their cash for stock buybacks (in order to increase their companies’ share price and increase the net worth of executives and others who hold large blocks of stock), rather than investing their cash in R&D, equipment, manufacturing, or other things that would actually create jobs and increase the wage base. To the extent that cash is not used to create new jobs or increase the wage base, it stays out of circulation, which has a deflationary effect. But maybe some more economically literate folks out there can correct me on these points…

    2. Have thought a few times to throw money away on a digital currency. Similar experience in ’90’s trading US Robotics and Cisco when their markets were maturing and acquisitions were inevitable. They share prices were up and down daily so much it justified the risk of the music stopping and being left without a chair. That in fact happened with my Cisco shares and instead of reaping 600% on trades I settled for 100%. Unfortunately John Chambers felt no compunction to tell me to get out when he did just before the fall.

      I expect less warning in this market. What’s kept me out of this rigged casino so far is that here, it seems more is at stake. It’s more than an offer to vacuum up whateve funds I’m willing to post to an account. Any crypto wallet system seems inherently able to hack ALL of my accounts and take everything I’ve ever had, have or will have. It feels like an invite into Klaus Anal Schwab’s world where you will own nothing and be happy. Yuck, I keep seeing that grinning beta-male from the WEF video.

  10. Please note the date in the article of the release of the Tether “scamfolio” info. May 12. Musk’s tweet about bitcoin – May 12 also. Bitcoin’s fall – May 12. And finally everyone discusses Musk, no one discusses the 3% liquidity in Tether’s “scamfolio”. Great ground for high-octane speculation as to whether Musk’s tweet is: inside, hype or a trivial cover-up operation.

    1. There’s also the big crypto dump just days before the big global lockdown back in March 2020 to wonder about.

  11. The Problem With Stablecoins and Pegged Blockchain Assets.
    Zuckerberg wants to peg Libra to USD.
    Maduro wants to peg Petro to barrels of oil.
    Central Banks want to peg their token to invisible assets only they can count.

    What’s the problem with stablecoins?
    The problem with stablecoins is that you have to trust somebody to account for “Real Assets”. Do you trust Zuckerberg to count his money correctly? Do you trust Maduro to count oil barrels?

    Decentralized, distributed blockchains ONLY require that you trust the code (math)– that is provably correct.

    You DO NOT need to trust a meatbag corporate/government demagogue like Zuckerberg/Facebook to ensure the accounting is correct.

    Pegging your blockchain to Real Assets is for Wall Street rubes.
    TETHER is a SCAM.

    1. Ok. Say you bought a single bitcoin when they were first made available for about a dollar. As people bought electricity and computers to make more bitcoins the dollar you spent on your bitcoin is now worth 50,000 dollars, or whatever it currently is, with no further input from you. What kinds of checks and balances can bitcoin really have if this is possible? How do the Bitcoins become worth more than the cost it takes to produce them unless people pay more for them; the more they cost and the more they are produced? Why on Earth would any sane or rational person agree to pay more for something because more are available and the cost to produce them became insanely high? In the beginning it took a dollar to produce a full bitcoin now it takes 50,000 dollars and more computers than ever before. How is your original Bitcoin not worthless? What kind of reverse accounting methods is it base upon? It seems to be backed by the cost of the infrastructure needed to sustain it. Amazing how it doesn’t lose value when that infrastructure breaks down and more expensive infrastructure has to be purchased to replace it. In normal businesses this has real world costs and doesn’t just automatically add to the value of your product without a subtraction of that cost like bitcoins seem to magically do. Who in their right mind would buy into this kind of system?

      1. I submitted before reading, so we are on a similar wave link on this one. This is the mother of all inflationary models.

      2. Hmmm, but could one not ask many, if not all, the same questions about lode – or even placer – gold deposits?

        1. Gold has been around for thousands of years and won’t vanish when a giant CME hits the planet or war breaks out. You don’t have to spend it in a month or lose it.

    2. While nothing is 100% perfect in this world, it is true that as C.A. Fitts has always said, you need a degree of trust in any financial and other systems of human interaction. The petro-dollar is a zombie currency in the sense that it should have lost reserve status when was shown to no longer be credibly able to be supported by force (remember a little something called Vietnam…); after a Cold War reprieve, its life was then extended by psyops and fraud. The fact that the latter are rising exponentially suggests that “the end is nigh”.

      1. This business about [trust] is the quintessential item. In one’s opinion, Mr Keith Krach, formerly of DocuSign, has it right for today’s entrepreneur’s, right – left and center. To paraphrase, ‘The big no longer eat the small,’ ‘The fast eat the slow.’ Speed is everything, when transactions are concerned. Makes you wonder what’s in store with those quantum computer developments for the entrepreneurial types who know what fast response entails.

        After all, who says the Party over there has taken over anyone or nation and surpassed them. They’re too busy stealing their way forward. Quite slow at recognizing speed bumps, actually, as well as flood walls, brick walls, and Wall Street, their keenest of interests where walls come into play electronically.

    3. Interesting, I have yet to see proof of decentralization and/or reliable code to back digital currencies, yet I hear calls to trust it for these attributes. Reminds me of Faucists decrying “trust the science.”

  12. Agreed. It’s basically a case of meet the new financial system. Same as the old financial system: one giant, fake fraud.
    Moreover, Tether is controlled by the owners of the Bitfinex crypto exchange, among whom are Brock Pierce, a former 2020 US presidential candidate and Hollywood child actor with links to a child sex abuse ring in a 1999 law suit. One of his business partners is one Marc Collins-Rector, a convicted sex offender and fugitive. All of which speaks volumes, does it not?!

    1. Reminds me of the old story of goldsmiths handing out receipts for (mostly nonexistent) gold held in vaults for their clients… The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      1. Indeed, and that practice – which is in many ways a good idea in principle – is what led to the creation of the central banking system. Surprise, surprise, goldsmiths tended to be greedy, over extended themselves and collapsed in insolvency; so central banks were invented to regulate the greed and act as lender of last resort. And we all know where that has brought us!

        1. [[ wanted: Greed Manager
          — to serve as liaison to our Chief Corruption Officer( CCO)
          — the scrupled and qualmed need not apply( exception solely for diversity-inclusion purposes)
          Multiple prior bankruptcies preferred.
          Send resumé( as youtube video) to crporate@tulipbubbletoinfinity .]]

  13. My first thoughts were of Prince Lorenzo of Medici and you already mentioned him at the end of the article. I guess somewhere his ancestors are smiling…

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