The Daily: Fiat vs Crypto Laundering, Bitcoin Anniversary Cash-Ins
Welcome to another weekend filled with tales of cryptocurrency intrigue. From shameless Bitcoin anniversary cash-ins to exaggerated claims of crypto money laundering, the Saturday edition of The Daily covers the good, the bad, and the greedy.
Shapeshift CEO Hits Back at Money Laundering Claims
After a less than flattering profile of Shapeshift, and its unwitting role in allegedly facilitating money laundering appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Erik Voorhees has hit back. Describing it as a “poorly-researched piece” whose “implications are disingenuous and misleading”, the CEO compared the amount laundered by banks, at some $2.7 billion a day, to the minuscule $9 million allegedly washed through Shapeshift in two years.
Accusations of being complicit in money laundering are a particularly sore point for Erik Voorhees, who was recently forced to steer Shapeshift towards full KYC, believed to be in response to pressure from US prosecutors. It appears that the 34-year-old feels his company is being unfairly targeted, and while the evidence laid out in the WSJ’s piece looks credible, its tone has irked Erik Voorhees. “$9m figure is less than 0.2% of our volume over the time-period,” he tweeted. “Meanwhile global money laundering through banks is 2-5%. Op-ed forthcoming.”
Bitcoin 10-Year Cash-Ins Are Coming
It was inevitable that calculating marketers would dream up ways to capitalize Bitcoin’s 10-year anniversary. The event, which falls in January 2019, has inspired a slew of projects to tenuously cash in on the Bitcoin name. We recently reported on a French art festival that will see a group of international artists exhibit their cryptocurrency-themed works. Now, a Swiss luxury watch maker has commissioned a limited edition watch to mark the occasion. The Big Bang Blockchain timepiece mercifully looks less clumsy than it sounds.
Just 210 of the watches will be manufactured before being shipped to customers on January 3, 2019. While payment can be made in a range of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin core and monero, reserving one calls for uploading photographic ID, which kind of defeats the point of paying in anonymous crypto. Expect plenty more brazen cash-ins before Bitcoin’s 10-year anniversary has come and gone.
Coinbase’s Top 50 Tracker Leaves a Lot to Be Desired
As we reported yesterday, Coinbase is launching a portal for tracking the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market cap. The exchange’s market tracker page is now live. While nice to look at, its analysis leaves a lot to be desired. In addition to limiting its selection to just 50 of the 1,500+ tradable crypto assets, the descriptions for each coin are a tad underwhelming. Its description for Holo, for example, reads: “Holo is a cryptocurrency. Currently, it is ranked number 50 by market cap among cryptocurrencies.” Thanks, Coinbase.
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