Maitland/AMO Cryptocurrency Monitor – 17 June 2020
The Big Read
The Times features an article on the diseased Quadriga CEO Gerald Cotton, with a new watchdog report claiming that he ran the company as a kind of Ponzi scheme, losing about £65m through “fraudulent trading”. The article continues that if the wallets are ever opened, they are likely to be empty, with the report noting that the company was already in crisis even before his death.
The price of Bitcoin has seen low volatility throughout the past six weeks, hovering in the $9,300–$9,900 range for most of the time. CoinTelegraph writes that this has led traders to warn that it is likely to cause a massive price movement in the near term. Over the last 12 months, Bitcoin has seen two extended ranges. One was in June 2019 and the other in December 2019. In both instances, the price of BTC saw a 40% move in the following months.
CoinTelegraph reports that the government of Kazakhstan has set a goal to attract $738m from investments in cryptocurrency related mining activities over the next three years. According to the Astana Times on June 16, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry, Askar Zhumagaliyev, revealed the plan in an address to the upper house of the Kazakh Parliament.
CoinTelegraph reports that a growing number of indicators suggest that institutional players are continuing to enter the digital asset markets, which have been dominated to date by high-net-worth individuals and actively trading crypto enthusiasts.
New Kid on the Block – The Technologies, Funds and ICOs you should know about
CryptoNews reports that Revolut is turning more crypto-friendly, as suggested by its upcoming changes in terms and conditions of crypto products. The most significant change that will come into effect from the 27th of July, 2020 concerns acquired cryptoasset ownership, allowing clients to legally own all cryptoassets acquired via the platform, and Revolut will act only as a custodial agent that holds and transacts these assets on the client’s behalf.
Scams, Sanctions and Suspicious Activity
CoinDesk has featured an article on the US Superme Court’s 1986 Computer Fradu and Abuse Act, and the significant implications it could have on the cryptocurrency industry. The publication notes that the court’s decision could criminalize common but technically prohibited computer-related conduct, put limitations on a powerful law that punishes insider data theft and abuse like exchange hacks, or come down somewhere in the middle.
An IT specialist was jailed for 20 months at Liverpool Crown Court on June 11, after stealing cryptocurrency worth over £30,000. CoinTelegraph writes that according to the St Helens Star, self-employed contractor Mark Andrews had been hired to fix a company’s computer systems last year, when he found and stole digital assets belonging to the company owner.
Investors in the South African cryptocurrency firm VaultAge Solutions are planning to file a case against company CEO Willie Breedt for allegedly scamming 2,000 investors out of approximately $17m. On June 1, CoinTelegraph reported that Breedt was believed to have fled South Africa for Mozambique in December 2019. The South African Department of Home Affairs indicated that he hadn’t returned since then.
Indian police have registered a case against five individuals suspected of involvement in a cryptocurrency scam that has defrauded investors since 2017. CoinTelegraph reports that despite operating for several years, the scammers are only believed to have made away with a modest bounty of roughly $34,200.
Bulls & Bears of the week
"This interpretation could criminalize 51% attacks against public network blockchains" - Attorney Andrew Hinkes on the US Supreme Court's Computer Fraud Ruling
"Whoever cracks it will be tapping into the largest underserved segment in the world" - CoinDesk columnist Leah Callon-Butler on cross-border micropayments