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Banks are finally revealing their dark side.
JP Morgan, Citibank, Mastercard, Visa and Bank of America were hit with a $6.2 billion fine earlier this week in response to an antitrust lawsuit. The case highlighted how the credit card companies and banks were forcing merchants to pay fees without the ability to negotiate directly with banks, while also prohibiting merchants from encouraging customers to use alternative methods of payment.
As if this anti-competitive behavior from US banks was not bad enough, the largest bank in Denmark (Danske) announced yesterday that they have uncovered a $233 billion money laundering scheme that was occurring at its branch location in Estonia. Danske has long been accused of empowering Russian money laundering, but the recent report solidifies that it would have been nearly impossible for senior management to have been oblivious to what was occuring. The internal investigation’s findings led Danske’s CEO to announce his resignation.
The banks were not done though. Bank of America was hit with a $30 million fine yesterday from the CFTC for making false reports and attempting to manipulate the US Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix. This nefarious activity was carried out for over 5 years and was intentionally done to improve the bank’s financial performance. The best part is that Bank of America is the ninth organization to be found guilty of participating in this scheme during the CFTC’s investigation.
Three strikes and the bankers should be out. JP Morgan forgot that rule though because they were accused of bribery by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) as well. Court documents showed that LIA believes JP Morgan paid $6 million to a friend of the Qaddafi regime in a successful attempt to secure a $200 million bond deal. This one reads like a Hollywood movie to be honest.
As you read these negative stories, remember one thing — bad people do bad things, regardless of the industry. The decentralized financial system has captured the mental energy of so many talented people in direct response to the distrust they have with the legacy system. It is easier for them to trust math and software, than greedy humans.
The trade of our generation may be “long Bitcoin, short bankers.”
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The U.K. could be a 'global center' for Bitcoin if its 'Wild West' nature is tamed: The cryptocurrency market is a “Wild West” that needs to be tamed by more regulation, according to a new report by the British Parliament’s Treasury committee. The committee said Wednesday that the current “ambiguity of the U.K. Government and regulators’ position is clearly not sustainable.” However, it added, if the right regulations are introduced, the U.K. may be “well placed to become a global center for crypto-assets.” Read more.
Binance reveals plan to launch crypto exchanges on almost every continent: Binance founder and CEO Zhao Changpeng explained how he grew Binance from a startup with a $15 million initial coin offering to one of the world's largest crypto exchanges and his future vision for the platform. Zhao indicated that by this time next year, he wants the company to launch five to 10 fiat-to-crypto exchanges, with ideally two per continent. Read more.
New York Attorney General report says crypto exchanges are at risk of manipulation: A new report published by the New York Attorney General’s office says cryptocurrency exchanges are vulnerable to manipulation, conflicts of interest, and other consumer risks. The report represents the results of the “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative” launched in April, when New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sent letters to 13 crypto exchanges, requesting information on their operations, internal controls and other key issues. Read more.
Japanese cryptocurrency exchange hacked, $59 million in losses reported: Hackers have reportedly stolen $59 million worth of cryptocurrencies from Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif. According to a local report, as a result of a security breach on September 14, hackers managed to steal 4.5 billion yen from users hot wallets, as well as 2.2 billion yen from the assets of the company, with total losses amounting to 6.7 billion yen or around $59.7 million. Read more.
Former Twitch senior vice president of marketing joins crypto startup Kin as CMO: Former Twitch exec Matthew DiPietro has joined crypto startup Kin Ecosystem Foundation as chief marketing officer. After serving eight years as senior vice president at the popular live streaming platform Twitch, DiPietro will now be responsible for developing marketing and brand strategies for Kin, the cryptocurrency launched by Kik Interactive, as specified on the expert’s LinkedIn profile. Read more.
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Nothing in this email is intended to serve as financial advice. Do your own research.