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Bitcoin [BTC]/Sri Lanka bombing: Our services have NOT been used by ISIS, claims CoinPayments

Priya

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Bitcoin [BTC]/ Sri Lanka bombing: "Our services have NOT been used by ISIS"; CoinPayments refutes reports
Source: Unsplash

Bitcoin [BTC], the largest cryptocurrency in the space has often taken the center stage for being termed as a go-to coin for criminals and money launderers. The coin made headlines once again after a report by Whitestream claimed that Bitcoin donations to ISIS increased a day prior to the Sri Lanka bombing, which killed around 253 civilians.

This news, which was an exclusive by a news portal, en.globes, soon gained a lot of traction from several media houses such as Standard Digital, a Kenyan news portal, and The Daily Mirror, a Sri Lankan news portal.

The Story:

The article by Globes started with the statement,

“Israeli blockchain intelligence company Whitestream tells “Globes” how ISIS used Canadian based CoinPayments platform to convert bitcoin to money “

Source: Globes

Source: Globes

The report stated that the ‘blockchain intelligence company’ [Whitestream] noticed that there was an increase “of hundreds of percent on the bitcoin balance,” held by the Canadian crypto-platform, CoinPayments.

It further alleged that the militant group converted fiat to Bitcoin via the exchange and that the platform’s Bitcoin wallet holdings increased from $500,000 to $4.5 million [average daily monthly balance], a day before the Sri Lanka bomb attack. More so, it also stated that the balance dropped back to its original value on the day of the attack.

The report stated,

“Whitestream said, ‘In the past two years, ISIS has been running a mass funding campaign to raise donations in bitcoin. The aim of the campaign is to contribute to the organization’s technological division, which deals with the media, advertising and computer infrastructure sectors. The main efforts are carried out through a dedicated website. The domain address is frequently changed to prevent tracking by authorities around the world.”

Additionally, the ‘blockchain intelligence company’ claimed that CoinPayments “admitted that their wallet was involved, but denies that it is connected to ISIS”. It also stated that this was not the first time CoinPayments was involved in a case similar to this, adding that it was previously tied with Hamas, a Palestinian Sunni-Islamist fundamentalist organization;

“Terrorist organizations are in the habit of exploiting unregulated commercial platforms and work through them. Whitestream works with Israel’s Ministry of Defense’s National Council for Fighting Terror Financing is order to thwart and halt these money transfers.”

Further, on how the firm recognizes addresses connected to terrorist organizations, the report said,

Source: Globes

Source: Globes

After coming across this news, the team at AMBCrypto did a little bit of research on Whitestream and found the following. First, the Whitestream link on Globes was a redirection to a page which was still under construction.

According to the company’s LinkedIn profile, the platform was founded in 2014, with around 2-10 employees and has only two employee connections presently. Additionally, after the news of Bitcoin’s connection to the Sri Lanka bombings was published, the company’s Twitter following grew from double digits to over 2000 in a matter of two days.

Source: Whitestream

Source: Whitestream

Source: Whitestream LinkedIn

Source: Whitestream LinkedIn

Secondly, as of now, the platform’s “research” pieces have only been published by Global, a Hebrew-language news portal, according to data present on their Facebook page. Third, there was no information pertaining to the addresses involved in these cases or any blockchain proof, that would usually be provided by a ‘blockchain intelligence company,’ or any research platform that backs data in the research.

Further, our team also reached out to CoinPayments to verify the authenticity of the report and whether they actually “admitted” that these transactions were involved. The platform outrightly shot down the claims made by Whitestream, stating that they did they not provide crypto-to-fiat service. They also denied to make any remarks on the matter. They said,

“We currently do not provide any virtual currency to fiat exchange services, never made such comments to Whitestream and are currently reviewing all possible legal remedies available to us. Based on our ongoing compliance reviews of current user accounts, our services have not been used by ISIS. Any statement or allegation to this effect is false and constitutes defamation and/or libel.”

They further added,



“We have initiated legal action against whitestream as the information they published and provided is inaccurate and false. CoinPayments was not involved in providing the services whitestream mentioned. We did not get contacted by any other media outlet or anyone that re published the content.”

Conclusion

Since this domain is niche, it is imperative that we rely on authentic and reliable sources for any piece of news.





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Priya is a full-time member of the reporting team at AMBCrypto. She is a finance major with one year of writing experience. She has not held any value in Bitcoin or other currencies.

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JP Morgan: Big banks stand corrected as Bitcoin rally past intrinsic value; admits current surge mirrors 2017 rise

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JP Morgan: Big bank stands corrected at Bitcoin rally past intrinsic value; admits current surge mirrors 2017 rise
Source: Pixabay

Big banks are riding a FOMO wave as the Bitcoin bull-run is just beginning. Spearheaded by the changing colors of JP Morgan, which recently forayed into the digital assets world, the banking elite is now suggesting that their initial stance on Bitcoin and the larger cryptocurrency world might have been off.

A recent chart by JP Morgan shows the current BTC price veer upwards chiding the “intrinsic value” the big bank placed on the virtual currency.

Based on the article by Bloomberg, the price of the coin would reverse towards the end of December 2018 and then make marginal gains until May 2019, all under the $5,000 mark. In reality, the BTC price, after dropping to “rock bottom” at just above $3,100 in early December 2018, edged upwards.

Several spurts of growth were seen in early January and February, prior to a massive April ascendance. On April 2, Bitcoin did away with the bank’s value mode and amassed a daily gain of over 15 percent, fuelling its current rise. Breaking the $5,000 ceiling in the process, which was pegged to remain intact well into May 2019, the king coin is now almost $3,000 ahead of the mark and is not looking to stop.

Source: Bloomberg

It should be noted that JP Morgan’s “intrinsic value” is calculated on the basis of the marginal cost of production, electricity prices, and hash rates. This model does not take into account, at least on absolute terms, the anticipatory effect of the 2020 halving, which, according to a slew of analysts is the behind the price rise.

Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, the MD in the Global Market Strategy team at JP Morgan stated that Bitcoin breaking through its “intrinsic value” showed signs of mirroring its 2017 bull run. He evidenced this move by comparing the pre-December 2017 slump to the one seen prior to the current bullish swing.

The analyst added:

“Over the past few days, the actual price has moved sharply over marginal cost. This divergence between actual and intrinsic values carries some echoes of the spike higher in late 2017, and at the time this divergence was resolved mostly by a reduction in actual prices.”

With the analyst admitting that the imparting of an “intrinsic or fair value” to a cryptocurrency, much less a volatile one like Bitcoin, is a “challenging” ordeal, a mere JP Morgan acknowledgement of a Bitcoin bull-run is a remarkable sign for the digital assets industry, especially given the bank’s and its CEO Jamie Dimon’s Bitcoin-bashing in the past.

Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro attested to the same, adding a key point that JP Morgan failed to take into account in their calculation. He stated:



“Great to see JPM finally admitting that Bitcoin has intrinsic value.
Now wait till they understand that miners who run a surplus tend to begin hording.”

Despite Bitcoin slumping at press time, recording a 1.23 percent decline against the dollar, the prospects look positive. After recording a massive gain on 19 May, briefly surging past $8,000 for the second time in a week, Bitcoin created a High-Low [HL] at $7,100, which many analysts look at with glee.

This HL immediately following last week’s pull-back caused due to post-Consensus bears, a Bitstamp sell-order and market correction showed the king coin’s bullish persistence and can even be a foundation for a $9,000 ascendance, defying any “intrinsic value” expectations.





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