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Bitfinex: Upper echelons of exchange’s board sparks debate; compliance cross-over?




Bitfinex: Upper echelons of exchange’s board sparks debate; compliance cross-over?
Source: Pixabay

Bitfinex has not been in the news over the past few months for the right reasons, and an alleged compliance cross-over has brought the cryptocurrency exchange in the spotlight yet again. Ties between the upper echelons of the exchange’s executives and the banking elite have reportedly surfaced.

According to a series of tweets by @run_btc, Peter Warrack, the Chief Compliance Officer at Bitfinex is also appointed by the Royal Bank of Canada. Based on his LinkedIn profile, Warrack has been with the RBC since 2002, first as a Senior Manager Intelligence and then as Head of Investigations, AML Financial Intelligence Unit.

Source: Twitter

Furthermore, the tweet also highlighted the bank’s negative stance on cryptocurrencies. As per an Investopedia article, linked by runbtc, summarizing Canadian’s Banks tryst with the decentralized currency space, the RBC stated that cryptocurrency transactions would be allowed “in limited circumstances.”

The tweet stated:

“Is it strange that the compliance officer for Bitfinex also work for the Royal Bank of Canada (which banned crypto) under the AML department?”

Warrack joined Bitfinex a year ago, in May 2018 with the exchange lauding him as an “expert in major crime investigation and anti-money laundering.” An introductory blog post did mention Warrack’s “senior role,” with both the Royal Bank of Canada [RBC] and the Bank of Montreal.

Interestingly, Tether Limited, the company that operates the largest stablecoin in the world Tether [USDT] owned by the same company that operates Bitfinex i.e. iFinex follows a similar compliance pattern. Only two months after Bitfinex appointed Warrack, Tether followed suit.

Leonardo Real joined Tether Limited in July 2018, as their Chief Compliance Officer. Real, like Warrack, worked in the AML department of a large financial bank in Canada, serving previously as an AML Quality Control Manager at the Bank of Montreal, which has also affirmed its position in opposition to Canada’s growing cryptocurrency industry.

This alleged cross-over from anti-crypto banks to cryptocurrency exchanges, with seemingly prevalent ties, comes weeks after Bitfinex was called out for fraud by the New York Attorney General’s office. As per the NYAG report, the exchange covered up undisclosed losses worth $850 million using their USDT reserves.

Following this debacle, the exchange issued their native tokens LEO, which brought in $1 billion via an initial exchange offering [IEO] within around 10 days of the sale going live.

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XRP TipBot comes back online after a tiny downtime; Nothing to be worried about, says Wietse Wind




XRP TipBot goes online after a tiny downtime
Source: Unsplash

XRP TipBot’s website and the corresponding application suffered a downtime on June 23, 2019 for a few hours, during which the application wasn’t showing the balance of users. The website and the API for TipBot instead, displayed a “500 Internal Error.”

A Twitter user, @BlueNETGaming, tweeted Wietse Wind, inquiring the same. Wind confirmed that it was just an “infrastructure blip,” and that there was nothing to be worried about.

Wind tweeted,

XRP TipBot is probably the first and most widely accepted use-case of XRP. It leverages the transaction settling time of XRP Ledger to make tipping easy among peers on Twitter, Reddit, and other platforms, and this was the brainchild of developer Wietse Wind.

After TipBot, a lot of other cryptocurrencies have tried to mimic this idea of facilitating tipping; an example being Bitcoin’s, Tippin.Me which leveraged Lightning Network for tipping users. Although successful, it isn’t as popular as Wind’s TipBot.

The reason behind the same is that XRP Ledger allows transaction settlement in under 5 seconds, which makes tipping fast and efficient, unlike Bitcoin’s transactions which take a few minutes for transactions to be confirmed.

This is same reason why XRP is being used as a liquidity provider for cross-border payments in Ripple’s proprietary product, xRapid.

XRP community is a tightly-knit community with people who are very bullish about XRP’s success. There are equally talented developers in the community who are developing apps that help create more use-cases for XRP.

SchlaubiDev is one such developer known for developing plugins for Gmail and Microsoft Office, plugins that allow a user to send XRP over e-mails.

Ripple has identified Wind and his team’s talent and inducted them into Xpring, which finances them to help develop more community-based apps for increasing XRP use-cases.

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