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QuadrigaCX Imbroglio Takes a Turn After Widow Claims CEO Mixed Personal and Company Funds

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The crypto community has been sitting at the edge of their seats watching the complex and nuanced situation surrounding the now defunct QuadrigaCX exchange unfold. Recently, news broke that Big Four Auditing Firm, Ernst & Young (EY), had discovered that the exchange’s cold storage wallets were nearly entirely empty, which came as a surprise to many hopeful victims of the exchange.Now, however, the situation has grown in complexity after the widow of QuadrigaCX’s now deceased co-founder and CEO, Gerry Cotton, claimed that he was mixing his personal funds with company funds in an effort to make customers whole during a previous legal battle with a bank.QuadrigaCX’s Troubles Began Far Before CEO’s DeathAlthough the crypto community first grew aware of QuadrigaCX’s illiquidity following Cotton’s death earlier this year, a recent statement from his wife and the executor of his estate, Jennifer Robertson, elucidates that the exchange’s troubles began long before his death.“While I had no direct knowledge of how Gerry operated the business, he told me that he had been putting his own money back into QCX to fund user withdrawals in 2018 while the CIBC money remained frozen,” Robertson explained in a recent statement to CoinDesk that was sent by law firm Stewart McKelvey.Her statement comes just a few weeks after court-appointed auditing firm Ernst & Young discovered that the cold wallet addresses associated with the exchange were empty, which dispelled the rumor that the stem of the exchange’s problems was simply a lack of access to user’s funds.Furthermore, as NewsBTC previously covered, an investigative report published on the Zerononcense Blog has claimed that Cotton may have been moving up to 600,000 Ethereum (ETH) from cold storage and into a plethora of exchanges.“Based on the transaction analysis included in the report, it appears that a significant amount of Ethereum (600,000+ ETH) was transferred to these exchanges as a means of ‘storage’ during the years that QuadrigaCX was in operation and offering Ethereum on their exchange… it is very possible that QuadrigaCX, the creditors, and other entities are unaware of this discovery,” the Zerononcense Blog report explained.Do the Exchange’s Victims Have a Chance of Recovering Their Lost Funds?If it is true that Cotton had been transferring hundreds of thousands of ETH into accounts held at various cryptocurrency exchanges, and these funds can be tracked, then there is a possibility that the victims of QuadrigaCX’s illiquidity may be able to recover some, or all, of their lost funds.Robertson further affirmed in her statement that her main goal is to is to give affected users the greatest chance of recovering their lost assets.“Following my husband, Gerald (Gerry) Cotten’s sudden and unexpected death, I arranged for the CCAA process to start by providing the initial funding and agreeing to act as a director of the Companies. The goal from the outset of the CCAA proceeding was to benefit QCX and the Affected Users by giving QCX the greatest chance of recovery of its assets,” she claimed.At the time, it still seems as though user’s best chance of recovering any funds is that the ETH Cotton reportedly transferred is still sitting, untouched, in accounts on the various exchanges.Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Colorado Lawmakers Seek Exploration of Blockchain Use in Agriculture

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Lawmakers in the U.S. state of Colorado are eyeing a role for blockchain technology in the agricultural industry.

Four representatives and senators from the state jointly filed the bipartisan house bill 1247 on Friday, proposing that the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture assemble an advisory group to study the potential applications for blockchain technology in agricultural operations.

Several blockchain use cases were identified by the lawmakers, including improving traceability of products “from farm to shelf,” controlling inventory and monitoring in-field conditions such as weather and soil quality.

Maintaining records for production and transportation equipment, verifying data and certification of organic products, tracking and ordering resources such as fertilizer and seed – all using blockchain – are also some of the other areas that could be studied by the group.

As proposed, the advisory group would eventually report back to the general assembly with its findings and recommendations for any legislation by Jan. 15, 2020.

The prospect of improving agricultural operations through blockchain technology is starting to see widespread interest across the globe.

The area of supply chains is seeing particular attention, with numerous projects having launched to investigate the tracking of products such as coffee, meatmilk, fish and more.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron made a strident call for increased use of data technologies such as blockchain across the EU to boost the agriculture industry and address concerns over food traceability following the Polish meat scandal.

And, back in October, the four biggest agricultural corporations, popularly known as the “ABCD” – Archer Daniels Midland Company, Bunge, Cargill, and Louis Dreyfus – were also looking to blockchain and AI to bring the global grain trade into the digital age.

Colorado agriculture image via Shutterstock

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Banking Startup Launching Visa Card That Lets You Spend 7 Cryptos

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Banking startup 2gether is launching a prepaid Visa debit card that allows users to spend cryptocurrencies.

In an announcement, 2gether said customers will be able to use the card to pay with either euros or any of the following seven cryptocurrencies: bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), XRP, bitcoin cash (BCH), EOS, Stellar (XLM) and litecoin (LTC). The card “instantly” converts the cryptos to fiat currency and, it said, and can be used fee-free by customers in any of the 19 eurozone nations.

The company said the card would address the hurdles that come with making payments directly with cryptocurrencies. “Currently, spending crypto is a long and difficult process involving exchanges, personal keys, and lots of waiting,” it said.


2gether customers passing know-your-customer (KYC) procedures can also manage their balances in an Android and iOS mobile app that also lets them buy, sell and and hold cryptocurrencies. The firm said purchases are offered at “no mark-ups to exchange prices.”

Following a beta launch in Spain, the firm is now expanding across the eurozone. While it did not provide an exact date for the arrival of the service, it said that users can now download the app in expectation of the launch.

From March 27, the firm also plans a pre-sale of its native token “2GT” via the app, aiming to raise €5 million (or $5.65 million). All EU citizens can participate, it said.

“To date, there has been no consumer-owned, tangible application that connects crypto and the mainstream market,” said 2gether CEO Ramón Ferraz. “We’re proud to be one of the first companies in the crypto space launching a token sale with an already finished product.”

Founded in 2016, Madrid-based 2gether says it is advised by KPMG and A.T. Kearney, and takes the mission to “dramatically improve the personal economies of customers” using technologies such as big data and blockchain.

CEO Ramon Ferraz and Visa card images courtesy of 2gether

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Crypto is Breaking Out, But Bitcoin (BTC) Still Needs To Surmount $4,400

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Crypto Breaks 1Yr+ Downtrend

Over recent weeks, the crypto market has embarked on a stellar rally. While some have described the price action as a “bull trap” or something of a similar nature, some evidence is pointing towards the fact that this market may be on the verge of a long-term rally, or at least a long bout of sideways movement underscored by a bullish trendline. The fact that Bitcoin (BTC) recently surpassed $4,000 has only somewhat cemented this theory.

Nik Patel, a popular content creator in this space, recently took to Twitter to lay out his thoughts on the market. Citing the recent movement seen in the value of all digital assets, he noted that this sum has finally broken out of a 15-month downtrend resistance line, and is holding well above a short-term uptrend.

Patel, much like many other crypto traders, then touched on the volume profile, explaining that the steadily rising increase has him slightly enthused. And with that, he concluded that more likely than not, bears are currently in a stage of disbelief, potentially setting a precedent for a further move to the upside. He adds that this ticker’s daily chart “does look bullish for the market.”

But, it isn’t exactly that cut and dried. Firstly, the cryptocurrency market capitalization (CMC) still remains under its 200-day moving average, which has acted as a pseudo-resistance in this bear market and a pseudo-support in 2017’s rally. To surmount this level, CMC would need to surpass ~$145 billion or so, currently 10% above current levels.

In a separate tweet, Patel touches on this, explaining that yes, we won’t be seeing all-time highs soon and that this budding market remains rangebound despite the casual trendline break.

Bitcoin Needs $4,400

In his most recent blog post, he touched on Bitcoin specifically, explaining what levels traders of the flagship cryptocurrency should watch in the near future. He notes that while there was a “bullish continuation” of last week’s positive-leaning momentum, and that BTC is holding above some key short-term supports, traders would be remiss to call for the moon.

Patel explains that Bitcoin needs to close above $4,400 on solid volume to confirm that it is not rangebound, setting the stage for a further move to the upside. But, considering that BTC topped out its last rally at around $4,200 or $4,300, there may be some key resistance levels in the region to move past.

Filb Filb, a preeminent trader, made a comment of a similar nature just recently. He explained that above $4,400 has a huge void in volume, and Bitcoin could thus move drastically higher from there if that auspicious level is reached.

Title Image Courtesy of Descryptive.com Via Unsplash

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Coinbase Pro Has Good and Bad News Regarding Fees for Traders

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Coinbase Pro is changing its fee structure later this week, with bottom tier traders seeing a hike and higher value clients paying less.

The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange announced the news in a blog post on Friday, saying that, starting March 22, market makers and takers who fall under the pricing tier of up to $100,000 will be subject to total fees of 0.40 percent, as compared to up to 0.30 percent (taker only) currently.

The $100,000 to $1 million tier will stay with the current total fee of 0.30 percent, but that will be shared between makers and takers, while currently takers pay the full fee. The $10 million to $50 million bracket also sees the 0.20 percent total fee unchanged, but split between makers and takers.

For other tiers, though, there are fee reductions in store. Above $100 million and above $1 billion, total fees are being reduced by 50 percent, while tiers in between are benefiting from cuts of 20-30 percent (see image below). All tiers now see makers taking some of the fee burden.

The new fee structure is designed to “increase liquidity by reducing the delta between maker and taker fees,” Coinbase said.

Economist and trader Alex Kruger set out the changes in a tweet with the following comprehensive table:


Coinbase further announced that its Pro service, and the institution-focused Prime platform, will no longer support stop orders.

“All stop orders must now be submitted as limit orders and include a limit price. All currently open stop market orders will be canceled on Friday, March 22 @ 6:00 pm PDT,” the exchange added.

Both limit and stop orders are orders to buy or sell an asset when its price moves past a specified level. However, stop orders cannot be seen by the market until the trade has occurred.

Both Pro and Prime will also introduce a 10 percent market “protection point” for all market orders, according to the blog post, meaning that market orders that move the price in excess of 10 percent will “stop executing and return a partial fill.”

“Protection points help prevent large orders from causing more than 10% slippage,” the exchange said.

Coins image via Shutterstock; table courtesy of Alex Kruger

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Israeli Bank Policy Should Not Have Shut Down Bitcoin Mining Firm’s Account, Court Rules

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An Israeli court has ruled in favor of a Bitcoin (BTC) mining company after a local bank closed its account over money laundering concerns. Israeli daily business news outlet Calcalist reported the development on March 17.

Israminers, which sued Bank Igud (the Union Bank of Israel Ltd.) in May 2018, had faced problems with cash flow due to the bank blocking deposits which it said was against its terms.

Following a lengthy appeals process, a Tel Aviv district court judge argued that the bank’s policy on cryptocurrency clients was too broad, and should not include automatic rejections.

“I believe that the sweeping policy, which does not distinguish between different types of activity, scope of activity and different types of customers — in the field of digital currencies — is unreasonable,” Calcalist quoted judge Limor Bibi as saying.

At the same time, however, Bibi said banks were within their rights to refuse deposits which originated from cryptocurrency trades.

The episode continues the patchwork regulatory attitude to cryptocurrency trading as it impacts the legacy banking system. As Cointelegraph has reported, various banks have taken issue with servicing businesses and private investors who trade cryptocurrency.

Often, the hostile stance contradicts other activities at the same bank: United Kingdom-based Barclays, for example, also shut down accounts prior to developing a relationship with major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to conversely speed up deposits and withdrawals.

In the case of Union Bank, it would appear senior executives had benefited from education in the emerging sector, with local startup Bit2C conducting a seminar on its workings last November.

Earlier this month, a dedicated committee from Israel’s securities regulator issued final recommendations for governing the cryptocurrency economy, something which could see banks’ treatment become more uniform in future.

“The committee recommends considering adjustment of the existing regulation to create more suitable regulatory infrastructure for this trading activity in order to better cope with the risks incurred in this activity,” an accompanying report explained.

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