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CFTC Issues A New Whistleblower Award for Exposing Fraudulent Activity

In keeping with its policy of carefully protecting tipsters’ identities, the watchdog provided scant details on the case.

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Today, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced a new whistleblower award of undisclosed sum, demonstrating the CFTC’s strong commitment to its tipsters.

The whistleblower provided original information that led the CFTC to open an investigation into “ongoing fraudulent activity” and ultimately brings a successful enforcement action. In addition to the initial tip, the information he offered was “specific, credible, and timely,” and also provided documents that were essential to expose the wrongdoing that harmed main street investors.

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“This additional support enabled the CFTC to take action more quickly and conserve resources,” the agency said.

In keeping with its policy of carefully protecting tipsters’ identities, the watchdog provided scant details on the tip that led to today’s award. But in announcing the award, Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald reiterated the CFTC’s commitment to rewarding whistleblowers, elaborating that “the violations would have been difficult to detect without the whistleblower’s information and assistance.”

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“This matter highlights the importance of the Commission’s Whistleblower Program to the agency’s enforcement efforts and its effectiveness in helping the Commission hold wrongdoers accountable,” he added.

More than $1.6 billion paid to whistleblowers

This news comes on the heels of numerous whistleblower awards issued by the US regulator in recent months. Earlier in June, a tipster got a cool $50 million from the Securities and Exchange Commission for blowing the whistle on a misconduct that resulted in “a successful enforcement action” and returned “a significant amount of money” to harmed investors.

The current total of whistleblower awards granted by the CFTC is over $120 million since it issued the first award in 2014. In turn, SEC enforcement actions from whistleblower tip-offs have resulted in nearly $1.5 billion in financial penalties from wrongdoers since the program’s inception.

Whistleblowing has become a staple of multiple US regulatory regimes. The recent rewards come as the regulator tries to recover from a dip in whistleblower performance throughout the previous year. In 2019, the number of whistleblower tips fielded to the country’s top markets regulator dropped for the first time since the program’s inception in 2011. The drop was partially attributed to SEC’s thinking about introducing caps on awards and giving the SEC staff more discretion to reduce certain payouts.

When the Congress passed the legislation a decade ago, it was faced with considerable opposition from big firms as they argued that it would hurt their compliance programs and create financial incentives for their staff to identify misconducts instead of reporting the issues to their management. Nonetheless, the whistleblower-reward scheme has proved to be an unmitigated success in enabling the nation’s regulators to discover fraud cases and protect investors.

Source: https://www.financemagnates.com/institutional-forex/regulation/cftc-issues-a-new-whistleblower-award-for-exposing-fraudulent-activity/

Blockchain

Bitcoin HODL Waves Suggest Bull Run Has Barely Started

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Analyzing Bitcoin HODL Waves from previous bull runs as led crypto YouTuber and analyst Lark Davis to the conclusion that this cycle is still in its infancy.

He added that we are just now past the first major price wave, “get ready for wave 2”.

The chart depicts three distinct price waves for every market cycle back to 2011. The current cycle shows just one wave cresting at Bitcoin’s recent all-time high of $58,250 on Feb. 21. This indicates that, if history rhymes, there could be two larger ones to come especially if corporate giants keep buying it.

Bitcoin Being Hodled

HODL Waves are a visualization pioneered by Unchained Capital which shows the cross-section of Bitcoin held in wallets grouped by the age since they last moved. The Bitcoin financial services company explained;

“By comparing the age of bitcoin sitting in addresses to the current US dollar prices, we can make some interesting conjectures about the bitcoin economy and the sentiment of HODLers.”

Glassnode has extrapolated the short-term HODL waves and overlaid them on the logarithmic scale price chart. Using these metrics it does appear that there is a lot more to go with this bull run, but there are many other on-chain and fundamental factors to consider.

One of them is them is the central bank money printing narrative which could drive wild inflation and devalue global currencies. Trillions of new dollars have been printed for stimulus purposes in the U.S. alone since the Covid-19 pandemic put the economy into shutdown mode in early 2020.

Vice President of digital asset strategy at Fundstrat Global Advisor, Leeor Shimron, compared Bitcoin to M1 money stock – the country’s basic money supply that is used as a medium of exchange. He also thinks this cycle could “get very wild” in the face of unprecedented money printing.

BTC Price Outlook

At the time of press, BTC was trading at $49,250, down from its recent weekly high of $52,580 hit in late trading on March 3 according to Tradingview.com.

Momentum is still bullish from a weekend swing low to $43,300 but the asset needs to break above resistance at $55,250 to push towards a new all-time high.

March has traditionally been a bearish month for Bitcoin and crypto markets so this move may come later in the year.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-hodl-waves-suggest-bull-run-as-barely-started/

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Blockchain

Ripple CEO files motion to dismiss SEC complaint citing ‘abuse of prosecutorial discretion’

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has filed a motion to dismiss the SEC’s amended complaint against him, calling it “regulatory overreach.”

The exec took to Twitter to announce his position on the SEC’s charges against him and Ripple Labs Inc. by sharing a link to the letter filed on his behalf, saying that “it speaks for itself.” According to the said letter, the SEC’s allegations against Garlinghouse fail on account of a number of reasons.

The same, addressed to U.S District Court Judge Analisa Torres, claimed,

“First, the SEC fails to recognize the economic realities of Defendants’ transactions in XRP, the XRP market, and Ripple’s business, each of which exhibits none of the traditional characteristics of an investment contract.”

The motion to dismiss, filed by Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton, also commented on the SEC’s amended complaint, while also expanding on the regulatory agency personally targeting Garlinghouse for the alleged violation of securities laws.

“Straining to impose personal liability on an executive like Mr. Garlinghouse for simply doing his job where he reasonably understood that his actions complied with the law represents an abuse of prosecutorial discretion that has sent a dangerous signal to entrepreneurs and will chill innovation.”

Garlinghouse was reported to have sold over 60% of his XRP holdings for approximately $159 million at the time of those transactions, leaving him with 200 million XRP tokens. While holding 200 million XRP tokens is a considerably long position, some members of the community feel that Garlinghouse selling a majority of his XRP is disingenuous on his part.

In fact, Ripple’s lawyers have argued that the SEC’s allegations with respect to Garlinghouse’s XRP sales are “vague,” with no particular reference to any of these transactions occurring within the United States.

“The truth is that the vast majority of Mr. Garlinghouse’s XRP sales were made on foreign exchanges, and those transactions do not and cannot violate the federal securities laws,” they asserted.

XRP was trading at $0.4660 at press time, down by over 25% from a high of $0.6338 in February.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/ripple-ceo-files-motion-to-dismiss-sec-complaint-citing-abuse-of-prosecutorial-discretion

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OKEx Lists Chiliz, Enables CHZ/USDT and CHZ/BTC Spot Trading

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The blockchain-based fan engagement platform Socios.com received a huge boost after its native asset Chiliz (CHZ) was listed on OKEx – a leading global crypto exchange and derivatives trading platform. The popular digital currency for the sporting and entertainment industries, CHZ became available for spot trading against USDT and BTC at 10 AM UTC on March 3, 2021.

The CHZ blockchain’s Socios.com allows sporting teams and clubs to create Fan Tokens to connect and engage with their fans. These Fan Tokens will act as membership cards, providing its holders with the privilege to participate in various decision-making processes of their favorite teams. In addition, fan token holders will also be eligible for exclusive access to team events, merchandise and other rewards. Socios.com has already partnered with some of the biggest sporting teams and clubs including the likes of AC Milan, FC Barcelona, Juventus, UFC and more.

According to Chiliz, their Fan Token model has also helped sporting organizations unlock new revenue streams, enabling them to overcome losses in the form of poor ticket sales, lost sponsorship deals etc., during the pandemic.

Acknowledging the role of Chiliz in promoting blockchain technology, CEO of OKEx Jay Hao said, “Chiliz has uncovered another key use case for blockchain technology showing how the sports and entertainment industries can adapt to an increasingly digital world and create new revenue streams beyond traditional sources. As more and more fans begin to engage with clubs and teams through fan tokens, the use of cryptocurrencies becomes continuously more mainstream. OKEx couldn’t be happier to support this important initiative.”

Celebrating the new listing, OKEx is distributing $150,000 worth of Fan Tokens to the CHZ community members through lucky draw. Users depositing or trading CHZ on OKEx until March 10, 2021, will be eligible for the giveaway program. Up to $10,000 worth of Fan Tokens is earmarked for referral rewards.

OKEx will be activating CHZ withdrawals on the platform starting 10 AM UTC on March 4, 2021.

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Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/news/company/okex-lists-chiliz-enables-chz-usdt-and-chz-btc-spot-trading/

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