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Fintech CEO on Ormeus Coin Charges vs. BitMEX Plea

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Tuesday, the Justice Department filed charges against John Barksdale, an executive behind Ormeus Coin after allegedly misrepresenting the value of the coin’s mining assets.

It is alleged that investors were erroneously told that the coin was backed by a mining operation which delivered $5 million in monthly revenue. The Barksdales raised over $120 million from more than 20,000 investors over the past five years. Charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy, he faces up to 65 years in prison.

“The country has been doing much better, over the past few years, with tracking down bad actors and charging them. Now, it is time to move forward with preventative actions. Hopefully, the new executive order will inspire agencies and the industry to come together and create a commonsense set of regulatory guidelines that protect investors while allowing innovation to continue to thrive,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.

Barksdale, with his sister as an accomplice, “acted as modern-day snake-oil salesmen” said Melissa Hodgman, Associate Director of the SEC Enforcement Division.

“Bad actors deserve to face punishment which is appropriate for the crime. Notably, the Barksdales are facing significantly more punishment than the BitMEX co-founders, who were each only hit with a $10 million fine. The fraud associated with this case is terrible, and the charges are worthwhile. However, to think that the BitMEX co-founders, who purposely and knowingly avoided KYC and AML regulations, which, in effect, turned their exchange into a money laundering operation, only had to pay a fine… well, that’s curious,” said Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Modulus has provided its exchange solution to some of the industry’s most profitable digital asset exchanges, including a well-known multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable institutions, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“Money laundering is extremely serious because it could provide funding to terrorists, drug cartels, and other nefarious enterprises. Politicians talk about the great threat of money laundering. However, our actions must match our words. In such a situation, a small fine is simply not good enough. Society deserves better,” said Gardner.

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Gate.io Joins Oasis Pro Inc’s $27 Million Series A Financing Round

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Gate.io

Gate Ventures, the venture capital arm of Gate.io, focused on investments in decentralized infrastructure, ecosystems, and applications that will reshape the world in the digital age, is participating in Oasis Pro Inc’s $27 Million Series A financing round along with UDHC, Blizzard, the Avalanche Fund, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, and others.

This financing will be used to fuel Oasis Pro Inc’s continued growth by building out the senior management team, expanding global business development, scaling the technology platform globally through new revenue streams, and adding complementary blockchain technologies.

Oasis Pro’s subsidiary, Oasis Pro Markets, which is a U.S. regulated multi-asset Alternative Trading System (“ATS”) for digital assets and a full-service investment bank, will also benefit as this funding will accelerate Oasis Pro Market’s Digital Asset Security ATS platform, global expansion and full-service investment banking advisory practice.

Founded by seasoned Wall Street and blockchain veterans, Oasis Pro Inc. will continue to grow as a leading fintech and blockchain company with a mission to bridge the world of traditional finance, blockchain and DeFi. Oasis Pro will leverage and bring DeFi to the mainstream to pursue their vision of a world where  DeFi is not competing against TradFi, but rather DeFi acts as a complementary extension of TradFi.

Oasis Pro Markets’ ATS, OATSPRO, enables issuers and subscribers to buy, sell, and offer a range of alternative assets in the secondary market in a convenient and secure manner. Oasis Pro Markets’ proprietary technology provides a sleek, user-friendly experience for issuers and investors.

OATSPRO offers efficient KYC/AML onboarding of digital securities for issuers, allows for streamlined onboarding of investors, and provides a liquidity platform for private and public OTC market digital securities.

Kevin Yang, Investment Director of Gate Ventures, said:  “Through the investment in Oasis Pro, Gate Ventures will continue to explore DeFi opportunities integrated with compliance to tackle the increasing regulatory uncertainty. Given the increasing number of crypto-native DeFi applications expanding to the TradFi markets, we have foreseen the necessity of compliance and the co-existence of permissionless DeFi and compliant DeFi in the near future. And a trusted relationship between Oasis Pro and Gate Ventures is certainly a vital step toward a compliant environment for open finance.”

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Fintech CEO: Bank of Israel Grapples With Privacy Concerns in CBDC Debate

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Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

While Israel’s central bank is still non-committal on a digital shekel, a new report suggests that they have a significant amount of public support, both in order to support innovation in the fintech sector and reducing cash. It was first considered by the Bank of Israel in 2017, but it re-engaged in additional research late last year. Then, early this year, the country’s central bank noted that it was not likely to erode the banking system.

“It is positive to see the central bank in Israel identifying all the advantages associated with digital assets. Just from a competition point-of-view, it can be seen as a step in the right direction — forcing the payments sector to be more competitive is a major win, in and of itself. On the other hand, major questions still exist on the privacy front. It is important to take time and really determine how a central bank can preserve financial privacy,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.

“The Bank of Israel has still not made a final decision on whether it will issue a digital shekel… But all of the responses to the public consultation indicate support for continued research regarding the various implications on the payments market, financial and monetary stability, legal and technological issues, and more,” the central bank said in a report.

“The report noted that there was a split among supporters of a CBDC, with some preferring anonymity and others wanting rules which crack down on potential participation in the black market. It is just common sense that, if you allow the government full authority to track the financial transactions of the citizenry, there is a large subsection of the population which will not willingly transition and utilize it,” said Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Modulus has provided its exchange solution to some of the industry’s most profitable digital asset exchanges, including a well-known multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable institutions, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

People take their privacy seriously, especially since we’ve seen what centralized control of our money supply can do when in the wrong hands — whether that’s Big Tech or the government — just look at what happened to those participating in the Canadian trucker convoy,” noted Gardner.

“The Bank is committed to openness and transparency in its continued research regarding the digital shekel, and expects to continue fruitful dialogue with all interested parties at all stages of research and development in the digital shekel project,” the central bank said.

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Inexperience Ruined Luna Project as Creator Injected Over $2.3 Billion into Losing Position

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Luna Foundation Guard

Following about 99% plunge in the value of Terra Luna Coin and the global outcry for the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) to use its supposed reserve to acquire and burn its now over 6.5 trillion Luna coins, the LFG has come out to state it does not have the said reserve anymore.

According to a statement released by LFG on Monday, the foundation reserve used to comprise of 80,394 $BTC, 39,914 $BNB, 26,281,671 $USDT, 23,555,590 $USDC, 1,973,554 $AVAX, 697,344 $UST and  1,691,261 $LUNA. However, on May 8, 2022, when TerraUSD (“UST”), the main product (stablecoin) of the Terra network, started declining below its US$1 peg, LFG said it began injecting its over 80,000 Bitcoin into the market in order to halt the now record-decline.

This, it said was done by sending its reserved BTC and other digital assets to counterparties to allow them place trades in large size and on short notice for the Foundation.

Breaking down how the reserve was exhausted, the Foundation said it directly sold 26,281,671 $USDT and  23,555,590 $USDC for an aggregate of 50,200,071 $UST. While 52,189 $BTC was transferred to a counterparty for trade, out of which 5,313 $BTC was returned for an aggregate 1,515,689,462 $UST.

This continues on May 10 and 12 until the Foundation had depleted its reserve to 313 $BTC, 39,914 $BNB, 1,973,554 $AVAX, 1,847,079,725 $UST, 222,713,007 $LUNA (out of which 221,021,746 is presently staked with validators).

LFG Inexperience and Eventual Failure

In financial markets, one of the first principles aspiring traders are taught is never to add to a losing position. It simply means no matter the situation, traders should not average down a losing long position or average up a losing short position, like in the case of LFG.

Luna with a combined reserve of about $3.5 billion was trying to plug a broad-based losing short position valued at about $18.68 billion for UST and $40 billion for Luna coin by continuously averaging up despite limited risk at the time.

Here is the Logic

If LFG had kept its reserve, it would have been able to purchase and burn at a cheaper rate compared to when it first injected over 52,000 BTC on May 8 when UST was just $0.9953 and Luna coin was $65 per coin. In fact, it appears as if it was the huge fund transferred to counterparties on May 8 that triggered UST concerns among investors aware of the transaction, and subsequently, the eventual disaster that follows going by the chart below. Luna coin-backed UST plunged on May 10, again likely instigated by those in the know of the LFG situation.

UST

Sending huge amounts of BTC and other digital assets to counterparties in an unregulated cryptocurrency space allows for aggressive insider dealings by those LFG trusted. People familiar with the situation likely told cryptocurrency whales and other investors about the Foundation’s struggle to stay afloat, hence the continuous selloff that eventually depleted the Foundation’s remaining reserve.

 

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