Jump Crypto Ranks Third in Bitcoin Holdings, Trailing Only Binance and Bitfinex

Recent data from Arkham indicates that the third-largest Bitcoin holder’s address bc1ql49ydapnjafl5t2cp9zqpjwe6pdgmxy98859v2 is controlled by market maker Jump Trading and is stored on the Robinhood custodial service platform. Over the past three months, this address has accumulated a total of 118,300.2 BTC, equivalent to approximately $30.8 billion USD.

Furthermore, data from BitInfoCharts provides insights into the dominant Bitcoin holding addresses.

One of Binance’s cold wallets, with an address of 34xp4vRoCGJym3xR7yCVPFHoCNxv4Twseo, holds a substantial 248,597 BTC. Similarly, Bitfinex, with its cold wallet address bc1qgdjqv0av3q56jvd82tkdjpy7gdp9ut8tlqmgrpmv24sq90ecnvqqjwvw97, also possesses an amount of 178,010 BTC. These two addresses represent some of the largest Bitcoin holdings.

Jump Crypto, a prominent yet enigmatic player in the cryptocurrency realm, operates as a key division of the traditional quantitative trading powerhouse, Jump Trading Group. The firm has been linked to significant crypto events, including the Terra Luna crash and the bankruptcy of FTX.

In November 2022, rumors suggested that Jump Crypto might wind down its operations due to potential FTX-related losses. However, on November 17, Jump Crypto swiftly dispelled these rumors via a tweet, highlighting their robust financial standing and asserting their status as one of the most well-capitalized entities in the crypto space. They further emphasized that their dealings with FTX were well within their risk parameters.

Fast forward to March 3, 2023, Jump Crypto showcased its adeptness by addressing the Wormhole Exploit from February 2022. Utilizing their smart contracts, they managed to reclaim approximately $195 million in stolen Ethereum. In partnership with Oasis, they modified the smart contract’s logic on the Oasis Network, ensuring the safe return of 120,000 stolen wrapped ETH. While this move underscores Jump Crypto’s capabilities, it also sparks concerns about the potential misuse of such strategies in the DeFi sector, posing questions about the industry’s trustworthiness.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Tether’s Development Team Nears Completion of Advanced Mining Libraries

In a recent tweet on August 5, 2023, Paolo Ardoino, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Tether and Bitfinex, revealed that Tether’s development team is on the verge of completing a set of “well polished” JavaScript libraries. These libraries are designed to command and interact with various types of cryptocurrency miners, including WhatsMiners, AntMiners, and Avalon Miners.

Ardoino described the libraries as “really high-quality stuff,” emphasizing their super modularity and high level of polish. He also shared that he is personally involved in coding the core architecture of Tether’s Moria mining farm orchestration tool, which is based on the technology from Holepunch.to, a company where Ardoino also serves as a co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).

Without the need of servers, peer-to-peer (P2P) programmes may be made using the Holepunch.to platform. It offers a number of compact JavaScript modules that may be coupled to build different P2P applications, ranging from VPNs to communication tools. Additionally, without the requirement for operations management, the platform provides tools for distributing programmes to any user on any platform. Users just need to download the portions of the software that have changed since the last update, making updates quick and efficient. Additionally, as the user base expands, peers who download the applications also re-host them for new peers, boosting the app’s network.

The CTO further hinted at the potential expansion of the tool to cover energy production monitoring, reflecting the growing importance of energy efficiency in cryptocurrency mining operations. This move could potentially provide miners with valuable insights into their energy consumption patterns, enabling them to optimize their operations for better sustainability.

In a forward-looking statement, Ardoino suggested that parts of the new technology might eventually be open-sourced. If realized, this could contribute to the broader cryptocurrency community by providing developers and miners with access to advanced tools and libraries.

As of now, the exact timeline for the completion and release of these libraries is not specified. However, given the advanced stage of development mentioned in Ardoino’s tweet, the crypto community can expect further updates in the near future.    

Image source: Shutterstock


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$314K from 2016 Bitfinex attack returned by US Homeland Security

The digital currency exchange known as Bitfinex said on July 6 that it has been given $312,219.71 in cash together with 6.917 Bitcoin Cash by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The seizure was carried out with the assistance of the United States Customs and Border Protection Service.

The stolen assets will be refunded to the Bitfinex customers who were affected by the breach in 2016 on a proportional basis.

After holders of Unus Sed Leo (LEO), Bitfinex’s native token, have had their RRTs redeemed with the recovered assets, the remaining funds will be distributed to those who possess Unus Sed Leo.

Bitfinex had a security breach in 2016, which resulted in the loss of Bitcoin belonging to 119,576 clients. These Bitcoin were valued around $70 million at the time but are now worth $3.7 billion.

Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, his wife, were taken into custody by the United States Department of Justice on February 8, 2022. The two were reportedly involved in a conspiracy to launder cryptocurrency that was tied to the breach.

Efforts to retrieve the monies are still under progress at this time.


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Just four men controlled 86% of stablecoin issuer Tether Holdings Limited

According to data obtained by The Wall Street Journal in connection with investigations being carried out by authorities in the United States, as of the year 2018, only four people owned 86% of the stablecoin issuer Tether Holdings Limited. These investigations are being carried out by authorities in the United States.

The previously unknown ownership structure of Tether Holdings was disclosed in 2021 as a consequence of investigations that were carried out by the office of the New York Attorney General in conjunction with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. According to CoinMarketCap, the company is the issuer of Tether (USDT), which is the largest stablecoin in circulation with 68 billion dollars’ worth of it now in circulation. This information was obtained from the website.

According to the documents, Giancarlo Devasini, a former cosmetic surgeon, and Brock Pierce, a former child actor who is now a cryptocurrency entrepreneur, worked together to create Tether. Brock Pierce is now a businessman in the cryptocurrency industry. In September of 2014, the British Virgin Islands served as the location for the formal launch of Tether Holdings as a limited liability corporation.

After another four years, Pierce had already left the company, and at that time, Devasini had around 43% of the company’s shares of Tether. Additionally, Devasini was essential in the founding of the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex, where he now works as the chief financial officer. Devasini’s contributions to the construction of this platform may be seen here. According to the available evidence, both Jean-Louis van Der Velde, the Chief Executive Officer of Bitfinex, and Stuart Hoegner, the Chief Counsel of Bitfinex, held around 15% of Tether in 2018.

The dual citizen identified as Christopher Harborne in the United Kingdom and Chakrit Sakunkrit in Thailand owns 13% of Tether as of the end of 2018, making him the fourth-largest investor in the firm. Christopher Harborne is known as Chakrit Sakunkrit in Thailand.

According to the findings of the inquiry, four individuals held close to 86 percent of Tether, either via their own personal assets or through another company that was connected to them.


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El Salvador’s Crypto Law Allows Bitcoin-Backed Bonds

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El Salvador has recently passed historic legislation that will provide the legal basis for a Bitcoin-backed bond to be issued in the country. This bond, also known as the “Volcano Bond,” will be put toward the reduction of the country’s overall debt as well as the funding of the construction of the “Bitcoin City” that is envisioned for El Salvador.

On January 11, 62 individuals cast their ballots in support of the measure, while 16 individuals cast their ballots against it. When President Bukele gives the bill his stamp of approval, it will be well on its way to being enacted as a statute.

As stated by the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which is the technology provider for the bonds, the Volcano Bond, which is also known as Volcano Tokens, would make it possible for El Salvador to raise capital to pay down its sovereign debt, fund construction of the Bitcoin City, and create Bitcoin mining infrastructure. All of these goals could be accomplished with the proceeds from the sale of the bonds.

The bonds were given the volcanic description because of the location of the country’s Bitcoin City, which is planned to become a self-sustaining crypto-mining center that will be fueled by hydrothermal energy obtained from the nearby Conchagua volcano. As a direct result of this, the bonds were presented in the form of an active volcano.

According to Bitfinex, the city would function as a special economic zone, analogous to those that can be found in China. Such a zone would offer residents of the city tax breaks, rules that are friendly to cryptocurrencies, and other incentives to encourage them to engage in Bitcoin-related business.

It is anticipated that the issuance of these bonds will bring in one billion dollars for the country, of which half a billion dollars will be allocated to the building of the special economic zone. The first hypothesis suggested that the maturity date of the tokenized bonds would be in ten years, that they would be denominated in U.S. dollars, and that they would bear an annual interest rate of 6.5%.

In addition, the measure creates a legal framework for all digital assets that are not Bitcoin, in addition to those that are issued on Bitcoin, and it also establishes a new regulatory body that will be responsible for administering securities legislation and providing protection from malicious actors.


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Bitfinex, Ava Labs raise $10M for DeFi technology amid market turmoil

As the ongoing bear market in cryptocurrencies continues, investors continue to find attractive projects to invest in, demonstrating that this market is, in reality, a builders’ market. Despite the present market conditions, investors continue to find promising projects to invest in.

In order to develop its ground-breaking protocol, the ecosystem known as Onomy, which is driven by the Cosmos blockchain, has recently successfully crowdfunded millions of dollars from various investors.

The purpose of the project is to integrate decentralized finance (DeFi) with blockchain technology in order to bring the foreign exchange market onto the distributed ledger.

According to the people who initiated the project, the most recent investment round was a success, and it was able to successfully raise $10 million from significant players in the industry. Some of these significant players include Bitfinex, Ava Labs, the Maker Foundation, and CMS Holdings, amongst others.

According to Lalo Bazzi, one of the co-founders of Onomy, the primary goal of constructing a decentralized autonomous organization with a public infrastructure should be to support the “core tenant of crypto,” which is self-custody, without sacrificing the user experience. This can be accomplished without compromising the security of the network.

Both decentralized financial institutions (DFIs) and self-custody have emerged as prominent topics of conversation among the cryptocurrency community as a direct result of the FTX liquidity-bankruptcy episode.

Despite the fact that another difficult year is anticipated according to estimates made for the industry’s not too distant future, the sector will continue to draw the attention of investors.

The results of a survey that was conducted between September 21 and October 27 of this year and was sponsored by Coinbase indicate that institutional investors are still interested in the industry.

It was discovered that 62% of the institutional investors who were questioned and who had cryptocurrency holdings increased such holdings over the course of the preceding year.

On November 9, just a few days after the FTX event came to light, Cathie Wood of ARK Investment raised the company’s existing shares in Coinbase by an additional $12.1 million. This was done by ARK Investment.

In addition, financial institutions continue to show interest in the sector, as evidenced by JP Morgan’s use of DeFi for international transactions and BNY Mellon’s creation of its very own Digital Asset Custody Platform, both of which are examples of how JP Morgan and BNY Mellon are participating in the industry.

Despite this, there is a body of evidence that projects the blockchain industry will continue to confront adverse settings, which have the potential to endure into the next year. These environments include:


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Tether Ordered by New York Judge to Document USDT Backing

A longstanding crypto price manipulation case between Tether and Bitfinex and some of its users may be turning against the stablecoin firm as the presiding judge has ordered the firm to provide evidence of the USDT backing of its reserves at the time. 


With the case dating back to 2019, Bitfinex, and iFinex, Tether’s parent company, both denied the fact that they were falsely inflating the USDT reserves at the time to manipulate prices. 

In their defense, they told the judge for the case is baseless and that it should be thrown out, considering the fact that they had already provided sufficient documentation to both the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in their previous enforcement actions against it.

With their defence and earlier permission to withhold the documents, Katherine Polk Failla, the judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York believes providing the required documentation is important to bolster the Plaintiff’s argument and, as such, ordered the defendants to produce it.

While it is unclear whether iFinex and Bitfinex kept the right records to present to the District Court, the company has actually been more transparent with its attestation reports detailing the composition of its reserve.

This new approach to transparency came with the settlement reached with the Office of the New York Attorney General (NYAG) back in February of last year. The company paid the sum of $18.5 million to the regulator and was made to pledge to publish regular updates of its reserve backing, as well as, blocking New York residents from using its products.

While Tether was notably not anticipating a judgment like this, the company recently tapped the services of BDO Italia as the primary attestator for its USDT reserves. With BDO ranked as the fifth largest accounting firm in the world, many consider the move as one of Tether’s most ambitious to gain the trust of regulators around the world.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Bitfinex Launches P2P Video Chat App Keet alongside Tether

Blockchain startups Bitfinex and Tether have launched a Peer-2-Peer (P2P) video calling application dubbed Keet, a product that was spawned over the past five years in collaboration with P2P infrastructure developer Hypercore.


The launch of Keet by the trio was through the startup they co-founded dubbed Holepunch.

The Keet app, which is currently closed sourced and in Alpha, is a direct competitor to Google, Zoom and other major social media and networking platforms. While working in a decentralised environment, enabling users to schedule audio and video calls, send text chat and share files for free.

The shared files are encrypted, and the entire application is powered by a new technology dubbed Distributed Holepunching (DHT). This new DHT tech permits users to locate and connect to each other “using only cryptographic key pairs upon authorisation.

With the Web3.0 ecosystem expanding by the day, projects and teams now find the need to connect with one another, and the majority of this is done via big tech giants that monetise users’ data. With Keet, Hypercore is convinced that the narratives will be changed, and communications can now be done without any hindrance.

“So what we have been working towards is to create a platform that would allow users to access applications that are unstoppable and provide freedom of speech,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex and Tether and the Chief Strategy Officer of Holepunch.

“In many places around the world, freedom of speech is extremely more limited than what we are used to say in the US or the UK. And freedom of speech is not just going to sit there and say whatever you want, but it’s like sharing and talking with the people you want all the time without having concerns that big tech is listening to you or using your data, is collecting your data, and potentially either monetising your data or using that against you.”

With about $10 million committed to building Keet and Holepunch thus far, Bitfinex and Tether’s efforts mimic those of Bluesky and the Lens Protocol from Aave founder Stani Kulechov.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Heather Morgan of Bitfinex Crypto Heist Cleared to Seek Proper Employment

American rapper and entrepreneur Heather Morgan, indicted for contriving with her husband Ilya Lichtenstein to launder money, has been permitted by a judge to seek proper employment.


Her case will still be on trial, but she is authorized to get a job that can earn her more than $10,000 in a month.

The digital currencies stolen from the Bitfinex 2016 heist are presently worth $4.5 billion in Bitcoin (BTC). So far, the United States authorities have successfully recovered over $3.6 billion in crypto connected to the hack.

Recalling, the United States Department of Justice attested that the Bitfinex heist was the biggest crypto robbery it had ever unravelled. The couple Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein were picked in Manhattan due to their suspected connections to the hack.

How Did the Couple Achieve the Heist?

The man and his wife conspired to launder about 119,754 Bitcoin that were redirected from Bitfinex through a breach of the exchange’s security system. With the loopholes created in the system, the hackers were able to perform 2000 unauthorized transactions. Upon investigation, the transactions were traced down to wallets linked to Lichtenstein.

Several transfers worth about 25,000 BTC were noticed to have been authorized from Lichtenstein’s wallet. The transferred funds ended up in a financial account that belonged to both Lichtenstein and Morgan. The remaining crypto worth about 94,000 BTC is yet to leave the initial account to which it was sent during the heist.

Further investigations led to the discovery of online files linking the ownership of the account to Lichtenstein. Private keys needed to access the wallets where the funds were deposited were discovered in those online files. Strapped with this information, the authorities were able to retrieve the 94,000 BTC left.

However, the analysis showed the complex money laundering techniques that the couple used. Lichtenstein and Morgan utilized computer programs to automate the transactions and created false identities to set online accounts. They also involved anonymity-enhanced virtual currency (AEC) in converting the BTC to other cryptocurrencies.

While the Bitfinex hack mimics those of MtGox, other less draining hacks have been recorded by other exchanges like KuCoin and Crypto.com.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Who Gets the Bitcoin Fortune? Everyone Lays Claims on Bitfinex’s Recovered $3.6M BTC

Barely two days after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seized about $3.6 billion worth of BTC related to the 2016 Bitfinex hack, dozens of individuals have started laying claims on the bitcoin fortune.

According to a Bloomberg report, the DOJ has seen a massive surge in the number of people who wish to regain their funds after it revealed plans to set up court proceedings for victims of the hack.

Speaking to Bloomberg, David Silver, a lawyer who specializes in financial and crypto-related fraud, noted that since the DOJ recovered the $3.6 billion worth of BTC on Tuesday, he has been approached by dozens of people claiming to have been affected in the hack.

“The world has changed dramatically since 2016, and everyone is going to lay claim to this newfound bag of Bitcoins,” Silver noted.

Bitfinex Wants it

Bitfinex has also joined the long list of those vying for rights to the recovered bitcoins. The exchange noted that it had fully settled all affected users after the hack.

Following the attack, which led to the theft of over 119,000 BTC from Bitfinex, the exchange generalized the losses to more than 30% of all users’ accounts and moved to compensate the victims.

It created and issued BFX coins to customers, one BFX token for every $1 lost, and they could either exchange the tokens for the U.S. dollar or the company’s stock.

Bitfinex also created a Recovery Right Token (RRT), which will allow customers who had converted the BFX coin to the company’s shares to lay claims on the stolen bitcoins if they were ever recovered.

According to Bitfinex, there are currently about 30 million RRT tokens outstanding. With a ratio of one RRT to $1, the exchange has to reimburse $30 million to holders of the RRT token.

In a statement on Tuesday, the crypto exchange explained it would ensure that it solidified its rights to the recovered funds.

“Bitfinex will work with the DOJ and follow appropriate legal processes to establish our rights to a return of the stolen bitcoin,” the company said.

Affected Users Disagree

Several customers have expressed their opposition to Bitfinex getting rights to the recovered bitcoins, considering how much the asset has appreciated over the past five years.

The stolen bitcoins, which were worth an estimated $71 million at the time of the hack, are now more than $4.5 billion.

Speaking on this, Alan Aronoff, a victim of the hack who claims to hold about $50,000 worth of Bitfinex stock, said,

“I think that’s ridiculous. That’s my Bitcoin that they took from my multisig wallet. I would like my Bitcoin back… They can have their equity back. I’ll take my Bitcoin, thank you very much.”

Who Gets the Bitcoin Fortune?

With many people seeking to get the funds, former assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen Dwyer noted that the legal processes involved in the case could likely take a couple of years.

“That process could take the heck of a long time. It certainly could be multiple years before anybody sees any cash,” he said.


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