Showing posts from February, 2023

WASPI Campaign's legal action is morally wrong

I haven't written a post about WASPI for a very long time. I felt I had said everything I wanted to say, and it had become evident that the WASPI campaign and its offshoots had neither the widespread support nor the legal arguments that they claimed. Labour's proposed £58bn payment to WASPI women contributed to its disastrous defeat at the 2019 General Election. And in 2020, the hardline Back to 60 group's bid to overturn their state pension age rises failed in the Court of Appeal. The Government had no intention of compensating WASPI women for their lost pensions, and there was neither legal nor political means to force it to do so. The campaign seemed, in short, dead in the water.  But it seems it isn't, quite. Some years ago, WASPI campaign received legal advice that a challenge to the legislation would almost certainly fail but that there might be a case for maladministration on the part of the DWP. Women would have to make individual maladministration claims and

Proof of reserves is proof of nothing

Proof of reserves is all the rage on crypto platforms. The idea is that if the platform can prove to its customers' satisfaction that their deposits are fully matched by equivalent assets on the platform, their deposits are safe. And if the mechanism they use to prove this uses crypto technology, that's even better.  Crypto tech solutions have surely got to be much more reliable than traditional financial accounts and audits - after all, FTX passed a U.S. GAAP audit .  No, they aren't. Proof of reserves as done by exchanges like Binance does not prove that customer deposits are safe. It is smoke and mirrors to fool prospective punters into relinquishing their money, just like claims that exchanges and platforms are "audited" or have "insurance". There are no audits in the crypto world, there is no insurance, and as I shall explain, proof of reserves proves absolutely nothing. The biggest crypto exchange, Binance, uses a Merkle tree proof of reserves. H

Binance and its stablecoins

Yesterday, the SEC issued a Wells notice to the stablecoin issuer Paxos , warning it that the SEC intended to take legal action against it for issuing an unregistered security. The security in question is the fully-reserved stablecoin BUSD (Binance USD), which Paxos issues expressly for use on the Binance crypto exchange. The Wells notice doesn't apply to Paxos's other fully-reserved stablecoin, USDP, which it issues for use on its own platform.  A few hours later, the New York Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) ordered Paxos to stop minting BUSD. In a consumer alert published on its website, the NY DFS said there were "several unresolved issues related to Paxos’ oversight of its relationship with Binance in regard to Paxos-issued BUSD." It didn't specify what these issues were, but it went on to clarify that Paxos's BUSD and Binance's coin of the same name are not the same thing, and that it only regulates Paxos's coin, not Binance's:

The fatal flaws of Celsius Network

Celsius Network was never a real business. It did not have a viable business model. Really, it was a momentum trading scheme that relied on the premise that crypto prices would always rise. And when they didn't, it resorted to fake valuations and market manipulation to escape insolvency. It was fraudulent from the start.   This is the conclusion I've reached after studying the U.S. Examiner's final report (yes, I've read all 476 pages of it) and Celsius's audited reports and accounts up to 31st December 2020.  There are no more recent audited accounts. It was due to file its 2021 accounts by 31st December 2022, but it did not do so. The accounts are now significantly overdue. I doubt if they will ever be filed.  The U.S. Examiner's report reveals deep and long-lasting insolvency, concealed by layer on layer of fraud. Whether Alex Mashinsky, Celsius's founder, owner and CEO, knew that the devices he used to conceal the company's insolvency were fraudulen