Crypto News Weekly 05.10.18: Shapeshift Accused of Money Laundering, Tether Dumped, Pornhub Limp on Crypto

Shapeshift accused of money laundering $9 million

The Wall Street Journal, after a long investigation which involved two employees working at Shapeshift, have declared the exchange service has been guilty of laundering illegal assets worth up to $9 million from North Korean agents, credit card scammers and Ponzi schemes.

On Monday, ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees hit back saying the US newspaper was“omitting” facts and misunderstanding how cryptocurrency and blockchain work.

The investigation claims to have revealed $89 million of laundered funds across many exchanges, saying Shapeshift’s previous anonymous trading policy made it the clear leader. In the last month, Shapeshift has been radically reforming its policies and introducing stringent Know Your Customer policies.

In this week, a senior official from Wall Street Journal halted the company’s own cryptocurrency, saying it raised serious ethical questions. The project, which involved one of the reporters travelling to Japan and creating a press-related crypto called the WSJ coin to understand how things worked for their own recent documentary. However, after the reporter pitched a full issuance to investors, the publication’s Head of Ethics shut the scheme down, saying it raised serious ethical questions and that when they investigate banking, they do not have to form a bank.

Pornhub announces limp take-up on crypto payments

After the past blaze of publicity, first for Verge, raised millions on the pretext of structuring a deal to getting accepted on the Pornhub platform, which was then followed by integrating Tron, ZenCash and soon Puma Pay, Pornhub has revealed so far, only 1% of payments are being handled in cryptocurrencies.

Notwithstanding that fact, Pornhub has stated that it is still hopeful of a large uptake in the near future which reflects the sentiment from another Pornhub subsidiary, Tube8, which in August partnered with Vice Industry Token for a scheme to pay viewers for watching porn streams on the channel.  Vice Industry Token’s owner Global Blockchain is currently being sued by Playboy TV for lack of performance on previous contracts.

Tether loses yet another bank

Puerto Rican concern Noble Bank hit the headlines this week, first of all with accusations that it was insolvent and then, following that, stories in prominent publications claiming it was for sale for $5-10 million and had cut all links with crypto customers Bitfinex and Tether.

Following that, Tether stayed high in the news feeds as a selling spree on Kraken depressed the token to a price of 95 cents for a short period and much speculation that at present Tether might be without access to the traditional banking system. Even though there has been a recent spate of stablecoin launches in competition with Tether, the currency holds such a leading position that if there were a serious loss in confidence leading to its collapse, the whole crypto market would suffer heavily as a knock-on effect.

Binance pumps $ 2.5 million into Australian startup

Australian travel startup TravelByBit, which provides POS terminals in airports to accept cryptocurrencies for purchases, is to be funded by Binance in a deal involving $2.5 million and also the company offering Binance’s own coin as an accepted currency. The startup is on a bit of a run at present, having already received a grant from Queensland authorities for 100,000 Australian dollars to help promote tourism.

Binance Labs has also announced a multi-million dollar allocation to content provider startup Contentos, which also recently has been striking deals with Neo and Ontology showing some serious traction within the Chinese sector.

Binance was also in the news this week as their CEO was pushing the many benefits of their new decentralized exchange (DEX) launching in 2019 being powered by the Binance Coin.