Coinspeaker Tesla Reaches Agreement with German Authority for Gigafactory Construction near BerlinAccording to a recent report from Bloomberg, Tesla is making interesting strides with its car factory as it has now inched very close to erection. Per a statement from the Brandenburg state government, authorities have agreed to the terms of a contract between both parties, for the sale of land in Grunheide, a municipality close to the capital. The land near Berlin is 300 hectares large (741 acres) and will house the gigafactory that will be built by Tesla.Apart from the terms stipulated in the contract, Tesla has also filed documents with other authorities in the city, with details of the gigafactory and what effects it will have on the area and the environment in general. The documents are not only mandatory but will help with final approval from the government.Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in November that the company was making plans to build its first European gigafactory in Germany near Berlin. At the time, the company didn’t give much information but said the factory will be in the “Berlin area” and will also be somewhere around the city’s new airport. When completed, the gigafactory is expected to have a staff strength of up to 10,000 and might be able to produce up to 500,000 electric vehicles in a year.The new agreement falls in line with Brandenburg’s ongoing progression into being an important hub for the auto sector. Along with Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, these German states are looking to add the auto industry to their already established reputation for other endeavors like power generation.Joerg Steinbach, the Economy Minister of Brandenburg, shared:“We’ve reached two additional milestones before Christmas. That makes me optimistic that this spectacular project can make further headway next year.”Competition with PorscheWhile Tesla is still the widely-accepted yardstick for measuring electric vehicles, Porsche might just be overtaking. A fiery competition that has been ongoing between Tesla’s Model S and the Porsche Taycan already has the former in the losing position.Interestingly, the rivalry began from Musk himself. The largely controversial CEO went on Twitter back in September, with a tweet seemingly mocking Porsche, thinly suggesting that his Tesla was faster. In October, Top Gear then tested both cars in a drag race that ended with the Taycan in the lead. Even though there were a lot of complaints from viewers in the video’s comment section as well as from Musk himself (he did it via a tweet), Top Gear insists that the race was free and fair.Speaking to CCN, PartCatalog auto expert Alan Marek has said that there’s a chance that the race will trigger a Model S upgrade. According to Marek:“Our bet is that Porsche is now going to force Tesla to innovate the S even further. Tesla has continually tweaked the car over the years, but it hasn’t seen a major redesign yet. Our bet is that the time for a major redesign is drawing near.”Tesla Stock PerformanceTesla (TSLA) is currently sitting at $405.59, dropping from a pre-market $412.38 figure. Recently, Coinspeaker reported that TSLA is looking good because the general sentiment, even from skeptics, is considerably encouraging. The company has been able to turn its books around and balance out its heavy huge debts and has taken advantage of the initial mockery of its Cybertruck, turning it around for good. “…even the bears recognize that Tesla’s about to have an earnings breakout, perhaps as soon as next year”, noted CNBC’s Jim Cramer.Tesla Reaches Agreement with German Authority for Gigafactory Construction near Berlin
Coinspeaker Crix: A B2B Trading Engine For Other ExchangesThe cryptocurrency industry has come of age as Bitcoin (BTC) celebrates its 10th anniversary. Over the years, more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies have come to the fore, leading to an increased demand for online trading platforms. Despite existing cynical beliefs about the industry, crypto exchanges have become quite successful in what seems to be a short time.Now, the most popular exchange platforms not only act as gateways to the industry but also provide the most jobs in the blockchain industry by up to 42 percent.However, despite the prevalence and success of crypto exchanges, institutional traders looking for volume, speed and, bespoke trading tools have few alternatives as popular crypto exchanges are mostly designed for retail traders. Fortunately, CRIX (a fully compliant exchange) provides a one-stop-shop that allows institutional as well as retail traders to enjoy the benefits of investing in the crypto capital markets.CRIX Features And BenefitsAt its core, CRIX is a crypto trading platform that seeks to level the playing field for institutional traders.The exchange is compliant with existing regulation and works towards preventing any type of manipulation, a common issue among major crypto exchanges. The CRIX exchange works with Grant Thornton in Malta and law firms in the US to ensure that all regulatory and legal obligations are met. By integrating transparency and openness, the CRIX exchange is set to bring about unseen benefits to the crypto sphere. Here are some of its core features:Algorithm TradingAlso, with the many emerging advantages of algorithmic trading, the CRIX exchange allows traders to set up and host a trading bot on a special cloud server for faster trade execution. This means that the connection between the trading platform and the trading bot will remain uninterrupted for high-frequency trading.Furthermore, apart from being able to pick from a variety of pre-made trading algorithms, institutional traders can customize existing algorithms. Traders will also be able to backtest their trading bots on the live market with access to historical data pulled from other exchanges.Streamlined KYC ProcessesIn the world of finance, KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) regulations are increasingly becoming stringent. The reason is simple. These processes provide a critical cornerstone to the security of the industry against abuse.However, most of these requirements feature a host of geographical differences and complexities. On most exchange platforms, reports show that the process of onboarding new users can take up to three days on average; reduced to minutes on CRIX.For institutional traders, this period can lead to major losses. For this reason, CRIX has designed a high-security KYC process that has been streamlined to only take seconds before approval. The process is facilitated by the help of Yoti which is the leading AML and KYC compliance provider in the UK.SecureThrough CRIX’s partnership with BitGo, the CRIX trading platform can provide next-generation security levels on each wallet. BitGo pioneered the first multi-signature hot wallet for cryptocurrencies. Therefore, institutional traders using the Crix exchange can rest easy knowing that each wallet has a multi-signature with keys that are secured offline in bank vaults.ConclusionAs the crypto and blockchain space expands further, demand for sophisticated trading tools will increase. CRIX’s vision is to create an infrastructure that will accommodate the increasing needs of this emerging industry while providing a fully-fledged trading platform.With the integration of algorithmic trading, traders can code, backtest and deploy their trading bots on the live market without incurring huge costs. In fact, for every filled limit order, CRIX offers a 0.05% rebate to traders. This means that (unlike existing exchange platforms) traders on CRIX get paid to trade.CRIX has also come up with a proof of concept that will allow traders to build AI-enabled trading bots on the CRIX algorithmic exchange. Therefore, apart from having access to a fully-functional test-net exchange, traders will be able to automatically evolve their high-frequency strategies with time. You can try out the CRIX exchange here to enjoy the 0.05% market rebate.Crix: A B2B Trading Engine For Other Exchanges
Coinspeaker Mixed Outlook Looms even as Bitcoin Rally Attempts to Get Closer to $8000The weekend was positive for Bitcoin with another batch mimicking up during late U.S. trading and early Monday morning in Asia.BTC/USD is currently trading at $7,521 (+ 5.4% on the daily chart). The coin has been recovering since Sunday. During the early Asian hours, the cryptocurrency attempted the area above $7,600.Sentiment among traders and analysts altered back up again as optimism for “a year-end rally” returned to cryptocurrencies.Analysts maintained their range during the sudden Bitcoin correction from $6,500 to levels close to $7,500 last week.Majority doubt that the reversal was fundamentally supported and believe that Bitcoin did not go through with exploring the downside. Moreover, some still say that BTC could plunge to $6000 or even $5,500 before a major reversal occurs.However, the weekend action where Bitcoin spiked past the $7,400 and $7,600 hurdles, is changing negative views to positive sentiments. A breakout to $8,000 is possible before the new year. Although, Bitcoin may need to sustain the support at $7,500, and maintain large volumes and anchor on $8,000.Bitcoin remains stationary in its limited-range channel which formed nearly a month ago and until $8,000 is broken this rally is expected to proceed.Crypto traders and analysts are beginning to turn bullish with support holding steady and retesting the resistance. The last few days of this year will be decisive for the next direction. All that bitcoin needs is to stay above $7,000 and maintain support for the position to gain momentum.2020 is seen as an answer to the question of whether there will be a halving. This occurrence, which is 147 days from now, may either lead to a rally in May 2020 or lead the BTC overall to a higher high. The current rise in the bitcoin price may be an indication of a halving, as 2020 is now considered a positive year for standardization of cryptocurrencies, although no new highs are ever confirmed.BTC/USD Retains Its Gain past the Level at $7,500 as $8,000 AttractsSupply Levels: $7,400, $7,200, $7,000Resistance Levels: $8,000, $7,800, $7,600Bitcoin corrected higher over the weekend along with other major cryptocurrencies. After a notable rebound from the price level at $6,500 last week to the highest level at $7,500, BTC held together between a narrow range from the level at $7000 to $7,300. The breakout pushed the price to break through the major barriers at the level of $7,200, $7,400 in addition to $7,600. However, the $7800 price level remains intact and unrestricted although it has been largely tested.BTC is trending past important resistances that changed into support levels. More movement towards the price level at $8,000 may touch the level at $7,800. A breakout above $7,400 renewed interest in the largest cryptocurrency even as the holiday mood began.On the downside, Bitcoin is strongly supported after the major resistance has turned into critical support levels. The first support is noticed at the $7,400 level, as shown by the horizontal support level on the daily chart.Mixed Outlook Looms even as Bitcoin Rally Attempts to Get Closer to $8000
Coinspeaker Stocks of Chipmaking Companies Emerge as Top Performers of the DecadeOver the last decade, specifically after the 2008 global economic recession, chipmakers have emerged as the best performing industry across sectors and regions. The latest industry report shows that the chipmaking industry witnessed a 377% growth in the last 10 years. This is double the growth of the S&P 500 during the same period.This shows that the semiconductor industry remains at the core of this rapidly changing technology. Despite new technologies like AI, blockchain, ML, and others making swift penetration, the demand for high-end hardware continues to grow. It turns out that the chipmaking industry serves as the backbone of the global economy.Stacy Rasgon, a popular analyst of the tech industry, spoke to CNBC about how the industry evolved. In June 2009, Rasgon unveiled his first coverage on semiconductors after which the industry has undergone a sea change. Rasgon said:“I launched right at the bottom with a really negative view on the sector. Literally six weeks after I launched, everybody started beating numbers by double digits.”He added that the Philadelphia Semiconductor index, a 30-stock benchmark for the sector, almost doubled from its bottom in November 2008. Now, 10 years down the line, the semiconductor industry has made a strong footprint on the global economy. Almost every electronic device we use from smartphones, smart speakers, headphones, battery packs, etc. semiconductors are the essential products powering these devices.Tech Companies Pour Massive Investments for ChipmakingDespite, the traditional companies like NXP Semiconductor, Intel and Qualcomm expanding their base, other tech companies are also pouring massive investments in making their native chips. For e.g. tech giant Apple makes its own Bionic line of chips. Amazon has Graviton series of chips, and Google has its Tensor Processing Unit.On the other hand, South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics has pledged over $100 billion in investments in making their own chips. Samsung is increasingly focused on making miniaturized semiconductors using the extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) process. Yoon Jong Shik, executive vice president of Samsung’s foundry business, said:“A new market is opening up. Companies like Amazon, Google and Alibaba, which lack experience in silicon design, are seeking to make chips with their own concept ideas in order to boost their services. I think this would bring a significant breakthrough for our non-memory chip business.”In the semiconductor business, Samsung also has a strong competitor in Asia. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) is another chipmaking giant in this region with potential clients like Google and Apple. TMSC is also pushing the use of the EUV process in making to accomplish a 5-nanometer production process.Stocks of Chipmaking Companies Emerge as Top Performers of the Decade
Coinspeaker As XRP Price Crashes, Is It a Good Time to Buy?XRP price crashes continue to have place. As the price has fallen to $0.20, it means that the coin has lost 95% of its highest all-time value. Currently, Bitcoin dominance is at an all-time high of nearly 70%. This has created a scenario where the XRP token has lost ground. This hasn’t however dampened the confidence of investors into XRP-related projects. Sources indicate that Ripple announced recently that it had been able to get about $200 million in investments this year. Ripple Labs also had said that this was the company’s greatest year ever.There are many reasons why this hasn’t reflected in the price levels of the token. Firstly, the existence of escrow accounts is an issue. Ripple Labs uses these accounts to release tokens into the crypto space. It already creates way too much liquidity. This, of course, has a deflationary effect on XRP prices and as such any sharp swing such as the recent dip will affect the cryptocurrency token negatively. Secondly, we all know that the adoption of the cryptocurrency has risen exponentially. Most of the movements of the XRP token also occur on a transactional basis only. The zero-cost factor in terms of transaction costs for nodes on RippleNet also isn’t giving the node operators. There is no incentive to hold XRP tokens which in turn will buoy prices.Several things are occurring on the technical side. They are considered below.Trend Remains Bearish as XRP Price Crashes FurtherThe general XRP trend is expected to remain bearish. XRP price crashes may become regular. The lows will go lower and the high points as well. This has led to many believing that XRP may be going extinct. That’s, however, another story for another day. Even though we are at the lowest levels right now which is the $0.17- $0.2. It would also be too early to tell if the prices will just keep sliding or if a rebound to bearish support levels of $0.3 is possible. Cryptocurrency markets are known the wildly reverse in these sorts of situations.For instance, during the October 2017 Bitcoin bubble, XRP is known to have risen to an all-time high of $3 before bottoming out alongside the rest of the crypto space. Similarly, before 2017, XRP prices are known to have reached an all-time high of around $0.9 indicating little or no activity. With the slight uptick in prices from 2016 to the bubble, XRP followed the same pathway that the other altcoins did. With a divergence after crypto winter this year following institutional interest and entry into the crypto space, a divergence of prices is being seen in the altcoins. So, in answer to the question if it’s a good time to buy XRP the answer would be “yes” as long as you’re ready to HODL which is exactly what the smartest investors are doing at the moment.As XRP Price Crashes, Is It a Good Time to Buy?
Coinspeaker Bitwise Expresses Commitment to Bitcoin ETF in a New Letter to the SECThe Bitwise digital asset management is still very much interested in creating a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). On Wednesday, the firm sent a new letter to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), responding to the earlier published 112-page rejection letter it received from the SEC back in October.Published by the SEC on Friday, the new letter addressed the SEC’s manipulation fears. According to the SEC, one of the reasons the Bitcoin ETF could not be approved was the risk of market manipulation. The SEC specified that since this was a potent worry, the exchange must be “designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.” Basically, the SEC wasn’t convinced that Bitwise had done enough to tackle this problem.Bitwise has now suggested to the SEC that because the price of Bitcoin is set in the open market, the asset is “uniquely resistant” to the kind of market manipulation that plagues other markets. The firm further writes that:“Bitcoin’s inherent fungibility and the market’s distributed nature allowed for effective arbitrage to take place between different trading venues, which helped insulate Bitcoin from attempts to manipulate individual markets.”Bitwise notes that the requirement for surveillance sharing, as a way to stem the possibility of market manipulation, has also been satisfied. The ETF was filed on Bitwise’s behalf by NYSE Arca and the letter specifies that the latter has an agreement with the CME Group via the Intermarket Surveillance Group.In addition, Bitwise argues that there is a very “robust set of rules” that already cater to fears about market manipulation. The CME CF Bitcoin Rate used in settling CME Bitcoin futures contracts, (a product already approved by the CFTC) operates with those rules. Also, the CME chairs an Oversight Committee which is in charge of the rates and considers Bitcoin prices from five of the world’s biggest exchanges including Bitstamp, Coinbase, Gemini, itBit, and Kraken. Bitwise then adds that:“The constituent exchange criteria stipulates that the Oversight Committee makes sure that each exchange ‘has policies to ensure fair and transparent market conditions at all times and has processes in place to identify and impede illegal, unfair or manipulative trading practices’ and ‘cooperates with inquiries and investigations of regulators and the Administrator upon request and must execute data sharing agreements with CME Group.”Bitwise says that a proper ETF would give “material protection” to Bitcoin investors in the U.S. who are already entering the market through other means and that it is “committed” to floating an ETF.Bitwise first filed in January 2019 and has met with the SEC several times trying to allay whatever fears the Commission might have about the product. However, as optimistic as the company was, the SEC thought differently and disapproved the application. Shortly after the rejection, Bitwise responded and thanked the SEC for a detailed response, saying that it chose to see the disapproval as progress.So far, the SEC is yet to approve any Bitcoin ETF.Bitwise Expresses Commitment to Bitcoin ETF in a New Letter to the SEC
The same way startups try out new tech, games often can be seen testing out new innovations. When it comes to blockchain games, the first game that comes to mind is CryptoKitties. The game is essentially a digital cat-breeder game on ethereum. Blockchain games have also allowed early adopters to experiment with the benefits of open protocols. Even at the moment, the top dApps by transaction volume are games.
There is of course a big amount of skepticism when it comes to the blockchain gaming space. One of the biggest and heated discussions, came after Tony Sheng explained why Fortnite would not embrace blockchain in the near future.
The post inevitably drove the discussion towards how blockchain tech fundamentally recreates economies in the gaming world. He underlines the fact that true digital scarcity breaks currently-existing business models and that’s probably why the gaming industry won’t rush to use blockchain. In general, most people will agree with his statement that:
“If games manage to bring crypto to the masses, they will have entirely different business models.”
2017’s incredible success made it very difficult to differ signal from noise in the blockchain games sector. The incredible bull run allowed many ether-wealthy early adopters to be able to engage in early dApps. CryptoKitties was the first blockchain-gaming experience for the masses. People actually “owned” the cats that that made the whole concept very exciting for the community. At the peak, some cats managed to sell for thousands of dollars.
Blockchain games under the microscope
This is why we need to take a closer look at CryptoKitties. At the time of creation, there was almost no gaming infrastructure on ethereum. CryptoKitties literally build everything themselves, from the website, to the artwork, cat-breeding function and their market. At release, the business model was simple and when they sold a 0 generation cat, they banked 3.75% of the cut every single time a new kitty was sold or sired.
Many experts argued that the game could have been built on a centralized infrastructure. User experience could have been exactly the same and kitties could have been stored in a SQL database. Mainstream users however, found the games incredibly hard to use and with good reason. Everything was simply too hard and complex, including KittyHats, a set of ERC20 tokens which allowed users to customize their cats.
Cat value was driven higher because it was simply another thing you can do with them. The impact however, was distorted because of how hard it was to use. You had to download a chrome extension and do the accessories on a whole different website. If CryptoKitties embraced KittyHats and showed the accessories on the main website, the business model could have been changed a bit.
Maybe the lesson we could take from CryptoKitties is that at the moment, technology simply cannot provide a reliable way for crypto to be integrated into mainstream gaming. Blockchain games are currently relying mainly on software innovation which tends to evolve a lot quicker than hardware. This is why small tinkerers will most likely keep experimenting and next year, we might finally see some developments that will push the space forward.
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Coinspeaker Barcelona and Real Madrid Are the Best-Paid Teams, Shows Sporting Intelligence SurveyEvery year, online-provider of sports news Sporting Intelligence conducts Global Sports Salaries Survey. The survey represents the basic annual pay of teams and shows the best-paid of them. According to the latest Sporting Intelligence survey, this year Spanish Barcelona and Real Madrid and Italy’s Juventus have enjoyed the highest salaries. It is notable that Barcelona has managed to keep its top status for the second year in a row.Global Sports Salaries Survey 2019 reads:“Barcelona have retained their status as the best paid team in global sport. The average basic first-team pay at the Spanish giants – where genius Lionel Messi has starred for 15 years and counting – is £9,827,644 per year for the current season, 2019-20, according to research for this 10th edition of Sportingintelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Survey. That number represents a slight drop on last year’s table-topping figure of £10.5m but keeps Barça in first place in professional team sport, worldwide, ahead of their biggest domestic rivals.”It means that the first-team player of Barcelona gets $12,800,000 annually. This sum represents basic annual pay and does not include signing-on bonuses, performance bonuses, and other extras.Further, Global Sports Salaries Survey describes the earnings of other leaders:“Real Madrid have an average just above £8.9m in second place this year (the same ranking as last year) with Serie A giants Juventus averaging almost £8.1m in third place, up from ninth last year.”The remaining seven spots in the top ten are taken by basketball teams from North America’s NBA. By the way, in 2017, NBA teams ranked the top. Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Golden State Warriors took the first three positions at that time.Sporting Intelligence Survey: Ups and Downs of 2019It is notable that while Barcelona and Real Madrid haven’t seen any moves from the first and second spots they occupied last year, other teams were rising and falling dramatically. For example, the luckiest teams that have risen this year are Buffalo Bills of the NFL (has moved from position 152 to line 92), the Atlanta Braves of MLB (up 59places) and Rafa Benitez’s Dalian Yifang of China’s CSL has climbed from position 235 to line 178).Juventus is also one of the climbers. Ranked 32 in 2017, Italian football leader made its way to tenth place last year. This jump was mostly due to the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. But as we see, the club strives for more. As a result of signing more high-paid players this year, Juventus is the third best-paid team.As for the fallers, the biggest of them are MLB teams. The Toronto Blue Jays team is down 123 positions this year, the Baltimore Orioles gets down to number 157, the Kansas City Royals loses 84 places and the Arizona Diamondbacks is 68 lines below its last-year position.Global Sports Salaries Survey is a research conducted by Sporting Intelligence every year since 2010. Starting from 2017, the researches focus on thematic specials. The 2017 survey focused on gender inequality in global team sport in financial terms. Last year, the survey paid attention to the possible prediction of World Cup outcomes using the salary levels of those involved.This year, the theme is ‘Popularity Issue’. The survey of 2019 explains how popularity can lead to greater wealth.Barcelona and Real Madrid Are the Best-Paid Teams, Shows Sporting Intelligence Survey
Coinspeaker Bitcoin Price Surges 5% to Move above $7600 in the Crypto Market RallyIt’s a good start to the week as Bitcoin and the majority of altcoins have turned green in the crypto market rally. In the last 24-hours, the overall cryptocurrency market added $10 billion.Simultaneously, the BTC price has surged nearly 5% moving above $7600. Bitcoin is currently leading today’s market rally with Ethereum posting under 3% gains. Last week, Bitcoin was struggling to cross $7000 and instead went all down below $6600 levels.However, it quickly managed to cover its lost ground and surge above $7000 levels. Today’s BTC price rally comes as a huge breather to its investors. With today’s price surge, Bitcoin has covered 15% gains from its weekly low.At press time, Bitcoin is trading at $7551 with a market cap of $137 billion. Moreover, with today’s price surge Bitcoin’s dominance in the crypto market has moved above 68.5%.As for altcoins, the situation also looks rather positive. Over the last 24 hours, XRP has gained around 1% and reached 0.20%. Bitcoin Cash has gained over 3% and now is trading for $195. Litecoin‘s increase is around 2.5%. At the current moment LTC price is $42.Bitcoin Price Rocky RideLast week on December 17, the BTC price went crashing downwards to $6600 breaking all support levels. The price was reportedly the result of a massive sell-off by PlusToken scammers. A report from Chainalysis showed that the China-based PlusToken platform cashed out 25000 BTC tokens in a go. However, not many details about this scam were available and Bitcoin quickly recovered from this fall.Later in the week, Bakkt‘s Bitcoin futures volume hit its all-time high taking Bitcoin price higher. As it has been reported by CoinSpeaker, there was a massive open interest for Bakkt Bitcoin Futures. Just in three months of launching its Bitcoin Futures contracts in September 2019, Bakkt has successfully managed to stir massive institutional interest in the market.Seeing higher institutional interest, cryptocurrency derivates platform ErisX launched a similar product in the market. ErisX’s newly launched physically-settled Bitcoin Futures contracts will compete directly with Bakkt’s offering. Investors can’t participate through brokerages or futures commission merchants until next year.Now, with just seven days left for 2019, everyone is looking into how will 2020 turn out to be for Bitcoin investors. One of the most-important events Bitcoin-halving is scheduled in mid-2020. A report from Blockchain Capital also suggests that Bitcoin will climb past its all-time high of $20,000 next year.Along with BTC gains, the top ten altcoins are showing 2-5% gains in today’s market rally. It remains to be seen if the market can sustain this momentum and take the rally further before bidding adieu to 2019.Bitcoin Price Surges 5% to Move above $7600 in the Crypto Market Rally
Coinspeaker BTC-e Admin Alexander Vinnik Is Going to the United States, Not FranceAlexander Vinnik is a former BTC-e administrator and fraudster. BTC-e exchange was laundering billions since 2015 and Vinnik’s arrest happened after the U.S. court order. Some facts point that he has connections with the Mt. Gox hack and Russian special service agents.Vinnik Lost FSB Protection in Complicated CaseGreece is preparing for the extradition of Alexander Vinnik to the United States. Local cops arrested him during rest at one of the VIP private resorts. The U.S. officials and a number of independent investigators say that Russian criminals and hackers related to corrupt FSB agents were using his services to ‘wash’ money.Vinnik was sitting in the Greek prison for more than two years, awaiting for verdict. The judge wrote three court orders that prescribe to send Vinnik to Russia, France or the U.S.His lawyer Timofey Musatov insists that Vinnik must be sent to Russia, as this is what Vinnik himself wants.Two days ago, the Greece Ministry of Justice’s head Konstantinos Tsiaras had signed the approval of sending Vinnik to France. Despite the official judge’s decision says he is going to France, the Minister had sent a private letter to prison head with the command to prepare the documents regarding sending Vinnik to the U.S. After interrogation he is presumably going to the Russian government.The letter leaked and got into the hands of RIA journalists. Per Timofey Musatov, Vinnik’s lawyer:“This means that the French side will not come and they didn’t even want. The document points on the fact that the extradition to the U.S. was prepared beforehand”He also notes that the French court order lost its power. According to the RIA sources in the Ministry of Justice, Greece plans the extradition before the New Year. Vinnik also has Greece-based second lawyer, Zoi Constantopoulou. She will file an appeal immediately, and did call current judgment “a death penalty”.At the same time, Vinnik says that he will not be going anywhere and continues a hunger-strike.How Vinnik Was Arrested?Vinnik came to Greece in 2017, to have some rest with his wife and two kids. At that moment, Washington accused him of violating the U.S. AML laws and operating a cryptocurrency exchange without a warrant. They also stated that the BTC-e exchange where Vinnik worked as a system administrator and accountant was laundering billions of dollars in grey cash.France claims that Vinnik is guilty of stealing the money from the French people during the time he was in jail. However, this is impossible because he didn’t have the access to Internet and devices. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs had some talks with the Greek Ministers on 6 November. The Moscow actively sends packages of arguments in favor of sending Vinnik to Russia.Why is Vinnik such a superstar, you may ask? It is clear that Vinnik may hold large amounts of cryptocurrency, and this is of big interest to powers of any jurisdiction. He also knows the inside workings of the BTC-e and WEX exchanges. He knows where to look for the BTC-e backlogs, databases, and presumably user’s coins. And, strangely, he is under the protection of Timofey Musatov, a man allegedly working with the FSB agents and informants if captured by the dangerous foreign court.BTC-e Admin Alexander Vinnik Is Going to the United States, Not France