Interbank market news scan: People are still learning about decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens …

Bitcoin and Ethereum rates as of 2:00 pm EST:

ETH/USD: 1,727.26 BTC/USD: 50,781.20

ETH/EUR: 1,453.99 BTC/EUR: 42,747.00

ETH/GBP: 1,248.90 BTC/GBP: 36,717.40

ETH/AUD: 2,250.84 BTC/AUD: 66,174.40

ETH/CHF: 1,612.47 BTC/CHF: 47,406.40

ETH/JPY: 187,629.00 BTC/JPY: 5,516,260.00

ETH/CNY: 11,255.90 BTC/CNY: 330,921.00

Source: OANDA

Follow the links …

Engaging in the traditional financial markets has become less appealing to consumers and institutional investors as of late. New opportunities are plentiful, with decentralized finance getting a lot of attention. However, that new movement is not without its risks and flaws, either. Decentralized finance may be the future, but education is still lacking (cointelegraph.com)

Akash Network, a project out of Overclock Labs, confirmed the successful launch of Akash MAINNET 2, the first open-source cloud and the only viable decentralized cloud alternative to centralized cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Decentralized finance may be the future, but education is still lacking (cointelegraph.com)

In May 2021, Brinc Finance is launching the Brinc Token (BRC) – the world’s first defi cryptocurrency backed by on-chain reserves that delivers intrinsic value by distributing fees and governance tokens directly to holders. The BRC Token is powered by an algorithmic bonding curve which governs the minting, burning, price, and supply via smart contract. Brinc Finance introduces the BRC Token – a defi token with intrinsic value, increasing returns, and on-chain reserves | Markets Insider (businessinsider.com)

NFT, or non-fungible token, has become 2021’s ‘blockchain’, a word you’ve never heard of before that is suddenly everywhere. Be it Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey auctioning his first tweet, or the Kings of Leon selling their latest album, as one, NFTs are everywhere. But what is an NFT? What is an NFT? Non-fungible tokens explained and why you shouldn’t dismiss this fad | TechRadar

As of 4:07 am AST, the price of Ether and Bitcoin per various currencies …

BTC ETH 
BTC/USD=23080.3 ETH/USD=614.193 
BTC/EUR=18,907.8 ETH/EUR=503.158 
BTC/JPY=2,388,500 ETH/JPY=63,560.7 
BTC/CNH=150,898 ETH/CNH=4,015.67 
BTC/DKK=140,642 ETH/DKK=3,742.65 
BTC/CHF=20,477.7 ETH/CHF=544.935 
BTC/GBP=17,232 ETH/GBP=458.564 

Source: OANDA

Legal/Political news impacting cybercurrencies

How not to treat forex traders: CFTC wins order of restitution against Winston Reed Investments

December 22, 2020

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, entered a consent order against Mark N. Pyatt, of North Carolina,imposing a permanent injunction and ordering Pyatt to make restitution in the amount of $255,850. The order also permanently bans Pyatt from registering with the CFTC and from trading commodity futures and retail foreign exchange contracts (forex). In the order, Pyatt admitted to fraudulently soliciting individuals to place funds in a commodity pool and to misappropriating most of the funds he solicited.

The consent order resolves a CFTC case against Pyatt that was filed in the Western District of North Carolina on February 10, 2020. [See CFTC Press Release No. 8120-20] The CFTC’s litigation continues against Pyatt’s company, Winston Reed Investments LLC.

The consent order finds that from at least April 2017 to February 2019, Pyatt accepted $276,850 from pool participants to trade commodity futures and forex. The consent order also finds that Pyatt misappropriated most of pool participants’ funds for business expenses and personal use, and to make Ponzi-like payments to other pool participants, while using only a fraction of the funds to trade. In addition, despite overall net trading losses, Pyatt sent reports to investors claiming profits of between 18.8 percent to 86.5 percent per month.

Related Criminal Action

In a parallel criminal action, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina announced that Pyatt pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with the scheme. On October 27, 2020, Pyatt was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution to his victims. [See United States v. Mark Nicholas Pyatt, Case No. 1:20-cr-00016, ECF No. 42 (W.D.N.C. Nov. 5, 2020)]

The CFTC cautions that orders requiring repayment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.

The CFTC appreciates the cooperation and assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina in this matter.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Michael Loconte, James A. Garcia, Erica Bodin, and Rick Glaser.

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CFTC’s Foreign Currency (Forex) Fraud Advisory

The CFTC has issued several customer protection fraud advisories, including the Forex Fraud Advisory, which provides information about a type of fraud involving the trading of foreign currencies and how customers can detect, avoid, and report these scams.

Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the Division of Enforcement via a toll-free hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online.

Source: Commodity Futures Trading Commission