back to article Er, hi. Small Q. Where's our billion-ish dollars gone? We summarize Bitcoin exchange's subpoena requests

iFinex, the parent company of crypto-currency exchange Bitfinex, is seeking subpoenas in its quest to recover more than $880m in missing funds. Giancarlo Devasini, chief financial officer for iFinex, filed subpoena applications [PDF, PDF] in a US federal district court in California on October 18, demanding information and …

  1. Tromos

    What did they expect?

    It has been a known fact for centuries that in the laundry business, items go missing.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: What did they expect?

      Sounds like someone lost the shirt off their back

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Re: What did they expect?

        Sounds like someone lost the shirt off their back

        Never mind the shirt, I want to know what they do with all the odd socks!

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: What did they expect?

          The Eater of Socks has been visiting.

        2. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: What did they expect?

          Where do you think that Socks proxies come from?

  2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Devil

    This is why thugs are an operational expense in the money lending industry

    Just to settle questions of who exactly owns the money.

    and they think they can replace them with blockchain. Idiots.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Show me the money! Show me the money!

  4. James Anderson Silver badge

    Just look at the blockchain

    It guarantees s complete unalterable secure history of all the transactions.

    Oh except when there's money involved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just look at the blockchain

      The "money" disappeared in the banking labyrinth. The cryptocurrency is secure. It's not in a bank.

      1. James Anderson Silver badge

        Re: Just look at the blockchain

        So when a mugger runs off with my 20 pound note. Its still secure as he can spend it?

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "how and why did the cash vanish"

    That's simple : the money vanished because the entire Bitcoin industry is run by thugs, criminals and incompetent idiots. The idiots serve as unwitting patsies for the criminals to launder the money made from illegal activities all over the world.

    That is why, in this case, a US-based exchange has money frozen in accounts in Poland. That is why two companies are run by the exact same people.

    The whole thing is a sham and a cover for criminal activity. It may not have started like that, but that's how it is now.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: "how and why did the cash vanish"

      I think you might find there are quite a few financial companies owned by the exact same people. It's not something limited to the cryptocoin world.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "how and why did the cash vanish"

      The whole thing is a sham and a cover for criminal activity. It may not have started like that, but that's how it is now.

      Hmm, I wonder if that explains why Zuckerberg was so keen on it. I reckon all the other parties bailed when it dawned on them that Zuck just wanted a tax evasion scam..

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    British Virgin Islands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom

    bitcoin geography lesson No 1: Never mind everything, just trust US! :)

    p.s. banks must be ecstatic, another few bitcoin scandals that make rounds in worlds' media, and governments will really step in to do "something" about this "bitcoin menace". Somehow, I expect they'll be supported by banking experts, and word "regulation" has many shades...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: British Virgin Islands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom

      Banks don't care about Bitcoin. It's not even a pimple on their behinds - when it comes to transaction volumes. The banking industry are interested in Blockchain - which may be an over-hyped but interesting technology or may go into general usage.

      The banking industry have got in-country transactions nailed in developed countries. And technology like M-Pesa does really well in Africa. Where crypto cuttencies probably not that useful either, because you need to have the tech to operate them. How do you have an offline wallet if your only computer is a feature phone or cheap smartphone?

      That leaves Bitcoin for the criminals - as governments try to push them out of the banking system.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: British Virgin Islands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom

        Central banks care, a lot. Losing the monopoly ability to create currency out of thin air - and dilution of the existing stock - is their bread and butter.

        Easiest to nip that in the bud be allowing/helping their competition to be discredited.

        For example, by seizing the bucks while they were bucks, instead of crypto.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: British Virgin Islands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom

          DCFusor,

          Central Banks don't have a monopoly ability to create money out of thin air. Money supply doesn't work like that. Ordinary banks making loans increase the money supply. And it reduces again when those loans are paid off.

          Central Banks' job is to manage the money supply, in order to achieve a relatively stable inflation rate (mostly around 2%) - for which they have inadequate tools and inadequate information - so they have to do their best. Their main policy tool is changes in interest rates to try and infuence the money supply - which broadly they want to increase at about the same rate as the economy does.

          One of the reasons that the gold standard failed is that it was depenent on the gold supply. So when lots was being dug out of the ground you got high inflation (which is one of the main things that knackered the Spanish empire). But equally when the economy grew faster than the gold supply, you got deflation. Which is even worse than inflation - as it tends to lead directly to long periods of economic depression.

          Also Central Banks' ability to create money at the flick of the switch saved the global economy from collapse within the last decade. You should be grateful for it. It's also a central tenet of Central Banking. Central Banks need to be able to provide unlimited liquidity to solvent banks in order to prevent bank runs - because once they start happening you get massive banking crises - which cause economic depressions. So the world's major Central Banks all printed trillions of dollars worth of cash in 2008/9 and all lent it to their banks at above market rate interest. In fact the banks were forced to take it. And all provided collaterol for it. All that money was paid back within 2 years at profit - and the money was destroyed again, at the press of a button. The result being that we didn't have a global banking collapse, no net money creation and a small profit paid to governments and drop in the banks' profits.

          QE is rather different - but was a vital component of avoiding a global depression - and has not led to massive inflation as predicted by the doomsayers. It was based on work done on the 1930s depression - some of it by Ben Bernanke - who fortuitously turned out to be governor of the Fed at the time - as an academic expert on the 1930s that turned out to be rather handy.

  7. katrinab Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I've been seeing lots of white papers and keynote speeches about some amazing new technology that makes this sort of fraud impossible. Something called a "blockchain". Maybe they should try using it?

    Oh ... [facepalm]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      facepalm indeed

      They created a cryptocurrency backed (ostensibly) by USD instead of its inherent value. Ooops.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: facepalm indeed

        The inherent value is of course the current value of future cashflows.

        Future cashflows: $0

        Discount factor to obtain current value: Who cares, the answer will be $0 no matter what number you pick.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "to recuperate its cash in Blighty"

    After Brexit I might need to find somewhere for my cash to recuperate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      FTFY

      After Brexit I might need to find some cash so that I can recuperate.

  9. gannett
    FAIL

    Same con different space

    Somehow "The police/authorities have arrived and confiscated the loot from our dodgy transaction" sounds just too much like the end of multiple confidence trick movies and TV show plot lines.

  10. blue-eyes

    Money is made round to go round

    1. So the money goes from one set of fraudsters trying to launder it to another set who will also try to launder it. Go back to 1.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am just shocked, shocked I tell you, but not as shocked as the people that ran this little ponzi scheme will be when they discover how angry and vindictive some of their customers are who just wanted to do their laundry - it doesn't cost a lot to make a "social call" on these gentlemen; though it does cost real currency - most self-respecting "social callers" are cash or secure dollar transfer to nice cayman island bank types.

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