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Thursday, 28 February 2019

Early AlphaPoint Employee Goes Full Bitcoin, Joins Casa

Michael Haley has left security token platform AlphaPoint for crypto custody provider Casa, saying he wants “to get back into good old bitcoin.”

via CoinDesk

MKR, THETA, ENJ, MET: These 4 Cryptos Outperformed the Market in February

Bitcoin may have ended a six-month losing streak in February, but MKR, THETA, ENJ and MET ensure it wasn't the crypto market's biggest winner.

via CoinDesk

Stanford Student Calls Out Crypto Professor for Inaccurate Bitcoin Lecture

stanford xrp.jpg

In January of 2019, student Conner Brown attended a guest lecture by a Professor Susan Athey at the University of Stanford Graduate School. She gave a presentation to his “Evolution of Finance” class titled “Blockchain and the Future of Finance.” According to Brown, the presentation contained “multiple misstatements” about Bitcoin and its fundamentals.

After the presentation, Brown was dissatisfied with how Bitcoin was referenced by Athey during the lecture to a room comprised (mostly) of people who were unfamiliar with the fundamental concepts behind the technology. This prompted him to write an email to the Stanford Graduate School Board, expressing his concerns.

Brown says that the only response he has received from the university thus far is an email stating, “We will get back to you on this.” That’s when he posted his complaint on Twitter.

What She Got Wrong

Athey, who Brown told Bitcoin Magazine is also slated to teach an entire course at Stanford next semester called “Cryptocurrencies,” claimed that not only is Bitcoin "controlled by a small group of miners in China," but that it also “wastes electricity by stealing from rivers to solve useless math problems.” Athey also mentioned that bitcoin is "secured economically and not cryptographically."

In her presentation degrading the first digital, decentralized currency, Athey drew comparisons to what she considered a better solution in Ripple’s technology, using XRP. Specifically, she cited exchange rate volatility, trust issues with exchanges, and long transaction times as drawbacks to using Bitcoin (stating that, subsequently, exchanges needed to buy bitcoin). Athey then, according to her presentation, explained how Ripple’s XRP, xRapid API, and overall consensus mechanism provide an alternative that is faster, cheaper, more secure, and more energy friendly than Bitcoin.

In protest, Brown composed a letter addressed to the Graduate School of Business, expressing his thoughts that certain statements about Bitcoin should have been subject to “high caliber discussion and peer review.”

In addressing Athey’s claims against Bitcoin, Brown properly explained where Athey missed key concepts.

Addressing her claim on mining centralization by a small group in China, Brown explained that Athey was conflating mining nodes with full nodes and had used this misrepresentation to position Ripple as a better alternative to Bitcoin. He also countered by explaining that miners often compile their resources together in a mining pool, but there are many individual miners in these pools and not one entity can completely control Bitcoin.

To Athey’s claim that Bitcoin is secured economically and not cryptographically, Brown pointed out that she is once again conflating two different things: Stealing funds by cracking the encryption of the wallet and using mining power to 51% attack a network.

Conflict of Interest?

As the matter came to light on Twitter, it was pointed out that Athey was welcomed to the Ripple Labs Board of Directors back in April 2014, where she still maintains an active role. When Nic Carter asked on Twitter if Athey had made any disclosure before her presentation, she replied directly: “Five minute verbal introduction discussing my background in the space — no way to miss it!”

Whether or not Athey had any ill-intent in her presentation, Brown told Bitcoin Magazine that is not what mattered to him.

“It concerns me that my classmates’ first introduction to Bitcoin contained severe factual errors along with strong anti-Bitcoin rhetoric. The academy is not a place for marketing, but rigorously testing ideas. If a professor has a potential conflict of interest, they should be held to the highest standards of scrutiny and peer review.

“That being said, Bitcoin is a creature of the internet. Its properties are difficult for academics to appreciate due to its deeply interdisciplinary and evolutionary nature. This makes it difficult for developing a curriculum because of the siloed design of academic disciplines and the slow pace of the peer review process. The internet will always be the best place to pursue a Bitcoin education.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

via Bitcoin Magazine

Signature Bank to Offer Accounts to Bermuda’s Crypto Startups

Signature Bank of New York is courting licensed fintech firms in Bermuda, including crypto startups that have struggled to secure accounts.

via CoinDesk

Kraken Exchange Offers $100K Reward for Missing QuadrigaCX Crypto

Kraken is offering up to $100,000 to anyone who can help locate QuadrigaCX's missing cryptocurrency holdings.

via CoinDesk

Bittrex Leads $1.5 Million Seed Round in South African Crypto Exchange VALR

South Africa's VALR exchange is launching March 1, expanding bitcoin access across the continent.

via CoinDesk

Proof of Love Ep. 4 Julia Brave the World

Julia Brave the World has been a staple in the crypto community for years. She is known not to shy from controversial positions, and this show is no different. In this episode of Proof Of Love, we explore femininity, motherhood, pornography, dating apps, and polyamory with our ladies. As you can imagine, hilarity ensued, and some good insight was shared for people wondering what do women think about all this dating app stuff? What's it like to get hit on, and what makes people act the way they do online vs in real life? What drives inappropriate behavior, and what's missing from modern courtship?

Do you have a burning question, or a show idea for us? Please email us at!

Thank you to our sponsor (use code tatianashow to earn free rewards!)

Remember, this is a new show, so if you like it, please be sure to tell 3 friends! Leave a good review on Itunes, and be sure to follow us on our socials!

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How promiscuity hurts men-

Is Polyamory a Good Option?-

via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network

Ethereum Upgrades as Hard Forks Constantinople and St Petersburg Activate on Blockchain

The long-anticipated upgrade Constantinople has officially activated on the ethereum blockchain. At 19:57 (UTC), the sixth system-wide upgrade to be released since the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap launched in 2015 has successfully been rolled out onto the main network at block number 7,280,000. But, that’s not all. The unusual part about today’s hard […]

via CoinDesk

XRP Is Now Live and Trading on Coinbase’s Consumer App

Coinbase has added XRP to its consumer apps and website, allowing customers in most jurisdictions to trade the No. 3 cryptocurrency.

via CoinDesk

XRP is now available on Coinbase

Facebook Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency in First Half of 2019: NYT Report

A report from the New York Times says plans to launch a cryptocurrency product in the first half of 2019.

via CoinDesk

JP Morgan Is Quietly Testing Cutting-Edge Ethereum Privacy Tech

Fresh off its big reveal of JPM Coin, the megabank is quietly testing a cutting-edge form of ethereum privacy tech.

via CoinDesk

No.2 Cryptocurrency Ethereum Faces Software 'Fork'; Lower Supply Seen

By REUTERS via NYT Technology

Blockchain Advocacy Coalition Sponsors Bill to Allow Crypto for Legal Cannabis Tax

BAC Weed bill.jpg

Activist group Blockchain Advocacy Coalition (BAC) has sponsored a bill in California’s 19th State Assembly District, set to allow legal cannabis businesses in the district to pay their state taxes using cryptocurrency. The bill was proposed by Assemblymember Phil Ting on February 20, 2019.

If put into law, it would affect the district’s many cannabis businesses, particularly all of those in San Francisco.

Logistical Barriers: Delivering Bags of Cash

One of the most prominent driving factors behind this bill, and where the decentralized nature of financial blockchain technology really has a chance to shine, is the fact that banks lack cooperation with these businesses. Citing a conflict with federal law, many financial institutions refuse to let cannabis businesses open bank accounts, thereby cutting off this multibillion-dollar industry from using digital money transfers.

“The current recommendation from the state of California to cannabis businesses is that they use armored vehicles to pay their taxes,” said Alexandra Medina of the BAC. “That’s inefficient and risky. It’s closer to how one might pay taxes during the gold rush, with a stage coach and gunman, than how you would expect California to accept taxes in 2019.”

This current approach is a logistical “nightmare for cities, the state and businesses,” she claimed. It’s dangerous to money couriers, and it forces revenue agencies “to count tens of thousands of bills,” causing tax offices to “smell like weed and fabric softener.”

So far, there has been little progress made to alleviate the situation. “The previous state treasurer convened a working group to solve this issue, and a year later their report did not have a solution,” said Medina. The physical cash transport is “a problem the state has tried and failed to solve.”

Opportunities for Blockchain and Open Finance

Medina called the new bill “a great use case for blockchain and open finance.” To this end, the Blockchain Advocacy Coalition will help educate policymakers about the basics of digital currency and blockchain technology in the hopes of getting the bill passed.

The group has already hosted roundtables for the state’s new treasurer, Fiona Ma, and Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are both very tech savvy and innovative leaders for our state,” said Medina. “Now is a really good time to introduce something like this.”

In the grander scheme, Medina believes that “California has the opportunity to turn around a lack of regulatory clarity” and serve as an example for other states in the Union.

Getting the Bill Passed

At present, getting the bill passed is the group’s main concern. The bill recommends using a stablecoin for these tax payments, but in its current form it will not be prescribing a specific stablecoin. For now, according to Medina, the bill’s supporters will “work to create standards for what kind of coins and wallets the state uses to make sure we have the highest degree of stability and safety for both the state and businesses.”

Medina claimed that the group has already supported two bills that were signed into law in the last year. This new bill will start going through the assembly committee(s) in March and April and has until the end of May to pass the Assembly. Then it will repeat the process with the Senate; it has to get through committee and through the Senate floor by September 13, 2019. If all of these processes go smoothly, and the governor signs it into law by October 13, 2019, Medina expects the bill to be implemented by June 2020.

Medina said that in the BAC’s previous campaigns, over 50 businesses signed support letters for their initiatives, and the group “would like an even stronger showing this year.”

She added that the group has plans to organize “a blockchain education day, where industry advocates can meet with legislators 1:1 and answer questions about the technology and bill,” before the vote reaches the Senate.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

via Bitcoin Magazine

Facebook and Telegram Are Hoping to Succeed Where Bitcoin Failed


Pundi X’s New Phone Can Switch Between Blockchain and Android

Manufacturing startup Pundi X unveiled new specifications for its blockchain phone, which will feature dual operating systems to support both Android apps and dapps.

via CoinDesk

#276 Amaury Sechet: Bitcoin Cash

Amaury Sƒchet is the lead developer of Bitcoin ABC, the largest client for the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Amaury first got started with Bitcoin in 2010 and closely followed the Bitcoin block size debate as it progressed through the early years of Bitcoin. Predicting the eventual failure of SegWit2x, Amaury was part of the original team that helped coordinate the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, timing it with the activation of SegWit on the main Bitcoin blockchain. We discuss with Amaury the roadmap for Bitcoin Cash, especially with regards to their approach to scalability. We cover many of the novel features the Bitcoin Cash development teams are innovating on such as Canonical Transaction Ordering and Avalanche Pre-Consensus, as well as cover some of the more juicy drama that plagued the Bitcoin Cash community in late 2018, leading to split off of Bitcoin SV.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Block Size Debates in Bitcoin
  • Origins of Bitcoin Cash and the Fork
  • Year 1 Technical Development of Bitcoin Cash
  • Bitcoin ABC vs Bitcoin SV
  • Future Roadmap

Links mentioned in this episode:


  • Azure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicks

Support the show, consider donating:

This episode is also available on :

Watch or listen, Epicenter is available wherever podcasts are distributed.

Epicenter is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain, Sƒbastien Couture, Meher Roy, Sunny Aggarwal & Friederike Ernst.

via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network

French President Says Blockchain Could Put Europe at ‘Vanguard’ of Innovation

Emmanuel Macron has called for increased use of data technologies such as blockchain in the EU to benefit agriculture and consumers.

via CoinDesk

Grim Stories of Ethical, Privacy Abuses Emerge About Coinbase’s New Partners

Neutrino Coinbase

When Coinbase acquired Neutrino for an unspecified amount in February 2019, the news looked like business as usual: A cryptocurrency juggernaut had made another acquisition. But the company in question, specifically the ties it has to the unethical practices of one of its predecessors, suggests that the monolithic Coinbase may be joining the oligarchic ranks of its privacy-hostile, too-big-for-consumer-comfort counterparts in legacy tech.

The Ties That Damn

On its website, Italian blockchain analysis company Neutrino proudly advertises that its proprietary software offers all-in-one “solutions for law enforcement” and “financial services.” Its two flagships, XFlow nSpect and XFlow nSight, are billed as “comprehensive solution[s] for monitoring[,] analyzing and tracking cryptocurrency flows across multiple blockchains.” nSight was built to help exchanges and financial service companies like Coinbase to stay regulatorily compliant. nSpect, on the other hand, was built for “criminal investigations and intelligence gathering” and is specifically marketed toward law enforcement.

Continuing on with their work at Coinbase, the Neutrino team, a three-man show consisting of CEO Giancarlo Russo, CRO Marco Valleri and CTO Alberto Ornaghi, are no strangers to building complex computer monitoring software for law agencies.

In another life, they did it as Hacking Team, the notorious Italian software services firm whose dubious business practices made them an antagonist of the wider tech and privacy community. Hacking Team got their start when Valleri and Ornaghi (under the aliases NaGa and ALoR) sold man-in-the-middle attack software to the police force of Milan, Italy, in 2003. These two founders would later be joined by Russo, who acted as COO of the company.

Throughout its history, Hacking Team sold its services to oppressive regimes in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Bahrain and Turkey, among others. These services centered around Hacking Team’s proprietary Remote Control System (RCS) software, a Trojan horse malware that gives users the ability to remotely access files, record keystrokes, take photos and read emails from any infected device.

Email leaks reported by The Intercept trace the team’s cyber footprints to human rights abuses around the world. Hacking Team’s RCS technology was used by the Ethiopian government (which ranks as one of the most oppressive in Africa, with a penchant for silencing free speech) to surveil and interfere with the operations of Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio, a news outlet run by Ethiopian expats. The technology helped the Turkish government to spy on an American, and it was also sold to the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service in 2012 for a whopping €960,000 (around $1,210,000 at the time), though the team shuttered Sudan’s access to their software in 2014 when the government’s clumsy implementation of the software showed that they weren’t “enough prepared for the product usage,” Hacking Team emails reveal. It also played its part in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia and the assault and arrest of UAE activist Ahmed Mansoor.

Reporters Without Borders labeled Hacking Team as one of five “Enemies of the Internet” in 2013 for its role in humanitarian abuses against journalists.

During the 2012 uprisings in Morocco that were inspired by the Arab Spring movement, RCS, under the control of the Moroccan government, singled out, an outlet that published journalists who were vocal critics of the regime. The leaked emails prove that Hacking Team had been selling its software to Morocco since 2010. This would culminate in Mamfakinch’s hardware being infected by a Trojan horse virus, which originally masqueraded as a news tip.

“ came as the first citizen media portal to document protests, providing tools like mapping of protests and also articles. At the time it started, I was not a member. I was asked to join later by one of the co-founders,” Zineb, a pro-democracy activist who was involved with Mamfakinch, told Bitcoin Magazine.

The outlet employed the help of the Citizen Lab to dismantle the virus and trace it back to its Hacking Team source, though most of the damage had already been done by the time they consulted this help.

“Moroccan activists suffer tremendously from what government surveillance provides them with, and former ones like myself have seen what that can be like. From physical threats to family threats, and even worse threats to fellow activists who were part of the human rights and digital rights effort in Morocco,” she said.

Hacking Team repeatedly refused to disclose its clients, and the internal emails betray that, more often than not, when their ties to human rights abuses and oppressive regimes were unearthed by international media, they always tried to mitigate the scrutiny and severity of the ensuing bad press.

In June of 2014, a U.N. panel inquired into Hacking Team’s business with Sudan for violating sanctions regarding weapons exports to the country. The U.N. considered Hacking Team’s software a weapon of sorts, something that Russo refutes in internal emails while also emphasizing that the team wants to keep its name clear from any records regarding the investigation.

“It looks like their focus is to trace every single armament,” wrote Russo. “We absolutely need to avoid being mentioned in these documents.”

Why Coinbase (and We) Should Care

The U.N. investigative panel would mark the beginning of Hacking Team’s unraveling. By March 2016, the Italian government revoked Hacking Team’s export license after an Italian PhD student was murdered in Cairo, Egypt. Hacking Team’s software was allegedly involved in the crime. With the company’s revenue streams severely restricted, Hacking Team was on its last financial leg.

Conveniently, Neutrino was founded the same year that Italian officials revoked Hacking Team’s export license, “very obviously around the time that they would have been desperate for money and needing to start fresh somehow,” Janine, a member of crypto podcast Block Digest who initially raised the alarm about Hacking Team and Neutrino’s ties, told Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Magazine spoke to Janine to learn more about the possible ramifications of this acquisition. In addition to her work at Block Digest, Janine has been a consistent and reliable whistleblower for industry developments that could indicate privacy threats. In the past, she also helped dissect community concerns surrounding the privacy implications of Bitfury’s Peach Lightning suite.

As with the Bitfury situation, Janine has covered every angle of Neutrino and Hacking Team’s shared past on Twitter, and she helped Block Digest produce a two-hour segment on the subject, as well.

Since Neutrino was acquired by Coinbase, the team is more than financially secure. Furthermore, as part of the deal, it will continue to act autonomously out of Coinbase’s London office. The exchange framed the buyout as a means to outfit itself with the proper tools to remain KYC- and AML-compliant with regulators. Janine points out that the company will likely make use of XFlow nSight to this end, though she’s also worried that Neutrino’s technology will come with more serious privacy trade-offs than nSight’s base functionality.

“The chain analysis stuff is not really that interesting to me; it is how much access Coinbase will give to Neutrino,” she told Bitcoin Magazine.

More specifically, she expressed concern about Money Module, a Hacking Team software that allows the user to access devices and private keys. Janine is also suspicious of the backdoors that Hacking Team coded into their software: “They likely had access to whatever data these government clients were collecting from their targets.”

If Coinbase forks over too much data to Neutrino for transaction analysis, and if a backdoor to the software exists in tandem with Money Module, this could spell disaster for user privacy and private key security.

That this backdoor may exist alongside a vehicle for stealing user funds is disturbing — even more disturbing, Janine and other critics have suggested, is Coinbase’s ability to overlook the history of unethical business practices of Neutrino’s team.

When Bitcoin Magazine reached out to Coinbase to ask about the acquisition and how it plans to use Neutrino, the exchange sent back a general statement, indicating that they are aware of and don’t condone Hacking Team’s practices. But this past behavior is not enough for Coinbase to distance themselves from a team whose expertise is in line with its vision:

We are aware that Neutrino’s co-founders previously worked at Hacking Team, which we reviewed as part of our security, technical and hiring diligence. Coinbase does not condone nor will it defend the actions of Hacking Team. Increasingly, third-party blockchain analysis companies are requesting customer data from cryptocurrency companies that they serve. It was important for Coinbase to bring this function in-house to fully control and protect our customers’ data and Neutrino’s technology was the best we encountered in the space to achieve this goal.

Zineb, who is also a crypto enthusiast, told us that it’s disheartening to see the same privacy-compromising and autocratic software eke its way into the cryptocurrency space. You expect this from the legacy tech industry, she expressed, but you don’t expect it in an industry whose tenets rest on privacy, freedom and censorship resistance.

“To have Coinbase acquire anything run by anyone ever associated with Hacking Team is alarming,” she said. “Perhaps Coinbase is clueless as to WHY it’s important to protect [these virtues], but I’m not. When banks freeze or easily hand over private financial information of dissidents in autocratic countries, that’s when a system like [Bitcoin] is needed.

“They say this is to protect user data. But how can they possibly trust that those who engaged in such appalling actions would somehow have Coinbase user data privacy’s best interest at heart? I can’t say much for others but I can only speak for myself: I won’t be using any of their tools in the future, and shame on them for allowing the Hacking Team people to continue to thrive."

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

via Bitcoin Magazine

Crypto Money Laundering Reports Spiked in Japan Last Year, Police Say

Reports of suspicious cryptocurrency transactions in Japan soared last year, but were a tiny fraction of the overall total.

via CoinDesk

Lawyer: Russian on Hunger Strike in Greece Suffering


Crypto Broker Voyager Is Buying Token Issuer and Wallet for $4 Million

Cryptocurrency brokerage Voyager has agreed to buy wallet provider and ICO issuer Ethos for about $4 million.

via CoinDesk

Singapore State-Owned Fund Backed Coinbase’s $300 Million Raise: Report

GIC Private Limited, a Singapore government-owned fund, backed Coinbase’s major funding round last year, say Bloomberg sources.

via CoinDesk

Bitcoin Price May Rise in March Despite Month’s Bearish Track Record

Bitcoin is heading into a historically weak month on a positive note and could see gains if resistance at $4,190 is breached.

via CoinDesk

Morgan Creek Joins $65 Million Series B for Blockchain Home Equity Loan Firm

Blockchain-based home equity loan startup Figure Technologies has raised $65 million in a round backed by Morgan Creek.

via CoinDesk

Square Brought in Over $166 Million Through Bitcoin Sales Last Year

Mobile payments firm Square has reported its revenue and profits from bitcoin sales in 2018.

via CoinDesk

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Bitcoin Lightning Tech Expands Beyond Invoices in Step Toward Better UX

New tech by a principal developer could soon make it possible for bitcoin's lightning network to expand to new use cases.

via CoinDesk

The Crypto Show Silver Stacking, Lode Project On The Syscoin Blockchain With Steve Merrill

At the Anarchapulco Conference 2019 we sat down with Steve Merrill of The Lode Project. Going in to this interview we had assumed it was just another ICO which it is not. Definitely worth a listen to learn how Lode is creating a silver backed ecosystem on the Syscoin Blockchain.

via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network

Constantinople Incoming: Tomorrow’s Two Ethereum Hard Forks Explained

Tomorrow is the big day for ethereum's sixth (and seventh) backwards-incompatible upgrade since mainnet launch back in 2015. Having faced a number of setbacks already, the highly-anticipated activation of Constantinople may or may not go as planned.

via CoinDesk

The Tatiana Show Ep. 175 Jimmy Song

Jimmy Song may be known for teaching people how to code and build Bitcoin. However, I know him as the guy who convinced me to start intermittent fasting. The carnivore shares some of his health tips, along with the latest news on his trainings and book at the Unconfiscatable conference in Las Vegas. I really enjoyed talking shop, but also a bit of health with this crypto community leader.

About the Guests:

Jimmy Song is a Bitcoin Core Contributor and former VP of Engineering for Armory. He caught the Bitcoin bug back in 2011 and started contributing to Bitcoin open source projects since 2013. He's a contributor to CoinDesk and has a popular Bitcoin blog. He's been teaching blockchain to engineers for over 3 years. Jimmy graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics.

More Info:

via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network

Cryptopia Calculates That 9.4 Percent of Assets Stolen in January Hack


The New Zealand-based crypto asset exchange Cryptopia has made their assessment of a January hack, claiming that up to 9.4 percent of all their assets were stolen.

In January 2019, the exchange went offline after publicly reporting a “major security breach,” which likely resulted in a theft of at least $3 million USD. Promising to involve several of the nation’s law enforcement agencies, Cryptopia’s announcement also stated that all of the exchange’s functionality and trading services would be suspended until further notice.

The exchange, as well as Cryptopia’s website, are still down in late February. Users have been left largely in the dark as to any updates on the site’s functionality or Cryptopia’s plans to deal with the fallout of this hack.

On February 26, 2019, the exchange’s Twitter account began posting several updates to the situation. First, they claimed to have calculated a worst-case scenario for January’s hack: up to 9.4 percent of all holdings in the exchange. Later that same day, tweets on the account suggested that the exchange is making preparations to reopen trading by securing individual accounts, though a later tweet instructs users to not deposit any further funds into their old wallet addresses. Cryptopia’s Twitter account is promising future updates to come regarding the site’s reopening.

According to a Chainalysis report issued at the beginning of February 2019, it is likely that this hack and several others were perpetrated by two groups, dubbed “Alpha” and “Beta.” These hackers displayed a sophisticated method of funneling stolen crypto assets into a variety of wallets and exchanging said assets into fiat without leaving a trail that investigators could follow.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

via Bitcoin Magazine

U.S. Charges My Big Coin Virtual Currency Firm Founder With Fraud

By REUTERS via NYT Business

A Crypto Project That Raised $20 Million Is Caught Faking Its Founding Team

BHB in China raised $20 million in 2018 touting a three-person team. The only problem? At least two were fake.

via CoinDesk

Polymath Tests Show Security Tokens Can Be Compliant on a DEX

Polymath says its tests showed security token trades on a decentralized exchange would only complete if authorized.

via CoinDesk

Fidelity Joins $1.9 Million Round in Blockchain Data Startup Coin Metrics

Coin Metrics, an open-source data research project, will now offer commercial services to institutional investors.

via CoinDesk

LinkedIn Founder, Fidelity Latest to Carry Bitcoin’s ‘Lightning Torch’

The latest big names to join the bitcoin payments experiment are financial giant Fidelity Investments and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

via CoinDesk

Blockchain Fund Launches With $22 Million Round Backed By Roger Ver

Switzerland-based Pangea Blockchain Fund is launching after closing a $22 million seed round backed by crypto investor Roger Ver.

via CoinDesk

Developer of Blockchain Project ICON Denies IPO Plan Reports

South Korea-based ICONLOOP, the firm behind blockchain project ICON, has denied reports it's moving to go public.

via CoinDesk

Bitcoin Price On Track to End Six-Month Losing Streak

Bitcoin looks set to end its record six-month losing streak with modest gains in February.

via CoinDesk

Billionaire List Shows $1T Hit From '18 Market Meltdown


Hacked Exchange Cryptopia Discloses Estimate of Stolen Crypto

New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has given an idea of the losses arising from a hack on its platform last month.

via CoinDesk

Sony, Fujitsu Aim to Make Educational Data ‘Unfalsifiable’ With Blockchain

The two Japanese tech giants have partnered for a trial using blockchain to provide educational records that cannot be faked.

via CoinDesk

London Stock Exchange Invests in Start-Up Behind World's First Cryptocurrency Bond

By REUTERS via NYT Business

London Stock Exchange Leads $20 Million Fundraise for Blockchain Startup Nivaura

Nivaura, a startup tokenizing traditional financial instruments on public blockchains, has raised $20 million from investors led by the London Stock Exchange Group.

via CoinDesk

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

How the Coming Constantinople Hard Fork Could Stir Up Ether Markets

Ether price volatility could spike in the days ahead, courtesy of an upcoming ethereum upgrade scheduled for Thursday. The Constantinople hard fork, a planned two-part upgrade to the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, is scheduled to occur once block 7,280,000 on the ethereum blockchain is mined. At the time of writing, ether’s block height is 7,272,826, meaning the […]

via CoinDesk

Jamie Dimon: JPM Coin Could ‘One Day’ See Consumer Use

JPMorgan's CEO has suggested that consumers could eventually use its U.S. dollar-linked token.

via CoinDesk

Decentralized Payment Processor BTCPay Adds New Invoicing Options


Decentralized payment processing service BTCPay Server announced a new service available through their platform on February 22, 2019: a way to request payments by simply sharing a URL, thereby streamlining many of the model’s existing hangups.

BTCPay Server has been in the space since late 2017, serving as a decentralized payment processor that allows peer-to-peer transactions without any fees or third-party wallets. Using the updated functionality of Payment Requests, users will be able to generate URLs that allow people to request payments and produce documentation of the transactions, eliminating many of the inconveniences of most peer-to-peer bitcoin interactions.

Payment processors have become integral to the crypto sphere, with several different models available., for instance, relies on the Lightning network to let users receive tips via a QR code, or even, still in development, over other apps. Bitwage also opened a marketplace this February, allowing freelancers to create bank accounts that will accept crypto assets as payment from a variety of sources. BitPay, another payment processor, has set record revenue numbers for the past two years, as well.

All of these processors, however, are centralized for convenience. BTCPay Server, a decentralized option which was forked from BitPay’s software, wants to make crypto payment processing decentralized, and its new service, the initiative claims, will make this even easier.

Payment Requests will allow users to directly request amounts of money from the wallets of other users, keeping with BTCPay’s existing standard of refusing to involve third-party custodians or additional fees. Usually, third parties are typically involved in these transactions because of a large variety of inconveniences associated with peer-to-peer transactions: e.g., having to update addresses for privacy reasons, staying on top of fluctuating exchange rates and the lack of any formal invoice used for record keeping.

Ideally, BTCPay’s new form of payment will make using a decentralized service as easy as following a URL created for each transaction, providing many of the features of a third-party payment processor but without either taking a cut or mandating that funds be stored in a wallet owned by the processor in question.

The news is the latest in a steady period of growth for the BTCPay. In December of 2018, the processor announced that it had integrated support for c-lightning, an implementation of the Lightning network.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

via Bitcoin Magazine

Citing Executive Embezzlement, Korean Crypto Exchange Declares Bankruptcy

Coinbin SK.jpg

Coinbin, a South Korean crypto exchange, declared bankruptcy on February 22, 2019, citing foul play from inside the company.

Business Korea reported on Coinbin’s recent failure, claiming that the company had lost $26 million as a result of theft and the subsequent bankruptcy declaration. Coinbin’s CEO Park Chan-kyu claimed that the move was “due to a rise in debt following an employee’s embezzlement.”

After the exchange Youbit was hacked to the tune of several million dollars last year, Coinbin acquired it, and now Coinbin’s CEO claims that Youbit’s former CEO used his new position at Coinbin to carry out this theft.

Several exchanges in South Korea have been targets of similar fraudulent activities in recent months, both from scammers targeting legitimate businesses and from various exchanges turning out to be fraudulent in some way.

In January 2019, for example, exchanges Komid and UpBit both saw top-level executives face prison terms for various acts of defrauding users. Additionally, in November 2018, PureBit posted an apology notice on its website after stealing $2.8 million in a fairly straightforward exit scam.

Even when exchanges attempt to conduct operations in good faith, they still are often victimized by hacker attacks. In June 2018 alone, for example, exchanges Bithumb and Coinrail lost $30 million and $40 million dollars respectively due to hackers.

These staggering figures still pale in comparison, however, to the exploits of North Korea. The Lazarus Group, a hacker organization directly sponsored by the North Korean government, stole more than $571 million from various exchanges over a period of less than two years. A significant portion of their targets, naturally, were in South Korea.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

via Bitcoin Magazine

Online Loan Platform SoFi Will Offer Crypto Trading Through Coinbase

SoFi, an online lending platform, will reportedly allow customers to buy crypto through Coinbase starting in 2Q.

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This Crypto Art Auction Lets Venezuelans Dismantle Maduro Bolivar by Bolivar

cryptograf venezuela.jpg

To donate to causes aiding those in Venezuela, please visit #AirdropVenezuela’s website or Bitcoin Venezuela’s website. To partake in cryptograffiti’s charity auction, please visit the donation page and tune in to the live stream here.

“Literally and figuratively, the Venezuelan people are bringing down Maduro.”

This is how cryptograffiti described his latest work, a charity piece that he will be auctioning off online through a live stream in Colombia. The mural, constructed entirely of 1,000 bolivars, is painted over with a portrait of Nicolas Maduro, the autocratic leader of Venezuela whose power has been constitutionally challenged by opposition leader Juan Guaido since January of this year. In the painting, Maduro’s mouth is censored with a blue bar bearing the hashtag #AirdropVenezuela, an ironic nod to the political and economic repressions the Venezuelan people have endured while also applauding their ability to persevere through this hardship.

As usual with the crypto artist’s symbolic and subversive work, the auction comes with a twist — a deconstructive one.

With each donation, a bolivar from the mural will be torn off by a Venezuelan citizen. Broadcasted from Cúcuta, Colombia, a city bordering Venezuela, the cross-border protest will allow the Venezuelans to vent political frustrations and simultaneously attract donations for aid.

“The piece-by-piece dismantling of the bolivars by those choosing to donate crypto is meant to represent a new beginning made possible by a new form of money not controlled by any one authority. There is also symbolism in how these donations have the ability to come from outside of a region known for heavily regulated currency controls,” cryptograffiti told Bitcoin Magazine.

The auction will also accompany a live art session where Venezuelan children will create pieces to be sold at a later date.

Since the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013, the policies of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro have thrown the country into economic and social turmoil. With an economy ravaged by hyperinflation, rampant poverty and crime have furnished a worsening humanitarian crisis. The crisis reached a bloody impasse on February 21, 2019, as Venezuelan forces opened fire on protesters at the Brazilian border after the government refused to accept humanitarian aid.

It’s proven difficult for aid to penetrate the country’s borders. But bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become a vestige of monetary hope for Venezuelan expats who want to send money back home, and cryptograffiti’s auction will leverage crypto’s borderless nature to buy aid from within the country.

In a partnership with AirTM as part of their #AirdropVenezuela campaign, cryptograffiti is directing all donations, which can come by way of cash deposits on AirTM, bitcoin and a host of altcoins, to the philanthropic campaign. As a wider effort, AirdropVenezuela’s goal is to send $1,000,000 worth of cryptocurrencies to 100,000 families in Venezuela. Even just $10 worth of cryptocurrencies “can help a family purchase food, medicine, and scarce imported goods. Access to digital money can help introduce Venezuelans to cryptocurrencies, online freelancer platforms, ecommerce, investments, donations and other income generating web-based opportunities,” the campaign states.

For the art auction in particular, the charity collective has set its fundraising goal at $10,000. Fifty percent of these funds will go to rebuilding the auction venue, the Fundación Renacer, a daycare that provides support for families affected by the financial crisis, while the remaining 50 percent will be distributed with the rest of the funds raised by AirdropVenezuela at the end of April.

Crypto education company Cripto Conserje will oversee the reconstruction of the daycare, and during the auction, it will host information sessions on how to access, use and store cryptocurrencies, including teaching attendees how to use coins distributed at the event to purchase food kits from one of the auction’s partners.

This education will hopefully unlock crypto’s potential for an economically disenfranchised population that needs it most. For Venezuelans, bitcoin and the like can provide a censorship-resistant method to store and transfer value, something AirTM’s services are trying to make more accessible for Latin American and, more urgently, Venezuelan citizens who lack access to robust banking and a sound currency. The application accommodates more than 200 deposit and withdrawal methods, including crypto, to convert currencies to USD in order to store value and protect it “from possible devaluations.”

When bitcoin is used in Venezuela, it is often as a go-between for a foreign currency and the bolivar or some other, stronger one like the dollar.

Eduardo Gomez, head of support at, for example, told Bitcoin Magazine that when Venezuelan expats send money back home with bitcoin, they will typically sell it through LocalBitcoins to a Venezuelan trader, who will then deposit bolivars into the bank account of the expat’s relative. As the economic situation has only degraded further in 2018-2019, LocalBitcoins has seen rapidly increasing trading volumes in Venezuela.

Occasionally, your technically minded Venezuelans will sell the bitcoin themselves for USD (or another foreign currency) and deposit that money into a foreign bank account as savings. Either way, cryptocurrencies typically serve just as an intermediary for value transfer, one that circumvents the tight remittance controls and fee gouging that the Venezuelan government effects with its monopoly over currency conversion and international money transfers.

The AirdropVenezuela campaign wants to take the extra step in getting beneficiaries to use crypto instead of relying on Venezuela’s failing fiat currency. The campaign will donate and educate these citizens on crypto’s significance in their situation, as well as alerting them to online economies that may allow them to receive crypto as payment, such as freelancing.

This is how Gomez, who has been living on bitcoin since 2012, is pulling his family out of poverty. He began receiving bitcoin for freelance translation work online, and after leaving Venezuela, he trades bitcoin for bolivars on LocalBitcoins to send his family funds.

Cryptograffiti hopes his latest work will expose a grim situation which has continued to experience much deserved attention under the international spotlight as of late. But as much as it exposes the severity of the situation, he hopes that the part-performance art, part-visual art will reveal (and convince people of) the solution to these economic woes.

“After reciting the tired ‘maybe it doesn't apply as directly to you, but Bitcoin is important in authoritarian regimes’ line one too many times, I wanted to do something to contribute to Venezuela and experience the situation first-hand,” he said.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about collaborative art as of late and how it helps spread the message and engage viewers. This led me down the path of a mural that was made up of many different parts that would be interactive in some fashion.”

After the auction is over, two pieces — Maduro’s left and right eyes — will be signed by cryptograffiti and one will be sent to the highest bidder based on his or her preference. The other will go to another donor chosen at random.

Cryptograffiti’s auction is the latest in artist-led philanthropy efforts. Billionaire business mogul Richard Branson hosted a charity concert in Cúcuta last Friday. Branson hoped the concert would raise awareness and some £100 million for the people of Venezuela, and it attracted an appearance by opposition leader Guaido.

In the realm of crypto philanthropy, Bitcoin Venezuela, a charity organization founded by Randy Brito, also exports bitcoin funding for aid inside the country. Subsisting on donations in the ballpark of $100, the organization sends funds into the country to workers on the ground who provide food, clothes, medical supplies and other provisions to struggling Venezuelans. Once the Lightning Torch, a Lightning network payment experiment that has been making global rounds, reaches the network’s channel limit, its creator, hodolnaut, intends to have the final sum donated to the charity.

Image courtesy of cryptografitti.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

via Bitcoin Magazine

This Crypto Surged 200% After Listing on Samsung Galaxy S10 Blockchain Wallet

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The Crypto Show: Roger Stone, G. Edward Griffin And Lyn Ulbricht At Anarchapulco

While at the Anarchapulco Conference we had a live show with G. Edward Griffin and Lyn Ulbricht at our studio set. Roger Stone called in to share the latest about his case. This turned out to be the last public interview with Roger, shortly after he was slapped with a Gag-Order. Lyn Shared the similarities in which Ross was railroaded to Mr Stones own legal issues.This was a great chance to set up a conservative audience for schooling on the Fed with Mr. Griffin.

via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network

Bolivars to Bitcoin: Activists to Take Down Venezuela’s Maduro in Art Exhibit

As the situation in Venezuela continues to escalate, artist cryptograffiti, crypto exchange AirTM and merchant services provider Cripto Conserje have teamed up for an all-day fundraiser to tear down – in whatever way they can – Maduro's regime.

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Widow of QuadrigaCX CEO Denies Hiding Assets from Crypto Creditors

Jennifer Robertson, one of QuadrigaCX's two officers, asked a court to put a restructuring specialist in charge of the exchange.

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Startup Maestro Dupes Alabama Town Through Network of Lies


The Blockcrunch - How to Think about Liquidity in Crypto Markets - Michael Feng (Hummingbot)

Do you really understand crypto if you don't understand liquidity? For investors, liquidity in crypto can be a huge risk - but also a big opportunity.‚

I chat with Michael Feng from CoinAlpha/Hummingbot on:

  • What market makers do

  • The problem with tokenizing illiquid assetsMarket asymmetries in crypto

  • How traders arbitrage across centralized and decentralized exchanges

Rate and subscribe! Host: Jason Choi (@MrJasonChoi).

Intro music by‚Phortissimo

Not finance advice.‚Spartan Capital and/or Jason may or may not have positions in assets discussed on the show.


Disclaimer: Jason Choi is an investor at Spartan Capital, the hedge fund arm of The Spartan Group. All opinions expressed by Jason and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of The Spartan Group and any of its subsidiaries and personnel. This podcast is for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. The Spartan Group and its clients may hold positions in assets described in the episode. Detailed‚disclaimers available at and‚

via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network

Malta Leads on Cryptoassets Regulation While EU Ponders

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Samsung Teases Early Blockchain Partners For Galaxy S10 Phone

South Korean tech giant Samsung looks to have revealed some of the first blockchain partners for its new flagship phone, the Galaxy S10.

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$66 Million Building to Be Tokenized on Ethereum Blockchain in Record Deal

Inveniam Capital Partners is soon to offer tokenized securities representing $260 million-worth of shares in four properties.

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Blockchain-for-Banks Startup Switches From Hyperledger to R3’s Corda

MonetaGo, which builds private blockchains for banks, has switched platforms from Hyperledger Fabric to R3 Corda.

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Swiss Bank Julius Baer to Offer Digital Asset Services

Swiss private bank Julius Baer has partnered with a cryptocurrency banking startup to offer digital asset services later in 2019.

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Julius Baer Gets Into Crypto Banking With SEBA Partnership

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Electroneum Launches $80 Smartphone That Mines Crypto

Blockchain startup Electroneum has just launched a dirt-cheap Android smartphone that mines cryptocurrency in the cloud.

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Bitcoin Price Holds Above $3,700 But Bulls Need Progress Soon

Bitcoin risks a further sell-off if the bulls' defense of $3,700 fails to produce quick recovery.

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There’s No Crypto Winter in Argentina, Where Startups Ramp Up to Meet Demand

Argentina's thriving crypto startup scene offers a unique cocktail of technical development and tangible user demand for bitcoin.

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Japan’s SoftBank Eyes Blockchain to Solve Issues With Online Authentication

Japanese telecom SoftBank is exploring blockchain tech as a way to improve upon current centralized and fragmented ID and authentication services.

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You Can Now Buy HTC’s Exodus Blockchain Phone Without Paying Crypto

Mobile device maker HTC now sells its blockchain phone for U.S. dollars in addition to cryptocurrency.

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Monday, 25 February 2019

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bullish Rejection Wipes Out Bitcoin’s Weekend Gains

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Over the weekend, a strong rally was stifled by an even stronger rejection as the bitcoin market was shoved into a band of overhanging resistance. This band of resistance has been mentioned several times in our analyses over the last few weeks as it has proven impossible to overcome for the time being:

Figure_1 (2).png

Figure 1: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Failed Breakout

This run to the low $4,000s coincided with a breakout of a rather large symmetrical triangle consolidation shown above. It managed to establish a new, local high but was immediately rejected on high volume and very high spread. This rejection formed a candle called a “bearish engulfing candle” that completely wiped out a week and a half’s worth of gains in just a couple hours.

This rejection should not be underestimated as it represents a failed consolidation. Patterns that break out and see 100% retracements to the breakout point often are signs of a potentially strong market reversal. In our case, it would be a reversal of our local uptrend.

This rally represents a third failure to break our bearish market structure and likely means we will be visiting the low $3,000s to test support/demand once again. Sitting just below our current market low is a strong, macro support level that could see a test if the demand is weak:

Figure_2 (11).png

Figure 2: BTC-USD, Weekly Candles, Macro Support Level

A test of the zone between $2,900 and $3,100 almost seems inevitable, given the amount of failed rallies and constant supply surfacing in the low $4,000s. However, if we manage to continue the uptrend, the milestone we must keep an eye out for is a daily close above the $4,250 level shown in Figure 1. A close above that level will represent the first higher high since we bottomed at $3,100.

For now, the market structure remains bearish as we continue the trend of lower highs. The rallies are becoming weaker and the supply is drowning the remaining demand toward the top of our trading range:

Figure_3 (10).png

Figure 3: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, High Volume Rejections

When looking at the health of these rallies, it becomes apparent that the efforts vs. results of the rallies are lopsided. We see a high amount of effort by the bulls to move the price and a relatively low amount of effort from the bears to wipe out days’ worth of progress.

If we manage to retest the bottom of the trading range, we will gather more evidence as the market tests the strength of the demand. For now, it appears the bulls are running out of steam. As mentioned earlier, if we manage to continue the uptrend, keep an eye out for the $4,250 level, as a close above it will show a break in the currently bearish market structure.


  1. Over the weekend, a strong round of selling wiped out a week and a half’s worth of buying pressure.
  2. The selling coincided with a failed symmetrical triangle breakout — this often leads to power market reversals.
  3. Bullish pressure seems to be waning as every attempted rally is quickly dispatched by strong bearish pressure.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Inc related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Inc and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

via Bitcoin Magazine

“Clear and Robust Strategy” Nets 0.023% Recovery of Bitfinex’s Hacked Funds (So Far)


According to an official statement published on February 25, 2019, Bitfinex has revealed that the United States government returned 27.7 BTC (worth about $105,000 USD) to the exchange, as part of restitution for a hack that was effected on the exchange back in 2016.

The returned tokens represent just 0.023 percent of the bitcoin stolen in the infamous 2016 hack.

Bitfinex said that U.S. federal law enforcement informed them in November of last year that it had obtained access to the stolen funds.

Bitfinex CFO Giancarlo Devasini was full of praise for the efforts of law enforcement officers in the recovery, stating:

Over two years following the hack of the Bitfinex platform, today we see the results of a clear and robust response strategy and the efforts of the U.S. government. It gives us great pleasure to be able to reimburse our traders that were loyal to us and believed in us at a very difficult time.

Devasini also reiterated the exchange’s willingness to help investigators in their inquiries, calling on individuals with useful information about the hack to reach out so they can “finally resolve the situation in a mutually beneficial manner.”

The Hack and Bitfinex’s Retrieval Efforts

Two years ago, the crypto community woke up to the news of 119,756 BTC stolen from the wallets of Bitfinex in one of the largest crypto exchange hacks since Mt. Gox was breached in 2014.

The exchange had generalized the losses across all accounts, crediting BFX tokens for every dollar lost in the hack. Tokens were redeemed for a dollar or exchanged for the company’s stocks — those who chose to hold shares had their BFX tokens converted into Recovery Right Tokens (RRT).

Per the announcement, the recovered tokens are currently being converted to USD and will be paid to holders of RRT.

“The benefit to RRT holders is that in the event of any retrieval of the stolen property, and after any outstanding or unconverted BFX token holders have been reimbursed, recovered funds are distributed to RRT holders, up to 1 dollar per RRT,” the statement reads.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Bitcoin Shorts Dropped to 11-Month Lows During Sunday’s Sell-Off

Funds allocated to BTC/USD short positions on Bitfinex fell to 11-month lows on Sunday as the price of bitcoin fell more than 8 percent.

via CoinDesk

Radio Host Seeks Over $1M for Case Against Neo-Nazi Website