The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto

The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto

In this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief we reported on McAfee’s “Doomed” wallet, a panic in the altcoin markets, Binance’s new fiat-to-crypto platform in Liechtenstein and much more. The most commented-on article during the week covered a situation in the UK, where banks are targeting cryptocurrency owners – having their assets frozen and accounts locked without warning.

Also Read: Pantera Capital Raises Over $70 Million for Its Third Crypto Fund

Paxful to Build Second School in Rwanda

A cheerful story published on Monday was about Paxful, which launched the #BuiltWithBitcoin program in 2017 by donating $50,000 for the construction of a nursery school in Rwanda, starting to sponsor the construction of a second school in the African country. Planned for students aged 6-15 in the Nyamata Sector of Rwanda’s Bugesera District, the company jump-started the project with a $20,000 donation. Total construction is estimated to cost $100,000, with the balance to be collected through an online crowdfunding campaign. Donations can be made via BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and Dash. And Paxful vowed to match all community donations until the $100,000 goal is met.

Altcoin Panic

The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-CryptoThe altcoin markets bleeding red was the big story on Tuesday. Sentiment in crypto community forums all around the web turned very dark as panic set in. With cryptocurrencies such as Iota, BNB, and Vechain nursing 20% losses in a single day – 25% in the case of the latter – the market was looking very ugly indeed. The total value of the cryptocurrency market has dropped to $194 billion at the time of publication, with BTC dominance reaching 53.5%. Just three cryptocurrencies in the top 100 were showing signs of green at the time, and predictably they were all stablecoins.

Stoners Drop Crypto From IPO

On Wednesday we reported that popular cannabis magazine High Times won’t accept cryptocurrencies for its IPO after all. According to a filing with the SEC, the company’s previous statement about it was a mistake. The announcement was “distributed in error as the Company will not be accepting bitcoin as payment for shares” High Times claimed. While it would have been fair to assume another company might have gotten cold feet due to the current bear market, or that it was somehow intimidated by the regulators behind the scenes, in this case it is indeed possible that whoever wrote that original announcement was just stoned out of their mind at the time.

McAfee’s “Unhackable” Wallet Is Doomed

The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-CryptoOn Thursday it was reported that security researchers claimed they successfully sent signed transactions with John McAfee’s “unhackable” Bitfi wallet. And someone had even been able to demonstrate root control of the device by installing the classic video game Doom on it. McAfee reacted by twitting: “A video played on your Bitfi wallet has nothing to do with the safety of your funds. This is amateur hour, not a hack! Any device with a computer and screen can be used to play games. I should start watching my YouTube videos on Bitfi wallet.” He later added: “Laughing so hard I can barely catch my breath. “Hackers” play Doom, play videos, root the device, play music on the BitFi wallet. We dont charge extra for those facilities. No-one has taken the coins from our pre-loaded wallet. No one will. Isn’t this what matters?”

Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto in Liechtenstein

On Friday we reported that Binance is launching a fiat-to-crypto trading platform in Liechtenstein. Using a joint venture with LCX, they plans to build up a team of up to 15 professionals for the Liechtenstein office that will manage customer support, legal requirements, due diligence, KYC, AML and government communication, while the team at Binance will provide and maintain the platform. The new exchange will offer trading for Swiss francs (CHF) and Euros (EUR) against major cryptocurrencies and promised to add more trading pairs in the future. Adrian Hasler, Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, welcomed the joint venture and said: “We are confident that Liechtenstein’s existing and future legal framework and practice provide a robust foundation for the Binance LCX and other blockchain companies to provide exceptional services here in Liechtenstein.”

Buy Hairspray with Bitcoin

The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-CryptoAn interesting story we covered on Saturday: you can now buy fancy hairspray with bitcoin. R+Co, the beauty collective founded by stylists Howard McLaren, Thom Priano, and Garren, has begun incorporating BTC and BCH payments into its business model, women’s style magazine The Cut revealed. R+Co’s president Dan Langer said: “Blockchain technology is going to be one of the future disruptors in the beauty industry. It will allow consumers the ability to leverage their data and purchase behavior in all kinds of new shopping ways… from reviews to rewards to product benefits. In order to stay at the forefront of this emerging thinking we wanted to integrate components of it while still in its early stages – like paying with Bitcoin – and learn with it as it evolves.”

UK Banks Target Cryptocurrency Owners

The most commented-on article during the week covered the situation in the UK, where banks have been targeting cryptocurrency owners. People who cashed out large amounts of cryptocurrency – legitimately – have had their assets frozen and accounts locked without warning, fueled by fears of money laundering and a general distrust of bitcoin. One person even claims to have had their house raided and computer equipment seized in a follow-up operation by police. Join the discussion.

This Week in Bitcoin Podcast

Catch the rest of this week’s news in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with host Matt Aaron.

What other stories in the Bitcoin world caught your attention this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet

A while back, the San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase announced the launch of an ethereum-based wallet called Toshi. The application was a private and secure messaging platform tethered to a non-custodial ETH wallet. Now Coinbase has decided to revamp the application and Toshi will become the ‘Coinbase Wallet’ which will not only offer ETH and it’s token derivatives but soon it will also hold BCH, LTC, and BTC.

Also read: The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

Toshi Platform Changes to Coinbase Wallet

Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet Next time someone tells you Coinbase is “not a wallet” you can tell them that the San Francisco firm does offer a non-custodial wallet that provides users with private keys. The wallet is called Coinbase Wallet, a rebrand of the Toshi Wallet the company introduced back in April of 2017. On August 15, the Coinbase engineer Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu revealed the ETH and ERC-20 wallet known as Toshi was changing names but the Coinbase Wallet will have a slew of new features including the ability to hold bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC) and litecoin (LTC).

“Toshi was developed by the Coinbase team a little over a year ago — When the product launched, it featured the world’s first mobile dapp browser — Later, we became the first wallet to launch crypto collectibles,” Coelho-Prabhu explains.

As part of our effort to be the most trusted brand in the space, we also set out to provide best-in-class secure storage. With Coinbase Wallet, your private keys are secured using your device’s Secure Enclave and biometric authentication technology.  

Testing the Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet

The Coinbase wallet provides users with a platform that manages ETH, and ERC-20s but also allows crypto collectible storage, and the ability to garner air drops. Furthermore, the application allows users to access decentralized token exchanges and relayer platforms. News.Bitcoin.com gave the wallet a test-run on iOS this week and the Coinbase Wallet does, in fact, allow the owner to procure their own private keys with a recovery phrase. The user is asked right away to write down and store the phrase in a safe location, but they can also choose to ‘backup later’ as well. Followed by the backup step, the wallet then asks if the user wants to utilize biometry (fingerprint) or set up a less secure six-digit passphrase. After all the security steps are complete the Coinbase Wallet provides an ethereum address screen that can also show tokens and collectibles.

Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet
News.Bitcoin.com testing out the new Coinbase Wallet on iOS. 

Then there’s a decentralized application browser inside the wallet, which features a wide variety of apps, gaming platforms, and marketplaces that can be used with ethereum, and other token assets. The wallet also has a messenger where you can chat with friends or chat and interact with group chats and wallet bots like the @Toshibot. Overall, the wallet is fairly intuitive like most light clients out there today, but people who are interested in the token economy will find it more useful. When BCH, BTC, and LTC are added, the wallet software will likely open up to a much larger audience.       

The Coinbase Wallet is available for Android systems and iOS and existing Toshi users just need to upgrade the client’s firmware to see the changes. The decentralized app browser works with any platforms that use web3.js, and the wallet also offers native support for ERC-721 tokens. For those who have absolutely no interest in the ethereum ecosystem, they may want to wait until Coinbase adds BCH, LTC, and BTC.

What do you think about the Toshi app changing into the Coinbase Wallet? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, the Coinbase Wallet, and Jamie Redman.


Be sure to check out the podcast, Blockchain 2025; latest episode here.

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She(256) Mentorship Program Aims to Help More Women Gain a Cryptocurrency Career

She(256) Mentorship Program Aims to Help More Women Gain a Cryptocurrency Career

She(256) is a clever name for a novel scheme. The female-focused mentorship program is designed to support women entering the cryptocurrency space. In doing so, the program will enable students to benefit from the guidance of a crypto OG – a seasoned professional whose business and technical experience should prove invaluable. The She(256) initiative has been broadly welcomed in most quarters of the cryptoconomy.

Also read: Bitcoin ETFs are a Terrible Idea: Andreas Antonopoulos

Mo’ Mentors, Mo’ Women

She(256) Mentorship Program Aims to Help More Women Gain a Cryptocurrency Career“Dear men of crypto, I would love to see many of you sign up to be She(256) mentors,” tweeted Jill Carlson. The cryptocurrency all-rounder is a recognisable and respected figure in an industry that is still overwhelmingly male-dominated. “Many of you have been the most important mentors and influences in my career,” she continued. “It matters more than you know when you support your female colleagues.”

The program she was referring to, She(256), is a University of California, Berkeley-led initiative that “presents the opportunity for a professional and young student or early-career young adult to learn from each other serving as guides and allies”. Few would argue with the basic rationale behind its ethos. Anyone who can recall their first foray into crypto, and the fledgling mistakes they made, personally and professionally, can surely appreciate the value in such an initiative.

Cryptocurrency, and the insular and often esoteric world it’s spawned, makes perfect sense once you’re battle-hardened and embroiled in it. For newcomers, however, the industry – which is notoriously unforgiving of incompetence and ‘newb mistakes’ – can seem daunting. This is true of all entrants to the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, regardless of gender, skill set, or experience accrued in other sectors.

Breaking Barriers, Nurturing Talent

She(256) Mentorship Program Aims to Help More Women Gain a Cryptocurrency Career“In defining the blockchain paradigm..it is critical that those building up these far-reaching systems represent the diversity of our global population, explains She(256). “We wanted She(256) to be a movement that would have long-term impact on this burgeoning industry, by allowing more women to feel welcome in this space and by highlighting the work of women who are already making an impact in this field.”

There is nothing like this particular time, place, or industry that has ever existed in the past, which gives us the unique position to set a precedent. Blockchain is disruptive technology. So let’s disrupt the industry with more diversity.

How it Works

In practice, the (She)256 mentorship program will see mentors contacting their allotted student by phone or in person 1-3 times a month, augmented by emails and other communications. Participants are matched to their mentor or mentee for a period of one year initially, with the option to maintain contact thereafter. “For mentees, utilize your mentors and their industry expertise to ask questions, bounce off ideas, and seek direction. For mentors, provide guidance, learn from fresh perspectives, and serve as an anchor,” explains the website.

A number of well-known figures within the cryptocurrency space have thrown their weight behind (She)256, both in terms of promoting it and in volunteering to participate in it. There have been some dissenting voices, whose opposition seems to revolve around the belief that cryptocurrency doesn’t need diversity quotas; decentralized systems, by their nature, do not care for gender, identity, or any other characteristic that exerts sway in other spheres – they care only for the veracity delivered by cryptographic protocols, and the competency of the engineers who developed them.

Even without focusing on its appeal to “young female-identifying individuals” however, She(256)’s mentorship program is sure to help emerging talents find their feet and add value to the burgeoning cryptoconomy. And that can only be a good thing.

Do you think She(256) will help more women gain cryptocurrency careers? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Wendy McElroy: The Jiu-Jitsu of Crypto – Personal Freedom vs Social Change

The Jiu-Jitsu of Crypto - Personal Freedom vs Social Change

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 4: State Versus Society
Chapter 9, Part 7
The Jiu-Jitsu of Crypto: Personal Freedom vs Social Change.

It is often assumed that power derives from violence and can be controlled only by greater violence. Actually, power derives from sources in the society which may be restricted or severed by withdrawal of cooperation by the populace. The political power of governments may in fact be very fragile. Even the power of dictators may be destroyed by withdrawal of the human assistance which made the regime possible.

–Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action

Cryptocurrencies withdraw assistance from the state’s engine of power: the financial system. But they do more. They create a parallel payment and monetary system that draws upon the state’s own energy to defeat it.

The Japanese martial art of jiu-jitsu is a method of defeating an armed opponent in close combat, even though the defender is unarmed. The attacker’s force and power are used against him. The defender never directly confronts the attacker with opposing force. Jiu-jitsu is an art of self-defense in which the attacker is not the opponent; his movements are.

Bitcoin defeats the central banking system even though crypto has no force of law or standing military with which to directly confront the attacking banks. Instead, crypto feeds off the backlash of discontent created within society by the corruption of the financial system. Crypto’s strength as a freedom tool lies in its role as a parallel system, which revolutionizes payment and monetary systems to eliminate the state and banks as trusted third parties. It recognizes these parties as armed opponents in close combat. In short, crypto uses the arrogance of the central banking system to good advantage by attracting the rebellious and disillusioned within society to engage in financial self-defense.

This current strategy of jiu-jitsu confronts two obstacles, however.

One is the state. Or, rather, it is users and institutions who view crypto as a type of new fiat, not as a vehicle for freedom. They view exchanges as a new type of traditional bank that is geared to handle an innovative specie, in much the same manner as credit card companies handle a different type of transaction. These users want state involvement because it brings “respectability” and the safety they believe a trusted third party can provide. To them, those who prattle on about freedom are irritants or troublemakers who hinder the true future of crypto.

The second obstacle to a jiu-jitsu strategy is an alternate manner of addressing the state: confrontation. This strategy has its time and place-generally as a last option-but it is in conflict with the self-defense tactic of waiting for an opponent’s movement and drawing upon it for strength. Direct confrontation relinquishes the jiu-jitsu advantage. Julian Assange and Satoshi Nakamoto clashed about their attitudes toward bitcoin when Assange flaunted the crypto as a donation method to the otherwise financially embargoed Wikileaks. Theirs was a clash of strategies for freedom: confrontation versus low-profile growth. Assange crowed, “Bring it on!” to government officials; Satoshi recoiled because the prominent bravado endangered the quiet paradigm that was replacing the dominant one by exploiting the latter’s weaknesses.

A fist of defiance thrust into the air is emotionally satisfying, to be sure, and it may be appropriate in some circumstances. But those who want crypto to become a part of daily life should ask: is the goal to be free, or is it to vent? Is it to construct a different society, or is it to rail against the current one? There can be real tension between these goals. Crypto is not big enough or powerful enough to win in a face-to-face conflict with the state, especially if the battleground and weapons are of the state’s choosing. The state excels at brute confrontation. Crypto’s advantages differ: it is fast on its feet; it is incredibly inventive; and, it draws on the state’s weaknesses as well as on its power.  By commandeering the animosity and corruptions that banking creates, a David and Goliath scenario plays out in which a diminutive but nimble challenger defeats a lumbering giant.


What Strategy is Optimal? Personal Freedom vs Social Change

The “best” strategy-if only one exists-depends on the goal being pursued.

Those who view crypto as an investment or as a paternal twin of fiat will embrace the state. Those who view crypto as a path to personal freedom will avoid the state whenever possible. The situation becomes more complex if the goal of social change is added to the mix. Although personal freedom and social change are intimately-related concepts, they are also separable. Those who seek social change may well engage in the high-profile rebellion that can be anathema to personal freedom.

Personal Freedom. Bitcoin was designed to free individuals. Its emphasis on privacy and pseudonymity allows people to navigate the financial world with unprecedented autonomy. Governments may loudly announce that they can crack transactions wide open, but they are scrambling, with no clear idea of how to handle mixers, tumblers and the other privacy innovations. Crypto advances more quickly than repression can, and governments—like bullies—are often loudest when they are impotent. If governments could kill the independence of crypto, they would have done so already. As it is, they fall back upon a standard method of enforcement: intimidation. The next step is open violence, the last resort of the state, which prefers to operate as though consent were present. Open violence means social control has failed, and no other alternative is available.

Social Change. Traditionally, social change involves an entirely different dynamic than personal freedom. The reform-minded individual does not seek privacy or avoid the state because the established strategies of social reform require visibility and confrontation. Public speeches, protest marches, petitions, guerrilla theater, editorials, sit-ins, boycotts, buycotts, pamphlets and books, civil disobedience…these strategies aim at raising a social issue to such prominence that it can’t be ignored but must be addressed.

Catching the state’s attention is dangerous. Its first reaction to an effective challenge is usually repression. That’s why those who engage in nonviolent action often go through training on how not to react to a backlash-how not to react to police attacks, for example. Social reform can be a dangerous business.

Cryptocurrencies have a valuable edge over traditional social-change approaches.  Instead of being convinced to confront and resist the state by raised their political awareness, people use crypto out of rational self-interest; they avoid the state for the same reason. Traditionally, social reform seeks to change the hearts and minds of people, one by one, until there are enough people to create a tipping point at which society itself is altered. Crypto seeks to change people’s perceived self-interest, one by one; self-interest is a far more prevalent and accessible motivation than social consciousness. (The preceding statement is cynical only to those who hold a negative view of self-interest.) When a sufficient number of people prefer crypto over banks, and crypto over fiat, then society will have changed…without violence, without martyrdom, and without courting danger.

How many individuals must be “converted” before a society is reformed? No one knows. But the success of freedom or of repression does not seem to require large numbers. The Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy observed,

“A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two hundred millions. Tell this to a man free from superstition and he will fail to grasp what these words mean. What does it mean that thirty thousand men…have subdued two million…? Do not the figures make it clear that it is not the English who have enslaved the Indians, but the Indians who have enslaved themselves?”

Equally, many revolutions have been led by a handful of believers who tapped into strong emotional currents of the people, such as the hatred of corruption and a desire for a better life.

A tipping point is not a measurable dynamic. This may be especially true of crypto because so much of the activity and so many of the people are low profile.  Typically, activists look over their shoulders and notice that a significant change has occurred. Then they say to themselves, “That was it—three months ago.” Radicals have debated what the “tipping-point” is for centuries. Ninetenth-century individualist anarchists in America believed that laws became unenforceable if ten percent of the people refused to obey them; that is, the laws became “dead letter,” which is just as effective as repealing them. An entire system can also become unenforceable.

At that point, of course, the topic is no longer social change. The topic is revolution.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters


Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

Scammers are threatening to reveal cheating husbands to their wives and asking for bitcoin ransom – check the details in this edition of The Daily. A porn streaming website now rewards its users with tokens, and hair sprays are sold for BTC and BCH. Also, find out what Brits think about blockchain and learn about the latest incarnations of the technology.

Also read: Binance Launches in Liechtenstein, ZB.com Opens Office in Malta

Scammers Threaten Cheating Husbands, Ask for Bitcoin

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and ThatThe U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recently issued a warning about new scams involving cryptocurrency: fraudsters have been sending letters threatening to reveal cheating husbands to their wives and relatives unless they are paid thousands of dollars in bitcoin (BTC). The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) says there’s been a significant increase in the number of extortion attempts of this kind.

A variety of scenarios have been reported but the scammers usually accuse people of cheating and visiting porn sites, and claim to possess other compromising information as well. Threats like “I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife” and “I installed malware on the adult video site” are often part of the correspondence.

People’s personal data like names, usernames, or passwords is included to intimidate the targeted individuals. In most cases, the recipient is instructed to pay a ransom in bitcoin. The Bureau asks victims to reach out to the local FBI office and file a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov, providing any relevant information including the extortion email and the BTC address.

Porn Site Rewards Viewers with Tokens

Speaking about earthly temptations, a leading adult website now wants to reward its users with cryptocurrency. Tube8, a subsidiary of Pornhub, one of the largest platforms in the genre which boasts over 150 million page visits a month, is now moving onto the blockchain. The porn streaming service told Hard Fork it is tokenizing itself through a partnership with Vice Industry Token (VIT). According to the report, the deal will allow users to earn VIT tokens while enjoying the Tube8 videos.

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

The transformation is scheduled to take place by the end of the year, promising to turn Tube8 into the very first major adult platform to pay its users for their activity in cryptos. By doing so, Pornhub, which is already accepting payments in verge, tron and zencash, is truly spearheading crypto adoption and blockchain implementation in the adult industry, taking advantage of the anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies, which is important for its customers.

Something for the Ladies: Buy Hairspray with Bitcoin

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and ThatThinking about finding new intersections between beauty and technology, beyond formula or packaging, R+Co, the beauty collective founded by stylists Howard McLaren, Thom Priano, and Garren, is now incorporating bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) payments into its business, The Cut reports. The team thinks it’s a logical next step.

Once you decide to pay for your hairspray with any of these leading cryptocurrencies, “The Culture of Hairdressing” promises a simple online checkout experience. After providing billing and shipping information, ladies will be prompted to choose a payment method and they can opt to spend cryptocurrency instead of reaching for the credit card. Selecting the bitcoin option will transfer them to Bitpay where they need to complete the purchase within 15 minutes. Excited about the new service, R+Co’s president Dan Langer said:

Blockchain technology is going to be one of the future disruptors in the beauty industry. It will allow consumers the ability to leverage their data and purchase behavior in all kinds of new shopping ways… from reviews to rewards to product benefits. In order to stay at the forefront of this emerging thinking we wanted to integrate components of it while still in its early stages – like paying with Bitcoin – and learn with it as it evolves.

Blockchain This, Blockchain That

Bitcoin payments – that’s fine, but “blockchain” is not something everyone accepts without prejudice. Almost half of Brits, for example, wouldn’t trust an organization using it, new research from IP EXPO Europe has discovered. The authors have found that over a third of British people (35%) would not trust a company employing the technology to keep their information secure. The main reason for their mistrust is not knowing what blockchain really is.

Another 11% of the respondents in the poll conducted by One Pulse, who believe they know what blockchain is, would also not trust an organization that’s using it. Both figures represent almost half of UK citizens. Add to that the 28% who say they wouldn’t trust a firm using any technology they don’t understand and you’ll realize how important it is for businesses to ensure they don’t confuse their customers while trying to improve their technical capabilities or simply riding the wave of the crypto craze.

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

Nevertheless, the blockchain mania goes on and this week produced a number of examples. We learned that Italian insurance companies are testing a blockchain-based solution to resolve disputes involving car-liability claims, Wyoming farmers want to use the distributed ledger technology to track what their cattle eats and then brand their beef as superior, blockchain-proof probably, and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation has developed a blockchain platform to improve electronic invoicing… What? Oh, and “China’s first blockchain social network is the brainchild of a 24-year-old female poker player,” mainstream media informed us.

Realizing the importance of blockchain education, Hong Kong authorities have granted $20 million USD to several local universities that are expected to use the funds to finance the research and development of blockchain-based payments systems. And in the Philippines, one of the oldest universities, Ateneo de Manila, is partnering with a healthcare service provider to set up a research laboratory powered by blockchain. All this is happening after Turkey’s Bahçeşehir University inaugurated the country’s first blockchain innovation center. Yes, a lot of education is needed when it comes to blockchain.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Norwegian Mining Company Receives Bomb Threat in Escalating Noise Complaint

Norwegian Mining Company Receives Bomb Threat in Escalating Noise Complaint

Kryptovault, a Norwegian company specializing in “large-scale cryptocurrency mining and data center operations,” has recently received a bomb threat amid escalating noise complaints pertaining to its virtual currency mining.

Also Read: Funds Frozen, Account Closed: UK Banks Target Cryptocurrency Owners

Norwegian Cloud Mining Company Receives Bomb Threat

Norwegian Mining Company Receives Bomb Threat in Escalating Noise ComplaintNorwegian mining and data center company, Kryptovault, has reportedly received a bomb threat amid intensifying complaints of noise pollution. Kryptovault currently operates facilities in the Norwegian cities of Follum, Honefuss, and Dale.

The threat received stated: “This is sabotage. If you are expanding crypto mining and filling the country with noise, then you will be sabotaging the peace. I am threatening to send you some explosives.”

Gjermund Hagesaeter, the managing director of Kryptovault, told local media that the company immediately informed police of the threat. “The threat has been reported to the police and these are also taking the whole issue very seriously indeed. We have also asked the police to assess whether any further action needs to be taken. The facility at Follum is located in a fenced area, so it would be difficult for any intruder to gain access but the one at Dale is far more accessible so we have warned everyone to be on their toes,” Mr. Hagesaeter said.

Kryptovault Employees Encouraged to Be Vigilant

The managing director emphasized that Kryptovault’s employees had been instructed to be extra vigilant in conducting their operations, especially those based in the company’s Dale facility. If any abnormal behavior is observed at the site, the company’s employees have been instructed to evacuate.

Lisbeth Edvardsen, the acting investigator at Honefoss police, has indicated that local authorities are taking the threat seriously, and are currently looking into the matter to assess what measures the police may take to respond to the threat.

The threat comes just days after the Common Council of the city of Salamanca, New York voted unanimously to pass a law that imposes “a moratorium on commercial cryptocurrency mining operations in the city.”

What is your reaction to the bomb threat received by Kryptovault? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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How a Tokyo FOMO Family Invested in Bitcoin and Lost

There’s an issue, in Japan, with certain high income families being unable to save money. Here’s the story of a Japanese household of four, living in the Tokyo Bay area, in a high-end tower apartment, repaying multiple loans and having unnecessary spending. Every month the household was using up their entire revenue and they couldn’t pay the tuition for their daughters’ private school and high schools. That’s when bitcoin came into their lives.

Also read: The Psychology of the Cryptocurrency FOMO-FUD Cycle Has Been Weaponized

Tokyo Bay 60 Million Yen ‘Tawaman’ Tower Mansion Tribe is Collapsing

“How can we overcome paying our daughters’ schools and the family’s big expenses?” the family asks Mitsuaki Yokoyama, a financial planner. “I started investing in crypto with 100,000 yen around the end of November last year, then the price rose by 2.5 times in just a month. So I got all excited and I invested 1 million yen more, but the price crashed so badly this year, and when I finally woke up from my daydream, I found out I had lost half of all my important savings,” Masao Ikeuchi, a 42-year old company employee living in Tokyo said. With his spouse, Naoko, (a pseudonym), 42, he went to consult a financial planner. As the couple heard a husband’s colleague saying there was a way to make money very easily, they decided to jump into bitcoin. They had a great start, but soon made losses to the point of no return. “What the hell on earth happened?” the couple questioned.

How a Tokyo FOMO Family Invested in Bitcoin and Lost

The Ikeuchi family lives in a high-rise tower apartment in the Tokyo Bay area with their two daughters, one attending a second grade junior high school, the other a fifth grade elementary school, and with two cats. They enjoy the wealthy life of the so-called “Tawaman tribe”, an abbreviation for “tower mansion” used to refer to people in Japan who purchase newly built properties, mostly 3LDK (3 rooms plus a dining room-kitchen area) at about 60 million yen ($550,000).

Their take-home monthly salary is about 420,000 yen ($3,800) for the husband, about 310,000 yen ($2,800) for the wife – a total of about 730,000 yen ($6,600). In Japan, the family is considered as a privileged high-income household.

The couple earns a 15 million yen ($135,000) annual income, but they can’t pay their daughters’ tuition fees. They bought their flat eight years ago using most of their savings as a down payment of 10 million yen ($90,000), and they had been spending a lot monthly – about 710,000 yen ($6,400), so they could save only about 17,000 yen a month ($153). As of last autumn, their savings amounted to only 2.4 million yen ($21,500) and they started to get worried that they couldn’t pay their children’s school tuitions. What they needed was a way to make money somehow easily.

Bitcoin, “Easy Money”

This is why the couple sought to increase their money by making “easy investments” so they could acquire an average amount of over 1 million yen ($9,000) per year to pay the school fees and tuitions. What made Mister Ikeuchi decide to invest in bitcoin was a colleague at work who told him, “You should try Bitcoin, personally, my investment increased by 1.5 times.”

The attraction of easy money persuaded Masao Ikeuchi to read a bunch of books on cryptocurrency and understand the basics, before he purchased 100,000 yen ($900) worth of bitcoin for the first time, just for a try. He did very well at first, the 100,000 yen ($900) worth of bitcoin that he bought by the end of November 2017 rising to 260,000 yen ($2,350) in just one month. Mister Ikeuchi got so excited he purchased bitcoins for another 1 million yen ($9,000). However, the price fell to a third during the crash this year. The family man panicked and repeatedly failed to recover the losses. He even picked up on FX or individual stocks and by the time he understood what was going on he realized that the 1.1 million yen ($9,900) he had invested into bitcoin had decreased to 300,000 yen ($2,700).

He FOMO-ed

How a Japanese FOMO Family Invested in Bitcoin and LostMister Ikeuchi was caught by fear of missing out (FOMO) and the desire to get rich quickly. Due to prolonged low interest rates, deposits did not increase his savings. Moreover, the media constantly reports on success stories of investors who earned big money with bitcoin or FX. It was understandable that people like Mister Ikeuchi wished to try it for themselves.

“Investments rarely work if you jump into a nice story. If it worked for the first time, it’s often just the beginner’s luck. As far as I know, most things do not last for long,” Mitsuaki Yokoyama, the financial planner told President Online. Mr. Ikeuchi jumped to investment and failed to accumulate more than he had invested. The first thing to do in order to increase your savings is to review all living expenses, the experts says. “Regarding investments, people shouldn’t avoid making any. After reducing household expenditures, people should consider a long-term investment with small risks,” he finished.

Mr. Ikeuchi seems to have misunderstood how to make good use of his money. However, due to this failure, he should be primely positioned to improve his investment strategies, enabling him to invest more intelligently next time. 

What do you think of investors who FOMO into cryptocurrency with the desire to get rich quick? Let us know in the comments section below.


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UK Exchange Launches First FCA-Regulated Bitcoin Cash Futures Contracts

UK Exchange Launches First FCA-Regulated Bitcoin Cash Futures Contracts

The UK-based cryptocurrency futures exchange, Crypto Facilities, has announced the launch of the first Bitcoin Cash – Dollar (BCH/USD) futures. Crypto Facilities is regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the new BCH futures products will join the firm’s other crypto-based contracts at 4 pm UK time on Friday, August 17th.

Also read: Handcash Launches Pop — A New BCH Point-of-Sale Companion Application

Crypto Facilities Bitcoin Cash Futures to Help Spur the Evolution of Cryptocurrency Markets

Bitcoin Cash proponents were excited to hear about a new futures market offered by the regulated UK firm Crypto Facilities. Bitcoin Cash – Dollar (BCH/USD) futures will be added to Crypto Facilities’ lineup of bitcoin core (BTC), ripple (XRP), litecoin (LTC), and ethereum (ETH) contracts.

“We are pleased to be expanding our cryptocurrency derivatives offering with the launch of Bitcoin Cash futures,” Timo Schlaefer, CEO of Crypto Facilities told news.Bitcoin.com.

BCH is a top five coin with a market capitalisation of around $10 billion and we expect our new contracts to spur the evolution of the crypto markets by bringing greater liquidity and transparency to the digital asset class.  

UK Exchange Launches First FCA-Regulated Bitcoin Cash Futures Contracts

A Proper BCH Hedging Mechanism at an FCA-Registered Exchange

Crypto Facilities says the new products will allow individuals and institutions the ability to invest in BCH futures in a regulated, transparent and secure trading environment. The Bitcoin Cash-Dollar futures contracts will allow long and short positions giving investors the capability to manage risks and rewards in a different fashion. Bert Mouler, CEO of Profluent Group, says there’s been demand for a BCH derivatives product and is thrilled to see Crypto Facilities take the initiative.

“Profluent Japan welcomes the opportunity to make markets in BCH derivatives on the Crypto Facilities platform,” Mouler explains during the Crypto Facilities BCH product announcement.

The institutional trading community was in great need of a proper BCH hedging mechanism at an FCA-registered exchange with a first class management team.  Crypto Facilities is the first to provide such a service.  

In addition to the cryptocurrency derivatives offered, Crypto Facilities also provides CME Group with the Bitcoin Reference Rate alongside the Ether-Dollar Reference Rate and Real-Time Index. There is another exchange that offers BCH/USD futures but over the years there have been lots of discrepancies with the trading platform’s trade volumes and market data. The BCH futures product offered by Crypto Facilities will be the first bitcoin cash derivatives against the USD that’s regulated by the UK’s FCA.

What do you think about Crypto Facilities launching a Bitcoin Cash futures product? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


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Funds Frozen, Account Closed: UK Banks Target Cryptocurrency Owners

In a chilling but sadly all-too-familiar sequence of events, UK banks have been targeting cryptocurrency owners. Individuals who have cashed out large amounts of cryptocurrency – legitimately – have had their assets frozen and accounts locked without warning, fueled by fears of money laundering and a general distrust of bitcoin. One victim even claims to have had their house raided and computer equipment seized in a follow-up operation by UK police.

Also read: Altcoin Purge Begins: Okex Delists 28 Token Pairs

The Legacy Banking War on Cryptocurrency Ramps Up

Legacy banks have a history of freezing crypto-related accounts

Traditional finance and cryptocurrency have been uneasy bedfellows ever since the start, but it didn’t have to be this way. While some jurisdictions have belatedly welcomed cryptocurrency with open arms – think Gibraltar, Malta, and Liechtenstein, where Binance has just opened a fiat-crypto exchange – the majority have taken an antagonistic stance. The UK is a prime example; unless you’re a bigshot like Coinbase, which recently secured a deal with Barclays, don’t count on retaining access to a bank account if you dabble in crypto. On P2P site Localbitcoins.com, UK traders exchange large amounts of BTC every day, requesting, in most instances, that the bank pay-in reference is something benign and unrelated to crypto. To do otherwise is to play a dangerous game.

This week, one British cryptocurrency figure discovered, to his peril, the speed and severity of the crackdown that’s initiated once a UK bank deems an individual to be persona non grata. The man, who we’ll refer to as John, has been involved in cryptocurrency for many years, actively mining it, occasionally trading it, and operating as a senior figure in the project team for a top 100 cryptocurrency. He has no criminal convictions, and has always accorded to UK laws concerning financial regulations and taxation. He told news.Bitcoin.com:

I had my bank account frozen and my funds taken hostage by Clydesdale Bank without any warning or explanation…I was eventually told by the branch manager that it no longer wanted to do business with “these type of people” [i.e cryptocurrency users]

Locked Out Without Warning

Funds Frozen, Account Closed: UK Banks Target Cryptocurrency Owners
Clydesdale Bank cares a lot if you own cryptocurrency

John explains: “I tried to log in to my Clydesdale Bank current account (the one that I’ve had since childhood) late on Tuesday evening only to be presented with a message saying “Sorry, we’re no longer able to assist you online”. I then tried the app which said “Your account is locked, please call”. I called the help center only to be told that the guy on the other end of the phone also couldn’t access my account nor confirm whether or not my (six-figure GBP) balance was safe. I was told that he was completely unable to help and that I would need to call HQ in the morning.”

He continues: “I called HQ this morning and was put on hold for 20 minutes. When the guy came back, he told me that there was a letter in the post to me and that he couldn’t say anything more about what was happening or whether or not my balance was safe. So I requested to be put through to the most senior person available, who then told me that my account had been locked down but he was unable to tell me why, nor who put the lock on my account. He refused to even tell me which department placed the block. He told me that my only option was to go into my local branch and request a manual withdrawal of funds. However he explained that such a withdrawal would need to be approved by the bank and therefore I wasn’t guaranteed to get access to my cash.”

“My local countryside branch were as clueless as you’d expect. I sat watching the assistant phone head office to try to get to the bottom of WTF was happening. HQ refused to tell her while I was present so they instead went cloak and dagger by sending an email which she had to leave the room to go and check out. After another 20 minutes and a couple of phone calls that I could hear her make from the room next door, she finally reappeared with another guy who turned out to be the branch manager.”

“These Types of People”

John explains: “The branch manager sat down and explained that the bank had reviewed the transactions coming in and out of my account and decided that it no longer wanted to do business with “these type of people”. I immediately requested full withdrawal of my not insignificant balance to which he replied that he would need to seek approval for that to happen.”

UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTCJohn’s experience is by no means an isolated case. In Britain, as in many other countries, cryptocurrency users are having something they’ve always known reaffirmed: you can’t trust banks with your money. Previous character, credit rating, and occupation are all worthless should a legacy financial institution take a disapproving view of your involvement in cryptocurrency. A few days prior to John being locked out by a bank he’d been with for over 20 years, another British citizen was enduring an even more harrowing encounter.

“Got raided yesterday at 6:30am for cashing out 500,000 in Bitcoin back in December 2017, arrested for money laundering and possession of criminal property in the UK,” he told fellow members of the /biz/ messageboard. When pressed for details he elaborated:

My Bitcoins that were cashed out were legit bought back in 2012/13 and they have seized some of my crypto too, seized my PC, all my USB and hard drives and raided my whole house and took me to the police station, got given a solicitor and interviewed, they asked where I found out about Bitcoin and said 4chan and a poker site.

Raided by the Police for Cashing Out

Funds Frozen, Account Closed: UK Banks Target Cryptocurrency OwnersThe anonymous /biz/ poster continued: “I was released [from police custody] same day at like 4pm, solicitor said shit went well and was released not on bail but was “under investigation” i.e we have fuck all on you but lol we’re holding your shit anyway. they searched my house and I believe they thought I was a drug dealer and were kind of disappointed they didn’t find anything like that so I am guessing they jumped to conclusions, it’s my bank who started this shit by freezing it.”

News.Bitcoin.com cannot verify this story, but the level of detail supplied, accompanied by a picture purportedly showing the search warrant the police presented, suggests that it is authentic. The man’s problems began when he tried to cash out from crypto, which caused Natwest bank to freeze his account. John, on the other hand, explained to news.Bitcoin.com that he had recently sold various material assets to fund a new business venture that required access to fiat. In other words, John hadn’t suddenly cashed out a large sum of cryptocurrency that might have triggered the incident. The mere possession of a reasonable sum of fiat currency, coupled with a history for selling smaller amounts of crypto, was enough.

Funds Frozen, Account Closed: UK Banks Target Cryptocurrency Owners
The warrant allegedly used to search the UK man’s house and seize his computer equipment

The /biz/ poster claims to have cashed out a significant amount of bitcoin in late 2017 partly to pay taxes, which he duly did with £110,00 of the money. This didn’t prevent him from falling under suspicion however. He asserts that the police “literally kidnapped me and stole my money on the basis of “we don’t know if you’ve committed a crime to obtain this money but lol we’re seizing your assets and raided your house.””

Funds Are Safu

John’s incident ended better than he at one point expected, with Clydesdale Bank eventually transferring his money to a new bank the man had hastily joined. He concludes: “I now have all of my funds in another account which I won’t name to prevent a repeat of this ridiculous discrimination. Being treated like a criminal (without proof nor cause) by an organisation that I’ve been loyal to for over 20 years has seriously pissed me off.”

Funds Frozen, Account Closed: UK Banks Target Cryptocurrency Owners
The /biz/ messageboard user explains how the police raid went down

There may come a day when cryptocurrency users are treated with dignity and respect by legacy financial institutions. By the time that day arrives, however, the crypto economy may have evolved to the stage where bitcoiners may no longer need the banks that shunned them.

Do you think banks unfairly target cryptocurrency users, or are they simply doing their job? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and /biz/.


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Handcash Launches Pop — A New BCH Point-of-Sale Companion Application

Handcash Launches Pop — A New BCH Point-of-Sale Companion Application

This week the developers of the NFC-enabled Bitcoin Cash (BCH) wallet, Handcash, have announced the launch of a new companion application called ‘Handcash Pop.’ The Pop platform provides Handcash users with a point-of-sale (PoS) platform that is tethered to their wallet’s handle so merchants can easily make payment requests for bitcoin cash.

Also read: Bitangels Co-Founder Sues AT&T for $224 Million Over Cryptocurrency Hack

Start Accepting Bitcoin Cash With the Handcash Pop Application

This past February news.Bitcoin.com reported on the BCH wallet called Handcash which launched its beta client for Android mobile phones. Since then the project has seen a lot of development, a revamped user interface, and this past May the blockchain research and development firm, Nchain, announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Handcash. The Handcash development team plans to release the wallet’s iOS version this month and prior to the launch, the organization has revealed a PoS application called Pop.        

“Pop is a lightweight point of sale companion app to Handcash that allows you to create payment requests for your store or pub,” the development team explains.

With a fast setup, no subscriptions and fraud detection systems, there are no excuses not to start accepting Bitcoin Cash and put your business on the map.

Handcash Launches Pop — A New BCH Point-of-Sale Companion Application
Handcash and the Pop application are compatible and they allow Bitcoin Cash-powered Near Field Communication (NFC) payments.

Handcash and Pop Enables Bitcoin Cash NFC Payments 

Pop also uses Near Field Communication (NFC) payments as long as the transaction stems from a Handcash wallet. If another wallet is used, the application is compatible with most Bitcoin Cash wallets by utilizing QR code payment requests. Additionally Pop has live fraud protection like the Handcash wallet, and no funds are stored on the device. All funds go directly to a designated Handcash username.

Handcash Launches Pop — A New BCH Point-of-Sale Companion Application
Tethering our Handcash handle to the Pop application.

News.Bitcoin.com took a few minutes to test the Pop application. It was fairly intuitive and pretty easy to set up a PoS terminal on our Samsung Galaxy tablet. We simply tethered the Pop platform to a username ‘$Posternut,’ and named our store (Posternut’s Emporium). The application is also protected by a 4-digit PIN in order to utilize the request page and other Pop features. The whole process took less than five minutes to set up and anyone can install Pop on any Android device in order to have their own Bitcoin Cash-powered PoS system.

What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash-centric point-of-sale application Handcash Pop? Let us know what you think about the Pop platform in the comment section below.  


Images via Shutterstock, Handcash, and Pop.


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Michelle Mone’s ICO Ends in Disarray as Equi Capital Fiasco Turns Ugly

Michelle Mone’s ICO Ends in Disarray as Equi Capital Fiasco Turns Ugly

Equi Capital’s ICO has ended in acrimony, with bounty hunters claiming to have been offered a pittance of what they were promised. The project is led by Baroness Michelle Mone, who describes herself as “one of the United Kingdom’s most celebrated entrepreneurs”. The fallout sheds light on the plight of low income workers who toil on behalf of cryptocurrency arrivistes such as Equi Capital’s celebrity co-founder.

Also read: Thanks to Mainstream Media the Public Clueless About Cryptocurrency

Lady Mone, Equi Capital, and the ICO That Never Was

Lady Mone of Mayfair OBE, as she likes to be known, is a familiar face in the UK, popping up at black-tie events and charging up to $30,000 for public speaking. (OBE stands for Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an award she was given by then-Prime Minister David Cameron). Michelle Mone is a controversial figure best known for founding the Ultimo lingerie firm before rising to become a “global entrepreneur” whose “impressive portfolio has led to Lady Mone being firmly cemented as one of the world’s most in-demand public speakers”. Wikipedia states that “Mone ranks among the UK’s most successful businesswomen and her designs can still be found in department stores worldwide,” before finishing with “[citation needed]”.

Michelle Mone’s ICO Ends in Disarray as Equi Capital Fiasco Turns UglyShortly after launching her Equi Capital ICO this year, Lady Mone proclaimed to be “one of the biggest experts in Cryptocurrency & Blockchain”, despite having first tweeted about cryptocurrency only five months earlier. Aided by her her peerage granting lifetime membership of the House of Lords (the UK’s upper parliament), billionaire boyfriend, and retinue of highly paid lawyers and publicists, Lady Mone was confident that Equi Capital would be a success. From the start, however, it was unclear who the prime beneficiary of the project was meant to be: the tech startups Equi Capital would be investing in, token-holders, women, or Michelle Mone and her Equi colleagues, as the message was constantly shifting.

One group that Equi Capital wasn’t designed for was low income workers in countries such as Russia, India, and Indonesia, but over 1,000 of these agreed to promote the ICO nevertheless in exchange for tokens. Shortly thereafter, however, things began to go awry, both for the bounty hunters and for Equi Capital.

The facts of the case run as follows:

  • February 6, 2018: Baroness Mone and billionaire boyfriend Doug Barrowman announce Equi Capital, a venture capital ICO to support startups
  • MSM, UK press especially, unquestioningly publishes Lady Mone’s bold claims, including the assertion that Equi will “encourage women to invest in tech”
  • February 9: News.Bitcoin.com takes a dissenting view, arguing “Whatever her ICO may be, it has nothing do with helping women”
  • March 1: Equi Capital launches its six-week ICO, seeking to raise $75 million
  • March 30: Having raised less than 10% of its target, Equi extends its ICO for another six weeks
  • May 6: The community management company hired by Equi Capital to oversee its bounty campaign severs all ties, citing “irreconcilable differences”
  • May 24: Equi launches a new bounty campaign, promising participants 2% of all tokens, valued at $2.5m
  • June 30: The extended Equi ICO closes, having failed to meet its target
  • July: ICO investors are refunded
  • August: Acrimony breaks out as bounty hunters are informed they’ll be offered around $5 each for months of work – approximately 2% of the original total promised

Mutiny on the Bounty

As alternative UK media outlet Wings reported this week, “Bounty hunters are effectively unpaid marketers, often from developing countries, who help to raise awareness online, particularly among the cryptocurrency community. In return for their efforts, they are remunerated in the form of tokens. Some of the workers posted adverts on social media platforms and others created YouTube videos, while yet more translated Equi marketing materials.”

The global workforce…were left stunned at the outcome of a project led by a woman who some – perhaps not grasping the complexities of the British honours system – had mistakenly believed to be a member of the Royal Family. When Baroness Mone announced the launch of Equi Capital, a series of slick and professional promotional videos had done nothing to dispel the notion…in one YouTube interview she looked directly into the camera and introduced herself saying, “My name is Baroness Mone of Mayfair… I was made a Baroness by Her Majesty the Queen.”

Equi Capital’s 1,000+ bounty hunters, having been offered 2% of the funds raised, would have been entitled to $140,000 of the $7 million that was ultimately raised. Instead, they were offered just $5,500 in total, which was eventually rounded up to $10,000. (This equates to approximately $10 per head, or $2 for every month spent promoting the aborted project.) Bounty hunters were quick to make their feelings known on social media:

Michelle Mone’s ICO Ends in Disarray as Equi Capital Fiasco Turns Ugly

“Our Founder is a Baroness and She Doesn’t Lie”

Michelle Mone’s ICO Ends in Disarray as Equi Capital Fiasco Turns UglyOn Telegram, meanwhile, things were turning ugly. Any sign of dissent in the Equi Telegram channel resulted in chats being deleted and protesters banned. The account admin also deleted a separate Telegram group for bounty participants, and then entered a spin-off channel set up by disgruntled bounty hunters to berate them. “Our founder is a Baroness,” wrote the Equi Capital admin “and I can assure you she doesn’t lie”. And: “Our lawyers will show you who is legally wrong here. It’s [sic] certainly isn’t our high profile entrepreneurs”.

On the Bitcointalk forum, bounty hunters created a thread to fight for what they believed was rightfully theirs. Others found solace

Meanwhile, Baroness Mone and her team jetted off to Silicon Valley to prepare a relaunch of Equi Capital, this time operating under the name of Equi Global. The whole experience has stuck in the craw of bounty hunters, who claim to have been used as free labor and then dispensed with when it was no longer expedient to utilize their services.

Michelle Mone’s ICO Ends in Disarray as Equi Capital Fiasco Turns Ugly

Power, Prestige and the Press

News.Bitcoin.com reached out to Equi Capital three days ago ago seeking comment for this story but failed to receive a response. We then contacted the PR agency that represents Lady Mone, Egg Media. The company, which specializes in crisis management, was founded in 2012 by Ian Edmondson, “an award winning journalist with nearly twenty years experience in working for national newspapers including the News of the World”.

Despite repeated requests for a statement from Equi Capital or its co-founder, Lady Mone, Egg Media refused, asserting that any attempts to document this story would be “highly defamatory, libellous and actionable”. Mr Edmondson’s unfamiliarity with media law can be traced back to his imprisonment for phone hacking while at News of the World, a crime which he oversaw on 344 occasions. “On 7 November 2014,” notes Wikipedia, “Mr Justice Saunders jailed Edmondson for eight months, saying that he only had himself to blame”.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Michelle Mone’s ICO Ends in Disarray as Equi Capital Fiasco Turns Ugly
Michelle Mone, depicted on Equi.Capital

UK media outlet Wings concludes: “Doug Barrowman described Equi Capital as a way to “give everyone an opportunity to play in my world”. Those who still await any recompense for their time and effort may wish they hadn’t played at all.” In a previous interview, the Equi founder opined, “So many of these ICOs have no purpose…You basically buy a token, or a coin if it’s a brand new currency, which actually has no real value at the moment in the real world.”

From a legal perspective, Equi Capital is likely to be on firm ground in dismissing its bounty hunters with a fraction of their dues. From a moral one, however, there would appear to be a prima facie case. “We’re not in it for money,” Baroness Mone told the Sunday Times back in March. “We’re doing this because we’re passionate about the cryptocurrency community.” Upon relaunching as Equi Global, the Baroness may be forced to proceed without the support of the cryptocurrency community and its army of bounty hunters.

Do you think ICOs should be legally bound to keep their promises to bounty hunters? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Telegram, Equi.Capital, and Twitter.


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Bitcoin Not Dead, Again: Washington Post Gets Schooled

Castle Island Ventures partner and cofounder of Coinmetrics.io, Nic Carter, has had quite enough. Made crazy by mainstream media misunderstanding, ignorance, and downright falsehoods regarding cryptocurrencies, he took to Medium, making the case for why Bitcoin is not dead, again.

Also read: Report: 15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots

“Bitcoin is Still a Total Disaster”

“I’m fed up with journalists who are either ignorant or unwilling to learn about cryptocurrency,” Mr. Carter began, “holding forth on its perceived weaknesses. However, there isn’t enough time in the day to rebut all of their nonsense, so I have to be selective.”

Nic Carter, partner at Castle Island Ventures, and cofounder of Coinmetrics.io, is obviously tired of journalists and their respective employers failing to understand cryptocurrency basics. The last straw, bringing his anger to a public boil, was a recent article written for The Washington Post’s Wonkblog Perspective, “Bitcoin is still a total disaster,” by Matt O’Brien. It attempts to make the case Bitcoin doesn’t work on any level, to any practical effect.

As Mr. Carter explains, Mr. O’Brien’s Wonkblog piece “relies on mistaken assumptions to paint a misleading picture of the world.” He takes the rant apart, claim by claim, beginning with whether or not bitcoin is a currency. This is a bone of contention within the community itself, so it should be noted Mr. Carter is referencing bitcoin core (BTC) and not bitcoin cash (BCH) in his arguments against the rant by Mr. O’Brien (though BTC and BCH carry similarities).

Mr. O’Brien’s first claim, first sentence really, is BTC’s lack of price stability, and thus this fact discounts it as a currency. Interestingly, and for reasons cited just above, Mr. Carter almost concedes the point, “This assumes that Bitcoin is a currency, and that the definition of currency is normative (‘x should do y’) as opposed to descriptive (‘things of type x have the qualities y and z’). I’d classify Bitcoin the protocol as a complete monetary system, and bitcoin the unit of value as a commodity money, which has the potential to become a gold-like reserve currency. Commodities fluctuate — that’s what they do.” Maybe BTC is more than one thing, seems to be Mr. Carter’s nuanced stance.

Journalists Do Not Understand Decentralization

Another assertion in the Washington Post rant had to do with volatility being baked-in to Bitcoin. Mr. Carter describes that accusation as “an odd rewrite of history, or more charitably, a very strange interpretation of bitcoin’s purpose. The impossible trinity tells that it’s impossible to have free capital flow, sovereign monetary policy, and a fixed exchange rate all at the same time. Bitcoin was designed with sovereign monetary policy and a free flow of capital. No one underwrites or backs Bitcoin, so it cannot be pegged to a real-world basket of goods. That’s the same with gold. Both have emergent monetary premia. This can’t be planned for — it just so happened that way. Needless to say, Satoshi didn’t design Bitcoin to be unstable, he wanted to solve the problem of double spends with digital cash such that it didn’t rely on a single validator. Its volatility is an emergent property, not a design objective.”

Mr. O’Brien also attempts to use BTC being decentralized as a bug rather than a feature. He writes in the Washington Post that “the only way to [validate transactions in such a scheme] would be for every member of that network to keep a record of every bitcoin transaction there had ever been — that way they knew who had bitcoin to spend — which would require a lot of computing power,” emphasis his.

“This is a common misconception,”  Mr. Carter answers, bent on correction. “PoW and mining ensures that the network deterministically converges to a shared history, without any subjectivity or off-chain coordination. The fact that the minted units have value means that miners are incentivized to behave appropriately in the short and medium term. And the fact that those units are worth $x means that miners will pay anything up to $x to obtain them. This is the source of the large quantities of computing power allocated to the network — the combination of efficient mining hardware and large amounts of value at stake.” Furthermore, the Post journalist confuses running nodes with mining, and with miners. Maintaining the ledger, as it were, is a bandwidth issue, a storage issue, and has nothing to do with mining.

The remainder of Nic Carter’s takedown of the Post reads similarly, and is worth a look. He tackles the issue of price manipulation by castigating, “Plain old manipulation? You really mean to tell me you think a $100b network was manipulated into existence?” As for its falling prey to the wealth effect, Mr. Carter counters with empirical data leading to how Bitcoin “is unique among monetary assets because it offers properties not instantiated by gold or the USD. There’s a reason people choose Bitcoin.” He also isn’t afraid to get financially technical, but ultimately finds, “The problem with this article is that the pundit in question has settled on a narrative — Bitcoin is a poor economic system — and then searched for various data points that confirm his view. Bitcoin is volatile, yes. It is an emerging commodity-money that is becoming financialized and growing from a small tribe of enthusiasts to a global user base. Of course it’s volatile. Growth is not linear. Only ‘fragilistas’ demand it to be so.”

Does Bitcoin need defending to the popular press? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay.


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Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

Strengthening regulations will increase crypto investors’ protection, and the amateur speculation bubble will end, says Masayuki Tashiro, representative director of Fiscalo Digital Asset Group and market analyst, who handles a crypto business in Japan. The real value of cryptocurrency will be questioned after we leave the bubble, the expert says.

Also read: Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto Exchanges

Is the Cryptocurrency Market Heading to Maturity?

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert SaysThe overall excitement and confusion around cryptocurrency in Japan is over as regulations had been strengthened. In many ways the environment surrounding Bitcoin has changed dramatically this year. Last December, the highest value for 1 BTC was 2.5 million yen (22,500$), then in January it dropped by more than half, at 700,000 yen (6,300$), when on January 26th, 58 billion yen (520 million$) worth of cryptocurrency Nem (NEM) went missing from Coincheck, a local exchange.

“The overheating feeling around cryptocurrency that went on until the beginning of the year was just a bubble,” Masayuki Tashiro said. Right after the Coincheck heist, Japan’s Financial Security Agency (FSA) took immediate measures in February and raided the company and other crypto exchanges to find out what was going on. Then six companies including the major registrants received heavy administrative sanctions in June. BTC price then fell to 600,000 yen (5,400$). Currently the price of one BTC is about 800,000 yen (7,200$), but it is a situation that is changing around all the time, the market analyst pointed out.

Real Value of Crypto Will Show After the Bubble Is Over

The real value of crypto will show after the bubble is over, the expert says. As the Coincheck management apologized during a press conference in Tokyo last January for failing to keep the cryptocurrency, its overall price dropped dramatically and the trend to regulate cryptocurrency accelerated drastically. “Futures traders in the US launching the BTC futures trading market last December also influenced the situation a lot. And those futures hedge funders entered the market as a tide, all at once, that influenced the bubble to burst too,” Tashiro explained, “the more the price falls, the more people tend to sell. And the biggest factor for the bubble bursting is the actions taken by beginners who don’t have the experience of investing in crypto,” he added.

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

“To begin with, there aren’t any investment measures with crypto such as PER (Price Earnings Ratio) and PBR (Price Book-value Ratio) as we see with stocks, so people shouldn’t touch upon it if they don’t understand it. Without any solid understanding, newbies shouldn’t have gotten involved in crypto,” Tashiro explained. Japan’s crypto industry has established a self regulatory association called the Japan Cryptocurrency Exchange Association in April, which is prospecting to set up self-regulatory rules by October. Rules and regulations around crypto have been strengthened globally, and the overall crypto boom seems to have dissipated.

Crypto Is Still a Remarkable Market

“Strengthening the rules is a good move,” the analyst said, “people will be able to invest with peace in their mind as the poor quality crypto vendors will exit and a strong anti-money laundering system will be put in place internally within each exchange,” Tashiro says. “Furthermore, last year BTC price rose by more than 40% twice,” he explained, “this is the same figure as the Nikkei average during the Lehman shock. In the near future, although we might not reach that high, we can still expect a rise in the range of 800,000 yen (7,200$). Although the price range at the moment is around 30,000 to 40,000 yen (270 to 360$), a rise always occurs, that’s why [crypto] is still a remarkable market.” Regarding future market trends, “personally I am bullish,” Tashiro said, “and by the time the outline of the regulations will come together in October, those investors who will feel safer will come back. I hope things won’t get as overheated as last year, but I believe BTC can win back the value of 1 million yen (9,020$) in range,” he believes.

The bubble which attracted or was caused by amateur investors is over, and the reinforcement of regulation is a rather securing outcome from the perspective of investors’ protection in the cryptocurrency market. From this Japanese expert’s point of view, it seems that there is still room for earning in crypto.

What do you think of this Japanese analyst’s expectations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Bitangels Co-Founder Sues AT&T for $224 Million Over Cryptocurrency Hack

Bitangels Co-Founder Sues AT&T for $224 Million Over Cryptocurrency Hack

The cryptocurrency investor Michael Terpin is suing the large telecom firm AT&T because his mobile phone was compromised by hackers who stole $24M USD worth of digital assets. Terpin says he was hacked twice in less than a year and employees at AT&T participated in a SIM swap fraud.

Also read: Fivebucks.com: Meet the Freelancer’s Marketplace Powered by Bitcoin Cash

$24 Million in Digital Assets Stolen: Michael Terpin Blames AT&T

Bitangels Co-Founder Sues AT&T for $224 Million Over Cryptocurrency Hack
Michael Terpin

Michael Terpin the co-founder of Bitangels says he lost close to $24 million in cryptocurrencies, and he’s blaming the giant communications company AT&T. The 69-page lawsuit filed by the LA-based law firm Greenberg Glusker details that Terpin believes AT&T employees were involved in a SIM swap fraud which cost him the loss of a large number of digital assets. Major telecom services like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have all been accused of PIN and SIM swap fraud alongside alleged data breaches. According to Terpin an “insider” from AT&T cooperated with a malicious hacker.

“What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewelry in the safe from the rightful owner,” the complaint reads.

According to an email statement,  AT&T says they “dispute the allegations” and they “look forward to presenting their case in court.”

Bitangels Co-Founder Sues AT&T for $224 Million Over Cryptocurrency Hack

Failure to Adhere to Privacy Commitments

Bitangels Co-Founder Sues AT&T for $224 Million Over Cryptocurrency HackNot only does Terpin want his $24 million back but the investor also wants $200M in punitive damages. Terpin says within pages of the lawsuit that AT&T’s personnel have been accused of SIM swapping fraud in “numerous incidents.” Even though AT&T denies any wrongdoing in this specific case the telecom firm has had a lot of complaints about SIM swap transgressions in the past.

For instance, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued a warning specifically about an “AT&T SIM-card switch scam.” On July 18, 2018, authorities arrested a man from Florida who was allegedly in charge of a giant “multi-state cyber fraud ring” that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies. Police say they first heard about the SIM-card gang when a Mom from Michigan caught her son on the phone pretending to be an AT&T employee.

Terpin emphasizes in the complaint that he lost millions because, “AT&T’s willing cooperation with the hacker, gross negligence, violation of its statutory duties, and failure to adhere to its commitments in its Privacy Policy.”

What do you think about Michael Terpin suing AT&T for $224M? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


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Squire Partnership Gives Coingeek Exclusive Rights to 10nm ASIC Chip

Squire Partnership Gives Coingeek Exclusive Rights to 10nm ASIC Chip

On Wednesday, August 15, blockchain firm and mining organization Coingeek, led by entrepreneur Calvin Ayre, announced that the company has signed a deal with Canada-based Squire Mining Limited. Coingeek details the company will have exclusive rights to Squire’s new ASIC chips and mining rigs that mine bitcoin cash (BCH) and a variety of other cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Acceptance Grows — Dish Network and Flow Partner With Bitpay

Coingeek Partners With Squire Mining to Deploy Next-Generation ASIC Hardware

Squire Partnership Gives Coingeek Exclusive Rights to 10nm ASIC ChipNews.Bitcoin.com recently reported on Squire Mining Limited (CSE: SQR) securing $25,500,000 CAD (~$19.5 million USD) in private placement financing and its exclusive distributor agreement. According to the company, Squire plans on using the funds to deploy a next-generation 10nm application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and mining rig. Following this announcement, Coingeek revealed the company has entered into a partnership with Squire. The deal will allow Coingeek the right to market, promote, solicit, and sell the new ASIC semiconductors and mining rigs using the Coingeek logo and brand.

“This next generation equipment is being designed with a projected hashrate that is expected to be significantly faster while utilizing less power than the leading crypto-mining equipment currently available on the market today,” Coingeek explains.

Moreover, Squire has also entered into an exclusive distributor agreement with associates of Bitcoin BCH’s largest mining company, Coingeek.com, which will be granted the exclusive right to market, promote, solicit, sell and distribute Squire’s new ASIC chips and mining rigs to Bitcoin BCH and other altcoin miners throughout the world.

Squire Partnership Gives Coingeek Exclusive Rights to 10nm ASIC Chip
Over the last few weeks, Coingeek has become the largest bitcoin cash (BCH) miner by hashrate.

The Firm Invites All Enterprise Level Miners to Attend Coingeek Week to See the 10nm Chip Designed by Peter Kim

According to Squire, the next-generation 10nm chips will be developed by well-known semiconductor and system architect Peter Kim. Squire signed a letter of intent with Kim on March 14 which includes the creation and commercialization of next-generation 10nm ASIC chips.

Coingeek plans to showcase the new mining hardware this November during the company’s next conference in London. The firm details that initial sales will be geared towards BCH miners because bitcoin cash has incredible utility as digital money that scales and allows applications that use microtransactions to thrive.

“We will have a booth at the Coingeek.com Week Conference during the last week of November,” Coingeek notes.

All enterprise level miners are invited to come to this event to meet with us and discuss how this product can improve your business.

What do you think about Coingeek partnering with Squire in order to produce next-generation ASIC chips? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below.


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Fivebucks.com: Meet the Freelancer’s Marketplace Powered by Bitcoin Cash

Fivebucks.com: Meet the Freelancer's Marketplace Powered by Bitcoin Cash

Three days ago a new freelancer’s marketplace was launched called Fivebucks.com, a platform that allows people to purchase and sell services for only $5. The new website has seen an influx of listings since it launched and all the payments, both inbound and outbound, utilize the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency bitcoin cash.

Also read: Report: 15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots

Every Service on Fivebucks.com is Just Five Dollars in Bitcoin Cash

Fivebucks.com: Meet the Freelancer's Marketplace Powered by Bitcoin CashThis week a new freelancer’s marketplace has launched that allows people to list and complete a wide array of services for only five bucks. All a user has to do is register with a valid email and they can either add a listing or peruse through the eight categories of services offered on Fivebucks.com. The eight sections of listings include tech, fun & lifestyle, business, digital marketing, graphics and design, writing and translation, video & animation, music & audio, programming.

The creators of Fivebucks explain the charity @eatbch inspired them to launch a platform that bolsters the gig economy with just a small fraction of bitcoin cash (BCH). “Thanks to bitcoin cash, anyone with an internet connection can get paid for their work directly without intermediaries and regardless of where they are from,” explain the Fivebucks founders.

All payments and seller payouts are done in bitcoin cash — Sellers can withdraw their earnings in bitcoin cash in one click.

Fivebucks.com: Meet the Freelancer's Marketplace Powered by Bitcoin Cash

Fivebucks Co-Founder: ‘Bitcoin Cash Is the Only Major Crypto That Is Reliable as Digital Peer-to-Peer Cash’

At the moment, Fivebucks has 85 active listings, and 166 sellers within the marketplace. News.Bitcoin.com spoke with the co-founder of Fivebucks.com and he explained why the website was created and more importantly why the team chose to utilize BCH payments for marketplace services.

Fivebucks.com: Meet the Freelancer's Marketplace Powered by Bitcoin Cash

“[We started Fivebucks.com] to create something that is competitive, offers value and fosters BCH adoption The site, in my opinion, generates incentives both for sellers and buyers to start using bitcoin cash I like to think of Fivebucks as an adoption engine,” the co-founder of Fivebucks.com details. “On one hand it incentivises business owners in first world countries (but not only) to learn how to use bitcoin cash so they can save money and outsource small tasks for cheap.”

At the same time, it incentivises freelancers (from poor countries but not only) to learn how to use bitcoin cash because there will always be demand for $5 listings. [We decided to use bitcoin cash] because it is the only major crypto that is reliable as digital peer-to-peer cash.

Right now you can buy an assortment of interesting services for only five dollars in BCH per service which includes getting a cartoon portrait drawn, debugging python script, tarot reading, vector graphics, and even someone who will say anything you want on video for only five bucks. The creators of the freelancer’s marketplace also have published a walkthrough on the social media platform Yours.org called “Advice for Sellers” which gives a rundown of ways people can improve their chances of selling on the platform.

What do you think about the marketplace Fivebucks.com? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


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Coinhive Mints Quarter Million Dollars in Monero a Month, Report Reveals

Coinhive Mints Quarter Million Dollars in Monero a Month, Report Reveals

Тhe profitability of cryptocurrency mining is decreasing on the backdrop of this year’s persistently bearish markets but Coinhive seems to be doing pretty well. The browser-based miner has earned a quarter million dollars worth of monero in just one month, according to a new study conducted by German researchers.   

Also read: New Player to Offer Next Generation ASIC Chips This Year

One in Three Minted Coins Goes to Coinhive Developers

Coinhive, the Javascript-based miner that takes away some of your CPU power to mine cryptos while you are browsing the web, remains very active. That’s one of the key findings in a report produced by academics from the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, or the RWTH Aachen University in Germany. The software mints monero, a leading privacy coin whose struggle to remain ASIC-resistant has resulted in several forks this year.

Coinhive Mints Quarter Million Dollars in Monero a Month, Report RevealsAccording to the study, the miner has generated 1,271 XMR, or approximately $250,000 worth of monero, during the observation period of four weeks this spring. At the current, lower prices of around $88 USD per coin, the amount is still substantial – over $110,000 USD.

Coinhive is also estimated to mine 1.18 percent of all monero blocks with a median hash rate of 5.5M h/s. Its developers receive 30 percent of every minted coin and the authors of the research claim that most of the commission is sent to a small group of people.

Released in 2017, Coinhive was created to facilitate websites offering visitors ad-free experience in return for using their hardware to mine cryptocurrencies like monero. The absence of advertisements, however, comes with slower browsing speeds as the miner works in the background. Other factors, such as shortened battery life of mobile devices, rising energy bills, and the plummeting prices of the mined cryptocurrencies should also be taken into account when assessing how viable in-browser mining is as an alternative to ad-based financing.

Besides, these are not the only negatives – hackers have long learned how to take advantage of the mining code. They often break into websites, including the official web pages of government institutions, to install Coinhive and configure it to send the mined coins to their own wallets. Browser extensions have also been targeted and according to a recent report, routers too.

Despite Ineffective Blocking, Prevalence Remains Low

Analyzing the browser-based mining as a new revenue generating model to monetize websites without ads, the researchers from the largest German technical university have inspected for mining code the Alexa Top 1M and .com/.net/.org domains. They were able to confirm the utilization of browser-mining software but the prevalence remains low at less than 0.08 percent of the sites.

Coinhive Mints Quarter Million Dollars in Monero a Month, Report Reveals
No Coin detected miners on the Alexa Top 1 M and the .com/.net/.org domains.

Unsatisfied with the results from the No Coin filter, an extension available on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and the Opera browser, the scientists used an alternative technique based on Webassembly fingerprinting to identify miners and found that up to 82 percent of the mining websites were not detected by popular block lists.

The authors of the study concluded that Coinhive is the largest web-based mining provider used by 75 percent of the sites mining cryptocurrency. Inspecting the Coinhives’ link-forwarding service, they also found that “10 heavy users contribute over 80% of all short links mostly targeting streaming and filesharing services.”

What do you think about in-browser crypto mining as an alternative to ad-based monetization of websites? Share your opinions on the subject in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin Illegal: Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority

Bitcoin Ilegal: Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (المملكة العربية السعودية) regulators issued a statement this week through its monetary authority. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are illegal in the country. Citing “negative consequences” and “high risk,” the government believes it must protect subjects from themselves.  

Also read: Report: 15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots

Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority Pronounces Bitcoin Illegal

Dated 8 August 2018, مؤسسة النقد العربي السعودي, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) began, “The standing committee warns against trading in the digital currencies or what is known as virtual currency for their negative consequences and high risks on traders as they are out of government supervision.”

Bitcoin Ilegal: Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority

SAMA functions as the kingdom’s central bank. It issues the Riyal, oversees banks and foreign exchanges, and the traditional aspects of price and exchange rate stability, crediting itself with ensuring the growth and soundness of the domestic financial system.

“The committee assured that virtual currency including,” SAMA continued, “for example, but not limited to, the Bitcoins are illegal in the kingdom and no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices. The committee warns all citizens and residents about drifting after such illusion and get-rich scheme due to the high regulatory, security and market risks involved, not to mention signing of fictitious contracts and the transfer of funds to unknown recipients/entities/parties.”

Saudi Royals Do Crypto, Sometimes

Popularly, the Kingdom is said to be in something of a modernizing period. Its ascended Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister under King Salman, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who will turn a tender 33 years old in a manner of days, is known as a reformer of sorts. As one of the youngest monarchical office holders in the world, he is particularly lauded for making strides in his country for women.

Bitcoin Ilegal: Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority
Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Women, under his dictates, are slowly being reintroduced into society as drivers, singers, and sporting enthusiasts. His view on cryptocurrency isn’t well known. Fall of last year, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal called bitcoin a “fraud” on American television (he would later run into his own legal problems involving fraud), but that is the closest Royal Family pronouncements have come with regard to crypto, until now.  

Perhaps another hint comes from a more conciliatory side of SAMA, and its reported usage of Ripple settlement tech or its effort at building a state-backed regional cryptocurrency in conjunction with United Arab Emirates. Whatever the ultimate case, cryptos without state backing, such as bitcoin, are illegal for now.

Will Saudi Arabia eventually given in on bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below. 


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The Daily: Stoners Drop Crypto From IPO, Binance Launches Academy

The Daily: Stoners Drop Crypto From IPO, Binance Launches Academy

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover stories about the stoners’ magazine High Times which dropped cryptocurrencies from its IPO, Binance launching its own academy, an institutional investors program by Kucoin and the Cash App expanding its crypto buying service across America.

Also Read: An ICO Venture Is Trying to Take Over a Tokyo Stock Exchange Listed Company

Stoners Drop Crypto From IPO

The popular cannabis culture publication High Times recently announced that it is holding an initial public offering (IPO) and that it will be the first regulated A+ stock willing to accept cryptocurrencies such as BTC and ETH. However, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that was just an honest mistake. The announcement was “distributed in error as the Company will not be accepting bitcoin as payment for shares. As provided in the Company’s subscription agreement related to the offering, the Company will only be accepting check, credit card, ACH or wire transfer as payment for subscription to shares,” High Times now claims. While it would have been fair to assume another company might have gotten cold feet due to the current bear market, or that it was somehow intimidated by the regulators behind the scenes, in this case it is indeed possible that whoever wrote that original announcement was just stoned out of their mind at the time.

Binance Launches Academy

The Daily: Stoners Drop Crypto From IPO, Binance Launches AcademyPopular cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced it is launching a brand new educational resource portal in an open beta. Binance Academy is defined as an open access learning hub supported by the venue’s team. “Our aim is to provide a one-stop-shop for blockchain and crypto learning resources, open to anyone and for the benefit of all,” they explain. Current topics include Blockchain, Coins & Tokens, Binance, Security, and Trading, and many more are said to be in the pipeline. Binance says it will be adding more and more learning resources to the Academy week after week, the plans for this are said to be ready but they also look to adapt based on community feedback and submissions.

Kucoin Institutional Investor Program

Kucoin, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, has recently announced a new program meant to encourage institutional investors to participate more actively in trading activities. The Institutional Investor Program is designed for those that participate in quantitative trading, high-frequency trading, etc. All institutions that successfully qualify for the program will receive significant trading fee discounts of 20% to 80%.

The exchange also recently responded to media reports that its central office in Hong Kong is empty. The team explained that: “In fact, KuCoin’s public address in Hong Kong is merely a mailing address of one of KuCoin’s many subsidiary companies. KuCoin Headquarters is in Singapore. KuCoin has always been a global firm, with over 300 employees and four major offices in China, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.”

Cash App Expands Crypto Service Across America

The Daily: Stoners Drop Crypto From IPO, Binance Launches AcademyCash App, the BTC buying and selling service by the payment processing firm Square, has announced on social media that the feature is now available for American users in all fifty states. Back in November, 2017 this functionality was only available to select individuals for experimentation. But by February there were only four states left where residents were not able to access the crypto service on Square’s Cash App due to harsher cryptocurrency regulations, which included Hawaii, New York, Wyoming, and Georgia.

Square Inc (NYSE:SQ), has recently reported its Q2 2018 financial results, revealing that $37 million of crypto sales revenue helped the company accelerate its growth during the period.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Trader Gets Six-Figure Loan to Buy Crypto, Holdings Drop by 85%

Trader Gets Six-Figure Loan to Buy Crypto, Holdings Drop by 85%

An Abu Dhabi-based cryptocurrency investor has shared his story of having taken out a six-figure loan to finance virtual currency investments only to watch his portfolio lose 85 percent of its value. The investor has shared his story in the hope that it can serve as a lesson to others.

Also Read:High-Profile Thai Crypto Case: Bitcoiner Lost Over 5,500 BTC – Ringleader Fled to US 

Trader Takes Out Six-Figure Loan to Buy Crypto During December 2017

Trader Gets Six-Figure Loan to Buy Crypto, Holdings Drop by 85%Crypthomie, a Reddit user identifying as a 32-year-old male living in Abu Dhabi, recently posted a photo of his repayment schedule pertaining to a six-figure loan that he took out on the 18th of December, 2017.

The Redditor borrowed 338,000 dirhams (roughly $126,500 USD), with a total outstanding amount of 393,296.80 dirhams ($147,200 USD) including interest from Emirates Islamic Bank. The document outlines a repayment schedule of 8194 dirhams ($3067 USD) monthly until December 14, 2021.

The investor wrote: “Here is my bank installment related to the loan I took to invest in crypto. Still three-and-a-half years to go until I’m freed. Until then, I’m working for nothing and I’m at 85 per cent loss. I hope it gives you a lesson.”

Investor’s Portfolio Loses 85%

Trader Gets Six-Figure Loan to Buy Crypto, Holdings Drop by 85%Crypthomie stated that his cryptocurrency portfolio comprised NEO, XLM, ETH, and LTC, in addition to “some shitcoins that lost 95 per cent of their value already.”

Since the 18th of December, NEO has fallen 78% from $75 to the current price of $16.50, and over 91% from its mid-January highs.

XLM appears to have been the best performing of Crypthomie’s investments, dropping by 18% from $0.275 on the 18th of December to $0.225 today. However, XLM has lost 75% from its January high of $0.91.

ETH has fallen by over 60% from $725 on the 18th of December, and by 80% from its all-time high of $1,400 posted at the start of the year. LTC has lost 83% from its December 18 highs of $320 to currently be trading at roughly $55.

Loans Easily Available in the United Arab Emirates

Trader Gets Six-Figure Loan to Buy Crypto, Holdings Drop by 85%Crypthomie described the loan as comprising a “simple loan” that banks give out “almost instantly in UAE,” adding “You can get $100,000 within [a] few days [in] your account without much verification.”

“I’m 32 and it was my first speculative investment. I think it’s an age where we’re still unconscious and take [a] lot of risk[s] if we don’t have big responsibilities like a kid or bills to pay,” he said.

What is your response to Crypthomie’s story? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


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