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1  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-20] G20 Considers Crypto As Assets, Not Currencies on: March 20, 2018, 02:38:34 PM
A draft of a G20 document -- acquired by Bloomberg -- reads that cryptocurrencies “lack the traits of sovereign currencies,” implying that the G20 considers crypto to be an asset rather than a currency, Bloomberg writes today, March 20.

The issue of how to define cryptocurrencies is expected to be discussed this afternoon, according to Bloomberg.
2  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-19] Bitcoin bounces $700 in less than three hours on: March 19, 2018, 04:23:09 PM
Bitcoin bounces back once again   Bitcoin bounces back once again 
2 Mins Ago | 00:41
Bitcoin prices rallied back by more than $700 in less than three hours during late Sunday trading, capping off a wild weekend that saw the digital currency plunge through $8,000 and even near the $7,000 level.

Prices are still off by 10 percent in the last seven days, according to CoinDesk.

The cryptocurrency hit a low of $7,335.57 earlier Sunday before recovering back above $8,000, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin was trading near $8,267 as of 9:05 a.m. ET Monday.

Traders were unsure of what was behind the late comeback, but blamed another possible bitcoin advertising ban for the weakness over the weekend. Twitter is reportedly preparing to ban advertising for initial coin offerings, token sales, and cryptocurrency wallets globally, according to Sky News. The new policy could roll out in two weeks, the report said.
3  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-16] Lithuanian Central Bank Seeks Developers for Blockchain Sandbox on: March 16, 2018, 04:09:36 PM
Bank of Lithuania, the country's central bank, announced on Friday that it is soliciting proposals from software developers to kick off its LBChain initiative - a "service-based blockchain platform" aimed to serve as a regulatory sandbox for startups working with blockchain technology.

Introduced in January, LBChain is intended to assist both Lithuanian and international companies in acquiring knowledge of the blockchain and in conducting blockchain-focused research.

Bank of Lithuania said at that time that the project would "provide a technical platform and consultations on applicable regulations" to selected companies. The institution also indicated that the project would be financed by EU funds.

"Software developers have already shown considerable interest in LBChain," said Marius Jurgilas, a member of the Bank of Lithuania board, in an announcement.
4  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-15] $6K in Sight? Bitcoin Price On Edge of Correction on: March 15, 2018, 12:34:56 PM
Bitcoin looks set to revisit November lows after a 22 percent drop, but a minor corrective rally looks to be in the offing beforehand.

At time of writing, CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) is seen at $8,228, having clocked a five-week low of $7,676 earlier today. Meanwhile, BTC's global average price on CoinMarketCap is $8,293 - down 7.44 percent in the last 24 hours.

Prices fell nearly $1,300 on Wednesday, a move reportedly influenced by Google's decision to ban online advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies and related products. The restriction would come into effect from June.

However, even before the announcement from the search giant, the technical charts favored a downside move. The sell-off has sent BTC bulls packing and the cryptocurrency faces the risk of further downside in the days ahead.
5  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-14] Huawei Is Building Tech That Can Stress Test Blockchains on: March 14, 2018, 04:12:02 PM
Huawei is inching closer to making its first major release in the open-source blockchain sector.

After almost a year of behind-the-scenes work, the tech giant recently valued at $7.5 billion has unveiled a tool designed to test the performance of major blockchains, one it is now preparing to submit formally to the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger consortium this year.

Called Project Caliper, the open-source technology already supports analysis of Hyperleger Fabric, Hylerledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Iroha, with more expected to be added by the end of 2018.

Still, Haojun Zhou, the Huawei engineer behind the vast majority of the code, described the tool as one that, while focused on analyzing technology, is fundamentally about helping developers and corporates make more confident decisions about their tech.
6  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-13] What's Wrong With John Oliver's Bitcoin-Beanie Baby Comparison on: March 13, 2018, 10:01:15 AM
Most of John Oliver's send-up of cryptocurrency was spot on.

On Sunday night's episode of "Last Week Tonight," the HBO host poked fun at bitcoin community icons and reminded viewers to exercise caution when investing.

"The important thing to remember here is this is a brand-new, very complicated space and literally nobody knows how it's going to develop, so you need to be careful," he said.

Oliver's explanations of blockchain technology and the nascent cryptocurrency industry were generally accurate, and the notes of caution were appropriate. Speaking of notes, guest star Keegan-Michael Key's parody of Carlos Matos, the exuberant Bitconnect promoter, drove the point home when he bellowed: "Re-spon-si-bility!"
7  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-12] South Carolina Wants To Ban Genesis Mining on: March 12, 2018, 03:03:55 PM

Lawmakers in South Carolina asked cryptocurrency cloud mining platform Genesis Mining to leave the state due to selling “unlicensed securities” Friday, March 9.

A cease and desist order filed by the South Carolina Attorney General's Office Securities Division claims Genesis, which is registered in Hong Kong, along with Zurich-based partner enterprise Swiss Gold Global, illegally served residents with unregistered mining contracts.

“At no time... was Swiss Gold Global registered with the Division as a broker-dealer, and no exemption from registration has been claimed,” the order reads.

Source -
8  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-10] Praetorian Group Files To Be First ICO To Sell Registered Security on: March 10, 2018, 12:31:48 PM

The Praetorian Group, referred to as a “Cryptocurrency Real Estate Investment Vehicle,” (CREIV) has filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 6 to register their $75 mln Initial Coin Offering (ICO) as a security offering.

If the SEC accepts their registration, the Praeotorian Group will hold the first ever SEC-registered ICO.

The filing states that while there will be 200 mln of the Group’s PAX tokens on the Ethereum Blockchain, but the company is registering only the 15 mln offered in the ICO. These real estate-backed tokens will be offered for $5 per token, payable in Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC)  Litecoin (LTC), to what the company confusingly refers to as “accredited investors”.

Under US law, an accredited investor is one with a certain financial status — securities offered only to accredited investors in the US can qualify for SEC Rule 506(c) exemption, as messenger app Telegram and photo giant Kodak did for their token offerings, making them exempt from registration with the SEC.

The filing references the uncertainty of the classification of ICOs as securities, but add that they think it is more “prudent” to register with the SEC in any case:

“Notwithstanding our belief that the PAX token might not constitute a security, we feel given the uncertainties from a regulatory standpoint that it is more prudent to deem the PAX token a security and follow through with the registration process before the SEC and gain the SEC necessary approvals as a registered security.”

The purpose of the CREIV is to buy and develop both residential and commercial properties that are undervalued or located in “blighted areas.” Praetorian Group’s aim is to “invest in lower income areas that we believe are poised to increase in value, infuse cryptocurrency into these areas and to fund “Out Reach Programs” to enrich the quality of life for the residents in which we owned properties.”

During February’s joint cryptocurrency hearing of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), SEC Chairman Jay Clayton spoke of the need for stricter regulations for ICOs and noted that every ICO the SEC had seen thus far is considered a security.
9  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-09] Cash and HODL? Family Office to Offer Loans Against Bitcoin on: March 09, 2018, 12:40:02 PM
Crypto rich but low on cash?

With all the ICOs that have taken place (not to mention the meteoric rise in the value of crypto assets late last year), there are a lot of entrepreneurs who fit this description, but few products that allow them to turn long-term HODLing into actionable capital.

That's the idea behind a new subsidiary being started by Dominion Capital, a family office based in New York City. While the company has long invested in a variety of assets, Dominion's known for helping to finance projects by backing loans.
10  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-08] Japanese Regulators Suspend Two Crypto Exchanges on: March 08, 2018, 08:52:07 AM
Finance regulators in Japan have ordered month-long suspensions for two domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) said on Thursday that it has issued business suspension orders to two exchanges - FSHO and Bit Station - effective for one month starting from today.

The FSA mandated that seven trading platforms in total must improve their system security measures and submit a written improvement plan by March 22. Those four exchanges are Tech Bureau, GMO Coin, Mister Exchange, Bike Limited as well as Coincheck, the exchange at the center of a recent $500 million heist that sparked the ongoing probe by the agency.
11  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-06] Blockchain Needs Centralization, Says Chinese SEC Official on: March 06, 2018, 02:44:16 PM
An official from one of China's financial regulators argued at the "Two Sessions" conference in Beijing on Sunday that blockchains are better if not completely decentralized.

Acting as a policy advisor at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference this week, Zhang Ye, head of the technology unit at China's Securities Regulatory Commission, encouraged the public sector in China to embrace advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain technology in public services.

However, at the same time, he cautioned that, while he believes in the potential of blockchain, to fully achieve its benefits will rely on using a centralized infrastructure.
12  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-06] Korean Messaging Giant Kakao to Launch Blockchain Subsidiary on: March 06, 2018, 02:42:57 PM
South Korean internet giant Kakao, which owns the popular messaging app Kakao Talk, is reportedly moving to integrate blockchain technology in its business.

Local news source The Bell reported Monday that Kakao is considering the launch of a wholly-owned subsidiary that will focus on developing blockchain applications.

Furthermore, the firm may be planning an initial coin offering (ICO). If so, the move echoes that of Telegram, another instant messenger company that claims to have netted $850 million so far through its multi-stage ICO.
13  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-05] Coinbase Hit by Lawsuit Over Alleged Insider Trading on: March 05, 2018, 02:37:14 PM
ryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has been hit by a class action lawsuit over alleged insider trading during its launch of bitcoin cash.

According to a court document dated last Thursday, the case has been brought by Jeffery Berk, representing a group of investors that placed trading orders on Coinbase or its order book trading platform GDAX from Dec. 19-21, 2017.
14  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-04] $50 Million Gone? South African Police Probe Suspected Bitcoin Ponz on: March 04, 2018, 02:30:01 PM
As much as $50 million may have been lost by an international group of investors after putting their money into a bitcoin investment group called BTC Global.

A report from South African news outlet Sunday Times indicates that "more than 27,500 people" may be impacted, with investors spread across South Africa, Australia and the U.S., among other areas. Some victims have reportedly claimed that they lost as much as $117,000 to the scheme.

A spokesperson for South Africa's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation - popularly known as the Hawks - said the commercial crimes unit is investigating the matter as a potential Ponzi scheme. The spokesperson did note that the group was being investigated for failing to abide by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.
15  Local / Альтернативные криптовалюты / Ethereum/USDT - Обзор курса | Когда уже рост? on: March 01, 2018, 01:06:35 PM

Что происходит?
Давно уже не делал обзор на Эфириум. На даный момент ничего особенного не происходит. Мы видим, после хорошего роста, идет длинный откат. Патерн триугольник. Если пробитие Низх. Тренда - тогда покупка и очень возможный поход на верх. Ретест вершины или новый хая. Если же пробиваем вниз- тогда смотрим реакцию на уровни поддержки!
Buy Zone
После Низ. Тренда
Target Zone
Предыдущий максимум
Стоп ниже 760$
16  Local / Альтернативные криптовалюты / Rabobank планирует разработать криптовалютный l on: March 01, 2018, 12:59:14 PM
Голландский Rabobank, долгое время критиковавший биткоин, планирует создать интегрированный криптовалютный кошелек Rabobit «в безопасной банковской среде», где ответственность за сохранность цифровых активов пользователей возьмет на себя доверенное лицо в лице банка. Об этом сообщает Bitcoinist.

Проект был предложен в рамках внутренней программы бизнес-инкубации «Moonshot» и еще официально не утвержден к реализации.

Стоит отметить, что Rabobank начал отказывать криптовалютным компаниям в услугах из-за сопряженных с их деятельностью правовых рисков.

В этом контексте необходимо упомянуть решение калифорнийского суда о взыскании штрафа с местного отделения Rabobank на сумму $369 млн за отмывание денег мексиканских наркокартелей в период с 2009 по 2013 года.

Напомним, блокчейн не чужд Rabobank, организация поддерживает инициативу корпорации IBM и ведущих мировых банков по созданию торговой платформы на базе технологии распределенного реестра.
17  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-03-01] SEC Launches Cryptocurrency Probe on: March 01, 2018, 12:54:26 PM

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a probe into cryptocurrency business, the Wall Street Journal reported today, Feb. 28th. Undisclosed sources told WSJ that the regulatory agency has a currently unknown number of subpoenas and information requests to advisers and technology companies active in the United States’ cryptocurrency market.

Among the subpoenas from the top US securities regulatory agency are demands regarding the structure for sales and pre-sales for ICOs, which do not fall under the same rigorous scrutiny of public offerings. The increased pressure follows previous inquiries from the SEC, which have suggested that many token sales and ICOs may be violating securities laws.

Earlier this month, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton promised increased scrutiny on companies who seek to “capitalize on the perceived promise” of an increased stock value following an announcement of investment in cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. The SEC has come down on several companies recently, suspending the activities of some due to unclear associations with cryptocurrency and crypto business.

While US federal agencies grow more suspicious of crypto business, at the state level, legislation is being introduced and passed that would relax certain controls on cryptocurrencies.

The state of Wyoming is taking a particularly laissez-faire approach to cryptocurrency regulation, passing a law that completely exempts tokens from securities regulations if they meet a short list of requirements. Wyoming also introduced a bill earlier this month that, if passed, would exempt cryptocurrencies from property taxes, per its current status under US tax law.

The state senate of Arizona has passed a bill that authorizes cryptocurrencies to be used for paying state taxes and license fees. Should it pass the Arizona House of Representatives, it will be the first state to accept cryptocurrencies in payments to the government.
18  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-02-27] $35 Million Refund? Developer Appeals Ethereum for Hard Fork Hack on: February 28, 2018, 09:10:12 AM
On November 24, 2015, James Levy received 40,000 ether from the Ethereum Foundation.

Worth roughly $35,000 at the time (and nearly $35 million today), the grant was an award for Levy's efforts to create an early smart contracting tool, and one of many meant to encourage work on what was then another nascent cryptocurrency in a sea of alternatives.

But three weeks later, the grant was gone, drained from his wallet in what might be the largest hack of a single wallet in the history of the ethereum platform.

The result of a weak passphrase, Levy has been silent on the matter ever since. But now, in order to fund a new venture called TapTrust, Levy is appealing to the hacker to return the funds, and failing that, he's turning to the community to implement what would entail a system-wide software upgrade, or hard fork, to do so.

Such an upgrade would rely on EIP 867, a proposal to standardize the process of recovering funds on the platform, one that has been a point of conflict for ethereum developers.

At times heated, the discussion around the proposal is tilting toward blocking all attempts for the EIP to proceed. Former EIP editor Yoichi Hirai even stepped down from his post as a result, citing legal concerns that could ensue from allowing the proposal to develop. And with the developer community in an uproar, the proposal has been frozen in place as the process for accepting code changes gets considered more intently.

As a co-author of EIP 867, Levy has found himself in the eye of the storm as developers expose concerns about the proposal - everything from lamenting ethereum's governance structure as it relates to system-wide catastrophes to predicting that stakeholders could collude with such proposals ratified.

Levy's move is indeed controversial, but he feels that going public with his story might sway the current debate.

"Particularly in light of something like a hack, it's a very important issue for the community, and it's one that, I think, the network and the platform of ethereum and the community, we need to figure out," Levy told CoinDesk in an exclusive interview.

As adoption continues to rise, and ethereum is increasingly adapted for use in enterprise organizations, Levy continued:

"Ultimately, I think it comes down to, are we an economic system that lives outside the rest of society and the legal system? Are we totally separate from that? Or, are we somehow going to interface with these things?"

The theft
To step back, the hack happened because of a weak passphrase, which could lead some to put the blame of Levy himself. Yet Levy defends his security efforts, saying that he suspected his private key would still be needed to access the wallet.

But the wallet generation tool Levy used, developed by ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, had a critical flaw in that others could access the wallet just with the passphrase.

"I assumed that the passphrase was going to be used in addition to some other criteria," Levy explained.

Later, when the wallet was drained, Levy found his private keys were still secure, and initially, he didn't believe he had been the victim of a hack.

"At first I thought was due to an upgrade or something," he said.

Shortly before the wallet had been emptied, new softwares, such as Brainflare (for brute-forcing passwords) were released, and so Levy tested the software on his own wallet, cracked the passphrase and learned the bitter truth about his grant money - it was gone.

Yet, he traced the funds to another wallet, and in watching the wallet ever since, hasn't noticed any movement.

They've stayed at the same address, without "a single outgoing transaction in the entire history of the blockchain," Levy said.

And while Levy first accepted the funds as permanently lost, it was the eerie silence of the hacker's address (typically you would think a hacker would try and cash out or use the funds) that made him think a fund recovery might be possible.

Initially, Levy will just try some friendly communication.

"One of the things I am eager to do is to try to get in touch to whoever may have access to that new wallet, and to try to come up with something that we can agree to in terms of how to remedy the situation," Levy explained.

But should that not work, Levy will submit another fund recovery proposal that builds on his former efforts with EIP 867.

Undoing finality
According to Levy, the new proposal requires "a very, very limited and well-defined and well-structured support for undoing finality," such as the format offered by EIP 876.

With that, Levy could recover his funds and use a significant portion to build something that would benefit the blockchain's community, including his new venture TapTrust, a Wikipedia-style forum for displaying objective information about tokens launched on ethereum.

"We're trying to improve the quality of information available and improve the ability for average people to participate in this new crypto economy without compromising their safety," Levy said.

It's perhaps an especially notable statement since much of the controversy surrounding the fund recovery proposal was stoked because of poor communication, Buterin said during a recent developer meeting.

Levy knows his appeals might not do any good, but still believes they will start a broader conversation about a pain point the community needs to tease out.

While the latest discussion around fund recovery stemmed from a code vulnerability that allowed a newbie coder to freeze, at the time, $160 million worth of ether in Parity Technologies ethereum client, Levy said hacks should be looked at categorically differently.

"I think that if we want to encourage organizations and businesses and financial institutions to adopt ethereum, that this is, I think for a lot of them, going to be a requirement, that in the event of a catastrophic situation, there is at least something that they can try to do," he said.

And it's a question that touches on a deeper, more philosophical rift in the ethereum community - the concept of blockchain finality.

The concept was first excited in the community after The DAO hack, when the ethereum community voted in favor of hard forking the code to return funds to its original holders. Valuing immutability under the adage "code is law," a dissenting group forked off the main ethereum chain, creating ethereum classic.

Such tensions are still active in the community today, as witnessed through the more recent funds recovery debates, that Levy wouldn't be surprised if there was another split down the line.

Levy told CoinDesk:

"I wouldn't be surprised if the network splits a some point over, not necessarily the issue of ETH recovery, but more generally, the issue of are we going to have a network that is technically pure, or are we going to have a network that we're making some accommodations so that we can integrate with society."
19  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-02-27] Steve Wozniak ‘Loses 7 BTC’ In Unlikely Credit Card Fraud on: February 27, 2018, 04:17:51 PM

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak allegedly lost seven bitcoins to fraudsters using a stolen credit card, the India Economic Times reported Monday, Feb. 26.

The tech veteran was speaking at the Global Business Summit 2018 in New Delhi when India Economic Times reported him admitting to the audience he had lost the funds - seven bitcoins to be exact - now worth about $75,000.

“I had seven bitcoins stolen from me through fraud. Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card and they cancelled the credit card payment. It was that easy!” the publication quotes him as saying.

“And it was from a stolen credit card number so you can never get it back.”

Despite multiple publications subsequently picking up on the story, Wozniak has yet to confirm more information about the theft, and the unusual circumstances surrounding the loss.

The trade appeared to have closed with Wozniak sending the bitcoins before receiving the fiat funds - something p2p cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Localbitcoins firmly warn users against doing.

It remains unclear whether Localbitcoins or other major platform was used for the trade, and whether an escrow feature - that would have prevented the possibility of credit card fraud - was available.

Nonetheless, the weak link allowing the fraud to be successful appears to lie either in the susceptibility of credit card data to fraud or human error in sending bitcoins without confirmation of funds receipt.

Consumer complaints surrounding cryptocurrency “scams” have increased markedly over the past year, even involving Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Cointelegraph reported this month, yet a lack of diligence on the consumers’ part remains palpable.
20  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-02-27] Texas Regulator Orders Another Crypto Scam To Stop Selling Fraudule on: February 27, 2018, 04:16:58 PM

The Texas State Securities Board has issued an emergency cease and desist order on Feb. 26 to website, citing a failure to disclose information about its specialists and cryptocurrency mining activities, as well as fraudulently selling unlicensed securities and overall “[threatening] immediate and irreparable harm.”

Already in January of this year, the Texas State Securities Board has sent two other cease and desist notices to crypto-related organizations: one to alleged Ponzi-scheme Bitconnect for selling unlicensed securities, and another to “cryptocurrency bank” AriseBank for not actually being a bank, making this Feb. 26 notice the third order of this year.

This newest cease and desist order begins by detailing how all of LeadInvest’s staff photos are either stock images or images of other people that have no association with the company.

The website is still active but contains older numbers for cryptocurrency prices, like citing Bitcoin’s (BTC) “all time highs of $1000” in 2014 as the last price point under the “Cryptocurrency” section, although different parts of the site have more updated numbers.

The cease and desist letter adds that LeadInvest “agents” are told that they will receive a ten percent commission for all new clients that use their referral link, and that LeadInvest is violating securities laws by “recruiting individuals who are not registered with the Security Commissioner to act as its agents.”

LeadInvest’s website claims that since their founding in May 2010, then have moved their Bitcoin mining to Iceland due to the access to geothermal and hydroelectric energy. The cease and desist letter writes that LeadInvest intentionally does not disclose information about its mining rigs, as well as the risks associated with crypto mining.

Iceland actually has been experiencing a crypto boom of miners coming to the island for this access to both forms of alternative energy and the naturally colder climate.

According to data from LeadInvest’s website, more than 190,000 accounts have been created  and more than $177 mln has been invested in their system. The Texas State Securities Board writes that LeadInvest has been deliberately not disclosing the use of the funds that investors have given.

The Board’s cease and desist letter ends by citing the “misleading and deceptive statements” made about the identities of people associated with LeadInvest and the statements on the website that promise that investors are adhering to laws and regulations, which Texas says they aren’t.

LeadInvest must cease all activities related to selling securities, acting as a securities dealer, fraudulently offering securities, and misleadingly offering securities, as per the cease and desist order.

LeadInvest had not responded to requests for comment by press time.

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