@Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach

@Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach

On March 23, the Twitter handle @Bitcoin became mired in controversy after BTC supporters complained about the account and attempted to get the profile shut down. The operator of the Bitcoin Twitter profile has also accused the social media platform of manipulating matters by placing restrictions on the account and limiting its overall traffic. Also read: Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory The Relentless Attempt to Silence a Twitter Handle The owner of the Twitter handle @Bitcoin believes the account is being restricted for being critical toward the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network and the Lightning Network (LN). Over the last few weeks, several BTC supporters have advocated having the account suspended or reassigned to a group of core developers. The dispute arose because the @Bitcoin account shows support for the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. Hardcore maximalists and LN proponents believe that because the account calls itself ‘Bitcoin,’ it is fraudulently impersonating what they believe is the ‘real’ Bitcoin. On March 15, Twitter user @Moonoverlord opined that the account should be handed to the group of developers known as Bitcoin Core. “So embarrassing the Bitcoin handle acts like this,” Moonoverlord tweeted. “Should be given back to the bitcoin core team instead of being used to start petty fights and mislead people.” The @Bitcoin Twitter handle showing how the account’s traffic has been drastically reduced. Its owner suspects Twitter employees of shadow banning.The former moderator of the r/bitcoin subreddit, a Reddit forum known for rampant censorship, also agreed with the idea and explained the handle could be given to any developers behind BTC. “Doesn’t have to be the core devs — Could be the group of devs @sqcrypto funds with just positive and informative content,” explained the Twitter handle known as ‘Stop and Decrypt.’ Blockstream VP of Solutions, Warren Togami, replied to Stop and Decrypt’s commentary by stating that “It’s better for the name to be frozen forever — The account has been committing fraud for a long time — Surely this is a violation of ToS.” Twitter Suspensions and Shadow Bans Following the controversy and people bickering about the handle this week, the @Bitcoin account detailed that it believed it was already being unfairly restricted. “Any journalists…

TrueDigital Expands Distribution of Its Bitcoin and Ether OTC Reference Rates

TrueDigital Expands Distribution of Its Bitcoin and Ether OTC Reference Rates

Institutional digital assets platform trueDigital Holdings has signed two new distribution deals to expand the reach of its over-the-counter (OTC) reference rates for bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH). Announcing the news on Monday, trueDigital said that it has partnered with Kaiko, provider of cryptocurrency market data, and Inca Digital Securities, a data aggregation and analytics platform, for the expansion. The partnership will see Kaiko and Inca offering BTC and ETH OTC reference rates to their customers, including asset managers and institutions, trueDigital said. “Kaiko’s mission is to build the data distribution infrastructure for institutional involvement in the cryptoassets industry. Our partnership with trueDigital will further this mission while also promoting much-needed data transparency,” said Kaiko CEO Ambre Soubiran. Inca will also use the reference rates data to develop new analytics, according to the announcement. “The aim is to provide users with institutional-grade pricing data that helps elevate the quality of trading and risk management.” TrueDigital’s OTC reference rates for BTC and ETH were launched in July of last year in partnership with nine firms to enable “institutional grade derivative products.” Back in January, the firm similarly partnered with three other firms – CMT Digital, Blockfills and QCP Capital – for distribution of its reference rates. The reference rates are derived from the bid and offer prices from trueDigital’s 12 institutional market-maker partners, including Genesis Global Trading and Circle. Last month, trueDigital hired a new CEO from the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. The firm has also helped build a blockchain payments system for crypto-friendly Signature Bank in December. Bitcoin, ether image via Shutterstock

‘A Sad Joke’: Bitcoin Cash’s Lead Coder Quits Bitcoin Unlimited Project

‘A Sad Joke’: Bitcoin Cash’s Lead Coder Quits Bitcoin Unlimited Project

Amaury Séchet, a leading developer of bitcoin cash, is renouncing his membership in one of the projects that paved the way for the controversial cryptocurrency. He’s sticking with bitcoin cash as lead developer of the code implementation BitcoinABC, but he’s unhappy with the direction of Bitcoin Unlimited, a code implementation that arguably got bitcoin cash off the ground as one of the first code implementations to increase bitcoin’s block size parameter. All these different “bitcoins” may be hard to keep track of, but it’s important to note that Bitcoin Unlimited remains relevant because it provides an alternative code implementation of bitcoin cash. Revealed to CoinDesk prior to publication, Séchet wrote a detailed explanation for his departure, posted to Medium Monday, in which he explained he is disappointed with Bitcoin Unlimited’s development process, partly because lingering bugs in the code allowed an unknown developer to crash most Bitcoin Unlimited nodes. Instead of getting better, he argues Bitcoin Unlimited’s process has since gotten worse: “The BUIP process has turned into a sad joke, with proposals more and more absurd being voted on. BU leaders are complacent and, while saying that the attitude of the [Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV)] community will cost them developer support, they continue to enable the toxic behavior by supporting BSV.” Stepping back, while Bitcoin Unlimited paved the way, Bitcoin ABC was the first group to actually go through with these promises to increase the blocksize parameter back in 2017. Then sentiments in the community began to strain, partly because Craig Wright, a developer who claims to have created bitcoin (without evidence), joined bitcoin cash’s ranks. A bit over a year after bitcoin cash launched, Wright went to war with developers, including Séchet, ultimately breaking bitcoin cash into two cryptocurrencies: bitcoin cash and bitcoin SV (BSV). As this happened, Bitcoin Unlimited released software supporting both cryptocurrencies. But this code split ended up splintering the Bitcoin Unlimited team, with some eagerly supporting BSV. Drama between bitcoin cash and bitcoin SV hasn’t stopped with the fork, however. A few days ago, influential bitcoin cash coder, Antony Zegers, left Bitcoin Unlimited as a member, inspiring Séchet to follow. “The Bitcoin Cash project seeks to bring more freedom to the world by engaging in voluntary cooperation to build a better form of…

Tim Draper Urges Argentina’s President to Legalize Bitcoin to Improve Economy

Tim Draper Urges Argentina’s President to Legalize Bitcoin to Improve Economy

Crypto bull Tim Draper has given advice to the president of Argentina to legalize Bitcoin (BTC) in order to improve the economic situation in the country, Cointelegraph en Español reports March 22. The American venture capital investor reportedly met with Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri on March 20 to discuss the economic prospects of the Latin American country. During the meeting, Draper spoke about the potential of emerging technologies such as blockchain and crypto for improving major problems in Argentina’s economy, including the devaluation of the Argentine peso (ARS), as well as the associated brain drain. Cointelegraph en Español quotes Draper as saying: “We were speaking of Bitcoin and the devaluation of the peso, and I proposed a bet: if the peso would be valued more than Bitcoin, I would double my investment that I was making for the country. But if Bitcoin gained a higher rate than the peso, they would have to declare it as a national currency. That would be a perfect decision, as there’s a lack of confidence in this coin.” Following the meeting, Draper explained his pro-crypto stance in an interview with María Julieta Rumi, noting that he believes Bitcoin and blockchain are even a greater revolution than the internet. Draper stated that it is now a good time to adopt the technology in Argentina, arguing that this will provide complete changes in banking, commerce, and financial systems. In the interview, Draper also reiterated his bullish stance on Bitcoin, predicting that Bitcoin will be worth $250,000 between 2022 and 2023, and will account for 5 percent of the global share of all the markets. He elaborated that as soon as people are able to easily use bitcoin, just like pesos or dollars, they will choose bitcoin because it is “decentralized and open, frictionless and global.” In February, Draper argued that in five years, fiat money will be used only by criminals. Meanwhile, Argentina has recently been friendly to adopting new developments in the blockchain and crypto space. In early March, the government of Argentina agreed to co-invest in blockchain projects that are backed by Binance Labs and Latin American crypto exchange LatamEx. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also hinted at the establishment of a new fiat-to-crypto exchange in Argentina. In February, Argentina…

Ex-Enron CEO Leaves Jail to Plot Possible Blockchain Venture: Report

Ex-Enron CEO Leaves Jail to Plot Possible Blockchain Venture: Report

The former CEO of Enron, Jeffrey Skilling, is reportedly looking to start a blockchain company just a month after being freed from jail for his role in the energy giant’s massive accounting scandal back in 2001. According to a Wall Street Journal article on Monday citing sources “familiar with the matter,” Skilling may be planning a digital platform relating to investment in the oil and gas industry. They added that he has recently met former Enron execs, as well as specialists in cryptocurrency, blockchain and software development regarding the project. In today’s article, the WSJ sources also say that Lou L. Pai, former chief executive of Enron Energy Services, has said he will back the new platform. The WSJ said it reached out for comment, but that neither Skilling nor Pai responded. On Feb. 21, Skilling was freed after serving 12 years in prison for masterminding Enron’s efforts to carry out one of the biggest corporate frauds in U.S. history. Originally sentenced to 24 years and fined $45 million in 2006 after being indicted on 35 counts of fraud, insider trading and other crimes, Skilling’s sentence was later reduced to 14 years by a U.S. district judge. He maintained his innocence throughout, according to reports. Former Enron towers, Houston, image via Shutterstock

Blockchain Financial Plumbing Is Still Years Away, Says LSE Spinoff Exactpro

Blockchain Financial Plumbing Is Still Years Away, Says LSE Spinoff Exactpro

The Takeaway: Several major blockchain projects aim to streamline post-trade processing for securities. The new systems are still prototypes and need rigorous testing before safely connecting to live infrastructure. A former unit of the London Stock Exchange, QA specialist Exactpro, estimates that DLT post-trade systems may still be two years away from such testing. The upshot for big post-trade blockchains is the potential for further delays. If blockchain is supposed to be the new plumbing for the world’s financial markets, then think of Exactpro as the home inspector who checks the pipes for leaks. A former subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange whose management bought it out in 2018, Exactpro employs some 560 specialists who test trading and clearing systems for traditional securities exchanges, investment banks, brokers and technology firms. As such, the firm knows better than most the ins and outs of “post-trade,” the back office processing after a trade is complete where buyer and seller change records of ownership and arrange for the transfer of securities and cash. And in Exactpro’s estimation, distributed ledger technology (DLT) systems are still a few years shy of tough benchmark software tests, which they would have to pass before anyone could use them to handle post-trade processes in the real world. “I think there are still gaps in technology so we can’t assume that the fabrics already support everything,” Iosif Itkin, co-CEO and co-founder of Exactpro, told CoinDesk. “I think it is still a question of a couple of years before there will be a radical shift from prototyping to software testing.” What’s more, even when they reach this testing phrase, Itkin is skeptical that they’ll pass at first, telling CoinDesk: “Based on our experience in post-trade and what we’ve observed with the prototypes, I do have doubts on the outcome of the first rounds of real testing.” If he’s right, a number of ambitious DLT projects tacking post-trade could have to push their go-live dates further into the future to account for an exacting round of tests. For example, Digital Asset is busy replacing Australian Securities Exchange’s (ASX’s) CHESS system for cash equities, which had been pushed back until Q2 2021. Meanwhile, the blockchain re-platforming of DTCC’s credit derivatives Trade Information Warehouse is scheduled to go live…

Wine, Mountains, and Mining Rigs: Georgia as a Crypto Powerhouse

Wine, Mountains, and Mining Rigs: Georgia as a Crypto Powerhouse

The former Soviet republic of Georgia, which occupies picturesque mountain valleys and rugged ridges of the Southern Caucasus, has roughly the same population as the state of Connecticut. It is renowned as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, as well as for being one of the oldest wine regions in the world, its rich and eclectic cuisine, and, more recently, for hosting the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency mining operation. Additionally, an estimated 5% of the nation’s households are engaged in mining crypto or invested in it. Back in 2016, the Georgian government was the first to create an operational blockchain-powered system for property rights registration, which by mid-2018 had hosted more than 1.3 million electronic documents. State officials are now looking to move all government registries to distributed ledgers. Sounds like crypto-buff’s dream, doesn’t it? For a small nation, though, the place in the front row of fintech pioneers comes at a cost. A single entity, the US-based blockchain software and hardware provider Bitfury, is responsible for much of Georgia’s current crypto momentum. Cheap electricity and lax regulation were the selling points that attracted the mining giant to the Alazani valley; being able to negotiate tax exemptions and secure favorable loan terms made it stick around. Critics surmise that it took Bitfury striking a backroom deal with some of the most powerful people in the country to win these privileges, and now the arrangement benefits a very narrow circle of stakeholders while threatening the nation’s energy security. The warm welcome Bitfury Group was founded in 2011 by a Latvian entrepreneur Valery Vavilov, whose bio on the company’s website mentions his first-hand experience with the “challenges resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union.” Although the company is incorporated in San Francisco, the natives of the post-Soviet space are heavily represented among its leadership. Apparently, Bitfury’s С-suite were quite familiar with both challenges and opportunities that the region presents, as well as with ins and outs of doing business in the area. Vavilov first arrived in Georgia to talk business in 2013; in July 2014, Bitfury’s first 20 megawatt data center emerged in the eastern Georgian city of Gori. In December of the following year, a major expansion nearly tripled the company’s mining capacity in the country, as Bitfury deployed its 16 nm ASIC chips at a…

Bitmain IPO Filing Set to Imminently Expire in Absence of HKEx Committee Hearing

Bitmain IPO Filing Set to Imminently Expire in Absence of HKEx Committee Hearing

Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain’s filing to list its initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) will seemingly reach the end of its six-month expiration window today, as a crypto community member has noted in a tweet posted on March 25. As the South China Morning Post has previously outlined, HKEx listing rules provide a six-month window for a given application to proceed to a closed-door hearing before its Listing Committee. The Committee is tasked with giving the final approval or disapproval of the offering; should an applicant fail to hear a response within this time frame, the listing formally lapses. The filing — published in English and Chinese on Sept. 26, 2018 — thus appears to have reached the end of its validity window without confirmed reports of a Committee hearing, thus rendering the application obsolete. The SCMP had also notably reported that HKEx was hesitant to approve the Bitmain listing, although the exchange’s representatives notably subsequently refuted this claim in correspondence with Cointelegraph. Bitmain’s IPO listing plans had first come to light in June 2018, when erstwhile Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu revealed the firm was mulling an overseas IPO in a market with United States dollar denominated shares, such as Hong Kong. Abundant speculation and controversies have since beset the endeavour, with investment analysts initially expecting the mining giant to raise anywhere from $3 billion to $18 billion, thereby potentially becoming the largest initial public offering in the IT market’s history.   By mid-summer, reports had surfaced of Bitmain allegedly sealing a IPO financing deal, bringing its valuation to $15 billion. Both Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent and Japan’s SoftBank — another tech giant whose 15 percent stake in Uber makes it the drive-hailing app’s largest shareholder — were purportedly involved. In response to Cointelegraph’s investigations at the time, Softbank subsequently denied this alleged involvement. While Tencent eluded formal confirmation or denial, other purported investors soon likewise distanced themselves from rumored involvement. Amid the protracted bear market, the IPO venture faced redoubled difficulties, with the extensive earnings disclosures that Bitmain submitted in line with the IPO listing requirements reportedly revealing that the firm was shouldering hefty losses during the market downturn. In recent months, Bitmain has made several contractions of its…

Bitcoin Price Consolidation Continues, Downside Break Looks Likely

Bitcoin Price Consolidation Continues, Downside Break Looks Likely

View Bitcoin’s current trading range of $3,920–$4,055 could be breached to the downside, as last week’s doji candle created at the key 21- week moving average resistance is signaling bullish exhaustion. A downside break of the trading range, if confirmed, could yield a sell-off toward the support levels lined up at $3,775 and $3,658. On the higher side, a UTC close above $4,055 is needed to put the bulls back into the driver’s seat, although that looks unlikely at press time. Chart signals of bullish exhaustion suggest bitcoin’s (BTC) narrowing trading range could soon be breached to the downside. The leading cryptocurrency by market value is sidelined below $4,000 for the fourth straight day, and has been restricted to the narrow range of $3,920–$4,055 since March 17, according to Bitstamp data. More importantly, prices clocked a high and low of $4,055 and $3,920, respectively, last week before closing Sunday (UTC) largely unchanged at $3,970. The price swing formed what’s termed a doji candle on the weekly chart, which is usually taken to represent indecision in the marketplace. The candle, however, has appeared following a 20 percent rally from lows near $3,300 seen at the end of January. So, it could be argued that the indecision, as represented by the doji, is predominantly among the buyers. As a result, the probability of BTC ending the ongoing consolidation with a convincing break below $3,920 appears high. As of writing, BTC is trading at $3,970 on Bitstamp, largely changed on a 24-hour basis. Weekly chart As seen above, BTC created a doji candle at the crucial 21-week moving average (MA) resistance, validating the bearish view put forward by that still-downward sloping momentum indicator. The case for the downside break of the $3,920–$4,055 trading range looks stronger if we take into account the price action seen over the last five weeks. To start with, BTC hit a high of $4,190 and created a bullish inverted hammer candle in the third week of February – a sign the market is bottoming out. That candlestick is usually followed by a quick move to the higher side. In the last four weeks, however, BTC has failed to again challenge $4,190, weakening the bullish case. Daily and 4-hour charts On the daily chart, the short-term…

Central Banks See ‘No Value’ in Issuing Digital Currency: BIS Chief

Central Banks See ‘No Value’ in Issuing Digital Currency: BIS Chief

The general manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has again warned that caution is needed when considering central bank digital currencies. In a speech at the Central Bank of Ireland on Friday, Agustin Carstens said that central banks today “are not seeing the value” of venturing into the unknown when it comes to issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), as such a move could bring fundamental changes to both financial stability and the monetary system. The current monetary system, he explained, consists of two tiers – the customer-facing banking system and the central bank – which both work together. However, with a CBDC, the deposit and lending business would shift from commercial banks to central banks, producing a one-tier system Carstens continued: “There are historical instances of one-tier systems where the central bank did everything. In the socialist economies before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the central bank was also the commercial bank. But I do not think we can hold up that system as something that will serve customers better.” At times of financial stress, money tends to move away from banks that are seen as high risk towards banks that are considered more secure, the BIS chief continued. Therefore, it is “not far-fetched” to picture a scenario in which a CBDC could command a premium over a fiat currency. For example: “where one euro of deposits in the commercial bank buys less than one euro’s worth of central bank digital currency,” Carstens said. A central bank digital currency would also impact the monetary policy environment, he said, adding that it would “change the demand for base money and its composition in unpredictable ways.” Furthermore, with demand for cash still high in most countries, there is “no urgency” to come up with a substitute for cash in the form of a CBDC, Carstens said, adding that the technology is also still “broadly untested.” As a result of all these uncertainties, central banks prefer to “tread cautiously” into the area of CBDCs. “Before we open up the patient for major surgery, we need to understand the full consequences of what we’re doing,” Carstens cautioned. He stated: “So far, experiments have not shown that new technologies would work any better than existing ones.…