Tezos ICO Class Action Looms After Motion to Dismiss Denied

Tezos ICO Class Action Looms After Motion to Dismiss Denied

A federal court judge in California has blocked a move that sought to dismiss a class action lawsuit alleging that the initial coin offering (ICO) conducted by the Tezos Foundation violated securities laws in the U.S. The decision came Tuesday, as District Judge Richard Seeborg denied the motion filed by the Tezos Foundation and the cryptocurrency’s founding couple Arthur and Kathleen Brietman, as well as their U.S.-based company Dynamic Ledger Solutions (DLS). As previously reported, the Tezos Foundation and DLS were facing four class action lawsuits following their ICO that raised $232 million in 2017 and was later accused of selling unregistered securities to investors in the U.S. Based on the docket report of one case, dubbed “In Re Tezos Securities Litigations,” the class action lawsuits have now been consolidated into one with a lead plaintiff named Arman Anvari. According to the judge’s order, the Brietmans argued in the motion that the ICO was administrated by the Tezos Foundation which is based in Switzerland and, as such, the couple and DLS should not be held liable. However, the judge said the involvement of DLS “in establishing and aiding the Tezos Foundation rendered the two entities deeply intertwined, if not functionally interchangeable, throughout the ICO process.” The defendants also argued as part of the motion for dismissal that the lawsuits were trying to use U.S. securities laws to govern an ICO for which “critical aspects of the sale occurred outside of the United States.” The judge responded in the order that the realities of the ICO transactions “belie” such a conclusion, arguing: “Anvari participated in the transaction from this country (the U.S). He did so by using an interactive website that was: (a) hosted on a server in Arizona and; (b) run primarily by Arthur Breitman in California. He presumably learned about the ICO and participated in response to marketing that almost exclusively targeted United States residents.” Separately, the court granted the motion and dismissed cryptocurrency brokerage firm Bitcoin Suisse as a defendant, saying that “in any event, Bitcoin Suisse does not appear to be a key player in this action.” See the court’s order below: Tezos doc by CoinDesk on Scribd Gavel image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives…

State Street Insiders Split Over Key Blockchain Use Case

State Street Insiders Split Over Key Blockchain Use Case

There’s no shortage of breathless hype about blockchain. What’s harder to find is a sober and nuanced discussion of the technology’s merits and drawbacks for a particular use case. For such a perspective, it can help to talk to different people at the same company who have been studying the matter and reached divergent conclusions. It’s not a secret that State Street, the giant U.S. custody bank, is looking to streamline the complex business of securities lending using blockchain. A decades-old industry, securities finance today is a continual dance of manual reconciliation, involving a string of market participants and lending parameters, all of which has become even more complicated since the 2008 financial crash. In theory, distributed ledger technology (DLT), with its shared view of the truth, removes the need for multiple processes and lots of intermediary players.     But it was never going to be a simple transition – and that’s one thing at least that executives from different parts of the bank can agree on.   In terms of how peer-to-peer securities lending could be deployed, people from the technology architecture and product teams are bullish about what they consider an inevitable change. From the product development side, Nick Delikaris, head of global trading and algorithmic strategies, said that “the whole industry” is looking at a peer-to-peer version of securities lending, and blockchain based solutions are definitely on the cards.   He also acknowledged the scale of the challenge, telling CoinDesk, “It’s not an on-off button, like you can wake tomorrow and be doing everything peer-to-peer.” Delikaris said he expects to see a mix of products and services. “Different counterparties will have different flavors, and to start with some of this tech may actually make things harder,” he said. “I think that’s what we are going through right this second. But at the end of the day, we will have a better industry set up.” Meanwhile, the pragmatists in the front office, who perhaps take more of a legacy marketplace position, remain wary of such a transformation. Doug Brown, head of alternative financing solutions at State Street, said he sees potential value in using blockchain to enable P2P lending of securities, but cautioned that most of the market isn’t ready for it. “If you…

The Daily: Coinbase Increases Trading Limits, ABCC Opens in Malta, Omniex Hires Former Regulators

The Daily: Coinbase Increases Trading Limits, ABCC Opens in Malta, Omniex Hires Former Regulators

The Daily On Wednesday, The Daily features a couple of announcements from Coinbase: the US crypto exchange enables instant purchasing with increased daily trading limits and is now accepting ETC deposits on its Coinbase Pro platform. We’ve also covered the opening of ABCC’s European headquarters in Malta and Omniex’s decision to appoint two former regulators as advisors. Also read: Robinhood Reaches Iowa and Georgia, Coinbase Returns to Wyoming Coinbase Enables Instant Purchasing, Increases Trading Limits Users of Coinbase will be able to buy digital coins right after they deposit funds from their bank account, the platform explained in a blog post published on Tuesday. “Starting today, we are rolling out the ability to trade cryptocurrency immediately after a purchase — no more waiting five days for funds to settle,” the announcement reads. While the platform supports instant transfers via wire transfer and debit cards, purchases via direct debits from a bank account used to take days. The change means that from now on the USD balances will be credited immediately for the amount customers have sent from their accounts. They’ll be able to buy cryptos but won’t have the option to withdraw before the funds from their bank are settled. The company also announced an increase of the daily trading limits for US users. The functionality will be available over the next few weeks. For verified customers, the maximum allowable purchase will jump from $25,000 weekly to $25,000 per day. The exchange also noted that once the funds are transferred to Coinbase, there are no longer any limits to how much users can buy or sell at a time. Initially, the instant purchasing, new trading limits, and the ability to withdraw coins will be available only to US customers who have completed the identity verification process with Coinbase. However, the platform promises to bring the updates to other markets as well. Coinbase Pro Introduces Ethereum Classic (ETC) In another announcement, the influential US exchange informed its clients of the successful completion of its final testing for the addition of ethereum classic (ETC), noting that the launch will proceed in four stages: transfer-only, post-only, limit-only, and full-trading mode. “Coinbase Pro is now accepting transfers of Ethereum Classic!” the company tweeted, notifying customers they can transfer ETC immediately to…

Iranian Crypto Ransomware Threat Will Rise in Today’s Geopolitical Climate, Report Predicts

Iranian Crypto Ransomware Threat Will Rise in Today’s Geopolitical Climate, Report Predicts

Iran-based malware that demands a digital ransom in cryptocurrencies is on the rise and will further escalate in the present geopolitical climate, according to a report published by global management consulting firm Accenture on August 7. After two years of analysis, Accenture Security iDefense predicts that emerging trends in the Iranian cyber threat landscape will intensify as the country is forced into a defensive and economically straitened position in the wake of the U.S. exit from the Obama-era Iran nuclear accord this spring. With the US set to imminently to reimpose tough economic sanctions, Accenture has warned that the ransomware it has found “could have been created by government-backed actors or Iranian criminals, or both,” as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) further reports. Accenture has tracked five new types of ransomware — some of which demand “staggering” crypto ransoms — that its analysis has traced back to hackers in Iran based on samples that contain messages in Farsi as well as other clues pointing to Iranian computer systems. “WannaSmile” —- a zCrypt variant that Accenture discovered in November 2017 — asks for a 20 Bitcoin (BTC) payment in a Farsi ransom note and also advertises local Iran-based payment processors and exchanges through which victims can acquire the cryptocurrency. Another sample, “Black Ruby,” has been programmed to spare computers with an Iranian IP address, but otherwise encrypts and scrambles the target’s files, as well as infects the machine with a resource-hungry Monero (XML) miner. The ransom for so-called Black Ruby, which Accenture discovered in February 2018, is $650 in BTC. The report says that the increase in ransomware activity suggests that Iran-based actors are “financially motivated to target global organizations by using ransomware and cryptocurrency miners for financial gain,” although it notes that “Based on current Iranian policy, the feud may not lead to any disruptive or destructive cyberattack against the United States or European counterparts in the near future.” Accenture’s report adds that the Iranian government might instead target its neighbors — like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Israel —as they supported the U.S. decision to pull out of the nuclear agreement. Jim Guinn, head of Accenture’s industrial cybersecurity business, told the WSJ that stealth crypto-mining attacks — also known as cryptojacking…

Crypto-Backed Loan Provider SALT Expands to 35 US States

Crypto-Backed Loan Provider SALT Expands to 35 US States

Cryptocurrency-backed loan provider SALT Lending announced it has expanded into 20 new U.S. states on Wednesday. The firm, which allows users to borrow cash against their cryptocurrency holdings, is now available in 35 states, including Washington D.C. Also revealed today is a new tech platform for SALT clients, which the firm says includes updated tools for borrowing funds and faster transactions, as well as a new member loyalty program. The firm’s chief executive, Bill Sinclair, who took up his post last month, told CoinDesk that the process of expanding to new states is complicated, and that the company’s legal team has been working with regulatory experts to ensure that the loans it provides fall within each state’s individual laws. “SALT loans are and will be structured within the laws, regulations, and guidelines provided by each jurisdiction in which the loan is offered,” he said. As such, the platform is newly available to residents of Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin and Maine, among others. The company is currently moving its current users to the new platform, Sinclair said, adding that, for the rebuild, “we started with some key community leaders and worked their feedback into the nuances of our technology.” “The first borrowers to get loans in the new system were those who previously applied in areas in which we were not approved to lend and were still interested in a SALT loan,” he said. To further attract new members and retain existing clients, the startup today also unveiled a new member loyalty program. Called Proof of Access, the scheme lets customers modify their loan conditions using the firm’s own token (also called SALT), according to Sinclair New clients become members by depositing at least one SALT token onto the company’s platform, and can then stake their tokens to adjust their loan interest rates. Sinclair said the firm plans to continue developing its platform, and in the future plans to introduce micro-loans and qualified custody products, alongside international expansion. SALT will also be looking at adding new blockchain tokens to be used as collateral, he said, explaining: “As blockchain assets continue to grow in abundance and popularity, technology will need to pivot accordingly. … Opening doors for our potential borrowers who may have…

Bitcoin Outlook Sours As Price Sheds 70% of Recent Rally

Bitcoin Outlook Sours As Price Sheds 70% of Recent Rally

Bitcoin’s (BTC) recent downtrend has deepened in the wake of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SECs) decision to delay the exchange-traded-fund (ETF) ruling. The leading cryptocurrency was expected to stage a minor corrective rally in the last 24 hours, having defended the key 50-day moving average (MA) support earlier this week. However, the sellers made a strong comeback above $7,100 after the SEC exercised its right to postpone the decision on whether to approve a rule that would allow Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) to offer shares of a BTC ETF issued by VanExk SolidX Bitcoin Trust. As a result, BTC closed (as per UTC) yesterday on a negative note at $6,719 and fell to $6,360 today – the lowest level since July 16. At press time, BTC is trading at $6,500 on Bitfinex. The 7.9 percent sell-off witnessed in the last 24 hours only reinforces the view that a major part of the rally seen in July was likely fueled by speculation that a Bitcoin ETF could be approved by the US SEC within weeks. Further, the bear grip around bitcoin has strengthened in the last 24 hours as the drop to three-week lows below $6,400 essentially means the cryptocurrency has retraced more than 70 percent of the rally from the June 24 low of $5,755 to July 25 high of $8,507. Still, all is not lost as the SEC has merely delayed the decision on BTC ETF to September, meaning there is still a 50 percent chance that an ETF would be approved next month. However, the hope that September may bring a decision in favor of an ETF may not yield a renaissance in the BTC market as investors could adopt a more cautious stance this time. Further, the technical charts are biased toward the bears. Daily chart BTC’s break below the ascending trendline (drawn from the June 29 low and the July 12 low) has bolstered the already bearish technical setup: the 5-day and 10-day MAs are sloping downwards in favor of the bears. BTC is trading well below the long-term MAs (50-day, 100-day, and 200-day), which indicates the path of least resistance is to the downside. More importantly, the relative strength index (RSI) is holding below 50.00 (in bearish territory)…

Bettergram Aims to Become the Crypto Version of Telegram

Bettergram Aims to Become the Crypto Version of Telegram

Reviews The Mac build of Bettergram, a desktop version of Telegram, was launched this week. It joins the PC build of the third-party desktop client, and will soon be accompanied by mobile editions. Designed specifically for the crypto community, Bettergram boasts several modifications to Telegram including a built-in cryptocurrency price checker. Also read: Six Alternatives to Telegram for Cryptocurrency Communities Bettergram is Telegram With Bells On For the past year or so, Telegram has served as the crypto community’s preferred hangout. It’s the hub through which the bulk of the ICO and trading groups flow, and a pivotal part of the cryptocurrency landscape. For all its flaws – frequent downtime; inability to temporarily disable noisy groups; limited customization – Telegram is still the best platform for group conversations. While there are alternative platforms, to date these have failed to match Telegram’s all-round versatility and network effect. Bettergram is essentially a fork of the Telegram client. It retains the functionality of the desktop client but overcomes some of the niggles users have with Telegram, which has been slow to respond to requests for new features. In particular, users have long expressed a desire to be able to pin more chats, which Telegram caps at five. With Bettergram, up to 50 chats can be pinned and there are four tabs to help filter conversations: favorites, DMs, groups, and announcements. Uploaded images are displayed in-line, rather than as a file, as is the case with Telegram for desktop. Bettergram Adds Built-In Cryptocurrency Prices Bettergram’s built-in price checker Perhaps the most useful feature that comes with Bettergram is the ability to view current prices for the cryptocurrency top 10. This can be accessed by clicking on the emoji button in the bottom right of a chat, which opens to reveal four tabs: prices, emoji, stickers, and GIFs. The data comes from Live Coin Watch, and while it is not customizable and is limited in scope, it’s fine for providing a quick market snapshot. As an open source project, Bettergram’s source code can be inspected and has been independently audited. Nevertheless, users should always be careful when installing third party software, especially when storing cryptocurrency wallets and other sensitive data on the same desktop device. As a precautionary measure, some…

Crypto ICO Metronome Raises $12 Million in Unconventional Auction

Crypto ICO Metronome Raises $12 Million in Unconventional Auction

Metronome supporters waited until the very end to buy the last available tokens. As opposed to traditional ICOs, which have sought to reward early buyers, Metronome’s sale, completed Tuesday, was notable for seeking to sell its tokens at a progressively lower price each minute for up to seven days. Buyers let the auction run 6 days, 23 hours and 40 minutes, according to a post-mortem post by the team. In total, the project sold 8 million MET tokens for 26,502.21 ETH – which the post valued at $12.1 million (approximately $10 million at time of writing) – from 1,443 different wallet addresses, making an average purchase of $3,623-worth of tokens each. In its review of the sale, Metronome acknowledged that the timing proved to be a challenge for raising a large amount from the sale. The team writes: “Metronome’s Initial Supply Auction took place during one of the deepest dips of an already stubborn bear market for cryptocurrencies as a whole in 2018.” This, they believe, dampened market appetite to use ETH to buy a new token, particularly if buyers’ ETH were well below the price they had initially paid for them. Still, those involved emphasized that the technical process underlying the sale went smooth. “The functionality of Metronome on a technical level works as designed, its Initial Supply Auction operated as intended, and that all users still had the same access to the auction opportunities,” the post reads. As we previously reported, Metronome – created by Jeff Garzik’s Bloq – is built for longevity, being a token that can easily move on and off multiple blockchains, allowing a choice of rule sets and governance models that, in theory, should facilitate smooth running. Garzik told CoinDesk last October, “It’s sort of a best-of-all-worlds cryptocurrency,” a “boxcar” that can ride on any compatible blockchain. Metronome image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Regulators Plan ‘Global Sandbox’ for Fintech Including Blockchain

Regulators Plan ‘Global Sandbox’ for Fintech Including Blockchain

A number of financial regulators from across the globe are forming a new alliance to facilitate the growth of financial technologies such as blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which spearheaded one of the world’s first fintech sandbox programs, announced the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) initiative on Tuesday, alongside 11 other member regulators from jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, the U.S., Australia and Abu Dhabi. GFIN will primarily serve as a network of regulators to discuss policies regarding financial technologies, the statement indicates, as well as to develop a “global sandbox” that will give firms with “an environment in which to trial cross-border solutions.” While the paper offers few details on how the regulators’ plan to create a supervised environment for blockchain startups, the FCA said the new alliance follows a consultation effort in February on the idea of an international sandbox. Among the 50 responses it received at the time, the FCA said one key theme focused on how regulators around the world can work together to pilot cross-border payments based on DLT and how to regulate initial coin offerings, which often extend beyond borders. In fact, several members of GFIN, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Abu Dhabi Global Market, are already working on cross-border payment corridors built with DLT. Along with the announcement, the group jointly published a consultation paper seeking public feedback on the GFIN initiative by Oct. 14. Just last month, the FCA also granted 11 blockchain crypto-related startups to the fourth cohort of its sandbox program – almost 40 percent of the 29 firms accepted – which can now trial their products in a regulated environment. Globes image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

PR: Aeron Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary and Announces a Bonus Miles (Loyalty) Platform

PR: Aeron Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary and Announces a Bonus Miles (Loyalty) Platform

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release. It’s been a year since Aeron blockchain project was announced to the public, and the team has already managed to make a significant progress towards its goal to contribute to improvement in aviation safety. A few crucial roadmap milestones were reached successfully bringing the company acclaim from partners and supporters. Reference:Aeron serves as blockchain-based flight log and aircraft maintenance data platform. With its deployment, private pilots, aircraft operators, flight schools, and aircraft owners can get access to up-to-date and reliable information, including pilot’s experience record. Aviation enthusiasts and general public can search for curated flight and training offers. In August 2017, Aeron project was presented for the wide audience: the team stepped up with an innovative blockchain-based solution for flight data management. Successful Aeron (ARN) utility token sale in September-October 2017 helped the initiative to gain momentum and leverage some advanced technologies. During this year, Aeron has been successfully following the roadmap steps, such as:1. Launch of https://aerotrips.com web portal.2. Release of mobile applications for Android and iOS.3. Blockchain integration in mobile applications.4. Lobbying with aviation authorities, publication of the unified log format.5. Integration of blockchain into aerotrips.com.6. ARN token enabled as a mode of payment. All that helped Aeron to get established and have its ARN token supported by multiple platforms, including the leading Ethereum ERC-2o compatible wallets and instant exchanges (Changelly, Coinomi, imToken, SimpleSwap, Lumi etc) and be present in over 16 cryptocurrency exchanges, including the world’s largest (Binance, HitBTC, Bit-Z, Coinrail, KuCoin, DDEX and others). Aeron Pilot log application is already available in Google Play and Apple App Store. The rate of adoption is pretty quick: 100-150 flight schools join Aeron monthly, and the number of Aeron Pilot application installations has achieved tens of thousands. The application has already helped to record over 10.000 flight logs, and is continuously being improved. Besides, a number of important partnerships have been announced this year, including leading aviation academies and aviation training centers. Aeron joined National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and…