Unconfirmed: TRON to Partner with ‘China’s Google,’ Baidu

Unconfirmed: TRON to Partner with ‘China’s Google,’ Baidu

The team of cryptocurrency project TRON (TRX) has reportedly partnered with China’s largest Internet search provider Baidu. Crypto market news service Coinness has claimed this in a tweet Thursday, Oct. 11, citing its private correspondence with TRON’s team. Neither TRON nor Baidu have been able to confirm the partnership to Cointelegraph as of press time. Without specifying the details of the partnership, Coinness has claimed that the deal between TRON and China’s Internet giant Baidu will be “officially” revealed by the cloud storage service Baidu Cloud “next week.” While Coinness claims that TRON has exclusively confirmed the partnership in private correspondence with it, the crypto platform itself has not yet officially announced any details of the partnership or even the identity of its new business partner. TRON’s CEO Justin Sun has recently hinted on Twitter at a secret partnership with an unnamed “industry giant” that is valued at “tens of billions of dollars.” In his Tweet, posted Friday, Oct. 12, Sun has similarly provided little information: “Finally, First time to partner with tens of billions USD valuation industry giant. Guess the name.” As mentioned on TRON’s website, the decentralized Internet company TRON Foundation was established in Singapore in July 2017, while TRON’s open source protocol was launched in December 2017. The company has dual headquarters in Beijing and San Francisco, and a team of over 100 employees working all over the globe, with some of them being formerly employed by China’s Internet giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. In late September, TRON released details about its partnership with a popular torrent client BitTorrent, following the earlier acquisition of the company. A collaboration between the two companies dubbed “Project Atlas” will reportedly enable the users of the BitTorrent client to receive rewards in TRON for seeding torrent files. Earlier in August, Baidu has joined Tencent and Alibaba in enforcing new anti-crypto policies in line with China’s overall toughened stance on the industry. The firm has shut down at least two popular crypto-related forums, with a notice to their users stating that Baidu’s measures are compliant with the “relevant laws, regulations and policies.” On Sept. 26, Baidu has released its Baidu Blockchain White Paper V1.0, aiming to create “the independent development of the ‘Super Chain’ network…

Wendy McElroy: The Double C-Word in the Private Sector

Wendy McElroy: The Double C-Word in the Private Sector

News The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising ExpectationsSection 5: Saving the World Through AnarchismChapter 11, Part 2The Double C-Word in the Private Sector The first rule of the politics of fear is that if you want to make something sound scarier than it actually is, you add the word ‘culture’ at the end of it. — Brendan O’Neill “Crypto culture” is under attack by a theory that has been shaping society since before the term existed. Crypto culture refers to the socially transmitted behavior, beliefs, and institutions that characterize the cryptocurrency community. The theory is epitomized by the slogan “the personal is political.” This slogan yanks off the door separating the personal and political, the private and public spheres. When closed and locked, the door protects peaceful individuals from interference by so-called “trusted” third parties, primarily the state. The protection is known by different terms: individual rights, “a person’s home is his castle”, society versus the state, and personal freedom. When the door is removed, however, only the political sphere remains. Without constraint, the trusted third party problem entangles itself into most personal decisions, and pervasively so. The state dictates the details of daily life, down to the food that grocery stores may sell you. The extent of the political sphere’s domination is apparent with regard to lifestyle beliefs that used to be personal choices but now are legally punishable. Why? Because they are politically “wrong.” The refusal to associate with homosexuals or other “marginalized” groups is an example. The trusted third party replaces the right of free association with laws that mandate who can be hired or who may demand a cake from a baker. “The personal is political” is equally at play in economic beliefs and practices, such as the anonymous use of crypto or decentralized exchanges. The state replaces the personal choice of how individuals can deposit and spend their own money with laws that define what is a financial institution and what constitutes money. The basic question is not whether the personal beliefs or their expressions are accurate; many of them will not be. The question is: who decides? With peaceful choices, civil society answers “the individual” because people have the right to be wrong with their own bodies and property.…

Court Refuses to Drop Money Laundering Charge Against UBS, $5.8 Billion Fine Looms

Court Refuses to Drop Money Laundering Charge Against UBS, $5.8 Billion Fine Looms

News A French court has reportedly rejected a request by the largest Swiss bank to drop money laundering charge against it. UBS Group and a number of its executives are accused of tax fraud and money laundering. If found guilty, the bank could be fined up to 5 billion euros or $5.8 billion. Its executives could also face jail time. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals UBS Wants Money Laundering Charge Dropped The tax fraud and money laundering trial in France of UBS Group AG and its executives began last week after seven years of investigation. The largest bank in Switzerland with offices in over 50 countries has asked for the French constitutional court to “drop money laundering charges and limit proceedings to complicity in tax fraud, which carries lighter penalties,” Reuters reported Thursday. However, the court rejected this request, noting that the bank’s arguments were “devoid of seriousness,” the news outlet detailed, elaborating: UBS Group AG, its French unit and six executives and former executives face charges of aggravated tax fraud and money laundering in an investigation into allegations they helped wealthy clients avoid taxes in France. Up to 5 Billion Euros Fine Plus Damages During the investigation, UBS Group turned down the authorities’ settlement offer of 1.1 billion euros, the publication conveyed. “The amount corresponded to what the Swiss bank had already paid as a court bond, according to judicial sources.” The news outlet further described: If found guilty of money laundering, UBS could be fined up to 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion). French criminal law lets judges enforce fines as high as half the amount laundered and in this case prosecutors estimate that up to 10.6 billion euros was denied to the French tax authorities. According to Reuters, the bank could also face damages awarded to the French tax authorities for the missing revenue and the executives risk jail time. The whistleblower told the publication that he hoped for a stiff penalty for Switzerland’s largest bank, stating that “If they set an example with UBS, most other banks will be scared.” In 2009, UBS went through a similar trial in the U.S. and paid $780 million in settlement. In 2014, the bank was on trial in Germany and…

The Daily: Nasdaq Eyes Security Tokens, Blockstack Tackles Social Media

The Daily: Nasdaq Eyes Security Tokens, Blockstack Tackles Social Media

The Daily Today’s installment of The Daily is about building more than bickering, though we’ll squeeze in a little of the latter before we sign off. First though, let’s start by considering the latest projects being proposed within the crypto space: a tokenized security platform and a social media network that doesn’t leak data. Also read: South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium Nasdaq Plots Tokenized Security Platform It’s being reported that Nasdaq, the giant U.S. exchange operator, is plotting a new platform dedicated to tokenized securities. The move would enable projects to offer STOs in a regulated environment so as to accord to U.S. law. As popularity for ICOs has waned, exacerbated by fears that so-called utility tokens may in fact be unregistered securities, U.S. projects eyeing tokenization have been left with no choice but to go down the STO route. It’s believed that Nasdaq is in talks with blockchain firm Symbiont to create its own platform that would enable tokenized securities to be listed and traded. Social Media Backlash Intensifies There’s been a storm brewing all year on social media, with wave after wave of censorship and data leaks hastening the exodus from Facebook and its ilk. Users intent on jumping ship have been left with a quandary though: where to go? We’ve reported on some of the Bitcoin Cash-based initiatives, as well as Twitter alternatives such as Gab and Mastodon. Blockstack has now launched a $1 million challenge to build decentralized social networks, writing: “Your data and privacy are being exploited and monetized by today’s social networks. It’s time for a change. We deserve the right to control our data.” They add: It’s time for a new breed of social networks – where power is taken back from a single authority and control is returned to you, to me, to all of us. It’s time to decentralize social networks. 10 teams will be encouraged to devise social networks that don’t leak data. A similar venture was also launched recently by web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee. While these initiatives aren’t going to topple the social media giants any time soon, greater choice for pro-privacy consumers can only be a good thing. Vitalik Buterin Sets the Record Straight Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin generally avoids…

Not Everyone Wants to Fix Bitcoin’s ‘Time Warp Attack’ – Here’s Why

Not Everyone Wants to Fix Bitcoin’s ‘Time Warp Attack’ – Here’s Why

Bitcoin’s open-source developers don’t agree on many things, but you’d be forgiven if you thought something best known as an “attack” might be one of them. Still, there’s a divide forming in conversation surrounding bitcoin’s long-standing “timewarp attack” – and for good reason. First and foremost, Blockstream co-founder Mark Friedenbach recently found that the exploit could be harnessed to help bitcoin scale – that is, reach more users and process more transactions faster, if developers embrace and implement the idea. But since its unveiling last week, the discovery has driven a shift in the conversation around the attack, meant to describe how miners might submit blocks featuring timestamps that are larger than they should be to push down the difficulty of creating new blocks (a trick that could help them to earn and collect more bitcoin rewards). The result is that prominent thinkers in the bitcoin development community now appear split on an issue that’s been the subject of discussion since 2012.. Greg Maxwell, a Blockstream co-founder and one of bitcoin’s most prominent developers, for example, recently called for a fix to the long-standing bitcoin attack on the bitcoin mailing list, the leading gathering point for development conversation globally. Maxwell has been silent on Friedenbach’s proposal specifically, but the call did occur after chatter began about the research, formally called “forward blocks.” As a result, this divide might be likely to continue. Friedenbach’s research, after all, proposes an idea that developers seeking to secure the protocol find enticing: It allows bitcoin’s block size to be increased without asking all of those operating the software to upgrade. (Seeing as this minor parameter has been a hot point of contention among the community for so long, some see it as a sort of “breakthrough.”) That said, some argue Friedenbach’s new research makes fixing the attack even more pressing. Time traveling To begin, however, it helps to understand why the attack exists to begin with. Individual actors (miners) on the network report the time an event happens – when a transaction was made or when a block was created. So, there’s a small chance someone can manipulate the time a little bit, even while following the rules of the bitcoin code that network nodes are constantly checking. As such, miners report blocks…

Scam Victim Loses $48,000 Claim Against Canadian Bitcoin ATM Firm

Scam Victim Loses $48,000 Claim Against Canadian Bitcoin ATM Firm

News A woman suing for 62,500 Canadian dollars ($48,125) sent to a phone scammer over a bitcoin ATM has lost her court case, local media reported. On Friday, Charlottetown Provincial Court chief judge Nancy Orr ruled that the fiat money deposited by the woman into the teller machine belonged to Instacoin ATM Canada Inc., owners of the digital cash dispensing unit. Also read: Funny New Advert Shows Bitcoin Is on Google’s Mind ‘Unfortunate Victim of Sophisticated Fraud’ “It’s most unfortunate that she was victim of such a sophisticated fraud,” judge Orr is quoted as saying, when she handed down her decision. However, she added that “It’s up to the bitcoin purchaser to know what they’re doing.” The woman, unnamed for security reasons, deposited 62,500 Canadian dollars into a bitcoin automated teller machine believing she owed taxes. It was a fraud. A man claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency called her, threatening the new immigrant with arrest and deportation for tax default. According to a report by CBC News, the case centered on who legally owned the money she deposited into the ATM, later seized by police in cash. In court, the woman spoke of how the scammer had her on speed dial, and of the intimate detail he held about her family. She testified that as a new immigrant, she believed the threats of arrest and deportation and that this could be avoided by sending the large sum of money demanded. Over two days in February, the woman made a series of withdrawals from her bank, which she deposited into a bitcoin machine at a restaurant in Charlottetown, said the article. She transferred the money to a bitcoin address supplied to her by the unknown man on the phone. “It’s really hard. I need that money back,” the woman told local media, tearfully. “I want other people to know what happened to me, so it doesn’t happen to them,” she sobbed. Bitcoin ATM Fraud Rising in Canada Incidences of bitcoin scams are on the rise in Canada. In November last year, police said more than 40 people had lost 300,000 Canadian dollars to phone scammers, who compel victims to make bitcoin ATM deposits on the threat of arrest for tax default. In Charlottetown, lawyer Michael Drake, representing Instacoin ATM Canada…

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium

Exchanges The largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by trading volume, Bithumb, has reportedly been sold to a Singapore-based consortium for approximately 400 billion won or $354 million. Bk Global Consortium, led by plastic surgeon Kim Byung-gun, will acquire the controlling stake and become the largest shareholder of Bithumb. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals Bithumb Sold A spokesman for Bithumb confirmed Friday that the exchange “was sold for about $354 million to a consortium led by a plastic surgeon,” Reuters reported and quoted him saying: Bk Global Consortium, led by Kim Byung-gun, plastic surgeon and blockchain platform investor, signed a deal on Thursday to buy 50 percent plus one share in the exchange’s biggest stakeholder, BTC Holdings, for about 400 billion won ($354.09 million). The deal makes Bk Global Consortium the largest stakeholder of Bithumb. The deal will be finalized in February, Bloomberg further quoted the spokesman. Bithumb’s April audit report shows that BTC Holdings was the largest shareholder, with a 75.99 percent stake in the exchange. The second largest shareholder, Vidente Co. Ltd., held a 10.55 percent stake, followed by Omnitel at 8.44 percent, Chosun detailed. Kim founded Bk Plastic Surgery 23 years ago and is the representative of the Bk Medical Group, which links China, Singapore and Korea, MTN detailed. He also established an ICO platform in Singapore last August. About Bithumb Bithumb is currently South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. According to Vidente, the exchange posted 218.6 billion won of operating profit and 39.3 billion won of net income in the first half of the year, Bloomberg described. Semi-annual reports of BTC Holdings show that Bithumb’s sales reached 303 billion won in the first half of this year. In addition, News Asia reported that the price which Bk Global paid for Bithumb is lower than the exchange’s $880 million valuation appraised in early February, adding that the consortium’s own valuation of the exchange is even higher, at more than two trillion won plus the management rights premium. The news outlet quoted a Bk Global Consortium official asserting: We will also promote the introduction of a stable coin to stabilize the payment system. We will be in conjunction with the global exchange scheme to take advantage…

Facebook and Twitter Beware — Censorship-Resistant Social Media Is Here

Facebook and Twitter Beware — Censorship-Resistant Social Media Is Here

Blockchain Over the past few months, Bitcoin Cash developers have been creating applications that are similar to social media and forum platforms like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter. Anyone in the world can use these Bitcoin Cash-powered applications such as Memo, Blockpress, Keyport, and Matter which offer censorship-resistant versions of these social media giants. Also read: Facebook Purge Continues: 559 Pages, 251 Accounts Removed Ahead of US Elections Onchain Social Media Apps, Forums, and Messenger Services Censorship on large social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has been rampant this year. On Oct. 11, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Facebook purging hundreds of pages and profiles that regularly posted about alternative news and libertarian views. The aggressive censorship has caused many people to start searching for more decentralized platforms that allow free speech. What they might not know is that the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) ecosystem already has a few applications that are similar to the dominant online forums and social media platforms. The difference is they are free of censorship and every action is recorded onchain. Memo.cash Memo.cash is a platform that is comparable to Twitter, but posts cannot be selectively removed by anyone as they are all stored onchain. Memo allows users to post text, animations, pictures, URLs, and videos while also setting a custom profile. Much like Twitter, there is a cap of how many characters can be used per post as Memo only allows 217 characters at a time. A feature that sets Memo apart from Twitter and other social media platforms is the ability to tip posts using BCH. This allows content creators to reap the benefits of their work rather than giant corporate entities. Memo has been a popular application amongst the BCH community and there have been thousands of onchain posts since the platform launched. For instance, one individual started recording every verse in the King James Bible. One setback for Memo users is because all posts are hashed into the BCH chain using an OP_Return transaction, they cannot be deleted. Memo also offers a community and topic section so users can discuss books, film, news, and even subjects that are considered taboo or politically unacceptable. The application also allows users to follow certain profiles so they can stay up to date with…

US Regulator Issues Cease and Desist Orders Against Three Crypto Promoters

US Regulator Issues Cease and Desist Orders Against Three Crypto Promoters

North Dakota Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler has issued cease and desist orders against three firms for allegedly offering unregistered and fraudulent securities in the form of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), according to an announcement published Oct. 11. The companies at the center of the orders are Crystal Token, Advertiza Holdings (Pty) Ltd., and Life Cross Coin a/k/a LifecrosscoinGmbH. Per the statement, Crystal Token (CYL) is an “evolutionary multi-utility” ERC-20 token, that promises earnings up to two percent per day. The token’s website allegedly contains fraudulent claims of “excessive unsubstantiated” rates of return on investment. CYL is not authorized to sell securities in North Dakota. Advertiza Holdings offers cryptocurrency called “Tizacoin,” or “TIZA,” and claims that holders “can expect to make a profit from the appreciation of the value of TIZA tokens.” That, according to the regulator, indicates that the token’s description as a utility token is incorrect, and is instead a security. According to the North Dakota Securities Department, Advertiza falsely claims to be registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is also not registered to sell securities in North Dakota. The third firm, Life Cross Coin, operates a website from a Berlin IP address associated with ransomware, malware, and identity fraud, and offers a cryptocurrency called “Life Cross Coin,” or “LICO.” The firm claims that the token will be spent on charity, while investors can allegedly get a “huge return on investment.” LICO is not registered in North Dakota, and its site reportedly contains unsubstantiated claims and blatant misrepresentations. Tyler commented on the orders: “The continued exploitation of the cryptocurrency ecosystem by financial criminals is a significant threat to Main Street investors. In formulaic fashion, financial criminals are cashing in on the hype and excitement around blockchain, crypto assets, and ICOs – investors should be exceedingly cautious when considering a related investment.” The order is part of Operation Cryptosweep, a coordinated multi-jurisdiction investigation into potentially fraudulent crypto investment programs, that involves 40 U.S. and Canadian state and provincial securities regulators. Since the initiative’s launch in May, investigators discovered about 30,000 crypto-related domain names and conducted over 200 investigations of ICOs. In May, the Colorado Securities Commissioner launched probes into two companies — California-based Linda Healthcare Corp. and Washington-based Broad Investments LLC…

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to Fisco

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to Fisco

Exchanges Japanese crypto exchange Zaif has concluded a business transfer agreement with another regulated crypto exchange in Japan. Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange will take over all of Zaif’s services and will be responsible for repaying users who lost their coins when Zaif was hacked last month. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals Business Transfer Agreement Tech Bureau, the operator of Zaif, has signed an agreement to transfer Zaif’s business to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange (FCCE), the company announced Wednesday. Zaif claims that it was hacked on Sept. 14, with approximately 7 billion yen ($62 million) stolen. On Sept. 20, Fisco Co. Ltd., the parent company of Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange, announced a plan to provide 5 billion yen to help Tech Bureau compensate its affected users in exchange for the majority of the company’s shares. Fisco and Tech Bureau have since been working on a business transfer agreement with a tentative transfer date of Nov. 22. “While the details of specific measures addressing damages to Zaif users are under consideration, a formal business transfer agreement for the Zaif business to FCCE was concluded,” Fisco wrote, adding: It has been decided that all of Zaif’s services will be passed to FCCE including handled cryptocurrency, exchanges, vendors, credit transactions and Bitcoin Airfx [derivatives trading]. FCCE will also carry out the return of cryptocurrency that Zaif users lost in the outflow during the hacking incident, etc. (including debt for payment in kind for reasonable amounts of money). Japan currently has 16 regulated crypto exchanges. Both Zaif and Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange were licensed by the country’s Financial Services Agency in September last year. In August 2017, Fisco announced the launch of “Japan’s first bitcoin-denominated bonds.” Fisco’s Long-Term Agreement With Tech Bureau The two companies have been working together since 2016. When Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange began operations in August 2016, it licensed the use of Tech Bureau’s white label system to provide liquidity to the new exchange. Two days prior to the hack, on Sept. 12, Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange reviewed its system in order to stop using Tech Bureau’s white label system and start using its new trading system provided by Ccct Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caica Inc. Plan to Compensate Zaif’s Users After discovering the security breach on Sept. 17, Zaif…