Facebook Purge Continues: 559 Pages, 251 Accounts Removed Ahead of US Elections

Facebook Purge Continues: 559 Pages, 251 Accounts Removed Ahead of US Elections

News Facebook’s Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy, and Oscar Rodriguez, Product Manager, announced that “Today, we’re removing 559 pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” It is another decision to purge the world’s largest social media site of political speech, and it just might be a final catalyst for mass adoption of an on-chain, censorship-resistant platform, for example, within the Bitcoin Cash network. Also read: Singapore Hosts New Fiat-Crypto Exchange, Welcomes Crypto Bank Accounts Facebook Purges Hundreds of Pages Under Broad Sweep Nicholas Bernabe, the founder of popular alternative news organization The Anti-Media, posted how “Facebook has unpublished my page, The Anti-Media, after falsely accusing us of violating policies.” Based in Chula Vista, California, his news page was not anywhere near fraud or spam; it regularly published hard-hitting alternative news articles. Nevertheless, “2.1 million followers and 5 years of work gone,” Bernabe wrote. Facebook’s blog titled the entry of Oct. 11, 2018, “Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook,” leading readers to believe pages and accounts deleted were associated with a version of fraud or scam activity. Indeed, the company insisted, “People need to be able to trust the connections they make on Facebook. It’s why we have a policy banning coordinated inauthentic behavior — networks of accounts or pages working to mislead others about who they are, and what they are doing,” they claimed, adding that “the bulk of the inauthentic activity we see on Facebook is spam that’s typically motivated by money, not politics.” Sterlin Lujan believes something more sinister is going on. “My long-standing and well-liked page, The Psychologic-Anarchist,” he alerted followers, “has just been unpublished by Fascistbook. I had 50,000+ followers on it. I also noticed that Danilo recently had his Facebook page, Peaceful Anarchism, unpublished for no reason,” he lamented. ‘Facebook is Going After Anarchists and Freethinkers’ When asked why certain pages like his were being targeted, though they never asked for money and never used spam techniques to gain followers, Lujan wrote, “What’s happening is clear. We are victims of censorship. Facebook is going after anarchists and freethinkers. They are censoring people who have the gall to challenge the system and post news stories that contradict the lies spouted by mainstream sources.” “Given…

SpankChain Says Hacker Returned Stolen Crypto Funds

SpankChain Says Hacker Returned Stolen Crypto Funds

A hacker who stole 165.38 ETH from the SpankChain platform has returned the funds. The payment platform focused on the adult industry announced Thursday that the hacker, who stole the funds from the platform last weekend, shared the private key for the wallet holding the ETH after speaking to SpankChain CEO Ameen Soleimani on a phone call. The company published an ethereum transaction indicating its successful recovery of the stolen tokens. The hacker also helped SpankChain recover the roughly 4,000 BOOTY tokens that were frozen as a result of the attack, which the company then bought, another tweet added. In turn, SpankChain sent the hacker, whose identity was not disclosed, $5,000 in reward money, $4,000 for the BOOTY tokens and the 5.5 ETH the hacker originally used to execute the attack against the platform. As the hacker had supplied the 5.5 ETH originally, SpankChain’s total monetary cost was $9,000. The news comes two days after SpankChain originally disclosed the hack, telling its users that the attacker had exploited a bug in its payment channel smart contract, as previously reported by CoinDesk. While the hack originally occurred last Saturday, the team did not notice the missing funds until the next day due to ongoing work regarding other bugs. Roughly $9,300 of the ETH stolen (in Tuesday’s prices) belonged to customers, though SpankChain promised to reimburse its users. In its original tweet, SpankChain seemed to harbor no ill will toward the hacker, saying: “Congratulations, anonymous haxor!” Gift basket 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.

Coinbase Adds First Ethereum Token to Professional Trading Platform

Coinbase Adds First Ethereum Token to Professional Trading Platform

Crypto exchange startup Coinbase is adding the 0x protocol token to its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro. Announced Thursday, the exchange said in a blog post that it had begun accepting deposits for ZRX, and would enable trading around 5:00 A.M. UTC, or after at least 12 hours after the initial announcement. The move represents the first time the platform has added support for an ERC-20 token that runs on the ethereum network. “Once sufficient liquidity is established, trading will begin on the ZRX/USD, ZRX/EUR and ZRX/BTC order books. ZRX trading will be accessible for users in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the state of New York,” Coinbase Pro general manager David Farmer wrote. While ZRX is available through Coinbase Pro, it is not presently available to investors through coinbase.com, or its iOS and Android apps. Like some of its previous rollouts, the addition of ZRX will see four stages: transfer-only, post-only, limit-only and full trading. The token’s price began pumping after the announcement, jumping to its highest point since mid-August, according to data from CoinMarketCap. As of press time, the token’s price hovered at 84.9 cents, up 13 percent on the day. ZRX/USD Daily Chart  As can be seen in the above chart, the surge in ZRX price began a few minutes before 17:00 UTC to ultimately reach a 31 percent increase from the daily low of $0.64. The announcement was published at 17:00. A Coinbase spokesperson confirmed that the announcement was published at exactly 17:00, but noted that the platform began accepting deposits at 16:55 UTC to ensure the process would work smoothly. Coinbase first indicated that it might add ZRX to its platform in July when it announced it was looking into a number of tokens for listing. At the time, the exchange said that residents in certain regions or jurisdictions may not be able to trade specific assets due to local laws. Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan via Consensus archives   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.

SV Pool Mines Its First Block as November’s Bitcoin Cash Fork Approaches

SV Pool Mines Its First Block as November’s Bitcoin Cash Fork Approaches

News On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the mining operation SV Pool mined its first Bitcoin Cash block. The pool operators led by the blockchain firms Nchain and Coingeek say that hundreds of miners from all around the world have signed up to mine with the pool.      Also Read: Zigzag Platform Provides Bitcoin Cash Swaps Over the Lightning Network Bitcoin SV Pool Makes a Move On the Scaling Chess Board There’s a little more than a month left until the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network upgrade scheduled for November 15. To this day there is still a disagreement between the Bitcoin ABC developers and the team behind Bitcoin SV, the new full node software created by Nchain that has an entirely different upgrade plan. At approximately 10:12 a.m. EDT on Oct. 10, the mining operation SV Pool mined its first BCH block at height 55185. Coingeek and Nchain claim that hundreds of miners are registering for the pool and 233 miners have pre-registered in September. Public registration for the pool will begin in mid-October and the operation plans to add pay-per-share plus (PPS+) payouts alongside the pool’s current pay-per-last-N-shares (PPLNS) plans. Over the last few weeks, the BCH community has been talking about ‘hash wars’ and solving things with Nakamoto consensus. Lots of people believe that a ‘hash war’ will be sparked between miners who support Bitcoin ABC with miners who support the SV client. Others think there really isn’t much of a divergence within the community and there likely won’t be a split. On Oct. 9 the Coingeek columnist Erik Gibbs claimed Bitcoin ABC developers don’t believe in Nakamoto consensus. Gibbs also wrote that the recent debate has led to some people saying the November hard fork could result in a split.    “But there is a minority of individuals who are apparently pushing for it to happen,” the Coingeek writer explained. “One of these is Bitcoin ABC — The development team has repeatedly spoken out against several advances that are being added to Bitcoin BCH, including the Nakamoto Consensus.” The Question Remains: Increase the Limit Now or Optimize Before Raising the Limit? The Bitcoin ABC development team and volunteers appeared in a video on Oct. 4, answering all kinds of questions concerning some of the roadmap’s…

Coinbase Launches First ERC-20 Token on Platform

Coinbase Launches First ERC-20 Token on Platform

Leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has started listing 0x (ZRX) token, according to an announcement published Oct. 11. The move marks the first time Coinbase has added support for an ERC-20 token. ERC-20 tokens are tokens developed and used solely on the Ethereum (ETH) platform, where ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comment, and 20 is the number assigned to this request. ERC-20 makes the creation of new tokens extremely easy, which is why ETH became popular with crowdfunding companies working on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Per the announcement, Coinbase has launched support for ZRX on its professional platform, Coinbase Pro, although trading will only be allowed once sufficient liquidity is established. The exchange notes that a separate announcement will be made when the token becomes available on coinbase.com and on its iOS and Android apps. ZRX trading will be available in most jurisdictions, except the state of New York during its initial launch stage. Coinbase has divided the launch into four independent stages for each new trading pair; ZRX/USD, ZRX/EUR and ZRX/BTC, while the exchange notes that currently it will not offer trading on the ZRX/GBP pair. As Coinbase states in the blog post, in the first, “transfer-only” stage, customers will be able to transfer ZRX into their Coinbase Pro accounts, without an option to place orders. The second “post-only” stage will let customers post limit orders, however with no matches. The subsequent stages — “limit-only” and “full-trading” — will enable matching limit orders and full trading services, including limit, market, and stop orders respectively. In July, Coinbase announced its was considering adding five new assets — Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC), and ZRX — to its trading list. The trading platform noted then that the new assets “will require additional exploratory work,” also warning that the listing process may make some coins available for customers to buy and sell only, without the ability to send or receive them using a local wallet. Coinbase revealed its intention to add support for ERC-20 tokens in March, reversing previous statements from January. “After evaluating factors such as liquidity, price stability, and other market health metrics, we may choose to add any ERC-20 asset added to GDAX to the Coinbase platform,”…

Report: SEC Expands Crackdown on ICOs, Regulatory Ambiguity Remains

Report: SEC Expands Crackdown on ICOs, Regulatory Ambiguity Remains

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expanded its crackdown on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), putting “hundreds” of projects at risk, according to a recent joint investigation by Yahoo Finance and Decrypt Media published, Oct. 10. The authors of the report stressed that hundreds of crypto and blockchain startups that conducted token sales have eventually found that they had violated securities laws despite their endeavors to comply with regulations. In response to SEC pressure, dozens of firms have reportedly “quietly agreed” to refund investors’ money and pay fines, rather than attempt to reach a legal compliance. According to Yahoo and Decrypt’s conversations with more than 15 industry sources, many startups that were subpoenaed by the SEC did not know how to satisfy the commission’s demands, and were unable to consult with other firms on how to handle the matter. The sources — who are represented by employees of subpoenaed companies or their attorneys — preferred to stay anonymous due to an SEC restriction from disclosing the issue. An anonymous securities attorney at a high-profile Silicon Valley firm told Yahoo and Decrypt that while “everybody’s holding their breath,” waiting for new rules, the SEC is not going to provide them. According to the anonymous attorney, while dealing with the recently emerged industry, the SEC still applies the “same laws, the same statutes, the same rules, to stocks and bonds and everything else.” As previously reported by Cointelegraph, there has been a “cascade of uncertainty,” associated with the existing ICO token classification, which only further complicates the development of desperately needed regulations for ICOs. While major altcoin Ethereum (ETH) was launched back in July 2015, the SEC stated that the cryptocurrency would be regulated as a security only in June this year. Despite calls for regulatory clarity and comments from lawakers that the ICO industry needs “light touch” regulation, the SEC continues its crackdown on ICOs. According to a recent study by financial research firm Autonomous Research, ICOs raised $20 billion since the start of 2017, which is $18 billion more than the previous year. With that, more than 80 percent of ICOs that were conducted in 2017 have been identified as scams by the ICO advisory firm Statis Group in July. Still, the U.S. is…

Hundreds of ICOs Being Secretly Investigated by SEC, Claims Report

Hundreds of ICOs Being Secretly Investigated by SEC, Claims Report

Regulation Hundreds of startups are reportedly being “secretly” targeted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for their involvement with initial coin offerings. Companies that participated in ICOs are now scrambling to clarify whether their token constituted a security, and, if so, whether it was properly registered with or exempted by the SEC. Also read: Europe, Japan and the ‘Drug’ of Quantitative Easing SEC ‘Tightens the Noose’ on Startups That Used an ICO Yahoo Finance and Decrypt claims that “Hundreds of startups that did token sales are finding out they’re in violation of securities law— including many that were sure they did it the right way.”   The auspicious beginning of the present year came with subpoenas, characterized by the Commission as informational in scope. There appears to be more than mere cataloging of the crypto landscape, as “the Securities and Exchange Commission has significantly widened its crackdown on certain initial coin offerings, putting hundreds of cryptocurrency startups at risk.” The agency “has returned to many of those companies, and subpoenaed many more—focusing on those that failed to properly ensure they sold their token exclusively to accredited investors,” Decrypt notes.  Formal litigation can be costly, taxing a given regulatory bureaucracy’s workload and clogging up courts and judges. It also appears the agency is at first moving to have suspected companies in violation settle. “In response,” Roberts explains, “dozens of companies have quietly agreed to refund investor money and pay a fine. But many startups that have been subpoenaed say they are left in the dark struggling to satisfy the SEC’s demands, and are uncertain of how others are handling it, according to conversations with more than 15 industry sources.” IPOs Died in the US, Startups Resorted to ICOs Compounding matters is how this widespread investigation was unearthed: anonymous sources due to the fact the agency formally “restricts them from discussing the matter,” Decrypt insists. Initial coin offerings are a twist on initial public offerings, IPOs, which have been effectively strangled out of existence in the United States within just the last few decades. Legacy American stock markets, for example, have something close to half the number of public companies listed as they might have otherwise. Saddled with regulations, barriers to entry and countless legal frictions only…

Crypto Regulations for UK Could Take Two Years, Says Legal Expert

Crypto Regulations for UK Could Take Two Years, Says Legal Expert

Jeff Kaufmann, Legal Director at British law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC), said that the introduction of cryptocurrency market regulations in the U.K. could take two years, according to an RPC press release published Oct. 11. RPC is a London-based corporate and insurance law firm with offices in Bristol, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and staff amounting to 720 people, including over 80 partners and 330 other lawyers. Since 2014 the firm has been named Law Firm of the Year three times. Kaufmann said that the implementation of crypto market regulations in the U.K. would take about two years, given that proposals in a recent House of Commons Treasury Committee (HM Treasury) report begin to move forward. Kaufmann notes that past precedents show that even minor changes to the current regulatory regime can take years. Per Kaufmann, the introduction of new regulations would lead to increased involvement of the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), raising concerns as to whether the FCA has the necessary expertise and funding to regulate the crypto industry. The regulation of cryptocurrencies is “going to be a difficult and lengthy process,” per Kaufmann, who noted the need to strike a balance “between protecting retail participants and allowing the U.K.’s cryptocurrency market to thrive.” He added: “The race to establish a workable and regulated regime for cryptocurrencies is surely worth winning as their usage becomes more widespread across Europe and globally. The creation of a cryptocurrency trading hub may also have positive knock-on effects for businesses serving these markets, such as brokers, investment banks, and custodians as well as a potential increase in tax revenues for authorities.” In September, the Treasury Committee of the House of Commons called for a resolution to certain issues surrounding digital currency such as listing price volatility, poor consumer protection, the risk of hacker attacks, and money laundering. The Committee also urged the FCA to supervise cryptocurrencies, though presently the FCA is not legally enabled to regulate either issuers of digital assets or crypto exchanges.

Nigerian Startup Kubitx Launches Bitcoin Exchange in Beta

Nigerian Startup Kubitx Launches Bitcoin Exchange in Beta

Exchanges Kubitx, a Pan-African financial technology startup registered in Malta, announced the beta launch of its new cryptocurrency exchange on Thursday. The platform, which supports six digital coins, including BCH and BTC, will initially be available to users in Nigeria, before the company expands it to other African countries in the coming months. Also read: Billion-Dollar Startups Flourishing in Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley- ‘Hybrid’ Exchange Facilitates Payments,Remittances and OTC Trades “Today we launch the Kubitx Exchange feature release version 0.1,” Victor Philips, co-founder and chief operating officer at Kubitx, told news.Bitcoin.com by telephone. He added that 150 people qualified for the company’s open invitation to prospective beta test users seeking to participate in the launch. Philips, a Nigerian economist and IT program manager based in Canada, said: “(The) first rollout spot for crypto-to-fiat conversions and bill payments using crypto is Nigeria — a suitable destination to test our platform, as the country boasts the largest population and active youth with massive crypto adoption, ranking sixth globally.” Founded in 2017, Kubitx describes itself as a “hybrid digital asset exchange” that leverages distributed ledger technology to facilitate payments throughout Africa and abroad. It also offers trade financing, while handling remittances and over-the-counter trades. In addition, the exchange is registered as a legal entity in Nigeria and Zimbabwe. With the beta release, users will be able try out the exchange’s trading, deposit and withdrawal interface, among other features, using a demo token. Consumer feedback will then be incorporated into the final beta version, which will use real digital currencies such as BCH and BTC. The trial period runs until Oct. 15, with official live trading to begin one week after that, Philips said. When fully operational, for example, a Nigerian who is a resident of the U.K. will be able to send money back home by depositing BCH through Kubitx. The recipient in Nigeria will then be able to withdraw funds in naira, the local currency. “Once the beta test is done, we will have a one-week window to implement any suggestions received from the users on our platform, after which the (official) beta launch takes place,” Kubitx wrote, in a separate online statement. Crypto Adoption Growing Steadily in Africa The digital currency ecosystem has grown rapidly in African countries such as Kenya, Ghana,…

Crypto Defender Spars With Famed Critic During US Senate Hearing

Crypto Defender Spars With Famed Critic During US Senate Hearing

Advocacy versus skepticism. “Dr. Doom” versus “Captain Coin.” Whatever you want to call it, two divergent viewpoints on the topic of cryptocurrency collided before a group of U.S senators on Thursday. Economist Nouriel Roubini – famous for predicting the 2008 financial crisis testified about the blockchain and crypto ecosystems before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs alongside Coin Center director of Research Peter Van Valkenburgh. And as his written testimony indicated, Roubini took a harsh stance against the technology and its proponents in front of the lawmakers. “Crypto is the mother and father of all scams … [and] blockchain is the most overhyped technology ever and is no better than a glorified database,” Roubini said in his opening statement. Van Valkenburgh took a somewhat more nuanced approach, telling the committee that while blockchain and cryptocurrencies are not perfect or even fully complete at present, they are a significant step in improving the financial situation for many. He cited the story of Roya Mahboob, who was unable to pay her employees as many did not have bank accounts. Instead, she paid using bitcoin. In his statement, Van Valkenburgh said: “Bitcoin is the world’s first globally accessible public money. Is it perfect? No. Neither was email when it was invented in 1972. Bitcoin’s not the best money on every margin. It’s not yet accepted everywhere. It’s not used often to quote prices and it’s not a stable store of value.” “But it is working, and the fact that it works without intermediaries is amazing,” he added. Congressional focus The eight senators (out of a possible 25 on the committee) who asked questions at the hearing split their time relatively evenly between concerns about criminal activity, market activities and use cases. However, unlike some of the previous hearings on the industry, Thursday’s hearing was entirely educational on the lawmakers’ part. No actions regarding the cryptocurrency space were proposed or called for during the proceedings. As such, much of the focus during the session remained on what issues blockchain might pose and what problems the technology might help solve. It was here that the two witnesses diverged sharply. Corporations and banks will likely not use decentralized ledgers unless they can maintain full control, Roubini asserted. On…