Ripple Labs and R3 Consortium Reach Settlement in XRP Token Litigation

Ripple Labs and R3 Consortium Reach Settlement in XRP Token Litigation

Ripple Labs Inc. has announced it has reached a settlement “of all outstanding litigation” between R3 HoldCo LLC, R3 LLC, and XRP II, LLC, according to a press release published September 10. Per the statement, the details of the settlement will remain confidential while “both sides look forward to putting these disputes behind them.” The litigation between Ripple Labs and R3 Consortium began in September 2017, when the consortium filed a lawsuit in Delaware and New York against Ripple Labs. R3 then claimed that Ripple had violated a prior purchase agreement between the two companies for XRP tokens. The agreement included an option enabling R3 to buy up to 5 billion XRP tokens, in part or in whole, at a price of $0.0085 before the end of 2019. A Delaware judge threw out the case against Ripple in October 2017, forcing the plaintiff to proceed litigation in California and New York. Ripple Labs subsequently filed a counterclaim in California, where it accused R3 of breaching a number of commitments within the agreement. When the parties began the proceedings, the value of the contract in dispute totalled more that $1 million, however after several months the XRP price surged, significantly increasing the stakes as the 5 billion XRP in question were worth about $3.85 billion. In March 2018, a San Francisco state appeals court denied Ripple’s filing to appeal the order that dismissed its lawsuit against R3. Ripple has been involved in several legal battles over the last year. In May, investor Ryan Coffey filed a lawsuit over whether or not the XRP token is a security. Coffey alleged that Ripple’s sale of XRP tokens violates U.S. securities laws. He claimed that while trading XRP tokens, he lost $551.89, also stating that XRP is not genuinely decentralized. The U.S. Federal District Court of the Northern District of California recently ruled to deny a motion to remand against Ripple.

Robinhood: How the Fast-Growing Stock Trading App Got Into Crypto

Robinhood: How the Fast-Growing Stock Trading App Got Into Crypto

As been reported by TechCrunch Sept. 6, stock and cryptocurrency trading platform Robinhood is planning to launch an initial public offering. Now the company is looking for a chief financial officer (CFO). Robinhood CEO Baiju Bhatt added that the startup is undergoing a spate of audits from the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in order to ensure regulatory compliance. After raising $363 million in a series D funding round and $110 million in a series C round, Robinhood was valued at $5.6 billion, making it the second most valuable fintech startup in the U.S. Currently, there are reportedly five million users conducting trades with cryptocurrencies on the Robinhood platform. Let’s recall the path of a mobile startup to the promising position it now occupies. What Robinhood is and how it works Dubbed by the press as a “trading app for millennials,” before its involvement in crypto, Robinhood existed as a solely mobile application for stock trade. It had a plain and simple, user-friendly design, democratic deposit levels (i.e., aimed at under $1,000 users) and something much more revolutionary — a zero fee for trading the stocks. As the statement still goes on the official site main page: “We believe that the financial system should work for the rest of us, not just the wealthy […] We’ve cut the fat that makes other brokerages costly, like manual account management and hundreds of storefront locations, so we can offer zero commission trading.” That came as a revelation for the users that didn’t want to be charged from $1 to $10 a trade just to pay for overhead. Although, the simplicity came with some limits to functionality: Users could not short sell or trade mutual funds, options or fixed income instruments. As Investopedia notes, “research was limited to very basic pricing graphs and dates for corporate events, with the assumption that millennials, their target customer group, would find any data they need to make buying decisions on other websites.” The iOS and Android apps were launched in 2015, now Robinhood allows trading from the desktop as well. Back in the early days, Techcrunch wrote about Robinhood’s integration ambitions, mentioning its collaboration with Stocktwits, Openfolio and Quantopian. As for now, the…

Government Expert: Russia Not Ready for Issuance and Circulation of Cryptocurrencies

Government Expert: Russia Not Ready for Issuance and Circulation of Cryptocurrencies

A special representative of the Russian president said that the country is not yet ready for the circulation and issuance of cryptocurrencies, according to local news agency RIA Monday, September 10. The president’s Special Representative on digital and technological development Dmitry Peskov explained his view on the state of digital assets in an interview with RIA: “From the start, we have not legally suppressed blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and are trying to bring them into a normative space. But the government must give fair warning, that there is a high risk of ending up with an MMM 2.0 [famous pyramid scheme that existed in 1990s].” Peskov stated that the official position of the Russian Central Bank on crypto was too soft. “The threat level is so high that the position could be stricter,” he said. Furthermore, Peskov argued that the issuance of cryptocurrencies is contrary to basic state principals: “The issuance and circulation of cryptocurrencies cannot yet be permitted. It contradicts the basic functions of government. Order is important. If we adopt a bill on the principles of working with cryptocurrencies on the government level, then we can discuss the implementation of those principles in daily life. But it’s not right to do this in reverse.” According to Peskov, the best move forward for the legal development of the cryptocurrency sphere in the country would be to create a regulatory sandbox to analyze “all aspects of work” with cryptocurrencies. Peskov, who is not to be confused with the Kremlin press secretary and Presidential Deputy Chief of Staff of the same name, was named a special representative by presidential decree in July 2018. Peskov is also the Director of Young Professionals at the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. Earlier this year Russian president Vladimir Putin himself addressed the crypto question during his annual live question and answer session. Putin said that Russia cannot have its own cryptocurrency, as cryptocurrency “by definition” cannot be controlled by a centralized entity. He also noted that while the government does not regulate crypto mining, it “treats it very carefully.” The legal status of cryptocurrencies, mining, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in not yet clearly defined in Russia. A draft law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which was prepared by the Russian Ministry of…

UAE Securities Watchdog Approves Plan to Regulate ICOs

UAE Securities Watchdog Approves Plan to Regulate ICOs

Regulation The securities and commodities regulator in the United Arab Emirates has approved a plan to adopt comprehensive regulations for crowdfunding through ICOs and recognize tokens as securities. The decision comes after a review of best practices in other countries and signals a change in its position regarding initial coin offerings. Earlier this year investors were warned about the risks associated with tokens sales. Also read: South Korean Crypto Know-How and Capital Sought by Uzbekistan and Belarus UAE to Regulate Coin Offerings, Recognize Tokens as Securities UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) has approved a plan to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country and recognize the issued tokens as securities, its Chairman Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said this weekend, Arabian News reported. Mansouri is also the Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates. The important resolution of the SCA Board of Directors follows the review of a study covering best practices in the field applied around the world. The adopted plan includes a whole set of mechanisms and is part of an integrated project to regulate digital securities and commodities, the SCA’s chief explained, quoted by WAM news agency. It will be set in motion a day after the publication of the decision in the country’s official journal. The latest move by the securities regulator indicates a positive change in its attitude towards the fintech industry. The watchdog stated that it is part of a number of initiatives aimed at upgrading the financial activities and services in the securities sector in the UAE in order to match the best international standards and practices. Investors at Their Own Risk, Regulator Warns of Price Volatility Earlier this year, the SCA called upon investors to exert caution towards token-based fundraising activities and other crowdfunding schemes. In a statement released this past February, the authority noted that the terms and features are specific for each coin offering. The same, according to the regulator, applies to the rights acquired by those who fund the projects. The SCA also stressed that ICOs are speculative, warning that the prices of the tokens may be highly volatile. It told investors that their involvement in this type of crowdfunding is at their own risk. The watchdog also urged organizers of…

Crypto Use Is A ‘Fringe Activity’ Among Terrorists, Says Think Tank

Crypto Use Is A ‘Fringe Activity’ Among Terrorists, Says Think Tank

A new report from a Washington, D.C. think tank presented last week argued that cryptocurrencies aren’t well-suited for terrorist financing – while also highlighting the limited success terrorist groups have had attempting to raise funds with the technology. The paper was produced by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance and was presented during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Services Committee’s hearing on terrorism financing. The report by Yaya Fanusie, director of the Center, has since been published on the Committee’s website. Noting that “cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are not innately illicit and should not be feared,” the report provides an overview of several cases in which groups used cryptocurrency to raise funds. These include pro-Islamic State websites, a group based in Gaza, a group allegedly connected with Al-Qaeda, and a contractor training ISIS fighters. It also cites the case of Ali Shukri Amin, who pleaded guilty in 2015 after he penned a blog post explaining how ISIS could raise money using bitcoin. Still, the technology isn’t well suited for those who are raising funds in war-torn areas, writing at one point that “operating financially with digital currencies remains a fringe activity both among the general public and within the population of global jihadists.” “The good news is that most terrorists, particularly those operating on jihadist battlefields, inhabit environments that are not currently conducive to cryptocurrency use,” the FDD notes elsewhere in the report. That said, according to the report, barriers including the public nature of crypto-transactions “may fall away” over time. Specific cases cited The FDD also cites reports from 2017 of a fundraising campaign led by a consortium of jihadists in the Gaza Strip called the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC), which was deemed a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department. The fundraising campaign, named Jahezona (Arabic for “Equip Us”), aimed to raise $2,500 per fighter but ultimately raised “a little over $500 in bitcoin” based on information gleaned from public blockchain data. Notably, the FDD contended that deposits were made via the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e. Another group that tried to attract bitcoin donations called itself al-Sadaqa (Arabic for “the Charitable Giving”) and claimed to be raising funds for fighters in Syria. According to the…

Iceland’s ‘Big Bitcoin Heist’: Suspects Charged With Over $2M in Stolen Mining Rigs

Iceland’s ‘Big Bitcoin Heist’: Suspects Charged With Over $2M in Stolen Mining Rigs

News Police in Iceland charged seven individuals for conspiracy, burglary, and theft for stealing from the region’s mining facilities. Iceland prosecutors are charging the suspects with over $871,000 in stolen goods, but the group of individuals are also being sued for $1.7 million in damages from three separate mining firms. Also read: James Bond-Like Villain in $2 Million Bitcoin Heist Caught in Amsterdam After Several Failed Attempts Thieves Rob Icelandic Bitcoin Mines — Scoring a Bunch of Mining Rigs Sindri Thor Stefansson. Back in April Amsterdam police arrested a man named Sindri Thor Stefansson for his connection with stealing millions of dollars worth of bitcoin mining equipment in Iceland. Now according to a translated report of court documents stemming from Iceland prosecutors, Stefansson and six other individuals are being charged with ten criminal counts. The seven people will be charged with possession of weapons, cocaine, and theft of over $2 million USD worth of mining computers and equipment. Court documents given to Modern Consensus explain that Iceland officials are accusing the gang of $871,819 in stolen gear and the indictment will be followed by a trial that will go before a group of judges. Furthermore, law firms representing three separate mining facilities are suing the group for $1.7 million in a different case. Charge sheet against the seven individuals. Via Modern Consensus. Stefansson and his gang were allegedly relentlessly trying to rob prominent bitcoin mines since the group’s first heist on December 5, 2017, when they stole 100 mining rigs from Algrim Consulting. The burglars then tried to steal from Borealis Data Center (BDC) mines, but failed that night because they set off an alarm. According to police in Iceland, the crew attacked BDC Mines in Ásbrú again a couple days later but were unsuccessful. Following the BDC attempts, Stefansson, Viktori Inga, Peter Stanislav, and Matthíasi Jóni robbed the VK data center in Borgarnes and made off with 28 Bitmain Antminers. After the successful score at the Borgarnes mine, the crew attempts to rob BDC again the day after Christmas, and one of the suspects managed to make it inside the facility. However, once again the BDC alarms scare the gang of thieves away. Advania Mines: The Biggest Heist According to the documents obtained by Modern Consensus columnist Brendan Sullivan, Iceland…

Crypto Markets See Another Wave of Red, Despite Bullish News From Major Industry Players

Crypto Markets See Another Wave of Red, Despite Bullish News From Major Industry Players

Monday, September 10: crypto markets have seen mainly red today, with just two coins out of the top 20 cryptocurrencies in the green, and total market cap hovering around $194 billion. Market visualization from Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) is slightly down today, fluctuating around the $6,300. The major cryptocurrency is currently trading at $6,287 by press time, down 1.5 percent over the past 24 hours. Bitcoin saw an intraday high of $6,398 and low of $6,253, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index. The coin sharply lost its $6,400 trading levels yesterday afternoon, slipping almost $200 in less than two hours, then sharply regaining some of those losses shortly after. Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index After also dropping and then testing a slight rebound yesterday, major altcoin Ethereum (ETH) has failed to hold the $200 point today. The coin dropped below $200 this weekend for first time since November 2017. By press time, Ethereum is down 4.5 percent over the past 24 hours and trading at $192. The altcoin is down a brutal 35 percent on the week and 47 percent over the past 30 days. Ethereum 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index Total market cap has failed regain the $200 billion threshold over the day, falling below that point this weekend. At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies amounts to $194.5 billion. Total market capitalization 7-day ch​art. Source: CoinMarketCap As the overall market sheds billions, Bitcoin has again seen significant growth in dominance, currently taking the highest point of market share it’s seen over the past 30 days. At press time, Bitcoin dominance is just over 56 percent. Dogecoin (DOGE), which recently pushed from 20th to 19th place by market cap, is again seeing notable growth. In a market where most coins are down by at least 3-4 percent, DOGE is up 13.6 percent over the 24 hours period. Dash (DASH), ranked eleventh by market cap, is the only other top 20 coin in the green at press time. The altcoin is currently up 2.3 percent over the past 24 hours and trading at $201. In contrast, Ripple (XRP), ranked 3rd, has suffered the biggest losses among the top 20 cryptocurrencies over the past day, having lost…

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 10

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 10

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The market is finding it difficult to sustain the total cryptocurrency market capitalization above the $200 billion mark. The news of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspending trading in the Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One securities has further dampened the sentiment. While the total market cap has declined sharply from the start of the year, it is still higher than it was a year ago. On September 10, 2017, the total market capitalization was about $140 billion. This shows that the current fall has only removed the excess froth from the system, which is bullish from a long-term perspective. Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes that the space is unlikely to witness another 1000-fold growth. We have also maintained that a repeat of the last year’s powerful rally is unlikely, but the growth in this sector is only starting. As its adoption increases, the activity of both retail and institutional investors will provide another boost to the prices. However, it is advisable to wait for the prices to show a bottoming formation before buying. Let’s see if we spot any reliable buy setup in any of the top cryptocurrencies that we track. BTC/USD Bitcoin is currently attempting to bounce off the $5,900–$6,075.04 support zone, but is facing selling just above the $6,400 mark. A bearish descending triangle and a head and shoulders pattern have developed but they will complete only on a breakdown and close below $5,900. Until then, the patterns are not considered complete. Though the pattern targets of a breakdown are way lower, we shall watch the $5,450 and the $5,000 levels on the downside. Both moving averages have turned down, which shows selling pressure. Any attempt to recover will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA. A breakout above the downtrend line of the descending triangle will indicate a probable change in trend and a move above $7,413.46 will confirm it. As long as the BTC/USD pair sustains…

Report: Nearly Half of ICOs Failed to Raise Funds Since Start of 2017

Report: Nearly Half of ICOs Failed to Raise Funds Since Start of 2017

Nearly half of all initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2017 and 2018 failed to raise any funds, while another 40 percent raised more than $1 million each, a new research report claims. Research and consulting firm GreySpark Partners studied the ICO market across the past several years, finding that as many as 890 token sales did not raise any funds at all. By contrast, according to the report (embedded below), 743 token sales were able to reach the $1 million mark. GreySpark also noted that many token projects fail to provide a positive return-on-investment, particularly as time passes. The report utilized data from ICOData.io and ICO-Check.com through August 2018. There has been trepidation over the future of ICOs, with various developers saying that regulations, better-informed investors and even just market saturation may be responsible for a declining number of token sales. The document offers some more technical reasons, saying the decline may be caused by “lack of traction, disappointing product advancements, scams, difficulties in execution, no market and poor marketing or go-to-market strategy.” However, there is one market that seems to be prospering: crypto-hedge funds. According to the report, as of September, the number of hedge funds focused specifically on cryptocurrency projects and tokens has increased significantly to a total of 146 firms, despite an initial drop in January of 2018. This is up from nine crypto-focused hedge funds in 2012. Contrary to traditional hedge funds, crypto-hedge funds consist of mostly long positions that involve higher risks, according to the report. The analysis predicts that the number of crypto-hedge funds will grow to between 160 and 180 by the end of this year. gry_Charting-the-growth-of-… by on Scribd Gumball machine 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.

Argentina Back in Crisis: Should the Government Buy Bitcoin?

Argentina Back in Crisis: Should the Government Buy Bitcoin?

Michael J. Casey is the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday exclusively to our subscribers. When people ask me what got me into bitcoin, I often answer with one word: “Argentina. ” Amid the sad news that the South American country is again gripped by a currency crisis, I’m getting a strong reminder of that connection. Below, I explain it and explore one crypto team’s proposal for the Argentine government to overcome this latest meltdown with a stability-seeking strategy that partly includes bitcoin. Over the past 30 years, Argentina has tried a diverse toolkit of mainstream economic solutions to its persistent drift into chaos, and each has failed. Perhaps a new, outside-the-box, crypto-friendly approach is needed. And with other emerging-market countries now suffering “contagion” from Argentina’s, Turkey’s and other developing countries’ woes, maybe there’s a lesson for the wider world too. Love-hate My Argentina-bitcoin connection stems from six years spent in Buenos Aires during the previous decade. While my family and I adored living there, we had a tortured, love-hate relationship with the country. On the plus side, in addition to its great food, wine and culture, we made some of the best, most loving, loyal friends we’ve ever made in our adult lives in Argentina. On the negative side: broken civil institutions and a history of corrupt governments ensured that a dysfunctional economy would repeatedly, almost inevitably, drift toward monetary crises. This stoked inflation and bred uncertainty, making it increasingly difficult to make economic plans. Eventually, the latter problem forced us to leave. We wanted our kids to grow up in a society that offered greater long-term opportunities. Even after we’d made the decision to go, Argentina’s dysfunction almost destroyed us financially, when we struggled to get our life savings out of the country — as readers of Paul Vigna’s and my first book, The Age of Cryptocurrency, will know. What does all this have to do with bitcoin? Well, it starts with the core social problem of trust, which, in essence, cryptocurrencies and blockchains strive to resolve with their unique, decentralized approach to recordkeeping and value exchange. Both the…