Mt Gox’s Corporate Creditors Can Now File Claims for Bitcoin Refunds

Mt Gox’s Corporate Creditors Can Now File Claims for Bitcoin Refunds

The trustee of the long-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has announced that corporate creditors can now enter claims to claw back trapped bitcoin through a recently approved rehabilitation process. Nobuaki Kobayashi, attorney-at-law and the rehabilitation trustee for Mt. Gox said in a release on Wednesday that former corporate users of the exchange will have until Oct. 22 to file proof backing up their claims for refunds of crypto assets held by the exchange. “We have released an online rehabilitation claim filing system … which allows corporate users to file their proofs of claim by online methods in connection with the civil rehabilitation proceedings,” Kobayashi said. The release follows previous news that Mt. Gox’s online filing system had been opened up to individual (non-corporate) users on Aug. 23. CoinDesk reported at the time that, after the filing deadline, the trustee will submit a statement of approval or rejection to a Tokyo district court for final decision, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 24 next year, which may be subject to further changes. Last year, several Mt. Gox creditors filed a petition to the bankruptcy court in Tokyo in an effort to move Mt. Gox out of the bankruptcy case – which started since its infamous hack in 2014 – into civil rehabilitation. The court subsequently approved the petition in June. Currently, Mt. Gox creditors are also drafting refund policies via their legal representatives, seeking to receive their bitcoin assets in the original form of the deposit – instead of cash– via a designated cryptocurrency exchange. Mt. Gox, at its peak the largest bitcoin exchange by trading volume, declared bankruptcy in 2014 following the theft of 744,000 BTC from the platform. Creditors subsequently began a years-long process in a bid to retrieve their funds still held by the exchange. Mt. Gox logo 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.

The Daily: Shapeshift Shuts Down Prism, Jamie Dimon Wants to Be President

The Daily: Shapeshift Shuts Down Prism, Jamie Dimon Wants to Be President

The Daily In today’s edition of The Daily we cover stories about Shapeshift shutting down its decentralized portfolio platform Prism, the bitcoin-hating CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, thinking he can be elected US President, an exchange expanding to 20 more states, and further censorship of bitcoin-related accounts on Chinese social media. Also Read: 66% of Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Don’t Want to Receive Wages in Fiat Shapeshift Shuts Down Prism Shapeshift, which recently announced a shift to a mandatory membership model, is now also shutting down its decentralized portfolio platform, Prism. When it was launched last year, Prism promised the ability to secure a basket of cryptocurrencies without exposure to third party risk, meaning without leaving your funds on an exchange. It also featured some social trading capabilities, like displaying public performance leaderboards so users could learn from top traders and copy their portfolios. Shapeshift didn’t indicate that the move is related to its recent change of model, instead stating it has been done to focus on developing its core product line. “With the work we’ve done over these past 18 months, it’s become clear to us that there is actually a different (and likely superior) product to be built with this underlying technology. It requires more than a pivot: a reimagining of the product itself…These reasons combined have led us to the conclusion that we should sunset the current Prism product, both in order to focus on our core platform, and to clear the pallet for a potential reimagining of what this technology can do later on.” Bitcoin-Hating Banker Thinks He Can Be Elected President Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase and former director of the New York Fed, seemingly loves to stir up controversy in a way that will grant him maximum publicity before quickly retreating. After attacking bitcoin as a fraud and regretting it, he has now said he can be elected President of the United States – and then almost immediately took it back. Apparently the Wall Street banker thinks he can beat current president Donald Trump because “I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is.” It would have been both entertaining and enlightening to discover just how much the American public love bankers in this ultimate…

Blockchain Could Boost Trade Finance by $1 Trillion, WEF Research Says

Blockchain Could Boost Trade Finance by $1 Trillion, WEF Research Says

Blockchain is able to fill in much of the $1.5 trillion-dollar supply-demand gap in global trade finance by easing financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets, new research says. Jointly conducted and released by the World Economic Forum and Bain & Company, the research indicates that, by deploying blockchain, global businesses can generate an extra $1 trillion in trade finance that would otherwise be missed out on. According to an Asian Development Bank calculation, the global trade finance gap is currently at $1.5 trillion and is estimated to grow to $2.4 trillion by 2025. The research further explains that this issue largely arises from limited access to credit and loans for SMEs that are looking to expand their businesses. The researchers argue, however, that this missing funding can be reduced by $1 trillion if blockchain “is used more broadly,” since distributed networks are able to share business records across financial institutions along the supply chain and bring transparency to businesses’ credibility. “They would help mitigate credit risk, lower fees and remove barriers to trade,” the researchers write, adding: “If implemented, the main beneficiaries are set to be SMEs and emerging markets, which suffer most from a lack of access to credit and have ample room to grow trade. ” The researchers further added that a blockchain-based trade finance system would be particularly beneficial to Asian economies as they account for 7 percent ($105 billion) of the trade finance gap, with 75 percent of the global document-based transactions across supply chains. CoinDesk previously reported that authorities in mainland China and Hong Kong have both moved to launch blockchain-based trade finance systems in an effort to help SMEs gain more access to financing tools and to prevent fraud. WEF 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.

Canadian Regulated Bitcoin Trust Achieves Mutual Fund Trust Status

Canadian Regulated Bitcoin Trust Achieves Mutual Fund Trust Status

Finance A Canadian regulated bitcoin trust has achieved the mutual fund trust status, allowing eligible investors to invest in the trust through government-sponsored tax-efficient investment plans. The investment is approved by the Ontario Securities Commission and the British Columbia Securities Commission.  Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals Mutual Fund Trust Status First Block Capital Inc. announced on Monday, September 10, that its flagship product, the FBC Bitcoin Trust, “has now achieved mutual fund trust status.” As such, the trust has become the “first and only” investment product approved by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) to offer “unit holders the exclusive opportunity to hold units of a bitcoin investment in their Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) and Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP).” Noting that the investment is available only to accredited investors, the firm explained: The trust units are [now] considered a qualified investment for a mutual fund trust under the Tax Act, having exceeded 150 unit holders within one year of launching. The firm describes itself as “Canada’s first fully registered, dedicated cryptocurrency and blockchain investment company” that holds exempt market dealer (EMD), portfolio manager (PM) and investment fund manager (IFM) licenses. Its co-founder and chief investment officer, Marc van der Chijs, detailed: Our goal is to make investments in the digital currency asset class more accessible and we are one step closer to achieving this goal by allowing unit holders to place units in government sponsored tax efficient vehicles, and by providing daily liquidity. Two More Funds Coming Soon In addition to the bitcoin trust, the firm plans to launch two investment products. The company’s funds are kept in Xapo’s cold-storage vault. The first of the two is the Active Blockchain Opportunities ETF which is “an actively managed ETF dedicated to uncovering the best companies exposed to this global secular theme,” the firm describes. The other product is the Cryptocurrency Index Fund that tracks the performance of tokens selected by the firm’s management team. The company explains, “The evaluation of selecting a token into our index fund is mainly determined by the development of its technology, market capitalization, and market liquidity. The goal is to provide investors with a transparent benchmark in…

FINRA Issues Its First Crypto Disciplinary Action

FINRA Issues Its First Crypto Disciplinary Action

Regulation The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has taken its first disciplinary action involving cryptocurrencies. The authority charges a broker with fraudulent and unlawful distribution of unregistered crypto securities. The owner allegedly “attempted to lure public investment in his worthless public company” by issuing “the first minable coin backed by marketable securities.” Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals FINRA’s First Crypto Disciplinary Action The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued its first crypto-related disciplinary action. The organization announced on Tuesday, September 11, “that it filed a complaint against Timothy Tilton Ayre of Agawam, Massachusetts, charging him with securities fraud and the unlawful distribution of an unregistered cryptocurrency security called Hempcoin,” adding: This case represents FINRA’s first disciplinary action involving cryptocurrencies. FINRA is a not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect investors in the US by ensuring that the broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly. Although the organization is not part of the government, it is overseen by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In addition, FINRA “has the authority to fine, suspend or bar brokers and firms from the industry,” its website describes. According to Tuesday’s notice, “The issuance of a disciplinary complaint represents the initiation of a formal proceeding by FINRA in which findings as to the allegations in the complaint have not been made, and does not represent a decision as to any of the allegations contained in the complaint.” All parties named in the complaint can file a response and request a hearing before a FINRA disciplinary panel, the notice details, noting: Possible remedies include a fine, censure, suspension or bar from the securities industry, disgorgement of gains associated with the violations and payment of restitution. The Hempcoin Case Ayre is listed as the president of Rocky Mountain Ayre Inc., a publicly traded company listed on the OTC Grey market under the RMTN trading symbol. In its complaint, FINRA alleges that, from January 2013 through October 2016, Ayre made “fraudulent, positive statements about RMTN’s business finances,” elaborating: Ayre attempted to lure public investment in his worthless public company, Rocky Mountain Ayre Inc. (RMTN), by issuing and selling Hempcoin – which he publicized as ‘the first minable coin backed by marketable securities’. According to FINRA, Ayre…

Japan’s FSA Expands Crypto Team to Handle Exchange License Reviews

Japan’s FSA Expands Crypto Team to Handle Exchange License Reviews

Japan’s financial market watchdog is looking to expand its team focused on crypto-related activities next year to better handle the growing interest among Japanese companies for a cryptocurrency exchange license. The Financial Services Agency hosted the fifth study group meeting on cryptocurrency on Wednesday with trading platforms, scholars, lawyers, and government officials. Kiyotaka Sasaki, vice commissioner for policy coordination at the FSA, said the authority currently has about 30 people in charge of the overall supervision over crypto-related activities, including license registration review. Sasaki added the FSA is planning to add 12 more people for the fiscal year of 2019 to better respond to the growth of the cryptocurrency exchange industry, as reported by Reuters. According to a document released after the meeting, the FSA has been reviewing 16 cases while more than 160 firms including public companies are now planning to submit applications for a crypto exchange license. The FSA said 12 of the 16 companies reviewed withdrew their applications as instructed by the regulator while it rejected one exchange. The other three, including Coincheck, are still waiting for a final decision. Data compiled by the FSA further indicated the government agency is not the only entity that is dealing with a shortage of staff on cryptocurrency. “Many exchanges are managing large amounts of user assets with a small team (3.3 billion yen [around $30 million] per employee in average),” the FSA said in a summary. Data shows while the total assets Japanese crypto exchanges hold for investors have increased by 553 percent over the past year (currently, at $6.2 billion), more than 75 percent of them have a team that is smaller than 20 people. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the FSA hosted its first crypto study group meeting in April following the Coincheck hack in January. At the time, the authority said the crypto trading volume in Japan has grown significantly over the years, with $97 billion on just bitcoin in 2017. FSA 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.

Mt. Gox Victims Must Take Claims to Tokyo, Not US, Judge Rules

Mt. Gox Victims Must Take Claims to Tokyo, Not US, Judge Rules

News Since its implosion back in 2014, the Mt. Gox exchange hacks continue to loom large within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania determined recently it does not have jurisdiction in a case involving Gox victims and a bank closely associated, in effect condemning victims to redress their grievances at the scene of the crime, Tokyo, Japan. Also read: Philippines Okays PDAX Crypto Exchange Gox Victims Must Take Up Claims in Japanese Courts Gregory Pearce, according to court documents, picked the perfectly worst time to attempt withdrawing $5,900 through Mizuho Bank Ltd of Tokyo, Japan. The bank had the sole US market for Gox withdrawals and deposits at the time. Mizuho and Gox were both under suspicion for crimes, with the bank allegedly thought to be funding organized crime in various aspects. Gox, then processing something like 70% of the world’s bitcoin, was equally under investigation for suspected money laundering. According to the court decision, “Mizuho facilitated international cash wire transfers from Mt. Gox users into the exchange and processed user requests to withdraw fiat currency from the exchange to their outside bank accounts,” the judge wrote. “When a user wished to deposit money in their Mt. Gox account, Mizuho would accept the payment that had been wired through the user’s outside banks and deposit the funds into Mt. Gox’s Mizuho account. Such wire transfers not only designated Mt. Gox as the beneficiary of the wire and Mizuho as the beneficiary’s bank, but also included the Mt. Gox user’s account number to which the funds were to be directed.” He continued: Likewise, when a user wished to withdraw fiat currency from their Mt. Gox account, Mt. Gox would provide the request to Mizuho for processing. Such requests included the user’s banking information and the amount to be transferred. Mizuho would then transfer out the requested amount to the user’s outside bank. Right around this exact time, exchange clients began agitating about not being able to withdraw from accounts. Either unknowingly or willingly, the bank continued to take deposits and collecting requisite fees up until Gox, and not the bank, blocked users. Mr. Pearce was among them. He received notice of a “delay” for international withdrawals. Mizuho Off the…

US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Issues Its First Crypto Disciplinary Action

US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Issues Its First Crypto Disciplinary Action

Regulation The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has taken its first disciplinary action involving cryptocurrencies. The authority charges a broker with fraudulent and unlawful distribution of unregistered crypto securities. The owner allegedly “attempted to lure public investment in his worthless public company” by issuing “the first minable coin backed by marketable securities.” Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals FINRA’s First Crypto Disciplinary Action The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued its first crypto-related disciplinary action. The organization announced on Tuesday, September 11, “that it filed a complaint against Timothy Tilton Ayre of Agawam, Massachusetts, charging him with securities fraud and the unlawful distribution of an unregistered cryptocurrency security called Hempcoin,” adding: This case represents FINRA’s first disciplinary action involving cryptocurrencies. FINRA is a not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect investors in the US by ensuring that the broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly. Although the organization is not part of the government, it is overseen by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In addition, FINRA “has the authority to fine, suspend or bar brokers and firms from the industry,” its website describes. According to Tuesday’s notice, “The issuance of a disciplinary complaint represents the initiation of a formal proceeding by FINRA in which findings as to the allegations in the complaint have not been made, and does not represent a decision as to any of the allegations contained in the complaint.” All parties named in the complaint can file a response and request a hearing before a FINRA disciplinary panel, the notice details, noting: Possible remedies include a fine, censure, suspension or bar from the securities industry, disgorgement of gains associated with the violations and payment of restitution. The Hempcoin Case Ayre is listed as the president of Rocky Mountain Ayre Inc., a publicly traded company listed on the OTC Grey market under the RMTN trading symbol. In its complaint, FINRA alleges that, from January 2013 through October 2016, Ayre made “fraudulent, positive statements about RMTN’s business finances,” elaborating: Ayre attempted to lure public investment in his worthless public company, Rocky Mountain Ayre Inc. (RMTN), by issuing and selling Hempcoin – which he publicized as ‘the first minable coin backed by marketable securities’. According to FINRA, Ayre…

10 Years After Lehman: Bitcoin and Wall Street Are Closer Than Ever

10 Years After Lehman: Bitcoin and Wall Street Are Closer Than Ever

Hank Paulson, former secretary of the U.S. Treasury, called it “an economic 9/11.” Having loaded up on mortgage debt that went sour, then failed to find a savior in the government or private sector, the 158-year-old Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008. The fallout over the following days, weeks and months would threaten to topple the entire financial system, necessitating trillions of dollars in rescue lending to banks and other firms by governments and central banks. The global financial system hadn’t looked more fragile at any point since 1929. Worse, support for the system was undermined by the fact that Wall Street executives still collected multimillion-dollar bonuses – even as millions of the taxpayers, who helped fund those bonuses, lost their homes. Within a couple of months of Lehman’s bankruptcy, though, a new piece of technology would debut – almost unnoticed – one that appeared to offer an alternative to this catastrophe-prone system. On October 31, 2008, an unidentified individual going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto published the bitcoin white paper to a cryptography mailing list. The paper described “a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [that] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” Satoshi had almost certainly been working on the protocol for months or years prior to Lehman’s collapse but, according to Cornell computer science professor and blockchain researcher Emin Gun Sirer, there was a timely motive to the launch. Sirer told CoinDesk: “It’s very clear that Satoshi was affected by the events that led up to the financial crisis of 2008, and then it’s obviously recorded in the genesis block as well.” Sirer is referring to the Times of London headline bitcoin’s creator pointedly inserted into the first bitcoin block ever mined, on Jan. 3, 2009: “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” As awareness of bitcoin spread, different people saw different things in it, but for many, it represented an alternative to fiat currency issued by central banks (which had just fired up the proverbial printing presses again) and the fractional reserve banking system (which had nearly collapsed beneath a mountain of lending). Most of all, it promised to bypass the financial institutions…

Government-Funded Drug Trafficking Makes USD the World’s Dirtiest Currency

Government-Funded Drug Trafficking Makes USD the World’s Dirtiest Currency

News Pablo Escobar. Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán. Rick Ross. Household names, each and every one of them; drug lords collectively responsible for punting billions of dollars’ worth of narcotics. Yet their crimes pale in comparison to those their prosecutors have been perpetrating for years. After decades of fueling proxy wars and trafficking, the US government has powder on its hands – a combination of gunshot residue, cocaine, and heroin. Those same agencies that would decree what the public can and can’t do with their cryptocurrency have broken every rule in the book. Also read: Terrorists Prefer Cash to Crypto, According to Congressional Testimony Bitcoin, Drug Barons, and High Hypocrisy In a 6×8 feet concrete cell in a Colorado penitentiary, prisoner 18870-111 meditates silently. He will perform this daily ritual another 18,250 times in his lifetime, which shall be expended within the confines of his cramped enclosure. The 34-year-old is serving life without parole, officially for operating a sprawling drugs marketplace. Unofficially, his life term isn’t for drug trafficking however – it’s for doing so without cutting the US government a slice of the action. His name is Ross Ulbricht and his crimes are a drop in the bucket to those perpetrated by the three-letter agencies whose fingerprints are all over his prosecution. Even if one takes the view that drug dealing and money laundering are unlawful – and there are many, particularly in the Bitcoin community, who would demur – the hypocrisy of law enforcement is breathtaking. Many of the officials who would lock up dealers for life think nothing of committing the very same crimes. Sometimes these are rogue agents operating alone, such as Carl Force and Shaun Bridges, who helped bring down Ross Ulbricht while committing even more egregious crimes and tainting the evidence trail. But the most serious cases of government-orchestrated malfeasance see orders taken from the very heart of the so-called deep state. A Short History of US Government Lawlessness As the following examples show, there is a very strong case for asserting that the US government, typically operating off the books through shadowy proxies, is the world’s largest cartel. What follows is a handful of the crimes we know to have been committed with the blessing of US agencies. Consider this…