Coinbase Proposes Severance Package for Employees Not Aligned With ‘Apolitical’ Culture

Coinbase, the San Francisco domiciled crypto exchange, has offered a severance exit package to its employees who are not comfortable with the firm’s new ‘apolitical culture’ as signaled by its CEO Brian Armstrong over the weekend. Armstrong published an open letter on Sunday, noting that the firm will no longer engage in broader societal issues, but focus on the Coinbase mission instead.

In a follow-up letter shared by Coindesk, Armstrong has now said he is glad that the exchange is having a difficult conversation despite divided opinions by employees after clarifying the Coinbase culture. He highlighted that he is aware the Sunday blog may have unsettled some employees to the point of questioning their continuity as part of the Coinbase team.

With this in consideration, Coinbase is offering a severance package for its existing employees who feel they can no longer work under its newly clarified ‘apolitical culture.’ The exit packages on the table include six-month severance for employees with over three years’ experience and a four-month severance for those below this level. Also, they will get six months’ insurance via COBRA, a U.S government program, as well as a seven-year option exercise window.

The letter also mentions an upcoming AMA session on Thursday to further clarify the Coinbase cultural shift. After this, employees will have up to October 7 to have submitted their forms or be considered to agree with the new ‘apolitical culture’ and, therefore, ready to move forward as a Coinbase employee. Armstrong, however, noted that one does not have to agree with every aspect fully but committed to making the new direction a success.

Employees who feel like they would want to exit but not with the current package have since been advised to initiate discussions with HR,

“If you’re interested in speaking with HR about this package (not committing to taking it, but beginning a discussion), please fill out this form, and someone will reach out shortly.

Your conversation will be confidential with HR unless you choose to include your manager. If you decide to proceed, HR will provide you with a separation agreement and work with you on your last day.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

BTC Bull ‘Pomp’ Teams Up With TikTok Influencer Bryce Hall to Launch Capital University Podcast

Bryce Hall, a popular TikTok star, is all set to enter the financial realm with popular bitcoin proponent Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano. Teaming up to launch a podcast called “Capital University,” unlike Pomp’s main podcast, which solely focuses on business and promoting bitcoin, this joint venture is focused on reducing the generational divide.

The podcast would be a different exchange of ideas for both the individuals, where Pomp would try to understand how social media influencers earn money. In contrast, Hall will try to learn tips on investments and building generational wealth through smart investment strategies. Hall said,

“I just want to highlight the power and importance of diversification. I do believe crypto is its own asset class and one worth exploring.

It is definitely the Internet’s version of gold with the caveat of having a known finite amount of units.”

Hall raises to fame through the popular short video sharing social media platform TikTok and boasts of around 25 million subscribers across various social media platforms and currently boasts of $2 million in net worth.

Hall also mentioned on Twitter that the new podcast would be a new learning curve in life, especially in terms of finances. He also opened up that currently, he does not hold any cryptocurrency, nor does he have any prior association within the crypto space.

The TikTok star might not have any crypto holdings at present, but given his association with Pomp, it would not be a big surprise if the young social media influencer does eventually invest in digital assets.

Several big shots have already agreed to come on the podcast, including Mark Cuban and Gemini exchange founders, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Given Cuban as well as both of the brothers have made a name for themselves. They could also play a key role in helping the young influencer understand how digital assets work.

Hall also commented on his first guests for the podcast and said,

“When Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are engaging with your tweets and direct messaging you, you better take what they say seriously and reevaluate your investment positions.” He continued,

“Right now, when you’re at the top, this is when you’re going to be making the most money. You just have to find a way to sustain it.”

Even though the Podcast officially launched yesterday, it has already soared to the number one business podcast in the world. This sudden rise was probably due to Bryce’s 25 million combined social media followers.

You can catch the first cut episode on YouTube here:

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Crypto Business Banking Startup, Multis, Raises $2.2M Backed by Coinbase & Y Combinator

Multis, a French-based business banking startup, has raised $2.2 million in its seed fund round that attracted industry giants, including Coinbase Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Y Combinator, and White Star Capital. The firm’s operational niche is building business bank accounts that allow clients to send, receive, and manage cryptocurrencies.

According to Multis Co-founder and CEO, Thibaut Sahaghian, crypto management is pretty complicated for prospectus companies that may wish to leverage digital payments,

“It’s very complicated to manage crypto as a company. As soon as you want to hold crypto or start paying employees and contractors, it’s a giant mess.”

However, Multis, which runs software as a service (SaaS) product suited for corporate teams, solves this challenge through its crypto-oriented business bank account. The Multis bank accounts leverage a multi-sig wallet based on Ethereum blockchain; this design allows the addition of other team members and the setting of fundamental guidelines.

Notably, Multis does not control clients’ keys, which means that the firm has no authority to block transactions or review the same. Sahaghian noted that their approach as a non-custodial crypto service provider eliminates a considerable amount of regulatory risk,

“From a regulatory point of view, it’s been very useful because we don’t hold assets and we can’t review and block transactions.”

The Multis business bank accounts also support stablecoins such as DAI and USDC; this means that clients can eliminate crypto volatility by holding their assets in the form of ERC-20 stablecoins. In addition to this, Multis provides an avenue to yield DeFi returns through Compound protocol.

Currently, a good part of Multis clients fall in the blockchain and crypto space, but the firm is looking to expand this market share with the integration of EUR and USD accounts via IBANs and cards. The firm has since expressed optimism in providing centralized management for crypto transactions; TechCrunch highlighted,

“Multis could act as a bridge between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies. Companies with offices in multiple countries could use it to save money on intercompany fees.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Former Employees Call Justin Sun A “Clout-Chasing, Evil Genius,” He Says ‘The Best is Yet to Come’

“I have devoted myself to being a responsible, global citizen throughout my entire life, spending significant portions of my personal and professional life to activities promoting universal values of respect, liberty & equality,” tweeted Tron founder Justin Sun in his response to an article on The Verge that paints him in a really bad light.

The publication interviewed several former and current employees of Tron, one of whom called him “an evil genius.”

Covering Tron, whose whitepaper was “cribbed off” of Ethereum’s and follows the business strategy of “get the pump on the coin,” the article lays down how the free Tron Network’s most successful part is gambling apps in which people lost their “life savings.”

In response, Tron’s San Francisco office also received letters from the Better Business Bureau in “piles.”

And as we all know it, it’s not the technology that’s the cornerstone of Sun’s business but marketing.

“He thrived on just doing anything for attention and clout,” said a former employee about Sun bidding for Warren Buffett’s lunch that he won for $4.57 million. “Clout-chasing, as the kids call it.”

Sun’s first success was an app called Peiwo, which bordered on ‘aural pornography’ and got booted from the Apple and Android app stores and shut down by the Chinese authorities for content that “disrupts socialist values.”

Sun reportedly hit his employees too. The violence led Lucasz Juraszek, a software engineer, to file an IC3 complaint with the cybercrime division at the FBI, for which he never received a response.

“There is no merit to the false claims,” said Sun in his tweet today, adding, “the dispute is currently pending in arbitration. We believe the decision will speak for itself.”

“I take great pride in working with its global team of talented contributors and developers to build one of the greatest decentralized blockchain protocols,” said Sun.

His other product BT Live had been reportedly looking to be “a porn app so it can get around the Chinese censorship laws and Great Firewall.” And for that, Sun wanted to exploit the BitTorrent protocol, which he acquired last year because the peer-to-peer sharing platform is hard to track down and shut down.

“There’s no bottom to how low he’s willing to go to achieve his goals,” a former employee said. “He doesn’t care about anybody. He doesn’t care about anything.”

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Author: AnTy

US House Lawmakers Pass Two Key Blockchain Legislation; Bills Headed To Senate

Following a two-week debate in the U.S. Congressional House, the Consumer Technology Act, which covers the Digital Taxonomy Act and the Blockchain Innovation Act, passed on Tuesday. The Act will now head to the Senate for debate.

The Digital Taxonomy Act and the Blockchain Innovation Act were introduced to the House by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus chairperson, Rep. Darren Soto. The two were then rolled into the broader Consumer Technology Act (HR. 8128), a program that mandates the Consumer Product Safety Commission to research and develops artificial intelligence solutions to enhance consumer protection and product safety.

The Soto-backed acts will work under the same goals of consumer protection. The latter aims at using blockchain technologies to fight fraud while the former will protect consumers from cryptocurrency and digital asset scams and fraud. Both bills introduced by Soto aim at enhancing U.S.’ blockchain research and development while keeping consumers safe. Soto wrote in a statement,

“The bill [Digital Taxonomy Act] directs the Federal Trade Commission to produce a report that would detail how the FTC protects consumers from unfair and deceptive acts or practices and provide further recommendations.”

Additionally, the Digital Taxonomy Act, if passed, will authorize additional power to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to “prevent unfair or deceptive acts or practices relating to digital tokens and transactions relating to digital tokens.”

The Blockchain Innovation Act, on its part, directs the Department of Commerce (DOC) to carry out a study on how blockchain technologies can be used to enhance trade and commerce – and how to reduce fraud across the commerce industry. The report, conducted in consultation with the FTC, will be submitted to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The statement on the passing of the blockchain bills further praised the potential that blockchain offers to commerce and trade in the U.S. Soto said,

“The study mandated by the Blockchain Innovation Act is a starting point meant to give government agencies a chance to make recommendations before any bills pass with a regulatory effect.”

“These recommendations will perform an educational function to Members of Congress and will pave the way for more actionable blockchain-focused legislation.”

The Consumer Technology Act was introduced to the house by Congressman Jerry McEnery (D-CA), referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Also Read: ‌Financial Firms & Law Enforcement Find Crypto More Risky Than Opportunistic

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Author: Lujan Odera

YFI Plunge Might be Over After Record Number of Addresses Unload All their Tokens

In the past three days, the DeFi darling YFI has lost more than 36% of its value, going from $34,400 to $21,950 today.

At the time of writing, the 28th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $719 million, has been trading over $23,900, slightly in the red.

The governance token of Yearn.Finance has been plunging recently, which in part, is because of over 55% uptrend it experienced before that. Just this month, the token also hit a new all-time high of $43,678, and after such a peak, a correction is to be expected.

Moreover, the DeFi ecosystem at large hasn’t recovered from the losses yet, following the rally it has been recording from the past few months.

So, YFI is not alone in these losses; as a matter of fact, many like bzrx, SWRV, CRV, UMA, and MLN are down 60% to 85% in the past 30 days.

However, for YFI, there is an additional driver behind the downtrend.

As we reported, Eminence.finance was launched and exploited to drain $15 million, all within a few hours of the project getting in the limelight.

The unannounced and unaudited project was Yearn.Finance founder Andre Cronje’s creation.

Trader and economist Alex Kruger, who has been a YFI bull, revealed that he no longer holds any YFI as he took the profit. “My assessment made on the fly indicated YFI could crash. When shit hits the fan, it usually pays to react fast and hit it,” he said.

He further said trust in founder matters and “Cronje simply made the YFI trade more difficult.”

Kruger wasn’t alone in that given that on Sept. 29, with a 16% drop in price, the number of addresses that transferred out all their tokens and have zero balance reached its highest number ever at 1.72k addresses, as per IntoTheBlock.

In the EMN debacle, not only YFI’s communications lead was involved in promoting the project, but Cronje himself also retweeted Eminence.Finance’s ambiguous tweets.

“EMN is a Yearn product, contract deployed by Yearn #2 Blue muppet, a Yearn team member, shills EMN #3 Cronje talks surprise launches #4 Cronje promotes eminencefi while people buying EMN #5 EMN exploited, everyone gets rug pulled.”

To Cronje’s credit, the crypto community voted to be surprised by the project launch!

In the end, Degen investors might have learned a few things here, especially not to go all rushing-in in barely researched or audited projects.

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Author: AnTy

Financial Firms & Law Enforcement Find Cryptocurrencies More Risky Than Opportunistic: Survey

Financial firms, government, and the private sector all see cryptocurrencies as risky, found a survey by the Royal United Services Institute think-tank and the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists on Tuesday.

About 60% of respondents said cryptocurrencies were a risk rather than an opportunity with illicit usage the main concern.

The survey that maps out mainstream global views towards cryptos suggests an uphill struggle for the industry to achieve wider acceptance. Countries across the world are still grappling with how to regulate cryptocurrencies with the EU planning to introduce new rules by 2024.

The survey was based on over 550 responses from law enforcement, financial watchdogs, financial institutions, and legal and insurance firms along with the cryptocurrency industry.

Nearly 90% of respondents from financial firms said they were worried about digital currencies being used to launder money, while more than 80% are concerned about their usage to circumvent the financial system.

“All respondents accept that cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to criminals,” the survey’s authors said.

While the mainstream views about crypto are still marred by the potential criminal usage of crypto, according to blockchain analysis from Chainalysis, it is as low as 1% of all transactions. Not to forget the fact that major banks, including JP Morgan just recently, in one of its many over the years, have been involved in the illicit usage of trillion dollars and precious metal manipulation.

Only a fifth of respondents said they viewed cryptocurrencies as an opportunity, with one of the potential benefits cited was the extended access to financial services, the research found.

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Author: AnTy

Kadena to Launch DEX to Rival Uniswap; Touts Higher Speeds and Multiple Protocol Support

Kadena announced on Tuesday that it would roll out a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) dubbed ‘Kadenaswap’ towards the end of 2020 in a bid to rival Ethereum, which is currently struggling with high gas fees and congestion. This JP Morgan blockchain initiative noted that its pipeline multi-chain DEX will provide DeFi traders with an option capable of handling high volumes as part of its contribution to the burgeoning space.

For starters, Kadenaswap is set to facilitate around 480,000 transactions per second compared to a mere 13 Tps on Ethereum. This has been a significant issue for Ethereum recently, as markets rallied in favor of DeFi ecosystems. Gas fees hit all-time highs, with traders paying as much as $15 per transaction at the beginning of September.

Kadenaswap has since been touted as the game-changer by its stakeholders, including Kadena president, Stuart Popejoy. Speaking to Coindesk, he confirmed that the DEX would have no issues in handling 480,000 Tps based on the fundamentals of Kadena blockchain, a platform that debuted at the beginning of the year.

Furthermore, Kadenaswap, unlike Uniswap, will support various protocols to build within its DEX ecosystem. Kadena’s native bridge infrastructure, coupled with the pact smart contract language, will allow its prospectus clients to integrate a couple of protocols not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cosmos, and Polkadot. Popejoy commented that,

“We already have production code with fully decentralized bridges, and so that creates an interesting opportunity to think of a multi-protocol, multi-venue DEX.”

Like most decentralized projects, Kadena is also considering launching its governance token ‘KDAX,’ used as the fuel to its DEX. This means that KDAX holders will get to vote on proposals intended to improve or keep Kadenaswap sustainable in the DeFi space.

While Kadenaswap stakeholders may be bullish, the DEX will face a tall order in trying to disrupt Uniswap, which currently enjoys $2.3 billion in liquidity and $271 million volume within the past 24 hours. Ethereum 2.0 will launch in the near future, according to the latest updates from the team. If successful, DeFi activity is more likely to continue thriving in this ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Crypto Exchange Raises $52 Million in Series A Round to Offer Access to Stock Markets

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda has raised $52 million in its first major funding round, Series A led by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Other backers included Austrian Speedinvest and other unmanned investors.

As part of the investment, Valar Ventures’ founding partner Andrew McCormack will also join the board of the centralized exchange.

Founded in 2014, the Vienna-based company boasts of 1.3 million users and 300 employees. It is focused on trading digital assets along with tokenizing precious metals. This year, the exchange expanded to France, Spain, and Turkey and further plans to enter other European markets as well.

The new funding round will be used for this expansion to offer users access to stock markets next year and recruit 70 new employees.

With this move, the digital investment platform is expanding into real-world assets joining the likes of eToro, Robinhood, and Revolut, which came from the traditional assets’ world and now entering the world of crypto assets.

Interestingly, 2020 has been a good year for trading assets, with retail investors pouring money into apps like Robinhood thanks to the government stimulus program to counter pandemic.

“The Robinhood movement in the U.S. helps a lot, but we want to be more customer-friendly,” said Eric Demuth, co-founder, and co-chief executive officer of Bitpanda.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Launches Staking Program For Cosmos, ATOM Holders Can Earn 5%

In a blog post released on Wednesday, Coinbase introduced staking on ATOM, promising up to 5% return per annum on the value staked. The Cosmos Staking Reward will be available to select customers across 48 states in the U.S and across Europe, including the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and France.

This is an automatic process generated by Coinbase. Users only need to deposit ATOM or buy the tokens directly on the exchange to start earning rewards. At launch, ATOM rewards will be distributed every seven days – Tezos (XTZ) rewards are distributed every three days.

‘Coinbase is always looking for ways to enable easy and secure participation in the crypto-economy,” the statement reads.

Cosmos is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain that allows users to “stake” their tokens to participate in the governance of the network and receive rewards in the process. The blockchain provides interoperability across blockchain and their native tokens.

A spokesperson from Coinbase to The Block states ATOM staking will charge a commission of 25% is lower than that of XTZ. The latter offers a 15% annual return being the only staking platform on the exchange before ATOM joined. Since launching in Q4 2019, Tezos holders have received more than $2 million in rewards from Coinbase.

Coinbase stated they would be adding more tokens to its staking program in the future.

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Author: Lujan Odera