Ripple CTO Bullish on Bitcoin But Has Been Selling His Stash for Years

David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple, recently shared that he is still bullish on bitcoin but is currently selling his BTC stash.

On being asked by Adam Back, co-founder and chief executive officer of the blockchain technology company, Blockstream, “aren’t you pro-BTC and converting XRP into Bitcoin?” Schwartz shared,

“Nope. I’ve been slowly selling bitcoin for the past several years.”

And the reason behind selling bitcoin is the risk. “I’m still bullish on bitcoin, it’s just the level of risk that has me selling,” he said.

This snippet is from the discussion about who is the pseudo-anonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Stop Searching for Satoshi; We are all Satoshi

A Twitter user declared Adam Back as Satoshi Nakamoto to which the cryptographer replied with a simple “not me.”

Some also see Hal Finney, a cypherpunk and early Bitcoin contributor and Nick Szabo, a cryptographer who designed BitGold, as the pseudo-anonymous creator. Both are among the top runners for being Satoshi.

“FWIW they both said it wasn’t them also. We’ll never know – many cypherpunks had no social media footprint, and anon posts. Probably a digital ghost, who burned the nym to be safe,” said Back about Finney and Szabo being Nakamoto.

“Bitcoin is better as a decentralized digital commodity without a founder. We are all Satoshi,” he added.

This is where software engineer and Director at Ripple, Nik Bougalis, came who agreed with Back about Bitcoin being better without a founder.

“Abandoning the Satoshi Nakamoto persona and leaving Bitcoin to the world was a brilliant move,” he said.

A Ripple enthusiast also feels Ripple CTO Schwartz could be Satoshi Nakamoto. Still, Bougalis dismissed this, stating Schwartz has publicly denied it and that “his code & writing style simply don’t match Satoshi’s.”

And, “unfortunately” for Schwartz, he “didn’t find out about bitcoin until 2011.”

Schwartz chimed in to say that he thinks it’s plausible that instead of just an individual, Satoshi was a small group of people.

And that’s where Schwartz shared that he doesn’t have millions of Bitcoins, but he hasn’t lost the keys to his BTC holdings either, which he has been slowly selling for the past some years now.

“Bullish on X but Selling the X? Charlie is that you?,” a user commented on this statement.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Loses Chief Legal Officer To US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Brian Brooks, the chief legal officer of Coinbase, has left the crypto exchange in order take the second senior role with the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

The announcement was made by the OCC on Monday. It says that Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, has appointed Brooks as deputy starting with April 1. Brooks used to be Fannie Mae’s general counselor, corporate secretary and executive vice president. He also worked as chief legal officer for Coinbase from September 2018. Mnuchin said the cooperation with him will improve the financial system’s security.

What Does the OCC Do?

The OCC supervises and regulates US financial institutions and national banks. It was formed back in 1863 and is an independent entity that makes sure banks meet risk requirements and capital. Joseph Otting, who runs the OCC, was nominated and sworn by President Donald Trump back in 2017. About the collaboration with Brooks, he said that it will bring to the agency extensive banking, career and legal innovation. Here are his exact words about Coinbase’s former chief legal officer:

“He is a visionary thinker with a passion for service and a deep understanding of how the financial services industry supports our nation’s prosperity. We are fortunate to attract such an experienced and talented individual to join our federal agency.”

Brooks Supported the Development of a Private Digital Currency in the US

Brooks has been very vocal when it comes to the US creating a private virtual currency. He even wrote in the Fortune Magazine, back in 2019, that the digital dollar would be better built by private corporations. Furthermore, he conceptualize a process in which the public sector sets the monetary policy and the private space builds the actual technology for it. Here’s what a spokesperson for Coinbase said about Brooks and its future role at the OCC:

“Brian is an amazing and accomplished leader who has been invaluable in shaping the Coinbase legal and compliance programs, and helping policymakers and regulators better understand the opportunities and benefits of crypto. We’re always proud of Coinbase alumni who go on to serve in government, bringing a crypto-friendly perspective with them.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

Ex OKEx COO To Launch Crypto Derivative Exchange ACDX By Mid-Year, Seeking $40M Raise

Andy Cheung who served as the chief operations officer (COO) at renowned crypto exchange firm OKEx, is aiming at raising $40 million to roll on his own crypto derivatives exchange, CoinDesk reports.

The outlet reports that Cheung is planning to raise the funds through selling tokens as well as equity investment mostly in the crypto funds. The proprietor is also targeting family offices in Asia and Europe and private equity companies to raise the required amount.

Cheung left his top position at one of the largest crypto exchange platforms in the world in December. He started his own consultancy firm dealing with matters blockchain in Hong Kong.

After careful study of the crypto market, Cheung noticed that demand for crypto-base derivatives is increasing rapidly and has now decided to start his own platform. He said that the new platform will be started before the end of the current quarter.

Cheung’s platform will target both retail and institutional clients. He stated that he wants to come up with a platform which allows retail clients to access its services. This will help in opening up the derivatives market which is largely a preserve of the institutional investors. The new crypto derivatives exchange is also set to serve high-end institutions as well as allow wealth managers to better manage their investments. He stated:

“One of our main goals for the exchange is to provide retail investors with … structured products that are more commonly used by accredited crypto investors and wealth managers,”

The exchange platform plans to roll out different investment instruments that comprise of futures, fixed coupon notes, options, warrant contracts as well as callable bear/bull contracts.

The new crypto derivatives platform aims at serving the Asian markets as the demand for services is rising at a higher rate.

Cheung also stated that the new platform has already acquired a backing of more than $4 million mostly from the co-founders. Currently, the startup is in talks with various potential investors and more investment is expected soon. At the moment the firm has about 25 employees who are busy developing the products.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

We Left Facebook Led Libra Association Due Lack Of Transparency: MasterCard CEO

MasterCard’s Chief Executive Officer has said the payment processor abandoned the Libra project, which was led by Facebook after realizing that there were some issues regarding its business model as well as some revolving regulatory compliance.

Ajay Banga, the president and CEO of MasterCard since 2009 recently sat down with the Financial Times and had a candid conversation pertaining to the Libra project. According to Ajay, his attitude towards this project began to weaken when some of the members in this project advanced proposals that would have seen it get linked to Calibra, a proprietary digital wallet.

His problem with this proposal stemmed from the fact that when the idea to develop Libra was first muted, the currency was supposed to be all-inclusive. It was to be accessible to all people across the globe. Banga told the Times that:

“It went from this altruistic idea into their own wallet. I’m like: ‘this doesn’t sound right.’”

Global Financial Inclusion

Banga noted that financial inclusion would imply that governments and other authorities would be in a position to pay its people using a given currency. Once paid, the recipients would be in a position to understand how that currency is used, and would thus be able to use it in their day-to-day lives, e.g., paying for their daily food supplies. He went on to note that:

“If you get paid in Libra [coin]…. which go into Calibras, which go back into pounds to buy rice, I don’t understand how that works”

According to the CEO, the lack of a viable business model also raised some concerns for MasterCard. Based on the proposals being put forward, the proponents of the project had not identified a way in which the Libra Association would start making money after launch, which would then make it profitable.

He noted that when an investor is unable to understand how money is being made, it may end up being made in ways that he or she will not be proud of. Other issues that concerned him was the lack of commitment by the project members to abide by data management, AML, and KYC rules.

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Author: Daniel W

Former ConsenSys Strategy Chief Planning to Launch Aligned Capital Venture Fund

Sam Cassatt, the chief strategy officer at ConsenSys has indicated that he plans to step down from his post to concentrate on launching his venture fund. The venture fund referred to as Aligned Capital has already received backing from Joe Lubin, the ConsenSys founder. According to a statement from ConsenSys, the chief strategy officer will remain part of the company and will hold an advisory capacity.

TransTech Conference

On Friday, Cassatt was speaking at the TransTech conference held in San Francisco where he pointed out that his venture fund was interested in raising at least $50 million in its first round of funding.

According to a statement released by Cassatt, the venture fund is expected to primarily focus on new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and healthcare. He added that the venture fund was “designed to anticipate civilization-scale, evolutionary changes in human behavior.”

Andrew Keys, managing partner at DARMA Capital, and another former executive at ConsenSys is also backing Aligned. It was, however, not disclosed the amount of money or capital that Keys and Lubin would be injected into the new venture fund.

While Aligned is a completely separate entity from ConsenSys, during a phone interview, Cassatt pointed out that he would continue to apply the same principles as those of his former employer.

He added that Aligned was still in its formative stages, but that it was looking into how it would tackle issues affecting society today such as mental health and the use of artificial intelligence in today’s digital age.

Nichol Bradford is expected to join Aligned Capital as an advisor. Nichol is currently an executive working with Transformative Tech Lab, which was responsible for organizing the event held in San Francisco on Friday. Nicholas Paul Brysiewicz has also been named as an advisor, with Seth Goldstein coming in as a venture partner.

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Author: Daniel W

Private Corporations Should Develop a USD-Cryptocurrency, Not the Govt: Coinbase Legal Officer

The chief legal officer for Coinbase is urging the private sector players to join forces and come up with a tokenized version of the US dollar.

According to Brian Brooks, the time has come for the development of a digital US dollar but the major issue should be the one to lead the initiative, the private sector or the government.

Brooks in an article published in Fortune, opined that private firms should come together to develop a virtual US dollar. He explained that the government should only come in with favorable regulations rather than be the one to lead the initiative. Brooks explained that the best way to go about it is to allow the private actors within the crypto and financial industry to develop the digital currency while government agencies offer regulation guidelines.

Brooks suggests an unofficial public-private agreement where the private sector will allow the government to control the fiscal aspects while the government allows the private sector to control the technological aspects of the digital currency.

Brooks’ suggestions are different from the Libra project. The Facebook’s led stablecoin project has elicited concerns from policy makers around the world with various Congress and Senate members saying that the stablecoin will hard to control or regulate. The idea of pegging the Libra crypto with various worldwide currencies will inevitably dispose the US dollar as the global reserve currency. Several central banks heads like Lael Brainard of US have stated that Libra has the capacity to destabilize the global financial market.

Brooks explained that just like stablecoins pegged on the US dollar do not compete with the dollar, so will a digital dollar. He stated that the Federal Reserve will still maintain the control of the digital dollar.

Brooks explained that more stablecoins will continue to be minted if the government does not come up a guideline to guide the private sector to develop a digital dollar. For now, Brooks calls on the government to ensure that the stablecoins have the requisite dollar reserves they claim to have.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Algorand’s Former Algo Capital CTO Takes Blame For Recent Hot Wallet Hack

Pablo Yabo, the last Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the investment company Algo Capital has recently affirmed publicly that he takes responsibility for the major security breach that happened to a hot wallet controlled by him.

His cellphone was compromised by cybercriminals and around $2 million Tether (USDT) was stolen from it, as well as Algorand (ALGO) tokens.

Yabo affirmed that the incident made him think about his part in the theft and also about crypto adoption. According to him, the global adoption of cryptos will depend on companies finding versatile ways to use cryptos and to store them safely.

He also noted that the hackers were pretty swift in taking the funds and that they were able to take the money quickly, transferring the money to several accounts, so it would be harder to track it. He took full responsibility for what happened and affirmed that he would cover most of the funds with his own money. The rest will be paid the general partners of the firm.

Soon after the hack, Yabo decided to step down as the CTO. He affirmed that he will work on Rand Labs, for now, a company that develops for Algorand.

Despite all the trouble, the losses of the company were not so big compared to how much money it has. Algo Capital recently raised $200 million USD to create the infrastructure of its blockchain.

The hack obviously impacted the price of the ALGO tokens. The cryptocurrency’s price went down by 14% this week. At the moment, ALGO is the 18th largest crypto by market cap, despite all its losses.

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Author: Silvia A

Futures Can Assist In Predicting Bitcoin Prices, Claims Bakkt COO

Bakkt chief operations officer, Adam White says that the futures market can assist in predicting the price of Bitcoin, reports Cointelegraph.

In an interview with CNN, White revealed that the freshly introduced Bakkt futures contracts will assist in valuing Bitcoin. According to White, the daily and monthly futures contracts will help in price discovery.

The new Bakkt futures started trading last weekend where 71 contracts were traded during its debut day. White explained his point:

“We think this is an important part of the futures contract — to help businesses discover what the fair market value of Bitcoin is going to be through events like this.”

White stated that futures are also likely to predict alterations in the market due to block rewarding halving by next May.

The halving of block reward can be described as the drop that occurs after every four years in the reward given to miners after validation of a Bitcoin block transactions. At the moment, the reward stands at 12.5 Bitcoin and is expected to go down to 6.25 Bitcoin by May next year.

It is expected that following the halving, Bitcoin’s value will dramatically rise. According to Cointelegraph, after the halving in 2016, Bitcoin’s price rose dramatically leading the famous price tag of about $20,000.

What do you think of White’s predictions? Will Bitcoin futures contract help to forecast the price of Bitcoin? Keep the conversation live in our social media platform.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

BitMEX COO Kwan Steps Down; Crypto Exchange Says She Is On “Gardening Leave”

According to the Block, Angelina Kwan, the chief operating officer at crypto exchange platform BitMEX, has left the company after relinquishing her seat.

According to the exchange’s spokesperson, Kwan is set to leave the company and at the moment is currently on leave. The spokesperson explained:

“We can confirm that Angelina Kwan is leaving the company and is on gardening leave now. That’s all we can say on the matter at the moment, but we wish Angelina all the best.”

Kwan joined BitMEX management late last year in October and has previously worked as director in Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission in charge of enforcement as well as market supervision.

Prior to her position as BitMEX’s COO, she was working as the managing director as well as regulatory compliance chief in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. During her tenure there, Kwan had stated that lack of clear and concise regulations in the crypto industry was a major setback among investors who wanted to venture into crypto exchanges.

By press time, BitMEX was ranked as the biggest crypto exchange as per the reported 24-hour trading volume, which at the moment stands at around $3.4 billion as per the CoinMarketCap.

Speculations are rife on the reason why Kwan left the exchange with Cointelegraph suggesting that the decision by the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority to uphold its verdict that BitMEX was advertising Bitcoin in its site could have fueled her departure. The advert in question presented a graph comparing Bitcoin’s value with the US dollar in the last ten years.

According to the Block, BitMEX has recently been embroiled in troubles with the US regulators. Reportedly, CFTC is investigating the platform on whether it went against the set rules and guidelines by permitting US citizens to use its platform for trading.

The industry has witnessed various high profile departures including crypto advocate and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne who resigned last month. However, tZERO, a subsidiary of Overstock assured investors that Byrne’s departure will not affect its operations.

For now it is not yet known who will replace Kwan as the next BitMEX COO.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Binance is Officially in Talks With Facebook Over its Libra Platform

Binance-is-Officially-in-Talks-With-Facebook-Over-its-Libra-Platform

According to statements coming from the Chief Strategy Officer of Binance, the exchange has officially made and been in contact with the social media giant – Facebook.

Having spoken during the Fintech Junction Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel on Thursday this week, Binance’s CSO, Gin Chao had made it clear that the exchange is currently in the early stages of discussions with the social media company regarding its ongoing development of the platform and cryptocurrency – Libra.

Chao went on to clarify that these talks were, in faction official. “We have had an official dialogue with Facebook,” Chao continued on to explain.

“With regarding listings specifically, right now they are going to be on a so-called ‘private chain.’

So that means they won’t be looking for external liquidity.

“However, from what we understand the potential to be, that would lead them to want a secondary market. Currencies benefit from a secondary market, so it would be in their best interest to want to be listed.”

They’re not the Only Ones

While these discussions between the two companies are officially taking place,  Chao did go on to note that these same discussions were “very much at a preliminary stage.” The Strategy Officer further added that these conversations with Facebook were not hinged entirely on the cryptocurrency, with some discussions being

“largely focused on dealing with infrastructure.”

While the Binance team have been in direct contact with Facebook over a matter of discussion topics, Chao is very much under the impression that it’s only a matter of time before other crypto exchanges seek to engage in similar talks with Facebook over Libra.

“It wouldn’t just be in [Facebook’s] interest to list their coin on our exchange,” Gin Chao continued on to comment.

“It would also be in their interest to list on other exchanges as well and that’s probably going to happen.

“So once they go on a public chain, and they get the sort of adoption that they could get, we would probably want to list them.”

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Author: James Fox