CAOF to be Lead Plaintiff in Block.one ICO Lawsuit After Others File Inaccurate Data

A United States Court Judge Kaplan has now ruled that the class action suit brought against EOS developer Block.one ought to be represented by a lead plaintiff. This was after five of the investors of Block.one ICO displayed a lack of goodwill and commitment to make them the lead plaintiff of the case.

“Raises further concerns that the application is being driven by the lawyers, rather than the plaintiffs.”

The lead plaintiff often brings forth the interests of other plaintiffs in court in the case of a class-action suit. Hence, they get to pick the attorneys to handle the suit as well as picking up the legal tab. In this case, Judge Kaplan was keen to highlight that the case drags on for years which is potentially lucrative for the lead plaintiff’s attorneys.

CAOF declared the biggest Block.one loser

Law firm of Grant & Eisenhofer P.A has been chosen as the lead counsel in the case. This was decided upon by the Crypto Assets Opportunity Fund (CAOF) and rubber-stamped by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. This was after an August 4th hearing was able to confirm the losses suffered by CAOF and determined that they were the biggest losers.

The Williams Group that had filed a similar suit however had their motion shot down after the Judge deemed the evidence submitted inaccurate and unsubstantiated. Their trading data didn’t quantify how much they really had lost from the ICO. Data submitted indicated that they had lost more tokens than they acquired in the Initial Coin offering.

In a similar scenario, plaintiff Token Fund I, was incorporated only 2 days prior to filing the motion to lead the class action. They failed to produce intricate details of their previous trading activities, especially with Block.one.

The motion clarifies that considerations such as previous collaborations amongst group members and how they intend to move forward with the class action have to be made when a group makes an application for lead plaintiff.

Notably, Block.one launched an ICO last year raising north of $4 Billion. They were later on involved in a legal tussle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that saw them remitting $24 million in fines. They have been implicated in several class-action suits for allegedly issuing unregistered securities.

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Author: Lujan Odera

U.S Treasury Secretary Says the Country Will Not Shut Down Despite Second Wave COVID-19 Fears

U.S Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has ruled out the possibility of a second lockdown despite a spike in new COVID-19 cases within the United States. This comes as Wall Street and Asian markets dipped towards the end of last week in fears of possible second wave.

Mnuchin was speaking to CNBC reporter, Jim Cramer, on June 11 as he made these remarks. He went on to defend the position of keeping the economy open noting that a contrary move would cause more damage,

“We can’t shut down the economy again. I think we’ve learned that if you shut down the economy, you’re going to create more damage.”

Furthermore, many vital areas such as medical have been put on hold and ought to bounce back according to Mnuchin. The Treasury Secretary noted that they foresee a bounce back in the remaining two quarters of 2020.

The Optimistic Outlook

While the U.S remains as the highest country with active COVID-19 cases, Mnuchin signaled an optimistic future for the leading economy. He emphasized that President’s Trump approach was prudent coupled with the $3 trillion stimulus approval from the House of Reps and Senate. Notably, only about $ 1.6 trillion of the injected funds are the in U.S economy. Mnuchin has since highlighted that another $1 trillion will be pumped into the economy within the next month.

Following this progress, the U.S Treasury Secretary, said that his number one job is getting everybody to work; an initiative that is already underway in collaboration with the Trump administration. Mnuchin said,

“We have the Fed program, we have Main Street [lending program], which is going to be now up and running, and we’re prepared to go back to Congress for more money to support the American worker.”

Recently, another $3 trillion stimulus package was passed by the House Democrats sparking debate but is yet to be voted in the Republican-dominated Senate. The latter, however, prefer a more conservative approach towards increasing federal deficit to ease the COVID-19 economic effects.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Court Classifies Crypto As ‘Property’ After Cryptopia Exchange Hack; Funds Returning to Users

The High Court of New Zealand ruled on April 8, 2020, that the cryptocurrencies are beneficially owned by the account holders and aren’t the assets of the company, on the basis that cryptos are “property” under Companies Act and cryptos were held on multiple trusts.

Formed in 2014, the New Zealand-based exchange Cryptopia, suffered a hack last year and lost $30 million worth of crypto assets. Then in May 2019, it was placed into liquidation. The exchange enabled its clients to trade about 900 crypto assets, more than any other exchange at the time.

As per liquidators, the exchange currently holds cryptocurrency worth about NZD 170 million, over 100 million USD. The liquidators at Grant Thornton have spent as much as $1.8 million to secure the digital currencies on the exchange.

As such, it’s to be seen how much will be distributed to the account holders as the fees for the liquidators and counsel for account holders and creditors are to be met from the pool of realized bitcoin holdings. Liquidators have been seeking to know what are the assets in the liquidation and the distribution of the company’s assets.

Now, as per the Judge David Gendall, Cryptopia held the crypto assets via trusts for each cryptocurrency and they are beneficially owned by the account holder and not the company. The Judge acknowledging the unique circumstances of the case said,

“Counsel advises that to the best of their knowledge this is the first occasion on which issues of this type concerning cryptocurrency have been before the courts in New Zealand.”

As per the ruling, all of the digital assets have been constituted as “property” under s2 of the Companies Act. As for how the recovered stolen digital assets will be dealt with by the liquidators, they will be dispersed on the basis of “pro rata within each specific trust for the digital asset concerned according to the amounts recovered assessed against the amounts stolen.”

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Author: AnTy

5,500 BTC ($56 Million) Seized by Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau from Drug Dealer

The Irish High Court ruled that a drug dealer should have his 52 million Euro (more than $56 million) in Bitcoin (BTC) confiscated as being criminal proceeds.

On February 19, the Irish news outlet Independent.ie reported that Clifton Collins was accepted by the court as having been involved in drug dealing. The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) decided to seize his assets and Collins did not contest this decision.

Investigated After Being Stopped in Traffic

The investigation into Collins started by authorities after he was stopped in traffic for a routine check and cannabis was found on him. Police then conducted searches at an address in the Galway Village after the traffic stop, where they found numerous cannabis plants that were allegedly supposed to be Clifton Collins.

The Dealer Was Investing in BTC for Some Time

It’s believed that Collins started investing in BTC early, so he received great returns for his money. His cryptocurrency has been seized by the CAB so that it can’t be moved only with approval from the court. The investment was considered as criminal proceeds, being implied that the money for the initial investment were obtained from selling drugs. The CAB’s highest rate collected amounts 62 million Euro (about $67 million) in total.

Why Do Drug Dealers Hold Cryptocurrencies?

Drug dealers hold cryptocurrencies mostly because crypto addresses are not linked to any identity. Authorities from all over the world are more and more discovering with their investigations that drug dealers use cryptocurrencies. Let’s not forget the Christopher Bania case from October 2018, when Bania was ordered to give up nearly 17 BTC ($150,000 back then) by a Wisconsin court. In August 2019, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Cybercrime Program’s head Neil Wals said that cryptocurrencies make things harder when it comes to anti-money laundering investigations and policies.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Creator Of ‘Big Brother’ And ‘The Voice’ Wins Legal Battle Against Facebook For Bitcoin Scams

A Dutch court has recently ruled that all fraudulent ads involving Bitcoin must be removed from Facebook. The case started when the Dutch millionaire John de Mol sued the social media company. He started the process some months ago after Facebook failed to remove fake ads that used his and other celebrities’ images.

According to the court, Facebook needs to pull all the right now and also to give regulators information about the individuals who masterminded the scams. If the social media giant is not able to do it, it may receive a fine, which can be as expensive as $1.2 million USD.

Facebook argued that it was “just a neutral funnel for information”, but the court didn’t buy it and determined that it was unacceptable for them not to act. During the legal process, Facebook affirmed that it removed all the malicious ads and that it would pursue legal action against the scammers, too.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time that de Mol had to complain about Facebook’s practices. The social media giant let other scammers capitalize on his image before. The problem dates back to October 2018, when John de Mol’s lawyer contacted the court for the first time.

Other prominent figures such as Martin Lewis, a British TV presenter, also sued Facebook last year. He accused the social media company of defamation with fake crypto ads. Before early 2018, all crypto ads were banned from the platform, but the company’s policies were changed a few months before the Libra stablecoin was announced.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Australian Central Bank Doesn’t Expect Bitcoin To Hit Mass Adoption Due to Payment Fees

Australian-Central-Bank-Doesnt-Expect-Bitcoin-To-Hit-Mass-Adoption

The Reserve Bank of Australia has ruled that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies don’t threaten Aussie dollars or other forms of fiat payment. After a review on cryptos, they think it’s “difficult to envisage” an outbreak of Bitcoin users in the country.

They think that if they have the fundamentals of the Australian dollar in place, they have nothing to worry about, as stated:

“As long as the Australian dollar continues to provide a reliable, low-inflation store of value, and the payments industry continues to work on the efficiency, functionality, and resilience of the Australian payments system, it is difficult to envisage cryptocurrencies presenting a compelling proposition that would lead to their widespread use in Australia.”

The article details out that there have been a lot of interesting innovations in terms of cryptocurrencies in recent times but ultimately concludes that, despite the various innovations and developments in cryptocurrencies, none are currently functioning as money in the economy.

They Join Blockchain Not Bitcoin Group

The recent evolution of cryptos to overcome the shortcomings has been acknowledged by them. However, they think that no cryptocurrencies currently function as money in Australia, or as widely used payment methods. They think that these developments and improvements in the crypto ecosystem have not added sufficiently to the overall reliability, functionality, and credibility of cryptocurrencies to make them an attractive alternative to established payment systems for everyday payments for the population at large.

They say:

“DLT is likely to continue to evolve, including in ways that are unrelated to cryptocurrency. For example, there are several private-sector initiatives focused on ‘private permissioned’ DLT systems, for example, Corda and Quorum, which – while not suitable for a widely used cryptocurrency – are being explored for use in financial market infrastructure and wholesale payments. Accordingly, the Reserve Bank will continue to study the implications of cryptocurrencies and DLT for the financial system, and the economy more broadly.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia and the government still consider crypto as high-risk assets and continue to inform the public of the risks affiliated with them in addition to driving for proactive taxation and data collection policy.

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[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha