Coinbase Releases Mission Protocol to Help Other Companies Adopt Similar Approach

A San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange saw several of its employees taking the severance packages and leaving the company after Coinbase clamped down on talking politics and activism at work.

It wants to help other companies set a similar apolitical mission, and for this, it has released a Mission Protocol Code of Conduct.

According to Coinbase, mission focus means being political about only the mission and putting aside those out of the project’s scope.

“Projects and organizations are full of diverse opinions, individuals, and areas of engagement. However, what brings everyone together is the pursuit of a goal that is bigger than any single individual. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Coinbase has released its v1.0 version Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License and welcomes anyone to adopt its Mission Protocol by adding a copy of it to the company’s source code repository.

As per the official website, it is open to working with companies to set their mission and help ensure that a company is “on the right track to producing social good through its mission.”

Also Read: Coinbase Turned Over Info on 1,914 Users; 96.6% Were Criminal-based Law Enforcement Requests

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Author: AnTy

The Price of Bitcoin Lags Behind The Growth of Crypto ATMs, Which Surpassed 11,100 Installs

While the price of cryptocurrencies is taking its sweet time to reach their all-time highs, Bitcoin is holding strong above the important psychological support level of $10,000, currently above $11,300; the same can’t be said of the fundamentals.

The crypto industry continues to grow fast, and the latest metric to reflect this is the crypto ATMs.

For the first time, the number of crypto ATM installations has exceeded 11,100, representing a surge of almost 75% since the beginning of this year, as per Crypto ATM Radar.

In 2020, already more than 4,700 new bitcoin ATMs have been added, more than double of last year’s growth as only about 2200 new crypto ATMs were installed in 2019. The growth of these ATMs has seen almost a parabolic uptrend in 2020.

Bitcoin ATM Installations Growth
Source: CoinATMRadar

The biggest net change in crypto ATM numbers was recorded in September as 973 ATMs were installed this month, which has been growing since May. As a matter of fact, throughout 2020, more than 250 ATMs were installed every month, unlike ever before.

Genesis Coin is the dominant contributor to this growth as it manufactured 35.9% of these ATMs, followed by General Bytes, with its share just under 30%. Other manufacturers account for less than 10% of the number of cryptocurrency machines installed by manufacturer share.

As always, most of these crypto ATMs, 86.6%, are based in North America, with the US representing 78.6%. Europe is another continent with 11.3% of this share, while others account for less than 1%.

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Author: AnTy

Boston Federal Reserve Partners With MIT To Experiment On The Launch Of A Digital Dollar

  • The U.S. is taking accelerated steps in its launch of digital currency as the Federal Reserve investigates distributed technologies and how to digitize the dollar.

According to a statement by Federal Reserve Board Governor, Lael Brainard, during the San Francisco’s Innovation Office Hours, the Bank is partnering with several institutions to research the possible effects of launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Touching on various issues in the CBDC research, including the impact of COVID-19, the accelerated efforts with Libra, and also China’s digital RMB, Brainard stated the Federal Reserve is actively researching its digital dollar. She said,

“With these important issues in mind, the Federal Reserve is active in conducting research and experimentation related to distributed ledger technologies and the potential use cases for digital currencies.”

The Federal Reserve of Boston has been a close partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in its research efforts on the CBDC over the past years. The teams have been testing the opportunities and risks of implementing a range of distributed ledger technologies and a digital dollar. Brainard further states,

“This multidisciplinary team, with application developers from the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland, Dallas, and New York, supports a policy team at the Board that is studying the implications of digital currencies on the payments ecosystem, monetary policy, financial stability, banking and finance, and consumer protection.”

Brainard critically notes that any development made will be shared with the public “for anyone to use for experimentation.”

“The research project will explore the use of existing and new technologies as needed. Lessons from this collaboration will be published, and any codebase that is developed through this effort will be offered as open-source software for anyone to use for experimentation.”

The objectives of the research project include assessing the overall safety and efficiency of introducing digital currency payments. she said,

“Digital currencies, including central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), present opportunities but also risks associated with privacy, illicit activity, and financial stability.”

“This prospect has intensified calls for CBDCs to maintain the sovereign currency as the anchor of the nation’s payment systems.”

Brainard further singles out the development of Libra; the Facebook backed token, and China’s efforts to launch their digital currencies as the reason for the Fed’s research program. Her comments offer hopes of a possible launch of a digital dollar in the coming days. This view has been echoed by the former CFTC Chairman, Christopher J. Giancarlo on a digital dollar project.

In a supportive tone, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a statement on digital currencies stating classifications of these assets are vital as they could be both account-based and token-based. The statement reads,

“The main allure of distinguishing between account-based and token-based is to highlight a defining feature of certain new, emerging forms of digital currency. But if a digital currency can be both token-based and account-based, then the classification loses its power to distinguish between new and existing methods of digital payments meaningfully.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Billion Dollar Publicly-traded MicroStrategy Buys 21,454 Bitcoin as a Reserve Asset

MicroStrategy is now taking a deep dive into the world of bitcoin.

The $1.2 billion Nasdaq listed software company has officially announced its position in the largest digital asset. A fortnight after announcing to invest in bitcoin as an inflation hedge, the company has purchased 21,454 BTC at an aggregate price of $250 million, inclusive of fees and expenses.

As we reported, in its earnings call on July 28, 2020, the company shared its bitcoin investment plans as part of its two-pronged capital allocation strategy to “maximize long-term value for our shareholders,” said Michael J. Saylor, CEO, MicroStrategy Incorporated.

According to Saylor, it is their investment belief that bitcoin is a “dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset,” that has more long-term price appreciation potential than holding cash. He said,

“Since its inception over a decade ago, Bitcoin has emerged as a significant addition to the global financial system, with characteristics that are useful to both individuals and institutions.”

The company recognizes the digital asset as “a legitimate investment asset that can be superior to cash” as such giving it a principal holding in its treasury reserve program.

It has been after months of deliberation that the company decided to allocate its capital into bitcoin, revealed the company. The decision was in part driven by macro factors that are creating long-term risks for their investments.

Economic and public health crisis, unprecedented government financial stimulus measures including QE around the world, and global political and economic uncertainty are the factors listed by the company that have a “significant depreciating effect on the long-term real value of fiat currencies and many other conventional asset types.”

And bitcoin provides “not only a “reasonable hedge against inflation but also the prospect of earning a higher return than other investments,” said Saylor.

According to the company, the world’s leading digital asset is a digital gold that is stronger, smarter, harder, and faster than “any money that has preceded it.” The CEO said,

“We find the global acceptance, brand recognition, ecosystem vitality, network dominance, architectural resilience, technical utility, and community ethos of Bitcoin to be persuasive evidence of its superiority as an asset class for those seeking a long-term store of value.”

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Author: AnTy

SEC Contracts with DARPA Funded CipherTrace to Track BNB & Binance Chain

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is now taking a special interest in Binance Chain and the native token of the leading spot exchange Binance BNB among other tokens on its blockchain.

Binance Chain hosts about 189 tokens along with the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $3 billion BNB and underlies Binance DEX, a decentralized exchange.

“This is a significant step to have more BinanceChain token listings on fiat exchanges. Working for our ecosystem projects,” said Changpeng Zao, Binance CEO.

As per the public records, SEC has chosen CipherTrace Inc. for this task to which the agency intends to award a fixed-price contract on a single source basis. The contract will be awarded by SEC by today for a period of one year with four options of one year each to extend the contract. It states,

“CipherTrace Inc., is the only source that can reasonably meet the SEC’s requirement in accordance with FAR Part 13.106-1(b).”

Founded in 2015, the blockchain analytics company was initially funded by the US Department of Homeland Security and DARPA, an agency of the US Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for the military use.

CipherTrace is the only forensics and risk intelligence tool that can support Binance Coin (BNB) and all other tokens on the Binance network, reads the notice.

CipherTrace partnered with Binance in November 2019 to bring anti-money laundering (AML) tracing tools to Binance Chain.

At the time, Dave Jevans, CipherTrace CEO said, as the crypto ecosystem matures, regulators demand better transparency and compliance.

The technology will enable regulators to browse Binance blockchain and identify high-risk addresses, said Binance adding, CipherTrace will improve its blockchain’s AML controls.

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Author: AnTy

Canadian Tech Startup Sues ConsenSys For Stealing Payment Coding; Lawsuit is Fabricated

Canadian tech startup, BlockCrushr, is taking Ethereum developer, ConsenSys, to court over the stolen intellectual property of a payment solution. The plaintiff claims ConsenSys stole its source code when they participated in a ConsenSys-sponsored hackathon to create a rival payment system to theirs.

In a filing to the Eastern District of New York Court, BlockCrushr claims ConsenSys broke trust as an investor by stealing trade secrets and launching a rival version of their recurring payments platform, a day before they began.

The link between the two companies started in 2020 when BlockCrushr participated in ConsenSys’ Tachyon Accelerator Program. ConsenSys had also invested $100,000 into the company, but the founders of the company believe the mentor was simply playing them to steal their trade secrets.

BlockCrushr claims it shared a “detailed every aspect of its marketing, financial, technical, and regulatory strategy” to ConsenSys during the Accelerator program. Furthermore, the filing states they shared over 120,000 lines of source code of their recurring payments platform to gain guidance.

The complaint states that following the Accelerator program, ConsenSys would invest and guide the company forward, but no funding came. Due to cash strains and lack of funding, BlockCrushr’s founders Andrew Redden and Scott Burke, claim they had to lay off employees to streamline funding.

After securing a new round of funding, BlockCrushr moved to launch to market but were beaten to it by ConsenSy’s new recurring payments platform, “Daisy Payments,” which began on August 22nd, 2019, a day before their slated product launch.

TheBlock was able to get a comment from the ConsenSys legal counsel team who claim the story by BlockCrushr is fabricated and false but declined to comment before the court hearing.

The Canadian tech startup is now suing ConsenSys for damages caused by misappropriation of trade secrets and a breach of contract.

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Author: Lujan Odera

‘Masked Hero’ Calling to ‘Buy Bitcoin’ Amidst the Peaceful Protests and Riots in the US

  • Bitcoin is taking an active part in the riots across America.
  • People are protesting since last week over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while pleading for air as a white Minneapolis officer jammed a knee into his neck.

One protestor in the Los Angeles neighborhood talked about opting out of the current scenario by moving into bitcoin. He said,

“We live in a system that will not allow us to thrive. […] My macro solution for everyone is to opt out and exit the economy as a whole and the way we do that is by buying bitcoin.”

“Who is this masked hero?” enquired Jesse Powell, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken on Twitter.

The protests erupted only recently but it needs to be pointed out that in the first five months of 2020, things weren’t going well either. People were under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic that resulted in unemployment soaring to nearly 24% with jobless claims since mid-March at a staggering 40.8 million.

While people are struggling to fed their family and pay their rent and mortgages, US Federal Reserve printed money and stocks are flying.

This wasn’t the first incident of bitcoin being highlighted during the protests either.

Earlier this week, another protester in Dallas carried a sign saying “Bitcoin will save us,” much to the ire of the people both from inside and outside the crypto industry.

Another one has been in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the poster of the protester read “Bitcoin & Black America” referring to the book authored by Isaiah Jackson.

Crypto industry has also been sharing its solidarity to the cause with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse supporting those “who are fighting to save Black lives,” although he “can’t ever fully understand the pain of our Black community that recent and past events have caused.”

Bitcoin has been a part of protests in other parts of the world as well. Last year, the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong supported the adoption of the digital currency. Also, in countries like Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, and others, cryptocurrencies played a role.

Markets Rising amidst the Chaos

For the first time in about a month, this week the price of bitcoin also jumped above $10,000 amidst the raging protests, although we are back to $9,500.

But bitcoin isn’t the only one, while many cities are on fire in the US, the S&P 500 enjoyed its greatest 50-day rally in history while struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.

If history is any indication, these 37.7% returns would further expand in the days ahead.

The reason behind this disconnection between the stock market and the economy is the trillions of dollars injected into the market by the Federal Reserve and government. Trader and economist Alex Kruger said,

“Europe sharply reducing political tail risk, Japan fiscal package 40% of GDP, China fears overdone as Trump steps back, economies reopening, US riots The market has spoken. Hence why so much green.”

But the widespread civil rest in the US could act as a headwind for stocks. Currently, bitcoin is trading at above $9,600 and is expected to hit $20,000 this year.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple Taking Legal Action Against YouTube for Aiding & Profiting from XRP-Giveaway Scams

US-based fintech startup Ripple is taking legal action against YouTube “to prompt an industry wide-behavior change and set the expectation of accountability.” As per the company’s announcement on Tuesday, Ripple is taking a step

“to protect customers around the world from dangerous online giveaway scams and false impersonations across YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.”

Plaintiff Ripple and its CEO Brad Garlinghouse allege that both are suffering “irreparable” harm to their public image, brand, and reputation because of the Google subsidiary’s “deliberate and inexplicable failure to address a pervasive and injurious fraud occurring on its platform.”

Scams like “the XRP1 Giveaway” is a third party attack on XRP holders that are thriving because of YouTube’s “complacency and unwillingness to take seriously Ripple’s repeated demands for action.”

They further elaborated that these scams have been going on for a long time and being replicated many times and in one such instance resulting in the theft of $15,000 worth of XRP.

As per the 22-page long complaint, the scam is misappropriating the company and Garlinghouse’s image further leading to “profound uncertainty and confusion into the broader digital asset market.”

Despite repeatedly demanding that YouTube take action, the online video sharing platform has reacted inadequately but they “must do better” with the company touting its robust tools for self-regulating content.

“YouTube’s inaction undermines its public commitments,” reads the document adding that with its community Guidelines barring precisely the sort of content at issue in this case, they have ignored Ripple’s repeated demands for action.

In doing so, they aren’t only validating the scam as legitimate but profiting from them by aiding and abetting the scammers.

The company is now asking for restraining Defendant YouTube from refusing to apply its content regulation, ignoring and delaying its response to takedown notices, profiting from scams, verifying accounts perpetuating the scam, and awarding fraudulent channels verification badges.

Ripple and Garlinghouse are also seeking damages, reasonable costs including attorneys’ fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and recovery in restitution equal to any unjust enrichment enjoyed by the Defendant.

Ripple has also hired external cybersecurity and digital threat intelligence vendor to help them with reporting and takedown of these giveaway scams.

Our Team here at BitcoinExchangeGuide have tried to do our part in warning investors, traders, and onlookers to be wary of these types of scams. Here are just a few of the posts we covered on the subject:

And you can bet there are many more that are being reported every day and plenty that are still duping investors that don’t take proper precautions.

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Author: AnTy

VanEck CEO: “No Bitcoin ETF Approval In The Foreseeable Future” By The SEC

Jan Van Eck, of Van Eck Associates, and CEO, gave his opinion on the probability of a regulated crypto investment asset taking root in the United States. The long awaited Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval of a Bitcoin ETF looks unpromising in the near future, and not anytime soon either.

As one of the most sought after investment products, a Bitcoin ETF is expected to influence a spike in the price and adoption of Bitcoin as most experts believe. However, the reverse is not true as the SEC’s constant rejection and withdrawals of applications in 2019, did little in effect to prices, as BTC grew over 95% through the year. The SEC has taken too long in that some sections of the crypto market believe Bitcoin ETFs approvals will never come to life.

This is the case even in the opening weeks of 2020, as Bitwise pulled back its BTC ETF proposal on Jan. 14th leaving optimists in massive doubt. One of the most awaited for Bitcoin ETF, VanEck/ SolidX ETF, faces the same challenges from the SEC having halted its proposal progress three times over the course of 2019, with Gabor Gurbacs – VanEck Director of digital asset strategies, comforting their customers by saying they were still focused on making a Bitcoin ETF a “top priority”.

At the start of 2019, VanEck released a statement announcing the withdrawal of their Bitcoin ETF proposal from the SEC. After re-applying in February, the SEC delayed its decision in March by 45 days, before the company announced yet another withdrawal. In September all hopes for a 2019 Bitcoin ETF were dashed as VanEck announced yet another withdrawal of their proposal in fear of rejection.

No Bitcoin ETF in the foreseeable future

In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO of Van Eck, Jan Van Eck, further spoke on how Bitcoin ETFs are not set to be approved any time soon. He believes the current regulation uncertainty around the area is not set to end anytime soon despite the increase exposure that Americans have to crypto in unregulated markets. He said,

“I don’t see a Bitcoin ETF anytime soon. So yes, the vehicles that allow […] accredited investors to access it, that’s fine. But, still you have tens and millions of retail Americans invested in Bitcoin with no regulatory protection.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

SEC Clayton: Agency Has Taken A ‘Measured But Proactive’ Approach To Crypto Regulation

The chairman of US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has explained that the US regulators are taking measured approach when it comes to crypto regulation that is helpful to both individual and institutional investors, Cointelegraph reports.

The SEC chair, Jay Clayton, made the remarks when he updated the US Senate committee on Banking on the regulator’s policy when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Clayton said,

“As I have previously stated, I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street investors,”

“Overall, I believe we have taken a measured, yet proactive regulatory approach that both fosters innovation and capital formation while protecting our investors and our markets.”

Although Clayton claims that the SEC has undertaken a balanced view on cryptos, the regulator has come under scrutiny for some of the policies it has crafted in the recent past. The regulator has explained that various firms that had their initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the last two years are still under investigation. A good example of such a case involved Canadian firm Kik which almost led to the firm shutting down its operations in October.

Clayton was also asked about Facebook’s led Libra project which he explained that since the crypto was here it should be dealt with decisively. Clayton also indirectly stated that the regulator took action to block the sale of Telegram token which he said was unregistered in the US.

Early this month, Clayton was one of the regulators in the US who wrote a joint report advising the Federal Reserve on the possible challenges that might come with mass adoption of stablecoins and why the Fed should develop its own digital currency.

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Author: Joseph Kibe