News: Buttcoin 2017, ICOs, Parity bailout, NiceHash post-mortem, cashing in bitcoins, Wikipedia, Lightning Network

  • The SEC takes out Munchee, a pretty generic dodgy ICO. Here’s the PDF of the ORDER INSTITUTING CEASE-AND-DESIST PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION 8A OF THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933, MAKING FINDINGS, AND IMPOSING A CEASE-AND-DESIST ORDER. The interesting bit is that as well as the white paper, they repeatedly refer to statements made in podcasts, in forums, on YouTube and in ads. Also, it turns out that magic words don’t deflect the SEC. They didn’t actually fine them, but they did make them return all the money — which is startlingly gentle, given what a comprehensive and detailed bludgeoning that order is. I’m seeing a template to be applied against other ICOs. Read it, it’s great.

  • The SEC may have noticed that the hottest, best-performing ICOs are the ones that didn’t bother with all that tedious “having a product” bit.


  • Magoo’s Blockchain Graveyard adds a post-mortem of the NiceHash hack. Someone stole an engineer’s credentials, got in through their VPN to access the production system and got to the customer wallets.
  • The epic saga of a man trying to turn his magical Internet money into actual money.



  • I tweeted a thread about the Lightning Network as I understood it. Emin Gün Sirer retweeted it, and RIP my mentions. (There were strangers in my notifications telling me to sell my Ethereum — my what — and buy Bitcoin Cash. Is this normal?) I vaguely want to write up the LN, but too many of the advocates act like paranoid loons at an even slightly tricky question — in particular, repeatedly ignoring Jorge Stolfi’s many detailed questions over years gives the impression you just don’t have answers. So I’m not promising an article any time soon. (Perhaps it’s a press management strategy.) But thanks to all those who answered helpfully, including LN developers. Apparently they’ll be putting out something people can actually use on the main network in the foreseeable future. They expect it to grow slowly.
  • I have a hot take in CoinDesk’s 2017 roundup: “2017: The ‘Butt’ of Bitcoin’s Joke.” It’s not written like I usually write — Pete Rizzo asked for a piece, I sent back something written like I write, he rewrote it in house style, I approved his version with tweaks. But it’s fine (and links the book and the news blog) — he knows his readers better than I do. And the comments section is comedy pyrites. I’ll post my original text tomorrow for your amusement. Update: here you go.
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