News: Venezuelan Petro, BitFunder arrest, Ethereum security holes, Long Blockchain, bad blockchain legislation, DAICOs

  • No, nobody can make sense of Venezuela’s Petro, because it doesn’t make sense as a cryptocurrency. Functionally, it’s best thought of as a sovereign country doing a bond issue, backed by as-yet-untapped oil, with the bonds being crypto tokens. Yes, the sale website didn’t actually work at launch. Yes, it’s only a cryptocurrency for marketing and, ahahaha, liquidity reasons — a way to evade sanctions, and get $735m so far in hard currencies. Yes, the US has threatened to sanction anyone trading these things.



  • Bitsonline has posted a story about a National University of Singapore paper on Ethereum Virtual Machine vulnerabilities. They haven’t linked the paper or named the researchers, and I can’t find it in a quick Google. Does anyone know anything about this? Edit: Finding The Greedy, Prodigal, and Suicidal Contracts at Scale by Ivica Nikolic, Aashish Kolluri, Ilya Sergey, Prateek Saxenaa and Aquinas Hobor.
  • You probably don’t remember BitFunder. It was a Bitcoin-based stock exchange that collapsed in 2013. (And I didn’t know Kadhim Shubber used to write for CoinDesk!) It turns out the SEC is getting around to a lot of stuff. Including BitFunder, whose founder, Jon Montroll, they’ve just charged with fraud. Apart from operating unlawfully as an unregistered securities exchange — like, at what point would it not be obvious that the SEC takes a particular interest in people trading securities — they allege that “Montroll defrauded exchange users by misappropriating their bitcoins and failing to disclose a cyberattack on the exchange’s system and the resulting bitcoin theft.” If the SEC is finally getting around to the backlog from the Golden Age of Bitcoin, the Buttcoin Foundation’s popcorn futures are absolutely assured.



  • Today in Stupid Blockchain Legislation Tricks, California gives us: “(c) ‘Blockchain technology’ means distributed ledger technology that uses a distributed, decentralized, shared, and reciprocal ledger, that may be public or private, permissioned or permissionless, or driven by tokenized crypto economics or tokenless.” I think that would cover a shared Google spreadsheet, and certainly every Git repository in the state. I tried reading through the proposed legislation and fell into a coma in about five seconds — can anyone work out what the industry push here is, and what new thing this is supposed to achieve?
  • The proposed EU motion I wrote about on Friday is up for its committee vote tomorrow, and if you check the PDF you’ll see the line “having regard to the question to the Commission on xx (O-xx – B8-xx),” has made it to the final draft with the placeholders left in. This is top quality legislative work with months of preparation. Very blockchain.
  • It’s not a current news item, but — the Vermont blockchain legislation is not perfect, but is a model of clarity by comparison to either the Californian legislation or the EU motion. (Summary: if you commit something to a blockchain, the blockchain can be used to show you committed it.)
  • What’s worse than a DAO, and yet worse than an ICO? Combining the two, for a DAICO! Preston Byrne details why this wizard wheeze is perhaps not so smart.


  • I’m scheduled for a couple of conference presentations on blockchain in the enterprise. I’ll let you know more when the detail is nailed down.
  • I also have a box of books here! (Just twenty copies. I’ve had quite enough of boxes of magazines under the bed forever, thanks.) I’ll be offering signed copies at £13 plus postage and packing when I work out how much said P&P will be …
  • Still delighted by tweeted photos of the book!





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