News: Bitcoin $9000, Tether $1.08, US cross-agency task force, Bancor hack, DIRT, Augur, LSE, Ethereum Classic

  • Bitcoin price shenanigans — after a few weeks wobbling around $6000, the price on WEX hit $8999 yesterday. WEX is the reincarnation of BTC-e, the Russian exchange favoured by money launderers and the Mt. Gox hackers. Tether peaked at around $1.08 per USDT around the same time.


It sure doesn’t get more organic than that chart around 00:00 July 12 — mountains of BS are an organic product, right?


  • The US federal government is establishing a cross-agency task force on consumer financial fraud — including that related to cryptocurrencies.

A common proposal is to outsource your oracle to a prediction market — humans betting on predictions — that is also on your blockchain, such as Augur. Somehow, the outcome of a bet is supposed to substitute for direct knowledge of an event having happened or not, with sufficient confidence in the process to let it affect your money. If your question isn’t popular enough to attract sufficient uninvolved wagers — it would often be worth it for one party to just bribe the bettors – you will still have the oracle problem in determining whether the event has in fact occurred. You can’t get rid of the human element by adding another layer of indirection — it’s oracles all the way down.

(Augur has openly bragged that they think running on a blockchain means they can dodge US government regulation on gambling and derivatives, which led to the shutdown of previous prediction markets, despite being a single company with known principals.)



  • LSE runs a scammy-looking cryptocurrency course. FT Alphaville runs a piece on the dubious claims in the prospectus. The professor running it, Dr Carsten Sørensen, literally replies, “Stop being a journalist and just think. You’re citing marketing material as if that were the ultimate truth.” I’m sure that’s a great comfort to any student who ever paid actual money on the basis of an LSE prospectus, foolishly assuming it wasn’t a pack of lies.





Every FT writer has been retweeting this





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