News: Bitmain IPO, Bitcoin and Tether, Terpin v. AT&T, NVidia hates crypto, Vietman blocks mining rigs, Playboy v. GBT, Ethereum Ponzis, Bitcoin bail, Maersk v. shipping industry

Crypto mining monopolist Bitmain is doing an Initial Public Offering — to be funded in actual money! I won’t do a full writeup, but commenters have noticed that Bitmain’s bet on Bitcoin Cash hasn’t worked out — their Q2 numbers are terrible because of overinvestment in BCH, they have a million BCH that they can’t turn into actual money without crashing the price even further than it’s already gone down, and they can’t just stop mining BCH without leaving it open to a 51% attack. Some analysis here.



The mainstream papers keep writing about changes in the price of Bitcoin under the touching and heartwarming assumption that the crypto market is rational and things happen for marketlike reasons, rather than because of a great big thumb on the scale. Meanwhile, 300 million Tethers have been released in the past week.



Also, the Wall Street Journal ran an article on Tether (archive), quoting me. “‘There’s nothing to hide here,’ said Mr. Real. ‘It’s not three managers just cranking out money randomly in a dark basement somewhere.'”


The consensus of security people is that using SMS as the second factor in your two-factor authentication is foolish. Michael Terpin is suing AT&T for lax security because someone hijacked his phone number by asking AT&T for a new SIM, and then stole his crypto. I think there’s a lot of blame to go around— exchanges for encouraging people to use SMS for their 2FA, AT&T for being cavalier and slapdash with issuing replacement SIMs, and Terpin himself because he got hacked like this once before and kept using this method of authentication. Stephen Palley thinks this isn’t going far — AT&T has a mandatory arbitration clause, and he thinks it’ll get punted to arbitration. Terpin is rich, though, and it’s not impossible that he can break the arbitration clause.

Vietnam blocks imports of crypto mining equipment, first proposed in June after a massive ICO fraud scandal in which Modern Tech Corp  stole US$656 million from 32,000 people through its Ifan and Pincoin crypto investment scams.

Playboy Enterprises was going to connect VIT (Vice Industry Tokens) into its porn sites, and Global Blockchain Technologies was going to set this up, integrate crypto wallets and so on. GBT was going to pay them $4 million as well. Playboy is now suing GBT over the deal. Playboy’s suit says GBT didn’t make the 16 July deadline for payment, and didn’t do any work toward the deal — but plastered Playboy’s name all over advertising to other investors after the agreement had failed. GBT say the suit is “frivolous”.

Forget cat pictures — Ethereum’s getting clogged with bots playing Ponzi schemes. Ponzi authors complain those other Ponzi schemers are … scammers! Because they’re just taking the money, not running an honest Ponzi. Christine Kim from CoinDesk implies Ponzis might ever be anything other than a scam, because some other people have called Bitcoin a Ponzi. It’s glorious. “No such thing as spam, they are using the network.”

A man charged with hacking Electronic Arts has been ordered to pay his $750,000 bail in “Bitcoin or any other kind of cryptocurrency.” Just to keep Bitcoin and crime firmly linked in the public consciousness. I’m not sure if this is any better than Bail Bloc.

Bad and ill-considered London crypto startups discover that any random bozo may no longer a genius when the bull market ends.

Actual shipping industry people are not so convinced (archive) by Maersk and IBM’s TradeLens blockchain shipping initiative.

Cryptocurrency TRON recently bought BitTorrent, Inc. They’ll definitely get something done with it in a decade or two, maybe.

Shocked, shocked to hear that the sunken warship said to have billions of dollars in gold on board turned out to be a crypto scam!

NVidia thinks its crypto business is dead and it’s never coming back. They just gave their Q2 2018 earnings report — they’d anticipated $100m from people buying video cards for cryptocurrency mining. They grossed $18m. Every segment of NVidia’s earnings is up, except crypto. “Lastly, in our OEM segment, revenue declined by 54% year-on-year and 70% sequentially. This was primarily driven by the sharp decline of cryptocurrency revenues to fairly minimal levels … We now expect a negligible contribution going forward … we’re projecting zero basically.”



Vitalik Buterin has posted a 75-tweet thread on the state of Ethereum Casper, because it’s not like there’s an official Ethereum blog or anything.

Number go up: “BITCOIN WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD!” Number go down: “Price is such an imperfect metric.”

David Ruddock posts a marvelous thread of crypto mining rigs being sold on Craigslist. I urge you again — don’t  touch second-hand video cards with a barge pole.

Purportedly, an interview with a Twitter Ethereum scammer.






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