News: Shapeshift KYC, Kraken Halifax shutdown, EU ICO rules, UK Blockchain APPG, Mone’s failed ICO, KodakOne, Ethereum analytics, Bitcoin crash, Laurie Penny doing the Crypto Cruise, Walch/Schuster recordings

Erik Voorhees’ crypto exchange Shapeshift, once famed for its no-login access, now has user accounts — and “Today, Membership is optional, but it will become mandatory soon.” That is, they are finally going to do proper KYC per the Bank Secrecy Act. The ideological bitcoiners are not happy — but their opinion doesn’t matter if Shapeshift wants to have US links.

The Shapeshift change comes after FinCEN’s director Kenneth A. Blanco’s remarks last month on virtual currencies — that “individuals and entities engaged in the business of accepting and transmitting physical currency or convertible virtual currency from one person to another or to another location are money transmitters subject to the AML/CFT requirements of the BSA and its implementing regulations.”

Meanwhile, Kraken exchange’s Halifax, Nova Scotia office just shut down. Jesse Powell insists everything is fine, fine — ’tis just a seasonal dip!

EU Lawmakers Weigh ‘Standard’ for ICOs Under Crowdfunding Rules — this is actually more bad blockchain promotion from Greek MEP Eva Kaili’s group, in the wake of her motion in committee to get a pile of blockchain hype voted through. This particular discussion was driven by UK MEP Ashley Fox, who also does the blockchain conference circuit.

After Grant Shapps’ minor embarrassment over the OpenBrix ICO, leading to him resigning the group — the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain continues! They appear to see their job as helping their mates skin retail investors.

Baroness Michelle Mone‘s ICO for Equi Capital went south, taking the bounty hunters’ payment for promotion with it. Mone then repeatedly threatened to sue the Financial Times for investigating. You’ll be amazed to hear that this doesn’t work out well. See also earlier coverage in Wings Over Scotland.


KodakOne a.k.a. KodakCoin has made its 10 million image target in one swoop, with a new deal with photo agency Lobster! Well, not actually KodakOne or WENN Digital — the deal’s with parent company Ryde GmbH. But it’s near KodakOne.

Google releases an analytics tool for the Ethereum blockchain. Now, who could put this to good use?

(takes MAHOOSIVE lungful)
“what if we
put Ethernet itself, right
on like
a    b l o c k c h a i n
with like
s m a r t    c o n t r a c t s
(chokes on bong water)

Quinn DuPont’s academic book Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains (US, UK) is out in December. Facebook gave him advertising credit and nagged him to use it to promote his book page — then blocked the ad for being about cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin dipped $400 in fifteen minutes on Tuesday morning, and again on Wednesday evening. Bloomberg attributed this to Goldman Sachs dropping its plans for a crypto desk, and the whole rest of the press copied them — even the Financial Times, who really should know better. Finance journalists need to stop treating crypto as an efficient market that responds to concerns, when it’s a thinly-traded unregulated playground for whales and their tethers, out to wreck the margin longs. A $400 DIP IN FIFTEEN MINUTES IS NOT A RESPONSE TO A MARKET SIGNAL — IT’S A DELIBERATE DUMP. The following price chart, from Coinbase, is not organic trading — except insofar as BS is an organic material:



Bitcoiner wins a Lightning Network gambling game! They can’t receive their winnings via Lightning, because their channel is too full. /r/bitcoin has many helpful suggestions — including that you shouldn’t expect the LN to actually work, and anyway OP is a filthy Bcasher.

UK social justice journalist Laurie Penny is covering the CoinsBank 2018 Mediterranean Blockchain Cruise — yes, the one FT Alphaville wrote about. Jack Graham notices that this bears disturbing similarities to the start of The Basilisk Murders by Andrew Hickey.

How crypto public relations works, from the journalists’ side. I can confirm that all of this holds.



If you couldn’t make Angela Walch and Edmund Schuster’s talks on Tuesday at LSE — there are audience recordings! Here’s Angela’s talkDeconstructing ‘Decentralization’: Exploring the Core Claim of Cryptoassets” and Edmund’s talkThe Empty Promise of Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts,” and both their slides. “Objection: But AI!!” “No.”

Breaker jumped the gun slightly with this press release — but yes, I’m discussing writing for them. Editor Ben Schiller seems as good a guy as everyone I know who’s dealt with him says. Just a few contractual terms to resolve. It’s funded by SingularDTV, and yes, they’re quite aware of everything I’ve written about them — but I’ll give them full points for putting their ICO startup ramp to good use.

I should have a short piece on why cryptocurrencies are bad in Kathimerini/Καθημερινή, one of the main Greek daily newspapers, in English and translated to Greek — in the Sunday Debate section, on the question “Major innovation or just a bubble?” Look out for it.






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