News: Me in Athens on Sunday, Australian ICO inquiry, Ripple, QuadrigaCX, enterprise blockchain, JPMorgan Coin

  • Reminder — I’m speaking at Blockchain: Utopia or U-turn? at the Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece, this Sunday, 17 February — my bit’s 7:30-8:00pm, talking about Attack of the 50-Foot Blockchain. Jemima Kelly from FT Alphaville is on straight after me. “The entrance is free and on a first come, first served basis. The distribution of entrance tickets begins one (1) hour before each event.”
  • I managed to miss my flight today — but I’ve just dropped a painful amount on a ticket for tomorrow — EasyJet is probably a fitting punishment — and I’ll see you all just in time not to attend the Crypto Rave. I’m sure there are pints with my and Jemima’s names on them …



I’m disconcerted at how optimistic this Australian Treasury ICO consultation paper is. They seem convinced that all this horse poop means there’s gotta be a pony in there somewhere! You have until the end of February to get a sensible, coherent response submitted.

Also in from Australia: “ASX-listed company, Byte Power Group Limited (Byte Power), has paid a penalty of $33,000″ — they claimed a partner’s crypto exchange was “well advanced in the software development,” when they knew it wasn’t.

In the US, the CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight has listed “cryptocurrency surveillance practices” — how well exchanges monitor for market manipulations, and how checkable that monitoring is — as an examination priority for 2019.



Ripple’s XRP token went up dizzyingly in 2017, from $0.006 to over $2 a coin. Here’s a document of misleading, and actually false, claims by Ripple and its CEO during that price rise.

How Ripple’s circular business model works.

Ripple has claimed through 2018 and 2019 that they don’t run XRP — but FinCEN sure thought they did in 2015, and even required particular modifications to the software for compliance.

FT Alphaville: “Why online propaganda mobs are an investment red flag: If an enterprise needs an army of online thought police to protect it, it’s definitely not an investment worth making” — in stocks, but particularly in cryptos.



“Hi, I’m Amy Castor. Today I’m at the Mt. Quadriga world headquarters in Tokyo, Canada.” Amy has compiled an amazing timeline of QuadrigaCX.

Jennifer Robertson signed an affidavit saying she wasn’t involved in Gerald Cotten’s Quadriga business dealings — but three Quadriga users say that when they cashed out from the exchange in 2016 and 2017, their actualmoney came via Robertson’s company (archive).

That’s when Quadriga weren’t just sending out packages containing wads of physical cash — a service they offered, apparently sending customers cash from their Bitcoin ATMs. Rather than banking it properly themselves, for some reason.

Quadriga “inadvertently” sent 103 BTC from its accessible stash to one of the inaccessible cold wallets — or maybe to a coin mixer.

The British Columbia Securities Commission would have had no say in QuadrigaCX, because it didn’t trade securities or derivatives.

It’s CAD$450 to buy a death certificate in India. Just in case you were wondering.

Jack Julian from CBC has been live-tweeting the bankruptcy protection hearings.

And I was quoted by The Economist on Quadriga. And put on video by CoinTelegraph.




  • Cryptocurrency: free money machine!!
  • Blockchain: a data store that wants you to pay it attention because it’s descended from the free money machine.
  • DLT: software that has a Merkle tree somewhere deep in its guts, and considers that enough to market itself as a bit like the free money machine.

A log file in a Merkle tree turns out to be what businesses really want from a “blockchain” — according to Gartner, “over 60 percent of use cases are just using the immutable data audit trails.”

JP Morgan has a new unit of internal accounting for transfers between its large customers! — but they put out a press release about it using the words “blockchain” and “cryptocurrencies,” so, you know. It’s literally the 180-degree opposite of Bitcoin — a centrally-adminstered invitation-only dollar-backed stablecoin — but this is still good news for Bitcoin, apparently. I’m quoted in the BBC article. I suspect the key innovation is that JP Morgan won’t have to pay interest on deposits.

“The libertarian fantasies of cryptocurrencies: Digital money needs tough regulation rather than just bleating in favour of ‘innovation’” — from those socialists at, er, the Financial Times.

Technical Analysis the old-fashioned way — “crypto psychic” Sharon Michelle claims the power to predict the price of Bitcoin! Payment in cash only, thanks.

Craig S. Wright has a genuine Ph.D from Charles Sturt University — but his earlier claim of a doctorate in theology is rather shakier.

I’m nocoining to the Very Serious People — with a piece in Foreign Policy: “Forget Bitcoin, Try Your Mattress.” It’s gained a fan base already, with Kai Sedgwick kindly awarding me as one of the Buttcoin Foundation Employees of the Month on “3 People Who Hate Bitcoin With a Passion” — elevating me to the same category as Krugman and Roubini. Just call me Tom Marvolo Ripple — Lorp Volpemort.



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