News: FATF money laundering regs on crypto exchanges, Binance cuts off the US, Tether big in China, Bitcoin energy consumption, unofficial Telegram public sale, Cathio, IPFS, Visa’s non-blockchain


On 21 June, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering will publish guidance that requires crypto exchanges to document all transactions over $1000 or 1000 EUR. This doesn’t immediately become law — but countries that don’t enforce FATF rules find themselves excluded from the international financial system.

Binance is cutting off trading for all US customers as of 12 September. Instead, they can use the new, regulated Binance.US! Which may be as popular as Binance Jersey — which reports about $300,000 a day volume. It turns out that regulated exchanges with fiat gateways aren’t quite as good a casino for the really dedicated degenerate professional shi crypto trader.

$6 million in coins stolen in the Binance hack are on the move again. As are some of the coins from the big 2016 Bitfinex hack.

Tether is a popular coin to buy in China because it’s the gateway to the rest of the crypto market — at a premium, no less: 1 USDT for 7 CNY, rather than the usual dollar rate of 1 USD for 6.7 CNY. Per CNLedger: “OTC (Over-The-Counter) trades, the almost only way to buy bitcoin with fiat in China … the most convenient way to buy cryptos in China is to buy stable coins like USDT first using OTC, and then trade it into any cryptos you want in exchanges.”

Research firm Picolo says that Bitfinex’s LEO token is an awesome buy! Don’t worry that everything else they’ve ever recommended was a pump’n’dump.



How Bitcoin mining encourages renewable energy: Chinese miners arrested for stealing power from oil wells — they laid cable via fish ponds to steal about 48,560 yuan of electricity from Daqing Oil Fields. (Original, with photos.)

Bitcoin advocates make like they don’t understand the concept of displacing demand, but local authorities increasingly do — “Not so fast, said county officials. They pointed to a different culprit: a giant coal plant halfway across the state. If energy from the dam went to bitcoin mining, they said, the county as a whole would wind up using more coal.”

The founder of NiceHash, Matjaž Škorjanc, has been indicted by the US for his past exploits on hacking forum Darkode.

There’s a new report in Joule on the energy used by Bitcoin mining, and this time it’s not from Alex de Vries. This one places Bitcoin’s power consumption as of November 2018 at 45.8 terawatt-hours annually, with carbon emissions between 22.0 and 22.9 MtCO2. The authors suggest “regulatory intervention to protect individuals from themselves and others from their actions.” (This is the paper that the press wrote up as Bitcoin using as much power as Las Vegas. If only what happened in Bitcoin stayed in Bitcoin.)



Researchers audited the code of fifty ICOs and asked one simple question — “did the promoters deliver on their promises to protect investors through computer code?” You’ll be amazed to hear that almost none of them bothered implementing their promises in the smart contract itself. Here’s the full report.

Telegram’s GRAM token is sort of going on sale to the public on 10 July, with a listing on the Liquid exchange. It’s a presale — since the token doesn’t exist yet — of SAFTs held by Gram Asia, whoever they are — “the largest holder of Grams from Asia.” Tokens will be delivered in four equal tranches over the next 18 months. And you can’t buy them in the US.

Beware — Telegram told Cointelegraph’s Hodler’s Digest (4:06 on) that they have nothing to do with this purported sale, and had never heard of Gram Asia. And a GRAM purchaser confirmed that per the sales agreement, the GRAM SAFTs cannot in fact be sold — like any other Reg D 506(c) security.

I am told that search and even editing on Everipedia hasn’t worked on the web or in the app in literally weeks. You’d almost think nothing mattered except the Everipedia IQ tokens. Everipedia’s now-exited founder, Mahbod Moghadam, says that editing will be working again from June 20, when they do a redesign.

Moghadam speaks of Wikipedia’s overwhelming disadvantage: it doesn’t have a token (5:30 on). ‘Cos how can the number five website in the world possibly compete with Everipiedia if it doesn’t have a token. Also, 7:30ish: literally Everipedia’s founder is “not an expert” on how you actually get Everipedia IQ tokens.

A public stock offering under SEC Regulation A+ is usually a more sensible way to get startup funding than trying to run a compliant ICO — and you can sell a Reg A+ to retail investors! — but stock exchanges don’t like them very much, because of performance and fraud concerns. NASDAQ wants the SEC to stiffen the Reg A+ listing rules, and the NYSE is eschewing Reg A+ listings entirely.

FT Alphaville managed to speak to some of the people behind Cathio, the coin for Catholics put together by ICOx Innovations and with ex-Senator Rick Santorum up front — he’s the father-in-law of Cathio CEO Matthew Marcolini. The mainstream media have noticed — because Santorum is famous — and have a number of concerns about the track record of Cameron Chell from ICOx and KodakOne.

I also spoke to Cointelegraph’s Hodler’s Digest (11:19 on) about Cathio, Cameron Chell and ICOx Innovations.

From the magazine America: The Jesuit Review: Can the technology behind Bitcoin be used to build a belief system? — about Matt Liston and 0x, and Devin Rose and the Catholic Blockchain. (And not Cathio.)

After KodakOne didn’t pay the KodakCoin devs and they walked, KodakOne said it would outsource its Big Data to MapR, a hosted Hadoop big data company … So, uh, MapR have run out of money and are shutting down.

Tron’s developer adoption is amazing! So many dapps! The most popular three or four have over 1000 users; number 50 has under 20 users a day.



Tim Swanson: “not going to name-names: a US-based Fortune 100 tech company quietly laid off a large group of its ‘Blockchain-related’ teams (focused on services) across multiple business lines this past week.” I note that IBM is laying people off again, though I can’t find anything specifically mentioning “blockchain” — and two IBM blockchain executives, Jesse Lund and Stanley Yong, have left recently.

IPFS, the blockchain’s favourite file storage system — which is functionally just BitTorrent with magnet links — is still hype and nonsense. “An overextended, under-documented, and unfinished constellation of projects … Projects that are almost universally avoided — like IPNS — are still included in the main documentation and recommended as if they’re usable.”

But — a genuine use case has been found for IPFS! Can you guess what it is? That’s right — crooks! Malware whose command & control is much harder to take down — unless you cut off IPFS entirely. Which is what will happen.

How blockchain media works — The Next Web Hardfork headline: “3 years later, Visa’s blockchain-powered payment network finally goes live”. The story text: “the network is not actually a blockchain” and “some elements of the technology.” Source story from Reuters: “While the network is not a distributed ledger itself, some aspects of the nascent technology were used … aspects of Hyperledger Fabric.” Kevin Phalen is global head of Visa Business Solutions, not any sort of techie, so the precise “aspects” are an open question. Maybe there’s still a Merkle tree in there somewhere.



Who gave Andrew Anglin, publisher of neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer, a 14.88 BTC donation just after the white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville in 2017? Bitcoin-Nazi hunter John Bambenek thinks he’s traced it to an unidentified Bitcoin whale.

Circle is shutting down Circle Pay, its actual-money payment system. Kara Haas spots that Circle’s explanation, “demand largely relied on interfacing with the traditional financial system and untokenized fiat currencies,” sounds very like “losing traditional financial system relationships.”

Bitcoin ATMs — Why Vancouver doesn’t want them. Amy Castor’s first piece for ATM Marketplace. Unlike in the US, Bitcoin ATMs are all but unregulated in Canada, and don’t have to do US-style Know Your Customer. Also, the market for Bitcoin ATMs is completely legitimate customers who don’t mind paying a 19% premium to show less identification.

Scientists want to measure how rumours spread online. Where do they look for data? Crypto Reddit! Svitlana Volkova, Emily Saldanha and Maria Glenski from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Notre Dame analysed tens of thousands of comments from Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero subreddits between 2015 and 2018. Here’s the study.

Florida Man arrested for drunkenly hollering at truck stop employees in the ladies’ bathroom. Oh, and he’s a bitcoin millionaire. “Groves said he had nothing else to pay for a hotel, or friends to call. He did have two new flat panel monitors, five bags of clothes and other items.” #justHODLthings

How blockchain takes us back to medieval times — why the financial system doesn’t do pervasive instant settlement: it’s always been an economy-killing disaster. Always remember that crypto is not just technically inept and full of crooks — even if both those were fixed, crypto economics still wouldn’t work.

I went on Samuel McCulloch’s End of the Chain podcast. Originally about the book, though it developed into a good chat on the state of things in 2019.







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