- If you support my work here with just $5 a month — the cost of buying me a pint once a month — you’ll get early access to stuff like the draft of the ICO book chapter on Synthestech — and previous and future previews.
David Marcus from Facebook was subjected to several hours’ close questioning on Libra by both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. You can watch several hours’ video (Senate, House), or you can just read Ben Munster’s highlights.
The Written Testimony of Robert Weissman (President, Public Citizen) to the House is worth reading.
Facebook told the New York Times that it spent the lead-up to the Libra announcement talking to regulators, and the reaction was “neutral to positive.” It turns out that regulators were coughing up their own skulls in horror (archive) from the start.
David Marcus is the public face of Facebook’s Libra — but Morgan Beller started the cryptocurrency effort in 2017, before Marcus was even at Facebook.
Libra may be a desperation move — Facebook user numbers stopped growing years ago … except for fake accounts.
There’s already a pile of fake Libra sellers online — including on Facebook itself (archive). One bozo even tried to add a spam link to the Wikipedia article on Libra. (It was removed 35 minutes later.)
Preston Byrne on Libra — he thinks Facebook’s intent is to functionally control money itself, to the same extent they control social interaction.
I try to avoid salty language on this blog, but “shitcoin” is now officially on the Congressional Record — not just from Nouriel Roubini last October, but from the mouth of Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), in the hearings on Libra. So, wherever you see me use the euphemism “minor altcoin” …
And…they deleted it, good thing Twitter isn't immutable pic.twitter.com/pcCJWrxIFq
— Maya Zehavi (@mayazi) July 16, 2019
The CFTC is investigating BitMEX over whether they allowed US citizens to trade Bitcoin derivatives, and how hard they enforced their supposed rules against American customers — given it takes about three seconds to set up as a customer via VPN (“All it took was a functional email address”).
No, it wasn’t Nouriel Roubini who set the CFTC on BitMEX — despite his fiery article on them, and, as he claimed in a tweet: “Insiders at @BitMEXdotcom racket told me the internal trading group follows the order flow & bets against clients to liquidate them & profit from it. And they use ‘overloads’ to rekt u more. As if a dealer at a casino who knows your cards was allowed to bet against you to rekt u.”
Arthur Hayes denies this accusation. But I wonder if he’s regretting saying “you are welcome to bring a court case in the Seychelles.” At least he finally released the full Roubini-Hayes debate video.
Jon Montroll, the owner of crypto exchange Bitfunder, gets 14 months in jail for lying to the SEC about their 2013 hack. “The Bitfunder operator then attempted to cover it up by misappropriating their funds to hide the lost bitcoins.” The regulators are slow, but they are thorough.
Swedish crypto exchange QuickBit leaked 300,000 customer records recently via an unsecured MongoDB database — full names, addresses, email addresses, gender, and dates of birth. They were informed of the breach on 3 July. They became a publicly listed company on 11 July. They finally told the world about the breach today, 22 July.
The Coinbase Bundle was a “basket” of assorted cryptocurrencies that you could invest in as a synthetic derivative. Since crypto prices go up and down in lockstep, it was mostly terrible and embarassing. Coinbase has finally deprecated the awful thing.
You’ll be unsurprised to hear that (cough) minor altcoin volume is fake.
To get into the mind of a Bitcoin bagholder, imagine if people who bought lottery tickets were all convinced at the same time that they’re all going to win.
Now imagine how easy it would be to screw these idiots over.
Congratulations, you understand why crypto exists.
— Trolly McTrollface (@Tr0llyTr0llFace) July 17, 2019
More good news for Bitcoin from India — the Department of Economic Affairs’ Inter-Ministerial Committee on virtual currencies suggests “banning of the cryptocurrencies in India and imposing fines and penalties for carrying on of any activities connected with cryptocurrencies in India.” This includes holding cryptos. But the committee says the government should keep an “open mind on official digital currency.” And it likes “DLT.” Here’s the press release, and the full report.
The UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, is looking to hire cryptocurrency specialists. Though at £36-50,000, they’re really not offering enough to get anyone in computing or banking with actual expertise — let alone anyone who knows both.
No, the email scammers claiming to be from the FCA and offering crypto investments are lying.
New Jersey accuses 2018 ICO promoter Pocketinns of running an unregistered securities sale. Remember that, as well as the SEC, you have every state regulator to contend with.
Doing crimes on a permanent immutable public ledger of all transactions remains not so smart — Silk Road drug dealer Hugh Haney, part of the vendor group Pharmville, was arrested on 18 July. Haney cashed out on an unnamed exchange — telling the exchange that he had mined the coins. Once the money was in the bank, the Feds seized it and arrested him. Haney is charged with money laundering and engaging in a financial transaction using illegally-gotten gains.
Microsoft employee Volodymyr Kvashuk stole $10 million, using a test account to embezzle gift cards. The bit of interest to us is that he tried laundering the money with a bitcoin mixer. Kvashuk is charged with mail fraud.
there's a difference between the lack of a regulatory framework and a regulatory framework that you just don't like.
— Palley (@stephendpalley) July 22, 2019
The lunch that Justin Sun of Tron bought with Warren Buffett has been postponed. Originally Sun announced it was due to “kidney stones” — but China appears unhappy with Sun, and a State Council special committee on the Internet has accused Sun of money laundering, illegal fundraising, spreading pornography and gambling, and suggested he be arrested. So Sun is now under border controls, and will not be allowed to leave China while the matter is unresolved. Assuming he’s in China, and not in San Francisco.
ICOx Innovations — the KodakCoin lot — have a new venture: a “celebrity-sponsored sports betting platforms, just for fans” called sBetOne. The website mentions “branded Digital Wallets and Digital Currencies” down the page.
Reuters reports that Japan is working on a SWIFT-like system for cryptocurrency payments — and it’ll be fully KYC/AML-compliant. The report doesn’t make sense, and I can’t work out what the original thing it’s talking about could be. Kim Driver suggests that “Nikkei reported prior to the G20 that Japan was keen to work with FATF to up its AML procedures where it has a terrible history (org. crime). Might that have become deliberately or accidentally conflated with its problems with crypto exchanges?”
Venture capitalist investment in “blockchain” is through the floor. This accords with my experience — “blockchain” was always just a proxy for the cool factor of “number go up,” and now that’s not happening, neither is this.
“Bitcoin energy usage actually advances renewable energy tech—” (record scratch) Bitcoin’s being an apocalyptic death cult again.
Today I visited an Alberta gas company that has been prototyping Bitcoin mining operations with trapped natural gas, too costly to sell onto the grid. Bitcoin solves a massive problem for 1000s of gas well owners. There is overwhelming demand to monetize trapped illiquid energy.
— Francis Pouliot ☣️ (@francispouliot_) July 11, 2019
*JPMORGAN’S WEBSITE IS ONLY A BLANK PAGE WITH “PENIS” WRITTEN IN TOP LEFT CORNER. JAMIE DIMON IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND, WHILE A SUSPICIOUS 673,000 BTC TRANSFER FROM JPMORGAN’S HOT WALLET HAS BEEN CONFIRMED 12 TIMES ON THE BLOCKCHAIN. A GLOBAL BANK RUN IS IMMINENT, WARN EXPERTS.
— Trolly McTrollface (@Tr0llyTr0llFace) July 18, 2019
February 21, 1980: At the peak of gold & silver's market there were issuances of precious metals indexed bonds as a new monetary system to disrupt paper fiat & the evil banking cartel. Investors who bought these collateral-backed bonds lost everything months later. #USDT #Crypto pic.twitter.com/XO7gp75Ow3
— Silver Watchdog (@Silver_Watchdog) February 3, 2018
Hey everyone. Is it normal and safe to buy bitcoin by mailing envelopes full of cash to someone? Let me know. pic.twitter.com/DnGeOkp5MU
— Ed Zitron (@edzitron) July 16, 2019
My stabletweets are fully backed by truth.
— Palley (@stephendpalley) July 15, 2019
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