News: Cooking Mama and blockchain, the Halvening and Bitcoin Cash, Simple Assurance of Future Trouble, Kraken, Craig Wright: Craigness



Cooking with corona — on the blockchain

Cooking Mama is a series of cooking simulator games, for various Nintendo handhelds. It’s never been a huge hit — but it had a solid base of fans who loved it.

A new instalment, Cooking Mama: Cookstar for Nintendo Switch, was announced in August 2019 — and apparently included “blockchain”: [NintendoLife]

We are using blockchain to add new innovative gameplay that investors can now have equity in. Putting aspects of Cooking Mama on-chain will take the user experience to a whole new level, reinvigorate a popular game franchise that many grew up with and give investors an opportunity to make handsome returns, through a digital preferred share offering.

Unique Blockchain Private-Keys — Each purchased copy of the game will have unique IDs which will be managed directly through the game’s internal wallet storage. Players will be able to focus on Cooking Mama’s user experience rather than cryptographic key management.

Cooking Mama: Cookstar was released on 26 March 2020 — and it was withdrawn from download sale within hours, and all official sites were scrubbed of any mention of it. A few physical copies were available. Nobody knew why the game was pulled — but those who noticed the word “blockchain” had a few ideas. [IGN]

The official Cooking Mama: Cookstar Twitter account blamed coronavirus — “As everybody is aware, the whole world is upside down with delays right now.” [Twitter]

Then came the rumours that the game was mining crypto — based on a screenshot from a Discord chat server, [Twitter] and that the game had remarkably high power consumption and the Switch console ran hot. [Reddit]

As it happens, there’s no blockchain involved — someone from 1st Playable, who actually developed the game, spoke anonymously to Screen Rant about it:

The statement about crypto-currency was all buzz words. The head of planet entertainment knows very little about these things… he just put some fancy language to get potential investors who like that stuff. [Screen Rant]

The game was pulled because the trademark owner, Office Create, wasn’t happy with its quality, and wanted it polished further before release — I’ve seen unconfirmed comments that the game uses the Unity 3D framework very inefficiently, leading to the excessive power drain and overheating. The licensee, Planet Entertainment, didn’t want to delay it — and when the game was released to the official Nintendo sites anyway, Office Create contacted Nintendo and got it pulled.

Cooking Mama: Cookstar may be released when it’s finished properly — and doesn’t risk overheating your Switch.



By the “Global Stablecoin”, I assume you mean “Macbeth”

The phrase “global stablecoin” is alive and well in scary campfire stories for central bankers — and every time they say it, that phrase means Libra, and only Libra. This week it’s the Financial Stability Board, who were asked by the G20 central bankers’ group to produce a report on what to do about Libra — sorry, unspecified and generic “global stablecoins.”

This one is important to the stablecoin world — because it’s got advice on regulation that will be taken seriously. It’s a short paper, and most of it is hypothetical — because none of this exists yet. However, the list of recommendations for “global” stablecoins (pp. 26–32) should be heeded by crypto trading liquidity stablecoins. (Unless they’re Tether, and just don’t care.) [FSB, PDF]

No, there’s no news on Libra itself. “Is that thing still going?” someone asked me.

Halve your luck — how Bitcoin Cash did

The “Halvening” is the HODLer word for when the Bitcoin block reward — the amount that Bitcoin miners get paid for each block of transactions — drops from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC.

There’s all manner of delusional coiner mythology surrounding the Halvening and how it’ll send the price of Bitcoin TO THE MOON — apparently on the assumption that nobody can see this coming, rather than everyone seeing it coming. It’s entirely composed of narrative.

As it happens, we have an example — Bitcoin Cash (BCH) just had its halving, on 8 April. The price pumped up, from $250 to $280! … for a day or so. Then it bounced a bit and dropped to $225, then bounced around between $220 and $240. As I write this, it’s $226 on CoinBase. [CoinBase BCH price]

The thing that did halve was the hashpower — as miners left the network, since it was paying only half as much — from 3.58 exahashes per day (EH/d) on 8 April, to 1.85 EH/d on 9 April and 1.43 EH/d on 10 April. [BitInfoCharts]

Crypto51 prices a one-hour 51% attack on BCH at $9,943 as I write this. [Crypto51]

Though says BCH still pays slightly better to mine today than BTC! []

I must emphasise again — all the markets in things that are of actual value are completely screwed, nobody knows what anything is worth any more, and the hard problem is keeping everyone in basic food and shelter. Nobody cares about your novelty crypto collectibles. You’re just gambling.

(BCH notes cribbed from junan_paalla on the SomethingAwful Bitcoin thread.)

Simple Assurance of Future Trouble

SEC v. Telegram progresses sensibly — Judge Kevin Castel has denied Telegram’s request to narrow the injunction to block only US release of Gram tokens. Castel said the injunction applied worldwide, and worldwide it shall apply — “in its opposition to the preliminary injunction, Telegram raised no objection to the form of the injunction and never cited the Morrison case. Telegram’s application is DENIED.” When your judge says “the argument in favor of a clarification is less than straightforward, to be polite”, you’re not doing so well. The docket also has more correspondence about this letter from Telegram. [Opinion and Order, PDF; docket]

Telegram ran the Gram offering on the SAFT model — a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens, intended to work around the risk that ICO tokens might be securities. You sell a future promise of tokens to accredited investors as securities, and assume the eventual tokens won’t be securities when they’re finally delivered to retail. This model has been rocked by the findings so far in SEC v. Telegram — and every token that ever ran a SAFT is going to be unhappy right now.

I wrote up the Unicoin ICO a while ago — also a SAFT — and the class action against it as an unregistered offering of securities. The promoter, Unikrn, just tried to get the case thrown out, on the basis that buyers agreed to take disputes to arbitration, rather than court. The judge didn’t buy this — he thought Unikrn hadn’t sufficiently demonstrated that buyers had agreed to the terms. The case proceeds. [The Block, paywalled; original 2018 case filing, PDF]

Class action suits were filed against eleven crypto companies — nine ICOs and two exchanges — on Friday 3 April. The claims are that the ICOs were unregistered offerings of securities, and the exchanges were unregistered broker-dealers. [Decrypt]

The suits were filed in the Southern District of New York by Roche Cyrulnik Freedman — who also brought one of the class actions against Bitfinex/Tether alleging they manipulated the price of Bitcoin, and who are representing the estate of Dave Kleiman against Dr Craig Wright.

Stephen Palley suggests that these suits will take years — but they have substance, and won’t just go away. “These lawsuits will be dismissed by the defendants in press releases as ambulance-chasing lawsuit trolling, but it’s not quite that black and white upon closer inspection.” [The Block]

When the rest of crypto crashed on “Black Thursday,” the MakerDAO had some issues too, with borrowers’ collateral being sold off for 0 DAI. Now a bunch of said borrowers are bringing a $45 million class action against the Maker Foundation. [The Block; complaint, PDF]

The creator of the SAFT model, Marco Santori, just started work on the legal team at the Kraken crypto exchange. [Decrypt]

The Kraken sues

I’m sure the Kraken crypto exchange is a great place to work, unfair dismissal suits notwithstanding. Look at their Glassdoor ratings — 4.5 out of 5 stars, 90% would recommend Kraken to a friend, and 90% approve of the CEO! [, archive]

I am Nomad on Twitter calls one thing to our attention, though (visible on the US site, not the UK site): [Twitter]

Glassdoor Alert: Employer Legal Action
This employer has taken legal action against reviewers and/or Glassdoor for the reviews that have appeared on this profile. Please exercise your best judgment when evaluating this employer.

Larry Cermak says: “Based on a quick Google search, Kraken appears to be one of less than 10 companies worldwide to have this alert on Glassdoor. Otherwise, their reviews are great though.” [Twitter]

Bitcoin advocates are unwavering advocates for free speech, and resistance to censorship! Except when a number might go down.




Adam Back was served a defamation suit by Dr Craig Wright, for saying Dr Wright wasn’t Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. He fought back, and Wright backed down immediately. Back posted the story on Twitter:

I did eventually get served with a libel suit signed by Craig filed with UK courts Jun 2019, and docs Jul 2019 which I was notified of via EU cross-jurisdiction process to Malta Sep 2019. and retained RPCLaw, same firm as Peter McCormack.

RPC were then hurriedly contacted by SCA, before SCA had even been notified that RPC were representing me (which SCA discovered via RPC’s court filing of my intent to contest). SCA said please stop defence as Craig had pre-emptively notified court he was discontinuing the case.

SCA were asked and declined to give any explanation of why Craig retracted. Consequently Craig agreed to reimburse 100% of my costs, which is unusual: standard is ‘reasonable costs’ (65-75%), vs fault assumed ‘indemnity’ costs (80%). probably whole thing cost Craig > 20k GBP.

… on the plus side I have to thank Craig for paying for a very informative 2hr+ briefing on latest UK libel law trends, and hilarious and detailed briefing on the case vs Peter McCormack from legal experts at RPC. (Who were barely stifling smirks at the craziness much of the time.) [Twitter]

In Kleiman v. Wright, Dr Wright has been ordered, by District Judge Beth Bloom, to produce all the documents he’s been stalling for months on — by this Friday, 17 April. [Order, PDF]

The text in two of Dr Wright’s many, many masters’ dissertations closely resembles previous sources — without acknowledgement. I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, and this isn’t just straight-up plagiarism. A pile of the text also very closely resembles text from Wikipedia. Dr Wright also wrote a 2011 article excoriating plagiarists — and this too reuses text from other sources, without acknowledgement. [Medium]

Things happen

Shocked to see a crypto company CEO plead guilty to possession of a massive stash of child pornography — this time, it’s Douglas Saltsman of Saltmine. [KUTV]

As an industry shrinks, it consolidates — and the bigger players buy out the smaller ones. In mainframe computing, this was known as “mating dinosaurs.” In crypto, we have the Binance exchange’s recent purchase of crypto price guide CoinMarketCap. [The Block]

CryptoLab, another crypto hedge fund — one of the Institutional Investors, you know — talks a great game about complicated arbitrage strategies, and turns out to just be another HODLer in a tie with a Chromebook, gambling your money on BitMEX. [Medium]

Markets in real assets of value are so completely buggered right now that Andreessen Horowitz opening yet another cryptocurrency investment fund seems like an idea that might not be completely insane. (It’s completely insane.) [Financial Times, paywalled]

The Binance exchange is issuing its own Visa card! … except, suddenly it’s not — all mention of the name “Visa” has been quietly scrubbed from their site. [The Block]

Factom was one of the first major ICOs, in 2015 — before ICOs hit the big time. The company’s run out of money, can’t get venture capital, and are winding down. The Factom software still exists, and apparently has test users. [CoinDesk]

The UK is offering businesses bailouts for losses from the Covid-19 lockdown. Startups backed by venture capital are worried they’ll be left out. Crypto wallet provider Blockchain’s CEO, Peter Smith, co-signed a letter to the Chancellor asking to be included. Blockchain has some employees based in the UK — but it’s actually a Luxembourg company, with most of its employees in the US. FT Alphaville suggests that companies asking for UK assistance might consider domiciling in the UK. [TechCrunch; Decrypt; FT Alphaville, free with login]

Perhaps I have missed something of substance in this paper by two economists and zero lawyers, but it appears to be about a proposal for Augur except worse. When the headline says “Tokyo researchers create a digital court for the digital age”, it means “they wrote a hypothetical speculative paper.” [Decrypt]

Kyle Gibson and Cas Piancey have made another crypto video: Save The Whales. [YouTube]




Become a Patron!

Your subscriptions keep this site going. Sign up today!

4 Comments on “News: Cooking Mama and blockchain, the Halvening and Bitcoin Cash, Simple Assurance of Future Trouble, Kraken, Craig Wright: Craigness”

    1. The Quadriga thing? No, even before the lockdown that wasn’t going to be finished before the end of the year. As things are now, who knows.

    1. A combination of still being hard at work on the day job, *and* looking after everyone at home, *and* virus frazzle … I was pleased to see e.g. Neil Gaiman and Charlie Stross talking on Twitter about not being able to get any writing done in the past month either!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.