Sunday, 13 June 2021

Items filtered by date: June 2019

234crypto.com: Facebook’s plan to take over the world with its new cryptocurrency appeared to hit a significant snag today, after vocal opposition from politicians in France to the proposals.

Political opposition came from French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who suggested the French central bank should review the proposals, Bloomberg reported. In particular, Le Maire said the cryptocurrency, known as Libra, should not and could not become a sovereign currency.

In an interview with Europe 1 radio, Le Maire was unequivocal in his view that the Libra cannot become a sovereign currency, saying, “It is out of question…[for Libra to] become a sovereign currency. It can’t and it must not happen.”

Citing a range of concerns including privacy, terrorism financing and money laundering, Le Maire called on the Group of Seven central bank heads to report on the project ahead of their next meeting, scheduled for July.

The developments follow comments from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney at a separate event this week, where he said that any proposals would ultimately be subject to the most rigorous levels of scrutiny.

“Anything that works in this world will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulation,” Carney said.

While Carney stressed the need for “an open mind,” other of his contemporaries were less impressed. German MEP Markus Ferber warned that with its international clout, regulators should be mindful of the risks of Facebook operating as a “shadow bank,” with potential implications for the global financial system.

Summing up his objections, Le Maire said Facebook’s size and power in particular made this a cause for concern for regulators.

“This money will allow this company to assemble even more data, which only increases our determination to regulate the internet giants,” the minister said.

Facebook’s Libra coin has been much trailed, as the firm’s major play in the cryptocurrency space. However, with regulatory opposition in Europe and elsewhere already rearing its head, it’s clear the social media giant still has work to do to meet the approval of regulators worldwide.

The project is being developed by Facebook in partnership with firms including Visa and Uber, and aims to address the inherent instability of SegWitCoin (BTC), while retaining the flexibility and convenience of blockchain payments.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

Published in News & Stories

234crypto.com: By CCN Markets: Self-proclaimed “bitcoin inventor” Craig Wright attended a mediation conference in Miami related to his $10 billion lawsuit against the estate of deceased computer genius Dave Kleiman.

Mediator: ‘We Are at an Impasse’

In a federal court filing dated June 18, the mediator noted that the parties were unable to resolve their lawsuit at mediation.

“This case did not settle at the mediation. As a result, we are at an impasse.”

Final mediation report. | Source: U.S. District Court, SD Florida

Calvin Ayre: Craig Wright Is Satoshi Nakamoto

Canadian crypto entrepreneur Calvin Ayre tweeted about the mediation moments after it ended. The conference occurred one day after a judge sealed evidence that Wright was ordered to produce over his claims that he’s Satoshi Nakamoto.

Ayre — a business associate and friend of Wright — boldly declared that Wright is determined to cement his “legacy” as the true inventor of bitcoin.

“Craig just finished his settlement conference in Miami…Craig is in the U.S. and is intent on regaining control over his legacy as Satoshi in that country.”

Billionaire Calvin Ayre stands 100% behind his business associate Craig Wright, who claims he’s bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. | Source: Twitter

Next Stop: Craig Wright to Be Deposed June 28

Next up for Wright is a June 28 deposition in Florida. Wright is being sued by Ira Kleiman on behalf of the estate of his brother, Dave Kleiman. Dave was divorced and had no children when he died in 2013, so his brother is presumably his main heir.

The Kleiman estate claims that Wright stole 1.1 million bitcoin that Wright and Kleiman had jointly mined between 2009 and 2013. That stash was worth $10 billion at the time the estate filed its lawsuit in February 2018.

There is rampant speculation that Kleiman was Satoshi Nakamoto. Basically, his estate wants half the bitcoin stash (or $5 billion). For Wright, fighting the lawsuit means not only holding onto the $10 billion trove but laying claim to the title of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Dave Kleiman and Craig Wright jointly worked on bitcoin from 2008 to 2013. | Source: YouTube

Kleiman Estate Wants the Money, but Wright Wants the Money and the Title

As CCN reported, the Kleiman estate admitted in its lawsuit that Craig Wright and/or Dave Kleiman could be Satoshi and probably invented bitcoin considering they started working on it in 2008. Tellingly, bitcoin was “born” a year later, in 2009.

“It is unclear whether Craig, Dave, and/or both created Bitcoin. It is undeniable, however, that Craig and Dave were involved in Bitcoin from its inception and that they both accumulated a vast wealth of bitcoins from 2009 through 2013.”

Despite claiming that he invented BTC, Wright has distanced himself from the original cryptocurrency. Why? Because he claims bitcoin became perverted and tainted after devolving into a vehicle for criminal activity.

In a withering May manifesto, Wright says he created bitcoin to operate within the law and not to facilitate crimes. Therefore, Wright says he washes his hands of BTC and now embraces Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision) as the one “true bitcoin.”

Calvin Ayre: Bitcoin Price Will Crater to Zero

This is where billionaire Calvin Ayre comes in. As CCN reported, a crypto civil war broke out in November 2018 when Bitcoin Cash (BCH) underwent its contentious hard fork. The fork resulted in feuding Bitcoin Cash camps:

  • Bitcoin ABC (Adjustable Blocksize Cap): This group adheres to the “official” Bitcoin Cash road map, which is supported by most node operators and is endorsed by Bitcoin Cash proponent Roger Ver and Jihan Wu, co-founder of Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain.
  • Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision): This faction is backed by Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre.

Now, both Ayre and Wright predict that BTC will disappear and its price will plunge to zero because it’s worthless. “I am predicting [bitcoin] to go to zero value, as it has no utility,” Ayre said in December 2018.

This post was last modified (EST) on 18/06/2019 21:36

Published in News & Stories

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai alerted Nigerians on Tuesday about the problems on the Boko Haram front: troops enthusiasm to fight is sagging and commitment is lacking.

He did not give reasons for the lowering of morale among the troops. But in a statement that should worry his commander-in-Chief, Buratai said those on the frontlines were displaying insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks.

Lt.-Gen Buratai spoke at the opening of a “Transformational leadership workshop”, organised by the Army Headquarters Department of Transformation and Innovation at the Army Resource Centre, Asokoro, Abuja.

Describing the development as “unfortunate”, Lt.-Gen Buratai, said the theme of the workshop was apt as it would draw attention to areas that need to be addressed for professionalism, patriotism and national enthusiasm.

He located the “apathy” amongst the younger generation in the military, The Nation reported.

Buratai’s dampening remarks came barely four days after an insurgent attack on a market in Mandari community, Konduga Local Government Area, Bormo State, claimed 30 lives.

Published in Headliners

234crypto.com: Most people missed Mark Zuckerberg’s first hint that Facebook was preparing his boldest bet in years.

Buried in the penultimate paragraph of his 2018 New Year missive, Mr Zuckerberg said he intended to “go deeper and study” decentralising technologies, such as encryption and cryptocurrency.

Inside Facebook, Mr Zuckerberg had already begun quietly marshalling his troops to investigate what a new global currency might look like. On Tuesday, Facebook revealed its plan to create Libra alongside 27 partners, including Uber and Spotify.

David Marcus, the former PayPal president who joined Facebook to run its messaging app in 2014, played a central role from the start, pulling in engineers from all over the Silicon Valley company.

Even as Facebook’s crises intensified early last year with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the crypto team moved quickly, trying to stay below the radar as they quietly tapped external blockchain experts to help shape their ideas.

Cryptocurrency and fintech specialists such as Anchorage, a start-up backed by Andreessen Horowitz, and Ribbit Capital, an investor in digital wallets Coinbase and Xapo, say they were talking to Facebook even before Mr Marcus was officially appointed to lead its blockchain team in May 2018. All those firms are now signed up as “founding partners” of the Libra Association, the Swiss-based non-profit that will launch the currency early next year.

Those early partners say while Facebook’s project has gone through some iterations, the development of a new cryptocurrency was the clear goal from the beginning.

As Facebook searched for blockchain technology in the first half of last year, it approached start-ups including Algorand about potential acquisitions, according to two people familiar with the discussions. But the takeover talks fell through, in part because of disagreements about how much control Facebook would exert and how decentralised Libra would be.

Within Facebook — where engineers and product managers are more familiar with optimising advertising algorithms or simplifying photo sharing — creating a new currency was seen as a daunting challenge.

“I’ve been doing this for more than a year, like 20 hours a day, and I’m still wrapping my head around it,” said Kevin Weil, who moved from Instagram to become Facebook’s head of blockchain product in June 2018.

“I’m confident things will get sorted out, but I don’t have some panacea that it’s all going to be puppies and roses.”

Libra was “unlike anything I’ve ever worked on before”, he added in an interview last week at the San Francisco Mint.

“The technology is basically brand new, and is evolving really quickly. No one has any experience with a global currency before. Any direction you look, it’s new — and that’s exciting.”

Before too long, Facebook’s nascent efforts began to cause ripples outside of the social network. Mr Marcus quit the board of Coinbase, one of the best-known cryptocurrency wallets, in August last year after just nine months as a director. It would prove to be an early test for the coalition of 100 partners that Facebook ultimately hopes to build around Libra — of whom Coinbase is among the first.

“I’m hoping it’s not going to be too messy,” said Jim Migdal, Coinbase’s head of business development and a former Facebook employee. “I’m confident things will get sorted out, but I don’t have some panacea that it’s all going to be puppies and roses.”

Despite its initial momentum, morale among the Facebook blockchain team had sagged by the start of this year. Many were unsure whether their work would materialise into something concrete, according to one person familiar with the project.

But Libra received the “green light” around the time that Mr Zuckerberg outlined a new-found commitment to privacy in late January, including his plan to integrate the messaging services of its trio of apps into one encrypted system, the person said.

That was when Facebook began pitching other potential partners in earnest — demanding total confidentiality from the people it was meeting.

“The entire thing was shrouded in secrecy,” said Joshua Gans, chief economist at Creative Destruction Lab, a non-profit start-up that is Libra’s only academic partner so far.

Facebook nevertheless made a key concession: promising to relinquish control of Libra once it got off the ground.

“The amazing thing is that we’re going to get the same vote that everybody else does,” said Mr Gans. “For us, that’s a gift.”

Published in News & Stories
  • Bitcoin recovered from early losses to trade above $9,100.
  • XRP is the worst-performing altcoin with over 4% of losses since this time on Tuesday.

The cryptocurrency market is a mixed picture with bitcoin and major altcoins moving directionlessly within the recent ranges. The total market capitalization decreased to $284 billion from $288 billion on Tuesday; an average daily trading volume unchanged at $53 billion.

Top-3 coins price overview

  • BTC/USD tested waters below $9,000 during early Asian hours but managed to regain ground. At the time of writing, the first digital coin is changing hands at $9,160, marginally higher since the beginning of Wednesday and down 1.3% on a day-on-day basis.
  • Ethereum, the second largest digital asset with the current market capitalization of $28.4 billion, is trading at $266 handle. The price has been sliding since it touched the area above $273 on Monday. ETH/USD has gained nearly 1% on its value on Wednesday but lost 1.7% in recent 24 hours.
  • Ripple’s XRP has settled below $0.43 amid a strong downside momentum triggered by technical factors. The third largest coin with the current market capitalization of $18.2 billion, has decreased by 4% from this time on Tuesday and hit $0.4246 during early Asian hours.

The biggest market-movers

  • Tezos (XTZ) is the worst-performing cryptocurrency on Wednesday. The 19th largest coin with the market value of $819 million is changing hands at $1.24, which is over 7% lower from this time on Tuesday.
  • ZCash (ZEC) is a big gainer today. The coin is up over 11% on a day-on-day basis, trading at $115.16 at the time of writing. This is the 21st coin in CoinMarketCap’s rating with the current market capitalization of $781 million.
Published in News & Stories

234crypto.com:

By CCN Markets: Facebook is already under fire from regulators less than a day after officially revealing its cryptocurrency whitepaper. Based on three separate talks, it’s clear top government and bank officials from around the world are preparing to regulate Facebook Libra.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin transcend national borders, and project Libra is looking to cash in on this edge that no other central bank can lay claim to. Regulators are on high alert as Facebook ambitiously aims to be the first global central bank.

Bank of England Governor Demands High Standards

In Portugal at the ECB’s annual symposium, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney earlier today called on G7 countries to heavily scrutinize the Libra launch. He is cited in Bloombergas saying:

“Anything that works in this world will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulation. We will look at it very closely and in a coordinated fashion at the level of the G-7, the BIS, the FSB and the IMF. So open mind, but not open door.”

Last year, the governor openly dismissed cryptocurrency but appears to be coming round now as project Libra finally moves forward.

Former FDIC Chair Punts the Idea of a ‘FedCoin’

In an interview with CNBC, Sheila Bair, former chair for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), raised some concerns about the Libra launch, saying:

“What are they doing with the money, if I give them some dollars to buy the Libra, they’re kinda being fuzzy about that in their whitepaper…The strength of the collateral is a question I would have about it.”

Facebook has 2.6 billion users worldwide. Those users exchange value in over 100 different currencies. Despite Libra’s claim as a future stablecoin, it’s unclear yet how Facebook will manage investment with its foreign reserves.

Bair later reiterated her idea of a Fed-backed cryptocurrency, however, nothing has come of it. Governments are usually slow with the uptake of new technology, but Libra may change all of that if it succeeds.

French Finance Minister Calls for Urgent Report

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire voiced his concerns over Libra’s potential for currency status on Europe 1 radio, saying:

“It is out of the question that Libra becomes a sovereign currency. It can’t and it must not happen.”

Le Maire echoed Carney’s call for the Group of Seven governors – or “guardians of the global monetary system” as he put it – to report on Libra for their next meeting in July.

Can Officials Actually Regulate Facebook Libra?

Bair’s call for a federally backed coin has one major problem. As she humorously notes further in her interview:

“[FedCoin] would give people a very safe way to make payments. I mean you don’t have to worry about the Fed defaulting right, they can print their own money.”

While the Fed can indeed print their own money, the comment highlights the conundrum that modern-day central banks face. Their jurisdiction ends at the border. Facebook’s doesn’t. At least not yet. The G7 will have to massively expand to regulate in the new digital world.

Facebook’s stock is up over the past five-day stretch. | Source: Yahoo Finance

Despite the positive news, Facebook shares closed lower on the day, down 0.29%.

Published in Business and Economy

NEWYORKDAILY247.COM: Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said at a fund-raiser in New York on Monday night that he had already amassed 360,000 donors with an average contribution of $55 — a disclosure that appeared to reveal he has raised $19.8 million for his presidential bid.

That is more than any other candidate raised in the first quarter of the year, when Senator Bernie Sanders paced the Democratic field and raised $18.2 million from more than 500,000 donors, and there are still two weeks remaining in the second quarter for Mr. Biden.

The revelation came at an unusual moment.

Campaigns typically guard their financial hauls closely, only releasing figures at strategic moments to maximize their impact. Mr. Biden made the declaration at the Upper East Side home of the hedge fund manager Jim Chanos.

Mr. Biden thanked the crowd, which Mr. Chanos estimated at 180, for having “allowed me to be able to compete in a way that I’ve never been able to before.”

“We’ve raised a great deal of money,” Mr. Biden said.

[Wall Street donors are beginning to pick their favorites in the 2020 race.]

The Biden campaign declined to comment on its fund-raising totals or say whether the figures Mr. Biden revealed were accurate. It had previously only announced raising $6.3 million in his first 24 hours as a candidate.

Mr. Biden still has two full weeks remaining in the second quarter to gather checks from large donors. He has more finance events in New York scheduled for Tuesday, and a big West Coast swing to the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle to close out the month following next week’s first Democratic debate.

In the first quarter of the year, the only two Democrats to raise more than $10 million were Mr. Sanders of Vermont ($18.2 million) and Senator Kamala Harris of California ($12 million). Mr. Biden entered the race in late April, after the first-quarter deadline had passed.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., is expected to be among the strongest fund-raisers in the second quarter, as well.

Published in Politics

234crypto.com: Russian hackers, not North Korean, may be the bad actors behind probably the biggest ever theft from a cryptocurrency exchange.

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reports Monday that virus variants known to be linked to Russian hackers have been found on employee computers at the Tokyo-based Coincheck exchange.

Coincheck suffered a breach in January 2018 that resulted in the loss of 500 million NEM tokens worth around $530 million at the time – an amount even bigger than that lost by Mt. Gox.

According to the report, the malware found at the exchange had been emailed to employees and included types called Mokes and Netwire, which allow malicious distributors to gain access to victims’ machines and operate them remotely. Mokes apparently first appeared on a Russian bulletin board in 2011, while Netwire has been around for 12 years.

The Coincheck hack has previously been linked with North Korea. In a report last February, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) said that phishing scams and other methods had yielded tens of billions of won in customer funds. The country’s authorities were said at the same time to be probing whether North Korea was behind the Coincheck attack.

Cybersecuirty firm Group-IB also made the link between the allegedly North Korean state-sponsored hacking team and Coincheck in an October report.

Based on an analysis of the viruses, a U.S. cybersecurity expert told the Ashahi Shimbun that Russian or Eastern European hackers may be linked to the Coincheck attack.

Published in News & Stories

234crypto.com: Bitcoin (BTC) surpassed one million daily active addresses on June 14, according to blockchain statistics website CoinMetrics.

Twitter user Kevin Rooke pointed out the current number of daily active on-chain addresses on June 15, resulting in mixed reactions from the community. For instance, one Twitter user noted that “using it and trading it are different things.”

A different user attributed the current number of on-chain transactions to mixers, but failed to notice that even if an increase in mixer use were the reason for the rising active address count, it would still mean that more people are using bitcoin. Some replies claim that bitcoin is only preparing a fertile ground for Facebook’s upcoming rumored Libra cryptocurrencyand blockchain. One user said:

“We just getting the seat warm for Libra.”

Another user cited concerns that bitcoin’s adoption is actually decreasing, as Cointelegraph reported in August last year:

“Yea, it’s getting used so much that merchant adoption is…decreasing.”

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, JPMorgan Chase thinks the Bitcoin industry has changed considerably since 2017, citing an increase in institutional interest and the high volume of bitcoin futures transactions.

Last week, the official Twitter account of Coinbase Custody, a cryptocurrency custody firm aimed at institutions, revealed that it holds $1.3 billion in assets under custody and expects to hit $2 billion AUC soon.

Published in News & Stories

385sports.com: Chelsea have knocked back offers from Spanish giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for attacker Willian, according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea stint

30-year-old Brazilian winger Willian has been on the books of Chelsea since 2013, when he made the move to Stamford Bridge from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.

And the gifted South American has since gone on to establish himself as a key contributor for the Blues, racking up almost 300 appearances across his 6 seasons in London.

The 2017/18 campaign proved particularly fruitful for the former Shakhtar Donetsk man, with Willian having notched 13 goals and 12 assists in 55 outings across all competitions.

Willian struggling for form

However, despite the 66-time capped international’s near ever-present role for the capital outfit, large sections of Chelsea’s fanbase have never truly taken to Willian.

The Corinthians youth product’s inconsistencies this past season, meanwhile, often saw him singled out for heavy criticism.

Barcelona return

As per the aforementioned report from Sky Sports this evening, though, the Chelsea hierarchy nevertheless do not appear keen on parting ways with Willian this summer, at least not on the cheap.

The Brazilian is reported to have been the subject of a pair of £35 million bids from Spain, courtesy of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

Both offers, however, were knocked back:

This is of course not the first time that Willian has been named as a target for Barcelona, with the La Liga champions having also been heavily-linked with a move for the South American attacker last summer, and this past January:

Published in Parliament
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