Exclusive: Crypto Founder Lashes Out, Blames SEC for ‘Starving’ Innovation
“My name is David Siegel, I am a regulatory refugee from the United States.” This is how David Siegel, founder of crypto projects Pillar and 20|30, starts his presentations. What challenges have you faced building projects within the blockchain industry? Siegel understands the need for innovation and disruption within economies, and he can get more done in the UK and Europe than he can in the US. His frustration is that institutional legacy mindsets are holding society back at the precise point when we have the ability to leap forward. I can hear the frustration in his voice as we
Kleiman Estate Says Satoshi Reveal ‘Is Relevant’ in Billion Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit
In the state of Florida, there’s an ongoing lawsuit against Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, for billions of dollars. Wright is being sued by the Kleiman family on behalf of the late Dave Kleiman for allegedly misappropriating billions worth of BTC through a partnership years ago. On March 29, the Kleiman vs. Wright discovery meeting transcript was published revealing more interesting details about this unique case.
The Billion Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit Continues With a Discovery Meeting
According to Ira Kleiman, his brother David’s inheritance was allegedly manipulated during a multi-year partnership with Australian native Craig Wright. On Valentine’s Day last year, a case was filed against Wright in Florida which accused him of defrauding Kleiman out of an assumed 1.1 million BTC stash. The lawsuit has continued into 2019, after Wright’s legal counsel attempted to get the case dismissed only for Florida district Judge Beth Bloom to deny the defendant’s dismissal. This week, on March 29, the court’s discovery meeting transcript was released which explains that Wright and Kleiman’s partnership was very complicated. Wright is scheduled to be deposed under oath by Kleiman’s lawyers on Thursday, April 4.
The discovery meeting reveals some fascinating aspects in regard to one of the most compelling Bitcoin-related lawsuits to date. For instance, during the proceedings, the court asked Wright’s legal counsel whether he did or did not collaborate with Kleiman in the development of Bitcoin. Wright’s attorneys replied by saying: “It is Dr. Wright’s position, your Honor, that Dave Kleiman assisted in editing the protocol related to Bitcoin but did not create Bitcoin.” The judge then asked the defendant’s counsel if Wright and Kleiman jointly mined bitcoin and co-owned any cryptocurrencies. The lawyer detailed that Wright’s position is that he never mined bitcoin with Kleiman nor did any co-owned bitcoin exist. Additionally, Wright’s attorney asserted that Kleiman had no legal rights to intellectual property associated with Bitcoin or the Bitcoin protocol.
Parsing Through Thousands of Documents
The judge and the two disputing parties also discussed Wright’s issues with the Australian Tax Office (ATO), which explained that the ATO was and still might be investigating Wright and Kleiman’s collaboration. The lawyer representing the Kleiman estate stated that the plaintiffs were contacted by the ATO while conducting an investigation to find out whether there was information the Kleimans had for corroborating evidence on the matter. Further, the discovery transcript reveals that the late David Kleiman left a significant trail of documents behind which may pertain to the lawsuit. The two disputing parties are parsing through thousands of documents that belonged to David Kleiman, his brother Ira, and the business W&K Info Defense Research. This includes documents that stem from a number of electronic devices, computers, phones, hard drives, encrypted chats, and emails that belonged to Kleiman.
Kleiman’s Legal Counsel: ‘The Satoshi Nakamoto Story Is Relevant’
Toward the end of the discovery hearing, the parties also discussed the Satoshi Nakamoto moniker and how Wright claimed to be the creator of Bitcoin but failed to provide evidence. Kleiman’s lawyer explained how Andrew O’Hagan, the famous London Review of Books author who wrote an article called “The Satoshi Affair,” had hours of Wright discussing how he invented Bitcoin. The entire story between O’Hagan and Wright makes the plaintiffs believe that Wright came out saying he was Satoshi for “celebrity status” and to “sell his intellectual property that Satoshi Nakamoto created for billions of dollars.” The Kleimans think the Satoshi story is “relevant” to the proceedings and that the late David Kleiman was very much involved in a partnership with Wright involving Bitcoin.
“So the plaintiffs’ position is that admissions with regard to who owned the intellectual property created by Satoshi Nakamoto and the story of Satoshi Nakamoto are relevant to the case because it is plaintiffs’ theory that Satoshi Nakamoto is the name of a partnership between Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman,” explained the Kleiman estate’s lawyer.
In addition to the Wright deposition scheduled for April 4, Ira Kleiman will be deposed as well. After the depositions, the court will reconvene to discuss the matters and come back with any follow up. The judge also gave the plaintiff’s counsel permission to ask Wright about the communications with O’Hagan in order to proportionate the findings. The entire case between Wright and Kleiman goes beyond any scope of all the other high profile BTC cases so far because it involves the creation of Bitcoin itself. Moreover, the lawsuit started many years after Ira Kleiman became his brother’s beneficiary when Dave died from a rough battle with MRSA. The Kleiman vs. Wright case is thought provoking because whatever way it settles, some believe it will either provide answers or even more questions to the Satoshi Nakamoto mystery. So far, Wright has failed to convince the greater Bitcoin community that he is the creator of Bitcoin and has yet to provide any cryptographic evidence.
What do you think about the Kleiman vs. Wright legal battle? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Court Listener, and Pacer.
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IBM Launches Stellar-Based Banking Service, but Bigger Changes Ahead for Global Finance
IBM has officially entered the financial services industry with the launch of Blockchain World Wire (BWW). Using the Stellar blockchain, Big Blue’s platform will enable banks to move large sums of money across borders more quickly, more securely, and for a small fraction of the cost of existing legacy systems. Moving assets across borders is also the core of Ripple’s business model, and other players are expected to soon enter this space. Although there is no debate that distributed ledger technology is well-suited for this purpose, long-term success of these services is far from guaranteed, as the very fabric of blockchain assets may eventually render the very concept of cross border payments obsolete.
The roll out of BWW has been a solid success. Several banks have already announced that they will use the service, and it is already available in seventy-two countries. It has boosted IBM’s reputation as a player in the blockchain space, and Stellar’s market value has jumped.
Crypto advocates have reason to celebrate this development, as it represents the most significant mainstream use of blockchain to-date, and promises to highlight the technology’s remarkable potential. Legacy money transfer players such as SWIFT, Western Union, and Moneygram will no doubt be forced to adapt, or face obsolescence. It is worth noting that Ripple’s similar service, Xrapid, also conducted its first transactions over the past few weeks.
The activation of these transfer services intensifies a much larger debate over the future of blockchain assets, which is whether or not fiat currency can survive the blockchain revolution. Some argue that because cryptocurrency is borderless and decentralized, once it attains mainstream use fiat will no longer be relevant to the global economy. Thus, there will be no need to move money across borders as consumers will merely use cryptocurrency for all their financial needs. Adding to this argument is the assertion that crypto will eliminate the need for traditional banks, as well as financial investment firms.
In fact, blockchain technology has the potential to radically change the very concept of wealth, as traditional assets such as stocks, bonds, or land can be tokenized and used as a medium of exchange. Already platforms such as Polymath and Harbor are working to build such networks. In fact, given the rate of development it is safe to assume that the modern world will soon become dependent on distributed ledgers, much like it has the Internet or wireless communication.
On the other hand, advocates of these transfer services assert that the global economic framework will remain anchored to fiat for the foreseeable future, as central banks provide a level of security that blockchain cannot yet match. For example, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has long held that the successful movement of cryptocurrencies into common use will require digital assets to work alongside fiat, rather than against it. It is for this reason that using crypto as “bridge currency” between other more traditional assets is critical for adoption.
Regardless of one’s stance on fiat’s future, there is no doubt that the activation of blockchain based cross-border transfers represents a significant step forward for crypto use. It is likely that as these systems become more popular, more industries will become eager to embrace distributed ledgers for their own applications. Thus, this move by IBM is solid confirmation that the Blockchain revolution is well underway.
Japanese Shinkansen Giant May Accept Crypto: Local Report
JR Group To Bring Digital Assets Mainstream
According to CoinTelegraph, in a business presentation in Tokyo last week, Kazuhiro Tokita, the president of the FSA-regulated local crypto exchange DeCurret, dropped a hint that mass adoption could be around the corner.
Kazuhiro unveiled a system that would allow for consumers that hold a Suica card, which is used on East Japan Railway Company’s (JR East) metro and shinkansen systems, to top up their balance with digital assets. Per the aforementioned outlet, this is currently just a prototype/proof of concept, with JR East only considering the implementation. But with millions of Japanese citizens actively utilizing JR East’s services as a way to get across their city, prefecture, and nation, many Bitcoin bulls and similar pundits are rooting for this move.
It is important to note that DeCurret has yet to launch, with the company only providing a tentative April 16th release date of its trading platform, one of the few that has met the standards of local authorities, which became extremely stringent following the $500 million hack of CoinCheck in January 2018. The fiat-enabled exchange will support Bitcoin, Litecoin, XRP, and Bitcoin Cash at launch, with DeCurret purportedly looking to add Ethereum by early-summer. This likely means that if JR East goes ahead with its plan to integrate direct crypto payments, it will support the aforementioned list of digital assets.
Japan’s Booming Crypto Economy
This marks Japan’s continued support for the cryptocurrency economy. Since Bitcoin was first established, it has been a popular topic in Japan, which has historically been forward-thinking and kind towards technologists and innovation, in general.
In late-2017, as BTC began to rally tremendously, CNBC reported that Japanese financial institution Mizuho was considering launching the so-called “J-Coin” just in time for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics. Although details were scant following that report, leading some to claim that Mizuho’s foray was just hearsay, the Nikkei Asian Review corroborated the report in late-2018. Per the outlet, the finance giant was aiming to introduce a consumer-centric cryptocurrency by March, as it aims to promote a cashless economy. While this crypto asset likely isn’t going to actively use blockchain, many see this as an important step towards Japan’s acceptance of true decentralized assets, like Bitcoin.
In related news, Rakuten, an e-commerce heavyweight in the nation, has acquired a Bitcoin exchange, and intends to integrate direct cryptocurrency payments into its stores. Bit Camera, a large electronics retailers, too, has embraced cryptocurrencies, accepting BTC in its stores across the nation.
‘Russian Facebook’ VK Wants to Turn its 100 Million Users into Crypto Fans
VKontakte (also known as “VK”), which is Russia’s version of Facebook, is planning to issue its own cryptocurrency. The project is currently under development, but a final decision has not yet been made. The social media firm wants to create a cryptocurrency that all its users can implement, according to Russian news website RNS. VKontakte claims it has 97 million active monthly users. VK Launched Money Transfer System In 2018 If VKontakte is successful in rolling out its own cryptocurrency, users will be able to earn crypto for sharing interesting posts and accumulating “likes.” They can also use the digital
Interest-Paying Crypto Accounts Are This Year’s Leading Trend
2019 has witnessed a Cambrian explosion of crypto interest schemes. Previously, the only way to make a passive income on your cryptocurrency was through hodling and hoping it would rise in dollar terms, or to operate a masternode for a dubious altcoin. Today’s investors have it a whole lot easier thanks to a string of new savings programs that promise annual interest simply for locking up digital assets.
Crypto Companies Are Borrowing From the Fiat Banking Toolbox
Last week, Nexo became the latest crypto company to introduce interest to its customers, with the provision of up to 6.5 percent annually on stablecoins DAI, PAX, USDC, USDT, and TUSD. Interest will be compounded daily and funds will be protected by custodial insurance. Unlike most of the crypto interest schemes to have emerged this year, Nexo enables its clients to withdraw any amount of cryptocurrency at any time. As such, their crypto account essentially becomes a checking account, stocked with dollar-pegged tokens, but bolstered by the promise of annual interest that exceeds that of most fiat saving accounts.
Nexo is by no means alone in incentivizing customers to secure their crypto in a custodial account and be rewarded. Blockfi will disburse 6 percent annually to clients who store ETH or BTC deposits. Ledgerx introduced its own interest-bearing BTC account last year for U.S. investors, while Compound provides up to 4.2 percent annually for assets such as DAI. At the start of March, Universal Protocol Alliance announced a stablecoin that would pay interest of up to 10 percent per year.
Cryptocurrency users have never had more options in terms of where to store their digital assets. Having had it drummed into them for years that noncustodial wallets are the best place to stash their coins, long-term hodlers now find themselves torn on account of the attractive interest rates offered by third parties. Even with the promise of full custodial cover, cryptocurrency owners face a dilemma: to seek the sanctity and privacy of storing funds in a noncustodial wallet, or to raise the risk a little in return for a generous 6 percent.
Balancing the Risks and Rewards of Interest-Bearing Crypto Accounts
When Blockfi announced its crypto interest scheme, eagle-eyed readers scrutinizing the terms and conditions spotted that the assets would not be insured against losses. While offerings from the likes of Nexo and Coinbase Custody are fully insured, consumers should nevertheless familiarize themselves with the small print before committing. Coinbase hasn’t begun offering crypto interest accounts per se, it should be noted: rather, it’s added staking as a service, which obliges hodlers to lock up qualifying Proof of Stake coins such as tezos (XTZ). The end result to clients is much the same as receiving interest however; by the time Coinbase has taken its 2 percent, stakers will be left with an annual yield of around 6 percent.
Staking and interest are not the same, as industry commenters such as Meltem Demirors have been keen to stress. For the end user, however, be it an institutional client who doesn’t want to “get their hands dirty” with the technical side of staking, or a retail client who doesn’t want to assume custody for their crypto, the outcome can appear indistinguishable. “Financialization of Bitcoin is inevitable and vitally important,” argued Zane Pocock in a Medium post on March 29. He continued:
Financialized structures allow for much better liquidity, debt structures, and other benefits that mean institutional custody and lending can be good for Bitcoin.
Pocock urged investors to do their own research into the interest accounts being offered by crypto companies and not to “fall for the illusion of free money. Bitcoin is our emergency exit from the outcomes of precisely that fallacy.” Crypto interest programs remain an alluring proposal, however, and their number is set to multiply over the coming year. As Shapeshift’s Erik Vorhees pointed out, once the inflationary nature of central bank currencies is factored in, crypto interest accounts become significantly more appealing than their fiat counterparts.
When comparing crypto-denominated interest/yield to fiat-denominated yields, remember to subtract 2-3% of the fiat yield due to inflation. Stated differently, compare the real yield of fiat returns to the nominal yield of crypto returns. The delta is what central banks r stealing
What are your thoughts on interest-paying crypto accounts? Let us know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. This editorial is for informational purposes only.
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Tezos Price Surges 57% in Days as Coinbase Fuels Another Crypto Rally
The week is ending on a hugely positive note for the Tezos cryptocurrency. Tezos Races Ahead of Wider Crypto Market The blockchain project’s native asset XTZ today established a new weekly high towards $1.08 – up more than 17 percent in the last 24 hours. The latest push also brought the coin’s weekly gains to 57 percent, bringing the price a few steps closer to its November 19 high at $1.09. No other top-20 cryptocurrency came close to matching the breakneck Tezos rally. Volume-wise, crypto exchanges listing XTZ-enabled pairs reported trading activity worth a little above $8.2 million. Among those
Litecoin Adoption Continues; LTC Added As Collateral Option on Nexo
It is now possible to get a loan while using Litecoin as collateral. Nexo, a cryptocurrency-backed loan platform, revealed that Litecoin is the newest collateral option for Nexo’s credit lines.
This Friday, Cryptocurrency backed loan platform Nexo announced on Twitter that it has added Litecoin (LTC) as its new loan-backed option. With the addition of Litecoin, NEXO now supports 6 cryptocurrencies, which are Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Binance Coin, NEXO, and Litecoin.
The announcement from Nexo on Twitter:
We are thrilled to announce Litecoin as the newest collateral option for Nexo’s instant credit lines. LTC holders can now access instant cash in 45+ fiat currency while keeping the upside potential of their #LTC! https://t.co/hqq0TtRbK9
According to Nexo, the addition of Litecoin will simplify selling pressure and make “LTC HODLing” easier in the long run, leveraging the firm’s instant credit lines, a powerful tool for developing tax-efficiency. The company said:
“Allowing LTC Holders to borrow against their assets rather than sell them when they need access to instant cash adds an incredibly powerful utility feature to LTC.”
The company also revealed the decision to add Litecoin, comparing both Litecoin and Nexo’s goals:
“Litecoin has always focused on expanding the decentralized finance agenda as a means of social inclusion and generating financial freedom — two goals that align the endeavor with the mission of the Nexo enterprise.”
At the time of writing, Litecoin is trading at $60.57, down 0.11% over the past 24-hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Crypto Traders En-Masse Flip Bullish On Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin Bulls Rear Their Heads
For some odd reason, crypto pundits en-masse have started to tout optimism on Twitter. As Alistair Milne, the chief investment officer at an industry investment firm, recently put it, “pretty much every OG Bitcoin trader” that he respects is now leaning bullish. And funilly enough, this might not be hearsay.
Michael Arlington, the founder of TechCrunch and a big fan of XRP, recently explained that he is now more bullish on crypto than ever before.
The Crypto Dog, a prominent analyst who likely imbued the following comment with some creative license, remarked that he heard a friend telling him that “literally everyone is bullish.” And in the comments under this tweet, it seemed as though this sentiment was shared.
The Block’s Mike Dudas explained that from his first-hand experiences, the projects and individuals he has been talking to in Bitcoin have been entirely buoyant. Others likened the current mood to that felt in late-2016 and early-2017, which was when industry innovation started to ramp up as crypto diehards felt something bubbling up fundamentally.
Why Is Everyone Bullish On Crypto?
This begs two questions: Why is everyone so, so bullish on crypto right now? And, more importantly, is this senseless optimism really warranted?
From a technical and price action perspective, everyone seems to be relatively cheery.
Instead of calling for lower lows, many, if not most crypto analysts are now expecting for range trading — a large shift sentiment-wise. While Bitcoin has made it past the $4,000 range, it still needs to make a convincing move to and past the $4,200 to $4,400 region, which some are convinced will mark an end to the ongoing bear trend.
Fundamentally, crypto’s prospects seem great too.
Brendan Bernstein, a proponent of the “Bitcoin, not blockchain” movement, recently explained that there is currently a “perfect storm” brewing for BTC and its long-term potential. Citing macroeconomy factors, he looks to the rise of Quantitative Easing (QE), the likely-to-be controversial 2020 election, an influx in retirees, and the rise in fiscal trends like Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) as a way to claim that BTC is likely to be a safe haven in all this. Bernstein adds that the impending block reward halving, which will decrease natural selling pressure in the crypto market, will likely be a boon for the Bitcoin price in the years to come.
More broadly, industry developments have convinced some that adoption is on the horizon: Starbucks is potentially looking into accepting Bitcoin, Samsung opened the crypto doors to millions through its Blockchain Keystore offering, Facebook is on the verge of launching its own digital assets, and some of the largest institutions have started to hire industry talents en-masse.
These reasons, along with countless others, are likely why much of the industry has somehow managed to get high on hopium once again, in spite of 2018’s downturn, which crushed the dreams of many retail investors in Bitcoin.
Tesla Wreck Hack Blindsides Unsuspecting Model 3 Owners
Your smartphone, your smartwatch, and your laptop are all probably recording your information. Big deal – you knew that already. But what you might not have known is that your Tesla Model 3 is also a veritable gold mine of personal information. Tesla Wrecks are an Unexpected Hacker Gold Mine A story broke recently of a “white hat hacker” who has been restoring wrecked Teslas and demonstrating just how much data is under the hood. Phone contacts, addresses, and even crash videos were all salvageable from the car in question. But it’s not only a wrecked Tesla that is a
Just a proof of concept ‘top up your existing channel.’ Lots of bugs but two different mobile wallets worked fine.
Bitcoin Lightning Network Capacity Rises Over 1,000 BTC
The crypto industry is becoming increasingly enthusiastic about the Lightning Network because it offers to drastically lower BTC’s transaction fees while making it possible to execute near-instant transactions.
Moreover, the demonstration of making ATM Bitcoin payments over the Lightning Network comes when Weiss Crypto Ratings has just upgraded Bitcoin from a “C-” to a “B-” (good) because its technology had dramatically improved.
Weiss highlighted these conclusions in a comprehensive report on the crypto market entitled “Dark Shadows with a Bright Future, ” published in March 2019.
Specifically, the Weiss evaluation considered four factors: adoption rate, technology, risk, and reward. And, it highlighted the effect of the advent of the Lightning Network in the upgrade, as follows,
Bitcoin has been upgraded with the roll-out of its Lightning Network and is the best positioned to become a popular store of value for savers and investors.
The Lightning Network is a decentralized system where participants can implement trustless micropayment channels to perform one or multiple payment transactions off-blockchain.
These channels reside off the Bitcoin blockchain. Transactions occur between these channels. Upon completion, transactions are transmitted, as a single transaction, to the blockchain. Then, the payment channel is closed, and transactions are transcribed onto the blockchain.
Therefore, regardless of the number of transactions performed, the BTC blockchain is accessed twice, at the opening of the channel and the closing of the channel.
The implementation of Lightning Network nodes continues to gain momentum. As of this writing, according to 1ML, a Lightning Network monitoring website, the network now boasts 7,744 nodes and 39,129 channels. And the network capacity reaches over 1,059 BTC.
Will Bitcoin ATMs use Lightning Network to cut costs in the future? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of via Twitter/@bitcoinorghk, Weiss Crypto Ratings, Shutterstock
Adjourned but Not Dismissed: Is Blockchain’s Takeover of the Legal Industry Inevitable?
Blockchain technology, in its relatively short history, has bulldozed through a number of industries to make their operations more transparent, quick and efficient. Some of the sectors where this emerging technology finds use-cases include supply chain management, real estate, finance, and medical, among others. Although the technology continues to find success in the industries above,
Massive Bitcoin Exchange Hack Exposes Bithumb’s Arrogant Disregard of Security
In another blow to the crypto industry’s reputation, South Korean bitcoin exchange Bithumb was hacked again on Saturday morning. The hack marks the second time the exchange has been successfully penetrated in less than a year. Is arrogance or incompetence to blame? Bithumb Hadn’t Even Repaired its Reputation Since the Last Hack The Bithumb hack saw the offenders make off with around $20 million worth of EOS and Ripple (XRP). Three million EOS were stolen, along with 20 million XRP tokens. Influential crypto analyst Dovey Wan initially tweeted that the exchange’s cold wallet had been targeted, though that ultimately proved
New BCH Apps and a Special Giveaway in This Week’s Video Update From Bitcoin.com
In addition to learning about the latest developments in the world of Bitcoin Cash, you can take part in a special giveaway in this week’s video news update from Bitcoin.com. Streamed live and hosted by Roger Ver, the weekly show is shared on Bitcoin.com’s Youtube channel every Sunday.
This week’s show features a special giveaway enabling viewers to win prizes such as hardware wallets, cool BCH t-shirts and other swag. To participate all you have to do is subscribe to the Bitcoin.com Youtube channel and leave a comment on the video regarding which Bitcoin Cash news item you are most excited about. 10 winners will be randomly selected by Wednesday and their names will be announced on next week’s show.
Among the topics discussed this week are the launch of the Cashshuffle coin mixing protocol on Electron Cash, a new Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) explorer that lets users browse tokens built on the BCH blockchain, and a new app for customers to order menu items with their phones and pay with an integrated point-of-sale system using QR codes. Additionally features is the Peaceful Warrior online shop created by a group of female entrepreneurs from within the crypto space as well as the BCH community raising funds for young people in need from South Sudan.
Make sure to subscribe to the Bitcoin.com Youtube channel and leave a comment on the latest video for your chance to win.
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