Mt. Gox’s Mark Karpeles Found Guilty, Given 2.6-Year Suspended Sentence

Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the long-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, has been found guilty and given a suspended sentence of two years and six months.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Friday, the Tokyo District Court found Karpeles guilty of wrongfully making electronic records connecting to Mt. Gox’s books, but innocent on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust.

However, Karpeles will be suspended for four years, meaning he won’t do time in jail if staying on good records in the next four years.

The court’s verdict comes almost five years after Mt. Gox filed for liquidation in April 2014 after claiming to have been hacked for 850,000 bitcoin, some of which was later found.

According to the WSJ report, Karpeles’ lawyers wrote in their final...


MIT Bitcoin Expo: Legislators Discuss Regulation, Potential of Blockchain Technology

Hyperbitcoinization enthusiast and writer

 MIT Bitcoin: Legislators Discuss Regulation, Potential of Blockchain Tech
MIT Bitcoin: Legislators Discuss Regulation, Potential of Blockchain Tech

On March 9–10, 2019, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted a two-day event, the MIT Bitcoin Expo 2019. Put together by the student-organized MIT Bitcoin Club, the conference welcomed more than just Bitcoin voices from every corner of the industry. One of those voices was that of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce.

Peirce sat down with Gary Gensler, ex-chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and senior advisor to the director of the MIT Media Lab, to discuss the progress of the SEC’s efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. Notably, Gensler and Peirce launched into a discussion on what regulators can do better to protect investors from fraud and malicious actors.

Before the debate began, both Gensler and Peirce expressed their appreciation for the emerging technology. “It’s a new way to have tamper resistant data amongst the consensus of multiple parties,” Gensler said. “My research is mostly around the business of blockchain technology and … trying to find where are the real use cases where traditional data structures don’t work as well.”

Peirce expressed her own support for the space in relation to the SEC’s ongoing efforts to properly regulate it. “We have rules on the books that we have to enforce, but on the other hand, we don’t want to stop people from doing things that are going to make society a better place to live, that are going to make people’s lives easier, and enable people to interact in ways that they have not been able to in the past.”

Later in the presentation, the two veteran regulators went on to discuss what the government can do to protect investors by possibly regulatinged cryptocurrency exchanges.

Gensler believes that “exchanges are the gateway to get good public policy, particularly around AML laws, but also around investor protection.” He continued, “In essence, that there’s not a manipulated market with frontrunning and manipulation with the order books and the like.”

The discourse was...


Bitcoin Price Trapped in Key Make-or-Break Trading Range

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  • Bitcoin is trapped in a trading range defined by the 200-week simple moving average and the 200- week exponential moving average, currently at $3,404 and $4,106, respectively. Therefore, the outlook as per the weekly chart is neutral.
  • A weekly close (Sunday, UTC) above $4,106 would confirm a longer-term bearish-to-bullish trend change and could fuel a rally toward $5,000.
  • A weekly close (Sunday, UTC) below $3,404 could revive the sell-off from November highs above $6,500 and allow a drop to levels below $3,000.
  • The odds of a drop to the lower edge of the trading range would improve if BTC invalidates a bullish candlestick pattern created on Feb. 27 with a move below $3,658.

Bitcoin is trapped in a key trading range defined by the 200-week simple moving average and the 200- week exponential moving average, currently at $3,404 and $4,106, respectively

The cryptocurrency needs a break above the upper edge needed to confirm a longer-term bull reversal. Conversely, a move below the lower bound of the range could revive the bear market.

Prices fell below the 200-week EMA in the third week of November, bolstering the bearish view put forward by the high-volume breach of the crucial support at $6,000 on Nov. 14.

The ensuing sell-off, however, ran out of...


Overstock’s Blockchain Subsidiary Acquires Stake in Blockchain Banking Platform

Overstock’s Blockchain Subsidiary Acquires Stake in Blockchain Banking Platform

Retail giant Overstock.com, Inc.’s blockchain subsidiary, Medici Ventures, has acquired a stake in blockchain banking platform Bankorus, according to a press release published on March 11.

Medici Ventures has purchased a 5.1 percent stake in Bankorus, a blockchain banking platform that enables both individuals and institutions to buy, sell, lend and store digital assets. Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures, said that “the addition of Bankorus to Medici Ventures’ portfolio of companies will further our work in building the foundation of a blockchain-based technology stack for society.” The financial details of the acquisition were not forthcoming.

Medici Ventures has been largely investing in blockchain projects. Last December, the firm


IBM Digital Currency Chief Says They Are Leading in Blockchain Technology

IBM, Lund
IBM blockchain chief Jesse Lund claimed IBM Is the "leader" in blockchain technology. | Source: Shutterstock

IBM’s Jesse Lund, who heads the blockchain division, claims IBM is the leader in blockchain technology.

In a recent interview, Lund stated:

What IBM’s been doing as the leader in blockchain technology for the last three years is adding security and confidence to the system.

IBM And Stellar Partnership Challenge xRapid

Lund talks about IBM’s cross-border payments solution, which in part uses Stellar Lumens for settlement, and how one of the oldest technology companies in the world plans to revolutionize the remittance market. The solutions developed are challenging Ripple’s xRapid product for adoption, but all the products will have to work together to create a global and harmonious system.

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He explains:

We’re building on a new idea, which is to be able to store monetary value electronically and be able to move that value around the world in real time… I think the problem with cross-border payments today, the inefficiencies are based on the fact that the way that banks communicate, the network that banks communicate on is separate from the network or the rails that money actually...


The Apple-Goldman Sachs Credit Card is a Poor Substitute for a Secure Bitcoin Wallet

apple credit card iphone goldman sachs bitcoin
The security design of bitcoin transactions already made the new Goldman Sachs and Apple credit card obsolete before it even came out. | Source: AP Photo / Andy Wong

The security design of bitcoin transactions already made the new Goldman Sachs and Apple credit card obsolete before it even came out.

Tripp Mickle, Liz Hoffman, and Peter Rudegeair reported for the Wall Street Journal Thursday:

“Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plan to start issuing this spring a joint credit card paired with new iPhone features that will help users manage their money.

“The card will be rolled out to employees for testing in the next few weeks and officially launch later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.”

The Verge’s Jon Porter writes:

“The main selling point of the card is expected to be deeper integration with the Apple Wallet app, which will allow users to manage balances and set spending goals.”

Someone Tell Apple: Credit Cards Are Very Stupid

bitcoin credit card
Credit cards are dumb. | Source: Shutterstock

Credit cards are stupid.

I’ve always marveled that we hand our credit card or debit card to teenagers at restaurants to disappear with for a few minutes, with all the information on it to spend your money.

We tell total strangers over the phone our name, credit card number, its expiration date, and the super special three number security code on the back to have a pizza delivered.

This is insane.

It does show how trustworthy the people in our society generally are that a financial payment system whose security design is so broken hangs together as well as it does.

But this is a big planet, and there are a lot of people. Not all of them are honorable or trustworthy. Companies...


Virginia Police Department Pension Fund is Betting on Bitcoin

fairfax virginia police pension bitcoin crypto
Virginia's Fairfax County Police Department invested part of its pension fund in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry. Now, they're explaining why. | Source: Fairfax County Police/Facebook

Fairfax County, Virginia has targeted part of its pension fund toward investments in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry, as well as blockchain technology in general. Now, they’re explaining why.

Fairfax County Retirement Systems Director Jeff Weiler published a post in response to CCN and other media’s reporting on the county’s decision to invest in Morgan Creek’s latest offering, the Blockchain Opportunities Fund. Oversubscribed from its intended $25 million, the fund invests in blockchain companies. It captured $40 million from two Fairfax County pension plans and other institutions.

Less Than 1% Of Two Retirement Funds Allocated to Crypto Ventures

fairfax virginia police pension crypto bitcoin
Source: Fairfax County Police/Facebook

First things first, the post gives specifics about the amounts invested. In total, the Virginia retirement system dumped $21 million into the fund. $10 million is from the county employee’s retirement fund while $11 million is from the police officer’s fund. They represent 0.3% and 0.8% of the funds’ total assets, respectively.

The post’s intention is to assuage any concerns that might have arisen in the minds of retirees. As CCN clearly stated, the play was not strictly a Bitcoin buy. Instead, Morgan Creek will use the fund to invest in blockchain companies like Coinbase and Bakkt,...


Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian says "Bitcoin winter is great for crypto industry"

Cryptocurrency investors “should have been thinking long term,” says Reddit cofounder and Coinbase backer Alexis Ohanian.

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and known crypto bull, claimed that the crypto hype is gone, leaving space for true crypto believers. Ohanian spoke on the subject in an interview with YahooFinance released on Feb. 22.

Alexis Ohanian Sr. (u/kn0thing) - Redditt
Alexis Ohanian Sr. - alexisohanian.com

alexis ohanian reddit bitcoin crypto coinbase
Reddit co-founder and Coinbase investor Alexis Ohanian said that Crypto Winter is actually good for bitcoin. | Source: AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File

Bitcoin investors should not be discouraged by the brutal Crypto Winter because the mass purge is actually good for the long-term health of the industry. That’s the observation of Coinbase investor Alexis Ohanian, better known as the founder of social media network Reddit.

‘This Is the Spring of Crypto Innovation’

Ohanian — the husband of American tennis star Serena Williams — admits that bitcoin is experiencing a prolonged market slump.

However, despite the Crypto Winter, he says now is actually the “spring of crypto innovation.” Why? Because the people that remain in the industry after the market crash are die-hard enthusiasts, not flaky, fair-weather speculators.

“This is the Crypto Winter, no doubt,” Ohanian told Yahoo. “But a friend of mine, Brian Armstrong — who’s the CEO of Coinbase — said, ‘This is the spring of crypto innovation.'”

“What he means is, ‘Yes, the prices are depressed. The speculators have fled, and that’s great.’ Because the people who are now building on crypto are true believers. They’re actually building the infrastructure that it’s going to take to really make this happen.”

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian: Bitcoin bear market is good for the crypto industry.
Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian: Bitcoin bear market is good for the crypto industry. (Yahoo)

Market Attrition Reveals the True Believers

While naysayers point to the market slump as evidence that bitcoin is dead, Ohanian says nothing could be further from the truth.”

“Some of the smartest people I know in tech are still working on solving these problems. They’re building companies that are built on blockchain.”

“The hype is...


How hackers can be stopped from Splitting Bitcoin Into 2 with SABRE Tech

If hackers felt like it, they could split bitcoin in two.

It wouldn’t even be that hard, according to research from 2017. Thanks to insecure technology underpinning the internet, someone with the right credentials could exploit the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) by faking their identity and confusing the network into sending floods of data somewhere it shouldn’t. “The internet’s biggest security hole,” as it’s been called, has been used for everything from snooping on government emails to stealing cryptocurrency.

As far as splitting bitcoin, the attack is as bad as it sounds. If executed successfully, one chunk of the network would be completely sliced off from the other. No one could communicate and send transactions to people who are a part of the “other” network.

That’s where researchers from the prestigious Swiss university ETH Zurich hope to help. As described in a new white paper, they’ve invented a relay network called SABRE that they hope will one day be built on top of bitcoin.

With the same name as the curved blade common in the Napoleonic era, SABRE sounds like it would be used to slice bitcoin in half. Instead, it hopes to do the opposite. Rather, the planned network would (metaphorically) wield a saber against impending attackers, stopping them in their tracks.

Eth Zurich computer network researcher Maria Apostolaki told CoinDesk:

“SABRE is a small relay network whose nodes are strategically located such that they remain connected to each other and connected to as many regular nodes as possible, even in the presence of a AS-level adversary that hijacks traffic.”

This network would “render the partition ineffective,” she said.

When SABRE is used, the risk of a split goes down, the researchers claim. Without SABRE, it’s possible for an ISP to attack and partition bitcoin with only a “small” routing attack. But, according to the researchers’ simulations on a group of five nodes, there’s only a 3.1 percent chance probability of the attacker could hijack the network and partition it. The probability also decreases as the number of nodes increases.

To be presented at The Network and Distributed System Security Symposium this month, the proposed layer is the result of years of research. Apostolaki has been researching this specific issue since 2016 since “blockchain applications are very common nowadays making research on their routing characteristics very impactful.”

The attack

The attack strikes at the root of the internet.

Every time you click a webpage, you’re unknowingly using BGP, an internet protocol that helps get data from Point A to Point B. Say you want to get to CoinDesk.com. Your...


Blockchain Slashed Forex Trading Costs by 25% says HSBC Exec

An HSBC executive has said that the bank’s blockchain-based system has helped it cut the costs of settling foreign exchange trades.

Speaking to Reuters, Mark Williamson, chief operating officer of FX cash trading and risk management, who oversees the blockchain project, said that its HSBC FX Everywhere platform saved it 25 percent as compared with traditional methods.

Last month, the bank announced it had settled more than $250 billion in transactions using its HSBC FX Everywhere platform.

It said then that it had settled 3 million foreign exchange transactions and made a further 150,000 payments over the digital ledger system, which it has been using...