Accused Bitcoin Launderer Vinnik Reportedly Arrives at French Hospital

According to a Facebook post by Alexander Vinnik’s lawyer, Zoe Konstantopoulou, the alleged BTC-e money launderer has successfully been extradited to France.  Social media update In a post on the social media site at UTC 8:10, Konstantopoulou wrote:  “Alexander is at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Paris, as my French colleague informed me, while the Greek authorities are hiding and pretending to know nothing. She hasn’t been allowed to see him yet and they will try to question him tonight, exhausted and without communication or information! I already sent a request…

Kik Representative Will Give Deposition in SEC Case on Jan. 28

The United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested a deposition from a representative of Kik Interactive Inc. to provide detailed information about its operations since releasing native token Kin. Kik Interactive, the Canadian company behind the Kik messenger application, has been dragged into a long-standing legal battle with the U.S. regulator. The SEC claims that the company violated securities laws when it carried out Kik’s token distribution in 2017. On Jan. 23, a Manhattan federal judge ordered that Kik Interactive share with the SEC information detailing how its business…

Securities Regulator of India Bets on Blockchain

The Chairman of Security and Exchange Board of India(SEBI), Ajay Tyagi makes a bet on blockchain technology and urges exploration of the best possible usage of blockchain in securities markets. SEBI is the regulator of the Indian securities market. On Jan 23, speaking at a research conference on ‘Changing Landscape of Securities Market’ organized by the National Institute of Securities Markets, Patalganj, Tyagi said that applications of blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to bring a paradigm shift in the securities markets landscape. “Blockchain could be used…

Hawaiian Bill Would Let Banks Act as Crypto Custodians

Hawaiian lawmakers have submitted a bill that allows banks to provide custody for digital assets. SB2594, introduced on Jan. 18 with bipartisan backing, would make it legal for Hawaiian banks to hold “digital securities,” “virtual currencies,” “digital consumer assets” and other “open blockchain tokens” for their customers. It would further authorize Hawaiian courts to hear digital asset claims if passed. State Senators Gil Riviere (D-23), Sharon Moriwaki (D-12), Stanley Chang (D-9), Les Ihara (D-10) and Kurt Fevella (R-19) sponsored the bill.   In effect, the bill could clear the way for…

Litecoin ‘Digital Silver’ Narrative Is Proven Wrong, New Data Shows

The start of 2020 has seen considerable gains in the cryptocurrency market as a whole. Recently, Bitcoin (BTC) price reached a 2-month record high crossing above the $9,000 mark as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin (LTC) reaching $62.80 which is the highest price seen since mid-November 2018. Cryptocurrency market weekly overview. Source: Coin360 Cryptocurrencies’ volatile behavior is one of the main concerns raised by researchers and it complicates the argument that Bitcoin should be classified as a traditional investment asset and that it is a reliable store of…

Chainalysis Finds Exchanges Bolstering Security While Hackers Refine Attacks

A Chainalysis report has found an increase in number of exchange hacks in 2019, though less crypto was actually stolen than in previous years. The findings In the report, Chainalysis includes only exchange attacks (excluding wallet providers, payment processors, etc.). The firm includes hacks against technical vulnerabilities, deceptive attacks, like social engineering, and attacks that they confirmed and measured in value. It also includes hacks from private sources, so long as they didn’t skew the data. Of the 11 hacks, the $105 million lifted from Coinbene was the most lucrative.…

MIT Research Group Calls Crypto a Testing Ground for a Central Bank Digital Asset

MIT’s crypto and distributed ledger tech research group, the Digital Currency Initiative, recently explained that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) will eventually use some of the concepts and technology currently at play in the experimental crypto space. “CBDC should not be a direct copy of existing cryptocurrencies with exactly the same design and features but there are things we can learn from their emergence — the usefulness of programmability in money and the importance of preserving user privacy,” the MIT group wrote in a lengthy report on Jan. 22. A…

Ex-CFTC Chair Christopher Giancarlo on Why He Launched Digital Dollar Project

In this video from WEF 2020, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, also known as “Crypto Dad,” discusses his push to digitize the U.S. dollar and the future of global currencies. “We believe that the dollar usage in the global economy is underserved by serving as a continual analog instrument in a digital world,” he said. “We’re going to think through how to create a digital dollar that serves well into this coming digital century.” Ultimately, Giancarlo feels governmental currencies will come together with corporate cryptocurrencies and,…

Will Mass Adoption Be More PayPal or Pornhub?

There is an ongoing debate in the crypto community about where mainstream adoption. One point of view is that it will be the slow steady acceptance of digital assets. On that front, Bakkt president Adam White said in Davos yesterday that the company is on track to launch their app this year.  Another perspective is that the main use case of crypto is to enable otherwise censored transactions. Lending credence to this perspective is the case of Pornhub, which saw payouts to its more than 100,000 performers blocked unexpectedly by…

‘Fluffypony’ Weighs In on CBDC Trend at Davos 2020

Riccardo Spagni, better known as “Fluffypony,” discusses privacy and whether or not central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are just a fleeting thing. The Monero community leader speaks with CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen in Davos, Switzerland. “There’s less hype, but more talk,” said Spagni. “It’s kind of like one of those things where people say they are building a fintech product that has AI and blockchain.” Spagni sees blockchain as moving into an offensive role now that privacy is gaining a more important role in computing. “Companies like Apple are mainstreaming privacy,”…