Ex-NFL Team Owner Pleads Guilty to Running Unlicensed Money Transmitter

Former “shadow banker” Reginald Fowler pleaded guilty to charges of operating an unlicensed money transmission business during a court hearing Friday. In a hearing before the Southern District of New York, Fowler, a former co-owner of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, changed his original plea from not guilty, admitting to providing exchanges with banking services through his alleged operations with Crypto Capital, a payment processor which served exchanges like Bitfinex, QuadrigaCX and CEX.io.  Additional charges of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank…

Crypto News Roundup for Jan. 17, 2020

More ways to listen or subscribe: Whether you’re a first-time listener or you’ve heard every episode, we’d like to know what you think about the show. What do you like? What don’t you like? What do you think we’ve totally missed but should be talking about every day or at least every week? Disclosure Read More The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency…

Ripple-Backed Crypto Wallet BRD Launches Blockchain Toolbox for Enterprise Apps

Mobile wallet provider BRD is making something of a pivot, launching a suite of tools aimed to allow blockchain developers to more easily build apps for enterprises. Called Blockset, the new offering – announced Friday – is described as a blockchain data integration platform with a suite of tools aimed to allow coders to create “enterprise-grade” blockchain applications. These bring the ability to automatically pull in on-chain data via an API and, BRD says, conduct transactions in “near real-time” on multiple blockchains. Nodes can be hosted “out of the box,”…

Watch Civic’s CEO Talk About His New Cross-Border Payment System

Civic’s Vinny Lingham joined us at the Digital Money Forum last week to talk about his new money transfer platform – a worldwide system that holds no funds but instead connects multiple money services businesses (MSBs) in a global network. The product, called Civic Wallet, will let users carry cryptocurrencies and fiat currency on their own devices and uses Civic’s facial recognition systems to secure the system. Because Civic holds none of the keys or currencies, the clients and MSB endpoints will use the wallet as a sort of piping.…

2019’s DeFi Boom Creates New Questions for Tax Filing Season

The decentralized finance (DeFi) boom of 2019, leading to over $785 million in locked crypto assets, is already making accountants dizzy.  If you lock up bitcoin or ether in exchange for a synthetic asset or a stablecoin, as nearly a dozen projects and platforms today allow, is that a trade or merely a temporary reorganizing of the original asset?  Cryptio CEO Antoine Scalia, of the accounting startup that received a small investment from ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin’s ConsenSys, said there’s no clear answer yet.  “The challenges will be how to…

Deribit Takes On New Trading Tools to Capture ‘Exploding’ Options Market

Amid increasing activity within the crypto derivatives market, software maker Trading Technologies (TT) announced Wednesday it would provide trading tools to users of leading crypto exchange, Deribit. Included in the suite are advanced order types, charting and analytics as well as access to a feature allowing users to create algorithms for bot trading. TT users eligible to trade on Deribit will be able to access all listed products, including bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) futures, perpetual and options contracts. Dutch-based (for another month) Deribit, founded in 2016, is now the…

Fake News on Steroids: Deepfakes Are Coming – Are World Leaders Prepared?

This is part of a series of op-eds previewing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. CoinDesk will be on the ground in Davos from Jan. 20–24 chronicling all things crypto at the annual gathering of the world’s economic and political elite. Follow along by subscribing to our pop-up newsletter, CoinDesk Confidential: Davos. Arif Khan is the CEO of Alethea AI. The opinions here are his own. Despite its shortcomings, the World Economic Forum has laudably established itself as an important venue for highlighting controversial technology trends that will have…

Chrysler Building Owner Sells Stake in Zurich Property for ERC-20 Tokens and Cash

The new owner of the Chrysler Building is selling a property worth $135 million to a blockchain real-estate company, taking a fifth of the purchase price in tokenized securities. New York-based RFR Holdings, which purchased the Chrysler Building in a joint agreement in March 2019, agreed to sell its majority stake in a commercial property in Zurich to BrickMark, a Switzerland-based real estate agency. Announced Wednesday, BrickMark said roughly 20 percent of the purchase price will be paid in the firm’s BMT security token. The deal gives BrickMark 80 percent…

Bithumb Exchange Fighting Back Against ‘Groundless’ $69M Tax Bill

South Korea-based exchange Bithumb is fighting a move by the country’s tax authority to withhold over $69 million in tax on foreign cryptocurrency transactions. Confirmed by the company in December, National Tax Service (NTS) based its demand on the rate for miscellaneous income. The tax is calculated at an annualized rate of 22 percent, and in this case was based on the amount of foreign withdrawals from Bithumb. A withholding tax is paid by the income provider rather than the recipient, so in effect Bithumb’s foreign customers are paying the…

Venezuela’s Maduro: Airlines Must Use Petros to Pay for Fuel

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has declared all flights out of the country must use the oil-backed petro cryptocurrency to pay for fuel. In his annual speech to the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly, Maduro announced the state-owned oil company, PDVSA, would only accept petro for fuel sold to airlines. “I decree the sale of all fuel sold by the PDVSA for planes operating international routes be made in petros from now on,” he said. It’s uncertain whether the new restrictions apply exclusively to the capital’s Simón Bolívar International Airport, or whether airlines…