CoinDesk Takes Consensus 2020 Virtual

With the COVID-19 pandemic worsening throughout the world, CoinDesk is taking immediate action on Consensus 2020. As the organizers of Consensus and Blockchain Week NYC, our goal has always been to bring the community together to educate, grow, and create meaningful connections in a safe location. It is no longer possible to do that in a physical location.  Nonetheless, we are seizing an opportunity to make the most of this otherwise extremely difficult situation. Consensus 2020 will now be a completely virtual experience, where attendees from all over the world…

In Echo of 2008, Fed Pledges $1.5 Trillion Injection to Aid Reeling Markets

U.S. central bankers pledged Thursday to inject some $1.5 trillion into the financial system in an effort to calm panicky markets after the spreading coronavirus triggered steep price declines on everything from stocks to bitcoin. The move by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York comes as investors in traditional Wall Street markets have rushed to snap up U.S. Treasury bonds, historically viewed as a “safe haven” asset in times of turmoil. The flight to safety has pushed down the 10-year note’s yield, which moves in the opposite direction from…

US Charges Dutch National With Running Crypto-Funded Child Porn Site

U.S. prosecutors indicated a Dutch national Thursday for allegedly spearheading a rape and child pornography website that’s made over $1.6 million worth of bitcoin selling videos since 2012. Known as “Michael R.M.,” and “Mr. Dark,” the man allegedly ran a site called “DarkScandals” that operated on the darknet, which requires special software to access, and on the public clearnet. He allegedly sold over 2,000 videos and had ties to 303 virtual currency accounts, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Bitcoin and…

Down 26%: Bitcoin Sees Worst Sell-Off in 7 Years as Coronavirus Spurs Flight to Safety

Bitcoin (BTC) suffered its biggest drop in seven years, as fears over the spreading coronavirus triggered a new wave of selling in everything from stocks and junk bonds to cryptocurrencies. This came despite a new European Central Bank pledge to pump more cash into panicky markets.   Prices for the largest cryptocurrency by market value plunged 26 percent to $5,863 as of 13:54 UTC (9:54 a.m. Eastern time). The move wiped out bitcoin’s gains for the year, dropping prices to the lowest level since May 2019. At least for now, it…

New York Crypto Companies Move to ‘Work From Home’ in Face of Rising COVID-19 Threat

Kadena CEO Will Martino had already been considering abandoning his blockchain development company’s Brooklyn HQ before coronavirus came to New York City. The fast-spreading virus, however, recently convinced him the office had to go. On Feb. 21, he told his team to begin working from home. The New York Metropolitan area’s surging coronavirus count is forcing more of the region’s cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to prepare for an unsavory reality: Their offices may close without warning and their employees may need to begin working remotely. CDC officials say “social distancing”…

Crypto Scams Pose More Risk Than Payments Fraud, Report Suggests

Cryptocurrency scams in 2019 had more risk for U.S. residents than fraud involving romance or payments. That’s the conclusion of a recent report by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on marketplace trust. The report found an average dollar loss in crypto-focused fraud of $3,000 for victims age 25 to 44. The relatively high figure was the result of nefarious actors taking advantage of those who lacked foundational knowledge of digital assets, BBB said. Thirty-two percent of scams involved the exchange of cryptocurrencies for goods, services or…

YouTube Temporarily Bans Two Popular Crypto Channels Claiming Policy Breach

YouTube has deleted videos and temporarily banned the accounts of two more cryptocurrency enthusiasts citing a breach in company policy. Earlier this week, cryptocurrency educator “Ivan on Tech” and crypto news reporter “The Moon” took to Twitter to express their anger over being censored for what they believed were overreactions by the video sharing platform. YouTube had delivered a strike notice to both accounts, which essentially restricts the ability for content creators to upload videos, live streams or stories for a set period, based on the number of strikes received…

Blockforce Capital’s Crypto Fund Captures 86% of Bitcoin’s Upside in 2020

In the first two months of 2020, Blockforce Capital’s multi-strategy master fund saw a 16.8 percent return compared to a 19.5 percent return in bitcoin, the company announced in a note to accredited investors.  Blockforce is a seasoned ETF issuer which specializes in alternative investment vehicles for investors. In February of last year the company infamously filed the first proposal for an exchange-traded fund made up of a mix of currencies including bitcoin only to pull the fund at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s request the next day. Currently,…

Europe’s New AML Rules Made Crypto More Attractive to Institutions, Says Boerse Stuttgart Exec

The fifth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5) has unexpectedly increased institutional interest in cryptocurrencies, according to an executive at the crypto trading subsidiary of Boerse Stuttgart. Speaking at the CryptoCompare London conference Tuesday, Boerse Stuttgart’s chief digital officer, Dr. Ulli Spankowski, admitted he had been “surprised” by the positive effect 5AMLD had on attracting traditional financial institutions into cryptocurrencies. “I actually didn’t think anything would happen because banks and other financial institutions could already do crypto custody [and] could do crypto trading,” Spankowski said. But since the law came into force…

Bithumb Taps Chainalysis for FATF-Grade Crypto Investigation Tool

Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is clamping down on suspicious transactions less than a week after South Korea, its home country, moved to enact tough new laws for the virtual asset space. Bithumb announced Tuesday it had deployed Chainalysis’ “Reactor” investigations tool to get ahead of illicit activity. Reactor, used in many cryptocurrency law enforcement actions, will help the exchange’s compliance officers police their network, according to a press release. The announcement follows the South Korean National Assembly’s early March vote to amend the Special Financial Transactions Information Act, which, once signed…