Op Ed: A Summary of  NYAG vs. Bitfinex/Tether

In the latest on the ongoing legal dispute between the New York Attorney General (NYAG), cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and stablecoin issuer Tether, the New York Supreme Court has modified an April 24, 2019, preliminary injunction and now Bitfinex is allowed to continue using the Tether reserves that were loaned to it to maintain its ordinary course of business, such as paying employees and consultants. But Bitfinex may not withdraw any further funds from the Tether reserve and must comply with all document requests pursuant to the NYAG investigation. This modified…

Read More

Coinbase CEO Teases Launch of Debit Card in the U.S.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has announced that the company is working on introducing its debit card to customers in the U.S. Armstrong’s announcement came in a live AMA session on YouTube on May 16, 2019, during which he fielded questions and touched on various topics such as community trust ratings for altcoins and fraud prevention. While he did confirm that the debit card is coming to U.S. customers, he didn’t divulge a specific release date. Last month, Coinbase launched the Coinbase Card, a Visa-based debit card which, according to the…

Read More

Smell Something Fishy? The CFTC Will Pay You to Report Crypto Scams

Nestled in the exhibition room at this year’s Consensus conference, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) had a message for conference goers as they weaved in and out of booths representing various projects and startups in the space: “Be on the lookout for virtual currency fraud” and if you see it, let us know. “The Whistleblower Office of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is issuing this alert to inform members of the public about how they may make themselves eligible for both financial awards and certain protections while…

Read More

Minnesota Representative to Reintroduce Hard Fork Tax Reform Bill

Minnesota Congressional Representative Tom Emmer has announced plans to reintroduce a bill meant to “provide temporary safe harbor for the tax treatment of hard forks of convertible virtual currency in the absence of administrative guidance.” Representative Emmer participated in a panel on the relationship between government and the crypto industry at Consensus 2019 on May 13, 2019, wherein he first announced an attempt to continue the fight for his hard fork bill. Joined by industry leaders and government personalities, Emmer publicly acknowledged the sort of limbo that crypto holders find…

Read More

Blockstream Releases First Enterprise-Grade Product on Liquid

Security tokens are coming to Bitcoin, courtesy of Blockstream. The Bitcoin and blockchain technology company announced on May 15, 2019, the final day of the Consensus 2019 conference, that Liquid Securities, a platform for issuing and managing security tokens on its Liquid sidechain, is ready to go live. This platform will provide Liquid and its users with its first product to issue digital assets, a foundational milestone for bringing tokenization to the Bitcoin network. Launched in October 2018, the Liquid sidechain is an auxiliary network built on Bitcoin, primarily to…

Read More

Tether and Bitfinex Ask New York Attorney General for Fund Accessibility

Attorneys for Tether and Bitfinex are hoping to get the former access to its reserves amid a legal dispute with New York Office of the Attorney General (NYOAG). In a letter sent to the New York County Supreme Court, attorneys representing iFinex (the parent organization of Bitfinex) and Tether took issue with the restrictions that had been placed on Tether’s transactions with related parties as part of an ongoing case against them, stating that the NYOAG had no basis for disallowing tether (USDT) holders and other affiliated entities from redeeming…

Read More

Microsoft Is Building an ID Verification Platform on Bitcoin

Microsoft is leveraging blockchain technology to create a trustless digital identity scheme, but its not launching a token or building a private blockchain to do so. Its building on Bitcoin instead. Announced on May 13, 2019, Project ION is an open-source, Layer 2 network built out of the public key infrastructure protocol Sidetree. In practice, “it is akin to Lightning, in that there is no secondary consensus among ION nodes,” a source close to the network’s development told Bitcoin Magazine. “This is just like Bitcoin, but for IDs,” the source…

Read More

Flexa Enables BTC Payments at Popular Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Payment platform Flexa has announced the launch of SPEDN, an app that allows users to make purchases with cryptocurrencies at a variety of brick-and-mortar stores. The app works by generating QR codes at checkout registers, which then debit users’ wallets on the app and credit merchants with fiat. To initiate payments immediately, Flexa uses FlexaCoin, its native cryptocurrency, as an intermediary before the originating coin’s network approves the transfer. Essentially, the Flexa Network Protocol pays the retailer in cash then takes on the burden of moving the coin from a…

Read More

eBay Teases Crypto Expansion

Popular e-commerce provider eBay has released promotional materials suggesting that its is ready to accept “virtual currencies” and offer “digital collectibles.” The ads have appeared at Consensus 2019, a cryptocurrency and blockchain summit taking place this week in New York. In addition to hinting that eBay will soon offer support for cryptocurrencies, they feature claims about the company’s online reach and user count. Because the initial ads didn’t mention any cryptocurrencies in particular, it’s unclear if the online marketplace plans to focus on Bitcoin or other tokens. At the time…

Read More

Following Hack, Binance Plans System Upgrade

Popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance will be conducting a system upgrade on May 15, 2019, in the wake of a $40 million hack. Per an announcement that was published on the exchange’s blog, the scheduled system update will affect all transactions on the platform for about 6 to 8 hours. However, it also noted that the time needed for this upgrade to complete might vary. This latest notice follows an announcement from Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the exchange’s CEO, published on May 10, 2019. In that report, Zhao stated that Binance planned…

Read More