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US SEC Charges, Fines EtherDelta Founder with Operating Unregistered Securities Exchange

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U.S. securities watchdog charges Zachary Coburn, founder of crypto trading platform EtherDelta, with operating an unregistered exchange.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Zachary Coburn, the founder of crypto token trading platform EtherDelta, with operating an unregistered securities exchange, a press release by the SEC reveals Thursday, Nov. 8.

EtherDelta, which served as a secondary marketplace for trading ERC20 tokens, allows its users to buy and sell digital assets by means of an order book and smart contracts based on the Ethereum blockchain.

According to the SEC, over an 18-month operating period, EtherDelta’s users placed more than 3.6 million orders for tokens, including ones that are considered securities by U.S. federal laws.

The regulator notes that most of the orders were executed after the DAO report that SEC had released in June 2017. Under the current law, EtherDelta was obliged to register in U.S. or to apply for an exemption; however, the SEC notes that the platform failed to do so.

According to the regulator, EtherDelta founder Coburn neither admitted nor denied the findings, but he consented to cooperate and to pay the state $300,000 in unlawful profits. Moreover, he agreed to pay $13,000 in prejudgment interest and a $75,000 penalty. The SEC also states that it would have imposed a greater fine if Coburn had failed to cooperate with the investigators.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the SEC suspended securities trading in October of Nevada-based firm American Retail Group, Inc. for making false claims that its cryptocurrency trading activities were approved by the regulator.

In early November, the SEC reported that it is currently taking action against “dozens” of fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The annual enforcement report for the 2018 fiscal year mentioned several illicit ICOs, three of which defrauded investors of over a combined $68 million.

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US: Crypto Initiative Donates Monero to Bail Out Immigrants in ICE Detention

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In order to help immigrants in ICE custody pay their immigration bonds, the Bail Bloc project mines XMR using volunteers’ computer power.

The Bail Bloc initiative has started using cryptocurrency raised through charity to help people get out of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pretrial incarceration, according to a tweet posted by a Bail Bloc co-founder Nov. 15.

ICE is a law enforcement agency of the federal government of the U.S, the mission of which is to monitor cross-border crime and illegal immigration. In 2017, the agency conducted 143,470 overall administrative arrests, 92 percent of which resulted in a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge.

In ICE detention people are required to pay an immigration bond in exchange for their immediate-term release, although statistically only 47 percent of those in detention are given a bond hearing. Those who cannot afford to pay the bond, or who are not granted a bond at all, must wait for their court hearing while detained, which could last from months to years.

Bail Bloc has set a goal to help charged immigrants pay their bail with money raised through cryptocurrency mining. The initiative has released an app that consumes a small portion — from 10 percent by default to 50 percent optionally — of users’ computer power to mine Monero (XMR) once it is installed.

The organization states that at the end of every month it exchanges XMR for U.S. dollars and donates the earnings to the Immigrant Bail Fund in New Haven, Connecticut. Bail Bloc has reportedly mined 44.34 XMR, which equates to $7,356.36 U.S. dollars. This sum is enough to bail out 12 people, per the organization’s website.

Bail Bloc says it chose XMR as it is an ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency, meaning that consumer-level computers are able to mine the coin “in a financially viable way,” while computers designed with the sole purpose of crypto mining cannot.

ICE’s approach to immigration policy enforcement has sparked significant controversy in the U.S. In May, reports of federal authorities losing track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children in their custody made headlines. As the Washington Post reported, the children had been separated from their immigrant parents. Per the policy of prosecuting “100 percent” of those crossing the border illegally, children were separated from their parents as the adults were charged with a crime.

At press time, XMR is trading at around $87, down 0.82 percent over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. The coin’s market capitalization is around $1.4 billion, while its daily trading volume is about $18.9 million.

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Report: Bitcoin Scam Compromising Google and Target Accounts Came from Third Party App

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Bitcoin scammers that recently hacked Google and Target verified accounts reportedly gained access via a third-party app authorized to post content.

A recent Bitcoin scam on Twitter that compromised several major companies verified accounts came from a third-party app, tech news outlet the Next Web (TNW) reports Friday, Nov. 16, citing social media officials.

Speaking to TNW, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the attack came from an outside software provider and not from Twitter’s own system. However, the official refrained from naming the app.

The spokesperson reportedly explained that the attackers exploited a third-party marketing solution to launch a Bitcoin (BTC) giveaway from several verified accounts, including Google’s G Suite and major U.S. department store retailer Target.

The information was implicitly confirmed by Target. Its representatives told TNW that the hackers used a third-party marketing app, authorized to post content on Target’s behalf.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, on Wednesday, Nov. 14, hackers took over G Suite and Target accounts (800,000 and 1.92 million followers, respectively) and posted malicious cryptocurrency giveaway links. The message in G Suite’s account also falsely claimed that users could make payments in G Suite using cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, in early November several verified Twitter accounts, including those of film production firm Pathe U.K. and U.S. politician Frank Pallone Jr., were breached to pose as Elon Musk. Once hackers gained control of accounts, they changed the profile picture and name in order to pose as Elon Musk and offer scammy Bitcoin giveaways.

Bitcoin scammers have already posed as Elon Musk for several times, prompting the Tesla founder to seek help from Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin (DOGE), who claimed to have invented an anti-scam script.

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TRON Launches Accelerator Program for DApp Developers

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Cryptocurrency project TRON has announced an accelerator program to support developers building decentralized apps on the TRON protocol.

Decentralized Internet project TRON (TRX) is launching a $1 million accelerator program to support developers building DApps and products on the TRON protocol, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Nov. 16.

The initiative aims to facilitate consumer adoption of blockchain technology through TRON’s ecosystem following the recent acquisition of peer-to-peer file sharing service BitTorrent, Project Atlas, and payment service Poppy app. TRON’s protocol currently processes more than one million transactions and 600,000 wallets.

The startup will purportedly accept submissions to its accelerator through December, while the winners will be announced at TRON’s first international summit in January.

In October, TRON and China’s largest Internet search provider Baidu announced they will cooperate on cloud computing resources. The partnership between the two firms remains focused on the purchase and use of Baidu’s basic cloud computing resources, rather than being a connection “at the blockchain business level.”

Also in October, TRON’s CEO Justin Sun claimed its update dubbed Odyssey 3.1 would see it beat Ethereum on speed and EOS on cost. The changes include the launch of the TRON Virtual Machine, which would allow developers to test smart contracts before they transfer to the TRON mainnet.

As of press time, TRX is the 11th top cryptocurrency, trading at around $0.018, up by 0.27 percent on the day, according to CoinMarketCap.

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