Today, Friday, May 24, BBC posted a large article about Facebook’s plans on launching their cryptocurrency. Rumours say its name will be “GlobalCoin” despite earlier speculations of Facebook Coin and Libra coin.
Released in a Dozen of Countries by Q1 2020
Facebook is planning to set up its digital payments system/platform by the beginning of 2020. Internal tests will start at the end of this year. Also, the report says that the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has met with the governor of Bank of England to seek advice. More importantly, to discuss the risks that are involved with such a move. Moreover, there also have been talks with the U.S. Treasury and different payments companies. Facebook seeks funding from Visa, Mastercard, and Western Union for its fiat-backed cryptocurrency.
Facebook previously revealed that their cryptocurrency will be a stablecoin which will be backed by multiple fiat currencies, including the USD, EURO, and Japanese YEN.
Project Libra is the name of the whole initiative by Facebook to launch this payment system. Referring to this, earlier this month, Facebook launched a new entity in Geneva called “Libra Networks”. This entity will provide financial and technology services and develop related hardware and software. This was published on the Swiss registration.
This project is set out to help billions of Facebook users/people to transfer money without the necessity of a banking institution. However, there are very few details on this issue. Facebook said that they expect to reveal more in the upcoming months.
Can Facebook take over the whole cryptocurrency market? Facebook has a total of 2.4 billion monthly (!!!) users, while crypto has around 30 million. Of course, that is the traceable data. It could be a lot more, considering the amount of privacy coins and features within multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.
Judging by recent news, the US telecom and media conglomerate AT&T now will be accepting Bitcoin! Customers will be able to pay for their phone bills online with Bitcoin! AT&T is the largest multichannel video service provider in the US. They have around a total of 22,3 million subscribers.
AT&T Expanding Services
While you cannot use Bitcoin to buy phones and other merchandise what AT&T offers to their clients, this is a very good head-up start for a company of such scale. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts now can pay with Bitcoin for their phone bills. This is done via a partnership with BitPay.
Kevin McDorman, vice president at AT&T, explained that AT&T has a lot of customers using cryptocurrencies. So the company decided to come forward to their clients and a rational step was to allow Bitcoin payments. He said:
“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services. We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”
Large companies start to acknowledge cryptocurrencies
This move from AT&T is just yet another step towards mass cryptocurrency adoption. This year, more than ever, there have been multiple companies that announce that they are working on ways how to use, develop or implement Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies as such on their services or platforms.
These companies include Facebook and JP Morgan with their stablecoin development, IBM and their blockchain implementations, Starbucks accepting crypto payments, Fidelity adding Bitcoin to their services, NYSE along with NASDAQ acknowledging Bitcoin, Harvard and Yale investing huge sums into Bitcoin, Microsoft using it in their Azure service, and many others at this point.
Today you can hear about Bitcoin in most of the traditional media platforms. CNBC now covers a daily segment about Bitcoin. They encourage investors to think about investing in BTC. The cryptocurrency lately is all around the news and each day brings new horizons development and implementation-wise. The bull is here to stay for quite a while.
The Copyright Office yesterday, July 22nd, came out with an official statement, clarifying what does it mean “to file a copyright registration”. Basically, they confirm what others had said before, hence anyone can do it. By doing that, registration of that kind does not imply a “determination of truth”. Adding that the Copyright Office does not investigate the validity of those claims. In other words, this does not mean that Craig Wright will have the last word in proving that he is Satoshi. In fact, this is nothing more than an official form which he can use in his recent lawsuits.
“A registration represents a claim to an interest in a work protected by copyright law, not a determination of the truth of the claims therein. It is possible for multiple, adverse claims to be registered at the Copyright Office.”
Craig Wright might be subject to penalties
The Copyright Office explains that false claims might be subject to penalties. They write that when they asked Craig Wright to confirm that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, he confirmed it. How did he do it, it is not clear, but CCN says that he provided written evidence, where he plainly states that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
“…during the examination process, the Office took note of the well-known pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto,” and asked the applicant to confirm that Craig Steven Wright was the author and claimant of the works being registered. Mr. Wright made that confirmation.”
However, it is not clear to what penalties might be applied, as the Copyright Office clarifies that in a case when the work is registered under a pseudonym, the Office does not investigate these claims.
“In a case in which a work is registered under a pseudonym, the Copyright Office does not investigate whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author.”
All in all, this sounds like a very tricky situation. Unless someone files another copyright claim over the Bitcoin white paper. Then they go to court and an actual investigation takes place.
Bitcoin SV pump amidst Wright’s claims
On the day when Craig Wright announced that he had filed a copyright registration, his and Calvin Ayre’s Bitcoin fork Bitcoin SV pumped almost 100%, and the price nearly doubled. BSV went from $63 to almost $120 in the matter of an hour. Was this a planned move? It seems so, because Calvin Ayre’s private news company CoinGeek published numerous bullish articles on BSV. However, being aware of the volatile market which cryptocurrency in most famous for, nothing in impossible.
Additionally, now BSV sits pretty steadily at $99 and the price and volume slowly is declining.
Craig Steven Wright along with Calvin Ayre, know how to shake the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the matter of couple hours. Let’s see how this situation will escalate.
Today cryptocurrency enthusiasts celebrate the day when Laszlo Hanyecz also known as “The Bitcoin Pizza Guy” spent 10,000 BTC on two Papa John’s pizzas.
Computer Programmer With an Eye on Bitcoin
Laszlo is a computer programmer from Florida. Back in 2010, he participated in various crypto forums helping enthusiasts to fix bugs and other technical support. Around that time, he also got familiar with Bitcoin. He says that he was the one who ported Bitcoin to MacOS. As he states now, he didn’t think that Bitcoin would get so popular. He just used the technology behind Bitcoin to actually buy something.
“I’ve always kind of just wanted people to use Bitcoin and buying the pizza was one way to do that.”
The Original Post
At the time of writing, the original post on Bitcointalk.org by Laszlo has been read almost 800,000 times. Not to mention the pile of merits it has received. While reading the post, you get a sense of a little sarcasm in his words, but ultimately the message is clear. The post reads:
“I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!
I like things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc.. just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that. I also like regular cheese pizzas which may be cheaper to prepare or otherwise acquire.
If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.
Today this is a 73 page long thread, and the last person who commented on it did it in 2016. People have already posted their surprise that after such a long time, this thread is still active. Laszlo created the post on May 18th, and for a couple of days the activity wasn’t very high. On May 21st, he even commented “So nobody wants to buy me pizza? Is the bitcoin amount I’m offering too low?”
This seemed that nobody wanted to exchange their Bitcoins for Pizzas. But surprisingly, on May 22nd, he posted the “Thank you” comment thanking jercos. Along with the comment, he posted pictures of the actual pizzas he received.
The first reply was from a senior member with a nickname “sirius”, saying:
“Congratulations laszlo, a great milestone reached”
So he and another 18-year old student Jeremy Sturdivant (nickname jercos), exchanged 10,000 Bitcoin ($25) for two Papa John’s pizzas. Back then the price of 1 BTC was around 0,0025 cents. It is not clear whether he was aware of the fact that he made the very first successful Bitcoin transaction.
However, he did what Bitcoin was intended to do. He used it as a means of payment, like digital cash, like it was called originally in the white paper “Bitcoin: A peer to peer electronic cash system”.
After the successful transaction, he posted that this is an open offer, and anyone who wants to exchange their Pizzas for 10,000 BTC (more or less) are welcome to do so.
However, judging from the further comments you can understand that Laszlo most likely was mining Bitcoins. In short, he canceled the offer because he “can’t generate thousands of coins a day anymore”. Also, referring to Bitcoin as he has plenty of them. After that, the thread sort of cooled off. Ironically enough, a few replies later, a person with a nickname “ribuck” asked a question:
“Will this eventually become the world’s first million-dollar pizza?”
Little did he know, that this actually became the world’s first billion-dollar pizza.
All in all, Laszlo has done multiple interviews since the historic transaction, and in all of them, he says that he has no regrets that he spent that much Bitcoin.
“I don’t regret it. I think that it’s great that I got to be part of the early history of Bitcoin in that way, and people know about the pizza and it’s an interesting story because everybody can kind of relate to that and be – “Oh my God, you spent all of that money!”
When speaking about Bitcoin, Laszlo speaks firmly, he says that he does not acknowledge the majority of altcoins saying that they are a copycat version of Bitcoin.
“…they changed the logo, or they changed something. I’m not that interested in those, I am interested in Bitcoin.”
Additionally, Laszlo is a pioneer in the sense of real-worldBitcoin transactions. He also has two kids who he tries to educate about Bitcoin. Good job, Laszlo! We celebrate this day with Pizza bought with Bitcoin and we thank you as you are showing the mind-state of a man who knows what he’s trying to accomplish. Regrets don’t change history, but a firm mind-state does. So… moving on!
Claims to be the author of the White Paper and the Bitcoin Code
Craig Wright has filed registrations on two copyrights. One on the Bitcoin White Paper (Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System), and the second on the Bitcoin Code itself. That means that he copyrights the original Bitcoin Code from 2009. Apparently, he also sent out press releases to some of the top news websites. The press release states:
“In the future, Wright intends to assign the copyright registrations to Bitcoin Association to hold for the benefit of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Bitcoin Association is a global industry organization for Bitcoin businesses. It supports BSV and owns the Bitcoin SV client software.”
Copyright registration does not mean the ownership of Bitcoin
Filing a copyright claim does not mean that Craig Wright will own Bitcoin as such. Neither it means that it could be interpreted as an official patent. However, the copyright process allows anyone to copyright anything. People speculate that the main intent for Wright to file a copyright on Bitcoin is because of his recent lawsuits.
The copyright office explains: “In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.”
This means that anyone can copyright anything without the official instances actually verifying it!
With all due respect to Craig Wright, this does not seem like a thing that Satoshi Nakamoto would do.
According to a recent blog post by Bitfinex, yesterday Bitfinex listed its own utility token LEO (full name – UNUS SED LEO). Its main mission is to empower the Bitfinex community. The company previously closed a $1 billion initial offering sale. Currently on Bitfinex.com is no information about the new utility token. It will be trading against BTC, USD, USDT, EOS, and ETH.
UNUS SED LEO raises $1 billion
The original name of the token is rather long, but it is the name of its initial issuer. Judging by recent news, Bitfinex closed its token sale in just 10 days. The company had a private sale in which unknown investors invested sums ranging from $1 million to more than $100 million. However, the raised sum wasn’t just in the form of USD. It was a combination of USD, BTC, and USDT.
“In addition to our excitement around bringing such an unprecedented and powerful token to the heart of our community, the Bitfinex team remains dedicated to continuing to grow and develop core infrastructure for our industry as a whole. We remain invigorated and humbled by the support of our users, personnel, and beneficiaries, and welcome everyone to the era of UNUS SED LEO,” reads their blog post.
Judging by recent Crypto Twitter activity, it seems like the biggest scam in the cryptocurrency ecosystem – BitConnect, might be back!
A new Twitter profile called Bitconnect2.0, has just joined Twitter on May 2019. Their bio reads “Cryptocurrency Earning Platform” and they seem to be coming from Cayman Islands. Their first tweet is an announcement where they state that Bitconnect2.0 will go live on July 1st:
Obviously, this tweet gained very quick popularity and at the time of writing has hundreds of answers and likes. Mostly the replies consist of memes of Carlos Matos yelling “Bitconnneeeect” and people telling that they cannot believe that BitConnect might be coming back.
Scammers gonna Scam
While this news is just a day old, crypto Twitter has already found some interesting hidden things about this “new” project.
First of all, their new domain bitconnect.io is registred under a company called NameCheap Inc, and their domain expires before their factual launch! The first registration was on June 19, 2017, and it expires on June 19, 2019. But their first tweet says that the platform will go live on July 1st. We expect that they will update the domain expiry date.
Also, their second tweet is a Binance referral link:
And as expected they wrote a very misleading message along with the referral link, which makes others think that BitConnect might be doing something together with Ethereum. Many tweeters have already notified Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance. They believe that the BitConnect referral link should be eliminated, because of fraudulent actions in the past.
Moreover, people look at this as some sort of a joke, but at the same time they are aware that the recent bullish market activities might be a good foundation to scam new cryptocurrency beginners. And who else to use this opportunity than BitConnect.
The financial pyramid that collapsed
BitConnect Coin launched in 2016. One year after the ICO was in progress, the cryptocurrency value was over $2.5 billion. BitConnect guaranteed investors up to 10% return of their investments, on a month-to-month basis.
In January 2018, the BitConnect Coin market collapsed. Regulators sent letters to investors warning of participation in the project, stating that it was a financial pyramid. Soon the company stopped operating, and investors remained in the hands of a “virtually useless” cryptocurrency.
IBM Blockchain Director and Ajit Tirtha from ConsenSys join main conference lineup
Despite the current situation in the market, many blockchain events are getting bigger. The main trend of the year is how blockchain technology comes to different fields of business. 2019 can already be called the “year of blockchain” – as opposed to 2018, which was the “year of the ICO”. Blockchain for enterprises and widely discussed STO will be covered on Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise 2019. IBM Blockchain Director Pietro Lanza and Ajit Tirtha from ConsenSys will have to take part in panel discussions dedicated to blockchain for enterprises topic on the vessel.
Another example of positive dynamic is the successful implementation of blockchain technologies in Grand Bahamas. Together with co-founder of PO8 technology Matthew Arnett, Grand Bahamas administrator Don G. Cornish will tell about their experience in regulations.
During Coinsbank Blockchain cruise Ajit Tirtha, Fintech at ConsenSys will share some of his notable projects, among them, are We.Trade blockchain platform for trade finance at Deutsche Bank and Tokenization and Blockchain Applications.
Meanwhile, IBM Blockchain Director Pietro Lanza has something to tell about his Blockchain, AI and IoT projects and he’s going to talk about supporting banks developing their digital strategies. There will be one more expert on the vessel, the co-founder of Wikipedia Dr.Larry SangerI who showed the world how to use wikis to build encyclopedias.
Earlier mentioned A-list speakers include computer scientist John McAfee, ex Wall Street trader Tone Vays and Gordon Einstein, CryptoLaw Partners.
The Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise 2019 speakers who have been announced are CEO of Smart Valor Olga Feldmeier, Contributor at Forbes Naeem Aslam. There will be announced the complete list of panels and speeches and also will be given an introduction to the new speakers at an early date. The tickets are available via Coinsbank website.
Blockchain Cruise 2019 will be held for the fourth time departing from Barcelona between June 9th-13th, docking in Rome. The global conference will take place on the majestic Oasis of the Seas by Royal Caribbean making stops in Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, and La Spezia. The event brings together decision-makers for 4 days of panel discussions, networking events and thought-provoking business talks.
In a press release on May 15, the Estonian consulting firm Eesti Consulting OU states that it has become more difficult to obtain a cryptocurrency license in Estonia because of the new regulations.
Estonia Strengthens Their Cryptocurrency Laws
Recently we reported that on May 3, the Estonian Ministry of Finance introduced changes to the process of obtaining a cryptocurrency license. The new regulations provide a number of formal obligations. For example, extending the application processing period from 30 to 90 days. Also, requiring the company incorporation in Estonia or running a branch of a foreign company.
In addition, the registered office and the board of directors of the company must now be located in Estonia. Moreover, the state fee for licensing increased from EUR 345 ($386) to EUR 3,330 ($3,729). Estonia’s State Finance Minister Martin Helme explained the reasons for these changes:
“We have learned our lesson from the banking sector the hard way, and we must now deal with new international risks, with cryptocurrencies among the most urgent of these.”
Current License Holders Still Have Time To Comply
The representatives of the company Eesti Consulting OU claim that it will be more difficult to obtain a cryptocurrency trading license with the new rules. It is known that current license holders will have time to meet the new requirements by the end of the year. If not, the regulator will revoke their license. The Financial Intelligence Unit has a right to invite a potentially responsible person for an interview to check AML knowledge of the applicant.
In December last year, the Estonian Ministry of Finance announced its plans to amend the adopted financial bill to tighten the rules for cryptocurrency trading.
These current laws actually will strengthen the trust from regular traders, who just want to safely trade their cryptocurrencies. These new laws will squeeze out all the scammy exchanges. This is good for the ecosystem.
Recently, Cryptopia, a New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange which previously experienced a large security breach, announced that they are going into a liquidation process. They have appointed David Ruscoe and Russell Moore from Grant Thornton New Zealand as the liquidators.
After this, judging by their Twitter communication in mid-March, they entered a “coin securing” phase. Within this phase, they said that they are moving all the assets to new wallets. Afterword, they re-opened trading on their platform, and around mid-April they allowed BTC, LTC and DOGE deposits, but never really opened up withdraw functions.
Later, at the end of April, they stopped communicating for a couple of weeks. Then came out with the recent announcement about the liquidation process.
Users cannot withdraw funds because of an investigation
Cryptopia just published a “Liquidation FAQ” where they state:
“We are now undertaking an extensive process to confirm amounts owing and available to return to customers. This is a complex process and will likely require direction from the New Zealand Courts. Until the investigation has concluded we cannot return any crypto-assets to customers.”
Also, they claim that their first priority is to secure all crypto-assets on the exchange. But the weird thing is that they “need to confirm the amounts owing and available to return to customers”. And this process, as they say, is very complex and they need the direction of New Zealand courts “to make sure a fair legal solution is found”.
Went into liquidation because their debts fell due!
As they describe in their FAQ, Cryptopia’s main reason why they’re entering liquidation process is their situation with debt. Customers and Twitter users are commenting that one of the reasons why Cryptopia cannot answer anything about their customer’s assets is because they are thinking of covering their debts with customers money.
Every FAQ about customers assets ends with the same phrase: “Until the investigation has concluded, we cannot confirm whether individual customers will get all of their crypto-assets returned,” or “We cannot confirm any customer balances until we have completed our investigation,” or “At this stage we cannot confirm what will be returned or whether crypto assets will be returned as crypto-assets or fiat currency.”
Basically, they say that they know nothing about their customer’s assets, and they don’t guarantee that they will even get them back at some point.
Respectively, many users are really upset to hear this kind of response from Cryptopia. And they rush to conclusions such as Cryptopia is exit-scamming and stealing customers assets. But that seems like a logical response to what Cryptopia had explained. The exchange basically says that they got huge debt, and they won’t allow anyone to access their funds. Also, they don’t say whether customers will get their funds back. Whether or will they get them back at all, and they cannot even provide a reasonable timeframe.
Binance vs Cryptopia
As we recently witnessed, Binance also experienced a security breach. But the quality of communication and transparency that Binance offered cannot even be comparable to Cryptopia. First of all, you cannot even compare the involvement of Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, and Alan Booth the CEO of Cryptopia. Alan hasn’t tweeted since October 2018, and Cryptopia’s Twitter account isn’t a good example of communication as well. Binance ruled out multiple tweets a day, explaining everything and answering to almost everyone’s questions. But you sure can’t say that about Cryptopia! Since the announcement about liquidation, they have posted 3 tweets including the one with the announcement.
Funny enough, their CEO once in an interview to CoinCentral said:
“So, for us [Cryptopia], the first thing is trust. If people can’t trust your brand, and that means every part of it, you’re not going to succeed.”
It looks like they deliberately chose the path of not succeeding.