Funds disappear from Canadian exchange - users then 'hunt down' the CEO after company deletes their social media...

We've been tracking this story since yesterday, and as soon as we think it's reached a point where we could publish an article - the story takes another wild turn.  There's surely more to come, but what we know so far is pretty interesting.

The exchange is called "MapleChange" and is based in Canada, and the problems all began yesterday when users of the exchange noticed all of their tokens were gone.

That's when they made the following announcement on Twitter:

At this point, while their users weren't happy, they seemed to be patiently waiting to see what MapleChange would do next, and find out what the results of their 'investigation' would be.

But before receiving any updates on what happened to their funds they noticed MapleChange deleting their social media accounts, starting with their Discord chat channel. At this point their Twitter account was still active and users started publicly slamming the company.

Accusations varied from saying MapleChange was simply trying to run away from the problem, to saying they were the ones behind the whole thing, that MapleChange stole the funds themselves, and were currently in the process of executing an "Exit Scam" - something both ICO's and small exchanges have been caught doing in the past, where they raise funds, then fake being victims of hackers as an excuse to then steal those funds.

MapleChange responded to these accusations on Twitter with:

Then - their Twitter account disappeared as well.

I thought this was all we would hear for awhile, but things took another turn - as Reddit users got on the case and tracked down the personal information of the exchange's CEO and began posting it everywhere MapleChange was being discussed, as shown in this Tweet from a Twitter account created just to troll MapleChange:

Suddenly, MapleChange re-activated their accounts - both their Twitter and Discord channel were now back online.

Many are saying it's more than a coincidence that as soon as the CEO was 'hunted down' - MapleChange suddenly returned. But MapleChange offered this explanation:

This brings us to what's happening now - it appears all Bitcoin and Litecoin are gone forever, the rest will be returned once they can "properly identify customers and hand back the proper amount" according to MapleChange.

Still unknown is the value of Bitcoin and Litecoin stolen. While initially accused of losing 919 BTC, MapleChange insists "We have NEVER had 919BTC in our wallet".

Also still unknown is what happens next as far as Canadian law enforcement, and civil actions against MapleChange that will surely follow. 

Here in the US, the FBI would be examining the exchange's servers, and users would be preparing their lawsuits. But this is a first for Canada and we'll soon be learning how they respond to such incidents involving cryptocurrency.

If anyone has additional information, contact us or reach out on Twitter @GlobalCryptoDev.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Ripple snags Google's Vice President of Products...

Ripple has confirmed their latest heavyweight hire is Google's (now former) Vice President of Products, Amir Sarhangi.

Sarhangi is now in charge of development for Ripple's global payments network known as RippleNet.

Dispite a bear market for 2018, Ripple has been beating the odds - boasting $73.53 million in revenue in the 2nd quarter of the year, and following that up by doubling that amount and hitting $163.33 million in the 3rd quarter.

His title from Google, 'Vice President of products' will be Sarhangi's official new title at Ripple as well.

Author: Oliver Redding
Seattle News Desk

World Blockchain Forum Launches Mission in New York to Build Greater Understanding and Consensus...

A reality-style television event, a hackathon, a job fair, and presentations and panel discussions featuring leading innovators in the dynamic blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, are just some of the highlights expected at the 4th World Blockchain Forum (WBF) that will take place in New York, November 8-9, 2018.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented digital migration of wealth onto blockchains of various forms so we need to start working towards a global blockchain industry consensus,” WBF Co-Founder Zhao Sheng said. “And the best way to achieve consensus is to gather all stakeholders together within an ecosystem founded on consensus, which is why we organise the World Blockchain Forum.”

Everyone is welcome to attend WBF. In particular, WBF extends an invitation to anyone who is sceptical about blockchain and cryptocurrencies to come along, express their concerns, ask questions, and learn more about the positive benefits of blockchain from the movers, shakers, and beneficiaries of the technology.

More than 2,500 people are expected to attend WBF New York, including representatives of 150+ companies and 200+ speakers; experts are from various areas, such as blockchain finance, cryptocurrency, token economics, and consensus, Ethereum apps, the EOS ecosystem, the future of crypto, and AI trading.

Confirmed speakers include Celsius Network Founder & CEO Alex Mashinsky (a pioneer of peer-to-peer decentralized borrowing & lending platform), Agentic Group Founder Rik Willard (representing a federation of more than 50 blockchain and related companies on five continents), and Everipedia Founder Mahbod Moghadam (who is putting human knowledge on the blockchain). These speakers and many more will bring their powerful insights into blockchain technology and its applications.

WBF is dedicated to bridging the Eastern and Western worlds in an interactive setting. The conference will discuss the current state and future prospects of blockchain, including trends, opportunities, challenges, regulations and their long-term implications.

WBF is expecting more than a million global impressions from coverage of WBF New York, making it the blockchain event of 2018.

Investor sharks sniff out new blood
WBF will work with television producer SharkChain during the first day of the Forum to produce a competition show onsite in which a shortlist of innovative blockchain companies will pitch their business proposals to a panel of investors.

To be named WBF · New York City Series, the event will be broadcast on mainstream media including NASDAQ, NETFLIX, HULU, WebRTC, OTT, SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS, ROKU, and APPLE TV.

“Great ideas stand up to pressure tests,” Mr Zhao said. Representatives of promising projects will pitch their ideas to experienced investors and answer probing questions while getting invaluable global media coverage and exposure.

This will be compelling viewing for anyone interested in the blockchain sector, especially new investors and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Explore opportunities to join the revolution
Popular Chinese recruitment firm is working with WBF to host a job fair during the event to help attendees learn about and connect with opportunities for employment or professional collaboration.

Hacking the future
As part of Blockchain Week 2018 (November 8-13), tech-oriented not-for-profit IDEAS will work together with WBF to host a global blockchain hackathon immediately after the Forum on November 10-11.

IDEAS is the largest tech non-profit and boasts the widest developer community in North America with more than 200,000 members. The organization is active not only in the blockchain industry but also in data science and AI.

About the World Blockchain Forum
The World Blockchain Forum (WBF) Corporation was registered in New York in 2017 and its first WBF event took place March 26-27, 2018 in London.

From the outset WBF positioned itself as the premier event at the cutting edge of global distributed ledger technology (DLT or “blockchain”), an interconnecting platform for global blockchain stakeholders, and a place where leading authorities and innovators can listen and be heard.

As the blockchain sector’s leading event, WBF is able to invite, inform, and influence leaders in government, academia, media, and business who may still view blockchain with scepticism.

Now an established event, WBF has set out its primary objectives as follows:

●Influence the culture and direction of the blockchain industry by bringing all stakeholders together within a single trusted DLT-enabled ecosystem
●Become the premier venue for investors to find new blockchain projects
●Become investors’ most trusted guide on worthy new projects
●Become a reliable source of news on the blockchain industry and projects
●Become the biggest stage for the launch of new blockchain projects
●Offer ICO services to new blockchain projects
●Offer investment services for blockchain investors
●Offer a meeting place for developers, experts, advisors, professionals, service providers, and prospective employees and team members

We invite you to join the 4th World Blockchain Forum, November 8-9, 2018 in New York at the New York Hilton Midtown.

Keep an eye on our social media channels and official website,, to get all the details and reports first.

Official Website:

Ticket Sales:

Information provided via press release

IRS estimates that US crypto traders owe $25 Billion in taxes, and up to 50% of people could try to hide it...

In this month's IRS Information Reporting Advisory Committee Public Report, they dive into the topic of collection of cryptocurrency taxes, citing research conducted by Fundstrat:

"...estimated cryptocurrency-related U.S. tax liabilities at $25 billion. That is based on approximately $92 billion of taxable gains for U.S. cryptocurrency investors, who, according to Fundstrat, comprise around 30 percent of cryptocurrency investors worldwide. Globally, the cryptocurrency market grew from about $19 billion at the start of January 2017 to more than $500 billion at the end of December 2017, according to data from CoinMarketCap"

Also in the report, their estimate that up to 50% of people could attempt to not properly report their cryptocurrency earnings, adding:

"Because transactions in virtual currencies can be difficult to trace and have an inherently pseudoanonymous aspect, some taxpayers may be tempted to hide taxable income from the IRS."

The full report can be viewed on the IRS website here.

Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk

Soon you may be able to buy a piece of CoinBase - as company reportedly looks to go public and become tradable on the stock market...

The idea isn't far fetched, CoinBase's own COO Asiff Hirji said "The most obvious path for Coinbase is for us to go public at some point" - but that was late last year, the buzz died down until now.

Host of CNBC South Africa show "Crypto Trader" Ran NeuNer says he has uncovered details he will soon release that CoinBase is about to make it happen.  Saying in a tweet "CNBC Cryptotrader exposes details of the Coinbase IPO raise tomorrow on a Cryptotrader exclusive."

Another sign he may be right, is CoinBase's recent successful move to become a "Qualified Custodian" - in short, it gives them legal authority similar to a bank when it comes to holding money that belongs to it's customers.

When reaching out to one of my contacts inside CoinBase, they had no additional information, saying if it is happening, their department hasn't received any notice.

For now, the official status of CoinBase going public can only be considered "unverified" but very possible - we'll be watching for further developments.

Author: Oliver Redding
Seattle News Desk

Fresh from landing a $100K investment deal for his cryptocurrency app on ABC's Shark Tank - we spoke to 'Bundil' CEO Dmitri Love...

On Sunday's episode of ABC's "Shark Tank" we saw Dmitri Love pitch his company Bundil, a mobile app for investing in cryptocurrencies to the sharks - landing a $100K investment and a 50/50 business partnership with Kevin O'Leary, AKA "Mr. Wonderful".

The concept behind the app works by automatically investing a users spare change into the cryptocurrency market.  If you spent $9.50 somewhere, the app will automatically round up to the nearest dollar, investing $0.50 into your crypto portfolio in the app, which currently features Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

We spoke to Dmitri about what the experience was like, and what to expect from his company moving forward.

- What's your professional background before this, and what got you into cryptocurrency?

Good question. I'm a self taught software engineer. I studied biochemistry in college and in my third year I had a horrible knee injury playing competitive soccer.

I was on crutches for about 9 months and during that time I taught myself how to code! I ended up dropping out and going head first into software development. My uncle and business partner, is a successful futures trader so he kind of got me into the investment scene. It didn't take long to discover crypto and once I understood the underlying technology, I fell in love with the concept. 

-  What motivated you to go from a crypto trader, to developing the Bundil app and working in this space full time?

 I saw other micro-investment apps doing well and immediately saw the gap in the market. No one was applying the approach to crypto and I knew it would be a powerful tool to engage people that are less educated about crypto. During last years boom, a lot of my friends and family kept asking what the easiest way to invest was. From there I knew I was on to something. 

- Before you presented to the Sharks, how did you think they would receive it?

I predicted the outcome almost exactly besides my pitch. I knew Lori wouldn't understand it enough to invest, and I knew Mark had a competing company that would put both of them on the fence. I didn't expect Daymond to be so bearish about crypto either. Kevin, and the guest shark Matt were my main targets. Matt went out because he is an investor in Coinbase, which we use for our system. 

- Kevin O'Leary AKA Mr. Wonderful ended up investing, we covered his views on cryptocurrency before - so far all we really know is he's a fan of Ethereum, (read that article here) has he shared any of his other thoughts on the future of the space?

He thinks it's volatile currently, as he should. But I know that he is very interested in the underlying blockchain technology. Back in May he participated in that mysterious real estate ICO. Even I don't know much about that. He also has an in on the legality of crypto. He said during my pitch he is going to help me with litigation and legality regarding SEC upcoming regulations.  

- You took a deal that that gave up a lot of equity in your project, 50% - which means you must believe Kevin O'Leary has a lot to offer, now with him on board - whats your road map looking like? 

Kevin is a great partner. His track record is amazing with 50% deals. And I know if he doesn't put in his work, the business fails. So I know he will do all he can to ensure our success. Which is really cool and one of the key reasons I accepted the offer. He wants to help bring us to the top, and shares our vision on bringing crypto to the masses.

The Bundil app is available already on iOS and Android platforms, find out more on their website at

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Building the bridge from the blockchain, to the $600+ Trillion global securities market - a look at the CDRX ICO...

CDRX is taking on what is probably the biggest complaint when it comes to investing in cryptocurencies - you don't actually own any of the company you're investing in, you only own their token, which functions as a separate fully independent product.

CDRX is enabling the ability to trade equities and bonds as securitised tokens though "Crypto Depository Receipts" or CDRs. This now opens the $600+ global securities market to anyone experienced in trading cryptocurrencies - by making them one in the same.

So, imagine a CDR token that represents a share of Facebook stock, purchasing and owning this token comes with the legal rights to share of Facebook stock - including dividends, voting, and all other typical shareholder rights.

The advantages being shorter transaction times, lower costs, and the ability to have fractional ownership, which means if you buy 25% of a token (0.25) you now have 25% of the rights that come with holding that equity.

To facilitate the trading of these tokenized equities and bonds, CDRX is launching their own platform and exchange - which won't just hold these assets, but also offer trading of other cryptocurrencies and utility tokens - their road map has the launch of this coming in the first quarter of 2019.

They've already shared this sneak peek:

The CRDX CEO David Ward says “It has been more than a year since we first adapted American Depository Receipts to create a bridge between incumbent and developing technologies. We are gratified to see large broker/dealers also now embracing our idea. ADRs are a 90-year-old proven and trusted approach, which when combined with technologies perfect for use in financial markets, will drastically increase efficiencies for investors and issuers alike. We are at the forefront of these developments and subject to regulatory approvals, look forward to launching CDRs on household names, in selected jurisdictions, from early 2019.” Ward's previous experience includes portfolio management, and commodities trading.

The CDRX pre-sale goes live at the beginning of November, with the public sale at the end of the month.

For full information visit
Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk

New SEC Commissioner hits the ground running, and based on who he's been meeting with - something BIG could be coming...

Previously on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Elad L. Roisman took his position as the new SEC Commissioner just last month, and the rumor is - he's pro-cryptocurrency.  However, it's not exactly to clear to what extent.

What we do know, is when given the chance to speak on cryptocurrencies while at the Senate banking committee - he wasn't among the few who didn't grasp the topic entirely, saying.

“The SEC must examine and re-examine its rules, regulations and guidelines to ensure that they are still working as intended to accomplish the SEC’s mission. This is most recently manifested in areas such as data protection and cybersecurity, as well as the emergence of new investments and technologies such as initial coin offerings and blockchain. It is essential that the SEC approach these new challenges in a fair and transparent manner, provide clarity and certainty to the markets and investors, and enforce the laws and regulations that hold market participants accountable.”

Now in newly obtained documents outlining a meeting he took on October 9, we see he's been talking to the companies many believe are "most likely" to pull off getting approval for a Bitcoin ETF.  In that meeting there were representatives from all three - CBOE, SolidX, and VanEck.
Document outlines who was in attendance at a recent meeting with the Commissioner...
Among the topics of discussion - the reasons why their previous attempts were denied, and what "significant changes" have they implemented to address those issues since then.

Summed up, the SEC's main concerns back then revolved around how new Bitcoin was, at least to them.

In my opinion what it comes down to is regulators fear it's a market that could still surprise them, for good or for bad - and getting someone who is ultimately still part of the political system to put their signature on something related to Bitcoin, will be a challenge. Their fear of the unknown was apparent by their emphasis on it being a market still in it's "early stages" in their previous ruling.

Having heard those concerns, on the topic of why the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust should now be approved, they argued that long gone are the days of Bitcoin markets being the 'wild west' of investing, saying "Concerns around price manipulation have been mitigated" and pointing out "Cboe, bitcoin futures, OTC desks are regulated". 

I'm not even going to attempt to make a prediction on what happens next. Because what's happening now is interesting enough - the new SEC Commissioner is paying attention, and evidenced by this meeting happening within his first few weeks, he's giving it priority.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

CoinBase teams up with Circle, adding new stable coin to their platform - as the industry takes another big step away from Tether...

Today Coinbase and Circle announced an alliance under what they're calling the "CENTRE Consortium".  In this arrangement, Coinbase has added the first stable coin to their platform - Circle's "USD Coin" which officially launched in May of this year.

"Starting today, Coinbase customers in supported jurisdictions can buy, sell, send and receive the USD Coin stablecoin (USDC) at and in the Coinbase iOS and Android apps. US customers outside New York state can buy and sell, and customers around the world can send and receive. More geographies will be available in the future." says CoinBase in a blog post.

Stable coins are intended to always be worth $1 US Dollar, and each one issued backed by $1 sitting in a bank.

The current top stable coin, Tether (USDT) is accused of not having that money in the bank to back up the USDT sitting on cryptocurrency exchanges, and last week these fears lead to a massive dumping of the token that had it trading below the $1 "stable" price.

Circle and Coinbase are encouraging other exchanges to join them in offering USD Coin, between this announcement, and the story I broke last week of Binance looking to add more stable coins to their platform - I believe we're looking at exchanges implementing a smooth transition away from Tether, just in case the worst of the rumors are true.

Now if the criticisms of Tether end up to be true, by the time we find out - it won't matter.  The more cryptocurrency is backed by stable coins that could pass an audit, the less impact bad news from Tether could have. At least I believe that's the plan we're seeing in motion now.

Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk

BREAKING: The Starbucks, NYSE, Microsoft cryptocurrency venture will launch before the end of THIS YEAR!

Just a couple months ago we covered the announcement of the formation of a new company called "Bakkt" - to catch up on that, read our article 'What to expect from the New York Stock Exchange, Microsoft, and Starbucks cryptocurrency alliance' here - and it appears they're moving fast, putting those plans into motion.

Today, according to a press release that was just put out by the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange - we have a launch date!

"ICE Futures U.S., Inc. will list the new Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract for trading on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract is a physically-settled daily futures contract for bitcoin held in Bakkt LLC, ICE’s Digital Asset Warehouse, and will be cleared by ICE Clear US, Inc. Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse, and will trade in U.S. dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day"

This is the first of several services they plan to eventually offer. 

The full press release is available here.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Another celebrity endorsed ICO aiming to raise $50 million ordered to shut down, return funds to investors...

Australia based was in the middle of raising $50 million for their ICO public sale, and even received celebrity a celebrity endorsement from Michael Clarke, a former cricket star.

The Australian equivalent of the SEC is known as "ASIC", Australian Securities and Investments Commission - and while the specifics of the case haven't been made public, today the company announced they have been ordered to cease operations.

Their website has been completely dismantled, with the exception of the following message:

"We would like to inform you that the Global Tech Exchange’s (‘Global Tech’) Initial Coin Offering (ICO) has now ceased in accordance with ASIC requirements.

As a result of this Global Tech has issued full refunds to all investors. If you have invested with Global Tech and have not yet received a refund please contact

We would also like to inform you that Michael Clarke is no longer associated with Global Tech Exchange and the Global Tech Exchange Blockchain education and awareness program.

Global Tech would like to inform you that it wishes to comply with all of ASIC’s requirements and requests, to the best of it’s ability."

So far, Australian regulators have been fairly reasonable - of the 5 ICO's they shut down, 4 of them were allowed to start back up after implementing changes that ASIC requested.  Which leads us to believe whatever GTrade's violations were, they were severe enough to warrant an entire closer - with no second chances.
Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk

Official Announcement: Contains Breach of Cold Storage Hardware Wallet, Protecting TIO Holders...

At 08:40 EST 20 October 2018, the security team was alerted to a large transaction originating from our wallet holding 50M Trade Tokens (TIO) owned by reserved for the liquidity pool. Immediately following the alert, our trade monitoring observed abnormal trading of TIO on external exchanges. These exchanges were immediately alerted to disable deposits/withdrawals and trading of TIO, and our security team began its investigation. The responsiveness by the various teams within prevented the situation from deteriorating and helped quarantine the issue.

At no point was the exchange or liquidity pool accessed or affected, and both remain operational. The breach was limited to one particular hardware wallet that was purchased directly from the manufacturer. Consequently, no customer accounts were directly affected, or customer funds lost. Investigations are ongoing, but have so far concluded that there was no technical hack on the cold storage unit, and systems remain secure and unbreached. There is also nothing to indicate theft by internal actors.

Along with the management team, both KuCoin and Bancor responded promptly and are assisting in our investigation and have taken steps to quarantine the associated transactions.

We are actively taking steps to further lock down the situation, and prevent any othe potential impact.

As a result of the incident, Management has decided to fork TIO. The name of the forked token will be Trade Token X with the ticker TIOx, similar to TIO it will be an ERC-20 token. Details of the fork are expected to be released soon.

Lastly, while this security breach has been an inconvenience, we are happy to report again

that no client assets were lost and we’re pleased with how efficient and responsive our entire team acted following the breach. We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response from our clients which we affectionately call TIOnauts and can’t thank them enough for their support and well wishes as we continue this special movement.
Information provided via press release

CoinSpectator's cryptocurrency news aggregation service brings stories from multiple trusted outlets, to one central feed...

With the explosion of the cryptocurrency world last year, the public's appetite for the latest news surrounding it grew as well.  Making sure the news people are getting is correct has extra importance when it could guide when a trader buys, sells, or holds on to an investment.

I wouldn't go as far as saying all inaccurate information comes with malicious intent.  Sure, there's a few sites where I question everything, and it can be painfully obvious the author's intent is to pump the coins in their own portfolio.  But sometimes, inaccurate rumors start from a 'trusted source' and an 'experienced reporter' who just isn't experienced when it comes to the cryptocurrency world - which can make sorting though the noise particularly difficult.

Even once a news outlet has proven themselves trustworthy, they're still not going to be able to cover every story as it happens - you're going to need multiple outlets to get a complete overview of what's happening.

That's where CoinSpectator comes in, a news aggregation service that takes the latest news from multiple trusted sources in real time, and puts those stories in one central news feed.

"As blockchain enthusiasts we were finding it very hard to monitor news and trends in industry. CoinSpectator was born out of this need." says CoinSpectator co-founder Andrew Sung.

When it comes to filtering out the fake news that can plague the cryptocurrency world, they take a two-step approach that combines their team, and their readers  "We manually approve all resources that are added to the platform for monitoring. Resources are also weighted based on their following and trustworthiness in the community to further rank higher quality content. This helps keep the caliber of stories higher. As well as the above we also monitor and act on misinformation being spread in specific entries and remove them as they are reported/ investigated." says Sung.

The service is free and public, with no signup required.  Check them out at

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Cryptocurrency exchanges quick to shift blame from incompetent employees, to North Korea - following massive amounts of stolen funds...

Every year respected cybersecurity outlet Group-IB releases an annual report, and according to TheNextWeb which obtained an advance summary of their latest - North Korea is to blame for the majority of major cryptocurrency exchange hacks.

The date range covered is Feb 2018 to Sept 2018, where $882 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen, and North Korea is getting credit for $571 million of it.

Problem is, as soon as the words "North Korea" come up, everyone focuses on who did it, instead of how they did it.

Chart of recent hacks. "Lazarus" is a NK hacker group. 
The most alarming part is - the methods used aren't very sophisticated.

“Spear phishing remains the major vector of attack on corporate networks. For instance, fraudsters deliver malware under the cover of CV spam that has a malware embedded in the document, After the local network is successfully compromised, the hackers browse the local network to find work stations and servers used working with private cryptocurrency wallets.” the report says.

Let's be clear at what we're looking at here - incompetence within the exchanges, and poorly trained employees.

Every method listed above involves a human within an exchange making amateur-level mistakes - not actual security holes in their networks.  Whether it be opening an e-mail attachment that turns out to be malware, or "social engineering" which is a nice way to say - someone simply talked someone within the exchange to let them into someone else's account.

Which makes me wonder - sure, i'm convinced North Korea has state funded operations dedicated to stealing cryptocurrency - i'm definitely not arguing their innocence.

But when the exchanges are falling for old, simple scams leading to massive amounts of stolen funds - you have to wonder if they'd even admit it if the suspect was actually a 14 year old wanna-be hacker.  A quick way to distract the public from where they went wrong, would be to switch the conversation to the hot topic of North Korea.  Remember, it's in-part these exchanges "internal investigations" coming to these conclusions.

But the fact is, blame here falls directly on these exchanges which clearly have employees with high levels of access, and low security training. 

Even if North Korea was behind all of these - at best, they just happened to do it first.  If getting past exchange security is truly this easy - someone was going to do it eventually.
Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Tether is about to take another hit, as top exchange Binance scouts for even more stablecoins to add...

One thing is becoming clear, no matter if you believe in the claims made against Tether or not, the days of it dominating as "the stablecoin" of the market are officially coming to an end.

October has been nothing short of a total disaster for Tether, it all started when the rumors that have been floating around the cryptocurrency world went mainstream - with outlets like Forbes, Bloomberg, and The Washington Post all publishing stories explaining why cryptocurrency traders were concerned.

That was followed by the markets reacting, and Tether losing approximately $800 million in market cap - just in the last 10 days. $610 million of that removed from circulation by the company - a move they've done before, but this is the largest amount to date.

Now, we have confirmed the current top exchange in the world, Binance, is searching for more stablecoins to add to their platform - also worth noting, Binance had to suspend Tether withdraws for a short time on Monday, so many people pulling out caused "network congestion".

Speaking to a contact at one of these other stablecoin projects , he confirmed "our CEO has talked to people from Binance 3 times in the past week now" he asked for his project to remain unnamed for now, but said I could share the news - which made me wonder 'but if I share what you just said, won't they be able to figure out that you're my source?'  in which he replied "nope, because I also know there's several others they're evaluating right now too".

To be fair, Binance had already broken Tether's stablecoin monopoly on their exchange earlier this year when they added TrueUSD and Pax. So it's nearly impossible to prove that adding more is a response to what's been going on with Tether.  But a fair guess would be that all the Tether drama put those efforts into overdrive.

Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk

Securities and Exchange Commission launches new division that will help ICOs and other financial tech companies navigate regulatory framework...

They're calling it the "Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology" or "FinHub" for short.

It's purpose is to both interact with the public and hear their concerns over emerging technology in the financial sector, and to guide the companies launching new projects in this sector - specifically mentioning blockchain and digital assets among the issues they're ready to address.

"The FinHub provides a central point of focus for our efforts to monitor and engage on innovations in the securities markets that hold promise, but which also require a flexible, prompt regulatory response to execute our mission." says SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

The SEC's FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance "By launching FinHub, we hope to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage with SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas." she added.

Launched today with the announcement is a new form on the SEC website, where FinTech based companies, including ICOs can request to speak directly with the SEC for guidance with compliance issues.

Here's why this is a big deal - currently in the cryptocurrency markets we've been doing things in reverse - an ICO will launch, and then hope they never hear from the SEC and find out they did or said something wrong.

Now, before an ICO even begins they can share their plan with the SEC - and let their investors know they've already received a thumbs up from regulators.
Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk

Global Crypto Press partners with the 2nd annual CHAINERS Blockchain Week - South Korea!

South Korea's biggest blockchain week is happening for it's 2nd year - January 14th-18th, 2019.

Guest speakers include:  Binance Co-founder Yi He, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, NEO CEO Da Hongfei, founder Roger Ver, Stellar Co-founder Jed McCaleb, Lisk CEO Max Kordek, Blockchain Capital Co-Founder P Bart Stephens and many more!

Here's just some of the reasons CHAINERS Blockchain Week is a can't miss:

● South Korea is the most active Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies markets in Asia with five million digital currency retail investors.

● Meeting Luxurious investors after parties and activities during the whole week.

● South Korean Mainstream Economy TV Channel and Top Blockchain Industry Media providing high exposure rate and many promotion chances.

● Great support from Top South Korea Finance Groups, Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Local Blockchain Associations and Developer Communities.

● 50 + Token Fund and Venture capitals mainly from South Korea,China,US are looking for promising projects to invest.

● 2600+ Attendees from 20+ Countries and Regions.

● Well-Organized Business Tour will lead you enter quality projects, tech-companies, crypto funds and exchanges offices and build strong connections with them.

For full information and tickets visit

Information provided via press release

Binance taking major steps to track down and remove anyone using their exchange for illegal transactions ...

The massively popular exchange Binance announced today they are taking an aggressive pro-active approach to remove anyone using their exchange for illegal purposes.

The tool they're using to do it comes from blockchain compliance software provider Chainalysis, the program is called "Know Your Transaction" and it scans all incoming and outgoing transactions in real time for anything suspicious, and flags those transactions for review.

As everyone in the cryptocurrency space prepares for it mainstream, having a clean image is important - wether you're dealing with Wall Street firms jumping in, or governments considering new laws.

“Cryptocurrency businesses of all sizes face the same core challenge: earning the trust of regulators, financial institutions and users” says Jonathan Levin, Co-Founder of Chainalysis.

Binance CFO Wei Zhou explains their reasons for implementing the software “Our vision is to provide the infrastructure for a blockchain ecosystem and increase the freedom of money globally, while adhering to regulatory mandates in the countries we serve.”

This same software has been in use by the IRS since 2015, but the IRS has admitted one thing that's frustrating them - they still can't track privacy coins, where there is no transparent blockchain to monitor.

With this in mind it's hard to say what the result of this will be.  A crackdown on illegal crypto activity? Or simply a move that will push criminals away from Bitcoin and Ethereum, and towards coins built for private transactions?
Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk

Voyager to Offer Cost Basis Tax Analysis, Reporting for Customers Trading Crypto Assets...

Voyager, a new and licensed commission-free crypto asset brokerage, today announced that it has teamed with Silver Cost Basis, a leading provider of business and technology solutions for the investment services industry, to provide cryptocurrency cost basis tax analysis and processing for Voyager customers.

Delivering on its goal to bring a customer-first, transparent crypto trading platform to the market, Voyager will further enhance the user experience by providing real-time realized and unrealized gain/loss analysis and fully compliant investor tax information, through its integration with Silver’s cryptocurrency cost basis processing solution.

Steve Ehrlich, Voyager CEO said: “Voyager was developed to provide a single access point for investors to efficiently and securely manage all their crypto assets in one place. Silver’s cost basis and tax analysis tools add an important layer to our differentiated solutions and underscore our commitment to provide customers with the ability to trade crypto assets in a stable, safe and cost-efficient environment with the same confidence that they have come to expect from more established markets.” Ehrlich added that this integration builds on Voyager’s existing offerings, which include delivering best execution via smart order routing technology, wallet, self-custody, as well as access to pertinent news and alerts, social feeds, research and customer service.

For more than a decade, Silver has been recognized as an industry-leading regulatory securities cost basis solution. Building on its legacy of compliance and innovation, Silver has emerged as the leader in the cryptocurrency cost basis space. Silver processes all types of cryptocurrency activity including coin/fiat and coin/coin trades in any coin and any fiat, payments in coin, airdrops and other income events, and hard forks and token exchanges. The system applies regulatory treatment for the many aspects of cryptocurrency activity that fall under established taxation rules and offers per-account, per-event choice for the aspects where the rules remain uncertain.

"By leveraging our production-proven securities cost basis capabilities, we are uniquely positioned to offer a scalable cryptocurrency cost basis processing,” said Neal Ruskin, Silver's Managing Partner responsible for product strategy. “We address the significant recordkeeping burden taxpayers face today as well as the inevitable information reporting requirements to be imposed moving forward. Our solution will provide year-end statements that investors can use to prepare their returns and will transition to regulatory reporting as soon as required.”

Voyager previously announced that its retail mobile trading app is expected to launch in Q4 2018 with its Silver Cost Basis integration expected in early 2019.
Information provided via press release

Former CFTC Chairman says he would have heavily regulated cryptocurrencies, saying it needs "more regulation than oil"...

Speaking on Bloomberg's "Daybreak" Gary Gensler, former chairman of U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, discusses the rise of blockchain technology and regulation of cryptocurrencies. In his opinion, lots of regulations are needed, including all ICO's to be registered as securities - which then gives the SEC powerful oversight authority.

Gary was appointed by, and served under President Barack Obama.

The current CFTC Chair, J. Christopher Giancarlo appointed by President Trump doesn't want to jump the gun by passing strict regulations that could stop legitimate market growth. For now, his targets are the scammers and people breaking existing laws, where no new regulations are needed to stop them.

"When it comes to fraud and manipulation, we need to be strong. When it comes to policy making, I think we need to be slow and deliberate and well informed." says Giancarlo.

Fidelity Investments, the #1 holder of 401k plans in the USA with 23 million customers, announces their big entry into cryptocurrency!

For those of you who may not have invested outside of the cryptocurrency markets, first you must understand just how big Fidelity Investments is.  They administer more than $7 trillion in customer assets, employ over 40,000 people, and have 190 financial planning offices across America, plus 10 regional management buildings.

Recently they've set their sights on the tech world in a big way, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality, and of course - blockchain and cryptocurrency.

What's been surprising is how they've managed to make their entry into tech so quietly, spending $2.5 billion per year for the last few years through their lesser known 'Fidelity Labs' and 'Fidelity Center for Applied Technology' and have been battling it out with Google, Facebook and Microsoft to recruit top Silicon Valley talent to work for them - I even know a couple people here in Silicon Valley their recruiters have reached out to.

Today, they unveiled their plans for what they'll be doing in the cryptocurrency markets as they launch a new company dedicated to it called 'Fidelity Digital Asset Services'.

“Our goal is to make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors,” said Abigail P. Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Fidelity Investments.

“We started exploring blockchain and digital assets several years ago, and those efforts have been successful in helping us understand and advance our thinking around cryptocurrencies. The creation of Fidelity Digital Assets is the first step in a long-term vision to create a full-service enterprise-grade platform for digital assets.” added Tom Jessop, head of Fidelity Digital Assets.

Now the big question is this - will their financial advisers actively be suggesting cryptocurrency to their existing customers, as another way to diversify their portfolios?

If the answer to that is yes - it's a big deal.  Fidelity recommending investing in cryptocurrency to their massive list of clients could literally bring in millions of new people into the crypto markets. 

Think i'm exaggerating?  Over 23,000 businesses use Fidelity for their employee's retirement plans and 401k's, making them #1 in the country.  Between this and their other investment services, they have over 27 million customers - how many will end up adding cryptocurrencies to their portfolios?

Their cryptocurrency based services launch in a few months in 2019.  They will offer Bitcoin and Ethereum to start with.
Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Trump's economic adviser leaves the White House - for a job in blockchain...

Gary Cohn has quite an extensive background when it comes to the world of finance.

Cohn was President of Goldman Sachs before joining the Trump administration as economic adviser - where he was credited with having a large role in drafting the administration's tax plan.  He left the White House in March, and no one knew where he would land next.

Now we know his destination is the blockchain industry "I have been very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years, and Spring Labs is developing a network that could have profound implications for the financial services sector, among others" Cohn said.

The company is called Spring Labs, and is located in Southern California, where it's using blockchain technology to securely transfer people's credit data. He describes the challenges he's taking on there, saying:

"When you look at the two challenges Spring Labs has, one is building the technology. Once you’ve built the technology you’ve got to get it accepted and adopted."

Spring Labs raised $14.8 million through VC funding earlier this year, but it's still unknown what Cohn's compensation plan includes. The company press release on their hire of Cohn can be read here.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Senator Elizabeth Warren shares concerns that cryptocurrency is "easy to steal"...

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren is currently the assumed Democratic Party nominee to run against Donald Trump for President in 2020 - but obviously, it's way too early to know if that's how things will actually pan out.

Today she chimed in on the topic of crypto during a Senate Banking Committee hearing, she said she believes cryptocurrency is "easy to steal" - what that is based on we're not sure, she didn't share how she came to that conclusion.

Easier than what?  We know she couldn't be making the argument that it's easier to steal a private key to a cryptocurrency wallet, than it is to steal a credit card number, for example... right?!

Earlier this year at another committee meeting her comments surprised the cryptocurrency world, when she explained that she believed every blockchain project that was open to investors should be registered with the SEC, saying that all that weren't may potentially be illegal.

“The challenge is how to nurture productive aspects of crypto with protecting consumers” she added.

Warren seems to be learning the ropes still, but leaning dangerously towards advocating for heavy regulation.

Author: Oliver Redding
Seattle News Desk

Charlie Lee debates Roger Ver - full length video...

"Charlie Lee engaged in a healthy debate with Roger Ver, CEO of at the recent cryptocurrency cruise. This is the whole debate. 

The debate focused on all aspects of Bitcoin including How Bitcoin scales best, on-chain or through 2nd layer solutions such as the lightning network. What defines Bitcoin? What are Charlie lee's motivations for being involved in cryptocurrencies and why did he start litecoin."

Red Alert: China's dominance of Bitcoin mining now a serious threat to the entire network...

Princeton University and Florida International University researchers have teamed up to publish a report titled "The Looming Threat of China: An Analysis of Chinese Influence on Bitcoin".

In the report they say their research shows up to 74% of Bitcoin mining traces back to China - putting the network virtually under Chinese control, as outlined in the papers introduction:

"The decentralized nature of Bitcoin presents unique socioeconomic and political challenges. Operation and maintenance tasks are distributed across a massive number of peers called miners, and because there is no central governing structure, these miners are kept honest by a carefully balanced incentive scheme.

The system is designed so that anyone can contribute by devoting some computing power to mining, but over the last several years, Bitcoin mining has become heavily centralized due to advances in specialized hardware that render commodity hardware obsolete. As a result, miners have congregated into mining pools: consortia of miners who work together and share profits."

As of June 2018, over 80% of Bitcoin mining is performed by six mining pools, and five of those six pools are managed by individuals or organizations located in China.

Attack types are split into 4 categories: Censor specific users or miners, Deanonymize users, Weaken consensus/Destabilize Bitcoin, and Disrupt competing mining operations.

The report then goes into theoretical attacks China could unleash on Bitcoin, adding in their conclusion that China already has the motive to do it:

"As the value and economic utility of Bitcoin have grown, so has the incentive to attack it. We singled out China for analysis because they are the most powerful potential adversary to Bitcoin, and we found that they have a variety of salient motives for attacking the system and a number of mature capabilities, both regulatory and technical, to carry out those attacks."

So how did we get here and what's the solution?  It all comes down to electricity.  The cheaper the power, the more profit incentive there is to mine.  The rest of the developed world, especially western nations conscious of carbon emissions and global warming are just never going to compete with China's cheap, and dirty coal based electricity.

Here in the US we need to welcome mining operations setting up shop like the ones in Washington state - they're profitable because the power comes from a clean and sustainable source - hydroelectric dams. Unfortunately, they've been met with some disapproval from local residents, and the looming threat of local or state government coming in and over-regulating their operations could end with handing over even more mining power to China.

The full report can be read here.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Artist inflates giant "Bitcoin Rat" in front of the Federal Reserve headquarters in NYC...

Nelson Saiers formerly helped manage a $600 million hedge fund, since then he's left the offices of Wall Street for an art studio, where he produces works based on the financial system. 

His latest piece, an inflatable a "Bitcoin rat" set up in front of the Federal Reserve building mocks Warren Buffet's now infamous quote that Bitcoin was 'probably rat poison squared'.

“There’s a lot going on and I’m hoping to at least illuminate some of the issues and some of the complexity involved in Wall Street” says Saiers.

The piece isn't permanent and will be removed later this week.  

You can check out more of Nelson Saiers's art at

Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk