Category Archives: Bitcoin

Macau eSports founder denies he led crypto mining scam

Reports began circulating about a week ago that a Macau-based eSports operated was involved in a cryptocurrency scam that has taken 70 locals on a $2.5-million ride. The company, Grow uP eSports, was accused of facilitating meetings between the investors and a cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturer, Genesis Hong Kong, Ltd., which ultimately has not abided by the investment agreements and has not reimbursed investors as promised. Now, Grow uP’s founder, Frederico Alexandre dos Santos Rosario, has spoken out, denying any involvement in the scam.

Macau eSports founder denies he led crypto mining scamAccording to Inside Asian Gaming, Rosario penned a letter to the media outlet this past Tuesday in response to what he calls “baseless and calumnious allegations” related to the scam. He said that he has been the victim of a number of defamatory comments and accusations thrown at him by the Hong Kong eSports community and Genesis’ majority shareholder Dennis Lau, and intends on filing a defamation lawsuit against Lau.

Rosario’s mother, Rita Botelho Dos Santos, has already filed complaints against Genesis and its partner, Forger Tech, as well as against Lau and Hong Kit Lau, another majority shareholder in Genesis. Those complaints come after Genesis and Forger held seminars hosted by Grow uP in Macau last January that, as has come to light, were apparently nothing more than an opportunity to perpetrate fraud.

142 participation agreements were signed by 70 residents in Macau to invest in the purchase of crypto mining equipment. According to the agreement, “significant returns” would be paid out, but to date only around $815,000 of the more than $20 million has been returned. Out of a total of seven funding rounds held, only the first three have seen capital returned to the investors.

Lau has accused Rosario of the fraud, which the latter vehemently denies. He said in his statement, “Dennis Lau is currently under investigation by criminal authorities in Hong Kong and Macau for the suspected defrauding of Forger Tech clients.” He added that he wanted to “clarify the misinformation that Mr [sic] Dennis Lau has attempted to spread against me in an obvious attempt to shift attention from the serious accusations which have been brought against him and which are currently under investigation by the proper authorities.”

Rosario has indicated that he has proof of his innocence, adding, “In the meantime, I will continue to actively cooperate with the ongoing criminal investigation against Mr [sic] Dennis Lau and Forger Tech in Hong Kong and Macau and have full confidence that the truth about this matter will come to light through the proper authorities.


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GAW Miners founder hit with over $9M verdict in Bitcoin fraud case

The founder of the now-defunct cloud mining startups GAW Miners LLC and ZenMiner LLC has been ordered to fork over close to $10 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

GAW Miners founder hit with over $9M verdict in Bitcoin fraud caseOn Oct. 3, a federal judge in Connecticut told Homero Joshua Garza to pay $9.18 million, plus $742,774 in interest, in connection with a fraud case filed against him almost two years ago. The SEC filed a civil complaint in 2015 accusing Garza of operating a Ponzi scheme by selling $20 million worth of shares in a digital mining contract to more than 10,000 investors between August and December 2014.

The contracts, or “hashlets,” supposedly entitle an investor to a share of Gaw Miners or ZenMiner’s profits from mining virtual currencies using the startups’ computers. The hashlets were touted to be “always profitable and never obsolete,” but the SEC said most of the investors “never recovered the full amount of their investments, and a few made a profit.”

SEC Boston Regional Office Director Paul G. Levenson said at the time that “Garza and his companies cloaked their scheme in a technological sophistication and jargon, but the fraud was simple at its core: they sold what they did not own, misrepresented what they were selling, and robbed one investor to pay another.”

Garza was initially facing three counts of securities fraud, with each carrying up to 25 years jail time, but his lawyers were able to bring it down to a single charge of wire fraud with a maximum penalty of 20 years. In July, Garza pleaded guilty to one charge of wire fraud in connection with activities relating to Gaw, Gaw Miners, ZenMiner, Zencoin and Paycoin.

The court ordered Garza to pay the prepayment interest of $742,774 to the SEC within six months. The commission, in turn, was tasked to propose a distribution plan, which may include remitting the funds to the U.S. Attorney’s Office “for payment to the victims identified in the order of restitution that will be entered against the defendant.”

“Defendant’s payment of disgorgement is deemed satisfied by the order of restitution that will be entered against him when he is sentenced in the related criminal case,” the court stated.


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Bitcoin fork watch: New digital currency takes off post-blockchain split

bitcoin-cash-value-forkFor the first time in the history of cryptocurrency, a new version of Bitcoin is now being mined. And it’s not as scary as some reports would have you believe.

On Tuesday, a group of miners split off from the main bitcoin blockchain—meaning they started using a new, incompatible software—creating a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash.

The blockchain split is the culmination of the years-long scaling debate within the bitcoin community as they search for a way to increase the network’s capacity from the original 1MB.

Bitcoin Cash is a project of some of SegWit2X’s original backers who have lost confidence that the proposal, which combines Bitcoin Core’s Segregated Witness and a block size increase, will implement the “2X” part and decided to take the matters into their own hands.

Unlike SegWit2X, which will send transactions off-chain and increase the block size to 2MB, Bitcoin Cash will increase the block size to 8MB and remove SegWit. And because Bitcoin Cash starts with the same blockchain, this means that people who own coins on the main bitcoin blockchain are entitled to the same number of coins on the new Bitcoin Cash blockchain, effectively receiving a free dividend.

Off to the races
The hours following the blockchain split saw the price for Bitcoin Cash rose from around $214 to $628 as more transactions using the new digital currency take place, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin Cash is currently trading comfortably at $500.

Despite the price increase, the value of fresh-faced Bitcoin Cash is still a fraction of the original bitcoin, which is currently holding at around $2,700.

Bitcoin Cash has received support from members of the community who want a block size increase as well as developers of proposals like Bitcoin Unlimited. Australian academic and inventor Dr. Craig Wright recently lauded the initiative for seeking “to achieve a truly decentralized, peer-to-peer electronic cash with higher, more efficient transaction capacity.”

However, other camps remain skeptic of the new digital currency. Fran Strajnar, co-founder and CEO of Brave New Coin, told CNBC that “the network needs further support and infrastructure needs to be as easy as bitcoin; otherwise it’s over.”

Still, there’s no denying that many sectors—digital currency exchanges and retailers in Japan, for instance—are now gearing up to credit their customers with the new cryptocurrency. In the online gambling industry, many operators are already on process of adding Bitcoin Cash to their payment options.

Bitcoin, and now Bitcoin Cash, holds particular appeal for the sector that’s historically been the target of misguided government policies that aim to protect state-owned gambling monopolies and restrict the individual’s freedom to decide how to spend their entertainment dollars.


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Court allows mystery Coinbase customer to challenge IRS summons

A federal court has upbraided the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for seeking to get ahold of an unprecedented number of bitcoin customer records.

Last year, a California district court allowed the tax agency to require San Francisco-based digital currency exchange Coinbase to submit records of all transactions that took place from 2013 to 2015 as part of an investigation into possible tax fraud in the country. The bitcoin company, however, fought back in court, where it was joined by several anonymous customers.

Court allows mystery Coinbase customer to challenge IRS summonsNow, one of those customers has been allowed by the court to challenge the IRS summon.

In a 12-page ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley agreed to let the customer, identified as John Doe 4 in the documents, to intervene in the court proceeding on grounds that the customer “made a sufficient showing of an abuse of process to support intervention as of right.”

The scope IRS probe has drawn fire from the bitcoin exchange, its customers, as well as several lawmakers, who pointed out that the agency may have been overstepping its powers.

In her ruling, Corley berated the tax agency for not offering any explanation on how it “can legitimately use most of these millions of records on hundreds of thousands of users.”

“Under that reasoning the IRS could request bank records for every United States customer from every bank branch in the United States because it is well known that tax liabilities in general are under reported and such records might turn up tax liabilities,” the judge stated.

The tax agency has narrowed down the criteria of its summons to disqualify the other Coinbase customers—John Doe 1, 2 and 3—who have filed motions to intervene. The summons has been modified to focus on users who had engaged in a bitcoin-related transaction “at least the equivalent of $20,000” between 2013 and 2015.

The court, however, let John Doe 4 proceed anonymously because he met all the four factors set to determine whether his right to intervene should be granted.

“It is thus no surprise that the IRS cannot cite a single case that supports such broad discretion to obtain the records of every bank-account holding American. While the narrowed summons may seek many fewer records, the parties agreed to have the court decide the motion on the original record, and so it has,” the ruling stated.

Current bitcoin price

Bitcoin continues to claw back towards its all-time high, trading at $2,775.96 on Friday.


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Google, Lakestar lead $40M funding for bitcoin start-up Blockchain

London-based bitcoin currency service provider Blockchain has raised $40 million of fresh funding, the largest Series B raised so far in 2017.

Google, Lakestar lead $40M funding for bitcoin start-up BlockchainThe financing round was led by venture capital firm Lakestar and Google’s investment arm GV. Nokota Management, Digital Currency Group and Blockchain’s existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Venture Partners, Prudence Holdings, Virgin and billionaire Richard Branson also participated in Thursday’s funding round.

The recent funding brings Blockchain’s total capital raised to over $70 million, CEO and co-founder Peter Smith said in a statement. It is also the largest investment that the fintech space has seen since Brexit, although it fell short of the $55 million that blockchain start-up Ripple managed to raise from big banks in 2016.

The freshly raised funds will go towards supporting Blockchain’s global expansion plans, as well as further research and development for its product. Founded in 2011, Blockchain provides digital currency wallets and analytical tools for bitcoin’s underlying system.

“Our mission ‘to create an open, accessible, and fair financial future for billions across the globe, one piece of software at a time’ is a lofty one. This capital moves us one step closer to delivering on that mission and will ensure we can take a very long-term view,” Smith said.

The investment comes at a time that digital currencies, particularly bitcoin, are receiving increased interest among traders. Bitcoin, which has been on a bull run towards new price highs since the start of the year, recently hit a record high of $3,000.

“The 14 trillion dollar financial services industry hasn’t meaningfully changed in over a century,” said Smith. “Blockchain is on a mission to create a financial system that is faster, more inclusive, and radically different than the status quo.”

Smith made headline early this when he, along with Snapchat’s first inventor Jeremy Liew, forecast bitcoin to ‘realistically reach $500,000 by 2030.”

“Expats sending money home have found in bitcoin an inexpensive alternative, and we assume that the percentage of bitcoin-based remittances will sharply increase with greater bitcoin awareness,” the two told Business Insider.

Current bitcoin price

Bitcoin still has a long way to go before hitting $500,000. For now, the digital currency is trading at $2,706.50.


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BTCC joins China’s major exchanges in resuming bitcoin withdrawals

China’s withdrawal freeze has finally come to an end.

BTCC joins China’s major exchanges in resuming bitcoin withdrawalsBTC China, the last of the so-called Big 3 exchanges in China, has also resumed cryptocurrency withdrawals on its platform. Bobby Lee, chief executive of BTC China, said in a statement that the exchange has started “testing” withdrawals following the upgrades it made to its anti-money laundering systems.

Industry sources said OKCoin, China’s largest bitcoin exchange by trade volume, and Huobi have also allowed withdrawals.

In February, major digital currency exchanges in China stopped bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals on their respective platforms as they improve their anti-money laundering capabilities to prevent “illegal transactions.” The upgrades were part of the requirements set by the People’s Bank of China, who called on digital currency operators to step up their game against anti-money laundering.

The upgrades were completed in March, but the exchanges had to wait for Chinese regulators’ approval before they were able to resume bitcoin withdrawals, hence the delay.

Back in the game

News that the Big 3 exchanges are resuming their regular operations have made a telling impact on the Chinese markets. OKCoin’s announcement, in particular, spurred investor activity to nearly 20 percent of the world’s trading volumes on Wednesday.

On Thursday, trading in Chinese markets rose to nearly 25 percent of the global market following BTC China’s news.

Virtual currency users arrested in Bolivia

Meanwhile, at least 60 “cryptocurrency promoters” were recently arrested in Bolivia on charges of “training” other people on how to invest in virtual currencies.

Lenny Valdivia Bautista, executive director general of the Bolivian Supervisory Authority of the Financial System (ASFI), said the Central bank of Bolivia has forbidden the use of virtual currencies of any kind in the country.

“We seized brochures that have to do with business schemes relating to virtual currencies that would be operating abroad, and are advising the Bolivian population not be fooled with such schemes that only take advantage of the population by acquiring their money,” Bautista said in a statement.

In 2014, Bolivia became the first country in South America to ban digital currencies like bitcoin, fearing that cryptocurrencies will diminish the power of the local currency. Citing consumer protection concerns, the central bank issued a resolution banning “any kind of currency that is not issued and controlled by a government or an authorized entity.”

Current bitcoin price

The price of bitcoin rose to $2,449.55 during early Friday morning’s trading.



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BTC China extends bitcoin withdrawal freeze into March

The fallout from the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) crackdown on domestic digital currency exchanges continues, and this time BTC China has announced that it will stop cryptocurrency withdrawals for one month.

BTC China extends bitcoin withdrawal freeze into MarchOn Thursday, the Shanghai-based bitcoin exchange said on its website that the hold will be extended to March 15—marking the third time BTC China has extended the ongoing bitcoin and litecoin withdrawal on its platform.

Considered to be one of China’s “Big 3” exchanges, BTC China announced early this month that it will subject all bitcoin withdrawals to a 72-hour review as it upgrades its internal systems. Days later, the 72-hour delay was upped to 10 days.

This time, BTC China said it plans to continue the audit of its system.

“After the upgrade of the industry and the completion of the audit system, the bitcoin and litecoin currency will be back to normal. If the system upgrade can be completed ahead of time, all business will return to normal immediately,” the bitcoin exchange said on its website.

With the withdrawal freeze, existing BTC China clients are unable to get their digital currency deposits out, but the company said withdrawals in Chinese yuan are still allowed, “if customers want to withdraw funds within a shorter period, they can first trade their bitcoins and litecoins for CNY on the exchange and then withdraw the CNY.”

Aside from BTC China, Huobi and OKCoin also halted bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals while they undergo an upgrade to fight “money laundering, exchange, pyramid schemes and other illegal activities.”

Two other companies were also forced to make several changes following PBoC’s harsh warnings. This week, bitcoin mining company HaoBTC announced that it is closing its exchange operation “given the fact that the prospect of a regulatory policy for a bitcoin exchange isn’t clear yet,” while Shenzhen-based bitcoin marketplace BitKan said it will stop new registrations as the company upgrades its anti-money laundering checks.

Current bitcoin price

Bitcoin traded at a high $1,038.5 early Friday morning.



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PBoC finds ‘irregularities’ in Chinese bitcoin exchanges’ operations

China’s central lender is placing the highlight again on bitcoin exchanges in the region.

This time, the People’s Financial institution of China (PBoC) has reportedly introduced the outcomes of its inspection of the regional bitcoin buying and selling platforms. In it, investigators from the central lender described the “irregularities” they stated they learned in the operations of main bitcoin exchanges—BTC China, Huobi and OKCoin—which led to the new “abnormal fluctuations” in the price tag of the preferred digital forex.

PBoC finds ‘irregularities’ in Chinese bitcoin exchanges’ operationsAccording to Chinese-language news outlet JF Everyday, the preliminary inspection by the PBoC’s Shanghai branch located BTC China available financial loans, which is outside of the scope of its organization as a bitcoin trade.

In Beijing, central lender investigators also located alleged anomalies in the operations of OKCoin and Huobi. According to a different report from Hexun, the three bitcoin exchanges presents a mortgage attribute known as margin trade, which the PBoC stated not only violates the country’s procedures but has also induced bitcoin’s new volatility.

Furthermore, the investigators learned that the exchanges do not have a third bash depository of investors’ resources or have they founded adequate anti-money laundering measures.

All three exchanges have stopped margin buying and selling and futures buying and selling just after the central lender inspections, in accordance to reviews.

The three bitcoin exchanges have been caught in the center of the Chinese central bank’s new crackdown on virtual money. Various weeks ago, PBoC officials done on-website visits at BTC China, OKCoin and Huobi to check irrespective of whether the exchanges’ operations have long gone outside of the scope of their current market. The inspections had traders concerned that Chinese are likely to tighten their oversight of the digital forex, which, in convert, sent bitcoin tumbling sixteen percent to a reduced of $761.86—it’s cheapest because peaking at $one,140.sixty four in early January.

Recent bitcoin price tag

The price tag of bitcoin dropped to $883 all through early Thursday morning’s buying and selling.



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Bitcoin bounces back again to $745 as Chinese yuan drops to eight-year lower

Preferred digital currency is back again at $745 as demand from customers surges, driven by involved buyers following the Chinese yuan dropped to its lowest stage since December 2008 right away.

Bitcoin bounces back to $745 as Chinese yuan drops to 8-year lowThe affect of Chinese investors’ demand from customers for bitcoin has consistently created headlines, in particular with the falling Chinese yuan and experts predicting further more declines. From the U.S. greenback, the yuan dropped to a new eight-year-lower, with China’s central bank dropping the reference amount for the ninth consecutive buying and selling day.

“The stress for the yuan to decrease could be more robust following year as Trump’s procedures could guide to a greenback rally and amid issues about China-U.S. trade relations. The People’s Bank of China can curb substantial volatility with more robust fixings and intervention, but it won’t do so unless outflows surge, as these types of measures could increase excellent pressures to the foreign reserves,” mentioned Harrison Hu, RBS Group PLC’s Chief Greater China Economist, according to Coinspeaker.

There is a tiny likelihood that the People’s Bank of China will acquire measures to artificially stabilize the yuan exchange amount since these types of steps might give President-elect Donald Trump much more ground to call China a currency manipulator. In the course of his campaign, Trump has constantly accused China of intentionally devaluating its currency to achieve a aggressive edge in the global market place with its exports.

China developing its personal digital currency

Meanwhile, China’s central bank has begun screening its personal digital currency, which it options to substitute paper currency in the coming a long time.

The new digital currency, coined “ChinaCoin,” performs on cryptographic strategies, just like bitcoin, according to the People’s Bank of China. The target, according to the bank, is to induce much more transparency in business and commerce, though at the identical time, curb funds laundering, cease outflow of currency to foreign locations and to cease tax evasion.

PBC isn’t the very first bank to display desire in digital currency. Central financial institutions in United kingdom, Russia, Canada and Australia have also showed interests in developing blockchain-based digital currencies, as the technology is intended to help a much more efficient digital funds process.

Recent bitcoin rate and trade volume

The rate of bitcoin dropped to $741.28 early Friday morning, with a trade volume of $49.eighty four million.



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Dr. Craig Wright confirms identity as Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto

May well two, 2016


bitcoin-craig-wright-inventor-satoshi-nakamotoAustralian pc scientist, inventor and educational Dr. Craig Steven Wright has verified his identity as Satoshi Nakomoto, the inventor of the Bitcoin different currency and blockchain technology.

Final December, various media outlets determined Wright (pictured) as the human facial area powering the Satoshi pseudonym who in 2009 gifted the Bitcoin and blockchain technology to the earth. Wright neither verified nor denied these media reports, leaving other people to speculate as to whether Satoshi experienced in fact been run to floor.

On Monday, Wright officially went public as the guy powering the Satoshi mask. The BBC noted that Wright not long ago verified his identity to outstanding technology figures by digitally signing messages making use of the non-public encryption keys connected with Bitcoin blocks one-9, which ended up definitively linked with the Satoshi identity.

Technology field mainstay Jon Matonis, a founding director of the Bitcoin Basis, was presented a non-public proof session by Wright in late March. Matonis deemed the proof conclusive, and reported he has “no question that Craig Steven Wright is the man or woman powering the Bitcoin technology, Nakamoto consensus and the Satoshi Nakamoto identify.”

Wright, who has released a blog to dispel myths about and emphasize the whole possible of the technology he established, issued a assertion on Monday declaring he “didn’t take the determination evenly to make my identity public.” Acknowledging the destructive speculation that circulated in the weeks pursuing those December media reports, Wright reported he could not “allow the misinformation that has been unfold to influence the long run of Bitcoin and the blockchain.”

Wright reported he was releasing his research and educational operate to “help persons realize just how strong this can definitely be.” Wright intends his blog to provide as a forum that will offer builders and producers with the true points about the technology in purchase to really encourage the broader use of Bitcoin and the blockchain.

It is challenging to overemphasize the influence Wright’s invention has experienced, presented that couple of software package items compel governments around the earth to produce plan positions encompassing its use. If very little else, Bitcoin would be noteworthy merely for the stress it has induced among central bankers, who have no precedent for dealing with a world currency whose value they have no electrical power to manipulate.

Bitcoin’s influence on the on-line gambling field has been profound, as it much more or fewer overnight rendered moot the efforts of puritanical and/or protectionist governments bent on blocking individuals from accessing their decided on kind of on-line entertainment. For that on your own, Dr. Wright has earned the industry’s gratitude and respect.

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