SEC suspends the trading of three public "blockchain" companies

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

Kodak's ICO announcement typifies the rush to re-brand legacy corporations with all things blockchain. Not so fast, say the regulators.

News

SEC suspends trading in three issuers claiming involvment in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology
(SEC Press Release)

"The SEC’s trading suspension orders state that recent press releases issued by Cherubim Interests Inc. (CHIT), PDX Partners Inc. (PDXP), and Victura Construction Group Inc. (VICT) claimed that CHIT, PDXP, and VICT acquired AAA-rated assets from a subsidiary of a private equity investor in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology among other things."

Japan's cryptocurrency industry is launching a self-regulatory body
(CCN, by Samuraj Das)

"Under the revised Payment Services Act, Japanese exchanges are mandated to register with Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, to acquire a special license before commencing operations. Exceptions are made for operational exchanges predating the new legislation. Coincheck is a notable example."

'Hundreds' of crypto miners said to be descending on Quebec
(CoinDesk, by Annaliese Milano)

"More than 100 crypto mining companies have approached Hydro-Quebec, spokesman Marc-Antoine Pouliot told CTV News Montreal, and a few have already settled in the province. Notably, Pouliot said some farms would consume more than 20x the power required for Montreal's sports and entertainment complex, The Bell Centre."

Anonymous trader buys $400 million in Bitcoin
(Market Watch, by Aaron Hankin)

"The unknown trader with the bitcoin address 3Cbq7aT1tY8kMxWLbitaG7yT6bPbKChq64 purchased the coins between Feb. 9 and Feb. 12, taking his bitcoin balance from 55,000 coins to more than 96,000."

Coinbase overcharging glitch is most likely both Worldplay and Visa's fault
(Fortune, by Jen Wieczner)

"But Coinbase confirmed that only Visa cards experienced duplicate charges, and by Friday afternoon, Visa had begun initiating refunds to erroneously charged Coinbase customers. Still, it wasn’t clear why there seemed to be a glitch in resubmitting charges, with some transactions appearing to go haywire and repeating many times over."

Commentary

The tyranny of convenience
(NYT, by Tim Wu)

"The paradoxical truth I'm driving at is that today's technologies of individualization are technologies of mass individualization. Customization can be surprisingly homogenizing."

New National Academy of Sciences report on encryption asks the wrong questions
(EFF, by Andrew Crocker and Nate Cardozo)

"The report collapses the question of whether the government should mandate 'exceptional access' to the contents of encrypted communications with how the government could accomplish this mandate. We wish the report gave as much weight to the benefits of encryption and risks that exceptional access poses to everyone’s civil liberties as it does to the needs—real and professed—of law enforcement and the intelligence community."

Beware of the 'initial speaker offering'

Technical

A phishing attack scored credentials for more than 50,000 Snapchat users
(The Verge, by Casey Newton)

"The accounts compromised in July represent a tiny fraction of Snap’s 187 million active users. But the incident illustrates how sites set up to mimic login screens can do an outsized amount of damage — and how companies must increasingly rely on machine-learning techniques to identify them in real time."

Andreas Antonopolous addresses the misconceptions about Lightning Network

Updates

Zcash releases the new Dev Update. Blog

SiaCoin demonstrates the testing of new download code.

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Image courtesy of NPS.gov.