Dr. Craig Wright “backdating” claims should be taken with a grain of salt

The internet community can be a funny place. If you’re at all a public figure, you can expect to be spat at, ridiculed, accused, and pretty much deemed guilty before any conclusivity.

Dr Craig S Wright is no stranger to being on the receiving end in this manner. Entrenched in a world where every keyboard warrior believes they are judge, jury, and executioner can be taxing. But the burden of proof should always lie with the accuser.

One of the most prominent of websites out there today that many rely on for evidence of sorts, is the “WayBackMachine” – famously known as the “Internet Archive”. If there are any doubts as to the authenticity of a publication date, internet users will flock to http://web.archive.org/ and quickly assess the date of publication, as captured by WayBackMachine’s crawler, snapshotted into its archives.

Certainly, many claims that have been made against Dr Wright place heavy reliance on this tool. Claims that he maliciously backdated information, and attempted to conceal evidence are peppered on forums every time the spectre and possibility of Craig Wright being Satoshi surfaces.

But how much trust should we place on such services and their capacity to provide accurate information in this regard?

The first and most obvious detail to note, is that WayBackMachine is not some immutable database that is resistant to change and modification.

But more interestingly, is this second point: The behaviour of WayBackMachine can be to some degree, piloted by webmasters themselves.

This isn’t some voodoo magic. It is search engines, and archiving tools such as WayBackMachine, functioning as designed. Web developers are very familiar with this concept, but it is very possible (in fact its blindingly easy!) to omit a particular page from appearing in WayBackMachine (or google for that matter), for a defined period of time, simply by placing a couple of meta-tags within the HTML header of a webpage.

Let’s take this opportunity, to see just how easy it is for anyone, to manipulate and control their webpage snapshots, on a site like WayBackMachine.

The above meta-tag in bold instructs most search engines not to index the page. Most search engines therefore, will not show the webpage in their search results.

Further X-Robots-Tag can also be used an element of the HTTP header response for a given URL.

Take the following example as a response:

Now the above will do two things.
The “noarchive” directive will prevent a search engine from creating a “cached” copy of the site. The “unavailable_after” directive ensures that the page does not show up in search results after a specified date and time.

The two directives together are able to completely remove a webpage off-record until a specified date, throwing into question the entirety of the “he created the page in 2014/15” argument.

Simply put, these tools index and cache webpage content in a manner as requested by an author.

Does Dr Wright use such meta-tags in his posts?

His response: “It’s my right to privacy”.

Sure enough, many of the pages that are linked externally from 2011, only show up on the WayBackMachine archive in 2015

Perhaps machines can tell us many things… Much of which can be useful, and usable. But without knowing the ins and outs of any tool, it would be foolish to treat the output of any such tool as conclusive evidence. Search engines, and archivers of this nature are tools to assist both search engine users, SEO specialists, webmasters and web developers. They are not ‘designed’ as a forensic tool.

Further information on the usage of Robot meta tags, you can view Google’s own documentation on the topic here.

Eli Afram
@justicemate

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

CFTC staff gets green light to trade cryptocurrency

After receiving “numerous inquiries,” the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has given its employees the go signal to invest in cryptocurrencies.

In a Feb. 5 memo, CFTC general counsel Daniel Davis told agency staff that they can trade digital tokens like they would corn, oil, precious metals, and other commodities, according to a Bloomberg report. The decision, Davis said, was in response to the inquiries the regulator received from CFTC employees.

The guidelines, however, warned CFTC employees against trading cryptocurrencies on margin as well as using inside information they picked up in the work at the agency, especially if the nonpublic information has the potential to impact the trade. Likewise, investing in the Bitcoin futures that CFTC regulates is also forbidden.

“In this environment, the situation is ripe for the public to question the personal ethics of employees engaging in cryptocurrency transactions,” Davis wrote, urging CFTC staff members to avoid actions that could result in them “violating the law or government and commission ethical standards.”

The commodities regulator first defined cryptocurrency as a commodity in 2014, effectively placing digital coins under the purview of the agency. At the time, CFTC’s supervision are mostly enforcement actions against alleged fraud schemes—the agency doesn’t have authority to supervise cryptocurrency exchanges, which are regulated under state money transmitter laws.

CFTC, however, has direct control of the U.S. cryptocurrency futures markets. In December, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo gave CME and CBOE the go signal to list Bitcoin futures contracts on their trading platforms.

Giancarlo, who is known for his “relaxed approach to cryptocurrency regulation, was reportedly among those who inquired about a CFTC ethics guidelines to ensure that there won’t be a  conflict of interest.

“The chairman has made it clear that staff members who own Bitcoin should not participate in matters related to Bitcoin, as it presents a conflict of interest,” Erica Richardson, spokeswoman for Giancarlo, told the news outlet.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

34,200 buggy Ethereum smart contracts are in danger, some ‘suicidal,’ study finds

Using a tool called MAIAN, 2,365 of the vulnerable smart contracts fell to an exploit within ten measly seconds.

Ethereum can’t catch a break: In the midst of a hard fork debate to recover stolen or locked ETH as more and more funds are lost to hacks and bugs on smart contracts, a new study has been released attesting to Ethereum’s glaring vulnerabilities. While the blockchain itself isn’t at risk, the growing number of smart contracts being built on top of it aren’t as rock solid as they should be.

A study conducted by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University College London (UCL) has concluded that 34,200 out of nearly one million smart contracts on Ethereum are vulnerable to attack, with 2,365 of them only needing ten seconds to exploit using an analysis tool they built called MAIAN.

“Our analysis of nearly one million contracts flags 34,200 (2,365 distinct) contracts vulnerable, in 10 seconds per contract,” the researchers wrote in the paper. Their analysis has flagged close to $13.8 million worth of ether at risk at the time they did the study.

Through MAIAN, the researchers were able to classify the trace vulnerabilities into three classes: greedy, prodigal, and suicidal.

The prodigal class covers smart contracts that surrender funds to “arbitrary addresses,” or an address that is not the owner’s and has no previous history with the account—in other words, an attacker. This is common for individual users, and the research says that such a vulnerability can be forced to cough up ETH in as little as a single function invocation.

“The above contract requires a single function invocation to leak its Ether. However, there are examples of contracts which need two or more invocations (calls with specific arguments) to cause a leak,” according to the paper.

The greedy contract, on the other hand, stays alive but freezes the Ether within it and never lets go of the funds—much like the $285 million Parity lock-up. And unfortunately, Parity hits ticks the criteria not only for the greedy contract classification but also the suicidal contract class—which pertains to contracts that can be killed by anyone. Parity’s library contract was accidentally killed by an unwitting user.

As more and more amateur developers and developer-wannabes will probably try to cash in on the cryptocurrency hype, more vulnerabilities can be expected. It’s hard to think of a way to enforce a higher level of standard and quality control in the open network, and investors are suffering the severely expensive consequences. Meanwhile, erring and even blatantly negligent developers are seemingly getting off unscathed, prompting some to call for accountability.

During the height of the Parity mess, blockchain development company Vulcanize engineer Rick Dudley said in an article on CoinDesk: “My thoughts are we should seriously consider as a community what the limit of our forgiveness is. At what point do we have to start ostracizing people for security failures?”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Ethereum devs plead for hard fork to retrieve lost funds

This feels like the DAO all over again.

The war for EIP 867

Another controversial proposal is sparking a word war within the Ethereum community. Ethereum Improvement Proposal or EIP 867, known as the Standardized Ethereum Recovery Proposal (ERP), seeks to enable the recovery of funds in special cases like hacks, exploits, and loss of funds due to bugs in smart contracts. Deploying the functionality would warrant a hard fork

One of the developers of the proposal is James Levy, a developer who created a smart contract publishing tool called Mintchalk in 2014. Levy was lauded by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin on Reddit, and he was awarded with 40,000 ETH for his work. But he lost his funds within three weeks after a hacker was able to steal his ether reportedly due to a weak passphrase. Back then, his ether was worth around $35,000. Today, it’s worth over $35 million.

Levy is not alone. In November last year, multisignature wallet Parity suffered a bug that froze around $285 million worth of ETH at the time, simply due to an accidental kill command.

But users are rejecting the proposal, just like they did when the DAO suffered Ethereum’s first historical, big-time heist. Users pointed out that undoing the heist is a violation of the code’s promise of immutability. They believe the DAO should suffer the consequences of their own negligence—some say that the DAO team were made aware of the vulnerability in their smart contract but they proceeded with the ICO anyway because—money.

During the DAO incident, the proposal for a hard fork to undo the heist pushed through, giving birth to Ethereum Classic (ETC) for those who maintained that they should not be bailed out. But the value of ETH plummeted and did not recover the entire year, and the DAO eventually collapsed anyway.

Similarly, users are now pointing out the motto “code is law,” and that deploying Levy’s proposal is a violation of the code’s immutability pledge. And it looks like this hard fork proposal won’t be as lucky as the DAO’s this time around.

No bail-out this time around

Should Ethereum retrieve funds lost due to buggy smart contracts, or should devs be held accountable for negligence—but then leave their investors to suffer the losses? This question has been floating around in the Ethereum community for years now, and it obviously cannot be swept under the rug. It seems hacks and exploits are a regular thing for Ethereum, a downside of its openness to new developers—regardless of whether they actually know what they’re doing or not.

In the realm of traditional businesses, it is not common to launch software to the public unless it’s security is airtight. And in cases where an oversight happens, the company can be legally held liable for whatever damages their customers and investors incur as a result of their error. In the blockchain industry, it being in its infancy stage, these liabilities are not clear-cut.

Nevertheless, even Buterin doubts that any bail-outs will happen this time around.

“Not sure where this meme that ethereum is ‘trying to’ adopt EIP 867 came from; as far as I can tell it’s not going anywhere and most of the community has rejected it,” Buterin commented on a Reddit thread.

He also clarifies that the DAO did not set a precedent to subsequent bail-outs, as demonstrated by the community’s rejection of the proposal, which he Tweeted a link to.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

EU, 35 countries agree revisions for global cryptocurrency markets

The European Commission and 35 additional countries have asked the body responsible for setting international anti-money laundering measures to revise its standards for the cryptocurrency space, in one of the first cross-border regulation drives of its kind.

According to media reports, the commission plus representatives from the additional countries presented their case to the Financial Action Task Force at a meeting held last week. Amongst other things, the representatives “urged the global body to improve the understanding of money laundering risks relating to cryptocurrencies.”

The Financial Action Task Force was initially set up in 1989 as a mechanism for international measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, amongst other threats to the financial system.

Along with the European Commission, members include the Gulf Co-Operation Council in addition to 35 member countries including China, India, United Kingdom, United States, Russia, and Japan.

According to media reports, this discussions turned to the need for a revision of standards, as viewed by member countries concerned about the rise of the threats posed by anonymous transactions:

“Member countries were worried that the anonymity and money laundering risks of cryptocurrency transactions had grown with electronic wallets…The FATF discussed the need to revise its own international standards…along with the revision of the virtual currency guideline created in June 2015, and agreed to report the response to the G20 Finance Ministers’ Meeting in March.”

It has also been reported that South Korean officials reminded the FATF of its obligations vis a vis money laundering, whilst highlighting that its own model of regulation was the first to have been introduced by any of the member countries.

South Korea took the step of banning anonymous cryptocurrency accounts, requiring any engaging in cryptocurrency transactions to use accounts linked to their personal named bank account.

This came on stream along with a raft of new guidelines at the end of January 2018, which now require closer scrutiny from financial institutions and those dealing with cryptocurrency transactions, as far as detecting financial irregularities are concerned.

While it remains to be seen whether the developments at FATF will result in proposals for revised international standards, it could be seen as a step towards a more global structure for cryptocurrency regulation in future.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Crypto market scam LeadInvest goes blind in Texas

It appears that the fraudsters and scammers who are taking advantage of the cryptocurrency market are on the increase of late.

The latest company to be slapped with a cease and desist order in the state of Texas is Leadinvest, which at first glance appears to be a pyramid scheme. This follows hot on the heels of other failed ventures such as BitConnect and USI Tech, which have also vanished from the Northern American market but not before taking thousands of investors for a ride.

According to the order, LeadInvest targeted investors in Texas and failed not only to disclose the background and qualifications of its team members, but also the liabilities associated with its mining and lending operations. The team associated with the project is also non-existent, with stock photos being used in conjunction with fabricated names, authorities said.

The largest red flag for the Texas State Securities Board was the fact that the platform was offering unlicensed securities for sale, and therefore violating most of the Texas Securities Act.

On closer examination, the LeadInvest website is loaded with “get-rich-quick” language promising interested parties incredible returns, and that “zero” cryptocurrency experience is required to get involved. After a light attempt at explaining the cryptocurrency market, the team is presented along with a call to action informing investors of getting started even with just a few cents.

The site also features a “careers” tab in which a vague job description is offered, and is geared towards promoters for the program. As more of these types of scams appear, their longevity will most likely be throttled by government officials that are now on high alert due to a sharp increase in fraud in the space. Unfortunately, this is also giving a bad name to the crypto currency market.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the securities commissioner of the state of Texas has directly targeted fraud related to the cryptocurrency space. Just last month, the Texas board accused known cryptocurrency scam BitConnect of both fraud and selling unlicensed securities. The order led to the eventual downfall of the platform, with its underlying asset losing over 90% of its value in a short period of time.

DavorCoin, another lending platform dealing with the sale of unlicensed securities, was also recently issued an emergency order by the Texas commissioner. Similar to BitConnect, users purchased DavorCoin’s underlying asset in order to lend it on the platform and receive a commission for doing so. Although DavorCoin issued a statement claiming that BitConnect’s downfall didn’t “change anything for (them),” it quickly became the fourth sting by the Texas government due to issuing unlicensed securities. Yet another was the USI Tech scam which is still under investigation but that company has abandoned operations in North America.

The commissioner in Texas has truly taken the bull by the horns when it comes to targeting fraud in the space and will most likely continue to do so as more “lending” platforms materialize.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Cryptocurrency market trades sideways, BTC maintains $10,500 level

The cryptocurrency market continued trading sideways on Tuesday with most of the currencies registering minimal decreases and any gains made were swiftly eroded throughout the day. Legacy Bitcoin (BTC) continued building on the levels it had reached on Monday however with a push for $11,000 also occurring throughout the day, but eventually settled at the $10,600-$10,700 mark. Bitcoin Cash registered a tepid day with minimal movement and was trading between the $1,200-$1,250 mark before settling at around $1,230.

Ethereum saw a relatively quiet trading day with levels of around $880 reached although the currency fell back to the $860 mark and remained there throughout the day. It’s sister currency, Ethereum Classic, also registered a slight decrease and was trading at the $35 mark before dropping back by 5% to trade at $33. It seems that the anticipated Callisto fork, which is due in early March, has had a positive effect on the currency which is the only one to have risen to pre-crash levels.

Ripple and Dash had another disappointing day with both trading sideways and any increase registered was wiped out due to low turnover and poor volumes. XRP is still struggling at the $0.93-$0.95 mark and does not seem to have the strength to go beyond the $1 mark. The latter dropped below the $600 mark and did not appear to be well supported at that level either so further declines could be expected in the not too distant future.

After the botched launch of Litepay on Monday, Litecoin had another rather uneventful day but still lost in value when it traded at around $214, a decrease of around 2%.

Of the currencies with smaller market caps, little could be said apart from Neo which continued registering a good increase to trade at just above $140. However during the day and on Wednesday morning, the Chinese-backed cryptocurrency dropped slightly seeing a decrease of around 5% to trade at around $136. Stellar had another disappointing day when it traded at just over the $0.36 mark.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Smells like a pump: JPMorgan now says cryptocurrency a threat to business

Not that everybody didn’t already know this.

In their annual report released yesterday, JPMorgan Chase listed cryptocurrency as one of the risks to their business. While this is a subtle admission, for sure the company knows crypto-enthusiasts have their eyes on JP Morgan, especially after about a year of a rocky word war between the two.

Not that the crypto community needed any confirmation from JPMorgan, but the financial giant is officially conceding: cryptocurrencies are bad for their business. But given the fact that probably everybody who has a decent level of knowledge of the cryptocurrency trade is already aware of this fact, why is JPMorgan saying this now?

It smells very much like a pump. In fact, it’s been reeking of that smell for a few months now.

If you recall last year, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon went on a tirade calling Bitcoin a fraud and saying he’ll fire any “stupid” employee caught trading the tokens which were “worse than tulip bulbs.” This drove the value of BTC down by over 100%.

But then very shortly after, users caught the company taking advantage of the price drop and buying BTC on the cheap. The order was so large—9,000 BTC—that the company made it to the top five buyers on the order book on Nasdaq. Users were furious, saying this is downright manipulation and that Dimon should be legally penalized.

Smells like a pump: JPMorgan now says cryptocurrency a threat to business

While JPMorgan denies that their employees were involved (pointing the finger on their clients whose actions are beyond them), remember that this means JPMorgan or its clients have a lot of BTC. And maybe they’ve decided they want to rake in their profits from last year’s stash soon, hence the pump. Dimon has been “regretting” his derogatory words since late last year, praising Bitcoin and even saying it’s the “new gold.”

After their manipulative stunt last year, JPMorgan is probably the least credible source of information on when to buy or sell (or what to buy and sell). History shows whatever they have to say about the cryptocurrency trade is highly likely for their own benefit—don’t buy it. You’ll only make them richer at your own expense.

Diverting investors to their blockchain projects

According to Fortune, JPMorgan refused to say why they are only announcing this analysis now, but that the company has been working on their own blockchain projects, including an Ethereum-based blockchain. Apart from this, they have also filed a patent for a Bitcoin-like payment system.

This is possibly a prelude to positioning their new products as early as now. In fact, they have a department for “blockchain initiatives,” whose head, Umar Farooq, said blockchain technology has been “more than thriving” within bank systems.

“It’s more than thriving. People have been surprised how quickly it basically spread as a way to address and think about customers differently,” Farooq said at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit earlier this month. “It’s quite insane.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Digital Bazaar favors government-friendly cryptocurrency over ICO

In response to what has been viewed as an exaggerated form of raising money, despite its incredible popularity, initial coin offerings (ICOs) has begun to fall out of grace with some of the brightest minds in the cryptocurrency industry. One in particular, Manu Sporny, recently spent a great deal of time reflecting on the benefits and pitfalls of the system, and decided it was time for a change. He, along with his team at Digital Bazaar, is launching the company’s Veres One identity blockchain without first initiating an ICO.

In an interview with CoinDesk, Sporny said the goal is not to seek attention, “it’s trying to build the most cost-effective infrastructure for this thing.”

To that end, Digital Bazaar determined that it didn’t need either the ICO or even a cryptocurrency token; rather, it just wants to offer the best product possible. Sporny feels that the digital identity infrastructure is completely discombobulated due to a limited number of people having access to a large amount of personal data. This data, as has been seen numerous times, sits on larger storage devices that are susceptible to breaches (think Yahoo or Equifax).

Enter Veres One, an identity blockchain that serves as a global public utility. It would be available to everyone from every corner of the world. However, as Sporny pointed out, if the company were to be forced to deal with the ups and downs and constant speculation of yet another ICO on the market, the developers wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the goals. Additionally, the fees for implementation and integration could possibly fluctuate like what is seen in today’s markets, leading to an unpredictable network.

Veres One is billed as a secure and cost-effective method to control and manage one’s identity on the web. It is a “fit-for-purpose” blockchain that is designed exclusively for web identity security. It offers the ability for individuals to take control over by aggregating digital credentials from different parts of the digital realm and decide how to share those details without losing their online identity. The project has yet to be released to the general public, although it’s already sent out as a beta version for tweaking and testing.

The team at Digital Bazaar designed Veres One to be a public distributed ledger through which three groups of shareholders work in tandem to keep the system running optimally. These groups focus specifically on one of three areas—software development, software implementation on the nodes or the company’s group of directors that create network operational rules. The group of directors, or governors, is a diverse set of individuals that includes members of both sexes, as well as a range of ethnic, cultural and geographic backgrounds.

Since the company is beginning debt-free, it isn’t stressed to raise a tremendous amount of outside capital. There will be fees associated with use of the system, but these will remain in the vicinity of only $1, and aren’t expected to change in the future.

“A project that does do a token sale versus one that doesn’t do a token sale, all things being equal … the one that doesn’t do a token sale will fundamentally be a more cost-effective solution since it doesn’t have investors to pay back. So, the cost of the network can be much lower,” Sporny told the news outlet.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

ShapeShift Bitfract changes cryptocurrency swapping landscape

ShapeShift is already a revolutionary asset in the cryptocurrency world. Its platform allows for cryptocurrencies to be almost instantaneously exchanged from one coin to another without the need of an account. It’s one of the most private and fastest methods of swapping digital currency, and now it’s ready to kick things up a notch. The company recently, and quietly, rolled out a beta version of its Bitfract platform, which allows a user to exchange a single currency to multiple currencies in one step.

ShapeShift works in a number of cryptocurrency wallets without the necessity of relying on a centralized exchange. Bitfract uses the same technology, only more robust to allow multi-currency transactions. There are no additional fees other than ShapeShift’s standard commission, or miner fee, and the application is free to use. Miner fees vary from coin to coin, but the fee for a Bitcoin Cash exchange is 0.0002 BCH and for an Ether transaction, the fee is 0.0015 ETH.

The tool promises to be helpful to anyone who owns a wide range of cryptocurrencies. The beta version only supports legacy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum and Litecoin, but other coins will be added in the future.  When Bitfract is launched in its entirety, it will include Bitfract Labs, which is designed to track cryptocurrency historical performance over years and will help investors create custom portfolios. Bitfract Labs will provide the ability to allocate currencies in a portfolio based on market cap, weights or percentages.

ShapeShift offers trading across both web and mobile devices. Cryptocurrency exchanges never pass through the company’s bank accounts, instead going from the sender to the receiver directly, with only the fee being taken by ShapeShift. It was founded in 2013 and is backed by Digital Currency Group, Bitfinex and Bitcoin Capital, among others.  Last year, the company raised just over $10 million from European venture capitalist firm Earlybird.

Bitfract is just the latest example of the rapid evolution of the cryptocurrency industry. Just as paper money went through hundreds of cycles—and still does today—to meet society’s requirements, so did cryptocurrencies and their underlining technologies. Each step provides greater access to, and enhanced usability in, the digital coin market.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Israeli crypto broker gets reprieve after high court halts account shutdown

An Israeli cryptocurrency brokerage service involved in a dispute with its bank has been granted a lifeline, following a decision by Israel’s Supreme Court.

Bits of Gold, a brokerage service based in Tel Aviv, had been operating an account with Bank Leumi since the company started operations in 2013. But after the bank flagged their account over concerns about their business model, the broker petitioned for an injunction from the courts to prevent Bank of Leumi from closing their account.

The decision on Tuesday to grant the temporary injunction provided some relief for Bits of Gold, although by no means guarantees their banking position long-term. The judgement noted that banks still have obligations and rights to inspect the bank accounts of their customers, including those operating cryptocurrency businesses.

However, the decision has been welcomed as a cause for celebration by Bits of Gold. The company’s CEO, Youval Rouach, said the decision would allow the company to get back to focusing on its cryptocurrency business.

“The court’s decision enables us to focus on the growth of the Israeli cryptocurrency community. We were the first to request for the creation of rules for digital currency trade and the first to comply with those rules and others…We’ll continue to lead this field in order to give cryptocurrencies their rightful place – as a massive growth engine for the Israeli high tech and fintech industry,” he said.

The issue first arose back in Q3 of 2017, when Israeli banks began stepping up efforts to scrutinise and monitor the activities of businesses in the cryptocurrency sector. This naturally took in brokers like Bits of Gold, and comes at a time of increasing pressure for regulation in Israel, and across the wider world.

Most recently, this has culminated in the decision of the Tax Authority to treat cryptocurrency assets as a form of property, thereby introducing the application of capital gains tax on any profitable disposals.

This comes at a time of increasing clarity over the approach being adopted by lawmakers in Israel, with authorities striving to put together an effect regulatory regime for the emerging cryptocurrency and supporting industries.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Dr. Craig Wright sued for $10.2b by brother of early Bitcoin advocate

Dr. Craig Wright, cryptocurrency pioneer and currently chief scientist of blockchain technology research and development firm nChain, is being sued for $10.2b by a relative of one of Bitcoin’s earliest advocates.

On Monday, word broke that Ira Kleiman, brother of deceased Bitcoin pioneer Dave Kleiman, had filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing Wright of acquiring via nefarious means some “hundreds of thousands” of Dave’s Bitcoins, along with “valuable intellectual property rights of various blockchain technologies.”

The complaint notes that Wright and Dave Kleiman shared a “longtime interest in cyber security, digital forensics, and the future of money,” and their early collaboration allowed them to accumulate “a vast wealth of bitcoins from 2009 through 2013,” the year Kleiman died following a long battle with MSRA.

The complaint says Kleiman’s family was ignorant of his Bitcoin holdings, because “for reasons not yet completely clear, [Kleiman and Wright] chose to keep their involvement in Bitcoin hidden from most of their family and friends.”

The complaint alleges that, following Dave’s death, Wright “forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him.” The complaint further alleges that Craig “backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.”

Ira Kleiman claimed Wright reached out to him after Dave’s death, confirming the pair’s Bitcoin activities but explaining that Dave had signed away his rights to the assets in exchange for a stake in an Australian company worth “millions.” The complaint calls this explanation “a lie” because this company “went bankrupt” following a dispute with the Australian tax office.

The complaint alleges that Wright had amassed a stash of around 1.1m Bitcoins, of which “at least 300,000” belonged to Dave. However, the plaintiff believes he’s entitled to all 1.1m Bitcoins mined by both Wright and Dave, which were “wrongfully converted” by Wright after Dave’s death. Ira is seeking the return of these Bitcoins – or their equivalent value in fiat currency – as well as numerous technology patents, plus interest and court costs.

It’s worth noting that Ira himself has no connection to the world of cryptocurrency and the legitimacy of the documentation he’s presented to support his claims is a matter of some debate within the crypto community.

Moreover, it’s long been rumored that Dave kept his Bitcoin stash on a hard drive with the highest level of encryption available at the time. This hard drive is currently in Ira’s possession, which would further call into question the capacity for anyone to access its contents.

Putting aside the dubious merits of Ira’s allegations, what doesn’t appear to be in dispute is Wright’s rightful place as a key figure at the genesis and early development of Bitcoin. Sadly, the heights that the cryptocurrency markets have since attained is also why we can likely expect more of these lawsuits to emerge in future.

After news of the lawsuit broke, Wright was queried on Twitter as to what the lawsuit was all about, to which he replied with a single word: “Greed”.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.