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July 2009

Crypto Capital Co-Founder Rejects Plea Deal in Shadow Bank Case

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Crypto Capital

Crypto Capital

Crypto Capital co-founder Reginald Fowler has rejected a plea deal with the US government in an ongoing case in which he is accused of operating a “shadow bank” for several crypto exchanges.

Fowler was indicted in April 2019, along with Israeli national Ravid Yosef, for allegedly running a shadow bank for several cryptocurrency firms, including Bitfinex and Tether, which are currently embroiled in a separate case in which they are accused of creating “the largest bubble in human history.” According to a letter submitted by the prosecution on January 31, the Crypto Capital co-founder “rejected the current plea offer,” and the US government “has formally withdrawn that offer.” The parties will now move to trial on April 28.

Fowler was part of a group of investors who purchased the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings from Red McCombs, the previous owner, in 2005. Fowler initially wanted to be the general partner but withdrew his bid when he was unable to provide details about his stake in the ownership group, before losing control of his companies in 2014 after going into receivership over million in unpaid debt.

In April 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a suit accusing Bitfinex of using the reserves of an affiliated company, later revealed to be Crypto Capital, to cover up a loss of US$880 million. However, the extent to which Bitfinex was aware of the shady operations at Crypto Capital remains unclear after the company filed an application for discovery last October in an attempt to subpoena a former banking executive in order to access US$880 million in frozen funds.

>> LINE to Introduce LINK Token Trading in April in Japan

The filing in the Bitfinex case notes that Crypto Capital “provided services as a payment processor to [iFinex], transferring funds to and from [iFinex] and its customers,” since 2014. However, since December 2018, Crypto Capital has failed to remit the funds after having its bank accounts seized by US prosecutors.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © mihail39

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The Future of Masternodes | Predictions and History

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masternode

masternode

The crypto world went abuzz in February 2015 when Dash, the project formerly known as Darkcoin, introduced InstantSend and PrivateSend. The utility of masternodes had become apparent to end users by way of the fastest means of transaction at the time, with an added measure of optional anonymity.

Many other masternode projects have surfaced and sank on the coat-tails of Dash’s popularity since that time, mostly in the form of near-clones that largely failed to contribute useful innovations to the space, with few exceptions. This has resulted in many of today’s newer enthusiasts and developers overlooking the significant potential of the masternodes model as a foundation for tech advancement towards real-world viability for DLT and decentralized services.

Here I will highlight the great utility of the model by providing examples of new and useful innovations currently functioning, followed by my own predictions of the future for this technology, and offer rebuttal to a now-common presumption about masternodes.

Services Recently Decentralized via Masternodes

The masternodes model persists in disrupting the limited answers to “what can be decentralized,” continually facilitating new services and innovations in the face of other models that simply cannot sufficiently accommodate, or which face a cascade of challenges. The possibilities for decentralization via masternodes continue to expand due in large part to the lower solution barrier and flexibility afforded to projects with established masternode networks. Two recent examples of innovation most-readily spring to mind:

DEX: Today, Blocknet’s XRouter technology uses masternodes as “blockchain routing” nodes, enabling a functioning and truly decentralized exchange. Block DX offers a higher degree of decentralization than many other so-called DEX platforms we’ve come to know; it operates without the requirement of any centrally controlled servers, facilitated by a masternode network. Blocknet continues to innovate new ways of harnessing masternodes and its existing RouterX technology, including XCloud, a DLT interoperability platform.

DAG Relay: Patent-pending tech called ZDAG, utilized by Syscoin, makes a particularly compelling utility case with its use of masternodes as a source of bonded validators collectively serving as a high-throughput DAG relay network with nodes sharing fat interconnectivity, providing scalable throughput to the tokens generated on its platform, reportedly rivaling the performance of VISA Network. This new approach appears to have solved various challenges still faced by conventional DAG networks including eliminating the necessity of centrally controlled “watcher” servers, native retention of full transaction history, and decentralized global consensus. Furthermore, every ZDAG transaction can roll to a PoW layer post-transfer (SHA256 merge mined in the case of Syscoin), further compounding the degree of statistical finality and double-spend protection well above that of a typical DAG. All of this, while residing at a “sweet spot” on the decentralization spectrum. ZDAG was initially released in May 2018 and recently underwent significant enhancements. It currently presents 10-second global consensus and redeemability, and other characteristics where the majority of scaling layer solutions continue to fall short and/or lack objective proof of claims. According to Whiteblock, the group who performed third-party scientific tests of the platform, TPS of 15k-60k was observed within realistic network latency across 24 cloud nodes simulating a live network environment in the closest similitude feasibly possible at the time. The Syscoin developers claim its efficient topology relay algorithms ensure this comparatively high throughput is retained across a much more populated network, and further state they plan to subject the layer to scaled-up tests in the future, which will likely incorporate significantly higher node count. ZDAG uses roughly 1,600 masternodes on the present Syscoin mainnet.

>> Ripple Escrow Wallet Transfers Another 500 Million XRP to Company

How Will Masternodes Look in the Future, and What Roles Will They Fill? My Predictions:

  • Masternodes will become recognized as the means to facilitate proper networks for a growing range of decentralized services, and open new gateways towards scaling. The model continues to support a broadening range of services in capacities where other models fall short, and can potentially provide both horizontal (number of nodes) and vertical (resources per node) scaling. The scalability factor could be driven further through new approaches to incentivization, which brings me to my next prediction.
  • Operator rewards will extend to the basis of hardware resources contributed to the network, or on a service performance basis for true “Proof of Service”. The benefits of these angles of incentive will spur developers to add motivation for operators to aid scaling and network service levels by rewarding contribution of more resources and/or increase node performance and availability. This will follow further realization and focus on the scaling and decentralization benefits of the masternodes model.
  • The decentralized revolution will take new ground with “Web 3.0”, largely facilitated by incentive-driven masternode networks hosting IPFS (interplanetary file system), or similar means of secure sharded data hosted off-chain. Web 3.0 will solve numerous challenges posed by current internet services and Web 2.0, including censorship and trusted parties. This masternode-hosted internet might also facilitate decentralized identity services. Advancement of decentralized identity is recognized as necessary for extending potential dApp use cases and is being spearheaded by Decentralized Identity Foundation with members including Microsoft, Blockchain Foundry, IBM, and many others.

“But Masternodes Mean Centralized”

Assessment of a combination of factors is necessary to properly determine where a network resides on the decentralization spectrum. Factors include economic (e.g. token distribution, collateral cost), quantity of active nodes, distribution of hash power in the case of Proof of Work, and overall architecture of an individual protocol including the roles/functions of nodes and the means by which these roles are fulfilled. Only an insufficient and presumptuous conclusion can be drawn based solely on the presence (or lack) of masternodes.

 

Has this provided valuable perspective? Feel free to donate:

BTC: bc1qah44yduwr2cask69vzmzld2d23d6t3m3gx02su

ETH: 0x00DD67c0599003187745cbD7CD9952Ab4E6dde20

SYS: sys1q3qtjf4d7yr24zu3jjdhxeflxl2gaalcyagwpdl

LTC: MLVo8wkVRrTttsqhP9UHYkrRfu2TNiL6K4

*This post was originally published on Medium.

This article was curated through CryptoCurrencyNews’ Contributor Program. If you would like to write for us, send us your submission!

Featured image: DepositPhotos © artjazz

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The Most Common Misconceptions About Bitcoin

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Bitcoin misconceptions

Bitcoin misconceptions

Most people from around the world that hear about Bitcoin are confused. It is completely normal to feel like that. Bitcoin is relatively new. It appeared in 2008 as a white paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto, an alias of a person that nobody knows. Then, the official launch as a currency took place in 2009.

Nowadays, there are numerous articles written online about cryptocurrencies, and countless websites that cover other options, like stablecoins. However, there is no denying the fact that Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency out there. Even so, there are many misconceptions associated with Bitcoin. Below you can read about the most common ones so that you can be better informed about the most popular cryptocurrency.

“This is a Bitcoin”

When Bitcoin is presented in the media, it is usually shown as a coin with a specific design. Because of this, the golden token is what many think Bitcoin (BTC) is. In reality, this conception of the token is worthless and just a symbol.

The best way to describe a Bitcoin is to say it is a digital currency. Practically, the currency does not have a physical form. You will never see coins that are minted.

“An Entire Bitcoin Needs to be Bought”

One of the most interesting things about Bitcoin is that it is divisible up to eight decimals, as opposed to a regular currency like the US Dollar, which can only be divided up to 2 decimals. This means you can hold as little as 100 millionth of a Bitcoin.

Historically, the value of 1 BTC reached a maximum of $19,783.06. This means that buying 1 BTC is not something that most people can afford. Due to this reality and the huge potential value of cryptocurrencies in general, the eight decimals are in place.

“Bitcoin has No Intrinsic Value”

Similarly to all currencies in the world, Bitcoin has value because there are millions of individuals from all around the world sharing the thought that the cryptocurrency offers a much cheaper, faster, and safer transaction network. There is a limited supply of Bitcoin possible. People have to own currency units in order to take advantage of the transaction network, so there is a value associated with Bitcoin.

“We Already Know Everything Bitcoin Offers”

When the internet appeared during the early nineties, nobody knew what the future would offer. Numerous companies appeared and started developing the online world as we now know it. Just as we have no real idea what the internet will offer in the future, we do not really know what Bitcoin can develop into.

>> Initial Exchange Offering: A Newcomer in the Blockchain Evolution

“Bitcoin Can Disappear”

You can shut down a company but you cannot shut down the internet. Because of the fact that Bitcoin exists on the internet, it is practically impossible for it to disappear.

“Dishonest People Use Bitcoin for Illicit Activities”

This is a misconception that appeared due to politics. Many that did not want BTC to succeed started spreading rumors that the cryptocurrency is used by terrorists and dishonest people in order to offer finances for illegal activities. While it is true that there are some criminal operations that use cryptocurrencies, BTC is trackable. Because of this, most criminals prefer cash over Bitcoin.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © AndreyPopov

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Coinbase Jobs Rank in LinkedIn’s Top 50 US Employers List 2019

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Coinbase jobs

Coinbase jobs

Cryptocurrency is taking over the financial world, and crypto exchanges are taking over the jobs world. Because on LinkedIn’s Top 50 US employers list for 2019, Coinbase has ranked higher than investment banking giant JPMorgan. Now, Coinbase jobs will be in higher demand than ever before.

The Perks of Coinbase Jobs

Coinbase ranked at number 35 on the list and JPMorgan listed at 44. It was the only crypto-relative company to make the list, but it’s a start.

Coinbase’s 600-strong staff cover areas of engineering, IT, and human resources roles. Employees can be paid partially or entirely in Bitcoin, whatever their preference. 40% currently allocate some portion of their salary to cryptocurrency.

Perks of working at Coinbase include some of the most unique out there. For example, employees are offered up to $5,000 a year for personal treatments such as egg-freezing—allowing women to focus on their career for a period and start a family later.

Coinbase Jobs vs JPMorgan Jobs

JPMorgan has hired predominantly across the areas of finance, engineering, and business development.

It has also invested upwards of $10.8 billion annually into a team of 50,000 technologists to prepare for the next generation of banking.

The bank is touching on cryptocurrency, however. It is developing its own stablecoin token called JPM Coin. This, according to LinkedIn, is “the first-ever cryptocurrency created by a US bank.

LinkedIn’s Job List

Parent company of Google and YouTube, Alphabet Inc took the top spot on LinkedIn’s list. Facebook and Amazon placed two and three respectively.

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The job platform rates its US firms based on four categories: employee’s interest in the company, the company’s engagement with employees, job demand, and employee retention.

LinkedIn also publishes reports in other job-related areas. Last year it noted that the role of blockchain developer topped its list of emerging jobs with increased interest and demand skyrocketing in one year.

Are you glad to see a crypto exchange make LinkedIn’s top 50 list? Would you like a Coinbase job?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © wolterke

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