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August 2009

Ethereum Dev Virgil Griffith Pleads Not Guilty in North Korea Case

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Virgil Griffith

Virgil Griffith

Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges filed against him by the US Attorney’s office in relation to a speech he gave at a blockchain conference in North Korea in April 2019.

Griffith was arrested on Thanksgiving at Los Angeles International Airport after the FBI alleged that he breached the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in traveling to North Korea without authorization and providing knowledge on how the country can utilize blockchain technology to launder money and evade sanctions. Earlier this month, the former Ethereum employee was indicted by Grand Jury over the claims, and, if found guilty, could face up to 20 years imprisonment.

Brian Klein, the attorney representing Virgil Griffith, said his client “should not have been indicted,” and that “we are going to vigorously contest the charge and look forward to getting all the facts in front of the jury at trial.” Assistant US Attorney Michael Krouse said the government has already produced an initial set of documents for discovery, including statements Griffith made to the FBI, and that a second set of documents should be produced within the next two weeks.

Klein asked Judge P. Kevin Castel if the defense would be able to obtain records relating to any interviews the FBI held with other people who attended the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference last year, particularly any attendees who might be able to refute the allegations against Virgil Griffith. “We anticipate these other attendees will exonerate our client,” Klein said.

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However, the prosecution argued that the defense had no grounds to make such a request but said the government would comply with production requirements under federal rules of civil procedure. Judge Castel did not make a firm ruling on the request but told Klein, “If there’s an application under [the rules], I would expect you and encourage you to make it as soon as possible.”

The next hearing in Griffith’s trial is scheduled for March 17.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © aa-w

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Ethereum (ETH) Picks Up Momentum Amidst Sudden Interest in Crypto

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Ethereum

Ethereum

While it is true that Bitcoin is clearly the biggest cryptocurrency in the world by way of market cap, over the years, Ethereum (ETH) has often been touted as the cryptocurrency that could eventually topple it. Although nothing of the sort has actually happened yet, there is now new hope among traders and market watchers that ETH could be heading for a bullish move soon.

Bitcoin has recently enjoyed some bullish movement, and as everyone knows, the price of ETH is also closely linked with that price. As a matter of fact, the path charted by ETH over the past few days has been quite similar to that of BTC.

Analysts are Bullish

However, more importantly, analysts have pointed out that Ethereum was able to make a bullish move this week on Tuesday without the help of Bitcoin, and that is a positive development for the token for sure. In addition to that, some analysts have gone so far as to say that ETH is now possibly gearing up for a significant bullish move over the coming days.

The rationale behind this notion is due to the fact that at this point in time, the token is trading in an area that is just beyond a level at which it has huge support. Hence, there is every chance that things might get very interesting for ETH.

>> Libra Chief Praises Its Anti Money Laundering Standards

It is a well-known fact that if a cryptocurrency is to go on a sustained bull run, then it has to find a support level from which it can make the move. Analysts believe that the support level at this point is $180, as it has proven to be the support level for quite some time. The last time ETH had a significant rally, where it hit as much as $200, the support level was also $180.

The next few days could turn out to be a very interesting period for Ethereum, and traders should keep a close eye on the charts.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © akulamatiau

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Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) | The Pros & Cons Everyone Should Know

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Initial Exchange Offering

Initial Exchange Offering

If you’ve ever been interested in fundraising your startup, you’ve probably heard of an Initial Exchange Offering, or IEO. IEOs are becoming more popular than ICOs and are considered the next stage in the evolution. However, the concept hasn’t crawled out of its crib yet, and many people are confused about its reliability and benefits. Today, we’ve decided to have a closer look into this matter and present you with a thorough list of pros and cons for Initial Exchange Offerings.

What is an IEO?

An Initial Exchange Offering, similarly to an ICO, is a crypto transaction between developers and investors. However, IEOs are conducted on an exchange platform where it acts as a third-party on behalf of start-ups. But does a middleman mean more confusion, a longer process, and less reliability? Quite the contrary, actually.

Project developers send their tokens to an exchange platform of their choice. The IEO then does the donkey work—raising funds. This step is particularly beneficial for investors as they are presented with only solid offers, and this way, they avoid scams and frauds, which is a big issue with ICO.

Once the token gets approved by the exchange platform, it requires a developer to pay a listing fee and a percentage from the sale. That being done, the token is listed on the platform and visible to investors, who can pay for the ones they’re interested in. The entire transaction takes place on the platform, which ensures high security and a smoother process.

As a matter of fact, all three parties benefit from Initial Exchange Offerings. The developer gets listed and has access to various investors; investors are presented with reliable, scam- and fraud-free projects; and the platform itself gets a percentage of sales and is paid a listing fee by developers.

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Initial Exchange Offering Pros

The process of buying and selling tokens with an IEO seems to be easier and more credible than via ICO. But the list of advantages does not stop there. What other benefits does an Initial Exchange Offering bring? We divided all the pros into three sections: for developers, for investors, and for the platform.

Developers

LISTING – Developers, once approved, get instant access to investors who are looking to buy tokens. Finding an investor willing to fund your start-up is one of the most complicated and hardest steps. IEOs cut down developers’ efforts and allow both sides to find each other.

REDUCED COST – Getting tokens listed on the exchange platform can take a while, but it’s not as expensive as an ICO. ICO costs often exceed thousands of dollars, sometimes hitting millions. Developers still have to pay a listing fee for an IEO, but it’s likely to be much lower.

MARKETING – Appearing on the exchange platform cuts down the marketing costs as the project gets listed and can be viewed by the exchange’s user base.

TIME-SAVER – An IEO also allows developers to focus on their project and make it perfect or update it, which saves them a lot of time and effort that would normally be spent on finding investors and advertising.

Investors

LESS RISK – All projects are thoroughly checked by the exchange platform, and scams or frauds are instantly rejected. This allows a risk-free transaction for investors. Additionally, the platform takes responsibility in case of any issues.

TIME-SAVER – Investors save a lot of time as they don’t need to search for start-ups across various platforms and place their money on each one of them. They go for one or two IEOs and allocate funds where applicable.

Exchange Platform

LISTING FEES – Experts from IBCGroup share that listing fees are particularly beneficial when a token doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of interest or is simply sold for a low price. This means that even if the project isn’t generating a lot of money, the exchange still receives money from the initial listing fee.

NEW POTENTIAL CLIENTS – Investors who are willing to fund projects are required to open an account on the platform, which gives the exchange a considerable advantage because it will receive key data for its own marketing efforts. This can lead to a long-term relationship with investors.

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Initial Exchange Offering Cons

As much as we would like to focus on the pros solely, there are some cons that need to be mentioned as well so that anyone can make an informed decision. Fortunately, the list is short, and the benefits of IEO easily outrun the disadvantages.

KYC – The Know Your Customer approach has become a standard in many countries, including the US, to ensure safe transactions and anti-money laundering. However, a lot of investors find the process irritating because of the amount of time it takes. Almost all IEOs require KYC, so it can be a bit of inconvenience—but it’s worth it in the long-run.

TOKEN OWNERSHIP – Exchange platforms are in full control of users’ tokens, which means once they’re listed they become the property of the platform the user is using and the exchange acts on the user’s behalf. Also, in case of a security breach, all user tokens can be lost.

PRICE MANIPULATIONS – Another problem with IEOs is the high number of coins in a few people’s hands, which can lead to numerous price manipulations. This is even easier for big investors as they operate with huge amounts of money.

LIMITED OPTIONS – Currently, there are very few options for investors when it comes to exchange platforms.

Conclusion

The world of cryptocurrency is constantly changing, and new opportunities emerge regularly. IEOs are by far one of the most attractive options, despite the downsides. There are always things to consider whether you’re an investor or a developer looking for funds.

The future of Initial Exchange Offerings seems bright though. It’s hard to predict how it will evolve in the next year and beyond, but with such a great start, IEOs are likely to remain on the cryptocurrency market for a while, making the entire transaction safer, faster, and more reliable.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © poznyakov

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Is the Launch of Bakkt to Blame For Bitcoin’s Price Drop?

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Bakkt

Bakkt

Bitcoin’s price tanked almost 15% on Tuesday evening to a low of $8,165 in what was just the second day since the launch of Bakkt.

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) launched its long-awaited Bitcoin futures trading platform on Monday, September 23 to considerable fanfare, and the entire world of crypto is even more curious to see just how much an impact it will have on the market. Just two days after the platform’s launch and the immediate effect has seen Bitcoin, and several altcoins, drop significantly. It’s similar to the movement seen directly after the launch of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) Bitcoin futures in December 2017, which saw Bitcoin drop from $19,000 to below $17,000 in one day.

Bakkt’s first-day volume was just 71 BTC, compared to CME’s which was 5,298 BTC, although it is worth noting that CME’s launch came right at the peak of Bitcoin mania. Some analysts are speculating that the disappointing opening of Bakkt is a signal to the crypto world that institutional investors are not as keen to get involved in crypto to the same scale as originally thought. The decline in Bitcoin is most likely a sign that the price was too high, and due for a correction.

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Despite the dipping value of Bitcoin in recent days, many analysts are optimistic about how Bakkt can contribute to cryptocurrencies in their efforts to gain traction in the mainstream. Avivah Litan, vice-president of research firm Gartner, said, “Over time, this will legitimatize the cryptocurrency trading market which could potentially have a positive effect on [b]itcoin values, especially during a global economic slowdown and negative interest rate environment as investors and traders seek alternative instruments to equity and bonds.”

Litan concluded by highlighting that Bakkt is undoubtedly a positive step forward for gaining institutional trust and interest in Bitcoin, but it does translate to a guarantee of future success, for which only time will tell.

Featured Image:  DepositPhotos

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