Global Protests Reveal Bitcoin’s Limitations

  • Protests in Hong Kong, Lebanon and Iran have forced cypherpunks to test censorship-resistant technologies in the wild. 
  • But protesters on the ground found they lack internet access during times of civil unrest.
  • Bitcoin has mainly proven useful for receiving value from abroad to hold and privately store.
  • Sources in Lebanon and Iran said there is scant liquidity, and since they are cut off from global exchange platforms, digital assets are rarely useful as currency.

In the face of censorship and isolation from their countries’ financial and communication systems, protesters across the globe are testing out bitcoin and other decentralized technologies – then promptly discovering their limitations. 

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/global-protests-reveal-bitcoins-limitations

The Surprising Reason Why Blockstack Could Be America’s First Crypto IPO

Blockchain startup Blockstack is currently evaluating how to issue new tokens for general miners. 

“The issuance of new tokens is the main issue here,” Blockstack CEO Muneeb Ali told CoinDesk. “Because within the U.S. we’re treating STX [tokens] as securities, if new tokens are being minted by the protocol and they’re being released in the ecosystem, we need a legal framework for them.”

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/the-surprising-reason-why-blockstack-could-be-americas-first-crypto-ipo

Chinese Army’s Blockchain Provider Approved for New Hyperledger Certification Program

Hyperledger, the open-source blockchain alliance backed by the Linux Foundation, has green-lit a Beijing-based firm that also serves the Chinese army to join its new certification program.

Only five companies are authorized Hyperledger Certified Service Providers (HCSP), allowed to offer support, consulting, training and professional services, including installation, configuration and troubleshooting, to other enterprises exploring blockchain technologies, Hyperledger said. 

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/chinese-armys-blockchain-provider-approved-for-new-hyperledger-certification-program

What the CFTC Chairman Actually Said About Ether Futures and Ethereum 2.0

U.S. regulators are not yet sure about what to make of ethereum’s impending transition to a staking-based protocol.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Heath Tarbert, who recently declared his view that the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is a commodity that could support a futures market, said this week his agency is still evaluating whether this will remain true after ethereum upgrades its network sometime in the coming year.

Speaking at CoinDesk’s Invest: NYC conference on Tuesday, Tarbert said the CFTC and its sister agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), were both “thinking carefully” about the forthcoming Ethereum 2.0 upgrade which is designed to replace the coin’s current proof-of-work (PoW) model for transaction validation.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/what-the-cftc-chairman-actually-said-about-ether-futures-and-ethereum-2-0

Alibaba’s Ant Financial Starts Pre-Launch Testing of Business Blockchain

Ant Financial, the fintech arm of Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group, has launched the testing stage for its blockchain network aimed to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Speaking at the World Blockchain Summit at Wuzhen, China, Jieli Li, senior director of technology and business innovation at Ant Financial, said the tech underlying its Ant Blockchain Open Alliance is set to go live three months after the testing period, according to a report from Sina Finance.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/alibabas-ant-financial-starts-pre-launch-testing-of-consortium-blockchain

Malaysian Thieves Drill Through Wall to Steal 85 Crypto Machines

Malaysian authorities have apprehended five men charged with stealing 85 bitcoin machines. The police captured the men in a police raid on Nov. 2.

The Sun Daily reports that four men and one woman rented a building in Seremban, Malaysia, adjacent to a warehouse storing the bitcoin machines. The five drilled through the concrete wall connecting the two buildings. All the suspects were friends without past criminal records, The Sun writes.

Worth $10,300 each, the machines were most likely bitcoin mining rigs, although local police did not specify.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/malaysian-thieves-drill-through-wall-to-steal-85-crypto-machines

Digital Travel Firm Webjet Has Launched Its Booking Verification Blockchain

Digital travel agent Webjet has launched its long-in-development blockchain-based platform in a bid to remove disparities in hotel booking data.

Working in conjunction with Microsoft through the firm’s Azure blockchain-as-a-service sandbox since 2016, Webjet said Thursday the new Rezchain application will address hotel reservation snafus and overcharges by looking for data mismatches in real-time between customers, hotels and booking agents, and sending alerts if any are found.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/digital-travel-firm-webjet-has-launched-its-booking-verification-blockchain

US Prosecutors Charge Founder of ‘IGOBIT’ Token With Fraud

U.S. prosecutors charged Asa Saint Clair, the president of a nonexistent United Nations affiliate, with fraud Wednesday, alleging he defrauded investors using the IGOBIT digital token.

Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York alleged that Saint Clair lured investors to buy into the “World Sports Alliance” using his IGOBIT digital currency, promising investors equity the in organization from 2017 to September 2019.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/us-prosecutors-charge-founder-of-igobit-token-with-fraud

Ether on Lightning Is the Latest Bridge Crossing Crypto’s Great Divide

Ethereum developers are using the Lightning payments network to build bridges into the bitcoin ecosystem.

The venture-backed crypto startup Radar, best known for its decentralized exchange (DEX) relayers for 0x, just launched a service called RedShift, which allows people to pay a lightning invoice from an ethereum wallet.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/ether-on-lightning-is-the-latest-bridge-crossing-cryptos-great-divide

FATF Releases Guidance on Global Digital IDs as Use Cases Grow

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) wants financial institutions to prepare for the global expansion of digital identification systems.

FATF published its draft guidance on digital identity Thursday, for governments, regulated entities and other stakeholders to enforce anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing terrorism (CFT) regulations.

The intergovernmental organization aims to address emerging security and transparency issues as the process of financial transactions become more digital, according to the guidance.

On its website, FATF listed a number of questions acting as “areas of focus,” requesting private stakeholders to provide feedback via email by Nov. 29, 2019.

Read More:https://www.coindesk.com/fatf-releases-guidance-on-global-digital-ids-as-use-cases-grow