News of the Week

Libra Could be as Damaging as 9/11, says Anti-Bitcoin Congressman

On Wednesday, Libra was the primary topic of discussion for the House Committee on Financial Services. A few hours into the six-hour plus hearing, Brad Sherman, a Democratic Representative from overall pro-innovation California, took the stage. In an unprecedented turn of events, Sherman claimed that while Facebook is truly innovating with its Libra blockchain, innovation as a concept and trend isn’t good per se. He noted that the “most innovative thing that happened this century” was when Osama Bin Laden masterminded the horrid 9/11 attacks on American soil, crashing a multitude of planes into key landmarks and places of business. What followed this attack was a war on terror, during which the U.S. was mandated to step up in terms of its technology and weaponry.

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Steve Wozniak Co-Founds Blockchain-Based Energy Saving Firm in Malta

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, has invested in a new blockchain-based company headquartered in Malta. Wozniak is now the co-founder of energy efficiency company Efforce. Wozniak co-founded the company alongside Jacopo Visetti, who works in the renewable energy and environment sector.

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IMF: Stablecoins Could Surpass Traditional Form of Money

A new International Monetary Fund paper has said that bank and cash deposits could be kicked to the curb by digital currencies. The document specifically mentions fiat pegged cryptos as the perfect replacements for traditional currencies. Fintech paper titled “The Rise of Digital Money” explores tech firms competition with the established banking and credit card companies. “Digital forms of money are increasingly in the wallets of consumers as well as in the minds of policymakers. Cash and bank deposits are battling with so-called e-money, electronically stored monetary value denominated in, and pegged to, a currency like the euro or the dollar”.

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G7 Approves Japan’s Cryptocurrency-Based SWIFT Alternative

The Japanese government is attempting to spearhead the creation of a new, global cryptocurrency payments network that would be similar to SWIFT. The country’s push for the network is motivated by a resolve to combat money laundering more effectively. While plans are being kept firmly under wraps, Tokyo hopes to have the network established within the next few years.

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Gang of Masked Men Raid Bitcoin Exchange in Birmingham

A gang of masked men has raided a Bitcoin exchange in the English city of Birmingham, sparking a police investigation. West Midlands Police confirmed that nothing of value was stolen from the business. The thieves had attempted to steal a Bitcoin ATM using a rope attached to their car. The owner of the establishment, Adam Gramowski, told the newspaper that he believes the robbers were after cash inside the machine rather than cryptocurrency, adding: “There are no BTC [Bitcoin] in the machine, they are being sent directly from our server.”

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Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested for a Scheme to Steal $10 Million in Crypto

A former employee at Microsoft has been arrested for a scheme to steal $10 million in cryptocurrency. The man — a 25-year old Ukrainian national, Volodymyr Kvashuk, allegedly used the ill-gotten proceeds to buy a $160,000 Tesla car and a $1.7 million lakefront home. During the seven months of his scheme, $2.8 million was found to have been transferred into his bank accounts. Specifically, Kvashuk is accused of having stolen cryptocurrency gift cards that were redeemable against Microsoft products and then reselling them at a profit on the web. According to the United States attorney’s office in Seattle, the suspect had helped with Microsoft’s testing of its online retail sales platform.

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