CoinDesk Takes Consensus 2020 Virtual

With the COVID-19 pandemic worsening throughout the world, CoinDesk is taking immediate action on Consensus 2020. As the organizers of Consensus and Blockchain Week NYC, our goal has always been to bring the community together to educate, grow, and create meaningful connections in a safe location. It is no longer possible to do that in a physical location.  Nonetheless, we are seizing an opportunity to make the most of this otherwise extremely difficult situation. Consensus 2020 will now be a completely virtual experience, where attendees from all over the world…

US Charges Dutch National With Running Crypto-Funded Child Porn Site

U.S. prosecutors indicated a Dutch national Thursday for allegedly spearheading a rape and child pornography website that’s made over $1.6 million worth of bitcoin selling videos since 2012. Known as “Michael R.M.,” and “Mr. Dark,” the man allegedly ran a site called “DarkScandals” that operated on the darknet, which requires special software to access, and on the public clearnet. He allegedly sold over 2,000 videos and had ties to 303 virtual currency accounts, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Bitcoin (BTC)…

Down 26%: Bitcoin Sees Worst Sell-Off in 7 Years as Coronavirus Spurs Flight to Safety

Bitcoin (BTC) suffered its biggest drop in seven years, as fears over the spreading coronavirus triggered a new wave of selling in everything from stocks and junk bonds to cryptocurrencies. This came despite a new European Central Bank pledge to pump more cash into panicky markets.   Prices for the largest cryptocurrency by market value plunged 26 percent to $5,863 as of 13:54 UTC (9:54 a.m. Eastern time). The move wiped out bitcoin’s gains for the year, dropping prices to the lowest level since May 2019. At least for now, it…

New York Crypto Companies Move to ‘Work From Home’ in Face of Rising COVID-19 Threat

Kadena CEO Will Martino had already been considering abandoning his blockchain development company’s Brooklyn HQ before coronavirus came to New York City. The fast-spreading virus, however, recently convinced him the office had to go. On Feb. 21, he told his team to begin working from home. The New York Metropolitan area’s surging coronavirus count is forcing more of the region’s cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to prepare for an unsavory reality: Their offices may close without warning and their employees may need to begin working remotely. CDC officials say “social distancing”…

Crypto Scams Pose More Risk Than Payments Fraud, Report Suggests

Cryptocurrency scams in 2019 were more risky for U.S. residents than fraud involving romance or payments. That’s the conclusion of a report released last week by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on marketplace trust. The report found an average dollar loss in crypto-focused fraud of $3,000 for victims aged between 25 and 44. The relatively high figure was the result of nefarious actors taking advantage of those who lacked foundational knowledge of digital assets, BBB said. Thirty-two percent of scams involved the exchange of cryptocurrencies for…

Bitcoiners in Europe Reflect on Economic Shocks as Coronavirus Spreads

With assets from oil barrels to bitcoin being pulverized by the coronavirus slowdown, people worldwide are reevaluating their plans for crypto gatherings, especially in geographies where anti-COVID-19 measures are increasingly serious.  In Milan, Italy, which was officially placed in lockdown by the Italian government on Sunday, bitcoin entrepreneur and meetup organizer Mir Liponi is facing more pressing concerns than her hobbyist meetup of 1,800 members. Weddings and funerals are forbidden, she told CoinDesk. Most grocery shopping is done online, which leads to delayed deliveries. “Authorities told us we will always…

This Is What a Productive Congressional Blockchain Hearing Looks Like

For once, U.S. lawmakers had an informative conversation about blockchain technology without posturing.  It was a sharp contrast from past Capitol Hill proceedings, when lawmakers took their entire allotted time to compare Libra to terrorist attacks or ask pointed questions about how Silicon Valley is biased toward one partisan slant or another. Rather, the small-business hearing saw only detailed questions about the legal or practical implications of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. The specific question at hand was how small businesses might be able to use blockchain technology for data…

Exiled Bitmain Co-Founder Is Fighting Back With Second Lawsuit

Micree Ketuan Zhan, the ousted co-founder of Bitmain, has filed another lawsuit in his fight to regain control of the bitcoin mining giant – this time in his home country. A recent notice from the Changle District court in China’s Fujian province indicates Zhan has filed a lawsuit against Bitmain’s fully-owned subsidiary Fujian Zhanhua Intelligence Technologies, as well as Beijing Bitmain Technologies as a related third party.  A hearing of the case was scheduled on Feb. 11, according to the notice, although it’s likely postponed due to the disruption caused…

Overstock’s VC Wing Leads $8.2M Funding Round in GrainChain

GrainChain, a commodities tracing platform that uses smart contracts to open up liquidity for low-income farmers, has raised $8.2 million in its latest funding round, the company announced Friday. Luis Macias said the money will bolster GrainChain’s burgeoning operations in Mexico, Honduras and the southwest United States. “This funding is really going to allow us to add to our operations and scale up the levels that we are anticipating, giving us the ability to implement across the entire supply chain,” he said. Overstock VC wing Medici Ventures contributed the bulk…

Nike, Macy’s Run Blockchain Trial With Auburn’s RFID Lab

Blockchain might help major apparel brands from Nike to Macy’s better share product data across the retail supply chain, according to a white paper Auburn University’s RFID Lab published Wednesday. The study, named the “Chain Integration Project” (CHIP), saw those retailers and others run Hyperledger Fabric nodes on a slice of their mammoth supply chains. The study found blockchain to be a promising way to share serialized data after following tens of thousands of products like Nike Kids’ Air Force 1 shoes and Michael Kors Parkas as they moved between…