Top Crypto News – 19/04/2018

NASA Researches Ethereum Blockchain Tech for Deep Space Exploration

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A research project funded and co-run by NASA is looking to leverage the Ethereum blockchain’s smart contracts technology to automate spacecraft maneuvering while avoiding space debris.

In developments that could potentially have significant implications for deep space probes, NASA is putting resources behind a research project that fundamentally envisions the use of blockchain technology to enhance and make space communications and navigation more efficient and safer.

The research project, named the ‘Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm’, will be lead by Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Akron (UA).

The recipient of a three-year $330,000 grant, Kocsis will look to develop a cognitive architecture wherein spacecraft will no longer need to rely on crucial information from scientists on earth.

Instead, Ethereum-based smart contracts will help spacecraft ‘think on their own’ to detect and evade floating space debris that could prove significantly damaging in the event of a collision, an announcement from UA explains.

Dr. Kocsis added:

In this project, the Ethereum blockchain technology will be exploited to develop a decentralized, secure, and cognitive networking and computing infrastructure for deep space exploration. The blockchain consensus protocols will be further explored to improve the resilience of the infrastructure.

Kocsis hopes to see the decentralized architecture help the spacecraft also automate data gathering alongside other tasks, freeing up scientists back on earth to analyze the data rather than spending time poring over calculations of flight paths of deep space probes to anticipate environmental hazards.

“I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete a number of tasks automatically,” she added.

Details remain slim on the kind of Ethereum blockchain – public or private- being considered for the research project.

Still, the application of decentralized technology could lead to “next generation space networks”, according to NASA’s advanced communications program manager Thomas Kacpura at the Glenn Research Center. The research project could lead to “decentralized processing among NASA’s space network nodes in a secure fashion”, meaning a more responsive and resilient network that’s scalable which can also integrate today’s networks, the NASA official added.

Featured image from Shutterstock.
Written by CCN.com

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Another ICO Ghosts with $50 Million – Sends Thanx from Beer Beachs.jpg

Savedroid Ghosts With Investors’ Money

This can’t be real, right? This must be a publicity gimmick. Well, in any event, German online news source Wirtschafts Woche documents how Savedroid has apparently taken the money and run. The company website was replaced with a meme picture, “Aannnd it’s gone.” Founder and CEO Yassin Hankir tweeted a picture of himself on a beach, long gone. All this after having raised $50 million in an ICO.

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Another ICO Ghosts with $50 Million - Sends Thanx from Beer Beach
Savedroid webpage

Promises of artificial intelligence, curated portfolios, and a native credit card proved too much for investors, and they poured in money. Stranger than fiction.

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Savedroid Scams Investors for $50 Million

Reads Like a Movie Script

A suspect involved in an Icelandic heist involving a dozen perpetrators, 600 missing bitcoin mining rigs, was able to evade authorities after they’d managed to arrest him. “Sindri Thor Stefansson” the BBC reported, “escaped the low-security prison through a window and fled to Sweden on a passenger plane that was also carrying Iceland’s prime minister, local media report. The ticket had another man’s name and he was identified through CCTV video. The stolen computers, which are still missing, are worth $2m (£1.45m).” It appears Mrs. Stefansson was also arrested, but he didn’t have time to circle back evidently.

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Savedroid Scams Investors for $50 Million
Sindri Thor Stefansson

Hell Hath No Fury

Speaking of angry women, the broader ecosystem has been accused as being too male. Well, here’s Tina Jones breaking through the digital glass ceiling. According to WGN, Ms. Jones was  “charged after allegedly paying thousands of dollars via bitcoin to a company on the dark web to murder the wife of a man she had an affair with, according to officials. Tina Jones, 31, appeared at bond court Wednesday morning where a judge set bond at $250,000. She was charged with one felony count of solicitation of murder-for-hire.”

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Savedroid Scams Investors for $50 Million
Tina Jones

Bearly Escaped with Bitcoin ATM

The Irving Patch, a Texas local online news source, are attempting to help police find two men. Police claim they “entered a store […]  and sprayed a clerk with bear spray before making off with cash from a Bitcoin machine …. They can be seen in security footage spraying the store clerk with bear spray, a powerful form of pepper spray, before heading to the back of the store where the Bitcoin machine was located ….The clerk was taken to a hospital for treatment after being sprayed but was later released.”

Well, He Warned Him

Government crackdown on legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges usually receive very positive media coverage. What both government and mainstream media often miss is how less online exchanges necessarily means more face-to-face encounters, which can be dangerous for reasons bitcoin traders are well familiar. Case in point: a Miami man wished to turn $30,000 cash into more than that in bitcoin. He met supposed crypto dealers at a public place, a local Whole Foods parking lot. The fellow with the cash brought a gun just in case something went wrong. Turned out to be a pretty good idea. He was jumped for the money, and as he was attacked, yelled to his attacker, “Back off, I have a weapon,” the Miami Herald details. The attacker didn’t listen, and was shot. He was later arrested after being taken to a local hospital.

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Savedroid Scams Investors for $50 Million

Bitcoiners Wanted at Citi

A recent now hiring Linkedin post detailed how Citi is looking for a  “Senior Vice President, Senior AML Compliance Officer —Emerging Risk,” in Tampa, Florida. “Knowledge of cryptocurrency and bitcoin monitoring” and “Certified Bitcoin Professional Certification a plus,” are among the job qualifications and requirements.

More Spring Cleaning

Clearing off some smaller stories, Riot Blockchain has been subpoenaed.  The Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines issued a rather blunt warning about what it terms bitcoin “schemes” to defraud investors. It lists more than a dozen companies by name, and proceeds to go through steps to identify future scams. Josh Ellithorpe tweeted how he “Just released my first open source project at Coinbase. If you need Cashaddr support for your Ruby app then you should check it out!”

Written by Bitcoin.com

Kraken CEO: Crypto Exchange Won’t Answer New York AG’s Inquiry

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San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken isn’t planning to respond to the New York Attorney General’s newly unveiled inquiry into the ecosystem.

Kraken was one of 13 exchanges that received a letter from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday as part of his new inquiry into cryptocurrency exchanges, as previously reported. While most exchanges generally welcomed the inquiry and said they would fill out the attached questionnaire, Kraken took a different tack when reached for comment.

“Kraken’s BitLicense-prompted exit from New York in 2015 pays another dividend today,” CEO Jesse Powell said via email early Wednesday morning.

Powell made it clear that Kraken does not intend to answer the questionnaire, saying:

“I realized that we made the wise decision to get the hell out of New York three years ago and that we can dodge this bullet.”

Kraken announced that it would leave the state in 2015 due to the BitLicense, New York’s cryptocurrency regulatory framework. In a blog post at the time, the exchange called the law “a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth.”

Powell wrote Wednesday that Kraken is generally happy to engage with government bodies but criticized the AG’s approach, adding: “Why don’t you try extracting this information from those businesses actually operating in your state?”

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office, who saw Powell’s remarks, told CoinDesk via email:

“Legitimate entities generally like to demonstrate to their investors that their money will be protected. This is basic information that credible platforms should all have on hand.”

While Kraken is not alone in having left New York due to the BitLicense, some state authorities continue to praise the regulations.

“The regulatory structure that we created for virtual currency has helped our licensed companies attract greater interest from customers, investors, and potential financial services partners,” New York Department of Financial Services superintendent Maria Vullo said last week.

Yet lawmakers in the state are looking at the question of revising the framework – or doing away with it entirely. Indeed, during a roundtable discussion in February, industry stakeholders blasted the BitLicense, prompting a pledge from the state senators that hosted it to look at how it may be reworked in light of those concerns.

Image Credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com
Written by CoinDesk.com

 

Brazil’s Biggest Investment Firm XP Investimentos to Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange

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Brazilian investment giant XP Investimentos, a financial services firm managing over $35 billion for over 500,000 clients, is reportedly going to launch a cryptocurrency exchange. According to the country’s Department of Federal Revenue, XP Investimentos has recently registered XDEX INTERMEDIACAO LTDA, whose registered capital is of about $7.3 million.

Available data shows the new company was initially registered as XP COIN INTERMEDIACAO in August 2017. In November, when most cryptocurrencies started surging, the exchange received capital and turned to XDEX. Earlier this year, it received about 80 percent of its $7.3 million.

According to local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, data from the Department of Federal Revenue shows the company is related to XP Investimentos. Its website, Xdex.com.br, is at press time unavailable.

While not much is known about the new cryptocurrency exchange, the local news outlet claims an unnamed source revealed it’ll focus on over-the-counter trading. Its report reads (roughly translated):

“It is not yet known what services the new exchange will provide. A source, who did not want to be identified, said that the action will be in the so-called over-the-counter market. That is: focused on movements of large volumes of capital and BTC.”

XP Investimentos has seemingly been researching the crypto space for a while, as back in October 2017 it was revealed it registered the “XP Bitcoin” brand. At the time, a local news outlet queried the company, which then revealed it was studying cryptocurrency markets. One month later, the investment giant hired Fernando Ulrich, a Brazilian cryptocurrency expert

This comes at a time in which Brazil’s cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses created “rival” cryptocurrency associations. The two “rival” associations aren’t yet certain on how cryptocurrencies should be regulated in the country. Fernando Furlan, president of one of these associations, stated:

“There is legal uncertainty. Depending on the purpose, it may be considered a means of payment or a financial asset. “ .

The investment giant’s move may come at the right time. As covered by CCN, Brazil’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Foxbit recently went down for over 72 hours, as some users were able to take advantage of the company’s withdrawal system to duplicate 130 withdrawals. Foxbit later recovered and started processing withdrawals during its downtime, before coming back online.

Written by CCN.com

 

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