Facebook reportedly hasn’t contacted the regulator it says will oversee Libra’s privacy and data security

A Swiss regulatory agency that Facebook executive David Marcus said in congressional testimony would be responsible for overseeing data and privacy protections for the company’s newly launched cryptocurrency, Libra, has not been contacted by Facebook, according to a report.

CNBC is reporting that the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, who Marcus said would oversee data protections for its cryptocurrency in his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, has yet to hear from the company which is depending on it for oversight.

In a statement provided to CNBC, Hugo Wyler, who’s the head of communication at the FDPIC said:

We have taken note of the statements made by David Marcus, Chief of Calibra, on our potential role as data protection supervisory authority in the Libra context. Until today we have not been contacted by the promoters of Libra… We expect Facebook or its promoters to provide us with concrete information when the time comes. Only then will we be able to examine the extent to which our legal advisory and supervisory competence is given. [...]  read more

Binance begins to restrict US users ahead of regulatory-compliant exchange launch

The world’s largest crypto exchange is going legit. Binance, which processes over $1 billion on a daily basis and for so long has embodied crypto’s wild west culture, announced that it will launch a U.S-based service — but, in the meantime, it is implementing restrictions for U.S. passport holders worldwide and those based in the country.

The company has grown to become one of the biggest names in crypto by allowing anyone to use its service to trade a myriad of tokens, many of which are unavailable or limited on other exchanges. But over the past year, Binance has matured and begin to offer more formalized services. Following fiat currency exchange launches in the UK, Uganda and Singapore, so Binance is opening a dedicated U.S. exchange to avoid uncertainty around its legality.

This week, Binance announced it is pairing up with BAM Trading Services — which Coindesk [...]  read more

The FBI wants help from victims of QuadrigaCX’s cryptocurrency collapse

Remember that wild cryptocurrency story from earlier this year? The one where a Canadian exchange shut down shortly after co-founder and CEO Gerald Cotten died, claiming he was the only one who could access its wallets. Wallets that should’ve stored assets for 76,000 customers with a value of around $200 million (CAD). If any of that was your digital money then yeah, you probably do remember.

Investigations into the company, QuadrigaCX, have suggested it did not have the money to satisfy its deposits, and naturally, law enforcement is sniffing around. Its customers were located around the world, and the FBI is circulating a form for customers to get in touch with it, the IRS, the Washington D.C. AG’s office and the DoJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/05/quadrigacx-bitcoin-fbi-ir/

Crypto exchange Binance prepares to add margin trading ‘soon’

Binance, the world’s most prominent crypto exchange, says it is close to adding a much-anticipated margin trading feature to its service following weeks of speculation.

The company tweeted confirmation of the upcoming feature in a screenshot which subtly teases the imminent arrival of margin trading options. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (pictured above) first revealed that the feature was headed to Binance during a live stream following a hack earlier this month that saw Binance lose around $40 million in Bitcoin.

TechCrunch understands that margin trading has been beta tested among selected users. A Binance representative declined to comment on the specifics, but did confirm that margin trading will be available on Binance.com “soon.”

Margin trading, which lets traders use their balance as collateral to super-size their buying power, is seen by many as an important growth vector for crypto trading. Binance is often the world’s largest exchange based on daily trading volumes — though [...]  read more

‘Crypto exchange’ Goxtrade caught using other people’s photos on its staff page

Alleged cryptocurrency exchange Goxtrade bills itself as a “trusted platform for trading bitcoins,” but its staff page is filled with photos of people pulled seemingly at random from the internet.

The alleged exchange, which claimed to debut in 2017 yet its website is only a little more than a week old, used photos taken from social media profiles and other company websites not associated with the company.

Bizarrely, the alleged exchange didn’t bother to change all of the names of the people whose photos it used.

Amber Baldet, co-founder of Clovyr, a prominent figure in the blockchain community, and listed in Fortune’s 40 Under 40, was one of the people whose name and photos appeared on the site.

“Fraud alert: I am not a developer at Goxtrade and probably their entire business is a lie,” she tweeted Friday.

Nearly all of the names are accurate but have no connection to the site (Image: TechCrunch)

Goxtrade claims to be an exchange that lets users “receive, send and trade cryptocurrency.” [...]  read more

Bitcoin has surged above $8,000 and theories around why abound

Bitcoin is now trading at around $8,130, up a whopping 60.84 percent over the past month, with the price surging $3,086.14 over the period.

The cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise is reminiscent of its rocketing growth in the latter half of 2017, when prices reached over $18,400 on the back of buoyant capital markets, rampant speculation, and a turbulent political climate in Northern Asia spurred by saber rattling between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un.

While geopolitical tension is once again gripping the market (thanks to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China), that may only be one factor contributing to Bitcoin’s surge.

“Anticipation of the upcoming supply shock [of new BTC introduced via mining] may be creating upward pressure on the price of Bitcoin,” wrote Alyse Killeen, a partner at the investment and advisory firm Stillmark, in an email. “Bitcoin is introduced to the market when the Bitcoin [...]  read more

Binance says more than $40 million in bitcoin stolen in ‘large scale’ hack

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has confirmed a “large scale” data breach, in which hackers stole more than $40 million in cryptocurrency

In a statement, the company said hackers stole API keys, two-factor codes and other information in the attack.

Binance traced the cryptocurrency theft — more than 7,000 bitcoins at the time of writing — to a single wallet after the hackers stole the contents of the company’s bitcoin hot wallet. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, said the theft impacted about 2 percent of its total bitcoin holdings.

“All of our other wallets are secure and unharmed,” said the statement.

 [...]  read more

How German and US authorities took down the owners of darknet drug emporium Wall Street Market

The major darknet marketplace known as the Wall Street Market has been seized and its alleged operators arrested in a joint operation between European and U.S. authorities. Millions in cash, cryptocurrency and other assets were collected, and the market shut down. How investigators tied these anonymity-obsessed individuals to the illegal activities is instructive.

The three men accused of running Wall Street Market (WSM), one of the larger hidden service markets operating via the Tor network, are all German citizens: Tibo Lousee, Jonathan Kalla and Klaus-Martin Frost; several vendors from the market have also been charged, including one who sold meth on it by the kilogram.

The investigation has been ongoing since 2017, but was pushed to a crisis by the apparent attempt in April by WSM’s operators to execute an exit scam. By suddenly removing all the cryptocurrency held in escrow and otherwise stored under their authority, the alleged owners stood to gain some $11 million if they were [...]  read more

AWS opens up its managed blockchain as a service to everybody

After announcing that they were launching a managed blockchain service late last year, Amazon Web Services is now opening that service up for general availability.

It was only about five months ago that AWS chief executive Andy Jassy announced that the company was reversing course on its previous dismissal of blockchain technologies and laid out a new service it would develop on top of open source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum.

“Customers want to use blockchain frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum to create blockchain networks so they can conduct business quickly, with an immutable record of transactions, but without the need for a centralized authority. However, they find these frameworks difficult to install, configure, and manage,” said Rahul Pathak, General Manager, Amazon [...]  read more

Beating back bears, Bitcoin briefly balloons beyond $4,900

Bitcoin went on a tear in early morning trading earlier today, popping up to above $4,900 and reminding some investors of the good old days of 2017.

The currency is still trading up above 15% at $4,782.60, which is a healthy jump for the cryptocurrency (which had languishing at around $4,000 for the past three months). Indeed the price was up over 25% over the previous month, according to Coinbase.

Bitcoin’s surge also sent the other top cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Litecoin soaring.

No one can quite pin down the reason for the currency’s surge, given the string of bad news that has unspooled around the cryptocurrency business in the past few weeks.

Despite an April Fool’s Day article to the contrary, the Securities and Exchange Commission still has not approved an exchange traded fund that would track to the cryptocurrency. And one of the big [...]  read more