If you’re reading this, you survived January. It also means you survived the weekend, which you should by now know, means only one thing. It’s time for the wrap of the weekend’s news with Moonday Mornings.
1. Some Chinese blockchain entrepreneurs are taking what can only be described as creative action to overcome the longest bear market in history, South China Morning Post reports. One enthusiast, Pan Yanlin, quit the startup she founded to become a full time blockchain vlogger (whatever that is). Only the views on her videos are too low to provide a sustainable income, so she has turned to a Chinese TV dating show in the hope it might help. We’re getting used to reading about the latest company to be hit by the “crypto winter,” but maybe we should spare a thought for those individuals that got caught up in storm, too.
2. Swiss cybersecurity firm WISeKey has opened a Blockchain Center of Excellence in the World Trade Center in Geneva. The center aims to help blockchain startups research and promote the technology. The center is part of a partnership with the Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), which has the greater goal of setting up more centers of this type all over the world. The Geneva center joins WISeKey’s Malaysian center which was launched earlier this year. Here’s to decentralization!
3. According to a statement, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking for information about the most popular blockchains, how they are used, and the details included in cryptocurrency transactions. We’ve heard some pretty dystopian things about how the UK government is looking to use blockchain to track identities, and the US government is looking at techniques for privacy coin forensics; this is right up there. Though it doesn’t mean the SEC will be successful, this is just a request for any information that might help the SEC when investigating blockchain and cryptocurrency cases.
4. A Californian college student has pleaded guilty to stealing over $5 million in cryptocurrency by “SIM-swapping” the phone numbers of his victims. 20 year old Joel Ortiz will face 10 years in prison, according to Motherboard. Despite instances of SIM-swapping growing in recent months, the Santa Clara County authorities dealing with this case believe it to be the first successful conviction of its type. SIM-swapping is used by hackers to access sensitive information and bypass two-factor authentication system required to access many cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges.
5. A Canadian cryptocurrency exchange has found itself in a difficult situation after its founder past away and seemingly took $137 million worth of his customer’s cryptoassets with him, Ars Technica reports. QuadrigaCX is unable to access the funds as the late Gerry Cotten was the only member of the Quadriga team that had access to the private keys associated with the digital coins. The laptop Cotten used for business is encrypted and no one in his estate knows the recovery phrase making the coins inaccessible. Research into whether the funds can be rescued is currently on going.
Well there you have it, another weekend of cryptocurrency and blockchain news caught up with.
What with all these centers of excellence, the SEC looking for analysis tools and information, and a successful conviction of a sim-swapper, it might sound like the authorities are finally getting their heads around this thing.
Published February 4, 2019 — 10:26 UTC