04-24-2018: Week In Review

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JP Morgan has been slapped with a lawsuit after they upped their fee’s for Crypto related purchases back in January, and did not notify customers of the change. They reportedly charged both higher interest rates and extra fees on cryptocurrency purchases as they started treating purchases as cash advances. The lawsuit accuses JP Morgan’s of violating the US Truth in Lending Act which requires creditors to notify customers in writing on any change in charges or terms. The Plaintiff is looking for 1 million (USD) in damages [Reuters]

The finger is being pointed to the Chief Security Officer of the indian cryptocurrency exchange, coinsecure, for the  430 bitcoins “stolen” from the exchange last week. A press release by the CEO claims that the CSO was extracting BTG and the funds were “lost” in the process of extracting the private keys. The release also claims the exchange will refund all the “lost” coins whether recovered or not. Good guy coinsecure taking responsibility of this. [Bitcoinist] [CoinGeek]

GreenEarth project is aiming to save rainforests by tokenising the land. The upcoming cryptocurrency, by Avalon Life Product, wants to add an incentive to activists to ensure rainforest land stays rainforst and does not get bulldozed by human-caused deforestation. Green Earth project is purchasing land, and then re-selling the rights of square meters of land to you via the Green Earth Token. The more land they sell, the more land they can buy, keeping forested land safe. Owning Green Earth Tokens means you legally own a part of land/rainforect. There are also annual rewards for token holders. [CryptoCurrency News]

Crypto Investor Ian Balina’s ethereum wallet was hacked yesterday while he was streaming a regular ICO review livestream. Ian kept the private keys for this wallet inside of an evernote note pad. A bit of clever manipulation by the attacker gain them access to his main gmail account, which was linked to his evernote account, allowed them to reset his evernote password, and gain access to the private keys. As of the time of the announcement of the hack, the amount stolen was worth ~2million USD. Ether as well as a number of erc20 based tokens were taken from his accoun. A very expensive lesson for him to learn, hopefully a lesson no-one else has to! [eth account on etherscan] [CNN]

Coinbase has announced that acquisition of Earn.com, a platform in which people can use digital currency to send and receive targeted, paid, microtasks. In this aquisition CoinBase has appointed the CEO of Earn.com the new role of CTO. The deal has not been made public, yet it has rumored to be purchased for 100+ million USD. In conjunction wth this purchase, Coinbase has also announced the purchase of Cypher, an Ethereum mobile wallet and dapp browser. These 2 purchases strengthening the position of Coinbase as the cryptocurrency leader in the US. [Bitcoinist] [bitcoinist]

Verge Currency (XVG) has announced their partnership with global adult video service, PornHub.  From the announcement on PornHub’s subscription page – “The future has come. In our efforts to keep current with our community’s privacy and payment preferences, Pornhub will now be accepting Verge as a means of payment for services like Pornhub Premium and more, on our platforms. Building on Verge’s core values of security, anonymity and practicality, the introduction of this cryptocurrency as a means of payment Pornhub signifies an important foray into the future from the industry that is always on the cutting edge of technology.” [Ethereum World News] [CryptoCurrencyNews]

Brave, the open-source web browser based on the Chromium web browser has announced a partnership with the Dow Jones Media Group to trial the Brave browser, paired with the advertising token BAT, across their brands. Brave and BAT, created by Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, is an alternate revenue model for the digital advertising space, built on top of Ethereum. One of the platforms goal is to eliminate ad fraud, as well as protecting user privacy. The browser serves up ads, without the need to collect and distribute user data to advertisers. This partnership will see the platform used on some of the DJMG brands such as Barrons and Market Watch. Since the announcement, the price of the Basic Attention Token (BAT) has gone up significantly. [Bitcoin Magazine][Brave Blog]

Global financial software systems integration provider, Novatti Group, is partnering with Steller Networks (aka Lumen, XLM) to integrate the Stellar blockchain network into their proprietary payments platform, for cross-border payments. The CEO of Novatti Group says “Completing the integration of Novatti’s Payments Platform into Stellar’s network lays the foundations to build future high-growth revenue streams driven by transactions across the blockchain network.” This partnership, along with the previous partnership announcements with Keybase and IBM, is further strengthening Steller’s position and growth in the crypto world. [Ethereum World News]

Parity has released a proposed changed to Ethereum code base, EIP-999, in an effort to recover the lost funds from the bug that was exploited in the Parity wallet last November. This exploit locked up just over 500,000 Ether, worth over $250 million (USD). This “Ethereum Improvement Proposal” only targets restoring access to funds that were locked up in the Parity wallet. The change, has re-sparked the ongoing disagreement within the community around the topic of fund recovery. [Coindesk]

The Attorney General in New York has opened inquiries into cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. as part of the state’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative. The first part of this inquiry is a fact finding attempt to provide customers with the basic facts around exchanges and their business practices and policies. [Coingeek]

Coinbase will no longer converting crypto to fiat for cheapAir, a travel and hotel booking platform that accepts cryptocurrency payments via Coinbase. This has left cheapAir scrambling to find a new payment cryptocurrency payment processor, looking towards bitpay [bitcoinist]. Woman facing up to 20 years in jail for hiring a bit on her lover’s wife. Bitcoin hits the news again as this story breaks. The woman, 31, contacted a murder for hire service via the dark web (tor) and paid 10,000usd in Bitcoin for the service [bitcoinist]. Patents for blockchain technology to secure payment and protect private information from third parties has been seen at the US patent and trademark Office, filed by Walmart [coingeek].

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