• Charlie Shrem at Ben's Deli in Manhattan (Ken Kurson)
    Bitcoin,  Media

    William Shatner just name-checked Charlie Shrem on Twitter

    This morning, William Shatner took to Twitter and said something strange and inscrutable to his 2.52 million. That’s typical. What’s less typical is that his subject was cryptocurrency. And he dropped the name one of bitcoin’s earliest adopters and most fervent evangelists, Charlie Shrem. In a tweet peppered with emojis, the Star Trek actor (and I hate to reduce him to that description because it fails to reflect how great he was as the villain in a latter-era Columbo, not to mention singer, author, screenwriter, director, celebrity pitchman, and horse breeder) tweeted: So @coindesk – đŸ‘đŸ» & 😘 is a thank you I do here for liking a tweet of mine…

  • Cryptocurrencies,  Regulation,  United States,  XRP

    Former SEC Enforcer Tells SWELL Crowd XRP Is Not a Security

    Ripple announced plenty of good news at its crypto orgy SWELL the last two days, including the long-awaited launch of XRapid, the international remittance protocol that uses XRP. Crypto investors were generally pleased with what they heard and saw with the price of XRP essentially doubling in the week leading up to the gathering. But at least some thoughtful observers were waiting for a more fundamental question to be definitively addressed: Is XRP a security?  Two different threads on XRPChat used the “800 lbs. gorilla” metaphor to discuss what was on everyone’s mind—whether the SEC would a) declare XRP a commodity, as it essentially has done with bitcoin and Ethereum,…

  • Circle is set to acquire Poloniex.
    Cryptocurrencies,  Media

    Circle buys Poloniex, confirming Modern Consensus scoop

    On February 2, Modern Consensus broke the story that mobile pay startup Circle would be acquiring Poloniex. It was a big scoop, the kind that can put an upstart publication like Modern Consensus on the map. Twitter immediately lit up with talk of the deal and questions about how our little publication had broken such an important story. Predictably, some of that speculation immediately turned first to skepticism and then to outright insults. Ari Paul, the CIO of Block Tower Capital, first tweeted the story to his 95,000 followers. And then he immediately posted a cloying, virtue-signaling apology: I just posted a link to an article asserting that Circle was acquiring Poloniex. Someone helpfully…

  • Winding Tree
    Alt coins,  Ethereum,  Innovators

    Travel startup Winding Tree raises $15 million in ICO

    Travel startup Winding Tree has raised approximately $15 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) that was supported by many travel providers, including Lufthansa and some hotel chains. Winding Tree is seeking to build a new open data infrastructure for the online travel industry, which has been growing as people from newly wealthy countries join the ranks of those traveling for pleasure and business. Yet the booming global $1.2 trillion travel business, which has joined all others in moving online, remains stubbornly stuck in the area of mediated transactions. It’s rare (and difficult) for consumers to purchase hotel rooms and airline tickets directly from the providers of same with the…