Covering the technology, people, and culture of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world

Must-reads for Nov. 8, 2018: Getting shaky, getting stable, getting tracked, getting beamed up, and getting Gooped

These are the crypto stories you should be following today

William Shatner

We don’t need an excuse to use a Shatner but we have one (via Pixabay).

Tether’s New Bank Has Been Named in Two Global Bribery Cases (Breaker)
Another day, another “Tether has a problem” story. This time, it has to do with the stablecoin’s new bank, Deltec. Some bribe money that was paid to a Venezuelan government official ended up there (and at another Bahamian bank, Ansbacher), according to an investigation. “Neither bank has been accused of complicity in the bribery or other corruption. However, the findings highlight what may be systemic deficiencies in Bahamian banking regulation. The Bahamas was recently added to the list of nations with deficient anti-money laundering practices maintained by the Financial Action Task Force, an international initiative anti-money laundering initiative,” writes Breaker’s David Z. Morris.

 

Crypto 2.0 May Be Digital Cash You Can Actually Use to Buy Stuff (Bloomberg)
The mess around Tether has spurred development in the world of stablecoins. Some of those developers recently met at London’s Reform Club. “Unseating Tether is only part of the appeal for these ventures. In addition, the potential for growth in the sector is immense. Low volatility tokens currently account for around $3 billion, a fraction of the broader $220 billion crypto market,” write Bloomberg’s Alastair Marsh and Olga Kharif.

 

The Little-Known Ways Ethereum Reveals User Location Data (CoinDesk)
Developer Péter Szilágyi is warning the world about metadata and Ethereum. “Taking the example of Etherscan, Szilágyi said that a particular combination is revealed to the website when users access it – namely, a link between a user’s IP address and their ethereum address. And that’s notable because, as a unique computer identification number, an IP address reveals user location data – which could constitute a high risk when combined with ethereum wallet accounts. This information is shared with Google Analytics and Etherscan. Plus, Etherscan’s underlying comment tool – a popular website comment add-on named Disqus – also receives this info, and further shares that activity with its partners,” writes CoinDesk’s Rachel Rose O’Leary.

 

AMD Launches Ethereum Mining Gear (Trustnodes)
AMD is being more upfront about its crypto mining business. As we’ve noted in the past, some chipmakers haven’t been so hot on crypto miners, even if they’ve been a help to sales.

 

Set Phasers to HODL: Star Trek’s William Shatner Tweets in Support of Vitalik Buterin (CoinTelegraph)
The guy who did the best recording of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” tweeted a “thumbs up” to Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin. And when some rando critic called Buterin a scammer, the former “T.J. Hooker” star countered with a list of ERC standards. Who knew?

 

It’s Hard to Short Crypto – And That’s Propping Up Prices, Study Finds (CoinDesk)
Why hasn’t Bitcoin plunged further? A new study suggests it’s because there aren’t enough people shorting it (which is like the inverse of the old markets joke of why something is up on a given day: “More buyers than sellers.”)

 

The Basics of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency—and How to Invest (Goop)
Are you “basic” but want to put your money in something that has halved in the past year? You’re in luck! Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop just did a Q&A with Abra CEO Bill Barhydt on how you can stop spending cash on pumpkin spice lattes and pour it all into Bitcoin instead (Flashback: We called Abra “the worst crypto app” back in March). University of Queensland’s Wang Chun Wei’s “latest investigation into crypto values, first published in October, confirmed a longstanding theory of finance – something called the resale option hypothesis – at least partly explains why cryptocurrencies are valued the way they are today. The resale option hypothesis, which originated in 2003 from Princeton researchers Jose Scheinkman and Wei Xiong, argues that an asset tends to favor the most optimistic participants in a market (those with long bets) when two conditions persist: lots of disagreement about price and impediments to shorting the asset,” writes CoinDesk’s Brady Dale.

Lawrence Lewitinn, CFA is editor in chief of Modern Consensus. Disclosure: Lewitinn owns no cryptocurrencies in his portfolio.

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