Centra Tech Co-founders Indicted in $60 Million ICO Fraud

A grand jury in the Southern District of New York has indicted the three co-founders of Centra Tech. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the district issued a press release on May 14 announcing the indictment. The Centra Tech Fraud Sorhab Sharma, Raymond Trapani, and Robert Farkas, the three co-founders of Centra Tech allegedly tried to defraud investors via a token sale. They were all arrested in April 2018 and charged with the same crimes. Commenting

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Bitcoin Legitimized in EU Following New KYC Regulations

Bitcoin is set to find new legitimacy in the European Union as member states agreed to force cryptocurrency exchanges within its jurisdiction to collect identification data on their users in an effort to prevent money laundering.  Legitimizing Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency in the EU Both cryptocurrency exchanges and online wallets operating in the European Union’s jurisdiction are now required to carry out the exact same know-your-customer (KYC) checks as traditional banks. The regulatory move comes as the

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Reaffirms Bullish Future on Bitcoin, Crypto as Global Payment

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey expressed enthusiasm and hope that cryptocurrencies will be adopted globally as a means of payment.

Twitter and Square Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey expressed optimism about cryptocurrency’s role in the future of payments, saying that “the internet deserves a native currency” and “it will have a native currency,” Bloomberg reports May 16.

At the Consensus conference on Wednesday, Dorsey shared crypto enthusiasts’ vision that virtual currencies are the future of a legitimate means of global payment. He said that he doesn’t know whether it will be Bitcoin (BTC), but “I hope it will be.” Dorsey said:

“This technology is a fundamental shift to our world and can have so many positive outcomes. We have to do the work to educate regulators and educate the SEC why this technology is important.”

Square, a developer of payment and financial services solutions, allowed merchants to accept BTC in 2014 and made BTC trading available for almost all users of its Cash App in February of this year.

Not everyone at Square shares Dorsey’s enthusiasm however. He said that “this was a pretty contentious move in the company,” adding that there are still debates and fights over the topic. According to Dorsey, some of the company’s board of directors are also resistant to the idea of cryptocurrency.

In the beginning of May, Square reported low profits from BTC trading in the first quarter, which only amounted to around $200,000. While BTC trading constituted a 5 percent overall revenue of $34.1 mln, the company spent $33.9 mln to purchase the tokens.

Dorsey’s recent speech reaffirms previous comments that Bitcoin will become the world’s “single currency” within a decade. He said:

“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the Internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin.”

Dorsey noted that, at the moment, Bitcoin is “slow and costly,” which makes it difficult to use as a medium of exchange. He added that “as more and more people have it, those things go away.”

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Announcing The OPEN Chain

OPEN believes strongly in a decentralized future. In order to make that happen, it is absolutely necessary that cryptocurrencies today are able to function like fiat currencies so that believers in blockchain technology are able to spend them today for goods and services. OPEN is creating a world where all applications accept cryptocurrencies as easily as they do fiat currency. OPEN has always believed that the best solutions to achieving mainstream adoption of blockchain technologies

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Bermuda Signs MOU with Blockchain Project Shyft for $10 Mln in Economic Development

Bermuda signs memorandum of understanding with Shyft blockchain network that provides compliance and identity checks.

The Government of Bermuda has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Shyft network which provides blockchain-based ID solutions for Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliant data transfers, Shyft reported in a blog post May 15.

According to the MOU, Shyft network will spend up to $10 mln on blockchain technology education and economic development. Premier and Minister of Finance of Bermuda David Burt signed the MOU, commenting that the partnership with Shyft will promote high standards of technology and regulations. Burt said that Bermuda “is able to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and attract global interest.” He stated:

“The Government of Bermuda has decided to lead the way and build interoperability into the government legislation, in essence, approach regulatory frameworks with exportability in mind… We’re leading the world in digital assets regulation, there’s no other country that provides comparable certainty and [a] progressive regulatory environment.”

The terms of the MOU state that the Toronto-based blockchain network will collaborate with the government in developing and improving “a robust legal and regulatory framework.” Shyft will also train Bermudians in blockchain technology and development through the country’s Department of Workforce Development.

While MOUs are useful instruments for showing intent and building bilateral relationships between governments and businesses, they are not legally binding. One advantage of MOUs for some governments in that, since they do not carry legally enforceable conditions, they may be issued and adopted without legislative approval.

In April, the Premier of Bermuda signed a MOU with Binance, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by market capitalization, to receive funding for educational programs related to fintech and blockchain startups. According to the MOU, Binance will provide up to $10 mln for university level training for Bermudians in the blockchain field, as well as invest up to $5 mln to support new blockchain-based firms in the country.

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Legislative Regulation of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Important Issue Will be Discussed at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Finland

On 25 May Smile-Expo organizes the first Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Finland, a large-scale event dedicated to cryptocurrency and ICO. Why Finland? Finland is at the forefront of technological innovations. Government officials keep staying neutral to the cryptocurrency sphere regulations. The country does not have special strict rules for bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies usage. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation in Finland, and around the world will become one of the main topics of the conference.

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Venezuela Leverages Russian Bank Stake To Bypass US Petro Sanctions

Venezuela is taking advantage of its 49% stake in a Russian bank, and using it to skirt US sanctions on its cryptocurrency Petro, according to reports. Buy Petro For €1k At Moscow Bank As the Associated Press (AP) reported May 14, Evrofinance Mosnarbank has become the only international partner willing to accept investments for purchasing Petro, which allegedly raised $5 billion during its ICO. The move reflects the continued involvement on Russia in the story

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SEC Launches Mock ICO to Show Investors Warning Signs of Fraud

The SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy launched a fake ICO website to illustrate common warning signs of a scam.

Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a fake initial coin offering (ICO) website,  according to a press release May 16. The goal of the site is to increase awareness of the typical warning signs of scam ICOs and to promote investor education.

The mock website HoweyCoins.com represents a classic example of a fraud ICO website that touts an “all too good to be true investment opportunity.” The website includes such details as a misleading and blurry white paper, guaranteed returns claims, celebrity endorsements, and a countdown clock that is “quickly running out on the deal of a lifetime.”

When a user clicks on “Buy Coins Now,” they are lead to the website Investor.gov, which was established by the SEC to help investors avoid fraud. The site warns that if users would have responded to an investment offer like HoweyCoins, they “could have been scammed.”

ICO - HOWEYCOINS

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton emphasized that the agency supports the adoption of new technologies, but it also encourages investors to educate themselves and understand what fraudulent offers look like:

“We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like, so we built this educational site with many of the classic warning signs of fraud. Distributed ledger technology can add efficiency to the capital raising process, but promoters and issuers need to make sure they follow the securities laws. I encourage investors to do their diligence and ask questions.”

Owen Donley, Chief Counsel of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, noted that a fraudulent ICO website can be set up in a very little time, which illustrates how easy and fast it can be to launch another scam offer. “Fraudsters can quickly build an attractive website and load it up with convoluted jargon to lure investors into phony deals,” Donley said.

Earlier this week, Cointelegraph reported that three co-founders of cryptocurrency startup Centra Tech have been formally indicted for running a fraudulent ICO. Centra Tech’s ICO raised $32 mln from investors in 2017. The Florida-based founders misled investors by claiming that they had partnered with Visa and Mastercard to issue virtual currency debit cards.

Late last month, SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson expressed criticism of ICOs in general, claiming that investors “are having a hard time telling the difference between investments and fraud.” He further stated that the ICO market is a prime example of what an unregulated securities market would look like.

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Kepler Technologies – Highest Rated ICO About to Start Pre-Sale

Lately, there has been more and more talk of Kepler Technologies, a young and ambitious startup that has been receiving excellent ratings from all leading ICO-review websites. Multiple experts on sites such as ICO Bench (4.9/5), CoinGecko (5/5), Track ICO (5/5) and Token Lion (5/5) all agree that this is the most revolutionary and interesting crypto project at the moment. Team, vision, and product all seem to have left long-lasting impressions on experts and analysts

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Ledger Partners with Nomura and Global Advisors to ‘Pave the Way for Secure and Compliant Institutional Investment’

Helping institutional investors enter the cryptocurrency space has been the overriding theme of this year’s Consensus conference in New York City — and one such notable announcement is the partnership between Nomura, Ledger, and Global Advisors, who plan on building a secure digital asset custody solution.  Welcome, Institutions In an effort to provide infrastructure and an operational framework to the overarching investment management industry, Nomura, Ledger, and Global Advisors are partnering to create Komainu — a

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