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DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather Successfully Escape ICO Fraud Lawsuit

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By CCN: A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit against Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled, and the proprietors of Centra Tech, an ICO that centered around the launch of a crypto debit card. Mayweather and Khaled were compensated for using their vast social media presence to promote the ICO. The court has decided that this is not enough to make them “successful solicitors.”

Khaled, Mayweather Not “Successful Solicitors” for Centra Tech

The court ruled in favor of a motion to dismiss by the defendants.

In the case of Floyd Mayweather, the court specifically pointed out that there wasn’t much evidence indicating Mayweather in the poor decision making of the plaintiffs. The ruling further points out that at least two of the plaintiffs bought the Centra Tech ICO before Mayweather had even promoted it.

“The Plaintiff’s complaint fails to establish that Mayweather “successfully solicited” the Plaintiffs to purchase CTR Tokens. […] [T]here are no allegations that this was a successful solicitation, that Mayweather had any contact with Plaintiffs, or that Plaintiffs even saw the posts. […] Mayweather has no relationship with the Plaintiffs. The complaint does not allege that Plaintiffs follow Mayweather’s twitter account or that they saw his posts or video with Centra Tech. In fact, two of the Plaintiffs, Fung Poo and Lee, made their purchases before Mayweather posted on Twitter about Centra Tech. “

DJ Khaled’s motion to dismiss passed for “largely the same reasons.”

Mayweather promoted the ICO to millions of followers but has evaded a lawsuit accusing him of soliciting investors. | Source: Shutterstock

The ruling makes clear that the case could have succeeded if the plaintiffs had established that Mayweather and Khaled “created” the market. That is, there’d have been no sale without them. But crucial facts of the case make such claims impossible.

ICO Founders Get Off On Technicality

As to the ICO promoters themselves, it’s more complicated. The ruling admits they willingly created fake people with false credentials to make the ICO appear more legitimate. Mainly due to the technical nature of the complaints against him, CTO Steven Sykes had at least one count against him dismissed. It’s unclear if the case will proceed on the rest of its merits.

“The allegations against Sykes are based on his involvement with the website. The Complaint, however, is devoid of any specificity with regard to the content of the website, when the website was launched, the alleged misstatements on the website, who determined the content on the website, and if the Plaintiffs ever even visited the website. Accordingly, the Count III is dismissed as to Defendant Sykes.”

The document makes clear that “counts I and III” are dismissed, but that leaves out a crucial second count, which may be ongoing.

DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather previously paid fines as a result of their involvement in Centra Tech.

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Take Two: Ethereum Is Getting Ready for the Constantinople Hard Fork Redo

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If to start with you don’t be triumphant, take a look at take a look at once more.

Such are the phrases of knowledge which were taken to center by way of ethereum core builders ever since a vulnerability within the community’s code was discovered simply 48 hours ahead of the code used to be set to be deployed.

The community improve dubbed Constantinople would have presented a chain of backward-incompatible adjustments – often referred to as a troublesome fork – to the arena’s 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by way of marketplace capitalization. Yet the worm came upon resulted in a extend, adopted by way of a plan to try once again in past due February.

With the code anticipated to turn on someday throughout the remaining week of February – in particular, at block quantity 7,280,000 – ethereum core builders are assured that Constantinople received’t fail this time round.

“I suspect it will go as planned. The block number has been set and [the upgrade] is hard coded in the clients now so it’s going along fine,” Hudson Jameson, who handles developer family members for the Ethereum Foundation, advised CoinDesk.

Adding that “valuable lessons” are discovered from each arduous fork, Jameson stated that one of the vital essential takeaways from remaining January’s arduous fork try used to be “better communication with miners to let them know about the upgrade.”

While the problem within the code wouldn’t have impacted miners without delay, miners and different customers who run whole copies of the ethereum blockchain known as nodes had to be impulsively notified concerning the cancellation of Constantinople to stay it from in fact being deployed and developing imaginable disruptions.

On this entrance, the sensible contract safety audit company ChainSecurity, which came upon the vulnerability, advised CoinDesk the group of ethereum builders used to be already rather spectacular.

“I was just impressed by how quickly everyone reacted and how well organized everyone reacted,” stated CTO Hubert Ritzdorf. “Many people had to update so they had to know what to update to. On many different levels it became clear even though there is no central command, the [ethereum] community collaborates very efficiently.”

Called Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), 4 out of 5 EIPs will in fact be activated at the major community, or mainnet. And for all technical functions, the improve might be deployed in two portions – concurrently.

Say hi to ‘Petersberg’

Developers proposed throughout a gathering late January to desk the EIP briefly and continue with the remainder of Constantinople as deliberate, figuring out {that a} repair to the buggy EIP – EIP 1283 – would extend activation of ethereum’s deliberate arduous fork for too lengthy.

However, for the reason that a number of check networks on ethereum together with Ropsten already activated Constantinople in its complete glory ahead of the protection vulnerability used to be discovered, ethereum core builders additionally agreed {that a} 2nd arduous fork safely eliminating the EIP used to be wanted.

Thus, “Petersberg” used to be born.

Already released on Ropsten, Petersberg is the casual title of the arduous fork in particular designed to take away EIP 1283 from a are living ethereum-like community. Later this month, the unique Constantinople code might be activated on mainnet at the side of Petersberg.

“For all practical means for any developer out there on the mainnet, there will not have been Constantinople really, just Petersberg … Technically in the code, you have two conditions,” ChainSecurity COO Matthias Egli defined. “One says Constantinople gets active at block number [7,280,000] and at the same block number Petersberg gets activated, which takes precedence over Constantinople and immediate supersedes it.”

And relating to what’s left to be executed for Petersberg release on mainnet, Jameson stated that the entire trying out for its unlock has been finished and main tool shoppers together with Geth and Parity are able to deploy at the agreed-upon block quantity.

Now, as emphasised by way of ethereum safety lead Martin Holst Swende, customers of ethereum will have to pay attention to essential adjustments to the ethereum community on account of Constantinople plus Petersberg.

The new ‘corner case’

Tweeting out a questionnaire for customers remaining Thursday, Swende famous that once Constantinople, sensible contracts on ethereum regarded as to be nearly immutable will be capable of exchange code underneath positive prerequisites over the process more than one transactions.

The new characteristic presented thru EIP 1014 – known as “Skinny CREATE2” – is meant to higher facilitate off-chain transactions on ethereum by way of permitting what Ritzdorf describes as “deterministic deployment.”

“When you deploy a new smart contract on ethereum, what happens is that it computes the address to where the contract will be deployed. You know this ahead of time but it depends on a lot of variables,” Ritzdorf advised CoinDesk. “CREATE2 makes it easier to say, ‘We will deploy in the future a contract to this particular address.”

As a results of this, Ritzdorf explains sensible contract builders may just technically deploy contracts for “the second time” to the similar cope with, noting:

“[After Constantinople] you can change code because you can first deploy to that address, destruct the code and then deploy again.”

Egli highlighted that that is “not a security bug” however reasonably “a corner case” that builders on ethereum will have to be cautious of as soon as the adjustments are going are living. He added that persisted schooling from auditors upfront of February’s arduous fork is wanted concerning the different 4 EIPs at the beginning set for inclusion in Constantinople out of doors of EIP 1283.

Users expecting the release of Constantinople can both move to forkmon.ethdevops.io or Ethernodes to observe the discharge in actual time. A lot of other sites also are to be had for are living metrics together with mining hashrate and marketplace costs.

According to 1 arduous fork countdown timer created by way of Afri Schoedon, unlock supervisor for the Parity Ethereum consumer, Constantinople plus Petersberg is estimated as of press time to head live to tell the tale Thursday, February 28.

Cinema clapper image by way of Shutterstock

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Coinbase Now Lets Merchants Accept Payments in the USDC Stablecoin

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Coinbase Commerce, the cryptocurrency exchange’s merchants payments offering, has added support for the dollar-pegged stablecoin USD Coin (USDC).

The development means businesses can now receive payments in USDC from customers “in minutes with zero transaction fees” and no chargebacks, Coinbase announced in a blog post on Monday.

“Unlike accepting credit card payments, merchants can accept USD Coin without geographical limitations or the need for a traditional bank account,” the firm said.

Coinbase Commerce was launched in February 2018 and offers support for bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH) and litecoin (LTC) payments alongside the new USDC.

Initially integrated with e-commerce platform Shopify, Coinbase Commerce later rolled out a plugin for WooCommerce too. At the time, Coinbase said that WooCommerce provides the payments infrastructure for more than 28 percent of all web stores.

USDC was launched late last year by crypto finance startup Circle and Coinbase. Earlier this month, Coinbase expanded crypto-to-crypto trading in the stablecoin to 85 countries.

“For new customers in countries like Argentina and Uzbekistan, where consumer prices are expected to inflate by 10–20% in 2020, stablecoins like USDC could provide an opportunity to protect against inflation,” it said at the time.

Checkout image via Shutterstock 

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Twitter CEO Dorsey: Square Crypto Begins ‘Inevitable’ Bitcoin Mass Adoption

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By CCN: Square, the $32.7 billion mobile payment company founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, is one step closer to launching its long-awaited crypto project. The company claimed last night that bitcoin mass adoption is “inevitable” and it is close to making its first hire.

Everything we know about Square Crypto so far

In March 2019, Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced his company would hire three or four developers and a designer to work on the open-source Bitcoin ecosystem.

Many Bitcoin developers are volunteers, but Dorsey wants to fund the growth of Bitcoin directly through Square Crypto.

Square already has a stake in the cryptocurrency world. Its Cash App allows users to buy and sell bitcoin, a feature that pulled in $65 million revenue for the company last year. Square is the first and only publicly traded company to support bitcoin purchases.

Square Crypto will focus on what’s best for the crypto community

Dorsey claims the Square Crypto initiative is not a commercial pursuit, but an attempt to give back to the bitcoin community. 

“Last week I was considering my hack week project, and asked @brockm: “what is the most impactful thing we could do for the bitcoin community?” His answer was simple: “pay people to make the broader crypto ecosystem better.” This resonated with me immediately, so we’re doing it.”

Dorsey began meeting with potential developers in April after ‘Crypto Twitter’ threw out suggestions. Among the candidates suggested were various Bitcoin Core developers and members of the BTCPayServer. Although the new recruits will report directly to Dorsey, he maintains that their purpose is to improve the bitcoin ecosystem, not make money for Square.

“These folks will focus entirely on what’s best for the crypto community and individual economic empowerment, not on Square’s commercial interests. All resulting work will be open and free.”

Lightning Network integration?

The bitcoin community has speculated that Square Crypto will work on integrating the Lightning Network, a second-layer protocol designed for instantaneous bitcoin payments.

Dorsey invested $2.5 million in Lightning Labs, a startup developing on the Lightning Network. He also took part in the Lightning Network “torch” experiment, passing a micro-amount of bitcoin to Lightning Labs co-founder Elizabeth Stark. 

Better design and user experience for bitcoin?

Exact details of the Square Crypto project have been closely guarded, but one common theme is accelerating design and UX. Dorsey will hire one full-time designer to focus on UX and the official Square Crypto Twitter account said that “mass adoption is impossible without great design.”

Dorsey himself said that design is an underfunded part of the crypto ecosystem, and crucial introducing people to the technology.

Dorsey going all-in on bitcoin?

In the last year, Dorsey has ramped up his engagement with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. He appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast saying that he’s a huge fan of bitcoin.

“The internet deserves a native currency; it will have a native currency. I don’t know if it will be Bitcoin or not. Hope it will be.”

Since then he revealed he was maxing out the Cash App bitcoin buying limit, effectively spending $10,000 a week on cryptocurrency. As for Square Crypto, the project’s Twitter account has reminded everyone to dial down their expectations. Big things are coming, it says, but it will take time.

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‘Fortnite’ Maker Teams Up With Crypto’s Steam Competitor to Boost Game Development

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A gaming platform built on crypto is teaming up with the creator of “Fortnite.”

As revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, game developers using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine will receive better business terms if they deploy their titles on The Abyss. The Abyss, a Steam competitor funded by an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018, rewards game devs for purchases made on the platform.

Mike Gamble, head of games licensing for Epic Games, said in a statement:

“We’re delighted that The Abyss has chosen to provide additional resources to Unreal Engine developers and publishers on its platform. Unreal Engine 4 scales to hundreds of millions of players, and access to premier support and connections with the global community can be critical to success of large-scale games with live operations.”

The precise details of the arrangement are unclear, with both firms citing non-disclosure agreements.

Nevertheless, The Abyss founder Konstantin Boyko-Romanovsky told CoinDesk in an email that conditions between Epic Games and developers will be “better than standard ones and will not be confined to the premium support.”

Additionally, developers using Unreal will not need to sign a separate agreement with Epic Games. “All transactions are done through The Abyss,” he wrote.

Epic offers fairly generous licensing terms to developers using the Unreal Engine. It only requires developers to make a quarterly payment of 5 percent of returns over $3,000, according to its end-user licensing agreement. Developers can also negotiate an upfront price if that’s preferable.

The Unreal Engine is a game development platform that first launched in 1998. It has been used to build instances of the “Mass Effect,” “Batman” and “Medal of Honor” franchises, according to Wikipedia.

As part of the new partnership, developers on The Abyss will get access to the Unreal Developers Network. They will also get marketing services from The Abyss.

The Abyss ran an ICO in early 2018 using a model devised by Vitalik Buterin in which token holders could vote on whether the development team should get more funds as the project progressed. The Abyss raised slightly over $15 million, according to Boyko-Romanovsky.

The Abyss launched in March 2019, serving players of massively multiplayer online games. Developers using The Abyss earn income from referrals they make to the platform, even if the people who follow those referrals don’t end up purchasing the developer’s game.

“We’re delighted to welcome new Unreal Engine benefits to our platform,” Boyko-Romanovsky said in a statement.

Six games are currently live on The Abyss, compared to 30,000 on Steam.

Fortnite esports tournament image via Shutterstock

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Institutional Investors are Already Turning to Crypto: Should You Fear Missing Out?

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Two public pensions from Fairfax County, Virginia’s Police Officer’s Retirement System and Employees’ Retirement System, have invested in Morgan Creek’s new $40 million crypto fund.

Anthony Pompliano, a Morgan Creek basic spouse, stated that it’s the first case through which public pensions have invested within the cryptocurrency marketplace.

Apart from the 2 pensions, the fund is claimed to be financed by way of a school endowment, a medical institution, an insurance coverage corporate, and a personal basis. It raised a complete of $40 million.

Fairfax County Police Officer’s Retirement System leader funding officer Katherine Molnar stated:

“Blockchain technology is being applied in unique and compelling ways across multiple industries. We feel it is important to be opportunistic and are excited to participate in this emerging opportunity, due to the attractive asymmetric return profile that it represents.”

Crucial First Step Towards Institutionalization of Crypto

The vast majority of the crypto neighborhood has spoke back undoubtedly to the high-profile deal secured by way of Morgan Creek.

But some traders have puzzled the $40 million determine and anticipated the fund to be better given the involvement of public pensions.

However, the volume of capital concerned within the huge deal of Morgan Creek is of much less significance.

The deal resulted in the doorway of the primary workforce of public pensions into the cryptocurrency sector.

Public pensions are known for his or her conservative and wary way in making an investment. Due to the loss of correctly regulated funding automobiles and relied on custodians within the cryptocurrency area, establishments were reluctant in opposition to making an investment within the asset elegance prior to now a number of years.

The Morgan Creek deal has proven that institutional traders are opening as much as the cryptocurrency sector and are starting to turn into extra happy with the asset elegance.

Pompliano stated:

“The belief is this gives them great exposure to what we believe are some of the best risk-mitigated opportunities in a nascent industry. You can take a small amount of capital, you can put it in a nascent industry, you can manage your risk correctly but also get exposure to true innovation.”

Since past due 2018, probably the most biggest monetary establishments within the U.S. marketplace within the likes of Fidelity, ICE, and Nasdaq have persevered to toughen the infrastructure supporting cryptocurrencies as an asset elegance.

The lively involvement of well known establishments within the crypto area can have fueled the boldness of different institutional traders within the conventional monetary sector.

Could it Lead to an Influx of Institutions?

In mid-2018, Mike Novogratz, a billionaire investor and a former Goldman Sachs spouse, stated that after a number of institutional traders are dedicated to the cryptocurrency sector, extra establishments will FOMO (concern of lacking out) into the marketplace.

“It won’t go there ($20 trillion) right away. What is going to happen is, one of these intrepid pension funds, somebody who is a market leader, is going to say, you know what? We’ve got custody, Goldman Sachs is involved, Bloomberg has an index I can track my performance against, and they’re going to buy. And all of the sudden, the second guy buys. The same FOMO that you saw in retail [will be demonstrated by institutional investors],” Novogratz said.

In the long term, the newly established cryptocurrency fund of Morgan Creek may just set the root that can toughen the following wave of institutional traders within the cryptocurrency marketplace.

The deal comes 14 months within the worst undergo marketplace within the 10-year historical past of the cryptocurrency marketplace, which has proved that establishments aren’t eager about the cost of virtual belongings however quite at the state of infrastructure that may care for an influx of enormous capital into the marketplace.

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