Lawsuit Challenges Google’s Ban on Crypto Ads in Russia

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Lawsuit Challenges Google's Ban on Crypto Ads in Russia


A lawsuit has been filed against Google in Russia after the company announced restrictions on cryptocurrency-related ads. Entrepreneur Vladimir Orehov demands a 2 billion ruble compensation from the Russian Google entity ООО «Гугл». He claims the ban will deprive him of opportunities to invest in crypto projects and find investors to fund his own business initiatives.  

Also read: Ukraine to Legalize Crypto Mining as Economic Activity

Foregone Earnings

Google’s decision to impose restrictions on the advertisement of cryptocurrencies and related content has triggered a legal action in the Russian Federation. A local businessman has filed a lawsuit against the Russian-registered Google entity ООО «Гугл», Vedomosti reports. Vladimir Orehov claims he is missing business opportunities and possibly losing money. He insists on receiving compensation for his foregone earnings to the amount of ₽2 billion RUB (almost $35 million USD).

The Russian crypto entrepreneur says the ban will deprive him of opportunities to invest in crypto projects and also find other investors willing to support his business plans. Orehov wants to be compensated for the “moral damage” caused by the ban and insists on its lifting. The lawsuit has been filed with the Zamoskvorechye District Court. Its press secretary confirmed the claim has been registered on March 15.

Lawsuit Challenges Google's Ban on Crypto Ads in RussiaEarlier this week, Google announced it was planning to restrict ads of cryptocurrencies and content related to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and crypto trading advice. The new rules should be implemented by June, 2018, as reported. The policy change comes weeks after Facebook issued its ban on crypto ads.

Vladimir Orehov says he invests in cryptocurrency projects and has his own ideas which need funding. The Russian has been developing a network of crypto ATMs, with a decentralized exchange, a mobile wallet and a crypto payment system. He actually planned to conduct an initial coin offering with a pre-sale in June. Orehov hoped to attract a total of $2 million dollars through his ICO.

The entrepreneur complains he has lost access to potential investors “overnight” because of the impending ban. He says the restrictions on ICO ads deprive him of useful information about other businesses conducting token sales. That, he insists, leads to missed opportunities for “promising investments” and will affect his income in the future. Vladimir Orehov thinks the ban is illegal and violates his right to access information.

No Rush to Copy Google

The news about the legal action in Moscow comes after calls in the State Duma against restricting cryptocurrency ads. The first Deputy Head of the parliamentary Legislation Committee, Mikhail Emelyanov, thinks banning crypto ads is not worth it. Despite his own mistrust of cryptocurrencies, the lawmaker believes people should have the right to make choices.

That’s why I wouldn’t rush to copy Google and take such decisions.

Many people will be deceived, but that does not mean crypto advertising should be completely banned, Emelyanov said, quoted by Innov. “We shouldn’t ban everything all the time. People have heads on their shoulders and the right to choose”, he stated.

Nevertheless, the Russian deputy warned crypto investors they need to understand the consequences and shouldn’t line up in front of government institutions in case of a failure.

Do you think the Russian lawsuit against the ban of crypto ads on Google has any chance of changing the company’s decision? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The ‘Mt Gox Whale’ Explains His Crypto-Selling Strategy

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The 'Mt Gox Whale' Explains His Crypto-Selling Strategy


On March 17 the Mt Gox bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi revealed some critical information about how he’s been selling the BTC and BCH he has in his possession. The news may comfort those who believe the remainder of the Mt Gox sales will crash the market. According to Kobayashi he has been consulting cryptocurrency experts and selling in a manner that would avoid affecting the market price.

Also read: Québec Premier: We’re Not Really Interested in Bitcoin Mining

The ‘Mt Gox Whale’ Sold BTC and BCH Between December 2017 and February 2018 on Separate Occasions

The bankruptcy trustee from Tokyo, Nobuaki Kobayashi, is now referred to as the ‘Mt Gox Whale’ on social media and many cryptocurrency centric forums. On Saturday, March 17, the trustee disclosed to the public exactly how he was offloading the cryptocurrencies he holds, as he still has another $1.9 billion worth of BTC and BCH to sell. This massive amount of holdings waiting to be sold has concerned bitcoin traders, because they think the sales could hurt the BTC and BCH market value.

“I sold BTC and BCH from December 2017 to February 2018,” explains Kobayashi in response to questions about the sale.

I sold BTC and BCH separately — Therefore, the total amounts of BTC and BCC sold until the time I ceased selling are different.

The 'Mt Gox Whale' Explains His Crypto-Selling Strategy
Nobuaki Kobayashi has already sold $400 million worth of BTC and BCH. The trustee still has $1.9 billion worth of digital assets left to sell.

Kobayashi Consulted ‘Cryptocurrency Experts’ and Did Not Sell the Cryptos Using an Ordinary Exchange

The 'Mt Gox Whale' Explains His Crypto-Selling Strategy
Nobuaki Kobayashi.

According to the trustee, he consulted “cryptocurrency experts” during the BCH and BTC sales, and he did not use the traditional method of using a digital asset exchange. Further Kobayashi says analyzing the movement of the public addresses is useless, as the assumption that the assets were sold at those exact times is “incorrect.”  

“Following consultation with cryptocurrency experts, I sold BTC and BCH, not by an ordinary sale through the BTC/BCH exchange, but in a manner that would avoid affecting the market price, while ensuring the security of the transaction to the extent possible,” Kobayashi details.   

The method of sale of BTC and BCH was approved by the court as well  — I would like to refrain from explaining the details of the method of sale; otherwise the future sale of BTC and BCH could be hindered  — At present, nothing has been determined regarding the sale of BTC and BCH in the future.

Besides the $1.9 billion worth of digital assets remaining under the trustee’s supervision, he is also supervising the cash collected from the last sale. The approximate holdings of JPY 44,000,000,000 in cash were only recently secured says Kobayashi, and he will determine when creditors will get their restitution settlements in the near future.

What do you think about the Mt Gox trustee’s statements? Do you think his sales affect the open market? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and the Tokyo courts. 

At all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.

Paypal Users Receive Cryptocurrency Warning Email

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Paypal Users Receive Cryptocurrency Warning Email


This week Paypal users reported receiving an official-looking email from Paypal, warning users about “activity [involving] the trading or transfer of crypto currency [sic] which is prohibited under our Acceptable Use Policy,” asking the receiver to “cease any activity that results in the trading or transfer of crypto currency.”

Also read: Since Embracing Bitcoin, Robinhood App Value Jumps to $5.6 Billion

Paypal Users Receive Cryptocurrency Warning Email

“I am a PayPal user,” David Veksler of the Foundation for Economic Education and The Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy explained to “My account is 17 years old. This morning I got the email linked in my message.” Friday, March 16 Mr. Veksler, and presumably a sizeable chunk of Paypal’s nearly 200 million users, received an official-looking email seemingly from the company, complete with letterhead, titled Cryptocurrency Warning.

The two decades-old popular online payments system includes founders such as Peter Thiel and Elon Musk. The company’s revenue routinely ranks in billions, and it operates in over 200 markets and in 25 currencies around the world. Paypal is often seen as a direct competitor to cryptocurrencies, which wish to remove its centralized business model from everyday transactions. The company has made conflicting statements about crypto in general and bitcoin in particular, but there’s no denying they can see the future, as just this month it was discovered the company applied for crypto-related patents.

Paypal Users Receive Cryptocurrency Warning Email

After appreciating their business, the receiver of Cryptocurrency Warning was scolded: “While reviewing your account, we noticed that your activity involves the trading or transfer of crypto currency which is prohibited under our Acceptable Use Policy. As this is not permitted on the Paypal platform we ask that you cease any activity that results in the trading or transfer of crypto currency. If you continue to engage in this activity on Paypal, we’ll be unable to continue offering our services.”

“It appears to be legit,” Mr. Veksler worried. “I checked the from address and the Sender ID. Then I called Paypal support and got a [customer service representative] on the line. She said that from the email address, it does not appear to be legitimate. She then checked my account and said that it is fine – there are no flags of any kind on it. I then posted on the Paypal community site and Reddit, and a bunch of people replied saying that they got the same email.”

No Formal Statement as of This Writing

For its part, the company has issued no formal statement, preferring, it seems, to take the complaints one at a time rather than whip up a frenzy. The potential problem with this outlook is not everyone understands information technology semantics or where to go to ultimately ask for clarification. Mr. Veksler has a Masters degree in the science, and even he was a little put off. It’s not unreasonable to believe company users would feel as though buying and selling crypto were somehow wrong. 

Paypal Users Receive Cryptocurrency Warning Email
David Veksler

“I don’t know,” Mr. Veksler continued. “All I can tell you is that customer support said it’s fake but the email looks legit, including the digital signatures. I’ve never bought or sold crypto with my account.” Reading of the company’s policy makes no mention of prohibiting cryptocurrency trading of any kind. On the company’s community page, it appears to have labeled the issue solved, with users confirming through representatives the email is indeed a fake.

At issue now is how the emails were spoofed. Perps were able to secure an official company website email string and users’ names. “There is no domain verification process for sender address in the SMTP protocol,” Mr. Veksler pointed out. “There is a separate, optional Sender ID framework which some providers use. This email is also signed with that protocol. I cannot explain that.”

A forum commenter insisted, “It’s pretty easy. Anybody can download a number of hacked BTC-related databases. (bitcointalk database, btc-e database, etc.). Then the scammer takes the list of BTC-related emails and cross references it with another database that includes full names. Now the scammer has a list of BTC users’ full names and e-mail addresses. (Also in many cases username, password hash, DOB, meatspace address, ssn, all sorts of other private data depending on what database they’re using.) Anybody with a semester of computer science class should be able to write a script that does this. Then just send out some spam emails.” For a deeper dive on the hacking details, Nadeem Walayat has some interesting theories about the affair.

Some say it was an attempt to manipulate the bitcoin price. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Images via Pixabay, Paypal, David Veksler. 

At we do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.

New York Power Companies Can Now Raise Rates for Bitcoin Miners

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New York Power Companies Can Now Raise Rates for Bitcoin Miners


The state of New York may be a difficult place to set up a mining venture in the region as lawmakers have ruled that power companies can raise their electricity rates if miners choose to use the state’s hydropower.

Also Read: From ‘Attack’ to ‘Optimization’ — Slush Pool Reveals ASIC Boost Compatibility

Charging Higher Electricity Rates to Cryptocurrency Companies

New York Power Companies Can Now Raise Rates for Bitcoin MinersThe New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided to allow municipal electricity providers the ability to raise rates for bitcoin miners and data centers. The reason NY officials chose to let power companies raise electric rates is because 36 municipal power suppliers petitioned the PSC committee. The power companies believe that when data centers and cryptocurrency miners take advantage of the cheap hydropower in the state, average customers lose out. The PSC ruling on March 15th states:  

The New York State Public Service Commission today ruled that upstate municipal power authorities could charge higher electricity rates to cryptocurrency companies that require huge amounts of electricity to conduct business. The ruling was needed to level the playing field and prevent local electricity prices for existing residential and business customers from skyrocketing due to the soaring local demand for electricity.

New York Power Companies Can Now Raise Rates for Bitcoin Miners

Cryptocurrency Entities: A Different Character Than Load Characteristics Typically Seen

According to the power companies, several of them have seen an increase in requests from commercial customers seeking large amounts of power. “These requests come mainly from similar types of potential customers: server farms, generally devoted to data processing for cryptocurrencies,” explains the filing.

The ruling goes on to state: “Cryptocurrency entities, such as Bitcoin developers, use massive banks of computers to run a complex software program that will create, or “mine”, digital currency — As some of these customers have come online, it has become clear that the type of electricity load demand was of a different character than load characteristics typically seen by NYMPA members.”

Any Operation That Exceeds 250 kWh Per Square Foot Per Year Will Face Tariffs

The news also follows the town of Plattsburgh New York proposing a moratorium request against bitcoin mining operations last week. reported on how the Mayor’s office cited concerns about the amount of energy consumption these operations were using. Plattsburgh’s Mayor Colin Read also detailed back in February that he would rather see high electricity consuming businesses pay real employees, rather than warehouses filled with just machines.

The PSC decision can be enforced by the electric providers this month the commission details, and it will allow power companies to create a new tariff on all high-density load operations. Those who exceed 300 kW and a load density that exceeds 250 kWh per square foot per year could see increases in costs next month.

What do you think about the New York State Public Service Commission allowing power companies to raise rates for miners? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, and the PSC filing and logo. 

At all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.

Consumer Complaints Rise 669% After Crypto Prices Decline

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Consumer Complaints Rise 669% After Crypto Prices Decline


Just recently a consumer research group called Valuepenguin did an analysis on complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) between June 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018. According to the study, after the significant 50-60 percent downturn in cryptocurrency values, consumer complaints surged by 669 percent.

Also Read: Israeli Supreme Court Forbids Bank From Denying Service to Bitcoin Exchange

Crypto-Consumer Complaints Rise by 669%

Cryptocurrencies reached all-time highs last year and BTC/USD markets touched $19,600 per coin on December 16th. Since then a lot has changed as most crypto-assets have lost at least half or more of their fiat value since that date. The consumer analysis group Valuepenguin decided to do a study on the number of complaints filed with the CFPB between June 1, 2017, and March 1, 2018. The results were staggering, showing a 669 percent increase in consumer complaints after the prices of digital currencies dropped in value this year.

Consumer Complaints Rise 669% After Crypto Prices Decline
Consumer complaint chart against the BTC/USD chart.

It Seems Customers Want Their Money When They Want It

Some key takeaways from researcher David Ascienzo’s Valuepenguin study detailed the biggest complaint, by more than 40 percent of the files, showed dissatisfied customers who were unable to withdraw their funds. 32 percent of the issues derived from transaction issues and fraud complaints. Transaction problems included long wire transfer delays and a lot of gripes were directed at crypto-businesses and the lack of customer service.  

“Money being unavailable was the number one complaint and consumers struggled to transfer and trade their cryptocurrencies at a critical time — Complaints spiked to a climax during the week where price decline was steepest,” explains Ascienzo’s findings.

Higher numbers of complaints rolled in just as prices started crashing, reaching a climax during the week of sharpest descent. Even then, BTC prices didn’t fall anywhere near where they were in the earlier half of 2017, but the data shows an array of negative experiences for consumers struggling to manage their coins when it mattered the most.

Consumer Complaints Rise 669% After Crypto Prices Decline
The top 5 consumer issues with cryptocurrency companies.

Beefing Up Customer Support

One company that was highlighted during the research was the San Francisco cryptocurrency firm Coinbase. The Valuepenguin study even highlights a few quotes from some of the customer complaints directed at Coinbase. The complaints against the digital currency firm emphasized withdrawal and deposit issues. also reported on the study Lend EDU did this past August that showed the first signs of increasing consumer complaints, and Coinbase was at the top of the list. However, the head of customer support at Coinbase, Tina Bhatnagar, announced on March 1 that the company was hiring 500 customer support agents this year.

“My first, and most obvious observation was that we needed more people to handle the inbound volume of support requests and a solid plan to handle any spikes in volume, Bhatnagar stated at the time. Our first group of 90 new agents will start on March 5th and we will be adding a group of agents every week until we hit our goal of 500 in late May.”

The latest study also shows some consumers were unable to access funds as much as $100,000 USD. Moreover, according to the Ascienzo’s research, the cryptocurrency companies had managed to close all of the complaints filed. Complaints submitted to the CFPB were closed with an explanation from the company, but the research could not tell if any customers received any restitution. The author notes that all the data was derived from the public CFPB databases and he used bitcoin historical prices from the website Coinmarketcap.

What do you think about complaints rising by 669 percent? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and the Valuepenguin study.

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

PR: The Man Who Sold His House for Bitcoin Has Joined the MoneyToken Advisory Board

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Man Who Sold His House for Bitcoin Has Joined the MoneyToken Advisory Board

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. does not endorse nor support this product/service. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Didi Taihuttu, also known as “the man who sold his house for bitcoin”, has joined the MoneyToken advisory board.

Didi brings to MoneyToken a wealth of experience in cryptocurrency, and has been mining and trading in cryptocurrency assets since 2011 – but his real claim to fame started last summer, when Didi sold everything he owned and invested it in Bitcoin, with the intention of holding on to his crypto-investments until at least 2021.

Join the MoneyToken Private Sale –
All token sale contributors protected by The MoneyToken Falling Market Protection Mechanism.

If you are a cryptocurrency holder, or interested in finding out more about the project, feel free to join the MoneyToken telegram chat

“We think that Didi is a living example of an exceptional belief in Bitcoin, a man who has been prepared to stake his whole life’s earnings on the future of cryptocurrency. We are thrilled to have him join the MoneyToken advisory board and to receive Didi’s support for our venture, because for us it means that the man whose belief in Bitcoin is unconditional also holds that belief in the MoneyToken project, and that is both incredibly flattering, reassuring and inspiring” – Alex Rass, MoneyToken co-founder.

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This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

US Court Shuts Down Promoters of Three Deceptive Crypto Schemes

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US Court Shuts Down Promoters of Three Deceptive Crypto Schemes


A U.S. federal court has placed a restraining order on and frozen the assets of four alleged promoters of deceptive schemes involving cryptocurrencies at the request of the country’s Federal Trade Commission.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

US Court’s Order

US Court Shuts Down Promoters of Three Deceptive Crypto SchemesThe U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on Friday that a federal court has shut down “promoters of deceptive cryptocurrency schemes” at its request. The FTC is an independent agency of the U.S. government. Its goal is to promote consumer protection and prevent anti-competitive business practices.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has “halted the activities of four individuals who allegedly promoted deceptive money-making schemes involving cryptocurrencies,” the agency wrote, adding that:

These schemes falsely promised that participants could earn large returns by paying cryptocurrency such as bitcoin or litecoin to enroll in the schemes.

Furthermore, the federal court has “issued a temporary restraining order and frozen the defendants’ assets pending trial,” also at the FTC’s request.

According to the agency’s complaint filed with the court, the defendants violated “the FTC Act’s prohibition against deceptive acts by misrepresenting the chain referral schemes as bona fide money-making opportunities and by falsely claiming that participants could earn substantial income by participating in the three schemes.”

Bitcoin Funding Team and My7network

Three of the four defendants allegedly “promoted chain referral schemes known as Bitcoin Funding Team and My7network,” the FTC detailed. Thomas Dluca, Louis Gatto, and Eric Pinkston allegedly used websites, Youtube videos, social media and conference calls to promise “big rewards for a small payment of bitcoin or litecoin,” the agency noted, adding:

The defendants claimed that Bitcoin Funding Team could turn a payment of the equivalent of just over $100 into $80,000 in monthly income.

US Court Shuts Down Promoters of Three Deceptive Crypto SchemesHowever, the FTC asserted that this setup would benefit only a few participants while the majority of them would fail to even recoup their initial investments. Furthermore, the two schemes’ participants “could only generate revenue by recruiting new participants and convincing them to also pay cryptocurrency.”

In Bitcoin Funding Team, participants must pay an initial bitcoin payment to an earlier participant and a fee to the scheme to be eligible to recruit new member and receive payments from them. In addition, “Promoters claimed participants could earn bigger rewards if they paid additional bitcoins,” the FTC described. Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Tom Pahl, commented:

This case shows that scammers always find new ways to market old schemes, which is why the FTC will remain vigilant regardless of the platform – or currency used…The schemes the defendants promoted were designed to enrich those at the top at the expense of everyone else.


The fourth defendant, Scott Chandler, promoted Bitcoin Funding Team “and another deceptive cryptocurrency scheme, Jetcoin,” the FTC alleged. This scheme “promised investors a fixed rate of return on their initial bitcoin investments as a result of bitcoin trading” in addition to a recruitment scheme, the FTC described, adding:

In a series of promotional calls, Chandler claimed Jetcoin participants could double their investment in 50 days. In reality, the FTC complaint alleges, the scheme failed to deliver on these claims and ceased operation within two months of launching.

What do you think of the federal court shutting down promoters of deceptive schemes involving cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the FTC.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

Wendy McElroy: Privacy – Do Not Come Late to the Revolution

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Privacy - Do Not Come Late to the Revolution


The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 2: The Moral Imperative of Privacy
Chapter 6: Privacy is a Prerequisite of Human Rights
Segment 4: Privacy: Do Not Come Late to the Revolution

“I think the Mailman is taking us on one at a time, starting with the weakest, drawing us in far enough to learn our True Names—and then destroying us.” ― Vernor Vinge, True Names

Privacy is not dead, as many court intellectuals pronounce it to be, usually in preparation for its burial. Privacy is being renewed. Cryptocurrency is transforming it into a far stronger tool for human freedom. People with a fondness for the old version of privacy need not be concerned, however. Curtains can still be pulled over windows at night; financial transactions can still be encrypted. The new form of privacy is a compatible alternative. But much of it may seem counter-intuitive.

True Names provides a point of reference for science fiction fans. The 1981 novella by Vernor Vinge is sometimes credited with launching the cyberpunk movement because it explores so many of the themes that were later developed in great detail. One theme: the protection of a true identity is vitally important to the freedom and the survival of an individual. A true identity is the name or other identifying information that can lead people directly to someone else’s front door, whether the journey is to shake the person’s hand or to arrest him. True Names has special relevance to the new privacy being created by cryptocurrency because it highlights the shift in the focus of privacy away from transactions to identities. Transactions and identities are no longer irrevocably connected. Indeed, they can be totally separated. And there are great advantages to doing so.

People will stumble over the issue of transparency when they consider crypto privacy. Because transactions on the blockchain are 100% transparent and available to everyone, cryptocurrency is said to be the death of privacy. This is not death; it is a necessary redefinition. The nexus of privacy is shifting from the record of transactions to the identity of the transactors. An intimate connection between the two can exist, to be sure. Transactions can reveal identity in several ways. The user may not go through a mixer or tumbler, or he may not use a currency designed to protect privacy. It may seem like too much trouble to use a unique digital address for each transfer, as Satoshi Nakamoto suggested. Or he may make the cardinal error of all privacy mistakes; that is, open an account with a centralized exchange. A careless user can disclose a True Name.

A careful user has a greater ability to preserve privacy today than ever before. Consider just one question: Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? The identity of a public figure who had an immense impact and a definite computer presence may never be known because he used his own privacy tools.

The shift in the nexus of privacy should not be underestimated.

Relocating the Nexus of Privacy 

The nexus of privacy used to be located in the transaction itself.

For centuries, the focus of governments and financial institutions has been to track transactions in order to tax and to control them. The full disclosure and monitoring of the flow of wealth is the government’s “business model,” so to speak. Authorities demand transparency as a way to identify the individuals who are exchanging or amassing wealth. Information on transactions is tantamount to control of the transactions themselves, as well as of the individuals making them. With such information, taxes can be collected, fees can be deducted, scofflaws can be imprisoned, social control can be imposed, and outright confiscation can occur.

Governments have devoted incredible effort, time, and expense toward the acquisition of data on the movement of currency. Every bank account must be documented by government-issued ID, with every transaction being reported to tax authorities and other agencies. This is true, at least, of the institutions that wish the privileges of being legal. On a more individual level, major investors must be “accredited” by governments. Employees have every cent of their wages reported through tax forms that include social security numbers (True Names), as well as location information, such as street addresses. Governments have used the unlimited data paradigm to control individuals and society for many decades.

In reaction, individuals have sought to make their transactions as private as possible, especially through the use of cash, which is currently being threatened. Businessmen keep two sets of books. People neglect to report income on tax forms. Investors send their money abroad to countries that are less likely to file reports. People keep their wealth in precious metals that are secreted under the floor boards. With justification, privacy and the secrecy of transactions have become entangled.

No more. The blockchain is transparent to all. explains the transparency in its analysis of Satoshi’s White Paper,

“Nakamoto’s concept of an electronic ‘coin’ is a chronological series of verified digital signatures. To illustrate, think of Nakamoto’s virtual coin as a UPS or FedEx package that you sign at your doorstep before sending it to a forwarding address. But the difference is that a publicly-available ledger is placed right on the packing slip which shows the entire history of all prior deliveries of the same package. The information includes all originating addresses as well as timestamps detailing where and when exactly each delivery took place. Such a comprehensive audit trail, he argues, would provide assurance to both recipient and the entire network that the chain of deliveries/transactions is accurate and secure.”

For individuals and the free market, the blockchain offers commercially valuable data that assists in accuracy and security. For governments, the blockchain is an incredibly thorough and accessible record of wealth transfers. The foregoing should be a statist’s wet dream. Why, then, are governments scrambling to maintain the economic reins rather than popping champagne corks?

Because the nexus of privacy has shifted. It is no longer vested in the transactions that governments have so assiduously recorded. Those transactions are transparent and freely offered to all. This means the “ledger” has lost much of their value as instruments of social control.

The nexus of privacy is now vested in the identities, in the True Names of who is involved in the transactions; it is vested in the digital signatures, which technology increasingly places under individual control. Call it anonymity—the assumption of a non-identified persona. Call it pseudonymity—the adoption of a secondary persona. Call it polynymity—the use of multiple personas to achieve different purposes. It has never been more difficult to uncover an individual’s True Name in financial dealings. Having a record of transactions is becoming a dead-end strategy for governments.

A real-world example may be helpful. The best parallel to cryptocurrency in the traditional world of finance may be a Swiss bank account that is identified only by a number, not by a name. Even if the transactions for the account are published in the New York Times, the disclosure does not imperil a careful account holder. It is always upsetting to have personal data released without consent. But, as long as anonymity of the owner is maintained, privacy has not been seriously jeopardized.

There is a happy difference between numbered bank accounts and digital signatures, however. Such bank accounts were and are a privilege of the rich, if only because there were minimum balances and other costs to doing business with foreign institutions. With digital signatures, however, financial privacy is available to anyone who can afford a computer connection. Financial privacy has been democratized.

The Trusted Third Party Question

In the most literal sense of the word, Satoshi’s recasting of privacy is “revolutionary.” That is, it changes the world in a fundamental way.

Revolutions usually invoke images of angry mobs who rage in the streets against intolerable oppression. Revolutions are the stuff of legend because most people want to believe that average people can reclaim liberty for themselves and for their children. But, as with many legends, not much truth underlies the image. Revolutions usually dissolve into societies that are no better than their totalitarian predecessors. Often, they are worse.

Revolutions fail because of “the trusted third party” problem. The phrase is deceptively simple, and it is easy to skim over its pivotal importance. The problem describes a situation in which people give power over their lives to parties who say, “Trust me.” The parties are usually strangers who have been given positions of authority due to government privileges rather than due to market merit. Central banks are a notorious example. They derive power from government, which means government is the “customer” to whom they are loyal, not individuals.

Why do people play a game that is rigged against them? Even revolutionaries, who barricade streets and risk death to defy authority, will bow to a committee, or a revolutionary government, or a strong-man leader. The new ruling authority may be called a Committee of Public Safety (the French Revolution, 1793-94) or a Military Revolutionary Committee (the Russian Revolution, 1918). The new names and faces provide an illusion of change, but their purpose is much the same as the old names and faces–to exert power over others.

People surrender power for many reasons. A key one is simply because they see no viable alternative. They deal with central banks or affiliates because it is almost impossible to navigate ordinary life without a bank account. People comply because they need to function economically. The social cost is the surrender personal information at every point of every transaction. The price tag is privacy.

Or it was. Enter the crypto anarchists and Satoshi. They replaced the need for trusted third parties through a protocol that provided the same services as central banks without taking control from individuals. The control is retained because the nexus of privacy is no longer within transactions, which are easily traced, but within the iTrue Name of users, which can be retained. To draw again on the parallel of a numbered account, the concealment of transfers is not the nexus of privacy. The anonymity offered by the number is.

In the old-world view (pre-2008) of central banking and government data banks, a meticulous record of transactions was the most reliable way to track down and identify who owned what. It was the means by which government controlled the flow of the world’s wealth. No more.

Satoshi pointed to the blockchain. “Go ahead; examine every cent that moves around the globe,” he told governments. Perhaps he even smiled, because the blockchain’s transparency provides little of value to government, as long users are cautious. “No need to demand or subpoena documents,” he informed authorities. “just log in and access a public record that sits in the open.” If Satoshi smiled, then it was because the transparency did not damage privacy.


It seems paradoxical, but transparency is the new privacy for those who preserve their True Names. The open blockchain also strips government of what has been its most powerful weapon against individual freedom: usable and monopolized information.

The cryptocurrency revolution will work because it does not cede authority to a trusted third party. It is also bloodless, as a revolution must be to cause positive change: the printing press, the telephone, the computer, the Internet, cryptocurrency. Technology triumphs over social control.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters

Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

Thailand to Pass Two New Cryptocurrency Laws

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Thailand to Pass Two Laws on Cryptocurrencies


Thai regulators have reportedly agreed to enact two separate laws on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. They will regulate crypto businesses, the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies, as well as their taxation.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Two Laws Being Drafted

Thailand to Pass Two Cryptocurrency Laws
Mr. Apisak Tantivorawong.

The Thai Minister of Finance, Mr. Apisak Tantivorawong, said on Thursday that the government is preparing to announce the regulations for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) by the end of this month, Channel 7 news reported.

After the cabinet’s meeting, the country’s deputy prime minister, Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak, explained that two laws are being drafted, according to Thai Rath newspaper.

Thailand to Pass Two Cryptocurrency LawsThe first is the Act on Digital Asset Businesses. It requires the registration and know-your-customer (KYC) compliance of cryptocurrency operators including agents, dealers, and brokers, the news outlet detailed. It also imposes penalties and remedies for violations.

The second is the revision of the country’s Revenue Code which concerns taxation related to cryptocurrencies and ICOs, the publication described.

Regulating Crypto Businesses & Taxation

According to Thai Rath, cryptocurrency and ICO businesses such as intermediaries will be required to identify themselves and the sources of crypto investment funds in order to prevent money laundering. These businesses will be obligated to provide transaction information as well as the names of buyers and sellers to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Office. The law also puts the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) in charge of the regulations. The news outlet elaborated:

Thai private companies that have already issued an ICO must comply with the law within 6 months.

Moreover, Mr. Apisak has ordered the Thai Revenue Department to collect 7% VAT and 15% withholding tax on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, the publication noted, adding that taxpayers can combine their crypto tax liabilities with their annual income.

Central Bank Will Not Change Stance

Thailand to Pass Two Cryptocurrency LawsThe Bank of Thailand (BOT) said that it will not change its stance regarding cryptocurrencies and ICOs, the news outlet detailed. In February, the central bank prohibited financial institutions from five key cryptocurrency activities, which will remain in effect even after the regulations are in force.

Following the BOT’s prohibition, Bangkok Bank subsequently terminated the accounts of a local cryptocurrency exchange.

Another major bank, Krungthai Bank, soon followed suit and terminated the accounts of local crypto exchanges with them. Mr. Piyong Sriwanich, the bank’s president, was quoted by Thai Rath on Thursday declaring that his bank does not support and will not deal with cryptocurrencies in any way. Furthermore, he emphasized that if anyone opens “a deposit account with the bank and invests money in digital currency, the bank will close the account immediately.”

What do you think of Thailand’s cryptocurrency regulations? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, istock, and the Thai government.

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Meme Specialist Is the Crypto Job of Your Dreams

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Meme Specialist Is the Crypto Job of Your Dreams


A crypto startup is seeking a skilled applicant to assume the role of Meme Specialist. At $48,000 per year plus 1% of tokens, they’ll earn more than the average U.S teacher, though there are a few caveats attached. The successful candidate must be blessed with at least 10 years’ experience of procrastination on Reddit and 4chan. Experience in MS Paint is also an advantage.

Also read: Slovenian City Unveils World’s First Public Bitcoin Monument

Don’t Let Your Memes Be Dreams

Memes are the real fuel of the cryptoconomy. Not tokens. Not blockchain. Memes, in all their dank, unadulterated glory. That an Estonian startup should be advertising the position of Meme Specialist is an inspired PR move or proof that we’ve hit peak crypto. Either way, it’s an offer that crypto shitposters may find too good to refuse. After all, there aren’t many jobs that will pay you $900 a week to post the illest memes from the comfort of your own bed.

Cynics may complain that an ICO with 192 Twitter followers seeking a Meme Specialist – prior to its pre-sale, no less – is simply seeking attention. Cynics would be right, but then how else is ECOS supposed to rustle up interest in its blockchain for the food chain – by banging on about the transformative potential of distributed ledgers? For all ECOS’ shortcomings, soliciting a “ninja of memology” was a masterstroke.

Meme Specialist Is the Crypto Job of Your Dreams

Advanced Memetics to Disrupt the Food Industry

The posting on Crypto Jobs List doesn’t specify the sort of memes that might be deemed suitable for a decentralized food industry project. There’s no word on whether they’re looking for exploitable image macros, rare Pepes, pink Wojaks, or something even more subversive. All that’s specified is that the right applicant has “Passed 4 grade in comprehensive school”, excels in “laughter, irony, cynicism”, and is willing to accept “Bonuses in kittens and puppies”. It’s all very frivolous, it’s true. But amidst the doom and gloom permeating the crypto space, anything that can elicit a laugh has got to be welcomed.

There’s every chance that ECOS’ ICO will prove to be a disaster, but their marketing game is on point, and for that they deserve credit. Well memed, obscure Estonian startup. Well memed.

What would you bring to the role of Meme Specialist? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of the internet.

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