The Unchained Live podcast recording with Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, is next Wednesday evening! If you missed your chance to buy tickets, check out the livestream, which will be available on the Unchained Podcast Facebook page. The discussion starts at 7pm ET and you’ll have a chance to ask questions, so be sure to mark it on your calendars.
This week, development in the space hummed along with a little less drama and a bit more clarity: U.S. crypto enthusiasts got a bit more clarity from the SEC, Mt. Gox investors got the same regarding Mark Karpeles’s fate, and Tether holders, ditto about the supposedly fiat-backed stablecoin. Meanwhile, blockchain moves by established companies continued to make waves, while the launch of a completely new type of blockchain, Cosmos, had some cryptonauts over the moon.
This Week’s Crypto News…
Ether Is Not a Security, Really
Yes, the SEC kind of already said that ether, in its current form, is not a security, (though it may have been at the time of sale). However, that view had been stated in a less than official manner — at a conference by director of the division of corporation finance, Bill Hinman. This week, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton endorsed that stance.
Former Mt. Gox Head Mark Karpeles Likely Won’t Serve Time
Though Mt. Gox lost 850,000 bitcoins, a Tokyo District court found former CEO Mark Karpeles guilty of producing illegal records but not other charges. He gets a suspended sentence, which means he probably isn’t headed behind bars. (A plain-talk tweet explainer here.)
Tether Is … Not Exactly Tethered
Stablecoin Tether’s website used to say it was backed “1-to-1,” but now it says, “Every tether is always 100% backed by our reserves, which include traditional currency and cash equivalents and, from time to time, may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties, which may include affiliated entities (collectively, ‘reserves’).”
IBM Branches Out From Enterprise Blockchain Into Crypto
Crypto custody has been hot for a while, and Big Blue, along with New York investment firm Shuttle Holdings, are offering a new self-custody solution. Plus, an IBM executive talked with Cheddar about its plans to launch cryptocurrencies with major banks targeting cross-border payments.
The Long-Awaited Cosmos Launches
Interoperability chains are no longer theory. As the Cosmos blog post put it, “The Cosmos Hub is the first public BFT blockchain powered by proof-of-stake, and the first BFT system deployed at scale in almost 40 years of Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) research history.” Plus, staking-as-a-service is already available for Atom holders.
The Gray Lady May Experiment With Blockchain Publishing
A New York Times job listing earlier this week said the paper of record sought someone who could “design a blockchain-based proof of concept for news publishers.” The post has since been taken down, though it left behind digital footprints, unlike Bitcoiner Jameson Lopp, who was featured in this great, if unrelated, story from the NYT.
An Excellent Bitcoin Privacy Explainer
You know when people ask you, isn’t Bitcoin anonymous? And you say, well, it’s pseudonymous, but that means nothing to them? Point them to this explainer on Bitcoin privacy by the Human Rights Foundation’s Technology Privacy Fellow, Eric Wall.