Sorry Alibaba

Sorry Alibaba, Alibabacoin is here to stay

A new cryptocurrency hit the markets recently, and its name didn’t sit well with the Chinese retail giant Alibaba. The coin, Alibabacoin, was seen as infringing on Alibaba’s name, so Alibaba did what any company would do—it sued. Unfortunately, a judge didn’t see it through the same eyes and has now thrown out the suit, Reuters reported.

Alibaba filed its complaint against the Dubai-based group on April 2. It accused Alibabacoin of an “unlawful scheme to misappropriate” Alibaba’s brand name “in order to deceive investors in the U.S. and around the world.” It argued that the company had used Alibaba’s name to raise more than $3.5 million through its initial coin offering (ICO), and that the company is not registered nor approved by regulators in the United States.

A judge issued a temporary restraining order subsequent to the suit; however, the judge who presided over the case, J. Paul Oetken, determined that Alibaba has no jurisdiction in the U.S. It also decided that, since China bans all ICOs, there could not be any possible confusion.

In reaching his decision, the judge stated, “Alibaba did not show he had jurisdiction, having failed to establish a ‘reasonable probability’ that Alibabacoin’s interactive websites were used to transact business with customers in New York.” Judge Oetken further elaborated on his decision, adding, “Any injury Alibaba might have suffered to its business, goodwill and reputation from alleged trademark infringement likely occurred in China, where the e-commerce retailer is based.”

Alibabacoin was founded by Jason Daniel Paul Philip, who currently serves as the company’s CEO, and Hasan Abbas, its chief technology officer. It has offices in Dubai and Minsk, Belarus, and began offering its ICO in March. The ICO will be conducted in phases, with the first having taken place between March 1 and March 15, according to the company. A second phase was scheduled to begin on March 16, but the company hasn’t updated its information to show whether that phase took place. Nor has the company updated its website to indicate how much it has collected to date.

The lack of updates and public information are enough to create a less-than-confident opinion of the company. Requests for comments have gone unanswered and more potential investors are now questioning the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency.

In a statement to CoinGeek, a spokesperson for the Alibaba Group said the eCommerce giant planned to submit a new motion.

“Alibaba Group is not affiliated with the ABBC Foundation. The court’s ruling on April 30 was with respect to jurisdiction. We will be submitting a new motion and are confident we will be able to put an end to this willful, concerted and unlawful scheme by the ABBC Foundation to exploit Alibaba Group trademarks,” the spokesperson said.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Bitgrail Hack Victims File Petition in Court

Bitgrail clients want Italian court to declare exchange bankrupt

Victims of the BitGrail hack in February has filed a petition asking an Italian court to declare the cryptocurrency exchange bankrupt.

BitGrail reportedly fell victim to a hack early this year, resulting in the loss of 14 million Nano coins worth $187 million at the time. The hack was reported on February 8, but BitGrail owner Francesco Firano told CoinTelegraph that the theft happened on January 19.

Last week, Italian law firm BonelliErede filed a bankruptcy petition on behalf of BitGrail creditor Espen Enger, who allegedly was in contact with more than 300 claimants. According to a Medium post, most of the alleged BitGrail victims were concerned that their assets will be depleted further, which was why they “prefer an immediate accounting of BitGrail’s assets in bankruptcy.”

Nano developers previously claimed Firano had asked for the altcoin’s ledger to be modified “so as to cover his losses” and allegedly “misleading” the community regarding the exchange solvency. In his defense, Firano claimed the fault did not lay with the exchange, but originated with Nano’s “totally unreliable” protocol leading to timestamp inconsistencies on the Nanode block explorer.

BitGrail vowed to refund the victims. In mid-March, the cryptocurrency exchange proposed to issue a newly-minted BitGrail Shares (BGS) token, which it said would cover 80% of the losses. The remaining 20% would be covered in XRB, according to BitGrail. However, victims would need to sign an agreement to forgo any legal action against the exchange.

This is the second lawsuit filed against BitGrail. In April, U.S. law firm Silver Miller filed a lawsuit on behalf of Alex Brola, an investor who sunk $50,000 into the Nano currency in 2017. In its lawsuit, Silver sought to have the altcoin conduct a hard fork that could “reset” its amount to where it was before the theft took place.

In response to the lawsuit, the Nano Foundation announced it would sponsor a legal fund to provide all BitGrail victims with legal representation.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Binance founder slapped with lawsuit over failed Sequoia deal

Binance founder slapped with lawsuit over failed Sequoia deal

This year is starting out rough for Binance. 

Zhao Changpeng, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance, has been sued in Hong Kong’s High Court by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital after allegedly violating an exclusivity agreement by engaging with another venture capital firm.

Binance—despite only coming into business in July 2017, rose quickly to become the largest cryptocurrency exchange by January 2018. According to court filings, Sequoia started its relationship with Binance in August, bidding for a nearly 11% stake in the company which they valued at around $80 million at the time. Negotiations stretched on for months, however, with Zhao saying in December last year that their valuation of the exchange was too low.

The other venture capital firm in question—IDG Capital—allegedly came into the picture with a far bigger valuation of Binance, and a far bigger offer. According to Bloomberg, IDG offered two rounds of substantial funding: $400 million and $1 billion. The legality of this negotiation between Binance and IDG was challenged by Sequoia, which brought the case to court. An order was handed down banning Binance from entertaining other investors.

This isn’t the only problem Binance faced in recent months. In February, Binance had to temporarily shut down their platform, citing server issues. But this spiralled into an FUD battle against John McAfee, who later apologized for fanning the flame.

About a month later, the exchange fell victim to a breach which saw hackers infiltrating some users’ accounts and using their funds to pump a little known altcoin. This prompted the exchange to put a $250,000 bounty over the hackers’ heads. The exchange also allocated an additional $10 million in rewards for any other hacks that may happen in the future.

Unfortunately, all this commotion also triggered alarm bells from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). Binance received a warning of closure from the FSA, saying they have to comply with licensing requirements if they want to continue their operations. This confirmed an earlier report by news agency Nikkei , who Zhao accused of “irresponsible journalism” as he was initially denying any issues with the FSA.

Zhao Tweeted afterwards that they are finding a solution. “We received a simple letter from JFSA about an hour ago. Our lawyers called JFSA immediately, and will find a solution,” he wrote.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Coinbase money laundering trial to be held in open court

Coinbase money laundering trial to be held in open court

In 2017, Paul Vernon, CEO of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Cryptsy, was found guilty of stealing over 11,000 of his customers BTC coins in 2014. He claimed that the loss was due to the exchange being hacked, but that claim was quickly refuted especially given the fact that he ran away to hide in Asia. At the time the amount surpassed $10 million, and Vernon was ordered to pay back $8.2 million to investors.

There were allegations that Vernon laundered the cryptocurrency through the Coinbase exchange, resulting in Silver Miller—a law firm known to target crypto companies—to file a lawsuit against the exchange. Coinbase had hoped to have the case heard in private arbitration, but the law firm turned down the idea. Now, the federal appeals court has ruled that the case will be heard in front of the public.

Silver Miller filed the class-action suit with its co-counsel, the Wites Law Firm. The suit alleged that Vernon was able to convert the stolen crypto through his Coinbase accounts between 2014 and 2016, and that Coinbase was responsible for culpable negligence in not providing more stringent account oversight. According to the lawsuit, “Plaintiffs seek damages based upon the unlawful conduct of COINBASE in failing to properly monitor customer accounts that held investors’ money and ignoring its duty to investigate suspicious activities under U.S. anti-money laundering rules.”

Silver Miller was part of the original lawsuit against Cryptsy and Vernon. The firm’s co-founder, David Silver, wanted cryptocurrency exchanges to have greater accountability and transparency in their actions, saying, “This ruling brings the plaintiffs one step closer to finding out just what type of Know Your Customer protocols and Anti-Money-Laundering protections Coinbase employed and whether Coinbase complied with state and federal statutes in that regard. Coinbase has delayed and tried to keep discovery hidden from the public long enough. That stops now.”

Coinbase has had a rough go of things lately. It was accused of insider trading following the announcement that it would accept Bitcoin Cash in late 2017, resulting in a lawsuit being filed earlier this year. It just recently announced that it was doing away with its Coinbase Merchant Tools platform in favor of Coinbase Commerce, a move that puts the onus on merchants to collect cryptocurrency payments instead of relying on Coinbase for the transactions. The move has brought significant blowback, with many companies threatening to drop Coinbase completely.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Financial analyst drags Facebook to court over scam crypto ads

Financial analyst drags Facebook to court over scam crypto ads

Amid the bad press and the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data theft, a new development will see social media giant Facebook under renewed pressure.

Martin Lewis, founder of consumer help site MoneySavingExpert.com, announced that he is suing Facebook in the UK High Court for defamation. Lewis is considered a popular figure in the UK as he also presents The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV as well as being the founder of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.

In his suit, Lewis claimed Facebook published well over 50 fake advertisements, which were seen on a regular basis by several million people across the United Kingdom. The adverts allegedly used Lewis’s image to promote a fake product or investment scams that serious effects on the reputation of the popular presenter.

The most popular of these Facebook ads were cryptocurrency-linked ‘Bitcoin Code’ or ‘Cloud Trader,’ which Lewis said were fronts for binary trading firms operating outside the European Union. These get rich quick schemes are almost always invariably scams and are strongly condemned by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

As with such suits, Lewis will not be seeking personal damages but only exemplary damages with all possible proceeds donated to charity.

Lewis said he had spent the past year fighting to stop Facebook from allowing scammers to use his name to rip off vulnerable people, some of whom have been duped into investing £100,000 in the alleged con.

“I’m not the only public face this has happened to. It’s time Facebook was made to take responsibility. It claims to be a platform not a publisher—yet this isn’t just a post on a web forum, it is being paid to publish, promulgate and promote what are often fraudulent enterprises. My hope is this lawsuit will force it to change its system. Nothing else has worked. People need protection,” Lewis said in a statement.

Lewis’s lawyer, Mark Lewis, said Facebook is not above the law and cannot think it is untouchable either. He said that they will ask the court to seek exemplary damages as the price of ‘causing misery to others’ and not just a simple accounting exercise.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Tech firm Xunlei comes under fire over ‘disguised’ ICO

Tech firm Xunlei comes under fire over ‘disguised’ ICO

Beleaguered technology company Xunlei has become the subject of several class action lawsuits from investors who have bought the company’s digital token, LinkToken.

As with all too many initial coin offerings (ICOs), Xunlei is accused of misleading its investors who have chosen to invest in the company’s much trumpeted digital coin. However, the NASDAQ-listed firm is fighting with some vigour.

At the Boao Forum for Asia last week, Xunlei CEO Chen Lei refuted the allegations that the company intentionally misled investors so that it could carry out an ICO in China. Xunlei offers a device called OneThing Cloud, which allows users to share their idle internet bandwidth and storage in exchange for LinkToken, according to a South China Morning Post report. However, Lei insisted that the company did not intend to issue any funds through the token and it was not a public offering.

“By making a public offering, really you need to use it to raise money. We have never used a coin to raise any money at all, that’s never our intention,” Lei said, according to the news outlet.
Xunlei launched LinkToken in October 2017 along with several other initiatives, in hopes of entering the blockchain market. Interestingly, the company’s stock price boomed substantially after the launch with real bullish action but it has now more than halved from a record high of $25 in November, when it soared by no less than 500%.

However since that bright period, the shares of Xunlei have sunk to a low of $10 in early April, with several U.S.-based investors seeking class action against the company for allegedly misleading them regarding the company’s activities between October 2017 and January 2018. The investigators claimed Xunlei required them to purchase hardware from the company to share internet bandwidth.

In response, Lei hinted that he would be hiring legal assistance to fight the claims, noting that he fully supports any regulatory action against ICOs.

“We are a small capital company, so our stock price does fluctuate, but I don’t think there’s any basis for the lawsuit because we’re operating in China and it is the Chinese law and regulations that we need to observe,” he said, adding that “the definition of [an] ICO has to be interpreted in the Chinese market.”

In January, China’s National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) concluded its investigation into LinkToken with a finding that Xunlei had attempted to evade regulations by conducting an “initial miner offering.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Lawsuit accuses JPMorgan of charging high fees for crypto purchases

Lawsuit accuses JPMorgan of charging high fees for crypto purchases

It seems like Jamie Dimon and company are fine with making huge amounts of interest off the cryptocurrency market in private, while bashing digital currencies like Bitcoin in public. The situation, however, just got a little worse for the billionaire investment banker after JPMorgan Chase and Co had been slapped with a lawsuit on the exorbitant interest rates it allegedly charged a client who purchased cryptocurrency in Idaho.

According to a Fortune report, Tucker used his Chase credit card to buy cryptocurrency from Coinbase. In his lawsuit, Tucker claimed the bank treated his purchases as a cash advances instead of normal payments, resulting in him getting charged with interest rates of as much as 30% annually together with additional fees.

Tucker said his previous Coinbase purchases were also made using his credit card, and he would pay them off at the end of each billing cycle without incurring of the additional financial charges—until the recent incident.

Tucker, who is seeking a class-action status for the suit filed in a Manhattan federal court insisted that he and other bank customers were taken for a ride by JPMorgan Chase and Co with such exorbitantly high charges, saying the banking giant “smacked them with instant-cash-advance fees, plus much higher interest rates than normal, and left them without any recourse.”

The man is seeking a refund of all related fees he paid, as well as an additional $1 million in damages.

Sources who spoke with CoinGeek confirmed that this practise appears to be standard across the crypto market sphere, with banks treating the purchases of cryptocurrencies as loans similar to credit cards where they can charge interest rates as high as 30%.

Banks all over the world have taken a hard-line against cryptocurrency purchase, charging exorbitant fees and very high interest rates for the privilege. In Malta, which purports to be “The Blockchain Island,” the country’s largest bank, Bank of Valletta, does not allow cryptocurrency purchases with its credit cards.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Nano developers face class-action lawsuit

Nano developers face class-action lawsuit

At least one law firm has found a niche market stemming from the rise in cryptocurrencies. The Silver Miller law firm is staying busy filing lawsuits against several entities involved in the cryptocurrency business, including Coinbase, BitConnect, Cryptsy and Kraken. It is also pursuing legal action against Initial Coin Offering (ICO) promoters Tezos, Giga Watt and Monkey Capital. Not having enough on its plate, apparently, the law firm is now going after cryptocurrency Nano.

A lawsuit has been filed by the firm on behalf of Alex Brola, an investor who sunk $50,000 into the digital currency in 2017. When the BitGrail exchange was hacked at the beginning of February, around $187 million worth of Nano (17 million coins) went missing, including Brola’s investment. Silver Miller is suing to have the altcoin conduct a hard fork that could “reset” the digital currency’s amount to where it was prior to the theft.

The fallout from the theft has attracted a lot of legal attention. There have been disputes over who was at fault, and it was reported that BitGrail’s owner and operator, Francesco Firano, tried to convince Nano developers to alter ledgers to help him cover his losses. The developers fought back, accusing Firano of misleading the Nano Core Team, as well as the entire community.

Silver Miller’s suit claims that there are hundreds or maybe thousands of investors that suffered because of the hack. To date, however, Brola is the only plaintiff listed on the suit. The firm asserts in the suit that it is a ““strong advocate for aggrieved investors harmed by the misrepresentations and illegal actions of cryptocurrency exchanges and issuers.”

The BitGrail hack came soon after the Coincheck hack of approximately $530 million in January. The Japanese exchange was at one point considered to be behind the theft. The publicity surrounding the hack brought wide-sweeping changes to cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, and the company agreed to reimburse its clients at a rate of $0.81 per token, or a total of around $420 million. Coincheck never fully recovered from the scandal, and is scheduled to be acquired by online securities brokerage firm Monex Group on April 16.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

source: https://coingeek.com/nano-developers-face-class-action-lawsuit/

Cryptocurrency groups fight back against advertising bans

Cryptocurrency groups fight back against advertising bans

A number of cryptocurrency associations and companies from countries including South Korea, Russia and China have apparently decided to file a class action lawsuit against internet advertising companies and social platforms that have decided to ban cryptocurrency and ICO advertisements. This lawsuit, which seeks to challenge the restrictions put in place by Facebook, Google and Twitter, was a collaborative effort of the participants at a recent cryptocurrency conference in Moscow, news.bitcoin.com first reported.

According to sources, the newly formed Eurasian Blockchain Association will file the suit in U.S. courts by May. This newly-formed association is made up from representatives from the Russian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association (RACIB), the Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA) and the Chinese Association of Cryptocurrency Investors (LBTC). These associations signed the agreement during the BlockChainRF-2018 Congress in Moscow. The sources also confirmed that a special crypto fund will be created to raise funds for this class action lawsuit and which is also accepting donations.

The advertising bans put in place by Facebook and Google have hit the cryptocurrency markets extremely hard with drops in values of around 50-60% in some cases. Twitter has also started banning cryptocurrency and ICO-related advertisements on its platform, dealing another blow to the industry which continues to decline considerably in value. At press time, the total market cap of crypto currencies has fallen below the $300 billion mark, almost a third of the value of one media conglomerate, Google. Another social networking site, Snapchat, is reportedly also considering an ICO ban.

RACIB President Yuri Pripachkin told Russian news outlet TASS that cartel collusion was one of the main points of the lawsuit.

“We think these four companies are using their monopoly power and have colluded to manipulate the market,” Pripachkin said, according to the news outlet. There has still not been a decision which U.S. state the suit will be filed, but Pripachkin indicated that this will be a state that has a positive stance towards cryptocurrency development, such as Wyoming.

In a separate story, it appears that Russia is losing big money on ICOs that are being set up by Russian businessmen abroad in more favourable business jurisdictions. A report states that up to $1.5 billion is being withheld from the Russian state coffers. However, this might change as the State Duma is expected to discuss two laws regarding blockchain technology, mining, cryptocurrency and ICOs.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

source: https://coingeek.com/cryptocurrency-groups-fight-back-advertising-bans/

Cryptocurrency could replace fiat currency by 2030

More ICO class action suits ‘highly likely,’ says leading law firm

Research published by a leading law firm this week has indicated the potential for a large number of cryptocurrency class action lawsuits in future, with initial coin offerings (ICOs) at the forefront of their concerns.

Law firm Polsinelli LLP, which employs over 800 attorneys across 20 offices, published its internal findings in a report titled “Cryptocurrency Class Action Lawsuits: A New Frontier.” Prepared by three researchers at the firm, Michael Foster, Mark Olthoff and Richard Levin, the report raised concerns over the potential for growth in litigation from ICO investors.

While some early ICOs have already attracted class action litigation from disgruntled investors, the explosion in the funding model in recent months was identified as a key factor in driving future litigation.

“Because anyone with an idea for a project can gain financial backing without going through the formalities of an IPO, there are obvious chances for the public to be scammed, leading to potential lawsuits. We believe it is highly likely other issuers of tokens will face class action lawsuits,” according to the report.

The research also warned companies planning to conduct a token crowdsale to “proceed with caution,” while “anyone looking to invest in a token offering should make sure the offering is conducted in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.”

Since emerging as an alternative model for companies to raise capital, as opposed to the more regulated IPO process, ICOs have already raised billions of dollars against blockchain tokens—a form of pseudo-security, or in some cases, according to regulators, an outright security that should be regulated in the same way as any other share offering.

However, several ICOs have already given rise to class action suits, with suits against Monkey Capital, ATB Coin, and the Centra ICO flagged by the report as recent examples.

“The thread running through many ICO models is that they are often sold in a manner that may be contrary to state and federal securities laws,” according to the law firm. “ICOs, therefore, may be fodder for lawsuits by investors alleging harm by being taken advantage of by the founders and the lack of regulatory oversight.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.