- Missouri Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Selling THC Analogues
- Canadian Authorities Seize Bitcoin from Alleged Silk Road Vendor
- Welfare Office Allegedly Ignored All Warning Signs in Freiburg Abuse Case
- Austrian Dealers Admit Ordering Amphetamine on the Darknet
- Swedish Drug Dealer Loses Appeal for a Lighter Sentence
This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments.
Verge (XVG) reveals partnership with MindGeek
Verge (XVG) had a few weeks ago raised 75 million XVG to secure a partnership with a mysterious company that had several high traffic websites, according to the cryptocurrency’s team. This week, it was revealed the partner is MindGeek, an organization that owns some of the most popular porn sites in the world, including Pornhub, Brazzers, and RedTube.
Since XVG’s developers pumped the announcement, it led to a “buy the rumor sell the news” event, and the cryptocurrency’s price tanked after the partnership was revealed. Nevertheless, its adoption is seemingly increasing as Pornhub reports it received “thousands” of Verge payments.
We have recieved thousands of verge payments already not all people leave feedback
— Pornhub ARIA (@Pornhub) April 20, 2018
Coinbase suspended Wikileaks Shop’s account citing Terms of Service violations
Coinbase recently suspended an account belonging to the WikiLeaks Shop, citing terms of service violations. WikiLeaks Shop is used by the non-profit organization to sell merchandise and acquire funds to keep its operations running. The move means Coinbase will no longer process transactions for WikiLeaks, which reminds some of the ban traditional payment processors like Visa and Mastercard imposed on the organization a few years ago.
ANNOUNCE: Coinbase has blocked the official @WikiLeaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation. You can continue to donate #Bitcoin to WikiLeaks at https://t.co/lvhoyhlqUa. #Coinbase #DefendWL #Cryptocurrency #Ethereum #BitcoinCash #ReconnectJulian pic.twitter.com/4BSS023OOk
— WikiLeaks Shop (@WikiLeaksShop) April 21, 2018
In response to Coinbase’s move, WikiLeaks announced it will call for a global blockade against it, deeming the company an “unfit member of the crypto community.” According to the organization, the cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service provider was “responding to a concealed influence” when it decided to block WikiLeaks Shop’s account.
WikiLeaks will call for a global blockade of Coinbase next week as an unfit member of the crypto community. Coinbase, a large Californian Bitcoin processor, responding to a concealed influence, has blocked the entirely harmless @WikiLeaksShop in a decision approved by management. https://t.co/PAldF8b12P
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 21, 2018
Telegram CEO reveals he’s using Bitcoin to bypass Russian ban
After Russia banned the Telegram messaging app, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), Pavel Durov revealed he created Bitcoin (BTC) grants for administrators running virtual private networks (VPNs) and other similar services, so as to allow users to bypass the government’s ban. Russian users are estimated to be about 7 percent of the app’s total base, which means losing them wouldn’t have a long-term negative impact on Telegram. Durov noted that it was important for him to do what he could for the company’s Russian users, as it seemingly wasn’t about the app’s growth. He explained:
- “I started giving out Bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run socks5 proxies and VPN. I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow. I called this Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally.”
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance isn’t adding crypto-to-fiat trading pairs yet
Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange with average daily volumes often above the $2 billion mark, recently revealed that it isn’t going to add fiat currency trading pairs to its platform just yet. The company claimed it is currently working with banks in Malta to potentially give its users that option one day, but so far it isn’t planning on introducing fiat currencies to the platform.
The company’s CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted out that “news” reporting it would add such pairs weren’t accurate. These were likely based on the exchange’s move to the crypto-friendly nation of Malta, after it faced regulatory scrutiny in Japan.
While we can't predict the future, others keep attempting it on us. Both “news” are not accurate. We are working with banks (to potentially support fiat), but no plans for USD in the short term. No xvg or xpr involved. Be careful around predictive “crystal ball” news.
— CZ (@cz_binance) April 20, 2018
Venezuela’s Petro received the Satoshi Nakamoto prize in Russia
Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR), recently received the Satoshi Nakamoto Prize from the Russian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association (RACIB), allegedly for its “outstanding contribution to the development of the blockchain industry.” The award was given at a ceremony in Russia, in which other industry-related awards were given.
Chilean cryptocurrency exchanges take banks to court over blockade
Chile’s cryptocurrency exchanges Buda, Crypto MKT, and Orionx recently saw the country’s banks shut their accounts down without giving them a proper explanation. In response to the move, the exchanges decided to take the case to an appeals court. According to reports, Chile’s financial institutions are implementing a blanket ban on the cryptocurrency industry – a ban that may be being caused by the government. This, as the country’s Financial Stability Council, an organization with representatives from Chile’s central bank, issued a warning on cryptocurrencies earlier this month.
Guillermo Torrealba, chief executive officer at cryptocurrency exchange Buda, stated:
- “They’re killing an entire industry. It won’t be possible to buy and sell crypto in a safe business in Chile. We’ll have to go back five years and trade in person. It seems very arbitrary.”
Bitcoin at $8,795 as cryptocurrency market cap approaches $400 billion
Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, surged to nearly $9,000 this week before its price came back down to $8,795 at press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Other major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash saw huge gains, which reached 20 percent in 24-hour periods. These gains helped the market cap get to the $380 billion mark, eyeing a move to $400 billion.