CoinDesk Takes Consensus 2020 Virtual

With the COVID-19 pandemic worsening throughout the world, CoinDesk is taking immediate action on Consensus 2020. As the organizers of Consensus and Blockchain Week NYC, our goal has always been to bring the community together to educate, grow and create meaningful connections in a safe location. It is no longer possible to do that in a physical location.  Nonetheless, we are seizing an opportunity to make the most of this otherwise extremely difficult situation. Consensus 2020 will now be a completely virtual experience, where attendees from all over the world…

Down 26%: Bitcoin Sees Worst Sell-Off in 7 Years as Coronavirus Spurs Flight to Safety

Bitcoin (BTC) suffered its biggest drop in seven years, as fears over the spreading coronavirus triggered a new wave of selling in everything from stocks and junk bonds to cryptocurrencies. This came despite a new European Central Bank pledge to pump more cash into panicky markets.   Prices for the largest cryptocurrency by market value plunged 26 percent to $5,863 as of 13:54 UTC (9:54 a.m. Eastern time). The move wiped out bitcoin’s gains for the year, dropping prices to the lowest level since May 2019. At least for now, it…

Crypto Scams Pose More Risk Than Payments Fraud, Report Suggests

Cryptocurrency scams in 2019 had more risk for U.S. residents than fraud involving romance or payments. That’s the conclusion of a recent report by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on marketplace trust. The report found an average dollar loss in crypto-focused fraud of $3,000 for victims age 25 to 44. The relatively high figure was the result of nefarious actors taking advantage of those who lacked foundational knowledge of digital assets, BBB said. Thirty-two percent of scams involved the exchange of cryptocurrencies for goods, services or…

New Celo Alliance Has Same Aims as Libra – And Some of the Same Partners

The Silicon Valley crypto startup cLabs, focused on mobile payments and the Celo blockchain project, is following another precedent from Facebook’s Libra playbook by launching an industry association through a separate Celo Foundation. Dozens of blockchain companies and investors – including Libra Association members Coinbase Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Bison Trails and Anchorage – are committing to promote Celo tokens in some fashion by joining this “Alliance for Prosperity.” “The Alliance will use blockchain technology to reimagine the future of money and create inclusive financial tools,” C Labs founder Rene Reinsberg…

This Is What a Productive Congressional Blockchain Hearing Looks Like

For once, U.S. lawmakers had an informative conversation about blockchain technology without posturing.  It was a sharp contrast from past Capitol Hill proceedings, when lawmakers took their entire allotted time to compare Libra to terrorist attacks or ask pointed questions about how Silicon Valley is biased toward one partisan slant or another. Rather, the small-business hearing saw only detailed questions about the legal or practical implications of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. The specific question at hand was how small businesses might be able to use blockchain technology for data…

Unstoppable Domains Chrome Extension Lets Users Browse Ethereum-Based Sites

Unstoppable Domains, a censorship-resistant web developer, has released a Google Chrome extension in its bid to open up web 3.0. The extension will give users access to .crypto domain names directly from the Chrome browser, currently the most-used web browser. Developed by Unstoppable Domains, .crypto domains are smart contracts on the Ethereum network, meaning to take down a site an attacker would have to take down the overall network. The new tool closely follows Unstoppable Domains’ eponymous browser launch, unveiled at the ETHDenver conference in late February. But the two-year-old…

Coronavirus Rate Cuts: Australia’s Central Bank Did It First

Hours before the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) also cut interest rates in hopes of curbing market reaction to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. In a meeting held on March 3, the RBA announced it would be cutting the cash rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 0.50 percent, its lowest on record, according to recent figures. Several hours later, the U.S. Federal Reserve also took action to cut interest rates by half a percentage point, between 1 and 1.25 percent, in its first emergency measure since…

India’s Supreme Court Lifts Banking Ban on Crypto Exchanges

The Supreme Court of India has ruled against a decision imposed by the country’s central bank nearly two years ago that stifled crypto trading in Asia’s third-largest economy. According to a report from Bloomberg, a three-judge bench of the court ruled on Wednesday in favor of petitions by crypto exchanges and startups that opposed the decision made by the Reserve Bank of India in April 2018, which banned domestic financial institutions from providing banking services to crypto exchanges. The central bank’s decision at the time forced crypto exchanges in the…

US Treasury Department Blacklists 20 Bitcoin Addresses Tied to Alleged North Korean Hackers

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control has added 20 new bitcoin addresses associated with two individuals to its list of sanctioned individuals. According to an update to OFAC’s “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDN) list, Jiadong Li and Yinyin Tian are accused of being linked to the Lazarus Group, a cybercrime group possibly affiliated with the North Korean government. The group has been accused of stealing more than half a billion dollars in crypto as far back as 2018, when cybersecurity vendor Group-IB claimed it had targeted 14 different…