Coinbase Faces More Class-Action Law Suits

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Haider Jamal
April 17,2022

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency trading platform in the United States, has become the focus of a class-action lawsuit alleging that its arbitration practices are unenforceable.

A plaintiff claims in a recent court filing that Coinbase's arbitration clause in its terms of service is fundamentally unconscionable since it significantly favors one party. He said that a contract term is invalid under California law if it was unconscionable at the time it was made.

Moreover, the plaintiff does not argue that when he signed up for his user account, he agreed to be bound by the Coinbase user agreement in effect, nor that it addresses the issue. Rather, he claims that the arbitration agreement is unlawful since it lacks any semblance of bilaterality.

As per the court filing, the plaintiff, who aims to represent a group of individuals in a similar circumstance, requested to arbitrate after a fraudster took approximately $31,000 from his account but found Coinbase unresponsive and the terms seemingly unjust.

In related news, Coinbase was slammed with another class-action lawsuit not too long ago, alleging that the platform offered cryptocurrency assets as unregistered securities.
 







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July 04,2022

Grayscale Sued The SEC After Failure To Approve Their Proposed BTC Spot ETF

Grayscale Investments has filed a lawsuit against the United States SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) less than an hour after the SEC denied its application to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust product to an ETF. Lately, the SEC has been facing considerable backlash following its alleged anti-crypto attitude, which also previously included the infamous lawsuit against Ripple (XRP).

What happened?

Essentially, a spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETF is made up of the flagship crypto or assets related to the price of BTC itself. The SEC turned down Grayscale's application after referencing concerns regarding market manipulation, Tether's role in the larger crypto ecosystem, and the apparent lack of any kind of reliable surveillance-sharing agreement between a regulated exchange and a significantly-sized regulated market.

The SEC also echoed concerns brought forth by the regulator in rejecting other spot BTC ETF applications for many years now. However, although the SEC maintains its stance on ETFs, a vast majority of the crypto community believes that this is just the latest attempt by the agency to undermine the cryptocurrency industry and impose total control over the burgeoning digital space.

More than meets the eye?

Grayscale essentially requested that the SEC's order be reviewed by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in its filing. The investment firm stated earlier this year that it was prepared to file a lawsuit against the SEC if its application was denied, stating that it would register a proceeding via the Administrative Procedures Act. In order to do this, Grayscale hired former Solicitor General Don Verrilli, who has experience in APA deliberations.

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein stated that Grayscale encourages and acknowledges the SEC's obligation to safeguard investors, preserve fair, orderly, and effective markets, and last but not least facilitate capital formation. However, he continued, Grayscale is extremely disappointed and strongly disagrees with the SEC's decision to keep denying spot BTC ETFs access to the U.S market.

What comes next?

Only a few Bitcoin futures ETFs have been authorised for trading so far. Spot BTC ETFs trade on the price of the flagship cryptocurrency, whereas futures-based BTC ETFs trade on the price of CME's BTC futures product which would also be linked to an index. Furthermore, proponents of Bitcoin ETFs claim that futures markets are still largely dependent on the underlying spot BTC price, whereas the SEC points out that CME's futures market is regulated via the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission).

Ultimately, time will tell as to which direction the SEC will head in as the crypto, blockchain and DeFi sector continues to skyrocket in terms of popularity and usage around the world.

July 04,2022

Cardanos Vasil Hardfork Successfully Launches On Testnet

Although Cardano's Vasil hardfork is yet to be fully released, the ecosystem's developer IOHK has nevertheless announced that the hardfork of the testnet over the weekend was a resounding success. The success of the testnet is a vital part of Vasil, as it plays a major role towards finalizing and releasing the mainnet upgrade.

It was via Twitter that IOHK confirmed the successful testnet hardfork, before adding that Cardano SPOs (Stake Pool Operators) must finalize all integration and testing processes soon and so too should all developers and comptaible exchanges.

Furthermore, the intricate program of work that the Vasil hardfork entails shall necessitate projects checking backward compatibility and SPOs making some scripting modifications.

Moreover, there will be a 4 week timeframe after the testnet hardfork to allow SPOs, developers, and exchanges to successfully test and upgrade prior to IOHK fully activating the Cardano mainnet hardfork.

The team reaffirmed that the Vasil enhancements ensure higher throughput via diffusion pipelining, as well as an improved developer experience through significantly enhanced script productivity and effectiveness along with lower costs.

Finally, the Vasil upgrade shall also involve improvements to Cardano cryptographic primitives, thereby allowing for better interoperability with other blockchains, as well as a tuned Plutus interpreter in addition to a brand new cost model, all of which are crucial components of Plutus V2 scripts.

July 01,2022

OpenSea Security Breach

OpenSea issued a blog post earlier today informing its community that an employee of Customer.io, its email vendor, had reportedly shared a list of the marketplace&39s users&39 and newsletter subscribers&39 email addresses with an unauthorized third party.

The Customer.io employee had allegedly abused their position in order to obtian access to the list before subsequently sharing this information with the unnamed third party. Following the breach, OpenSea cautioned users to expect potential phishing attacks, claiming that email phishing attempts are more common than ever before nowadays.

It also advised users not to share crypto wallet passwords and addresses or participate in any transactions posted through email links. Although OpenSea has yet to confirm if the breach involved crypto wallet data, it did issue a warning according to which anyone who had shared an email address with the company to exercise caution nonetheless.

Lastly, although the NFT marketplace has already reported the breach to law enforcement authorities, it does not change the fact that this is just the latest incident associated with OpenSea&39s platform, with some customers even considering leaving the marketplace behind altogether due to the apparent lack of safety and security.

June 30,2022

Alameda Research Commits $500 Million to Fund Distressed Trading Platform, Voyager Digital

Three Arrows Capital (3AC), a well-known cryptocurrency hedge fund, has now defaulted on a loan worth over $670 million. Voyager Digital, a digital asset brokerage, had recently issued a notice according to which the fund failed to successfully repay a $350 million loan in USDC and 15,250 BTC.

Voyager stated that it aims to continue pursuing 3AC recovery. In the meantime, the broker stressed that the platform is still operational and is actively fulfilling customer orders as well as withdrawals. However, experts believe that such assurance is presumably an attempt to keep fear of contagion from spreading throughout the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem and market.

Stephen Ehrlich, Voyager CEO and Co-Founder, said that the team is working tirelessly and quickly to improve the situation and pursue viable options to continue meeting customer liquidity demands.

Elsewhere, FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried's quantitative trading firm, Alameda, committed $500 million in funding to Voyager Digital in the previous week. Voyager has already drawn $75 million from this credit line, and Sam is also now the single biggest shareholder of Voyager Digital.

June 28,2022

WhiteBIT CEO Volodymyr Nosov Shared The Company’s Plans And Recent Projects

WhiteBIT is one of the major European crypto exchanges with over 2,5 million users, headed by Volodymyr Nosov. Traders have access to a constantly growing number of trading pairs and hundreds of assets on the platform. WhiteBIT is also an ecosystem of products in the FinTech area. WhiteBIT exchange not only offers a wide range of crypto to buy, but the exchange also provides a vast choice of state currencies, margin trading with a leverage of up to 20x, and Bitcoin perpetual futures.

One of the main features of the WhiteBIT exchange is constant development. We work hard to provide our users with handy trading tools. We also never stop developing and increasing the functionality of our products, building new partnerships and, of course, helping our beloved Ukraine says Volodymyr Nosov.

The company was founded in 2018 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and has been working tirelessly to increase the level of blockchain adoption among Ukrainians and throughout the globe ever since. One of the main goals of Volodymyr Nosov and his team is to make operations with digital assets accessible to everyone.

Besides, the CEO of WhiteBIT helps the company enter the international market and negotiates partnerships with various companies and foundations to help them implement cryptocurrency as an additional and effective method of payment or fundraising. Over the past few months, the number of updates and collaborations has skyrocketed: Volodymyr Nosov shared a lot of new projects and partnerships.

Whitepay

It is a crypto processing platform created in September 2020 in Kharkiv, Ukraine as a part of the WhiteBIT ecosystem. Whitepay allows making cryptocurrency payments without restrictions, and the solution integration takes only up to 24 hours.

From the first days of the hostilities in Ukraine, the platform made it possible to donate for the needs of the country at war in multiple cryptocurrencies. Crypto enthusiasts from all over the world immediately joined in to help. At the moment, more than $1 million has been transferred for civilian and military needs.

On the 5th of May, Whitepay concluded an official partnership with the United24 platform, founded by Volodymyr Zelensky. United24 is a tool to accumulate funds from anyone who wants to help Ukraine win the war.

Whitepay has also started collaborating with the Tabletochki Charitable Foundation. It means that now people can make cryptocurrency donations to help children fight cancer.

Gagarin News

Volodymyr Nosov is also the creator and co-host of Gagarin Show. It is an educational YouTube show about crypto where the hosts explain various concepts humorously and straightforwardly and discuss the latest news.

Gagarin News is an international news project about blockchain and cryptocurrencies available in Ukrainian, English, and Russian. Volodymyr Nosov comments: Scaling Gagarin Show into an international and multilingual Gagarin News project is a logical step for my team and me. In the future, the project will provide unique technical tools that are going to be based on modern algorithms. On the portal, users can find the latest news from the crypto world, research results in the field of blockchain, market trends, etc.

Integration with the Diia web portal

At the beginning of the year, the WhiteBIT exchange integrated with Diia, thanks to which the exchanges users from Ukraine now have an opportunity to pass a quick identity verification.

Diia is a web portal of public services in Ukraine, which allows saving IDs in a digital form and gives access to a wide range of other public services. According to Nosov, Integration with Diia is the next step towards improving the interaction of Ukrainian users with our crypto exchange. It helps to bypass the old verification procedure and waiting for an account verification decision. I hope that one day, WhiteBIT will offer the same to our users from other countries.

Cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

In April 2022, the Kharkiv-based company WhiteBIT also signed a memorandum with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Within its framework, the exchange provides information support and technical means to facilitate and improve communication between the consular service and those citizens of Ukraine who need help in countries where the company has its offices.

The CEO noted, This collaboration proves that business can cooperate with the government fruitfully. WhiteBIT is always ready to provide aid to its native city, Kharkiv, and the whole Ukraine in such a difficult time. An online meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmitro Kuleba, and Nosov also took place. They discussed the current role of digital assets and blockchain, and how they shape todays world.

Volodymyr Nosov also said that WhiteBIT plans to continue giving and accumulating financial aid and other means to support Ukraine, its citizens, and the Armed Forces.

Nosov also mentioned that the WhiteBIT exchange team has been actively developing new markets and working on new functionality. He says that the outcome of this work lies not only in new convenient functionality introduced on the exchange but also in the companys ability to assist its native country, develop its digital capabilities, and bring both victory and freedom as close as possible. In conclusion, the head of WhiteBIT claimed that he has more news to share and cooperations to announce, but all in good time.

June 25,2022

Luxury Brand And Experience Adoption Of Crypto Assets

Hublot, a well known Swiss luxury watchmaker, recently enabled its customers to purchase a limited range of products via cryptocurrencies after joining forces with the crypto payment service provider BitPay.

Tag Heuer, another globally recognised Swiss luxury watchmaker, similarly agreed to such payments last month. On its U.S website, the company accepted major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even Shiba Inu along with five stablecoins as payment.

Elsewhere, Prague City Tourism collaborated with Global Payments to allow passengers of the iconic Tram Line 42 to buy tickets in digital assets, thereby highlighting the growing importance and popularity of virtual assets in general. Merchants still reserve the right to select fiat payments as well if desired.

June 23,2022

Cardano Vasil Hard Fork Testnet Delayed

IOG (Input Output Global), the development company behind the Cardano blockchain, has recently announced that the network's Vasil hard fork testnet will be delayed until the end of June due to software errors and a commitment to quality as well as security.

There are reportedly 7 bugs left that need to be resolved, in addition to several tests that Charles Hoskinson insisted on following the TerraUSD disaster which caused the crypto market to crash.

At any rate, it is being said that the IOG team is very close to finalizing the underlying fundamentals and core aspects of the upcoming Vasil hard fork, which the Cardano community hopes will finally provide the blockchain with some much needed momentum and help ADA's price recover to its previous heights.

June 21,2022

After Ropsten, The Sepolia Testnet Is Next In Line For Merge Trial

After Ropsten, the Sepolia testnet is next in line for a merge trial run, as its Beacon Chain is now live and ready to provide developers with valuable information in the run-up to the real thing.

As such, the Sepolia testnet shall begin reaching consensus using PoS rather than PoW after merging with its dedicated Beacon Chain. However, the precise date of Sepolia has yet to be confirmed and further delays are expected due to the difficulties concerning ETH 2.0.

Testnet merges are necessary for Ethereum developers as well as independent project developers who use the Ethereum network to recognise what to expect when the complete merge occurs.

The Ethereum mainnet merge, like the testnets, would therefore involve the entire network finally transitioning to PoS consensus, which is reportedly being said to ultimately reduce Ethereums energy consumption by over 99%.

June 19,2022

Operation Hidden Treasure Officially Launched By IRS As Regulators Tighten Their Grasp On Crypto

Although cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum and so on continue to become increasingly popular and are even being widely accepted as a viable alternative to traditional assets, this has not changed that fact that numerous regulatory authorities around the world are still looking for ways to regulate and tax the new asset class, in addition to also punishing those crypto investors who fail to pay their taxes.

With that in mind, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has officially launched Operation Hidden Treasure, the goal of which is to clamp down on anyone investing in cryptocurrencies and not paying their taxes. It is also important to note that the IRS has only recently focused its attention towards cryptocurrencies, which has since resulted in a subtle alteration to the crypto-oriented inquiry on income tax returns that now asks citizens whether they disposed, bought, sold or exchanged any financial interest in the context of digital currencies.

What is Operation Hidden Treasure?

The IRS has introduced Operation Hidden Treasure in order to impose strict penalties on those who fail to report their income generated from investing in cryptocurrencies. On March 5th, 2021, Damon Rowe (the IRS Director of the Office of Fraud), announced the new initiative and said that it primarily aims to catch those taxpayers who attempt to conceal their crypto income regarding their respective tax returns.

With that in mind, in order to ensure that the operation is successful, the IRS has formed a task force composed of specialists and experts who have plenty of experience when it comes to the monitoring of various types of crypto-based income and revenue. Moreover, the IRS will also be collaborating with the agencys Criminal and Civil departments to further enforce crypto-related taxation laws.

How will the IRS go about it?

The aforementioned task force intends to address a common crypto tax evasion strategy which involves carrying out recurring financial transactions under $10,000 in order to avoid tax reporting obligations. Elsewhere, other tax evaders occasionally utilize shell companies to conceal their actual crypto income since they can help hide the identity of a companys owner, thereby allowing them to partake in different types of criminal activities without being discovered by the authorities.

Lastly, due to the fact that some cryptocurrency exchanges permit taxpayers to trade for items or various other digital assets without having to disclose their identities, Operation Hidden Treasure shall also look into crypto blockchain cloaking technology. Lastly, many expect the investigation to provide more options for tracing unreported cryptocurrency income via anonymous transactions going forward.

June 15,2022

Cardano Finally Arrives on Ledger

Cardano has finally arrived at Ledger Live following months of anticipation. Users are now capable of sending, receiving, purchasing, and managing ADA directly through the application.

With this latest development, the Ledger Live app now officially supports the top ten biggest cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization, thanks to the long-awaited integration of ADA.

Ledger Live allows users to manage their digital assets from the safety of the Nano Hardware Wallet, securing assets on the Ledger Nano X or Nano S Plus.

Ledger is also among the worlds leading crypto hardware wallet providers and it had announced back in April that version 4.0 of the Cardano app for Ledger wallets which support smart contracts was indeed made available.

Around the time that Ledgers support team revealed that the Ledger Live app was actively working on adding full Cardano support, the Cardano community was ecstatic and things could potentially only get better from here as in terms of future developments, the Vasil hard fork is just around the corner as it is scheduled to occur on June 29th, 2022.

June 13,2022

Jack Dorsey Announces Plans For Web5

Jack Dorsey, a well-known Bitcoin maximalist, has habitually dismissed all cryptocurrencies and chains other than Bitcoin (BTC) as unsatisfactory and untrustworthy. Most recently, after Jack Dorsey misspelled the cryptocurrencys name on Twitter, Solana jokingly renamed itself Solano.

This past Friday, the Twitter co-founder announced the intention of Block subsidiary TBD to create Web5, which will reportedly be an extra decentralized platform constructed on top of the Bitcoin blockchain to address what Dorsey sees as Web3s failures to safeguard users privacy and personal data.

Although Solana is still called as such on the companys official website, many are nevertheless wondering what the future of the cryptocurrency will be after repeated exploitations on the Layer-1 blockchain had resulted in a seemingly irrecoverable loss in investor confidence and interest.

Meanwhile, many are actively questioning what Jack Dorsey means by Web5 when the world has not even fully entered the Web3 era as of yet. Some have taken it as little more than a joke, whereas others are very interested in what the former Twitter CEO has planned for the future.

June 13,2022

Celsius Network Freezes Transfers

Bitcoins (BTC) price has fallen even further after Celsius Network, a major U.S cryptocurrency lending company, had frozen transfers, swaps and withdrawals after citing extreme conditions. This is the most recent indicator of how financial market volatility is causing havoc in the crypto market.

The Celsius move resulted in a sell-off across cryptocurrencies, with their value falling beneath $1 trillion for the very first time since the beginning of 2021.

Celsius provides customers who deposit cryptocurrency assets on its platform with interest-bearing products, after which it subsequently lends out cryptocurrencies in order to earn a return.

According to a blog post, the company has frozen withdrawals and transfers between accounts in order to stabilize liquidity as well as operations while the team works to reportedly protect and preserve the digital assets and crypto investors.

Nevertheless, the spike in interest regarding crypto lending has alarmed regulators, particularly in the United States, who are becoming increasingly concerned about investor protection along with all the systemic risks posed by unregulated lending products.