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Joel Laforest

Articles by Joel Laforest

Chief Legal Officer Of Coinbase Leaves To Work At US Bank Regulator

March 17, 2020

In a time of economic uncertainty, Brian Brooks, the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, has publicly stepped down from the company and is now moving on to serve the U.S. government as the Chief Operating Officer and First Deputy Comptroller of the OCC.According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Brooks’ new position will become effective as of April 1st, 2020. The designation was made by the OCC’s current Secretary of the Treasury, Steven T. Mnuchin, stating that Brooks, “is a strong leader with extensive experience in the financial services sector,”As part of his extensive experience, Brooks has served at the Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase since September 2018, and previously held the position of Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of the

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6 Reasons Why Coronavirus Will Carry The World Into Next Global Financial Crisis After 2008

March 13, 2020

As a seemingly endless stream of reports continues to pour in surrounding the coronavirus, many are becoming increasingly concerned over the effects this global pandemic could have on the global financial system.In fact, the outbreak is shaping up to potentially cause one of the worst financial crashes of all time. With some even saying that the current pandemic will be just as bad as the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Dotcom bubble of the early 2000s, and the Global Financial Crash of 2008.VIX SoarsAs of yesterday, March 12, 2020, the VIX, otherwise known as “the fear index”, has been trading at its highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis.In fact, virtually all financial assets were down yesterday, March 12, which has since become known as “Black Thursday”. This included major

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Tezos Successfully Activated Carthage – Its Third Protocol Update: XTZ Price Surpasses $3

March 6, 2020

Tezos announced on its new Carthage update has been successfully activated at block 851,969 on the chain. Carthage is the third system-wide protocol update on the Tezos blockchain so far and is focused on making further improvements to the previous Babylon update.The Carthage Protocol UpdateTezos is an open-sourced, decentralized blockchain. According to some, the Tezos network is a real ‘digital commonwealth’ that works to facilitate transactions by creating smart contracts between users. And as the third update since the network’s inception, Carthage brings with it changes to the ecosystem‘s remote procedure calls (RPC) and general operations.“Carthage activated seamlessly, congratulations to all the developers and bakers who made it happen,” told us Arthur Breitman, the co-Founder of

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Binance, Coinbase, And Other Cryptocurrency Exchanges Reportedly Targeted By A New Trojan Virus

March 3, 2020

Today, as of March 2nd, 2020, ThreatFabric, an Amsterdam-based cybersecurity company, has released a report about a new threat to the crypto community, known as the “Cereberus” Trojan virus.According to their report, Cereberus is capable of stealing two-factor authentication codes generated by the Google Authenticator app, which are used to secure online banking and email accounts, as well as cryptocurrency accounts on certain exchanges.Cereberus was first identified in June of last year but has since become a more serious threat after being updated in mid-January of this year.Once the virus is installed on a device, it is capable of downloading all content to a remote location, which can then be accessed by any number of fraudsters or criminals.And what’s more is that, amongst 25 other

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Bitstamp Announces Full Support of New Bech32 Bitcoin Addresses

February 27, 2020

As of today, Thursday, February 27th, 2020, Bitstamp has just announced that they’ve upgraded to full native SegWit support on their exchange. This means Bitstamp users will now be able to create wallet addresses for depositing cryptocurrency by using the new Bech32 address format.Although owning Bitcoin can be exciting, sending and receiving cryptocurrency tends to be a bit more complicated. That’s because of the fact that users must carefully keep track of their wallet addresses, and something as small as making a typo while entering a destination address could mean the loss of their precious digital coins.In the past, Bitcoin addresses had up to at least 34 characters, consisting of randomized digits and lower-case and upper-case letters. But now, with the new Bech32 format, destination

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Warren Buffett Not Convinced Ater Justin Sun’s Dinner, Says Bitcoin Has No Value And Never Will

February 24, 2020

Since it’s inception back in 2009, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have always been an extremely controversial topic. In fact, ever since crypto first hit the scene, there have been countless industry observers who have been unsure about the industry and they’ve been raising questions about the overall legitimacy of digital currencies and whether or not they have any real value.Today, in an interview with CNBC, Warren Buffett took a major jab at Bitcoin by stating that it doesn’t really have any true value, that it never will, and that he himself doesn’t and won’t ever own any of it.According to Buffett, “The only economic contribution of bitcoin is a fall in demand for suitcases because bitcoin makes it easier move money illegally”.Warren Buffett Attacks Crypto IndustryIn the interview,

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US Federal Reserve Governor Says They Are Speeding Up Cryptocurrency Regulations

February 19, 2020

Today, a news report from Reuters has mentioned, once again, that the blockchain industry continues to develop at an unprecedented speed, and that regulators need to get themselves caught up to speed, or risk behind left behind in the dust.In fact, the report suggests that many of the world’s Central Banks are becoming increasingly worried that the ongoing development of cryptocurrencies and digital assets is threatening the very balance of the current global financial system.Their belief is that certain cryptocurrencies, namely stablecoins, as well as the advent of other major companies like Facebook launching its own digital currency, could potentially “reduce state control over money around the world”.Regulators Are Being Left In The DustYesterday, we reported that, in a formal

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US Presidential Candidate Bloomberg Suggests Cryptocurrency Regulation To Help Prevent Another Financial Crisis

February 18, 2020

As of Monday, February 17th, 2020, U.S. presidential candidate, Micheal Bloomberg, and his campaign team have published a formal financial reform plan, aimed at strengthening the U.S. economy and helping it recover from the “the damage Trump has done” following the financial crisis of 2008.Amongst dozens of other financial recommendations, the formal proposal also included the mention of creating a “clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.” According to Bloomberg, “Cryptocurrencies have become an asset class worth hundreds of billions of dollars, yet regulatory oversight remains fragmented and undeveloped.”Better Late Than NeverAimed at rebuilding the country’s financial future, Bloomberg’s plan suggests there needs to be more safety and transparency in the U.S. economy if another

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SBI Crypto And Northern Data Partner To Build US’ Biggest Bitcoin Mine

February 13, 2020

In recent years, there has been a continuous acceleration in the development of new technologies such as fintech, IoT, Big Data, AI, and other related fields. Much of this is due to investment from major companies, like the SBI Group, based out of Japan, which have been proactively investing in venture companies within these fields for years.Today, according to a press release, SBI Crypto, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SBI Group, has announced a partnership with Northern Data AG and Whinstone US Inc, which will see SBI Crypto hosted at Whinstone’s new data center in Texas.Dedicated to the development of crypto mining-related technologies and operations, the move is a big win for both parties involved, and the blockchain industry as a whole.According to Aroosh Thillainathan, Northern

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StellarX-Backed London Football Exchange Acquires Majority Shareholder Status of Perth Glory Football Club

February 12, 2020

In today’s headlines, the London Football Exchange (LFE) has recently announced its participation in a deal to acquire the Perth Glory Football Club (PGFC), 2019/2020 participants in the Australian Hyundai A-League Premiers, as well as the Asian Champions League.According to the recently announced Asset Sale and Purchase Agreement, the LFE has acquired the majority shareholder status of the well-known football club, the PGFC.Although preparations are currently underway, the change of control isn’t set to take place until around March 30th of this year. Until then, the LFE has stated that “there will be no significant change to the operations of the club, the functionality of the club or the day to day management structure.”In recent years, the London Football Exchange has adopted

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OKB Price Skyrockets Over 40% As OKEx Announces Test Net For Its DEX

February 10, 2020

In the headlines today, the OKB token’s price, the native coin on the OKEx trade platform, jumped up an impressive 40% as the company launched the test net of its new decentralized exchange.The buzz first started late last year when OKEx first announced plans for launching its proprietary blockchain known as OKChain in 2020, as well as its decentralized exchange, OKDEX. As of today, both the OKChain and OKEx’s test net have gone live.In turn, this has lead to the jaw-dropping increase in OKB’s trade price practically overnight.The Launch of OKEx’s Test NetLaunched in 2017, OKEx is a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange founded by Star Xu. And according to the company’s website, they are, “the world’s leading one-stop cryptocurrency exchange,”What the exchange’s new test net will do is

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Crypto Ban Strikes Again: The Popular Mailing Service MailChimp Bans CryptoPotato’s Account

February 9, 2020

Our 20,000 newsletter subscribers may have wondered why they hadn’t received the weekly market update email, as they do on every Friday of the past four years. Unfortunately, CryptoPotato’s mail-service account on MailChimp had been forced closed without prior notice.In a surprising email for the popular email automation platform, they stated:“Our automated abuse prevention system, Omnivore, reviewed your account with the username CryptoPotato. It detected content or actions which either conflict with our Acceptable Use Policy, or present a significant risk to our deliverability. The account has been disabled.”Similar to January’s widespread Youtube crypto strikes and bans, we’re witnessing today a prime example of censorship against the crypto industry.The mail was sent to CryptoPotato by

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SEC’s Hester Peirce Proposes 3-Year Safe Harbor For Cryptocurrency Token Sales

February 6, 2020

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has publicly announced her proposal for a safe harbor for cryptocurrency token sales within the United States.Often referred to as “Crypto Mom”, Hester Peirce was first appointed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in early 2018 and has been a strong advocate for crypto ever since. And while this isn’t the first time that she has spoken up about creating a safe harbor for crypto, today’s announcement is the first formal attempt at creating the necessary framework for the project.During the Commissioner’s speech at the Internation Blockchain Congress in Chicago, she outlined her proposal to allow for a 3-year grace period, where new startups can sell their initial cryptocurrency tokens, without them being considered as securities and applying to

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Bakkt’s Parent Company ICE Approaches eBay With $30 Billion Takeover Offer

February 5, 2020

As of yesterday, February 4th, 2020, a multi-billion-dollar turn of events has just taken place in the international headlines.According to a recent post by the Wall Street Journal, Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Bitcoin futures trading platform Bakkt, has approached eBay with a purchase offer, valuing the online marketplace at a staggering $30 billion.As stated in the WSL’s post, “ICE may see an opening to apply its technological expertise connecting buyers and sellers to eBay’s core e-commerce site covering everything from electronics to collectibles.”Could This Mean New Ownership of eBay?It’s important to note that, as of yet, neither company has announced any news of formal talks. Therefore, there are no guarantees that the

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4X Faster Crypto Transactions: Welcome To MIT’s Spider Off-Chain Routing Scheme

February 3, 2020

For more than a decade, there has been one major issue thwarting the adoption of cryptocurrency: transactions simply take too long. Fortunately, researchers at MIT have now announced that they have developed a more efficient system for routing cryptocurrency transactions, which they have dubbed “Spider.”According to ComputerWorld, MIT researchers are able to use this “Spider” routing scheme to make crypto transactions up to four-times faster than ever before (!).Four-Times Faster Crypto TransactionsThrough extensive testing and simulation, MIT researchers have announced that Spider routing has proven capable of processing 95% of a network’s cryptocurrency transactions, while only using about 25% of the funds needed for traditional routing schemes. This represents a significant improvement

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Reason To Worry? Trezor Wallets Can Be Physically Hacked In Less Than 15 Minutes

January 31, 2020

Cold storage hardware wallets are considered to be the most secure way to hold Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The main reason for that is because the private key is never exposed to the internet, unlike hot wallets.Trezor is believed to be the most popular hardware wallet, together with Ledger. During last October of 2019, Kraken Security Labs had announced that they had found a critical weakness in a few of Trezor’s cryptocurrency hardware wallet devices, namely the Trezor One and Trezor Model T.Today, they’ve released the details of this vulnerability, as well as how they managed to succeed in performing the attack.“We responsibly disclosed the full details of this attack to the Trezor team on October 30, 2019. We are going public with this vulnerability disclosure now so that the

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Swiss Company Set To Launch First Compliant IPO On Ethereum’s Blockchain

January 29, 2020

Blockchain technology continues to make waves around the world. And today, the world has witnessed what many believe to be the first major step towards a new way for startups to access capital.According to a press release by Andriotto Financial Services, dated January 29th, 2020, the country of Switzerland has recently approved OverFuture SA’s incorporation by using an IPO of tokenized shares stored directly on the blockchain.For many, the approval is considered as the first Swiss-compliant digitized initial public offering (IPO) of a company’s ordinary shares.And along with it, Swiss companies will now be able to publicly store their ordinary class-A shares on the blockchain, giving them the ability to launch IPOs (initial public offerings) and control their secondary market transactions,

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Tim Draper: Millennials Should Invest In Bitcoin

January 24, 2020

After last week’s rally, it now seems that Bitcoin is hitting the headlines once again. American venture capital investor, Tim Draper, has recently spoken out about Bitcoin, suggesting that millennials need to invest in Bitcoin if they want to secure their financial future. On Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020, Draper spoke to Liz Claman during an interview. While the discussion touched on other topics, such as Elon Musk and SpaceX, it ended with some sound advice coming from one of the world’s most popular investors.Why Millennials Need BitcoinAccording to Draper, millennials are standing at a point in history, where they have the whole future of the world’s financial system ahead of them. But the biggest problem, Draper says, is that millennials have inherited a system from previous

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Digital Asset Manager Grayscale to Fund Future Development of Ethereum Classic (ETC)

January 22, 2020

While the industry is still abuzz over Bitcoin’s surge toward new yearly highs during last week’s rally, the world has also caught wind of some exciting news about the world’s 15th largest cryptocurrency based on market cap: Ethereum Classic.As of today, January 22nd, 2020, Grayscale’s Ethereum Classic Trust has announced its financial commitment to fund further development of the Ethereum Classic blockchain over the course of the next two years. According to a leaked private message from the executive director of the ETC cooperative, Bob Summerwill, the Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust has committed to donating one-third of the Trust’s management fees to the ETC cooperative each quarter of 2020 and 2021 in order to continue their support of the Ethereum Classic ecosystem. Grayscale

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Ex-CFTC Chair: Cryptocurrencies Could Have Mitigated The 2008 Global Financial Crisis

January 21, 2020

As of yesterday, January 20th, 2020, the Blockchain Economic Forum kicked off in Davos, Switzerland, with a keynote speech delivered by J. Christopher Giancarlo. Giancarlo spoke about the past, present, and future evolution of the blockchain, and made one particularly exciting remark about virtual currencies. The ex-chairman of the United States’ Commodity Futures Trading Commission believes that, had blockchain technology been introduced to the world before the global financial crisis of 2008, it could have fully mitigated the crash.  Bitcoin To The RescueRewind twelve years, back to the year 2008, and the economic landscape in the United States, as well as all around the world, looked a lot different than it does today. It all began in 2007, when the U.S. subprime mortgage market

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UK’s Tax Authority To Leverage Blockchain To Track Bitcoin Transactions

January 20, 2020

UK’s Revenue and Customs agency is ready to invest up to $130,000 towards the development and implementation of a new “cryptoanalysis” tool. According to a recent report, the United Kingdom’s tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is looking for, “vendors to showcase their capabilities by demonstrating their expertise in the field of crypto-asset tracing.”The new software tool will be used to help the tax authority trace several types of cryptocurrency transactions, which are stored anonymously on a blockchain.Criminal Activity on the BlockchainAlthough today, an increasing number of people are using cryptocurrency and digital assets for legal purposes, earning legitimate payments on their digital assets, there is still a looming concern about those who use virtual currencies for

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Ethereum Classic (ETC) Surges 40% Following Binance Futures Listing

January 17, 2020

Following this week’s triumphant Bitcoin rally, it seems that dozens of altcoins have been seeing significant price jumps. And today, it would seem that Ethereum Classic has jumped on the bandwagon too.In fact, ETC has seen a huge surge of about 40% over the course of the last 24 hours and as of today, Friday, January 17th, 2020, is sitting in around $11.6. ETC/USD. Source: TradingViewThat’s a 280% increase after ETC hit its lowest price of $3.50 at the end of last year.The popular opinion is that the apparent surge in ETC’s price is directly linked to it having recently been listed on Binance’s Futures trading platform, where the cryptocurrency’s holders now have the ability go both short and long on their investments while maintaining up to a 75x leverage.ETC Listed On Binance Futures

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Grayscale: The Largest Digital Asset Manager Raises More Than $600 Million In 2019

January 16, 2020

According to a 2019 investment report released by Grayscale, one of the world’s leading authorities on digital asset investment, the digital giant has managed to raise over $600 million throughout 2019, with most of the funding coming in from major institutional players.Specialized in digital asset diversification, the company managed to grow its investment base by 24% in 2019, which rallied in a total of $146.9 million in investment funding. The remaining $460.8 million came from their existing investors, of which 36% have now diversified their holdings across multiple investment products within the Grayscale family.While 2019 may not have been the best year for digital assets, Grayscale Investments LLC has managed to raise an impressive amount of capital, proving that the future is still

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Bitcoin Permabull Michael Novogratz Questions Latest Altcoin Rally

January 15, 2020

According to recent buzz on Twitter, one of the biggest names in the crypto-industry, Michael Novogratz, is speaking up and questioning the biggest price shift made by altcoins yet this year, raising a red flag for crypto-enthusiasts everywhere.Michael Novogratz is the CEO of U.S.-based Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd, a limited partner of Galaxy Digital LP, a merchant banking institution focused on digital assets and blockchain technology.The crypto mogul recently spoke out via tweet about this week’s altcoin rally, which saw altcoin prices make some of the biggest moves we have yet to see this year.I’m not sure I understand the altcoin rally. Happy for those making money on it. But not sure what changed. Maybe new year, new money, new enthusiasm. Dinner in NYC for best explanation.— Michael

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CFTC Chairman Encourages Further Cryptocurrency Derivatives Regulations

January 14, 2020

In a recent interview with Cheddar, Heath Tarbert, Chairman of the CFTC, sat down to talk about Phase 1 of the upcoming U.S.-China trade deal, slated to be signed on Wednesday of this week.According to Tarbert, the trade deal will “be an immense success,” and that once the agreement is signed, we’ll start to see U.S. markets, such as energy and agriculture, coming back to where they were initially before the trade war with China began a few years ago.Tarbert also talks about his primary concern as the Chair of the CFTC: making sure that commodities, such as Bitcoin and Ether, are safe and accessible for everyone in all areas of industry.Could this be the much-needed push to help bring legitimacy and widespread adoption to cryptocurrency derivatives?While the future is still uncertain for

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