Category Archives: California

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Crypto Investor Sues AT&T for $224M After Phone Hack Losses

A cryptocurrency investor in the US has filed a lawsuit against his cell phone service provider AT&T on the grounds of gross security negligence that lead to his personal loss of USD 24 million in crypto.

The plaintiff, California resident Michael Terpin, filed a 69-page complaint with the US District Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday alleging that AT&T not only violated its statutory duties and Privacy Policy commitments but went so far as to willingly cooperate with the phone hacker. Terpin claimed that he was victim to digital identity theft two times in seven months when his digital assets were taken via his cell phone number.

Suspicious circumstances were cited by Terpin regarding the actions of at least one AT&T employee. He alleged that ”insider cooperation with the hacker” took place after a store employee offered out his phone number without verifying the person’s identity or requesting any of his private information. Terpin’s complaint details that his number was then used to break into his cryptocurrency accounts and compares the incident to a hotel providing a thief with a fake ID the key to a room and the safe to steal from the rightful owner.

The legal complaint seeks from AT&T USD 200 million in punitive damage and USD 24 million in compensatory damages.

AT&T responded to the accusations, providing CNBC with a statement reading: “We dispute these allegations and look forward to presenting our case in court.”

Terpin may well have been considered a profitable target by potential thieves due to his work in the cryptocurrency industry. In 2013, he co-founded Bitcoin angel investor group BitAngels, as well as the BitAngels/Dapps Fund.

The cryptocurrency community has recently placed a significant focus on increased security as imperative for increasing adoption levels and seeing market prices recover from a relatively poor performance this year, although in this instance it appears to be only AT&T at fault.

 

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South Carolina Startups Get Green Light After Operation “Cryptosweep”

The Office of the Attorney General of South Carolina has given the go-ahead for two startups to resume business in the southern US state.

The Securities Division has removed cease-and-desist orders previously served against ShipChain and Genesis Mining for being accused of being in violation of state law as part of “Operation Cryptosweep” launched by the North American Securities Administrators Association earlier this year, as reported by Bitcoin News. The Statement by the Attorney General’s Office stated at the time:

“It is in the public interest, for the protection of investors, and consistent with the purposes of the Act that Respondent be ordered to cease and desist from engaging in the above-enumerated practices, which constitute violations of the Act, and pay an appropriate civil penalty for its wrongdoing.”

Shipping platform ShipChain refuted the accusation that its token sale wasn’t conducted in compliance with securities laws and that it was “not aware” that SHIP tokens were even offered to South Carolina residents as the sale was conducted out of state before being registered there.

The company launched in 2017 in California, reportedly raised USD 30 million in a private token sale in January. It was set up to deal with logistic issues which currently blight the industry to the tune of USD 50 billion annually on lost or stolen cargo.

The other company, Genesis Mining had been accused by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office Securities Division of selling unlicensed securities and although the order to cease and desist has been dropped, no further details were given. The Icelandic company, founded in 2013, is the largest crypto mining consumer of power in Iceland and one of the largest companies offering Bitcoin mining services.

US States continue to legislate for cryptocurrency and blockchain activity in order to regulate for a rapidly growing fintech impact as more companies choose to do business in the country.

Nebraska, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Vermont, along with Maine, Hawaii, Illinois, and North Dakota are some of the many US states notably either in the process of presenting bills, enacting legislation or actively utilizing blockchain in state legislation.

 

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Latest Data Shows Bitcoin Hodlers v Short Term Traders Now Near Parity

Recent data from Chainalysis — a blockchain research company, as published in Financial Times shows that the amount of Bitcoin owned by long-term investors is now almost equaled by speculators, reports Cointelegraph.

Day trading has increased since the end of last year and the amount held by this group is thought to have risen to 5.1 mln BTC according to the report compared to 6mln BTC held by investors hanging on in for the long-term, that is over a period of one year.

It appears, according to the Financial Times, that Bitcoin volumes have fallen in tandem to prices, from $4 bln daily in December to $1 bln today. It’s thought this may be a feature in Bitcoins decline in price, Chainalysis chief economist Philip Gradwell suggests. He estimates that longer-term holders sold at least $30 billion worth of bitcoin to new speculators over the December to April period, with half of this movement taking place in December alone.

Another feature of the current situation shown by the data is the imbalance of wealth distribution of the digital currency, that is small numbers of investors holding a vast amount of the cryptocurrency. Of the roughly 17 mln Bitcoin available, the data show that, as of April 2018, around 1,600 Bitcoin wallets hold at least 1,000 bitcoins each, equalling almost 5 mln BTC and accounting for almost a third of all Bitcoin in circulation.

Six months after its peak, bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency, though its price has fallen to about $7,650 at the time of publication. It follows that for each of the bitcoin millionaires there are numerous casualties that came into cryptocurrency too late, unlike those who established themselves early and reaped the benefits.

One of these is a 39-year-old who has made enough money from trading digital currencies over 5 years to pay off his mortgage, buy a Mercedes and now swap office life for managing his remaining crypto investments full-time, writes The Irish Times.

“It was very euphoric…It’s been life-changing for me at this point,” says the California-based father of two, who has a cult-like Twitter following under the pen name ‘bitcoin Dad’.

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Cryptocurrency Job Market Explodes With Almost 6 Million Using Crypto Wallets

Recent news source figures show a rapid growth in the cryptocurrency employment market. With more than 1,500 tradeable cryptocurrencies and a $320 billion-plus market cap across the space, job opportunities are increasing. Major online employment site, Indeed.com, recorded an increase of 207 percent in blockchain job listings between 2016 and 2017 — a period of just 12 months. The rising blockchain job requirements and the fact that there are now over 5.8 million cryptocurrency wallet users showcases an increased crypto-adoption among masses.

The US has become a driver for boosting the crypto employment space, particularly in California which now employs nearly 30 percent of the country’s crypto employees, another 15 percent of jobs in the US are reported to be in remote locations.

Within the field, there are many opportunities from stack developers, tech writers, content marketers, business developers, and community managers, most positions to be found in the USA which currently posts 78% of the world’s non-remote crypto job opportunities, followed by the UK with 7%.

In the US, a full stack developer is likely to earn a base salary in the region of $90K, and slightly less for blockchain developers and engineers, depending on field experience. About 10% of companies offer salaries paid in cryptocurrency, although many now offer a percentage ratio system in both fiat and crypto.

In India, with 10% of the world’s Bitcoin wallets job growths has grown exponentially as reported by Indeed India.

“In the six months to November 2017, the number of cryptocurrency and blockchain jobs posted on the Indeed website rose by 290 percent. In the same period, job searches with keywords related to cryptocurrency/blockchain also rose by 52 percent.”

IBM’s pursuit of 1,800 blockchain jobs in France is a signal of intent to expand research and development in several areas with that company, primarily focusing on blockchain technology, AI, and IoT. Multinationals are increasingly embracing the new technology, opening up numerous new job opportunities in the crypto space.

AngelList, a popular website used by startups to offer vacancies to job seekers, recently recorded doubling their crypto-related job postings in a little over three months, according to its weekly newsletter. At the time Bitcoin was trading just over $19000 per coin with 50 jobs available which rose to 100 when Bitcoin slumped and traded at $7,000, according to CryptoGlobe.

AngleList commented, “startups aren’t watching the markets.”

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California Congressional Candidate Runs on Pro-Crypto Platform

Brian Forde is currently running for California’s 45th District seat in the US House of Representatives, and his unique campaign promise is to bridge the gap between the US government and the cryptocurrency community.

Speaking at the Ethereum Summit in Queens, NY on Saturday, he outlined his pro-crypto platform that includes a plan that would allow voters to share their opinions on policy preferences on a blockchain.

“What I want to do is create transparency for the voice of the citizen, so that if I do make a decision that’s not consistent with what all the votes said, then I’ve got to explain myself,” Forde detailed at the summit.

”I want to [create] transparency for the voice of the citizen”

Speaking to CoinDesk recently, Forde discussed the reasoning and ideas behind his platform, with the primary focus being the promotion of transparency between government and the public.

“If you’re upset at your member of Congress, you call them, you fax them, you text them, you email them, and in theory, there’s someone in the background, some intern – kind of chicken scratches on the wall – counting how people feel. Is that publicly auditable? No,” Forde told CoinDesk.

Regarding his plan to allow voters to utilize blockchain technology in communications with local government, he said: “I’d be the first member of Congress to adopt blockchain voting to hear from my constituents about how they feel on the policies I’m about to vote on.”

Crypto savvy

What could perhaps become the most valuable aspect of Forde’s role should he be elected, is the ability he would have to educate other members of Congress on blockchain and cryptocurrency-related issues. The US government has been struggling to pass comprehensive legislation in this regard, with many stating the most problematic issue is a lack of relevant knowledge from representatives.

As Forde noted, the lack of tech-savviness was ”clearly on display” during Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony regarding the social media platform’s sharing of personal data with third parties. The lack of understanding is a threat to both technological businesses in the US, as well as the promotion of tech innovations.

The candidate described his potential role in Congress as one of acting as a helpful ambassador to his colleagues in the areas of blockchain, technology and cryptocurrency.

Forde’s campaign is also accepting cryptocurrency donations, although it is not the first of its kind to do so.

He was also responsible for the White House memo on Bitcoin shared during the Obama administration. The campaign was announced in July last year, looking to replace Republican incumbent Rep Mimi Walters.

 

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