Ep. 30 Mickey Sets His Eyes On Bitcoin

In this episode of The Unhashed Podcast: FinCEN just announced its first ever penalty on a “crypto exchange”, but in reality the guilty party was just a power crypto trader. Is this going to be the new normal in the crypto space, with regulatory agencies acting a de facto muscle man for the larger more formal trading platforms? Bisq is finally launching its allegedly long-awaited DAO. Is this just more shitcoin bullshit or a clever ruse to make regulating the DEX more difficult? And...Can Disney do for Bitcoin what it did for itself by making congress its bitch in the realm of IP protectionism?

Topic Times:

0:00:00 Introduction

0:04:55 Moon browser extension and startup drama

0:09:40 Canadian provinces offering incentives to attract bitcoin miners

0:13:05 FINCEN and US Justice Dept. assign punishments very differently

0:15:54 Does Bisq really need a token?

0:33:20 Gemini adds full SegWit support

0:35:53 Belarusian government funds mining project

0:39:43 Disney offered controlling stake in crypto exchanges

0:43:10 Retirement of the ICOMG section...and special announcement of the first Unhashed Podcast "swag"

0:44:53 Listener questions about SegWit and Blocksize

1:10:33 Lightning Round!

Weekly News Wrap Up:

  1. Crypto payment startup Moon has announced an online web browser extension that allows crypto users to make purchases on e-commerce sites like Amazon.com with Lightning Network payments. However, according to a post on r/startups, one of the co-founders is whistleblowing the app for ousting him

  2. A number of provincial governments in Canada, including British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and Labrador, are offering lower rates to attract bitcoin miners and Labrador’s government is considering energy incentives to attract what it says are “outstanding requests for service” from bitcoin and other “data centre” processors, according to a report from the National Post.

  3. FinCEN announced its first ever penalty on a “crypto exchange” via its website on April 18, 2019, declaring that it had levied a civil money penalty against bitcoin trader Eric Powers for “[failing] to register as a money services business, [having] no written policies or procedures for ensuring compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, and [failing] to report suspicious transactions and currency transactions.”

    In other words, Powers was acting as an unregistered exchange by carrying out approximately $5 million worth of transactions, carrying out individual transactions worth more than $10,000 over 200 times. Earlier this month, Jacob Burrell Campos was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for similar crimes, acting as an unregistered exchange. A key difference between the two cases, however, is that FinCEN quoted a civil penalty of $35,350 dollars for Powers while Campos was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. Both men were required to forfeit $100,000 and $800,000 in crypto assets respectively.

  4. Bisq, one of the Bitcoin’s more well known decentralized exchanges, introduced version 1.0 of its software this week, which includes what the developers call Bitcoin’s first DAO. “[It] is (to my knowledge) the only attempt of its kind to decentralize a project's management and funding to the extent it does,” Steve Jain, a Bisq contributor, told Bitcoin Magazine. Bisq’s software operates on Tor, and each user must run their own separate instance of the program (akin to running a node on a much smaller scale) to access the exchange, making it completely peer-to-peer.

    The privacy-minded exchange offers a rare, KYC-resistant fiat ramp for bitcoin trading, allowing users to facilitate fiat exchange with payment apps, bank wires and even hard cash swaps, like LocalBitcoins offers - minus the KYC. With each trade, bitcoin is locked away in multi-signature contracts, requiring arbitrators to resolve any conflicts should a dispute arise in a trade. “The DAO was intended to be a part of Bisq from the day it was first conceived in 2014,” Jain revealed, adding that this launch has been in the works since before even the infamous Ethereum DAO.

  5. Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange run by the Winklevoss Twins, has become the first major exchange to add full support for SegWit, including bech32 (native segwit) addresses, as explained in a recent medium post. (additional article here) They cite several reasons, including fee savings and being foundational for further developments like lightning.

  6. President of Belarus proposes major data center for bitcoin mining. This is seen as a move to try to improve the country’s tech sector and reduce their reliance on oil and gas. On twitter, Nic Carter shared the news in a thread showing that Belarus is following in the footsteps of the Philippines and Georgia as countries that are setting up policies to encourage cryptocurrency development within their borders.

  7. Disney has reportedly been offered a controlling stake in the parent company of South Korean video game publisher Nexon, which specializes in online games for PC and mobile. Nexon is the biggest game developer in South Korea and is the world’s second-largest online games market. Its parent company, NXC, owns two major cryptocurrency exchanges: Bitstamp, based in Luxembourg, and Korbit, based in South Korea. The deal comes via a private sale offering from South Korean Billionaire and NXC Chairman Jung-Ju Kim who has been looking to unload his stake since January and will take final bids by May 15th.

One Final Note:

Make sure you are storing your crypto on something secure like a Ledger and backing it up on something sturdy like a Billfodl. If you buy these items through the links above, we do take a cut of the profits but it also helps support the show - a win/win for all involved.

Colin aulds