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Op-Ed: Bitcoin’s Roots in the Great Law of Peace

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Op-Ed: Bitcoin’s Roots in the Great Law of Peace

Bitcoin, in its nine years of existence, has steadily gained traction, defining itself as a new digital gold. Early adopters of this technology have shown excitement for the potential of this inflation-proof sound money. With steady increase in value over the years, this new invention of money has established its position in finance. The gold rush pushed by the price explosion reached its peak at the end of 2017. Halfway into this year, bitcoin has moved into a bear market. As the price plunged, followed by exchange hacks and speculators leaving the space, the rally quieted down. Now that the fever has cooled off, a narrative that runs quietly behind the scenes can begin to emerge.

For many veteran crypto enthusiasts, Nick Szabo’s paper “Shelling Out: The Origins of Money” has become a guide for a rite of passage deep into the world of Bitcoin. In this essay published in 2002, Szabo, a legal scholar and cryptographer who invented bit gold, shared his odyssey of discovering the roots of money in the ancient past. Building on the insights of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who saw money as a “formal token of delayed reciprocal altruism,” Szabo found in the precursor of money the beginning stage of developing tools for cooperation.

This astute scholar of money learned how these primitive forms of money, among other functions such as inheritance and insurance against starvation, gave humans a mechanism to deal with conditions in a much more civil way, at a time when hostility and distrust among tribes were strong. He noted how wealth transfer was used to carry obligation and rights, and enforce contracts such as for purchasing mates and for entering another band’s territory to hunt and gather goods, as well as a way to dispute resolution and mitigate wars and cycles of revenge.

Wisdom of Peacemakers

At its origin, money played a role in tracking favors and as an enforcer of reciprocation. It performed as a vehicle to civilize our beast-like nature, taming and guiding it to carry cooperative and social behaviors. This step toward civilization was taken by Native people in the continent of North America. Indigenous peoples used wampum to derive value and as a medium of exchange, utilizing it to facilitate civil activities.

For the Iroquois, the idea of money as a tool for delayed reciprocal altruism was embodied in the wisdom of a peacemaker who came at a time of great turmoil for the Indian nations. When a civil war broke out and five nations were fighting, causing death and destruction, the legendary peacemaker named Deganawidah urged them to unite together to become stronger.

In a paper that explored the Iroquois nations’ influence on the formation of the United States government, Jo Olson indicated how the peacemaker taught people that in order to “guarantee peace among themselves they needed to learn to solve disputes through discussion rather than violence.”

Using this nonviolent principle to resolve conflicts, the Iroquois made the Great Law of Peace, a model of governance based on a rule of consensus. At its heart was a decentralized decision-making process, with the emblem of free speech and liberty, in which everyone is given equal freedom to voice their opinions and no one should be forced to do things against their will.

Olson characterized the wampum belt as a “beaded system of coded information employed in reciting the Great Law” and described how it was used to settle disputes, resolve affairs between different tribes and conduct diplomatic business. For the First Nations, wampum functioned as a store of value that preserved the code of this peaceful conduct and as a settlement that used wealth transfer as a substitution for punishment to nonviolently enforce this rule.

Modern Centralized Money

Early European settlers in the New World learned to use wampum to conduct diplomatic business with the Iroquois. Over time, the invention of coinage led to a change of landscape, and modernity slowly began to reshape the natural world. As the Turtle Island disappeared, so did the shells that were used to carry precious coded information of the Great Law of Peace.

Through industrialization and mechanization of society, a white civilization diverged its course from the path laid out by its forebears. The constitutional republic of the United States that placed decision-making processes on majority voting uprooted the system from its foundation of the Iroquois democratic consensus. While the First Nations stood firmly on the principle of decentralization, European descendants favored a representative form of governance, with its elected officials and systems of checks and balances. The top-down hierarchical system that was developed created a security hole where selfishness could go unchecked and alter the underlying rules of reciprocal altruism that aimed to overcome challenges that kept humans from cooperating.

Modern money became fiat currency (declared to be legal tender by the government), and it became privatized. Money that has been centralized has become a medium of censorship and financial exploitation. As savagery and violence broke out, with U.S. invasions and military occupations feeding extractive crony capitalism, the will to end the cycle of destruction emerged in cyberspace. They are the cypherpunks, a group that advocates social and political change with the use of strong cryptography. They write code to restore the rules of law in society.

A gift of nature that allowed our predecessors to create a wampum belt was not strong enough to withstand violence and codify the Iroquois laws. Now, the imagination of computer science offers a way to replicate this magical property of money designed to carry the code of reciprocal altruism much more securely.

Planting the Seeds for Peace

Paul Wallace, in his book White Roots of Peace: Iroquois Book of Life, noted how the peacemaker Deganawidah planted the Great Tree of Peace, hoping that “its roots shall extend to far places of the earth so that all mankind may have the shelter of the Great Law.” This tree signified their constitution, and its roots deep in the earth extending into all directions expressed the contract of their union.

In the post-industrial era of computing, the seed for peace was rediscovered. The creator of Bitcoin engineeringly rewired a pathway back to nature, planting the tree of peace in the digital space. Szabo, a pioneer of cryptocurrency and smart contracts, explained how cryptocurrency is backed by cryptography and how its integrity is protected by a structure called a Merkle tree. Szabo pointed out, “Combined with a proper replication and chains of transaction blocks protected by proof-of-work, Merkle trees can make data such as transactions post-unforgeable by consensus.”

Just like the Iroquois, who with their distrust toward rulers held a view that hierarchies wither the tree of peace, Bitcoin developers adhere to the concept of decentralization to create a secure foundation. In his book Mastering Bitcoin, author and security expert Andreas M. Antonopoulos described that the architecture of traditional security is developed “around the root of trust as a series of concentric circles, like layers in an onion, extending trust outward from the center.” In Bitcoin, he explained, “the consensus system creates a trusted public ledger that is completely decentralized.” By distributing the task of validation across multiple computers, Bitcoin minimizes a need to trust third parties and places the roots of the tree firmly in the ground.

Olson showed how the Iroquois nations’ Tree of Peace provided protection with its branches and that “above the tree soared the eagle” whose “duty was to be the lookout for enemies who might disturb the peace.” Bitcoin’s consensus algorithm, with its genius of incentive structures, commands computers around the world to soar high in an abstract math competition. Scavenging birds of prey in predatory capitalism are transformed into brave eagles, with self-interest-driven miners that hunt for rewards being incentivized to follow rules and play honestly to generate network security.

Keeping the Promise

Founders of the Iroquois Confederacy brought the Law of Peace, a way to settle disputes through consensus. Wallace noted, “The Five Nations had shown that a disposition to peace need not breed softness, and that Peace armed with Power and guided by Reason is irresistible.” He pointed out that “to the Iroquois, peace was the law” and that “they used the same word for both.” In their vision, this law didn’t just apply to their own interrelated groups within a larger tribe. It encouraged each individual to treat all people on earth with kindness.

This rule of consensus lies at the foundation of European enlightenment ideals. Scholars have recognized the Iroquois nations’ influence on the formation of the United States government. The principle of equality and liberty for all people in the Declaration of Independence was a promise, and the constitution was meant to be its fulfillment.

While the Iroquois nations’ Tree of Peace could not scale beyond circles of tribes, cypherpunks now carry on the efforts of these pioneers of civilization, with the knowledge of computer science. By working to unite people under the Tree of the Universal Law of Peace, this network strives to keep the promise of peacemakers. Built one block at a time, the Tree of Peace that was a symbol of humanity has begun to grow again. Bitcoin, by maintaining its integrity as a settlement, with innovation on a second layer such as the Lightning Network, makes independent and seamless transactions scalable at a global level.

In this interconnected world where opportunities to meet people exist far beyond what our ancestors could have ever imagined, the message of peace is relayed with lightning speed. The internet of money transcending borders protects people of all nations from currency wars and tyranny of governments. The branches that stretch out to the world now extend the contract of reciprocal altruism — which was once exchanged among kin and neighbors in small villages —  even to strangers who don’t look alike or speak the same language.

In this age of the internet, Bitcoin carries on the heritage of mankind, building its noble architecture upon the origin of money. What is stored in this new digital gold is the wisdom of peacemakers that once inspired our forebears to put an end to humanity’s destructive past. Leaving behind the old rule of the jungle — of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” — a new civilization can begin, to be led by the Golden Rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Enshrined in this piece of mathematics, through the united hands of the past and present, the Great Law of Peace can now find its fulfillment.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Cryptocurrency Prices Soar on News Coinbase Is ‘Exploring’ Adding Five New Assets

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The cryptocurrency market experienced a slight bump on Friday, but five altcoins managed to break away from the pack, bolstered by the announcement that cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage giant Coinbase is “exploring” adding support for them to its several platforms. Earlier today, the San Francisco-based Coinbase announced that it is engaging with discussions with banks

The post Cryptocurrency Prices Soar on News Coinbase Is ‘Exploring’ Adding Five New Assets appeared first on CCN

Something Strange Is Going On at a Crypto Exchange Called WEX

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Users of WEX, the cryptocurrency exchange built on the ashes of BTC-e, are reporting withdrawal problems.

Russian hackers used bitcoin to fund election interference, so prepare for FUD

TechCrunch, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The indictment filed today against 12 Russian officials accused of, among other things, hacking the DNC and undermining Hillary Clinton's campaign also notes that the alleged hackers paid for their nefarious deeds with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This unsavory application of one of tech's current darlings will almost certainly be wielded against it by opportunists of all stripes.

CRYPTO INSIDER: Bitcoin might have led Mueller to Russian hackers

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Robert Mueller

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider's roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

The 12 Russian hackers indicted Friday by the special counsel Robert Mueller utilized bitcoin to facilitate their scheme, according to the indictment.

The indictment suggests those bitcoin transactions contributed to the hackers getting caught.

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SEE ALSO: Bitcoin has been plummeting in value — but the world's largest crypto exchange still expects to net up to $1 billion in profits

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CRYPTO INSIDER: Bitcoin might have led Mueller to Russian hackers

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Robert Mueller

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider's roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

The 12 Russian hackers indicted Friday by the special counsel Robert Mueller utilized bitcoin to facilitate their scheme, according to the indictment.

The indictment suggests those bitcoin transactions contributed to the hackers getting caught.

Here are the current crypto prices:

Bitcoin price

In the news:

New to Crypto Insider? Business Insider has a ton of articles to get you caught up to speed, including:

What other questions do you have about crypto? Ask them in Business Insider's Crypto Insider Facebook group today to discuss with readers from all over the world, as well as BI editorial staff.

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin has been plummeting in value — but the world's largest crypto exchange still expects to net up to $1 billion in profits

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Elon Musk said the Model 3 is the last product he'll have to gamble the company's existence on (TSLA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

elon musk

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he believes the Model 3 is the last product on which the company will have to bet its livelihood in an interview with Bloomberg.
  • Musk said Tesla had previously gambled its existence on its first and second vehicles, the Roadster sports car and Model S sedan.
  • The Model 3 has caused production problems and strained Tesla's finances, but Musk has said the company will become profitable in the second half of this year.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he believes the Model 3 is the last product on which the company will have to bet its livelihood in an interview with Bloomberg.

"I believe Model 3 is the last bet-the-company situation," he said.

"To the best of my judgment, I do not think we have any future bet-the-company situations. We will still need to work hard and be vigilant and not be complacent because it is very difficult just to survive as a car company. But it will not be the same level of strain as getting to volume production of Model 3."

Tesla has made three big gambles

Musk said the Model 3 sedan was the third product on which Tesla gambled its existence, after its first vehicle, the Roadster sports car, and the Model S sedan, which represented a sizable increase in annual production. 

The Roadster nearly brought Tesla to bankruptcy in 2008, but Musk has said the company closed a financing round that kept it afloat on December 24.

And shortly after the launch of the Model S in 2013, Musk stopped production and nearly sold Tesla to Google because of financial difficulties. But as Musk neared a deal with Google CEO Larry Page, Tesla started selling enough vehicles to become financially stable, and Musk decided to keep Tesla independent.

The Model 3 has strained Tesla's finances

The Model 3 is Tesla's first mass-market vehicle, designed to broaden the company's customer base beyond the luxury segment and increase the rate of electric vehicle adoption. But Tesla struggled to ramp up production after it was launched in July 2017 due to excessive automation at its factories.

In May 2016, Musk said he estimated the company would make 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s during the second half of 2017. Tesla made 2,685 Model 3 vehicles in 2017.

The company twice missed its self-imposed deadline to produce 5,000 Model 3s in a week, but hit that rate at the end of June. On July 2, the company said it had made 5,031 Model 3s during the final week of June and 28,578 during the second quarter, more than it had made in the prior three quarters combined.

The vehicle has put a strain on Tesla's finances, as the company has posted significant losses in the quarters since it was launched. But Musk has said the company will become profitable in the second half of this year.

Read Bloomberg's full interview.

If you've worked for Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: 'We were huge idiots and didn't know what we were doing': Elon Musk blames Tesla's Model 3 production issues on being 'naive'

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NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto

Mueller found that the Russian hacker scheme was dependent on bitcoin, and it may have gotten them caught

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Robert Mueller

  • The 12 Russian hackers indicted Friday by the special counsel Robert Mueller allegedly utilized bitcoin to facilitate their scheme.
  • Mueller's indictment suggests those bitcoin transactions could have helped catch the hackers.


The 12 Russian hackers indicted Friday by the special counsel Robert Mueller utilized bitcoin to facilitate their scheme, according to the indictment.

The indictment suggests those bitcoin transactions contributed to the hackers getting caught.

The indictments against the 12 Russian intelligence officials allege they led a hacking scheme that included stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and top staffers to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in addition to targeting into state and county Board of Elections websites.

"To hide their connections to Russia and the Russian government, the Conspirators used false identities and made false statements about their identities," Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, wrote in the indictment. "To further avoid detection, the Conspirators used a network of computers located across the world, including in the United States, and paid for this infrastructure using cryptocurrency."

The Russians conspired to launder the equivalent of roughly $95,000 through cryptocurrency transactions to help facilitate the purchase of infrastructure the hackers used to conduct their campaign, Mueller alleged. The Russian officials did so to "capitalize on the perceived anonymity" of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Mueller said the hackers "principally used bitcoin when purchasing servers, registering domains, and otherwise making payments in furtherance of hacking activity."

"The use of bitcoin allowed the Conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds," Mueller wrote.

Bitcoin transactions are added to the Blockchain, which is a public ledger. But the identities of those parties is only represented by identifiers known as bitcoin addresses. The hackers, Mueller wrote, further sought to obscure their identities by using hundreds of different email addresses to make the transactions. Those emails often contained fictitious names and addresses.

But Mueller dropped a few hints in the indictment as to how the bitcoin transactions may have played a role in the hackers getting caught:

  • For instance, the Russians sometimes made the bitcoin payments on the same computers they used to conduct their hacking campaign, according to the indictment.
  • In addition, one bitcoin account used by the officials was used in 2015 to renew the registration of a domain name encoded in a malware agent that was later installed on the DNC's network of servers.
  • The indictment said the hackers used bitcoin to pay a Romanian company for the registration of the dcleaks.com domain, a site that housed some of the stolen emails.
  • They additionally used bitcoin to lease a Malaysian server that hosted the website.
  • Using funds in a bitcoin address, the Russians also allegedly purchased a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, account to access the @Guccifer_2 Twitter account. @Guccifer_2 was the persona that claimed to be the DNC hacker and was in touch with Trump confidant Roger Stone.
  • And Mueller alleged the Russian nationals used bitcoin to lease the server used to administer the malware implanted on the DNC server network, while leasing two additional servers using bitcoin to hack into the cloud network.

A spokesperson for Mueller declined to comment further on the importance of cryptocurrency to the alleged hacking scheme.

SEE ALSO: Legal experts are confounded by Michael Cohen's revamped strategy

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An Air China pilot accidentally cut off oxygen to its passengers while trying to hide his vaping from his boss

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Air China Boeing 737 800

  • Air China Flight CA106 lost more than 20,000 feet of altitude within a matter of minutes on Tuesday.
  • According to Chinese aviation regulators, the loss of altitude was caused by an emergency descent resulting from insufficient oxygen in the cabin.
  • Investigators say the low oxygen levels were caused by one of the pilots who accidentally turned off the plane's air conditioning to hid the fact that he'd been smoking an e-cigarette.

A vaping pilot on board an Air China Boeing 737 is believed to have caused his plane to make an emergency descent in search of breathable air on Tuesday.

The BBC, citing Chinese investigators, reported that the first officer of Air China Flight CA106 accidentally shut off the plane's air conditioning system — causing insufficient oxygen levels in the cabin.

Flight CA106 took off from Hong Kong Tuesday evening at 7:10 pm local time bound for the city of Dalian in northeastern China. Data from flight-tracking website FlightAware.com shows the Air China jet heading northeast at 35,000 feet when it began to descend at around 7:39 pm.

Within a matter of 18 minutes, the plane was down to just 12,300 feet.

An investigation into the incident by the Civil Aviation Administration of China discovered that the first officer was trying to hide the fact that he had been smoking an e-cigarette in the cockpit from the flight's captain, the BBC reported.

Instead of turning off a fan to prevent the vapors from reaching the passenger cabin, he turned off the passengers' air conditioning. 

In reaction to an alarm triggered by the air conditioning shut off, the flight crew dropped the plane's emergency oxygen masks and initiated a descent to a lower altitude with breathable air.

The crew returned to normal cruising altitude once it was discovered that the air conditioning was, in fact, turned off. 

The flight landed safely in Dalian at 10:29 pm. 

According to the Telegraph, Air China said it has a "zero tolerance" policy for such behavior.

The use of e-cigarettes in the cockpit is not allowed under Chinese aviation regulations. 

The investigation into Flight CA106 is ongoing. It's unclear what type of punishment the offending pilot will face. 

SEE ALSO: Airlines warned fuel prices were a growing threat, but it just became clear how terrible the situation has become

FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

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Opinion: Here’s Why Bitcoin Price Will Soar

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Hey folks, how’s it hanging? As price has been moving sideways for the past few months, I decided to do an exercise and wonder what variables play a massive role in price changes. Not only that but make a random prediction of Bitcoin’s price at the end of 2018. My strategy is simple: to analyze

The post Opinion: Here’s Why Bitcoin Price Will Soar appeared first on CCN

Nexty: A Blockchain Platform Aiming to Surpass Ethereum

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

This is a sponsored story. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the content below. When Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, was introduced in 2009, it was touted as a peer to peer electronic cash system that could be used as a payment method

The post Nexty: A Blockchain Platform Aiming to Surpass Ethereum appeared first on CCN

What you need to know on Wall Street today

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

Big bank bosses are brushing off trade war concerns

Executives from the biggest US banks on Friday brushed off concerns that Trump's trade war was biting into economic growth or corporate earnings.  

“If you’re looking for potholes out there, there are not a lot,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said on a second quarter analyst call on Friday. He did acknowledge, however, that consumer and business confidence levels coming off their highs may have been due to trade concerns.

Even more, worries over trade may have boosted the bank's results by increasing uncertainty and enflaming market volatility that led to increased trading business. Dimon's bank posted record earnings for the second quarter and JPMorgan finance chief Marianne Lake said on the same call that ironically, economic uneasiness has given clients more reasons to rebalance their portfolios and trade. 

CEO of JPMorgan's giant investment bank lauds performance in memo to staff

It's amazing what can be done when multiple businesses work together.

That was the message from Daniel Pinto, chief of JPMorgan's corporate and investment bank, today in a memo he sent to staff. Earnings results for the second quarter, announced on Friday, delivered first-half revenue records for advisory fees and equity trading, as well as year-over-year increases in other units.

"Our second quarter and first half results show how impressive the CIB's global franchise can be when it's firing on all cylinders," Pinto said.

Elon Musk blames Tesla's Model 3 production issues on being 'naive'

In an interview with Bloomberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said "we were huge idiots and didn't know what we were doing" when attempting to redesign Tesla's production process for the Model 3.

Musk had hoped to make vehicle production faster and less expensive by significantly increasing the amount of automation Tesla used in its factories. But the company struggled to increase automation and production capacity at the same time after launching its Model 3 sedan.

Musk has previously said that Tesla tried to automate tasks that were better suited to humans and that the company struggled with production bottlenecks caused by machines that didn't work as expected and had to be replaced by humans.

In markets news

 

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NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto

Russians Indicted for US Election Hacks Used Bitcoin to Fund Operations

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Twelve Russian officials indicted for hacking into Democratic National Committee email accounts allegedly used cryptocurrencies, the DOJ announced.

“Economic Sovereignty” Through Bitcoin: Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

“Economic Sovereignty” Through Bitcoin: Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert

When it comes to cryptocurrency, it seems that there are always two sides of the (bit)coin.

On the negative side, there’s everything that can go wrong. For example, the unpredictable value swings can cause coin holders, savvy and suckers alike, to suffer life-changing losses. An exchange can get hacked and attacked, allowing hard-won earnings to vanish into the coffers of criminals without a trace. The blockchain, in all its beauty, is gobbling up power as it grows, raising questions about its environmental impact as it drives decentralization.

Podcast hosts and their guests, however, have a tendency to look on the bright side. That’s understandable, because every day that cryptocurrency and its users evolve, the more possibilities unfold. In the financial alternate universe that is crypto, the points of light are consistently attributed with the power to outshine the dark matter.

Pockets of Progress

In the recently-aired Episode 24 of What Bitcoin Did, host Peter McCormack interviewed the team of Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, who together host their own financial show The Keiser Report. It’s a duo that seems determined to see the best in bitcoin, seeing as how both of their careers are driven by disillusionment with the financial world.

They are not just vocal in their criticism but also active in it. Keiser once called JP Morgan Chase "the biggest financial terrorist on Wall Street" backing those words up with a campaign to crash it by encouraging people to buy silver, which would leave JP Morgan with a significant short position. He and Herbert make it a point to call out big banks’ unethical practices as well as governments’ fiscal mismanagement.

The Keiser Report was an early pioneer of Bitcoin reporting, with their first coverage on the topic dating back to 2011. Listening to McCormack’s interview of the two, it’s clear why they latched on early to crypto: Both share a very hopeful vision for the positive impact it may bring to economies worldwide.

Asked about the use of bitcoin in Venezuela and other “basket case countries” where fiat currency is collapsing, Keiser gave examples of significant cryptocurrency development. “The coin is definitely huge in Venezuela, Argentina, and also now huge in Africa,” he said. “Countries across Africa are now using bitcoin and crypto mining, because it leapfrogs the entire infrastructure. You don’t need a third party, you don’t need a central bank. The unbanked, as they’re called, can now become banked.”

“So it’s flourishing, it’s thriving,” Keiser continued. “A lot of companies are relocating, and there’s a lot of jurisdiction-hopping, where companies in the crypto space are going to countries where it’s friendly, as far as the crypto framework.”

“Genuine Economic Sovereignty”

“Bitcoin is genuine economic sovereignty,” Herbert added to Keiser’s observation. “It’s, kind of, now what the gold standard used to be, in forcing countries around the world to be honest and to develop sound policies. Because if you had a basket case economy, you had to send gold, your national wealth, overseas to other countries. They haven’t had that discipline since we had the U.S. dollar standard, but now the bitcoin standard is forcing the global financial system to operate in a more sound, responsible way.”

When questioned by McCormack if she felt that bitcoin had the ability to ultimately change government, policy and a country’s fundamental way of working, Herbert expanded on her point.

“It provides a better example,” she stated. “During the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, capitalism was so good and strong, and providing so much wealth creation and opportunity and fair distribution of wealth because there was this thing called communism that was an alternative. They had to compete with that system and the ideology. Here, when you see all this economic sovereignty, and people able to totally be free — completely be free, no government restriction on what this person can do as an individual — that provides an alternative to see how those people get to live … They can live and be and do and create in any way they want.”

From Herbert’s viewpoint, cryptocurrency’s impact has the potential to be quite profound, with the potential to move mean regimes to a kinder, gentler place. “That provides, in this globalized world, an alternative that governments have to be a little less abusive to their own population,” she said. “They have to be a little bit less violent in terms of seizing assets and taking from taxes. They have to provide a better option for them.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

'If you’re looking for potholes out there, there are not a lot': Big bank bosses are brushing off concerns over Trump's trade war

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Trump Xi trade war

  • During second quarter earnings calls on Friday, bank executives from Citi and JPMorgan tamped down concerns about the impact of Trump's trade war on their firms.
  • Worries over trade may have actually boosted results, the executives said, by increasing client uneasiness which led to increased trading business.

Executives from the biggest US banks on Friday brushed off concerns that Trump's trade war was biting into economic growth or corporate earnings.  

“If you’re looking for potholes out there, there are not a lot,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said on a second quarter analyst call on Friday. He did acknowledge, however, that consumer and business confidence levels coming off their highs may have been due to trade concerns.

Even more, worries over trade may have boosted the bank's results by increasing uncertainty and enflaming market volatility that led to increased trading business. Dimon's bank posted record earnings for the second quarter and JPMorgan finance chief Marianne Lake said on the same call that ironically, economic uneasiness has given clients more reasons to rebalance their portfolios and trade. 

"There’s just more catalysts in the market and just generally more client participation,” she said. European Union and emerging-market unrest also helped, she added. 

JPMorgan's revenue from trading stocks and bonds rose 14% to $5.4 billion, better than analysts had anticipated. Citigroup, which also reported earnings on Friday, said trading revenue declined just 1% to $3.9 billion. 

Citi's finance chief, John Gerspach, also tamped down trade concerns, saying in a call with media that he saw "little direct impact" from the first days of the dispute. 

"We haven't seen changes in behavior of any significance and so right now, it's the rhetoric we're tracking," he later added on an analyst call. "I think the markets have the fears of what the rhetoric leads to but at this point, we're not seeing it coming through in the numbers." 

The Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on roughly $34 billion worth of Chinese goods last week, leading Beijing to retaliate with in-kind tariffs on American products, including soybeans. President Trump has showed no signs of backing down on threats to impose an additional $200 billion worth of additional tariffs on China.

Even so, Dimon warned earlier in the day that there's always a risk that the current tit-for-tat can escalate and lead to unintended consequences. 

“There are unpredictable outcomes when you start skirmishes like this with multiple countries," Dimon said on a conference call with journalists. "It’s a worry. I wouldn’t use the word major yet, but hopefully it gets resolved.”

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto

Activists Shine Bitcoin Logo on Slovakia’s Central Bank to Protest Hostile Regulations

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A pro-cryptocurrency activist group trolled Slovakia’s central bank in spectacular fashion this week to protest local regulators’ hostility toward cryptocurrency companies and traders. Activists Project Bitcoin Logo onto National Bank of Slovakia The Bratislava-based Paralelná Polis — which among other endeavors operates the Cryptoanarchy Institute — on Thursday published a video depicting its latest act

The post Activists Shine Bitcoin Logo on Slovakia’s Central Bank to Protest Hostile Regulations appeared first on CCN

Blockchain Auditing and the Industry’s "Knowledge Gap"

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Blockchain Auditing and the Industry’s Knowledge Gap

The advent of smart contracts has long drawn interest for its potential to revolutionize business agreements. There’s just one problem, and it’s one that has affected many spheres of the cryptocurrency space: a knowledge gap. This gap exists between people who specialize in conventional legal terms and contracts and those who specialize in the technological programming of the blockchain.

On a recent episode of The Tatiana Show, host Tatiana Moroz interviewed Hartej Sawhney, president and co-founder of the cybersecurity firm, Hosho. Calling in from the back of a taxi cab in Istanbul, Sawhney explained that Hosho’s business advantage has developed around overcoming the knowledge gap.

“We see ourselves as a cybersecurity company that happens to focus on the cryptocurrency/ blockchain space,” said Sawhney. “What we’ve been doing to date has been building up a team of white hat hackers, people who have a strong background in the DevCon community.” For those unfamiliar with DevCon, it is considered to be one of the world’s largest and most well known hacker convention.

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Hosho focuses on auditing smart contracts “on any blockchain” and simulating cyber attacks to test the security of different systems. In addition, Hosho is also developing other cyber securities solutions for the space such as a multi-sig wallet for Ethereum and a Telegram group bot that detects phishing scams.

Fraud and Mistakes

Smart contract auditing remains the core of Hosho’s work. “Everything to date has been mostly people taking advantage of the fundraising mechanism of an ICO on the Ethereum blockchain,” said Sawhney. Auditing means that the developers are checking to make sure a smart contract is doing what it is supposed to do.

Sawhney pointed out that auditing smart contracts has shown him that there is a knowledge gap when it comes to finding developers with competence in Solidity, the language used to write Ethereum-based smart contracts, who are then able to perform these audits. And, according to Sawhney, the other side of this problem is that those developers who are actually proficient at Solidity, for the most part, are “too rich to get out of bed.”

Hosho’s strategy for dealing with the knowledge gap is finding people with cybersecurity backgrounds and teaching them Solidity.

Essentially, to the public, projects with misfiring smart contracts fall under the category of scams.

At EthBerlin, a gathering of 7–8 of the biggest cybersecurity professionals in this space will converge to standardize what a smart contract audit entails. Given the early state of the industry, Sawhney went on to say that the gathering, while sorely needed, is also well-timed for establishing an international framework for self-governance before one is imposed by an entity outside of the industry.

While Sawhney stated that the knowledge gap is a real problem for the industry, he noted that standards were improving. “In North America, every single exchange has made it a standard to check for a professional third party audit. Asia has some catching up to do … The speed at which a cryptocurrency gets listed in Asia is a lot faster than anywhere else. This is also what makes Asia an exciting market.”

The New Standard

Hosho’s standard for a smart contract auditing consists of a full audit of the language and code in their smart contracts followed by an itemized list provided to the client of all the quandaries that Hosho has identified with its capacity to be smoothly executed.

After the client addresses the errors, Hosho provides a second audit to make sure that the contract’s code has been fixed. Once approved, Hosho, in effect, stamps the code to certify that the code has been audited by a third party: That seal is valid up until the point that the code is edited again.

Although this seal is of interest to legal teams and government officials, Sawhney pointed out that, in the majority of cases, “the one person who reads our report is the exchanges.” This emphasis on exchange approval is tantamount to making smart contract audits a standard security procedure.

Other Topics

Like Sawhney, Tatiana’s other two guests were concerned with establishing and maintaining standards within the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystems. In addition to Sawhney and his views on cybersecurity, Connie Gallippi described the journey of forming her Bitcoin nonprofit, BitGive, while Bitcoin Magazine’s managing editor, Christie Harkin, explained some of the rules for maintaining editorial objectivity in cryptocurrency journalism as well as some guidelines for successful news story pitches.

For these interviews and other content in the cryptocurrency space, find The Tatiana Show on the Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

'We were huge idiots and didn't know what we were doing': Elon Musk blames Tesla's Model 3 production issues on being 'naive' (TSLA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

elon musk

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said "we were huge idiots and didn't know what were doing" in an interview with Bloomberg, referencing Telsa's attempt to redesign the production process for the Model 3
  • Musk had hoped to make vehicle production faster and less expensive by significantly increasing the amount of automation Tesla used in its factories.
  • But the company struggled to increase automation and production capacity at the same time after launching the Model 3 sedan.
  • Musk said faulty robots and "naive" designers contributed to Tesla's production problems.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said "we were huge idiots and didn't know what were doing" when attempting to redesign Tesla's production process for the Model 3.

Musk had hoped to make vehicle production faster and less expensive by significantly increasing the amount of automation Tesla used in its factories. But the company struggled to increase automation and production capacity at the same time after launching the Model 3 sedan.

Musk has previously said that Tesla tried to automate tasks that were better suited to humans, and that the company struggled with production bottlenecks caused by machines that didn't work as expected and had to be replaced by humans.

"A lot of the hoped-for automation was counterproductive," Musk told Bloomberg.

"We thought it would be good, but it was not good."

Musk also said some of the company's designers were "naive" about the manufacturing difficulties they would face and that, while the level of automation the company originally planned made sense in theory, it was difficult to implement.

"It sounds good on PowerPoint and it was terrible in reality," he said.

Tesla struggled to ramp up production for the Model 3 after it was launched in July 2017. The Model 3 is Tesla's first mass-market vehicle, designed to broaden the company's customer base beyond the luxury segment and increase the rate of electric vehicle adoption.

In May 2016, Musk said he estimated the company would make 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s during the second half of 2017. Tesla made 2,685 Model 3 vehicles in 2017.

The company twice missed its self-imposed deadline to produce 5,000 Model 3s in a week, but hit that rate at the end of June. On July 2, the company said it had made 5,031 Model 3s during the final week of June and 28,578 during the second quarter, more than it had made in the prior three quarters combined.

Read Bloomberg's full interview.

If you've worked for Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk says he sees Twitter as a 'meme war land' where if someone attacks you first, it's okay to strike back. But he says he's trying to change.

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Elon Musk says he sees Twitter as a 'meme war land' where if someone attacks you first, it's okay to strike back. But he says he's trying to change. (TSLA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Elon Musk

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he will try to be less combative on Twitter in an interview with Bloomberg.
  • Musk said he had believed he could "attack" people who addressed negative tweets toward him, so long as they attacked him first.
  • But he said he should probably decline to respond to negative tweets more often.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he will try to be less combative on Twitter in an interview with Bloomberg.

"I have made the mistaken assumption—and I will attempt to be better at this—of thinking that because somebody is on Twitter and is attacking me that it is open season. And that is my mistake. I will correct it," he said.

Musk said he had believed he could "attack" people who addressed negative tweets toward him, so long as they attacked him first.

"Generally the view that I've had on Twitter is if you're on Twitter, you're in like the meme—you're in meme war land. If you're on Twitter, you're in the arena. And so essentially if you attack me, it is therefore OK for me to attack back," he said.

Musk said he had never sent a combative tweet to someone who hadn't provoked him, but said he should probably decline to respond to negative tweets more often.

"If somebody attacks you on Twitter, should you say nothing? Probably the answer in some cases is yes, I should say nothing. In fact, most of the time I do say nothing. I should probably say nothing more often," he said.

In recent months, Musk has become increasingly active on Twitter, using the platform to spar with reporters and critics, answer questions from customers, and provide updates about his companies. Some investors and analysts have expressed concern about his conduct on Twitter.

"We are very supportive, but we would like peace and execution at this stage," Jamie Anderson, a partner and portfolio manager at the asset-management firm and Tesla investor Baillie Gifford told Bloomberg. "It would be good to just concentrate on the core task."

Read Bloomberg's full interview

If you've worked for Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk said he slept on the floor of Tesla's factory because he wanted to suffer more than any other employee during Model 3 'production hell'

Join the conversation about this story »

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Promoted: Ushering in a New Future — Cryptocurrency Investing With Invictus

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Invictus Thumb

The Bitcoin movement has brought with it a tidal wave of activity in cryptocurrency investments and trading. As a result, crypto market capitalization soared to an all-time high of around $820 billion in early January of 2018. But since then, we have seen a massive price decline in this market, leading many to speculate that it could all be a giant bubble.

One trailblazing company that has remained forward-thinking in its approach and advancement amid this persistent downturn is Invictus Capital. Endeavoring to become the “Vanguard of cryptocurrencies,” Invictus features a comprehensive set of fund options and investments for those seeking diversified exposure to cryptocurrency markets.

Through cutting-edge developments in data science, machine learning and blockchain technology, Invictus strives to mitigate the bias, emotion and costs associated with managing cryptocurrency investment funds.

A key milestone tied to this momentum occurred in 2017, when Invictus launched its initial coin offering (ICO), known as “CRYPTO20” and widely touted as the first of its type in the world. CRYPTO20 is an index fund that tracks the top-20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, providing a window to the performance of the highest levels of the crypto market, and lets investors participate through a single token (C20 tokens).

The fund’s parameters (rebalance frequency, asset cap and number of coins) were optimized by data science and the fund managers claim all relevant forks and airdrops and stake NEO and DASH, among others — all adding to the fund value. CRYPTO20’s annual fees of 0.5 percent are far below the industry average of 2 to 3 percent, the company said. Invictus added that the fund has outperformed both BTC and the total cryptocurrency market cap to date.

Invictus’s second major milestone, the Hyperion Fund, closed in May 2018, with over 4,500 backers and $11 million raised. This venture fund model leverages the power of syndication and Invictus’s strategic value adds to facilitate access to private sale investment opportunities — at the best prices. Here, investments occur in the most promising projects through presales, simple agreements for future tokens (SAFTs) and ICOs.

Hyperion is designed to provide token holders with diversified, early stage investment opportunities in the blockchain landscape. The fund seeks to achieve this by forming strategic partnerships with some of the most talented blockchain entrepreneurs and visionaries, assisting them with both financial support and essential connections in their efforts to deliver successful ICOs.

A New Path to Investing: The Value Proposition

The foundation of Invictus’s quest is predicated by a value proposition reflected in the following:

  • An intelligent, scientific approach where data is optimized to simplify investment decisions. This approach is backed by data science and machine learning that fuels the highest levels of analysis.
  • Value creation for investors that challenges and disrupts the traditional, thereby creating a new way of investing.
  • Fostering an environment of integrity and trustworthiness for all stakeholders, including community responsibility and legal compliance; Respecting and acting with dignity while ensuring that shareholder returns are protected.
  • Ensuring transparency in investor interests while maintaining high levels of privacy with transaction details.
  • Fostering a collaborative and performance-driven approach, one that champions diversity in all of its forms. Diversity, along with innovative collaboration, allows Invictus to achieve ambitious targets and succeed in what it does.

Fueled by this set of values, Invictus has embarked on four public investments to drive its value proposition forward: NOIA Network, DAV Network, Lightstreams and Gamedex.

NOIA is a decentralized content delivery network (CDN) that makes use of unused bandwidth and storage from idle computers around the world. The project utilizes the internet’s infrastructure to dramatically improve how data is delivered, a solution that’s much cheaper than what current centralized CDN providers offer. The main ICO sale for this network will commence on July 16.

The DAV Network delivers an open-source software platform, allowing anyone to buy or sell transportation services in a decentralized market. This network can be integrated into any vehicle, enabling them to discover, communicate and transact with one another using a digital currency called the “DAV” token. The DAV network concluded its ICO on June 25 with 40,726 ETH raised.

The Lightstreams blockchain project addresses the issue of data storage when content is shared on blockchain networks. The technology focuses on the requirements of privacy, confidentiality and scalability for decentralized applications, which interact in direct, peer-to-peer channels. Lightstreams plans to launch its network infrastructure in Q3 2018, enabling a decentralized governance platform in Q4 where token holders can decide policies.

Finally, there is the investment by Hyperion in Gamedex, a platform, similar to Steam, for digital collectibles and their games. Unlike traditional collectibles (for example, baseball cards), these digital assets can be transferred to anyone on the planet instantly, their authenticity can be proven and they cannot be counterfeited or reprinted.

A Look Ahead

Daniel Schwartzkopff, the co-founder and CEO of Invictus Capital, is a South African serial entrepreneur who has launched several venture capital-backed companies. A graduate of the University of Cape Town with a degree in chemical engineering, Schwartzkopff has been featured in everything from CNBC to The Wall Street Journal

When asked about how the uncertainty facing the global cryptocurrency market has impacted and informed Invictus's strategic direction, he remains optimistic.

“The current uncertainty in the industry is related almost exclusively to the market capitalization, or prices, of cryptocurrency,” said Schwartzkopff. “In terms of the fundamentals (i.e., the technology, use cases and regulatory environment), there is far less uncertainty than there was at the price peak. In fact, the decrease in hype and ‘extreme visibility’ of blockchain projects has afforded developers the opportunity to get back to the real task at hand, which is to bring a nascent technology to the real world.”

He added that, despite the uncertain markets, Invictus’s efforts are laser-focused on providing investors with peace of mind around cryptocurrencies and legitimizing the industry.

“The cryptocurrency market is gaining mainstream traction at an unprecedented rate,” Schwartzkopff said. “This comes with an influx of retail investors, many of which lack a deeper understanding of the cryptocurrency market. Our vision is to provide a diverse range of industry-leading, low-cost options to gain exposure to this growing market without the barrier of technical complexity currently impeding adoption.”

This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

'Firing on all cylinders': The CEO of JPMorgan's giant investment bank lauds performance in memo to staff (C)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Jamie Dimon

  • JPMorgan on Friday announced record first-half revenue for equities trading and advisory fees.
  • Daniel Pinto, head of the corporate and investment bank, lauded the results in a memo to staff this morning.

It's amazing what can be done when multiple businesses work together. 

That was the message from Daniel Pinto, chief of JPMorgan's corporate and investment bank, today in a memo he sent to staff. Earnings results for the second quarter, announced on Friday, delivered first-half revenue records for advisory fees and equity trading, as well as year-over-year increases in other units. 

"Our second quarter and first half results show how impressive the CIB's global franchise can be when it's firing on all cylinders," Pinto said.

The bank reaped $4 billion from trading stocks and derivatives, and another $1.2 billion from advising on mergers and acquisitions, through the first six months of this year. Those were increases of 25% and 20%, respectively. Fixed-income markets delivered another $8 billion in revenue. 

Marianne Lake, the firm's chief financial officer who spoke on a conference call with journalists, said there's even more gains to come as the global economy hums along and industry revenue continues to grow.  

JPMorgan posted earnings per share of $2.29 earlier today, exceeding the $2.22 expectation of Wall Street analysts. Net income rose 18 percent to $8.32 billion on companywide revenue of $27.8 billion.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Bitcoin Price Avoids Decline to $6,000 but Crypto Market Still in Downtrend

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Over the past 12 hours, the bitcoin price has defended a fall below the $6,000 mark, after falling to $6,070 on July 12. Lack of Momentum and Volume The slight increase in the price of bitcoin from $6,070 to $6,250 has allowed the dominant cryptocurrency to break out of a descending trendline since July 10,

The post Bitcoin Price Avoids Decline to $6,000 but Crypto Market Still in Downtrend appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Again Shows Green Shoots After $6K Defense

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin (BTC) could soon test $6,400, having seen a high-volume reversal from the two-week lows hit yesterday.

Citi profit rises 16% in second quarter (C)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Michael Corbat

Citigroup reported second quarter earnings results Friday morning.

The bank reported adjusted earnings of $1.63, up 27% from year-ago period 

Here's the rest of the earnings: 

  • Revenue: $18.5 billion, up 3.5% from 2017
  • Net income: $4.5 billion, up 16%
  • Markets: Trading revenues decreased 1% to $4.5 billion, as a strong performance in equities trading revenue was offset by weaker fixed income results. 
  • Consumer banking: Revenues of $8.3 billion increased 2% over the year-ago period, boosted by good results in retail banking. However, the business saw lower revenues in Citi-branded cards. 

Citi CEO Michael Corbat said in a press release, “These results demonstrate good momentum across our franchise and that we are firmly on track to achieve the financial targets we introduced last year at Investor Day." 

Join the conversation about this story »

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Here comes JPMorgan... (JPM)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

jamie dimon

JPMorgan is set to announce second-quarter earnings results Friday morning.

Analysts expect the bank to report adjusted earnings of $2.22, a 30% increase from last year. 

Here' s what else analysts will be looking for:

  • Revenue: $27.3 billion
  • Net income: $7.6 billion 
  • Business conditions: Investors will be focused on the firm's net interest margin, to see what impact this year's rate hikes have had. There are also signs of a pick up in loan growth, according to KBW analysts, who will be listening to management commentary for signs of a second half increase. Intra-quarter guidance suggest that trading volumes will be mostly flat, which higher equities revenue offset by lower fixed income revenue. 
  • Geopolitical impact: Investors will be looking to hear what CEO Jamie Dimon has to say about the impact of Trump's trade war on the global economy. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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J&J ordered to pay $4.7 billion to women after claims its products gave them cancer

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder

  • Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $4.69 billion to women who said its baby powder product gave them ovarian cancer, following a jurors' ruling on Thursday.
  • The St Louis city court decision is the 6th largest product defect award in US history and could open up long-term problems for J&J as claims build against it.
  • The company’s shares fell 1.4% after the verdict on Thursday, but it has appealed against them.

Fortune 500 company, Johnson & Johnson, has been ordered to pay $4.69 billion to women who argued in court that its talc products contained asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer, Bloomberg reported.

The St Louis city court verdict is the 6th largest product defect award in US history, ordering $4.14 billion in punitive damages, on top of the $500 million designed to compensate the 22 women and their families.

The jury’s decision that J&J’s baby powder caused ovarian cancer could be more significant in the long-run then the large payout, as its stock dropped 1.4% after Thursday’s verdict against its renowned product.

"This was a new theory and the jury lined up behind it,"  Jean Eggen, a Widener University law professor who teaches about mass-tort cases told Bloomberg."That may be a harbinger of things to come and there are many more ovarian cancer cases than asbestos cases tied to the powder."

The case is linked to more than 9,000 claims that its products are linked to ovarian cancer. Imerys SA, the company that supplied the powder was also sued and settled the claim for $5 million.

Lanier, the plaintiff’s lawyer told jurors in his closing arguments that the company knew its products were contaminated with asbestos but wanted to protect the baby powder which was "their sacred cow."

The company "rigged" the tests he said, adding that if one test showed asbestos was present, the samples would be sent to another lab that J&J knew would find different results.

J&J denied the argument saying that it didn’t make sense for the company to do extensive testing and still allow the product to be harmful. The company's lawyer said it used the best labs for testing and it will appeal the jury's decision.

"[The verdict] was the product of a fundamentally unfair process that allowed plaintiffs to present a group of 22 women, most of whom had no connection to Missouri, in a single case all alleging that they developed ovarian cancer," a Carol Goodrich, J&J spokeswomen told Bloomberg.

Adding that the case was "overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding."

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Steve Cohen has reportedly backed a crypto hedge fund

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

steve cohen

  • Steve Cohen backs crypto hedge fund Autonomous Partners through Cohen Private Ventures.
  • Cohen's backing comes amid growing interest from mainstream investors in crypto assets.


Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen has invested in the crypto craze, according to Fortune.

Fortune reported on Thursday that Cohen has invested in crypto asset hedge fund Autonomous Partners through his vehicle Cohen Private Ventures. Autonomous, which was founded last year, has also raised money from Union Square Ventures and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

It is not known how much Cohen has invested in the fund but the backing coming amid growing signs of interest from institutional and more mainstream investors in crypto assets.

There are over 250 crypto-only hedge funds, with the bulk launched over the last 18 months. These give more traditional investors access to the fast-growing, but high-risk, crypto sector. Financial technology research house Autonomous Next estimates that these funds have raised as much as $5 billion between them.

Cohen made his estimated $11 billion fortune running SAC Capital, one of Wall Street's most feted hedge funds in the 2000s before it was shut down by the SEC amid an insider trading probe. SAC Capital pleaded guilty to insider trading in the US in 2013 and paid a $1.3 billion fine. Cohen never admitted personal blame but was banned from supervising funds for two years. That ban expired earlier this year.

Cohen has been focusing on his personal hedge fund, Point72, in the interim but is in the process of opening up the fund to outside capital now that his ban has expired. Last week it emerged that Britain's financial regulator had blocked Cohen from taking external investor money in the UK.

SEE ALSO: Steve Cohen's hedge fund Point72 has reportedly been blocked from taking British money

DON'T MISS: A top crypto hedge fund lawyer explains the 4 main trading strategies that funds use to make money

NEXT UP: 'A new era for capital markets': The Swiss stock exchange is launching its own cryptocurrency exchange

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Why Litecoin's Creator Is Buying Into A Bank (And How It Could Go Wrong)

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

If all goes according to plan, TokenPay and Charlie Lee's Litecoin Foundation will transform a tiny German bank into crypto's smoothest on-ramp.

Bitcoin Price Defends $6K As Upside Potential Builds

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A charting pattern suggests the bitcoin price might be able to successfully defend $6,000, despite a tug-of-wars between bulls and bears of late.

Buffett Trolled Again: Punter Bets Millions Bitcoin Price Will Soar Above Berkshire Stock

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

It’s no longer fashionable to just promise to eat your appendages if a bitcoin price prediction doesn’t come true – now the real deal is staking millions in cold, hard cash. Perhaps peeved by Warren Buffett’s constant bashing of bitcoin, an unidentified crypto bull in Australia is betting millions of dollars that the bitcoin price

The post Buffett Trolled Again: Punter Bets Millions Bitcoin Price Will Soar Above Berkshire Stock appeared first on CCN

New Bitcoin Scam Targets Embarrassed Porn Viewers

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A new scam has begun targeting porn viewers in an attempt to blackmail victims and extort $1,900 — and they only take bitcoin. Via malware, the scammers claim to have compromising footage of viewers taken from the would-be victim’s webcam while pornographic videos were playing. The scam email sent to victims begins by revealing to them

The post New Bitcoin Scam Targets Embarrassed Porn Viewers appeared first on CCN

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