Data protection and coronavirus | ICO

We all share the same concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The need for public bodies and health practitioners to be able to communicate directly with people when dealing with this type of health emergency has never been greater. Data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop Government, the NHS or any other health professionals from sending public health messages to people, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing. Nor does it stop them using the latest technology to facilitate safe…

US Court Fines ICOBox $16M for Securities Violation in SEC Case

A federal court has ordered ICOBox to pay a $16 million penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) for violating U.S. securities law. On March 5, Judge Dale S. Fischer of the District Court for the Central District of California granted the SEC’s motion for default judgment against the ICO-as-a-service platform and founder and CEO Nikolay Evdokimov. The SEC first brought charges against ICOBox in September 2019, accusing the company of hosting an unregistered securities sale. The regulator also accused the company of acting as an unlicensed securities broker…

New Celo Alliance Has Same Aims as Libra – And Some of the Same Partners

The Silicon Valley crypto startup cLabs, focused on mobile payments and the Celo blockchain project, is following another precedent from Facebook’s Libra playbook by launching an industry association through a separate Celo Foundation. Dozens of blockchain companies and investors – including Libra Association members Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz, Bison Trails and Anchorage – are committing to promote Celo tokens in some fashion by joining this “Alliance for Prosperity.” “The Alliance will use blockchain technology to reimagine the future of money and create inclusive financial tools,” C Labs founder Rene Reinsberg said…

YouTube Temporarily Bans Two Popular Crypto Channels Claiming Policy Breach

YouTube has deleted videos and temporarily banned the accounts of two more cryptocurrency enthusiasts citing a breach in company policy. Earlier this week, cryptocurrency educator “Ivan on Tech” and crypto news reporter “The Moon” took to Twitter to express their anger over being censored for what they believed were overreactions by the video sharing platform. YouTube had delivered a strike notice to both accounts, which essentially restricts the ability for content creators to upload videos, live streams or stories for a set period, based on the number of strikes received…

Blockforce Capital’s Crypto Fund Captures 86% of Bitcoin’s Upside in 2020

In the first two months of 2020, Blockforce Capital’s multi-strategy master fund saw a 16.8 percent return compared to a 19.5 percent return in bitcoin, the company announced in a note to accredited investors.  Blockforce is a seasoned ETF issuer which specializes in alternative investment vehicles for investors. In February of last year the company infamously filed the first proposal for an exchange-traded fund made up of a mix of currencies including bitcoin only to pull the fund at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s request the next day. Currently,…

Circle Rolls Out Stablecoin Business Accounts, Preps SeedInvest for Sale

Circle’s full-tilt pivot into stablecoins is nearly complete.  The payments startup intends to sell SeedInvest, the crowdfunding platform it bought a year ago, and focus its remaining assets on developing stablecoin products, said Jeremy Allaire, one of Circle’s co-founders and its remaining CEO (fellow co-founder and one-time co-CEO Sean Neville stepped down last year). As part of this process, on Tuesday the company will roll out new APIs and Circle Business Accounts, which corporate clients can use to conduct business in USDC, a token on the ethereum blockchain designed to…

What the Oil Market Says About Bitcoin’s ‘Safe Haven’ Status

Monday’s historic financial tumult reached beyond stocks, sinking commodities and even bitcoin markets. “I don’t think any asset is safe right now – except cash, U.S. dollars,” said Ali Khedery, formerly Exxon’s senior Middle East advisor and now CEO of U.S.-based strategy firm Dragoman Ventures. While bitcoin prices dropped nearly 10 percent over the weekend, Saudi Arabia slashed its export oil prices when Russia refused to support an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) effort to reduce oil production. Coronavirus quarantines mean fewer cars on the road, economic slowdown…

Blog: Don’t get caught out when it comes to pupil photos

A blog by Andrew Laing, ICO Head of Data Protection Complaints We’ve issued two reprimands, which are legal warnings, recently to schools for wrongly disclosing the personal data of children. In the first case a class photograph, sent to a local newspaper by a Cheshire primary school, included the images of two pupils whose adoptive parents had refused consent for their children’s images to be shared. The second reprimand, issued to a Humberside primary school, followed a class photograph being taken and sent home to parents. The photo included the…

Combining privacy and innovation: ICO Sandbox six months on

It’s been an exciting, interesting and challenging first six months for the ICO Sandbox – both for those externally involved in the various projects and for the ICO staff working on the scheme. Ian Hulme discusses the progress so far. In September 2019, we launched the beta phase of the Sandbox, the ICO initiative to support organisations innovating using data protection by design. The ten projects selected represent a range of industries and organisations looking for solutions to tackle some of the most fundamental questions for today’s society. How can…

Exiled Bitmain Co-Founder Is Fighting Back With Second Lawsuit

Micree Ketuan Zhan, the ousted co-founder of Bitmain, has filed another lawsuit in his fight to regain control of the bitcoin mining giant – this time in his home country. A recent notice from the Changle District court in China’s Fujian province indicates Zhan has filed a lawsuit against Bitmain’s fully-owned subsidiary Fujian Zhanhua Intelligence Technologies, as well as Beijing Bitmain Technologies as a related third party.  A hearing of the case was scheduled on Feb. 11, according to the notice, although it’s likely postponed due to the disruption caused…