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Bitmain Hits Back at “Dirty Tricks” Accusations

May 15, 2018 |

Bitmain Hits Back at “Dirty Tricks” Accusations

Chinese mining behemoth Bitmain has strongly refuted allegations that it pressurized an ASIC manufacturer into shutting out a foreign competitor. In a widely shared blog post, Siacoin’s lead developer David Vorick lifted the lid on the cutthroat ASIC mining business. In a response, Bitmain praised Vorick’s input to the industry – but took exception to one particular section of his writeup.

Also read: Siacoin Developer: ASICS Are “Money Printing Machines” for Manufacturers

Bitmain Breaks Its Silence

Bitmain Hits Back at “Dirty Tricks” AccusationsBitmain is a company of few words, preferring to let its ruthlessly efficient ASIC miners do the talking. It was stirred into breaking its silence, however, after an explosive blog post by David Vorick was published three days ago. The lengthy article contained a number of revelations and allegations about the cryptocurrency mining business, and Bitmain’s role in particular.

As we reported: “Siacoin’s lead developer repeats claims he has heard that “Bitmain plays dirty”. Vorick was allegedly told that Bitmain would use its power to stop other ASIC companies from manufacturing in China. Despite going to great pains to conceal Obelisk’s involvement in such a deal, the Chinese manufacturer backed out suddenly in a move that reportedly cost Obelisk $ 2 million. There is no proof that the manufacturer was leaned on by Bitmain, but David Vorick leaves no doubt as to where his suspicions lie.”

Not content to take this accusation lying down, Bitmain has hit back, retorting: “Considering the truly vast number and diversity of suppliers in China, it’s difficult to consider that Bitmain could possibly exert such powerful control over a competitor’s supply chain to the degree the article suggests.” Interestingly, Bitmain doesn’t outright deny the allegation, focusing instead on the fact that “six percent of [Vorick’s] total article” is taken up with exploring these supposed dirty tricks.

A Few Words From One of the Industry’s Most Furtive Organizations

Siacoin Developer: ASICS Are “Money Printing Machines” for Manufacturers
The new Obelisk ASIC miner

David Vorick’s blog post was a 5,300-word tour de force. Bitmain’s riposte, in comparison, runs to just 380 words, which provide just enough space in which to refute allegations of “dirty tricks” and the notion that “Bitmain floods the market with its mining rigs”. It’s curious that the mining company should choose to address this latter point, because nowhere in Vorick’s article does he accuse the company of flooding the market with rigs per se. He does though accuse the company of various other underhand tactics, such as mining with its own units and then shipping them once they’re no longer profitable, but Bitmain makes no mention of this.

As David Vorick acknowledged in his blog, it is extremely difficult to prove his audacious claims. If a large ASIC manufacturer was to conspire with a domestic supplier to thwart a rival, there would be no paper trail to go on. As a result, readers can only speculate as to who they believe is telling the truth: Siacoin and Obelisk developer David Vorick or Bitmain.

Do you believe Bitmain? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The post Bitmain Hits Back at “Dirty Tricks” Accusations appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Craig Wright Shrugs Off Plagiarism Accusations

April 13, 2018 |

Craig Wright Shrugs Off Plagiarism Accusations

Nchain chief scientist Craig Wright is a prolific blockchain researcher, with dozens of papers and patents to his name. He’s also a controversial and outspoken figure who has ruffled numerous figures in the crypto space. Some of these opponents have taken it upon themselves to scrutinize his work, and claim to have found incidents of plagiary.

Also read: Nchain to Offer Smart Contract Patents Exclusively to the Bitcoin Cash Community

Craig Wright Accused of Not Citing His Sources

Nchain, led by Jimmy Nguyen and chief scientist Craig Wright, is a blockchain-based research company that is famous for the number of patents it has filed. Only this week, reported on Nchain’s first approved patent by the European Patent Office, for blockchain-enforced smart contracts. The originality of some of Dr Wright’s work has been called into question, however, with a couple of detractors raising concerns.

“The Fallacy of Selfish Mining: A Mathematical Critique”, published in July 2017, is one of Craig Wright’s better known papers. It was another blockchain chief scientist, Bitcoin Unlimited’s Peter Rizun, known Wright antagonist, who spotted the alleged plagiarism. The gambling system heavily referenced in White’s paper makes no mention of the paper it apparently draws its inspiration from, “A strong limit theorem on gambling systems” published by Wen Liu and Jinting Wang in 2003.

Craig Wright Shrugs Off Plagiarism Accusations
The 2003 paper Wright is alleged to have copied
Craig Wright Shrugs Off Plagiarism Accusations
A similar section from the 2003 paper appears in Craig Wright’s

Craig Wright Goes on the Offensive

In response to the accusations of plagiary, Craig Wright asserted via Twitter that it was the job of the “professional academic editing company” who vets his work to check sources and citations. Since Wright failed to mention Wen Liu and Jinting Wang’s paper, however, the editing team would not have known to acknowledge this. Plagiary is not uncommon in the crypto space, with whitepapers by the likes of Tron and Dadi also subject to copy+paste claims.

Craig Wright Shrugs Off Plagiarism Accusations

Craig Wright has also been called out by Omni blockchain’s developer over one of the features in Nchain’s recently awarded patent. The Omni dev claims that one of Wright’s proposals for embedding data in public keys was first used by Counterparty and Omni as far back as 2013. Wright remains defiant though, and has invoked the Streisand Effect, claiming that his critics’ scrutiny helps his work reach a far wider audience than it would have otherwise have received.

Craig Wright Shrugs Off Plagiarism Accusations

Do you think Craig Wright is guilty of plagiary, or are his detractors being unfair? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Craig Wright Shrugs Off Plagiarism Accusations appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

U.K.’s Labour Party Faces Anti-Semitism Accusations

April 2, 2018 |

Britain’s opposition Labour Party is facing accusations of anti-Semitism that reached the party’s senior leadership and triggered a resignation of a close ally of party leader and veteran leftist Jeremy Corbyn. What’s News Europe

Paul Marciano giving up daily duties at Guess following sexual harassment accusations

February 21, 2018 |

Guess Inc. Chairman Paul Marciano is relinquishing his day-to-day duties at the company in the wake of sexual harassment accusations by model Kate Upton and other women.

The board and Marciano agreed that he should step away from the business — without drawing a salary — until the completion of…

L.A. Times – Business

Foes Blame Scientology for Haggis Rape Accusations

January 16, 2018 |

The co-hosts of A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath are defending fellow ex-Scientologist Paul Haggis, suggesting the church may be behind sexual misconduct accusations against him , which include two allegations of rape. In an open letter , Leah Remini and Mike Rinder say it is “very suspect” when people “seek hush…

Investors Call Foul Play as Coinbase Parries Insider Trading Accusations

December 20, 2017 |

Investors Call Foul Play as Coinbase Parries Insider Trading Accusations

The operation had been underway for weeks. Had all gone to plan, Coinbase and Gdax customers would have awoken on Wednesday morning to discover that bitcoin cash trading had finally been added. Traders would relish the liquidity this new market would bring, the exchanges would scoop up more fees, and bitcoin core maximalists would soon be able to offload their bitcoin cash. In the event, everything went worse than expected.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Jumps 70% as Coinbase and Gdax Announce Immediate Trading

The Best Laid Plans

Shortly after Coinbase announced trading of bitcoin cash was live, its price – which had already been climbing – rocketed across all exchanges. Shortly afterwards, things swiftly went awry. Traders piled into Coinbase’s sister exchange Gdax, where BCH surged to a premium of $ 8,500 per coin within just four minutes. It was then that Coinbase pulled the plug, suspending trading and leaving buyers high and dry with no means of exiting before the coin corrected to levels consistent with other exchanges.

Investors Call Foul Play as Coinbase Parries Insider Trading Accusations
The sell wall of death

Crypto Twitter went into meltdown, and accusations were flung around suggesting that Coinbase’s inner circle had been allowed to profit off the news in advance. The exchange was forced to issue a rebuttal strongly denying these claims, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. One legal mind opined that Coinbase could be susceptible to a lawsuit, stating: “Due to the size of the wall, it is very unlikely that the issuer of the sale order is anonymous to Coinbase. If it is, Coinbase may very well be complicit by appearing to work with the seller(s) and prohibiting any sale below that amount.”

Others begged the SEC to intervene, but Blocktower Capital’s Ari Paul countered: “It’s literally impossible to prevent. A team has to integrate a new coin on to the platform. There’s no way to keep a secret that requires a team’s involvement. And there’s no way to prevent those who know the secret from secretly buying cryptocurrency…If you want fair, cryptocurrency isn’t for you. Stick with assets that are based on trusting the regulatory and legal infrastructure.”

A number of anomalies have arisen surrounding the Coinbase/Gdax debacle, starting with the 30% rise of bitcoin cash in the days and hours leading up to the announcement, suggesting that those in the know were profiting off this play. The fact that BCH was launched as a “buy only” option on the exchange is another red flag; had customers been allocated the forked BCH they’ve been waiting on for more than four months, this situation could have been avoided.

Investors Call Foul Play as Coinbase Parries Insider Trading Accusations
Twitter users posted photoshopped memes mocking Coinbase

Insider Trading or Smart Strategy?

There were a few clues that Coinbase was poised to imminently add bitcoin cash. As early as Sunday, a leaked screenshot suggested that BCH markets could go live at any moment. Astute traders capitalized on this to their advantage. Those who didn’t, some might say, are simply FOMO’ing at not having bought in sooner. Nevertheless, the experience has left a bad taste in the mouth of those who bought high and then were prevented from selling at anywhere close to the price they got in at.

Investors Call Foul Play as Coinbase Parries Insider Trading Accusations

In a blogpost on Wednesday, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong explained that the company’s insider trading policy:

Prohibits employees and contractors from trading on “material non-public information”, such as when a new asset will be added to our platform. In addition to trading restrictions, it prohibits communication of material non-public information outside the company. This includes to friends and family.

That’s easy to say but virtually impossible to enforce. Short of sequestering staffers, as if they were jurors in a high profile trial, there is no way of preventing word from spreading to friends and associates. Due to the size of Coinbase, any cryptocurrency added can expect a short-term boost in price – and often those gains can be substantial.

Investors Call Foul Play as Coinbase Parries Insider Trading Accusations

Buy On The Rumor

Coinbase isn’t the only entity to have been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion this week. A number of altcoin projects have faced similar accusations from their community. The price of cryptocurrency Einsteinium (EMC2) has soared over the past couple of weeks after its team breathlessly teased at a “mindblowing announcement”.

Investors Call Foul Play as Coinbase Parries Insider Trading Accusations

In the event, the news was not the major partnership that many speculators had hoped for, instead pertaining to an amendment of the coin’s mining algorithm. EMC2 rapidly plummeted in price, forcing the team to issue a reproachful statement which concluded: “Because of the reaction we will never be pre announcing news again.”

IOTA is another altcoin accused of overplaying developments: the coin shot to almost $ 5.10 days ago, buoyed by news of a Microsoft partnership. It later emerged that this partnership was a standard agreement that any company could voluntarily enter into with the software giant.

Brian Armstrong concluded today’s blogpost by stating:

I take the confidentiality of material non-public information very seriously as CEO. Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter. If we find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policies — directly or indirectly — I will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action.

These words will do little to assuage disgruntled traders who are still smarting.

Do you think Coinbase are to blame for today’s events? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Keep track of the bitcoin exchange rate in real-time.

The post Investors Call Foul Play as Coinbase Parries Insider Trading Accusations appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Co-Anchors ‘Reeling’ From Charlie Rose Accusations

November 21, 2017 |

CBS This Morning aired as scheduled Tuesday with one less anchor chair. But though Charlie Rose was absent, suspended Monday following sexual harassment allegations from eight women, his co-anchors, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, made the scandal the program’s top story . “I really am reeling … I am not OK,…

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross faces accusations that he lied about his wealth

November 8, 2017 |

Just a day after defending himself against reports that he failed to disclose his business links to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s family, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross came under wider scrutiny Tuesday over his financial holdings and whether he had been forthcoming about his wealth.


L.A. Times – Business

Weinstein Hired ‘Army of Spies’ to Quash Accusations

November 7, 2017 |

In what turned out to be a futile attempt to avoid his downfall, Harvey Weinstein hired an “army of spies” to target women accusing him of sexual assault or harassment and the journalists trying to report on their claims, Ronan Farrow writes in his second explosive Weinstein story in the…

NPR chief editor is placed on leave after sexual harassment accusations

November 1, 2017 |

The chief editor at National Public Radio, Michael Oreskes, was placed on leave Tuesday after a published report that he abruptly kissed two women who were seeking jobs while he was Washington bureau chief at the New York Times in the 1990s.

The women formally complained to NPR and told their stories…

L.A. Times – Business