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Nearly eight months after Meredith completed its purchase of Time, the publisher has agreed to sell Time magazine for $ 190 million to Marc Benioff, co-founder of Salesforce.com, and his wife Lynne. The Benioffs are the latest wealthy people from the tech world to buy a traditional news publication.
WSJ.com: US Business
Billionaire Richard DeVos, co-founder of direct-selling giant Amway, owner of the Orlando Magic, and father-in-law of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, died Thursday. He was 92. Family spokesman Nick Wasmiller says DeVos died at his western Michigan home due to complications from an infection, the AP reports. DeVos was born in…
Chinese billionaire Liu Qiangdong was arrested last week on suspicion of rape, Minneapolis police said on Tuesday as they continue to investigate the entrepreneur’s actions during a residency at the University of Minnesota.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
Liu Qiangdong’s appearance to announce a partnership with the Chinese company that owns Swiss luxury brand Bally—as Minneapolis police investigate an allegation of sexual misconduct—underscores what business observers describe as his extraordinary confidence.
WSJ.com: US Business
A Chinese billionaire was arrested in Minneapolis late Friday on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, the AP reports. Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, founder of Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was released Saturday. Minneapolis police wouldn’t give details due to the ongoing investigation and told Reuters charges could…
Papa John’s International Inc. founder John Schnatter escalated his legal battle with the pizza chain, suing the board of directors and Chief Executive Steve Ritchie to “stop the irreparable harm” to the company that he said they’re causing.
The complaint, filed Thursday in Delaware Chancery Court,…
Papa John’s is mandating diversity training for its staff as founder John Schnatter pushes to regain control of the pizza company that executives say was destabilized by his divisive behavior.
WSJ.com: US Business
Papa John’s International Inc.’s founder, blocked from the pizza chain’s headquarters amid a deepening dispute with the rest of the board, is betting that franchisees and workers will have his back.
John Schnatter, who resigned as chairman last month, took out a full-page ad in the company’s hometown…
He’s not flashy. He doesn’t post photographs of himself aboard yachts, arm-in-arm with scantily-clad groupies. A safe bet would be to assume he doesn’t own a sharkskin suit. Instead, his preference seems to be in the background, slightly obscured, faded almost. And yet he is arguably the most important man in cryptocurrency right now, and at least a most important man in crypto at the moment. News.Bitcoin.com set out to profile the Bitmain co-founder, Jihan Wu, to bring him more into focus for the broader community.
Meet Bitmain’s Jihan Wu, a Most Important Man in Crypto
In recent years, and the last few months especially, it’s been getting harder for Jihan Wu to remain that background figure. Co-founder of Bitmain Technologies, a dominant mining player, Jihan Wu is a billionaire a few times over. Indeed, Bitmain is doing billions in revenue each year, and it’s only been around for half a decade. Mr. Wu is himself just a tender 32 years old. Chances are, he is going to be a force in the space for some time to come.
He’s openly admired by some, and downright hated by others. Whatever an enthusiast’s feeling towards Mr. Wu, they’ll all admit to him being an unavoidable fixture within the ecosystem. The China-based mogul and the company he founded with two others, including Micree Zhan, most notably helped to bring application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) to the nascent field of mining. It turned out to be a genius move for Mr. Wu, a former financial analyst.
ASICs have become the world standard in bitcoin mining, leaving graphics processing units (GPUs) in the dust at some 300 times faster. That speed becomes critical as the bitcoin inflation rate slows and coins become more difficult to mine. Bitmain has positioned itself to take full advantage. Once an afterthought in the community, mining has been brought to the forefront by the work of Bitmain, easily cryptocurrency’s most profitable company.
Software, Hardware, Clouds
Bitmain and Mr. Wu have branched out beyond just chips and software, developing their own mining pool, Antpool, along with BTC.com. Depending on the time period and outlet studying Antpool’s block mining prowess, nearly a quarter of all Bitcoin blocks mined have gone through Antpool (that number balloons to 40% when combined with BTC.com). Bitmain has also crafted hardware for mining in the form of the Antminer (estimates have Bitmain in control of something like 80% of all mining gear), and continues to invest in the growing sector of cloud mining with Hashnest.
At his discovery of Bitcoin, Mr. Wu, so enamored with the technology, became the first person to translate Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper into Chinese. Being from China and in China, especially considering the country’s government and its battles with crypto, just about every conceivable conspiracy has been placed at the feet of Mr. Wu and Bitmain.
Competitors have accused him and the company of shady tactics, including 51% attacks on rival chains, collusion to better situate Bitmain where it is less competitive, and other assorted underhanded deeds (all of which Mr. Wu angrily denies). His most controversial efforts are forever linked to the fork of Bitcoin Core (BTC) a year ago this month. Rendering Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Mr. Wu hasn’t alleviated fears in this regard. He is a vocal and very enthusiastic supporter of BCH.
The growth rate of Bitmain under Mr. Wu’s leadership seems poised to move from relative obscurity in the formal financial sector with a record-shattering initial public offering (IPO). Estimates, and it’s all very preliminary, value the company at closing-in on ten billion dollars. This would place it ready to take on public rivals such as Nvidia and Mediatek should the IPO come to fruition.
Asked by Fortune in a recent interview about the future, Mr. Wu elaborated, “My priority is, first, that we will continue to invest a lot of resources into the research and R&D of mining rigs to make sure we maintain an advantage over other competitors, like Avalon. We will also invest into our vision about the future of a crypto market. We think that it will start to support the real world economy, and to build more than this financial market on the Internet. Bitmain will also start to deploy lots of artificial intelligence products into the market—a totally new business selling hardware to do artificial intelligence accelerations,” he stressed.
To reach IPO levels in the legacy financial world would mean coming out of the shadows, and opening up books and practices, not to mention dealing with regulators. Mining has been under a great deal of scrutiny from the likes of environmentalists to local municipal utility concerns, and regulators are chomping at the bit to intervene in players such as Bitmain. On this topic, Mr. Wu explained of regulators, “Our business is semiconductor design. Circle [a U.S. cryptocurrency startup privately valued at $ 3 billion after Bitmain led its most recent financing round] has been much more experienced with regulators. That’s why Bitmain is interested in Circle as well. We see in the future that negotiating and working with regulators is quite important. We need to push those heavy regulations back a little bit. But we need to work with them, not just try to get around it.”
What are your thoughts about Bitmain and Jihan Wu? Share them in the comments section below.
Images via Pixabay.
The post Bitmain Founder Jihan Wu: A Most Important Man in Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against an oil and gas exploration company and its founder who “perpetrated a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) to fund oil exploration and drilling in California.” The token sale failed to raise money but the tokens were issued as part of a bounty program, which the SEC considers securities.
SEC Took Action
The SEC announced Tuesday that it has taken action against David Thompson Laurance and the oil and gas exploration company he founded, Tomahawk Exploration LLC. Laurance attempted to raise money by issuing digital tokens, tomahawkcoins (TOM).
Founded by Laurance in 2010, Tomahawk “engaged in an offering of Tomahawk securities that constituted penny stock,” the SEC described. The 76-year-old California resident is the sole managing member of Tomahawk.
“The SEC’s order finds that Tomahawk and Laurance violated the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws,” the Commission detailed, adding:
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Tomahawk and Laurance consented to a cease and desist order and Laurance consented to an officer and director bar, penny stock bar, and a $ 30,000 penalty.
The SEC has obtained a permanent officer and director bar against Laurance which prevents him from serving as an officer or a director of any SEC-reporting company.
The penny stock bar prohibits him from owning a penny stock in his own account as well as engaged in any activities related to an offering of a penny stock including acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent, broker, dealer, or issuer.
The Founder and his Company
According to the SEC, Laurance “perpetrated a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) to fund oil exploration and drilling in California.”
He used “inflated projections of oil production that were contradicted by the company’s own internal analysis” in his promotional materials. In addition, he “misleadingly suggested that Tomahawk possessed leases for drilling sites when it did not,” the Commission clarified.
Tomahawk’s promo materials described Laurance as having a “flawless background,” omitting information about his prior criminal conviction for his role in fraudulent securities offerings. “Tomahawk also claimed that token owners would be able to convert the tomahawkcoins into equity and potentially profit from the anticipated oil production and secondary trading of the tokens,” the SEC detailed.
Robert A. Cohen, Chief of the SEC’s Cyber Unit, warned:
Investors should be alert to the risk of old-school frauds, like oil and gas schemes, masquerading as innovative blockchain-based ICOs.
No Money Raised but Bounty Tokens are Securities
Tomahawk originally wanted to raise $ 5 million through the ICO after failing to raise funds through private investments and public capital markets.
The company, however, “failed to raise money through the ICO…[but] issued approximately 80,000 TOM as part of a ‘bounty program’ in exchange for online promotional and marketing services,” the SEC noted. Based on the facts and circumstances of the case, “TOM tokens are securities because they are investment contracts…and because they represent a transferable share or option on a security,” the Commission elaborated:
Tomahawk’s issuance of tokens under the bounty program constituted an offer and sale of securities because the company provided TOM to investors in exchange for services designed to advance Tomahawk’s economic interests and foster a trading market for its securities.
The SEC concluded that Tomahawk and Laurance violated the Securities Act by “offering and selling TOM without having a registration statement filed or in effect with the Commission or qualifying for an exemption from registration with the Commission.”
What do you think of the SEC’s action against Tomahawk and its founder? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the SEC.
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The post SEC Fines and Permanently Bars Founder of Fraudulent Oil Exploration Token appeared first on Bitcoin News.