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| July 17, 2018

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Build-A-Bear halts ‘Pay Your Age’ deal because of overwhelming crowds

July 16, 2018 |

Build-A-Bear Workshop’s “Pay Your Age” promotion proved too popular. The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn’t handle the crowds Thursday and had to turn shoppers away.

The company wrote in a Facebook post that it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the…


L.A. Times – Business

Judge Halts Nevada’s Controversial Execution Plan

July 11, 2018 |

A Nevada judge effectively put the execution of a two-time killer on hold Wednesday after a pharmaceutical company objected to the use of one of its drugs to put someone to death, the AP reports. Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez disallowed the use of the drug in a ruling…
Newser

Jerry Springer’s Show Halts After 4K Episodes

June 21, 2018 |

Somehow it doesn’t seem right for Jerry Springer to exit quietly. There should be one last thrown chair or a bleep-filled tirade, at the very least. Instead, it was announced with no fanfare this week that he will stop making new episodes of his memorably raucous talk show, and neither…
Newser

Regulations Round-Up: SEC “Underwhelmed” by Exchanges’ Reporting, Quebec Halts New Mining Operations Again

June 12, 2018 |

Regulations Round-Up: SEC "Underwhelmed" by Exchanges' Reporting, Quebec Halts New Mining Operations Again

In recent regulatory news, Brett Redfearn, the director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Division of Trading and Markets, has described the self-reporting efforts of cryptocurrency exchanges as “underwhelm[ing],” Hydro-Quebec has again suspended new applications from mining companies seeking to operate in the province, and the SEC has published a new page on its website encouraging consumers to “Get hip to the three ‘Rs’ of ICOs: Risks, Rewards, and Responsibilities.”

Also Read: Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: POT Saves World, Coinbase Pumps ETC, Binance Wants EUR

SEC Director “Underwhelmed” by Self-Reporting Among Crypto Exchanges

Regulations Round-Up: SEC "Underwhelmed" by Exchanges' Reporting, Quebec Halts New Mining Operations AgainBrett Redfearn, the director of the SEC’s division of trading and markets, stated that the regulator is “underwhelmed” by the efforts made by cryptocurrency exchanges to conform to the agency’s registration and self-reporting requirements during an interview with CNBC at the Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference last week.

“We’re underwhelmed by the enthusiasm for coming within the regulatory structure right now,” Mr. Redfearn stated. “There are [so many] exchanges that are trading ICOs that I would think that we would see more registrations.”

Mr. Redfearn also declined to comment on whether ETH or XRP comprise securities, however, stated that the SEC will issue statements regarding “at least one of those products forthcoming in the future.”

Hydro-Quebec Again Suspends Applications for Mining Projects

Regulations Round-Up: SEC "Underwhelmed" by Exchanges' Reporting, Quebec Halts New Mining Operations AgainCanadian state-owned utility provider and the fourth largest hydropower producer in the world, Hydro-Quebec, has again halted new applications from prospective cryptocurrency mining operations.

The halting of new applications was spurred by a request from the provincial government that Hydro-Quebec restrict the total power allotted to cryptocurrency miners to no more than 500 megawatts – a small fraction of the 17,000 megawatts thus far requested by mining companies seeking to operate in Quebec.

Pierre Moreau, Quebec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, reportedly stated that he asked Hydro-Quebec to suspend the approval of new virtual currency mining operations until regulators determine appropriate guidelines for the province’s mining industry. Mr. Moreau added that the province will seek to develop guidelines enabling it to select “the best among the companies” seeking to establish mining operations in Quebec. Eric Filion, Hydro-Quebec’s Distribution President, indicated that the new regulatory apparatus will seek to bolster Quebec’s economy whilst ensuring cheap power is available to residents.

“Get Hip to the Three ‘Rs’ of ICOs: Risks, Rewards, and Responsibilities”

Regulations Round-Up: SEC "Underwhelmed" by Exchanges' Reporting, Quebec Halts New Mining Operations AgainThe SEC has published a page on its website which, according to its meta-description, seeks to help investors and market “Get hip to the three ‘Rs’ of ICOs.”

The page emphasized that ICOs may comprise “securities offerings,” that ICOs “may need to be registered”, and emphasizes that whilst tokens “can be called a variety of names, […] merely calling a token a ‘utility’ token or structuring it to provide some utility does not prevent the token from being a security.”

The page also implores prospective investors to conduct independent research and due diligence, and warns the promotion of unregistered securities may result in legal consequences.

What are your thoughts on the current regulatory climate surrounding cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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The post Regulations Round-Up: SEC “Underwhelmed” by Exchanges’ Reporting, Quebec Halts New Mining Operations Again appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Arizona halts Uber self-driving tests; supplier says Uber disabled Volvo safety system before fatality

March 27, 2018 |

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey suspended Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving car tests on Monday, after the death of a pedestrian who was hit by one of the company’s vehicles while crossing a road in Tempe.

“Improving public safety has always been the emphasis of Arizona’s approach to autonomous vehicle…


L.A. Times – Business

Bitcoin Ransomware Attack Halts Major American City’s Government and Police

March 25, 2018 |

Bitcoin Ransomware Attack Halts Major American City’s Government and Police

Many government services in Atlanta, Georgia, a major metropolitan US city, were brought to a halt this week. Ransomware appeared on municipal computers, urging a payment of $ 51,000 in equivalent bitcoin, otherwise vital city functions would be shut down. The hackers made good on their threat, and services all over the city were impacted, including police. Into the weekend, the issue has not yet been resolved.

Also read: Bitcoiners Demand More Crypto CFDs and Spread-Betting in the UK

Atlanta Ransomware Attackers Demand Bitcoin

National Broadcast Corporation (NBC) television Atlanta, Georgia affiliate, 11 Alive, broke the story early Thursday morning: The city of Atlanta’s computers are being held hostage. The anchors announced police departments, courts, and just about every single department was impacted by the ongoing cyber attack. The attacker(s) demanded the curious sum of $ 51,000 in the equivalent of bitcoin as ransom.

At 5:30am city employees received an official email about an issue critical enough to order computers powered down and unplugged from the wall. At roughly the same time, employees were also seeing a demand for bitcoin on their screens. To be able to get back into their systems, they’d have to pay. Initially the city claimed it to be a computer outage, but leaks from various departments told another story to local media. All indications pointed to what’s known as a ransomware attack.

Bitcoin Ransomware Attack Halts Major American City’s Government

It’s not the first for a US city: Sarasota, Florida (a demand for 33 million USD was avoided by an alert worker who yanked cords from the wall); Leeds, Alabama (which paid upwards of $ 12,000 to get back into their computers); Hinesville, Georgia; Farmington, New Mexico (still do not have access to their computers); Englewood, Colorado (shut down the entire city’s computer infrastructure).  

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) teams have taken up the case. The seriousness of the situation is evidenced by a rumor the city would shut down government offices the following business day if need be. Perhaps the most maddening aspect of the whole affair was not knowing the extent of the compromise. The city’s famous international airport, evidently, wasn’t impacted. Police, however, were sent back two decades technologically, resorting to writing reports and filing them by hand (it seems this effort was taken out of caution rather than due to the hack).

Still Nothing Definitive

By mid-afternoon, city water customers were not allowed to pay water bills online, and so local government asked users to be particularly proactive in case personal data was stolen. City workers openly worried about timesheets and pay, which is all done via computer. Officials assured everyone would be paid, even if physical checks must be cut. “We don’t know the extent of the attack,” announced mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. She urged patience, “We want to make sure we don’t put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. We don’t know the extent or if anyone’s personal data or bank accounts will be compromised. All of us are subject to this attack.”

Bitcoin Ransomware Attack Halts Major American City’s GovernmentAnd while there is never a good time to have such an attack, it does come at a particularly touchy moment for Atlanta. It’s said to be on the short list for an Amazon facility, it’s set to host March Madness basketball events, and a giant gun control rally was scheduled for Saturday.

Despite multiple requests, the mayor has refused to answer whether the city will pay the bitcoin ransom.  

Should the city pay a ransom? Let us know in the comments!


Images via Pixabay, Twitter, NBC. 


At news.Bitcoin.com we do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.

The post Bitcoin Ransomware Attack Halts Major American City’s Government and Police appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

‘Worst Ever’ Fighting Halts Syria Aid Convoy

March 9, 2018 |

A top UN aid official appealed to the Syrian government and its Russian backers for a cessation of hostilities in eastern Ghouta on Thursday when a second convoy with desperately needed aid was postponed after government forces split the enclave in two, creating an evolving, unpredictable situation on the ground….
Newser

Electrolux Halts Tennessee Project, Blames Tariff Action

March 5, 2018 |

Electrolux says its plans for a $ 250 million plant expansion in Tennessee are on hold, and the Swedish appliance maker is pointing to President Donald Trump’s tariff action as the reason, the AP reports. The company’s investment plans, announced in January, included modernizing and adding 400,000 square feet to…
Newser

Texas Gov. Halts Execution for 1st Time in Over a Decade

February 23, 2018 |

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has accepted the state parole board’s recommendation and is sparing the life of convicted killer Thomas “Bart” Whitaker, the AP reports. The 38-year-old Whitaker was set for execution Thursday evening for masterminding a murder plot that took the lives of his mother and younger brother at…
Newser

Coincheck Halts Operations Amidst Hacking Rumors After $723 Million Withdrawn

January 26, 2018 |

Coincheck Halts Withdrawals Amidst Hacking Rumors After $  723 Million Withdrawn

One of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges has halted all withdrawals amidst rumors of a large-scale hack. Ripple worth $ 123 million was withdrawn from its wallet on Friday January 26. This was followed by a single withdrawal of 500 million NEM, with the altcoin’s foundation president Lon Wong then tweeting “It’s unfortunate that coincheck got hacked. But we are doing everything we can to help.” Upon news of the alleged hack surfacing, the price of NEM dipped sharply, leaving it down 19% in the past 24 hours.

Also read: Russia Finalizes Federal Law on Cryptocurrency Regulation

Media Gather at Coincheck HQ

Coincheck Halts Withdrawals Amidst Hacking Rumors After $  723 Million Withdrawn
Media start to assemble outside Coincheck’s offices.

As media gather outside Coincheck’s Tokyo HQ, onlookers are trying to work out what’s happened to the exchange. The first signs that something was amiss emerged after $ 123 million of ripple was withdrawn, followed by another huge transaction of 500 million NEM (XEM) worth around $ 600 million at the time. Shortly afterwards, the Japanese exchange announced that it had halted all withdrawals.

It has yet to be confirmed that the exchange has been hacked, despite a tweet from NEM’s president affirming as much. In a blogpost today, Coincheck wrote: “Depositing NEM on Coincheck is currently being restricted. Deposits made to your account will not be reflected in your balance, and we advise all users to refrain from making deposits until the restriction has been lifted. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused everyone.”

Coincheck Halts Withdrawals Amidst Hacking Rumors After $  723 Million Withdrawn

Japan’s Flagship Exchange Is on Lockdown

Coincheck later updated its blog post multiple times to announce firstly that it had halted the purchase and sale of NEM, then withdrawals of NEM, then all cryptocurrency purchases, and finally all payments by credit card and other fiat currencies. If it transpires that the NEM withdrawal was unauthorized, it would mean that around 5% of the total supply has been stolen. As a percentage of total supply – as well as in dollar terms – that would make the hack larger than that which befell Mt Gox in 2014, though the repercussions of today’s events will be more localized.

Coincheck Halts Withdrawals Amidst Hacking Rumors After $  723 Million Withdrawn

Since Coincheck started shutting down its operations early on Friday morning, 101 million XRP worth $ 123 million were moved followed by rumors of $ 600 million in NEM following suit. Given the subsequent tweet from NEM’s president Lon Wong, there would appear to be substance to these rumors. Founded in 2014, the same year that Mt Gox went bankrupt, Coincheck is one of Japan’s largest exchanges, with $ 631 million of cryptocurrency traded in the past 24 hours. In addition to facilitating the buying and selling of crypto, Coincheck encourages customers to use its online wallet to store their assets. This story will be updated as further details emerge.

Coincheck Halts Withdrawals Amidst Hacking Rumors After $  723 Million Withdrawn

Do you think Coincheck has been hacked, and if so what – if anything – can Ripple or NEM do to freeze the stolen funds? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coincheck, and Naoya Fujita.


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The post Coincheck Halts Operations Amidst Hacking Rumors After $ 723 Million Withdrawn appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News