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| June 27, 2019

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Penn State Professor Accused of Kidnapping 2 Women

May 13, 2019 |

A Penn State professor is accused of putting two women through a terrifying experience while moonlighting as an Uber driver. Police in Pittsburgh say Richard Lomotey, 36, departed from the app’s route after picking the two women up around 1:30am Saturday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. He told them that…

Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology

April 22, 2019 |

Israeli University Suing Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology

A leading Israeli university is suing one of its own senior staff members for allegedly creating a zero-knowledge proofs technology company based on the intellectual property the professor developed while working for the institution.

Also Read: Will Belarus Be the First Country With Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mining?

The Technion Wants a Piece of Starkware

The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, a research university established in 1912, has filed a lawsuit in the Haifa District Court against computer science lecturer Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson, claiming that he acted in violation of the institution’s intellectual property regulations. Ben-Sasson is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of the blockchain technology startup Starkware and the Technion now demands from the court the transfer of 50% of all his shares in the company.

Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology
The Israeli national flag next to that of the Technion

The university claims that the professor tried to keep it in the dark about the establishment of the company and that he did not ask for the Technion’s approval for the commercialization of the intellectual property that belongs to the institution. Ben-Sasson’s defense denies these accusations, saying that Starkware did not use or intend to use an invention belonging to the Technion and that the university therefore has no right to his shares. However, they have offered to give the Technion a certain share of ownership in the company, dependent upon reaching a compromise agreement in the near future.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology Worth Millions

Starkware promises to improve the scalability and privacy of blockchains using STARK technology, providing zero-knowledge cryptographic proofs that are “post-quantum secure” with no need for a trusted setup. Besides Ben-Sasson, the company’s other co-founders are Prof. Alessandro Chiesa (UC Berkeley), Uri Kolodny, and Michael Riabzev (Ben-Sasson’s doctoral student at the Technion).

Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology
The Computer Science Faculty building in the Technion

In May 2018, Starkware had announced it had completed a $ 6 million seed funding round with participation from Vitalik Buterin, Zcash Co., Arthur Breitman (Tezos), Da Hongfei (NEO), Bitmain, Elad Gil, Fred Ehrsam, Linda Xie, Pantera, Naval Ravikant, Metastable, Floodgate, Polychain and others. By October it closed a $ 30 million equity round, led by Paradigm with investors such as Intel Capital, Sequoia, Atomico, DCVC, Wing, Consensys, Coinbase Ventures, Multicoin Capital, Collaborative Fund, Scalar Capital and Semantic Ventures. In July of that same year the startup also reportedly got a $ 6.7 million grant from the Ethereum Foundation.

What do you think about this lawsuit? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Economics Professor on Ripple Board Misrepresents Bitcoin During Stanford Lecture

March 2, 2019 |

A Stanford student has submitted a letter of complaint to the Graduate School Board stating that a resident economics professor grossly misrepresented Bitcoin during a guest lecture on blockchain and the future of finance, while openly promoting Ripple as a better alternative.

Also read: Warren Buffett Calls Bitcoin a Delusion – But an Ingenious One

Questionable Academic Integrity

When Stanford student Conner Brown entered a lecture hall at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in January 2019 to attend a guest lecture by Susan Athey, Economics of Technology Professor at Stanford, he got more than he bargained for. So much so that he felt compelled to write the school board:

During the presentation from Dr. Athey there were multiple misstatements that were concerning to me. I understand that she is a respected professor at Stanford and that these may have been accidental; however I also believe that it is in the best interest of our academic environment that we ensure high caliber discussion and peer review.

He added: “My concerns revolve around misstatements around Bitcoin in comparison to Ripple’s token called XRP. I would also like to raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest in a professor making false statements while simultaneously promoting a product that claims to solve these problems and being paid by that company.”

The lecturer in question is an acclaimed economist who’s previously held a chair at Harvard. The highly cited professor, tasked with teaching an upcoming course in cryptocurrencies at Stanford University, might have been assumed to be an expert in her field.

Her decision to shill Ripple while criticizing Bitcoin has been attributed not to ignorance, but to the fact that she sits on Ripple’s Board of Directors, which she joined back in 2014.

A Litany of Errors

In his letter, which reads like a college-level introduction to Bitcoin, Conner Brown articulates the points where Athey’s presentation was misguided. These arguments include:

  • Conflating mining nodes and full validating nodes on the Bitcoin network and thus claiming that Bitcoin is “controlled by a small group of miners in China.”
  • Claiming that Bitcoin accounts are “secured economically and not cryptographically.”
  • Claiming that “Bitcoin wastes electricity by stealing from rivers to solve useless math problems.”
  • Claiming that Mexican financial institutions are using Ripple technology.
  • Claiming that Ripple does not sell XRP, they only “routinely disperse” the token.
  • Showcasing outdated bitcoin wallets from circa 2013 without mentioning ensuing technological advancements.
  • Claiming that if you enter the incorrect Bitcoin address, the funds disappear without mentioning that modern wallets have QR code functionality to prevent this.
Economics Professor on Ripple Board Member Misrepresents Bitcoin in Favor of XRP During Stanford Lecture
Athey’s slide on an XRP use case, for which Brown says he could find no corroborative evidence.

Brown proceeded to debunk each statement in turn, citing well-known research and research papers. Being a diligent student of Bitcoin and of life, he really did his homework:

I called the company that Ripple has publicly stated uses the technology and asked them if they use “xRapid” or any services provided by Ripple, their response was “No.” I’ve attached the audio clip below.

With Great Commercial Power Comes Great Academic Responsibility

To chalk up Athey’s blunders to innocent — even ignorant — mistakes would seem impossible given that he’s an economist at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, lecturing on a topic she’s meant to know a lot about. Athey has been on Ripple’s Board of Directors for the past five years, a company she’s proud to be associated with:

…all of those problems can potentially be addressed, and indeed startups are working on all of them within the Bitcoin community. However, it made me wonder whether there wasn’t a simpler way to solve this problem, one that still took advantage of the fundamental innovation from Bitcoin, a secure ledger. As I was grappling with these questions, I learned about the Ripple protocol. I realized that it addressed all of these problems.

Worse still, her promotion of XRP within an academic setting doesn’t appear to be the first time, as this Twitter user mentions:

In the face of what appears to be a blatant promotion of an altcoin she has a vested interest in, Athey has brought not only her own but also Stanford’s academic integrity into question.

Ripple’s Blockchain Initiative Program, which has entered schools, sounds eerily in tune with what Brown and his classmates experienced. As the company’s SVP of Global Operations Eric van Miltenburg describes it:

We are placing full faith in these universities, knowing that the students and faculty are the most capable individuals in the field. We want to help accelerate what is already a spark by turning that into a flame to help these schools move forward.

Ripple Is More Relevant Than Bitcoin

A month after receiving no response to his letter from Stanford, Brown took to Twitter to relate his experience.

Athey responded, stating that she’d never received the complaint letter. At Brown’s request, she shared a copy of her presentation:

Software engineer and founder of Bitcoin Advisory, Pierre Rochard, was not impressed:

Athey defended her focus on Bitcoin’s early days without mentioning its current technology status, stating:

She then added that her references to XRP (which she says she was transparent about) are particularly relevant to the here and now:

Whatever Athey’s intended agenda, with cryptocurrencies increasingly placed on the curriculum of tertiary institutions, it’s of utmost importance that a faculty’s representation of the technology is fair, equal, and unbiased. On this occasion, there would appear to be a prima facie case for asserting that the professor overstepped the mark.

What’s your take on Brown’s criticisms of Athey’s lecture? Let us know in the comments section below.

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The post Economics Professor on Ripple Board Misrepresents Bitcoin During Stanford Lecture appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Professor Accused of Selling Student’s Research for $1.5M

February 28, 2019 |

The University of Missouri system is suing a pharmacy professor at its Kansas City campus over allegations he stole and sold a student’s research, claiming that the school is the rightful owner of work it believes could be used to make a billion-dollar drug. The university has filed a federal…


Australian professor, sister found dead in Argentina on relative’s property

January 28, 2019 |

The remains of an Australian university professor and her sister have been found buried at the home of a family relative in Argentina, days after they were first reported missing. – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

Italian-Born Professor Strove to Make Americans Kinder and More Considerate

December 29, 2018 |

P.M. Forni, a scholar of Italian literature, found his calling as a promoter of civility after concluding that he wanted his students to become kind people more than experts on Dante. What’s News Europe


British-Iranian professor returns to UK after detention in Iran

December 26, 2018 |

Abbas Edalat, a British-Iranian professor who was arrested and detained in Iran for eight months, has returned to the UK, according to British authorities. – RSS Channel – World

US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper Innovation

December 11, 2018 |

US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations to Hamper Innovation

Carol Goforth is a professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law. She recently published a paper about the consequences of having cryptocurrency regulations fall under a number of conflicting laws, defined by various U.S. authorities, all at the same time.

Also Read: IRS to Face Record Number of Crypto-Related Loss Claims

Confusing, Prohibitive and Expensive Regulations

US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper InnovationCrypto assets are currently regulated in the U.S. as property by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as money by the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen), as commodities by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and as securities by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Additionally, every single state has its own set of laws that may apply to crypto, and some have even adopted unique regulatory approaches towards the matter.

This has produced a set of overlapping rules and confusing requirements that is likely to hamper innovation in the American crypto industry, according to law professor Carol Goforth. Moreover, the expenses associated with complying with all of these obligations can be prohibitive and time-consuming for U.S. crypto businesses such as exchanges. And with the added risk of investigations and enforcement actions, “it is easy to see why the U.S. is not regarded as being receptive to crypto,” she explained in her paper.

A Paradigm Shift Is Required

US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper InnovationUnfortunately, professor Goforth has determined that it is unlikely that the U.S. will do away with any of the aforementioned bodies or limit the jurisdiction of existing agencies so as to consolidate regulatory power. This is because prior attempts to consolidate functions of different financial regulators have failed, legislators think that existing authorities have differing areas of expertise, and the courts have approved the situation.

It therefore behoves these agencies to get together and make a concerted effort to coordinate enforcement and regulatory oversight based on a more nuanced approach. “This change in perspective requires a paradigm shift that moves away from treating crypto as a single kind of asset, when in reality, it is not. Hopefully, American regulators will realize this, and act on this reality, sooner rather than later,” she concluded.

How should US-based cryptocurrency innovators deal with confusing regulation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

The post US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper Innovation appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Daily: Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate, Coinmama Adds SEPA

October 7, 2018 |

The Daily: Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate, Coinmama Adds SEPA

In today’s edition of The Daily we cover stories about a well known economics professor and outspoken crypto-skeptic who is going to speak about the subject at the U.S. Senate, bitcoin-buying service Coinmama adding support for SEPA bank accounts holders, and more.

Also Read: Regulations Roundup: Crypto-Intermediaries in France, SEC Deadline for Rejected ETF Commentary

Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate

The Daily: Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate, Coinmama Adds SEPARenowned economics professor Nouriel Roubini (commonly known as Dr. Doom) is set to tell American politicians about all the ills he sees in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The Senate Banking Committee lists him as a witness at a hearing on “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem” to be held Thursday, October 11.

Rather than presenting the lawmakers with a balanced review of the matter, Roubini can be expected to use this pulpit to further denigrate the innovation and the community behind it. In the past day alone he repeatedly lashed out on Twitter, writing among else that: “Crypto is the biggest bubble and scam in human history.”

The Daily: Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate, Coinmama Adds SEPA

Coinmama Adds SEPA Support

The Daily: Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate, Coinmama Adds SEPACoinmama, the Israel-based service best known for allowing the purchase of cryptocurrency with credit cards, has announced this week the addition of support for SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) bank transfers. This means that all Coinmama clients within the EU can now utilize this payment method to buy BCH, BTC, ETH, LTC, and a few other top coins, with their bank-held fiat.

The company explained that SEPA daily payment limits average around $ 12,000 (€10,250), more than double of credit and debit card daily payment limits. Additionally, the SEPA transaction limits operate separately from other funding methods, meaning it is possible for clients to purchase approximately €5,000 worth of crypto via credit or debit card on top of the crypto purchased through SEPA.

According to Coinmama CEO Asaph Schulman, “SEPA compares favorably with other traditional payment systems, as it combines speed and low fees with the convenience of sending a transfer from your regular bank account. When transfer costs are the prime consideration, it’s hard to find a better option than SEPA for conducting fiat transfers within the European Union.”

Developments in Israeli Ecosystem

The Daily: Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate, Coinmama Adds SEPAThe past week also saw a number of additional developments in the crypto ecosystem in Israel.

Kzen, a Tel-Aviv based startup developing a new easy-to-use crypto wallet, has announced the completion of a $ 4 million seed round. It was led by Benson Oak Ventures and involved a number of other investors including: Elron, Samsung NEXT, FJ Labs, Collider VC, Block Nation, Jonathan Smith (co-founder of Civic), Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, Jean David Blanc and more. The founders explained that: “We considered the option of an ICO and quickly discarded it because it did not make any sense (and thank god, we made the right choice). So we went the ‘old way’ and decided to find investors aligned with our vision and in parallel, we searched for unique talents sharing our passion of products well built and deep belief in the crypto industry. That path was tested by the strong correction of the market of the last months but it has served as an important challenge to gauge our determination.”

Moshe Hogeg, whose Sirin Labs raised $ 157.8 million in an ICO last year, has donated 7 million shekels to Tel Aviv University for establishing an institute of “applied Blockchain Research” at the Coller School of Management. It is meant to train the next generation of entrepreneurs, managers and professionals in the field. Prof. Dan Amiram, Vice Dean of the Coller School of Management, has been appointed as Head the institute, while Dr. Jacob Mendel will serve as its Director. At the agreement signing ceremony, Hogeg said, “I am delighted that we found the much-needed link between entrepreneurs, business and academia. This is a natural continuation of investment in the field of education of students in Israel, something I believe is of the utmost importance. The establishment of this institute will facilitate in-depth research and contribute to accelerating technological development and its application in most areas of our lives for the benefit of entrepreneurs and businesses in Israel and worldwide. I believe that by granting knowledge, practical tools and scholarships to students, we will help train the next generation which will spearhead the next technological revolution.”

The Israel Securities Authority has announced on Wednesday that “Blockchain technology has been implemented in its information systems for the first time.” The installation took three months and was carried out by the Taldor corporation. It was integrated into the system which the regulator uses for sending messages to supervised entities. The developers explained that “the technology confirms the authenticity of the messages, prevents fabrication and prevents the messages from being edited or erased. In addition, the system prevents the possibility of denying that messages were received from the ISA.” It is also planned that in the future the technology will be integrated into the ISA’s investors voting system and company reporting system.

UK Business Newspaper Adopts Satoshipay

The Daily: Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate, Coinmama Adds SEPASatoshipay, the micropayment processor originally founded in 2014, has announced a partnership with London-based business newspaper City A.M. Under the terms of the agreement, City A.M. readers will be able to read ad-free online content by paying a small fee and using Satoshipay’s digital wallet. The one-click payments are said to take less than a second and there’s no need to create a new subscription account.

Meinhard Benn, the startup’s CEO, said, “With the changing dynamics within the media sector, Satoshipay uses cutting-edge blockchain technology to make micropayments economic and therefore allow readers to purchase individual articles for small payments instead of paying a subscription. This collaboration marks another important milestone in establishing an entirely new way to pay for content. It greatly benefits both parties: expanding Satoshipay’s partner network whilst adding an additional revenue stream for City A.M.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

The post The Daily: Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate, Coinmama Adds SEPA appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Professor Rushed Into Burning Museum to Save Specimens

September 5, 2018 |

Researchers held out hope that a famed skull and other valuable objects might somehow be recovered from the ashes of a massive blaze that tore through Brazil’s National Museum after firefighters found bone fragments from the collection. Officials have said as much as 90% of Latin America’s largest collection of…