Vessenes Foundation Draws Near Its End, Vessenes Out As Chairman

The decline of the Vessenes Bitcoin Foundation continues with their developers leaving for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative. In what appears to be an attempt to revitalize their image by amping up their star power the Vessenes foundation has replaced Peter Vessenes as their chairman with First Kid co-star Brock Pierce.

Windows Servers Pwn'd By JPEG Uploads

The Register reports that researcher Marcus Murray has demonstrated an attack which allows malicious parties to take control of servers running modern versions of Microsoft Windows Server by uploading JPEG images. Murray demonstrated this attack at the RSA San Francisco conference and asserts he used this same method on a photo upload portal to crack a United States Government agency's web server. This is one of many ways Microsoft Windows has shown itself to be unsafe for any purpose.

Garza & Friends: Additional Emails Detailed

A cache of hundreds of thousands of emails leaked from the office of GAW Miners totalling 5.1 GB in size spanning the time period May 2014 through January 2015 detail the lengths Homero Joshua Garza has gone to in order to maintain his fraudulent business activities.

While Qntra has previously published articles specific to Garza himself, this article will focus on the people in the periphery, their communications with Garza and their eagerness to conduct business with him unwittingly or perhaps even choosing to ignore the obvious red flags in order to turn a nice dollar. Continue reading

Tennessee House Votes To Allow Bitcoin Campaign Contributions

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the legislators of the Tennessee State House have voted 61 to 28 in favor of allowing Bitcoin to be accepted as a campaign "gift" in state elections. The bill passed the Tennessee Senate last month and awaits the Governor's signature which could render it law, though given that application of the Gubernatorial veto is rare in Tennessee as it takes the same simple majority from each house of the General assembly which initially passed the bill to override the veto. Continue reading

Mining Difficulty Decreases Off The Back Of All Time High

With what is the eighth adjustment in the Bitcoin mining difficulty for 2015, the difficulty has decreased to 47,610,564,513. This represents a reduction of -3.71% from April 5th's all time high of 49,446,390,688. The global hashrate as of today's change stands at 340,809,696 GH/s. Today's change marks the third time the mining difficulty has decreased during 2015, something which only occurred twice during all of 2014.

New York Update: Former NYSE CEO to TeraExchange Former FDIC Chair to itBit

As hard as the State of New York seems to be working to separate itself from Bitcoin in the manner the United Kingdom has, a number of relics from the fiat world are trying to latch on to a simulacrum of Bitcoin shaped in the fiat world's image.

  • TeraExchange, represented at the CFTF session on digital currencies has taken former New York Stock Exchange CEO Duncan Niederauer as an advisory director.
  • Sheila Blair, former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has joined New York based itBit exchange on their board. A formal announcement on the subject is expected in the next several days.

Readers are reminded that New York and Manhattan in particular overtly present a hostile legal and regulatory environment unsuitable for actual Bitcoin businesses.

CaVirtex Reopens Under Coinsetter

Just two short months after closing its doors following an apparently humiliating "potential compromise," CAD-BTC exchange CaVirtex has re-opened its doors under the purview of US-based Bitcoin exchange Coinsetter. Yes, that would be Jaron Lukasiewicz's Coinsetter, he being the fellow who thought that Ripple was a good idea apparently because he had too much money on his youthful hands.

For users of the revived CaVirtex, the only visible difference is a new landing page promoting the new partnership. Once past this landing page, the excessive familiarity reveals itself in a number of now factual errors, to the point where the exchange still advertises itself as a "Canadian Corporation" and that "all voting shareholders of CAVIRTEX are Canadian" despite its most recent claims to the contrary.

Another claim that the revamped CaVirtex is making is that they've employed "the Securicoin® system," which appears to be little more than Coinsetter slang for "cold storage" even though it claims to be "Wall Street grade,"1 and that over 50% of user funds are being held in insured Xapo Vaults.2

Trading volume at CaVirtex has been slow to rekindle since trading resumed on April 8, 2015, with the website claiming a meager 372 BTC traded over the past week. This figure is to be taken with a grain of salt, however, given that CaVirtex apparently traded at least a fraction of a bitcoin for as cheaply as CAD $0.01 during the last 7 days. (cache)

No word yet on whether Coinsetter plans to honour obligations to non-voting shareholders who were stripped of 4,000 BTC when CaVirtex delisted on Havelock Investments on December 31, 2013. According to CaVirtex's delisting notice, these investors own 10% of the company. At this time, it appears they may be left out in the rain.

  1. It would seem to this author that "MPEx grade" holds more cachet, but this exchange is marketed to the masses who've never heard of such a thing. 

  2. Yes, the same Xapo that wants to pay you to play video games. 

Police Send Spyware To Lawyer For Whistle-Blower

Port Smith Police Chief Kevin Lindsey

FSPD Chief Lindsey

Police in Fort Smith Arkansas have been caught embedding malware in a collection of documents requested by the lawyer for a whistleblower reporting on misconduct in the department. Attorney Matt Campbell reports that upon the return of a drive he provided to the Fort Smith Police Department for the purpose of receiving evidence, three common pieces of spyware targeting Microsoft Windows computers were implanted into a sub folder on the drive. The spyware includes a keylogger, backdoors, and a command and control utility.

Campell is representing whistle-blower Don Paul Bales in a lawsuit against the Fort Smith Police Department for retailing against Bale's reports of illegal practices within the department concerning employee termination and payroll procedures. Arkansas State Police have declined requests by Campbell to investigate the incident claiming that any potential violations would be merely "misdemeanors" insufficient to involve their investigators. Similarly local Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney for the 12th District of Arkansas Daniel Shue has declined to investigate citing a lack of resources even though their own web page declares Shue's office is "one of the busiest Prosecuting Attorney’s offices in the state." (archived) It remains to be seen if this can be investigated and prosecuted at the Federal level. Continue reading