OKCoin Ver Dispute Escalates

The dispute between OKCoin and Roger Ver over which contract governs an agreement they made regarding the bitcoin.com domain name continues to escalate with Ver's friend and former CTO of OKCoin Changpeng Zhao publicly stating (archive) that he had a gentleman's agreement with Ver which he expected OKCoin to honour after he left the company.

In addition to siding with Ver's version of events, Zhao claims OKCoin has been engaged in an assortment of deceptive conduct regarding the operation of its exchange, specifically: Continue reading

Some Other People Sentenced This Month in US Courts

The Smith family kindercageA few hours ago Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to a life of incarceration for convictions related to operating a website. Let's look at some other sentences handed down by American courts recently:

Terry and Victoria Smith (archived) were sentenced to seven years in prison by a St Charles County, Missouri court for keeping their six year old child with autism in an excrement filled cage. The judge in the case, Ted house also imposed a fine of five hundred dollars on each parent. Back in 2010 police, paramedics, and a case worker visited the Smith's home after receiving a tip through a child abuse hotline and found the Smith's autistic son locked in the cage. The seven year sentence is the maximum that could be imposed in this case. Continue reading

Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Convicted of seven offences last February, Ross William Ulbricht was today (archive) sentenced to life in prison with no parole for the part he played in the operation of the Silk Road. In addition to his life sentence, Ulbricht has been ordered to pay the United States Government USD $183,961,921 despite the fact it has already sold a majority of the coins it confiscated from Ulbricht via the USMS auctions.

Speaking to the life sentence she handed down, U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest said: Continue reading

Gavin Threatens to Quit Bitcoin Development and Join Hearn's Fork

Today on the Sourceforge hosted Bitcoin-development mailing list Gavin Andresen has threatened to leave his present group of Bitcoin software developers over their objections to his demands for a rapid hardfork of the Bitcoin network. In the event his demands are not met Gavin plans to join Mike Hearn's Bitcoin-XT project which is a fork of the Bitcoin client where Hearn implements patches that Gavin's current affiliated developers find too risky to implement in any mainline Bitcoin client. If Gavin defects to Bitcoin-XT he plans to work with Hearn to lobby merchants, miners, and businesses to move to Bitcoin-XT. Previously Mike Hearn was responsible for the March 2013 Bitcoin network crisis. The full text of Gavin's message is mirrored below for posterity. Continue reading

Former US House Speaker Indicted on Attempting to Evade Financial Surveillance

Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1999 through 2007, was indicted today on charges of structuring bank withdrawals  to avoid mandatory bank reporting and lying about the purpose of the withdrawals to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hastert is alleged to have made the cash withdrawals to "compensate for and conceal" some past transgression against an unnamed individual which ended with Hastert and the other party reaching a privately negotiated settlement. Prior to his career in politics Hastert was a teacher at Yorkville High School in Illinois where he additionally coached wrestling and football. Continue reading

DoJ Charges Dark Market Coupon Merchant

The US Department of Justice reports (archive) it has charged a Louisiana man with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit trademark counterfeiting. Beau Wattigney AKA PurpleLotus/GoldenLotus/MoxDiamond and NickMode is alleged to have sold counterfeit coupons on the original Silk Road and later Blake Benthall's Silk Road 2.0. The coupons entitled the bearer to massive discounts on products such as US $50 Visa Gift Cards which could be purchased for $0.01 each. Wattigney is alleged to have defrauded more than 50 manufacturers, retailers and online coupon retailers in excess of US $1,000,000. Continue reading

IRS Confirms Breach Reported 2 Months Ago

The United States Internal Revenue Service has now confirmed that a March 30th report by Brian Krebs where he revealed an online portal operated by the IRS for disseminating tax transcripts had been leaking personal information and tax records to parties who ought not to have been authorized to view them. According to the the IRS more than one hundred thousand records were accessed in this manner. This news follows an epic volume of falsified tax returns filed this year sending tax overpayments to fraudsters to the point where major tax preparation companies had to stop handling state tax returns. The gravity of this leak's potential impact on the tenth of a million affected persons can not be underestimated considering the manner in which the fiat state handles identity: Continue reading

Former Vault of Satoshi Customers Can't Collect

The Brantford Expositor reports that Vault of Satoshi still has a number of customers whose funds have not been returned, even though Vault of Satoshi ceased operations back in February. Expositor reported Susan Gamble along with general allegations against Vault of Satoshi's operators present the story of a customer, Scott Campbell: Continue reading

Ulbricht to be Sentenced Friday

PreetWhile the world waits to see what might happen to the Ulbricht case over the likely next decade and a half it spends traversing appellate courts, Ulbricht must first pass the formality of sentencing after the show trial staged for him by Preet Bharara. Ulbricht won't be sentenced until this Friday, May 29th but the prosecution's continued shenanigans began a new nearly a month ago when Bharara's team introduced six overdose deaths they would like to pin on Ulbricht, but apparently weren't confident enough to present at trial in a manner reminiscent of that time they forgot to mention they were getting ready to arrest a number of Federal agents who investigated Ulbricht. Continue reading

Bluetouff conviction upheld by French Supreme Court

Reports are in that the Supreme Court of France has upheld a conviction by the state against French blogger, journalist, and web service provider Olivier Laurelli1 for downloading free and publicly available documents obtained from a Google search. Using a 1929 law criminalising the theft of electricity in combination with the 2009 HADOPI legislation,2 the prosecution has sought 3,000 Euros in damages for Laurelli's procurement of documents from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) website in 2012. Back in 2013, Laurelli described his court case to date and how he came to find himself in this position on his personal blog. Continue reading

  1. On the journalism side, Laurelli founded the news site Reflets.info ; on the web services side, he operates the web security firm Toonux ; online, he operates under the alias "Bluetouff" and lists PGP fingerprint 9F9C 7924 EB82 C810 24D5 6143 6985 0860 7991 E873 on his personal blog, though this pseudonym and key aren't registered with either bitcoin-otc (gribble) or bitcoin-assets (assbot) at the time of publishing. 

  2. HADOPI is an acronym for "Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des œuvres et la Protection des droits d'auteur sur Internet" and consists of an escalating series of e-mail warnings and ISP-level monitoring of traffic for users found to have infringed upon copyrighted material.