NYSE parent Intercontinental Exchange has begun trading Bitcoin futures from Bakkt yesterday (archived). Microsoft and Boston Consulting Group are also involved in the instrument. The contracts promise physical delivery of Bitcoins, but it remains to be seen how seriously anyone involved in this particular market is going to investigate the sincerity of the delivery claims. This new source of volatility has seen fiat/Bitcoin interfaces reporting substantial volatility with today's manifesting mostly in a downward direction.
Primary elections in Argentina on Sunday returned results that gave the "Peronist" ticket of Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner sufficient votes to win the October general election outright if yesterday's performance is repeated. This has been met with a 14.5 percent fall of the Peso Argentino against the USD, while the brief narrowing of the buy/sell spead of the Peso Argentino in Uruguay has been blown open with exchanges in Uruguay advertising spreads as wide as 0.50/1.15 (archived). Argentina's stock market has suffered today as well.
In a development less clearly connected to Argentina's electoral/economic disaster, the twitter account of Prefectura Naval Argentina was "hacked" to broadcast an hoax alert claiming a British missile attack had killed 27. In the incredibly unlikely event a new Falklands conflict opened up again between Argentina and Queen Elizabeth's forces, the largest open question is which of the two combatants declined more in the intervening decades.
Player Mircea Mircescu scored the biggest-ever "pop" in the history of Eulora, MiniGame's Bitcoin-denominated MMORPG, just past midnight server time on December 16th, 2017. Reigning the "Top of Pops" list in-game, the windfall weighs in at 3505.309 million ECu, or a hair over three and a half Bitcoin. The previous chart-topper occurred two years ago, also in December, at 1081.602 million ECu.
Two Ukrainian vessels were seized by the Russian Navy after the erractically maneuverng ships aggressively approached the Kerch Strait bridge without providing advanced notification required by a 2003 treaty between Russia and Ukraine (archived). Russian personnel treated Ukranians wounded in defense of the 18.1 kilometer long bridge. Ukranian President Poroshenko has responded by declaring martial law while Hawks in NATO governments has proposed opening hostilities outside of the Syrian proxy war sandbox. Russian influenced media outlets are supposing that if a new Crimean war breaks out, it will be the last (archived).
In a petition to the US District Court for Eastern Virginia, US Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger and Assistant US Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer argue for issuing sealed charges in a case titled "United States of America v. SEITU SULAYMAN KOKAYI" with SEITU SULAYMAN KOKAYI presumably being a pseudonym for the defendant who may not be named. Except further down in the document a failure in redaction yields gold:
Another procedure short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.
And a bit further down:
The complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and the proposed order, would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.
And so any order to seal the charges being leveled at Julian Assange is moot. If there are not already sealed charges against Assange in different pseudonymously obscured case, it can be assumed there will be in another regardless of the determination in this one. Full text below: Continue reading →
Legislators in Russia are drafting a law that would normalize a system of duelling for citizens and civil servants to avenge insults allowing for men to engage in dignified combat by small swords, sabers, and pistols (archived). The elderly, and the disabled would be allowed to select substitutes to defend their dignity in the combat arena while women are to be excluded from elegibility to seek recourse through dueling. As the proposal stands now at least one participant in a duel is required to be a civil servant for it to be recognized under the proposed system.
In anticipation of today's summit between US President Donald Trump and Russia leader Vladimir Putin, "Special" Counsel Robert Mueller and the US Department of "Justice" handed down 22 in absentia indictments to Russian nationals. Despite Mueller's activist fanfiction writing, Trump and Putin did indeed meet in Helsinki and announced plans for greater cooperation in a joint press conference following their summit.
Twenty ships loaded with 1.2 million tons of Sorghum are changing course after China implemented anti-dumping measures targeting the grain (archived). Chinese imports of US sorghum began only five years ago and China swiftly began purchasing nearly all US exportable sorghum as livestock fodder. These boats are in the unfortunate position of requiring an entirely new market for their product while at the same time burning precious fuel in the Pacific.
Today the Syrian government announced President Bashar al Assad returned his "Legion of Honor" award to the US pantsuit slave state of France via the Romanian embassy (archived). Former French President Chiraq presented Assad with the decoration in 2001.