Wanna buy 4.2 million of Bitcoin? Just make a bid with the US DOJ!

Bitcoinnews.com reported that a US$200,000 “…deposit is required to take part, with bidders needing to register their interest in the sealed bid auction by 31 October. The official bid for the bitcoins will take place on 5 November.”  The October 19, 2018 report entitled “Us Department of Justice to Auction off 660 Bitcoins” included a link to the US Marshall’s notice “FOR SALE Approximately 660 bitcoins” from “forfeited in various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases” including:

Theresa Tetley and Thomas Mario Costanzo who were both sentenced to jail time after prosecution over Bitcoin-related money laundering.

Here are the bidding restrictions as reported by Bitcoinnews:

Being run by the DOJ, there are unsurprisingly restrictions on who may participate in the auction.

While non-US residents and nationals are allowed to bid, they will all be subject to a screening process to ensure they do not appear on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control list of Specially Designated Nationals.

A US bank account is also required to deposit funds for the purchase, alongside a copy of a government-issued ID and a manually signed “Bidder Registration Form.”

Stay tuned for my auctions since this is the third time since January 2018 that the US government has auctioned off Bitcoin.

IBM Blockchain in use by Maersk (think largest shipping company in the world)!

Computerworld reported that “After launching a proof of concept earlier this year, IBM and Maersk have unveiled TradeLens, the production version of an electronic ledger for tracking global shipments; the companies say they have 94 participants piloting the system, including more than 20 port and terminal operators.” The August 17, 2018 report entitled “IBM, Maersk launch blockchain-based shipping platform with 94 early adopters” included the comments by IBM and Maersk “This data is growing at a rate of close to one million events per day” and these details.

More than 160 million such shipping events have been captured on the platform, according to IBM and Maersk.

Traditionally, the international shipping industry’s information systems have used paper legal documents, and electronic data was transmitted via electronic data interchange (EDI) – a 60-year-old technology that doesn’t represent real-time data information.

Shipping participants have also shared documents via email, fax and courier.

When information is entered or scanned in manually, TradeLens can track critical data about every shipment in a supply chain, and it offers an immutable record among all parties involved, the companies said.

Great example of how supply chain management benefits from Blockchain!

SEC enjoins an ICO for false claims!

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a “complaint unsealed yesterday alleges that Blockvest falsely claimed its ICO and its affiliates received regulatory approval from various agencies, including the SEC.” The October 11, 2018 press release entitled “SEC Stops Fraudulent ICO That Falsely Claimed SEC Approval” included these statements:

According to the SEC’s complaint, Blockvest and Ringgold, who also goes by the name Rasool Abdul Rahim El, were using the SEC seal without permission, a violation of federal law, and falsely claiming their crypto fund was “licensed and regulated.”

The complaint also alleges Ringgold promoted the ICO with a fake agency he created called the “Blockchain Exchange Commission,” using a graphic similar to the SEC’s seal and the same address as SEC headquarters.

Blockvest and Ringgold also allegedly misrepresented Blockvest’s connections to a well-known accounting firm, and continued their fraudulent conduct even after the National Futures Association (NFA) sent them a cease-and-desist letter to stop them from using the NFA’s seal and from making false claims about their status with that organization.

What were these guys thinking?

Blockchain’s immutability is in conflict with GDPR’s “right to be forgotten”!

Legaltechnews reported about the French’s Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) guidance on Blockchain regarding the “right to be forgotten” since “…private blockchains can be managed and controlled, public blockchains are a free-for-all that will likely pose an ongoing challenge for CNIL and other EU regulators.”  The October 5, 2018 report entitled “France’s Regulatory Guidance on GDPR, Blockchain Leaves More Questions Than Answers” about the September 2018 Blockchain report including these comments about GDPR and data controllers:

CNIL declared that users who interact with blockchain ledgers for professional or commercial purposes, such as sending funds through a blockchain to pay for a service, can be classified as data controllers.

Under the GDPR, data controllers are entities that must determine the purposes for which personal data is processed, and they have a responsibility to ensure such processing complies with EU regulations and is done in a secure fashion.

Controllers also must issue binding contracts to data processors with instructions on how to process their information.

Normally, data services, such as social media platforms, decide and publicly disclose how they will process their users’ data instead of having each user contractually dictate how their data is to be managed.

Allowing users to run the show, after all, likely creates operational burdens, not in the least because of the sheer amount of contracts needed.

Stay tuned to see how other EU states speak out about Blockchain.

China infiltrated the US with tiny chips!

Bloomberg News reported that “The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain…”. The report entitled “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies” and included these details:

In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA.

Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.

Anyone surprised?