Ripple lawsuit filed with US Federal Court

An ongoing legal battle between XRP investors and payments startup Ripple is entering its next phase.

Attorneys for Ripple Labs and its affiliated defendants filed to move a consolidated class-action lawsuit from its previous venue at the San Mateo Superior Court to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, according to court documents published Wednesday.

The defendants argued that the consolidated suit matches the requirements for a case to be brought before the higher, federal court.

In addition to the request to change the venue, Ripple’s attorneys hinted at the company’s defense against the suit, which alleges that the XRP token is a security issued by Ripple. As part of the removal process, they wrote:

“Plaintiffs do not allege that they lacked information about the nature of these transactions. Nevertheless, Plaintiffs claim that they were somehow injured because the Defendants were allegedly required to register XRP as a ‘security’ with the Securities & Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) but failed to do so.”

The consolidated class action combines previous class-action lawsuits filed by plaintiffs Avner Greenwald, David Oconer and Vladi Zakinov, according to the document. A fourth suit filed by Ryan Coffey was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff in August, though Ripple’s attorneys later filed to have it related to Zakinov’s suit.

The defendants now include Ripple Labs and its subsidiary XRP II, as well as Bradley Garlinghouse, Christian Larsen, Ron Will, Antoinette O’Gorman, Eric van Miltenburg, Susan Athey, Zoe Cruz, Ken Kurson, Ben Lawsky, Anja Manuel and Takashi Okita.

Why the move?

Ripple’s attorneys argue that, under the U.S. Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), the case can now be shifted to federal court. Specifically, they cite the fact that there are more than 100 members of the suing class, at least one plaintiff is a citizen of a different state than the defendants and the total amount being sued for exceeds $5 million.

One of the lawsuits, originally brought by Israeli resident Avner Greenwald, states that there are “thousands” of individuals who lost money after buying XRP. The plaintiffs are also asking for Ripple to pay $167.7 million in damages.

Simply the act of seeking to move the case to district court means the case is now before that federal court, said Stephen Palley, a partner at the D.C.-based law firm Anderson Kill.

Palley told CoinDesk that plaintiffs can try to move the case back before a state-level court by filing a motion to remand. And indeed, a subsequent filing entered on Thursday indicates that the plaintiffs will file a motion to remand the case back to the San Mateo Superior Court.

As such, the next deadline for Ripple to respond to the complaint itself will either be two weeks from the date the motion to remand is denied (if it is denied) or two weeks from when the San Mateo court receives the case (if the motion to remand is approved).

Speaking about class-action lawsuits in general, Palley explained that “the conventional wisdom is that state court juries and judges tend to be more sympathetic to plaintiffs,” possibly in part because state-level courts will draw from a more local jury pool.

“There’s also a perception that sometimes a state court judge … may be more political,” he said, noting that some state-level judges are elected.

“Defendants, on the other hand, have a perception that they’ll get a more fair shake in federal court.”

Bitcoin Cash’s ‘Mining War’ Escalates as Blockchain Hard Fork Approaches

The global network of computer operators who today help power the bitcoin cash cryptocurrency are beginning to signal that they may take differing paths ahead of a technical update scheduled for Thursday.

Data from Coin Dance indicates that bitcoin cash mining pools, collectives of individuals and companies providing computer power to the cryptocurrency, the world’s fourth most valuable, are indicating they will run a version of the software called Bitcoin SV, an alternative to the Bitcoin ABC software most widely used by the network today.

In fact, early signs suggest Bitcoin SV may control some 76.39 percent of the network’s current mining power.

While it’s too early to tell if this many computers will actually update their software, causing the bitcoin cash network to split, the strong rhetoric employed by those backing the upstart Bitcoin SV software, including Craig Wright, the Australian cryptographer who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, suggests this is a possibility.

Wright in particular has vowed to destroy the ABC network, going so far as to threaten ABC proponents on Twitter.

Amidst this dialogue, SV’s hash power advantage is up from 73.62 percent just a day ago. In particular, CoinGeek, the platform owned by Wright supporter Calvin Ayre, jumped from controlling about 30.6 percent of the overall hash power to 41 percent.

In contrast, okminer and Mempool both lost a significant portion of the hash power, falling from 7.64 percent and 6.25 percent respectively to 3.47 percent each.

Meanwhile, mining pools supporting the Bitcoin ABC implementation spearheaded by Roger Ver have made gains of their own. In particular,, Antpool and now control 8.33, 4.86 and 6.25 percent of the total hash power respectively. Antpool and are controlled by bitcoin cash supporter and hardware giant Bitmain.

As of yesterday, both of Bitmain’s pools only controlled 2.78 percent of the power each, while Ver’s website had 6.25 percent.

While several mining pools have firmly declared support for one party or another, a number have yet to publicly express which network they might help secure. The most prominent of these is ViaBTC, which controlled 7.64 percent of the network total yesterday, though its relative power dropped to 2.08 percent by 14:00 UTC Tuesday.

Another pool, Northern Bitcoin, likewise has yet to commit to a particular implementation, though chief technology officer Moritz Jäger told Forbes that his pool switched from bitcoin to bitcoin cash to be among “the decision makers on the upcoming fork.”

Price fluctuation

Still, while Bitcoin SV seems to have a clear advantage in hash power, traders seem more confident about Bitcoin ABC.

BCHABC, a trading pair being offered in advance at some exchange, is still trading at a higher price than markets for SV, though its lead has shrunk slightly. At press time, pre-fork trading of the token hovered around $391 (priced in the USDC stablecoin), down from $415 just 24 hours ago.

In contrast, BCHSV’s price surged 22 percent in that time period to reach $136.

According to TradingView, BCHABC may also be seeing less interest in terms of volume, with only 876,258 USDC being traded over the past 24 hours, up from 818,375 yesterday.

BCHSV, on the other hand, saw 969,715 USDC in volume over that period, though this fell from more than 1.2 million USDC traded previously.

IBM Launches Blockchain Food Tracking Network

IBM has recently announced the commercial availability of its food safety blockchain based platform. After 18 months of testing, IBM’s blockchain-based food traceability platform is now live for global use by retailers, wholesalers and suppliers across the food ecosystem.

This system uses distributed ledger blockchain technology to track food throughout the entire supply chain by tagging each actionable event which happens to an auditable historical record. Using the platform, it increases accountability and traceability. It enables supply chain management to isolate batches and shipments when foodborne contamination detects.

IBM food Trust network represents the continuation of more than a year of a pilot test with many retailers and the food suppliers. It includes Tyson Foods, Golden State Foods, Nestle, Wal- Mart Stores Inc, and McCormick and Co. These firms formed a consortium in combination with IBM to use its Food safety blockchain to protect consumers and enhance trust.

When a response is shared, the currency of trust needs to be achieved in the area of food safety. It was said by the senior Vice-president of IBM Global Industries.

IBM used its blockchain pilot companies to build a robust network of members along the entire food supply chain which works together to create end- to- end audibility.

Food trust Blockchain network will be used all across more than 12000 stores spanning 33 countries at launch. Carrefour will select only a few branded products at starting to highlight consumer confidence. The company also plans to roll the platform out to all of its products by 2022 the entire globe.

Several firms are joining IBM Food Trust representing 49 members and reaching almost 15000 stores and 65 million customers weekly. The IBM Food Trust blockchain network becomes available today the entire world. It runs on IBM Cloud and the features enterprise-class reliability, security and the scalability for all the participants. The technology under the hood relies on Hyperledger Fabric. It is an open- source blockchain framework which is hosted by the Linux Foundation.

Participants can select three different service modules. It is with the pricing scaled for small, medium and the global enterprises. Suppliers can contribute data at no cost. Global enterprises are at the beginning at 100 USD per month.

The Food Trust platform is comprised of three modules. The tracing module facilitates the tracking of food products throughout the ecosystem and across borders, the certification module verifies the provenance of products that have been digitally certified as organic or fair trade, and the data entry and access module gives growers and supply chain intermediaries the ability to upload, manage and access their data within the system.

Pricing for the trace and certification modules starts at $100 per month and is tiered differently for small, medium and large businesses. The data entry and access module is available for use without charge.

The privacy of the different supply networks would be secured with the cryptographic capabilities of the blockchain while also allowing third parties. It is like regulators and the auditors. It is verified the accesses of the data.

The IBM Food Trust Network is available for commercial use. It is for a subscription service for the members of the food ecosystem to join.

Taxes To Be Levied On Crypto Transactions In Ukraine

The representative of the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance announced the creation of an expert group to develop and implement tax rules for crypto operations.

Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Verlanov stated that the specialists of the department are considering imposing of a tax for mining and crypto transactions at a rate of 19.5%.

The official calls the experience of Switzerland the most appropriate example for Ukraine. In this country, cryptocurrencies are considered a movable property that can be sold and exchanged. To this end, the tax service office publishes a daily cryptocurrency rate and licensed crypto traders conduct purchase and sale transactions.

However, Verlanov stresses that primarily it is necessary to determine the legal status of cryptocurrencies. He states that the National Securities and Stock Market Commission of Ukraine or the National Bank of Ukraine may be the key regulators of the crypto sphere.

Starting from October 16, 2018, the work group will deal with the legal formalization of the crypto taxation. At the end of this year, specialists will have to submit their proposals for the experts’ consideration.

As previously reported, Yuriy Derevyanko, a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine, and a representative of the “Movement of New Forces”, introduced a bill to exempt crypto assets from taxes until 2029.

Venezuela Mandates Passport Fees Must Be Paid in Controversial Cryptocurrency Petro

Venezuelans can only use the state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, to pay for passport fees starting next week, the country’s vice president Delcy Rodriguez said in a press conference Friday, Oct. 5.

Ahead of Petro’s official “launch” in November, Rodriguez confirmed that as of Monday, Oct. 8, fees for all passport applications will only be payable in Petro, and will cost an increased amount: 2 petros for a new passport and 1 petro for an extension.

The average monthly minimum wage in Venezuela, Bloomberg reports, is four times less than the cost of the raised passport fee.

“In the case of Venezuelans who are abroad, until the first day of November the cost will be $200 for issuance and $100 for extensions,” Rodriguez stated, according to leading Latin American newspaper El Universal.

Venezuela has sought to combat the side-effects of rampant inflation and a failing economy by embracing the use of cryptocurrency to circumvent capital controls.

As Cointelegraph reported, Petro, President Nicolas Maduro’s purported solution to the country’s economic crisis, has consistently courted controversy, with accusations last week claiming its developers copied the whitepaper of altcoin Dash.

Along with the passport fees shake-up, Rodriguez also announced the formation of a dedicated migration police force, ostensibly designed “to preserve citizen security and migratory control.”

Bloomberg notes that around 5,000 citizens flee Venezuela each day.

The post Venezuela Mandates Passport Fees Must Be Paid in Controversial Cryptocurrency Petro appeared first on Crypto Quick News.

Wall Street Journal Creates, Then Destroys Own Cryptocurrency

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) created and then destroyed its own cryptocurrency in a bid to “understand” the industry, the publication revealed in a mini documentary Wednesday, October 3.

WSJ Coin, which journalist Steven Russolillo hoped would shed light on the emerging crypto economy while providing real use cases for the journalism industry, made it to the grand total of two issued units.

A mound of around 150 physical WSJ Coins was further distributed to the audience of a panel discussing the concept at the publication’s D.Live annual technology conference in Hong Kong.

Speaking on the panel were remittance service BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello and former Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas, who both saw considerable potential in a journalism-based crypto asset.

“If you lower the cost of moving money around, the entire economy changes … ‘How do I pay for a news article online?’ changes,” Thomas said by way of example.

Russolillo teamed up with Japanese developer Makuto Takemiya to use Hyperledger’s Iroha blockchain as the basis for WSJ Coin.

The two fixed a supply of 8.4 billion units, which they arrived at by averaging the supply of the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap.

Two coins made it to a local bar to pay for two beers.

When Russolillo pitched a full issuance to investors, however, it was the WSJ’s own ethics head who shut the scheme down. Neil Lipschitz, editor for ethics and standards, said WSJ Coin raised what Russolillo says are “ethical questions.”

“We’re not in the business of getting into the cryptocurrency world; we’re here to report it and to explain it, just like we report on banks but we don’t go out and start a bank,” he said, adding:

“We’re not going to create a currency.”

At the end of August, the Associated Press signed a content licensing partnership with blockchain-based startup Civil to explore ways to secure intellectual property rights, support ethical journalism, and track content usage with blockchain technology.

Venezuela’s Petro public sale set for November 5

The president of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro recently made a series of announcements regarding the country’s national cryptocurrency token, Petro. The latest announcement was released via a radio and TV broadcast session. Another notice found on the government’s website says that the official website for Petro is live and people are free to visit the site for information. Moreover, there is an official wallet available for download on Google Play Store.

The President is very passionate about Petro and indicated that the token will be tradable on at least 6 exchanges from different parts of the world starting October 1. However, he did not specify the exchanges interested in listing Petro. Some major exchanges have already distanced themselves from Venezuela’s Petro referring to it as a scam.

In addition to that, Maduro said that there will be a meeting on October 29 where miners and crypto experts will discuss issues concerning the token before the public sale goes live on November 5. The President insists that all the oil from the country will be purchased using Petro. Likewise, the government will own a 51% of the token while the remaining 49% is open to the public. A Crypto Asset Treasury has already been set up for the custody of the government’s share. Petro is said to execute on a Venezuela government created distributed ledger. Epoch Times reports:

“50 percent of Petro’s price will hinge on the oil price, 20 percent on the gold price, 20 percent on the iron price, and 10 percent on the diamond price.”

According to a Video published by Bloomberg, people who have Bitcoin, Ethereum, U.S. Dollars, and euros will be able to by Petro. The locals in the country will also be able to purchase Petro using Bolivars (local currency).

New Coinbase Listing Process Will Allow Exchange to ‘Rapidly’ Increase Supported Assets

The most renowned cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has recently announced a new process that will let it list more digital assets faster as per the official statement released on 25th September.

Based on the formal announcement, the new process focuses only to digital assets that are fully compliant with local regulations, having said that certain assets that are listed on the platform may only be available to customers in particular jurisdictions as per the company sources.

However, issuers who want to submit tokens at Coinbase with the help of the newly incorporated process will have to utilize a specific form that will be evaluated afterward by the exchange team against their digital asset framework in place.

On the costing front, initially there will not be an application fee that one has to pay, however, Coinbase retains the right to introduce a fee in the days to come that covers the operational and legal costs pertaining to assessing and listing new assets.

Amid this, Coinbase comments that “the new process will allow it to list most assets over time that meet our standards.” However, the exchange would like the process to create new token listings on a frequent basis, those listings will officially be announced only after they become available on one of Coinbase’s public products.

Further speaking to the matter, Coinbase supports the crypto major Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Litecoin (LTC). With this, Coinbase formally announced that it would assist especially for ETC back in June thereafter the ETC price soaring high by almost 25 percent.

In July this year, the Exchange further said in its statement that it was exploring to include of five more new coins to its trading lists namely, Basic Attention Token (BAT), Cardano (ADA), Stellar Lumens (XLM), 0x (ZRX) and Zcash (ZEC).

Besides this, in August this year, Coinbase initiated to introduce British pound (GBP) support which consolidates the exchange’s customers with U.K. bank accounts to organize faster transfers by allowing customers to execute certain trading activities namely buy and sell crypto for pounds within the same day!!

France has a legislative framework for ICO

Despite calls for the EU to unify its regulation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, France has taken the initiative and introduced its own regulations for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In a tweet yesterday, French Minster of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, announced the approval of a legislative framework which would require ICOs floated in France to provide safeguards and guarantees to investors.

The new legislation would allow French financial authorities, the Authorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), to approve and issue permits to companies that want to use ICOs as a method of raising capital.

It would also mean that ICOs would be required to submit detailed information about their offerings to the AMF. This would allow potential investors to undertake full due diligence before investing.

Recently, a Belgian think tank called for the EU to unite in its regulatory approach to blockchain and cryptocurrency. However, the proposal did not seem to gain much traction.

Even so, it hasn’t stopped France from flexing its entrepreneurial cryptocurrency muscles.

It’s been a good week for blockchain and cryptocurrency in France. A couple of days ago, crypto-wallet manufacturer Ledger was selected as EY’s Startup of the Year for the Ile-de-France region

In an Apparent First, U.S. SEC Penalizes Crypto Hedge Fund

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