Judge sets bail at $750K in cryptocurrency for alleged EA hacker


A San Francisco judge has set bail in cryptocurrency for an alleged hacker. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley last week set bail at $750,000 in cryptocurrency -- such as bitcoin or ethereum -- for a Serbian man accused of hacking video game company Electronic Arts, according to the US Attorney's Office. Cryptocurrency is often associated with ransomware and criminal activities on the web, but it's gained some mainstream standing as more retailers begin accepting digital currencies. This likely isn't the first time a US judge has allowed cryptocurrency for bail, Assistant District Attorney Abraham Simmons told the Palo Alto Daily Post. Judges can order "just about anything" for bail, Simmons said, adding that the point is to get a defendant to show up in court.

Bitcoin on trial as prolific trader faces money laundering charges

Los Angeles Times

Bitcoin isn't issued by the government nor can it be deposited in a bank. So should it be subject to the same federal banking rules as traditional paper and coin currency? It is a question that federal authorities have been grappling with ever since digital currency took off a decade ago, one that will now be heard in a San Diego courtroom with the indictment of Morgan Rockcoons. The 30-year-old was the target of an undercover sting that depicted him as being a prolific bitcoin trader who exchanged bitcoin for a butane hash oil manufacturer without complying with anti-money laundering banking rules. He is charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and money laundering.

FTC Announces Agenda for March 9 FinTech Forum on Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology


The Federal Trade Commission today announced the agenda for its March 9, 2017, FinTech Forum focusing on the consumer implications of two rapidly developing technologies: artificial intelligence and blockchain. The forum, which is the third in an ongoing event series, will take place from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time in Berkeley, California. The event will bring together industry representatives, consumer advocates, government officials, and others with expertise regarding these technologies. The half-day forum will feature two panel discussions. The first panel will focus on the potential benefits and risks for consumers with the use of artificial intelligence, which involves the capability of machines to mimic human thinking or actions such as learning and problem solving, in consumer products or services in fields including personalized financial services.

A major cryptocurrency exchange is trolling the New York attorney general


Roughly 24 hours after a major report from the New York state attorney general's office led officials to declare that the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is "possibly operating unlawfully in New York," the exchange apparently decided the best response was to thumb its nose at state officials. In a series of tweets from both the official Kraken Twitter account and the company's co-founder and CEO, Jesse Powell, the San Francisco-based exchange made it clear that it's not taking this report seriously -- at all. SEE ALSO: It only took 37 seconds for two bitcoin'celebs' to start fighting on a cruise ship "NY is that abusive, controlling ex you broke up with 3 years ago but they keep stalking you, throwing shade on your new relationships, unable to accept that you have happily moved on and are better off without them," tweeted Powell. NY is that abusive, controlling ex you broke up with 3 years ago but they keep stalking you, throwing shade on your new relationships, unable to accept that you have happily moved on and are better off without them. And in case you thought that the CEO was just venting about New York the state (as he bizarrely later implied), the exchange chimed in as well.

Bitcoin and ether shouldn't be regulated like stocks and bonds, a top SEC official says

Washington Post - Technology News

Two of the world's biggest virtual currencies need not be regulated like stocks and bonds, a top official at the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday, putting to rest months of uncertainty about how the financial regulator views bitcoin and ether, the cryptocurrency behind Ethereum. Speaking at an industry conference in San Francisco, William Hinman, the SEC's director of corporate finance, said the two top cryptocurrencies don't meet the criteria for regulation that the agency typically applies to traditional securities. "Based on my understanding of the present state of ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions," Hinman said. Hinman's remarks suggest that, unlike companies, which are required to educate stock investors about the health of their businesses, the developers behind bitcoin and ether face no such obligations. The basis for this conclusion, Hinman said, lies in the fact that bitcoin and ether are developed diffusely, by many unaffiliated people, rather than by a single, centralized entity such as a corporation.