May 24, 2018
The state of South Carolina slapped a cease-and-desist order to a blockchain startup due to an alleged statute violation. The company is called ShipChain and is involved in freight product tracking using ethereum-based blockchain tech. It’s also a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, which counts JD.com, FedEx, and other major companies in the shipping industry among its echelon.
To be specific, the order highlights that ShipChain continuously proffered investment opportunities to South Carolina residents via digital token despite the startup being unregistered to conduct such business. If the order passes, it will mandate ShipChain to cease “participating in any aspect of the securities industry in or from the State of South Carolina.”
The fledgling shipping business has 30 days to request a hearing on the case. When granted audience, the startup can dispute that the tokens offered do not qualify as an unregistered securities offering. The company writes on its website that customers can pay via tokens to book freights for shipping products. The tokens are the only form of payment that the platform acknowledge.
In Texas, a Bitcoin investment startup has also been hit with a cease-and-desist order earlier this month due to the company conducting business without being registered to the proper agency. The order outlined that the startup lured investors with blinding numbers that return on their investments is 100 percent guarantee in just 21 days with no risk whatsoever. This type of businesses are classic scams that are taking advantage of the growing popularity of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
More at: Blockchain Startup Slapped with Cease-and-Decease Order – EconoTimes
By Dan McCrum January 29, 2018
Full disclosure: we are not sure if what follows is a description of a hack, a scam, or an elaborate wind-up.
With that in mind, something seems to be going on with the blockchain-for-vegetable “start-up”, Prodeum, which announced itself by press release on Thursday.
The goal is to overhaul the Price Look-up (PLU) labeling process which is currently used solely for inventory and pricing purposes. But if Prodeum has its way, an advanced form of PLU labeling, called aPLU (Advanced Price Look-up) will provide incredibly useful information to consumers about the produce they are purchasing.
More at: Today in cryptocomedy – FT Alphaville
By PYMNTS December 20, 2017
Patent troll Erich Spangenberg, who is hated in Silicon Valley for challenging the patents on all sorts of technology, is eyeing the cryptocurrency market next.
Citing a recent blog by Spangenberg, CNBC reported news that he has created a new group to unlock the value in blockchain intellectual property, arguing that while the press is focused on bitcoin, another important story that gets less coverage is the technology that underpins it: blockchain.
The patent troll is amassing a treasure trove of blockchain patents that he can enforce as the distributed ledger technology takes off. Spangenberg has started a company dubbed IPwe that has 20 full-time employees and a team of consultants. They are tasked with applying “blockchain, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve patents,” Spangenberg wrote in the blog post. “It is a curious path how a collection of misfit trolls, geeks and wonks ended up here — but we are going to crush it and make a fortune.”
More at: Blockchain Patents Might Soon Be Challenged – PYMNTS.com
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has issued a new warning alleging that cryptocurrency projects are misusing its name in an effort to defraud investors.
Issued on 15th June, the announcement sought to make public the issue, while clarifying that the central bank has not issued any digital currency or authorized any institution to do so. Adding to that, it reiterated that there is no digital currency marketing team at the PBoC, nor does the institution consider applications of the technology legal tender.
The PBoC went so far as to warn Chinese consumers that so-called “digital currencies issued by PBoC” could be a part of a pyramid scheme.
More at: Warning: Cryptocurrency Scams Are Posing as China’s Central Bank – CoinDesk
A litecoin mining pool seemingly pulled the plug over the weekend, stoking accusations of theft and fraud.
WeMineLTC, according to posts on social media yesterday, closed down their website and shuttered their Twitter account without explanation. Mining is an energy intensive process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain, with new coins minted as a reward.
Previous social media posts pointed to a growing host of problems at the mining pool. Last week, a WeMineLTC user took to Reddit and reported that the site had disabled manual payouts, stymying their attempts to withdraw. A post on BitcoinTalk indicates that at least some users began experiencing login issues in late March.
One of the older litecoin pools, WeMineLTC had attracted accusations of shady dealing in the past. Back in 2013, users alleged that the pool’s operators were misappropriating funds through inflated or fictitious hash rates.
More at: Litecoin Mining Pool Disappears, Stoking Fears of Fraud – CoinDesk