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Block by Block Weekly Newsletter #17

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News of the Week

🤯 Mt. Gox Bitcoins to be Returned

In a surprising turn of events, a Japanese court has ruled that former crypto exchange Mt. Gox will pay up to $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency back to the companies former customers. Around 170,000 Bitcoins are due to be returned to the customers by late next year (along with the forked Bitcoin Cash).

This is great news for the thousands of people who lost Bitcoin on Mt. Gox back in 2014 and I’m sure a lot of people will be now thanking former CEO Mark Karpeles for the ‘forced hodl’!

⚖️ Secret Service Official Wants Congress to Take Action Against Privacy Coins

In prepared testimony given on Wednesday before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, Robert Novy — deputy assistant director of the Secret Service’s office of investigations — called on legislators to adopt measures which would curb the usage of so-called “privacy coins.”

Novy did not mention any privacy coins by name but the most popular ones include Monero and Zcash.

🤔 Tether Releases Transparency Update

This week Tether Ltd, the company behind the popular Tether (USDT) ‘stablecoin’, released a “transparency update” which states that they had $2.55 billion in cash on June 1st to back up the USDT that they have released to the market. The report was put together by a law firm and states that it “should not be construed as the results of an audit”. More information here.

Tether is intimately linked to the popular exchange Bitfinex which people have speculated has been using USDT to manipulate the price of Bitcoin. This latest report only added more fuel to the fire with many claiming that Tether is only trying to create the illusion of transparency in order to keep profiting from the manipulation.

Later in the week, Bitfinex and Tethers Chief Strategy Officer announced that he was departing Bitfinex — coincidence?

📚 Stanford Launches Center for Blockchain Research

The Stanford Center for Blockchain research is focused on researching cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies to fully understand the impact that the technology can and will have on the world.

The center is being backed by The Ethereum Foundation, Protocol Labs, the Interchain Foundation, OmiseGO, Dfinity and Polychain Capital.

😬 Crypto Exchange Bithumb Hacked

Popular South Korean exchange Bithumb halted withdrawals this week after it discovered that $31 million worth of crypto had been stolen from the platform.

This hack follows last weeks Coinrail exchange hack (that is also based in South Korea).

👍 Square Acquires a BitLicense

Popular payment company Square was granted a BitLicense this week which allows their ‘Cash App’ to serve cryptocurrency trading to New York residents.

Square is the 9th company to be granted a BitLicense.

Project Updates

Various Aion Updates

The Aion team released the alpha version of the Aion Token Bridge that allows ERC20 Aion Tokens to be trustlessly converted to coins on the Aion-1 blockchain.

Check out the Aion AMA with CEO Matt Spoke and the AMA with Richa (Head of Marketing).

New mining pool software was also released.

Preparing to Build on Polkadot

The Polkadot team has written an extensive post detailing how developers can get started building on the Polkadot network.

Republic Protocol Testnet Release

The Republic Protocol testnet has been deployed on Ethereum’s Kovan network. RenEx, the first exchange built on Republic Protocol is available at

Swarm Proof-of-Concept Release 3 Released

The Swarm team released v0.3 of the Ethereum Swarm client this week.

SpankChain Development Update 008

Updates on the SpankChain Camsite, SpankBank, State Channels, Community and an initiative named ‘SpankChain on the Prowl’/

FOAM MainNet Preview

Ryan King from the FOAM Protocol team outlines how Token Curated Registries will be used on the FOAM MainNet to curate Geographic Points of Interest.

Enigma Collaborates with Intel

Enigma have partnered with Intel on research and development efforts to advance development of privacy preserving computation technologies.

8x Protocol Integrates with MakerDAO

8x Protocol aims to facilitate recurring cryptocurrency payments on the blockchain. In their mission, it is essential that the volatility issues of cryptocurrencies are addressed. They are tackling this issue by integrating Maker Dai.

Radar Relay Beta is Complete

Head over to to experience the full V1 release of the Radar Relay decentralized exchange.

Toshi Updates

Toshi, the mobile web3 browser being developed by Coinbase, now features support for Ethereum testnets and custom ERC20 tokens.

Gitcoin Releases iOS App

You can now find and complete Gitcoin bounties on the go.

PolySwarm Launches Grants Program

PolySwarm are granting $5000+ per project to develop software micro-engines for the PolySwarm marketplace.

Project Spotlight


Real-time subscriptions for anything that happens on the Ethereum blockchain.


OpenNode is the world’s first Lightning enabled bitcoin payment processor that brings your business to the future.


Celo is a platform for fast, secure, stable digital payments to any mobile number at a fraction of today’s cost.

Crypto Drama & Controversy

Skycoin “CEO” Involved in Insider Trading

Skycoin, the crypto “built to fulfill Satoshi’s original vision”, was mired in controversy this week when the projects CEO, Synth, was caught in an audio recording involving himself in insider trading.

He’s doing everything he can for the greater good of Skycoin, after all.

EOS Freezes Accounts for Violations of its ‘Constitution’

The 21 block producers (BPs) of EOS decided to freeze seven EOS accounts this week because they were suspected to be carrying stolen funds. More info can be found here and here.

Then, later in the week, the ‘EOSIO Core Arbitration Forum’ (ECAF) decided to freeze 27 accounts with “the logic and reasoning for this Order to be posted at a later date”.

Personal Updates

Website Updates

New research added to the site:

New resources added to the site:


You made it! Thanks for reading. I’d love to get your feedback so please send an email to and I’ll be sure to get back to you! :)

Disclaimer: None of the information outlined in this piece should be taken as investment advice. Please click here for more information.



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