Blockchain Report — 8/21/2018

Summary: Head Of BitConnect Cryptocurrency Scam Arrested In Dubai; Coinbase Files Patent For Freeze Logic Cryptocurrency Wallet Security; Venezuela Devalued The Bolivar By 95% And Pegs It To A Cryptocurrency

Head Of BitConnect Cryptocurrency Scam Arrested In Dubai

According to ZDNet, Divyesh Darji, the Indian head of BitConnect and believed to be the main promoter of the BitConnect cryptocurrency scam, has been arrested by the Gujarat Criminal Investigation Department after arriving in Dubai.

According to a local financial publication, law enforcement believes that the promoters of BitConnect gained Rs 1.14 crore. This is the equivalent of approximately $14.5 million USD. This money was received from “thousands of investors” before BitConnect closed down.

In January, BitConnect closed its platform with all loans on the platform released. All the loans were converted to BCC instead of the investors’ original Bitcoin. At the time, the price of BCC was $363.62. Now, the coin is worth $0.67 and the virtual asset is essentially useless.

Coinbase Files Patent For Freeze Logic Cryptocurrency Wallet Security

According to ZDNet, Coinbase has filed a new patent that describes technology that aims to improve the security of cryptocurrency wallets as well as permitting the secure, direct payment of cryptocurrencies to merchants. The patent was submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Coinbase’s patent application says:

“it may be a security concern for users that the private keys of their Bitcoin addresses may be stolen from their wallets, [and] existing systems do not provide a solution for maintaining security over private keys while still allowing the users to check out on a merchant page and making payments using their wallets.”

One interesting aspect of the patent is the introduction of freeze logic, which aims to prevent the potential exposure of private keys during checkout by allowing suspicious transactions to be frozen by administrators.

In a blog post, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said:

“The Bitcoin community was founded on ideals of openness and decentralization, so software patents feel especially bad in our industry. But that is not going to stop other large companies from going after Bitcoin patents and using them offensively.
By refusing to file Bitcoin patents you aren’t helping Bitcoin or “doing the right thing,” you are simply putting your own company at risk.”

Venezuela Devalued The Bolivar By 95% And Pegs It To A Cryptocurrency

According to Business Insider, Venezuela has announced a series of measures in an attempt to save its economy from collapse. The government has decided to devalue the Venezuelan bolivar by 95% and pegging it to Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency.

The bolivar will now move in line with changes in the Petro, which is linked by movements in oil prices. The Petro is valued by the Venezuelan government at about $60, or 3,600 bolivars. At the same time, Maduro has announced a 3,000% increase to the minimum wage.

The new minimum wage would be the equivalent of $30 USD a month. The government will also end some gasoline subsidies and raise the value added tax by about 4%, which it says will save about $10 billion a year.

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