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Coinbase backs Tornado Cash users as they sue the Department of Treasury

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Coinbase backs Tornado Cash users as they sue the Department of Treasury

Six users of the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash have sued the U.S. Department of Treasury and other authorities. They sued the latter over the decision to sanction Tornado Cash as of August 2022.

The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Treasury, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and their corresponding heads. These included Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Office Director Andrea M. Gacki.

The insides of the lawsuit

On 8 August, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had sanctioned Ethereum blockchain-based cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash. This was for laundering more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019.

The office particularly underlined the theft of $455 million worth of crypto assets by the Lazarus Group. Tornado Cash allows users to put crypto assets into a pool alongside other users. Thus, making it difficult for anybody to trace the trajectory of an asset.

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Plaintiffs sue the authorities over multiple counts

In their complaint filed in the District Court of Texas, the plaintiffs are suing the authorities over three counts.

Firstly, Tornado Cash cannot be added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list by the Department of Treasury. This is because it doesn’t meet the definition of a property, a foreign country, or a national thereof, nor a person. The Department had designated 44 Tornado Cash smart contract addresses to its SDN list.

Secondly, the decision violates the First Amendment (freedom of speech). Tornado Cash allows users to engage in important, socially valuable speech. They can make donations to support important, and potentially controversial, political and social causes. However, the sanction prevents them from doing so, thereby violating their rights.

Thirdly, Tornado Cash consists of open-source software codes. These can’t be considered as property, a foreign country or a national thereof, or a person of any kind. Thus the Department can’t put sanctions against these.

The lawsuit claims that the sanction “threatens the ability of law-abiding Americans to engage freely and privately in financial transactions.” 

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The plaintiffs have claimed that their legitimate actions have been curtailed by the decision of the Treasury to sanction Tornado Cash. 

The Coinbase effect 

Coinbase is actively bankrolling the lawsuit. Brian Armstrong, the CEO of the cryptocurrency platform Coinbase, wrote in a blogpost that his organization is backing the lawsuit. He further cited that the Treasury is sanctioning an entire technology instead of specific individuals. As a result of the Treasury’s actions, users cannot access their funds and critical privacy tools.

Ser Suzuki Shillsalot has 8 years of experience working as a Senior Investigative journalist at The SpamBot Times. He completed a two-hour course in journalism from a popular YouTube video and was one of the few to give it a positive rating. Shillsalot’s writings mainly focus on shilling his favourite cryptos and trolling anyone who disagrees with him. P.S – There is a slight possibility the profile pic is AI-generated. You see, this account is primarily used by our freelancer writers and they wish to remain anonymous. Wait, are they Satoshi? :/

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Alladin

A Recent SEC Filing Shows The World’s Largest Asset Manager Blackrock Plans To Launch A Metaverse ETF

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A Recent SEC Filing Shows The World’s Largest Asset Manager Blackrock Plans To Launch A Metaverse ETF

According to a recent filing, Blackrock, the multi-national investment company based in New York City and the world’s largest asset manager, has plans to create a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on metaverse companies. The fund — dubbed the Ishares Future Metaverse Tech and Communications ETF — will track metaverse firms with exposure to virtual reality, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), augmented reality, and game-centric finance (gamefi) applications.

ETF Filing Shows Blackrock Plans to Launch a Metaverse Exchange-Traded Fund

The world’s largest asset manager by assets under management (AUM), Blackrock, has been investing more energy into the digital asset and blockchain space in recent times. On Friday, Bloomberg’s Katherine Greifeld and Vildana Hajric first reported on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing for Blackrock’s new ETF called the Ishares Future Metaverse Tech and Communications ETF.

The news follows the recent launch of the Ishares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF, and in August Blackrock partnered with Coinbase to provide clients with access to crypto assets. Hajric’s and Greifeld’s report highlights a filing submitted on Thursday, September 29. The reporters note that the new metaverse ETF doesn’t have an assigned ticker yet.

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The latest Blackrock metaverse ETF could include firms exposed to “virtual platforms, social media, gaming, digital assets, [and] augmented reality,” the report adds. Blackrock’s chief executive officer Larry Fink remarked last year, that as far as bitcoin is concerned, he’s “more on the Jamie Dimon camp.”

At the time, however, Fink further remarked that he envisioned “a huge role for a digitized currency” and said he believes that it’s “going to help consumers worldwide, whether it’s bitcoin or something else.” On the other hand, Blackrock’s Rick Rieder, the chief investment officer (CIO) of the asset manager, has said bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are durable assets.

“I still think bitcoin and crypto are durable assets,” Rieder explained during an interview with Yahoo Finance Live. “It’s a durable business, but there was so much excess built around it,” Rieder added during the interview.

Furthermore, just after the company partnered with Coinbase, Blackrock launched a bitcoin private trust in mid-August. The multi-national investment company said the reason it launched the private BTC trust was because bitcoin is still a “primary subject of interest,” according to Blackrock’s clientele.

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Alladin, asset manager, Augmented Reality, Bitcoin, Blackrock, ceo, CIO, Coinbase, Coinbase Partnership, crypto assets, Digital Assets, Digital Currencies, filing, GameFi, Gaming, Larry Fink, Meta, Metaverse, Metaverse Companies, metaverse etf, NFTs, report, Rick Rieder, Social Media, virtual platforms, Virtual Reality, VR

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What do you think about Blackrock’s desire to launch a metaverse ETF? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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17 companies

Bittrex, Merkle Science, Bitgo Join Crypto Market Integrity Coalition

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Bittrex, Merkle Science, Bitgo Join Crypto Market Integrity Coalition

Following the introduction of the Crypto Market Integrity Coalition (CMIC) with 17 member firms last February, the organization has added eight new members. New coalition recruits include Bittrex, Merkle Science, Crystal Blockchain and Bitgo.

8 Crypto Market Firms Join Crypto Market Integrity Coalition to Improve Self-Regulation

Seven months ago, 17 crypto firms announced the formation of the Crypto Market Integrity Coalition (CMIC), a group that aims to bolster a sensibly-regulated crypto industry. Original CMIC members included Circle, Coinbase, Anchorage Digital, Huobi Tech, Liberty City Ventures, and the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

“Through the pledge, the coalition seeks to send an unequivocal message at this critical moment in the evolution of digital assets: The crypto industry has made enormous strides to improve market integrity in the past few years,” the CMIC launch announcement noted on February 7, 2022.

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On Thursday, CMIC detailed that eight new members have joined the coalition. Newly added CMIC members include Bittrex, VAF Compliance, Merkle Science, Tokenomy, Crystal Blockchain, Finclusive, Oasis Pro Markets, and Bitgo. The chief compliance officers (CCOs) at Bitgo and Bittrex spoke about joining the CMIC initiative.

Michael Carter, the chief compliance officer at Bittrex said the crypto exchange looks forward to “working with fellow coalition members on collective educational efforts and sharing insights that will contribute to the industry’s continuing evolution.” Jeff Horowitz, Bitgo’s chief compliance officer detailed that Bitgo welcomes discussions with regulators and policymakers.

“We’re seeing increasing appetite on the part of institutional investors to actively participate in the growing digital asset economy, and regulatory clarity will address concerns that have stemmed from uncertainty,” Horowitz said on Thursday during the CMIC announcement. “We continue to welcome discussion with policymakers on how to encourage innovation while protecting investors and businesses,” the Bitgo

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17 companies, 8 companies, Anchorage Digital, BitGo, Bittrex, Circle Internet Financial, CMIC, Coinbase, Crypto Market Integrity Coalition, Cryptocompare, Crystal Blockchain, Finclusive, Huobi Tech, investor protection, Jeff Horowitz, Merkle Science, Michael Carter, Oasis Pro Markets, prevent manipulation, Public confidence, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Tokenomy, VAF Compliance

What do you think about the eight crypto companies that recently announced joining the Crypto Market Integrity Coalition? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Coinbase

What the SEC’s 2019 statement has to do with Coinbase’s $350 million lawsuit

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What the SEC’s 2019 statement has to do with Coinbase’s $350 million lawsuit

U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase is in the news again. And this time, the exchange faces a lawsuit filed by Veritaseum Capital LLC over an alleged patent infringement. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, claims that Coinbase infringed a patent held by Reggie Middleton, founder of Veritaseum Capital. 

The allegations in question…

Veritaseum Capital uses blockchain technology, smart contracts and distributed computing. All of this to aid industries suffering from high economic rents, undue friction, and gross inefficiencies.

The patent was reportedly issued to Middleton in December 2021 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The court filing goes on to allege that Coinbase violated Middleton’s intellectual property rights. Coinbase did so by infringing the patent’s claims through various services on its site, such as Coinbase Cloud, Pay, Wallet, Delegate, and Validator software. 

Furthermore, the plaintiff seeks $350 million in damages, citing “substantial profits that Coinbase has raked through the alleged violation, causing “irreparable harm” to Veritaseum Capital in the process. 

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Additionally, Veritaseum Capital attorneys allegedly stated that Coinbase was “uncooperative” when the organization was approached for an out-of-court settlement. 

A whiff of a fraudulent scheme here?

In a quick turn of events, it turns out that Veritaseum Capital was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2019. This was over an alleged fraudulent token offering and a manipulation scheme laid out by the plaintiff.

In their 2019 press release, the SEC called Middleton a “self-described financial guru” who marketed and sold VERI tokens on the internet. Furthermore, the organization enticed retail investors to buy the token based on multiple material misrepresentations and omissions. 

Furthermore, the regulator alleged that Middleton and his entities knowingly misled investors about prior business ventures. The organization tried to sell an oversized demand for the VERI token. Furthermore, a claim around a product to generate revenue was also made. However, no such product existed. 

The case was settled after a $9.4 million penalty paid to the SEC which included a $1 million penalty against Middleton himself.

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Ser Suzuki Shillsalot has 8 years of experience working as a Senior Investigative journalist at The SpamBot Times. He completed a two-hour course in journalism from a popular YouTube video and was one of the few to give it a positive rating. Shillsalot’s writings mainly focus on shilling his favourite cryptos and trolling anyone who disagrees with him. P.S – There is a slight possibility the profile pic is AI-generated. You see, this account is primarily used by our freelancer writers and they wish to remain anonymous. Wait, are they Satoshi? :/

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