Blockchain Bites: Ripple Sues YouTube, Monero Hits the Box Office and Draper Wants Crypto Everywhere

Is Renaissance bullish on bitcoin? What's the "crypto/lobbyist" revolving door? Will YouTube take down XRP giveaway scams?

AccessTimeIconApr 22, 2020 at 6:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:32 a.m. UTC
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Ripple executives have filed suit against YouTube, Tim Draper wants to enable crypto trading across the web and a documentary about Monero briefly topped the U.S. box office.

Ripple Labs and CEO Brad Garlinghouse are accusing the video hosting juggernaut of failing to remove reputationally damaging and fraudulent advertisements for free cryptocurrency giveaways.

According to the suit, scammers have impersonated Garlinghouse and also created channels purportedly linked to Ripple, in a guise to dupe watchers. The scams frequently ask for small upfront payments that will be met with huge XRP rewards, which, of course, never come. While Ripple, Garlinghouse and hundreds of viewers have filed complaints against the channels, "YouTube’s response has been woefully inadequate and incomplete," the suit alleges. Here's the story:

Top Shelf

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse

YouTube Sued
Ripple Labs and CEO Brad Garlinghouse are suing YouTube over allegations the video streaming giant has failed to police its platform against fake XRP giveaway scams, resulting in monetary damage to users and reputational harm to Ripple. Among the allegations, Ripple says the Google subsidiary assists scammers in disseminating ads, and profits off the practice.

Bullish on Bitcoin?
Renaissance Technologies, arguably the world’s most secretive and successful money manager, is considering including cash-settled Bitcoin futures among the instruments it trades, lending legitimacy to the cryptocurrency project. While the fund is mum on how bitcoin will be incorporated into its portfolio, trading experts have weighed in on how it might fit into Renaissance’s data science and machine learning-driven investment strategy. The conclusion? Renaissance going “long bitcoin” is a stretch. 

DeFi Entrant
Framework Ventures, a fund focused on decentralized finance, purchased between 1 percent and 5 percent of all Kava tokens, valued at $750,000. The move comes ahead of Kava’s launch next month, which will set the protocol up to be the MakerDAO for a wider pool of digital assets. 

Revolving Door
Crypto exchange Bittrex US’ former chief compliance and ethics officer has moved to mortgage financier Fannie Mae, in a reversal of the revolving door of regulatory, law enforcement and government officials entering the crypto industry. 

Chainalysis Report
Blockchain data sleuth Chainalysis has found that nearly $1 million in bitcoin and ethereum flowed into child pornography-linked wallet addresses in 2019, continuing a multiyear upward trend that captures the complicated realities of mass crypto adoption.

Tech Support
The U.K. government unveiled a £1.25 billion ($1.53 billion) “Future Fund” meant to rescue floundering tech firms forced to tighten their belts during the coronavirus pandemic. “The U.K. is a world leader in innovation and at this hugely challenging time, we know that young, fast-growing firms require tailored support to see them through,” U.K.’s Business Secretary Alok Sharma said in a press release.

Energy, Emissions, Everledger
Track-and-trace blockchain pioneer Everledger is using its technology to help the diamond industry offset its carbon footprint. The firm's new platform allows diamond industry participants the option to purchase credits in carbon reduction projects. These work to counter greenhouse gas emissions by planting new trees, reducing deforestation, providing clean water access and investing in renewable energy.

100x Leverage Is Holding Bitcoin Back
“Despite some championing, it’s clear bitcoin is still a risky asset on a peripheral investment frontier, and not a safe haven at all,” writes Alpha5 founder Vishal Shah in a CoinDesk op-ed. He reasons Bitcoin’s existent financial ecosystem encourages high-leverage, volatility and impedes traders from reducing their exposure to risk, all of which limits the cryptocurrency’s long-term prosperity.


'Pentesting' PegNet
Rogue miners submitted phony price data that tricked decentralized stablecoin network PegNet into inflating an $11 wallet balance into a $6.7 million stash. Capturing 70 percent of the network’s consensus algorithm, the hackers exploited the system in order to "pentest [penetration test] the network and code logic," to identify potential vulnerabilities and notify core developers. They eventually burned their profits. 

Exchanges Everywhere
Tim Draper's venture studio has released a WordPress plugin it claims will democratize crypto trading, by allowing anyone to add trading features to websites "in minutes" or even create their own branded cryptocurrency exchange.

Micropaying Microbloggers 
Dharma, an Ethereum-based decentralized lending platform, has launched a payments product that allows users to send micropayments to Twitter handles. (Twitter)

Remittances Receding 
The World Bank predicts global remittances will fall by 20 percent in 2020. (Quartz)

Crypto's 'Zoom Moment'
Michael Terpin, CEO of Transform Group, thinks crypto’s “Zoom moment” is around the corner. Just as under quarantine this video streaming app experienced breakout growth, the emergent class of cryptographically-sound financial and technological instruments might finally find their footing in the mass unemployment and financial hardship expected in the tailend of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fresh Capital

  • tZERO, the blockchain subsidiary of, raised $5 million in fresh capital from the private equity firm GoldenSand Capital via an equity stake sale. (The Block)
  • Applied Blockchain, an enterprise blockchain firm tapped by Shell to set up an energy derivative trading platform, raised approximately $2.5 million in a funding round led by QBN Capital. (The Block)

Making Monero Moves
Released in a period when most cinemas are closed, "Monero Means Money," a film about the privacy coin, briefly topped the U.S. box office, reports Decrypt’s Robert Stevens. The film brought in $3,430 its opening weekend, and is still running in a limited number of theaters. 

Island Incentives
Puerto Rico has raised the yearly filing fee for its “Incentive Code,” which made the island an attractive haven for crypto entrepreneurs, from $300 to $5,000. (Decrypt)

Checking AICPA's audit boxes have become a regular feature of Gemini’s compliance and regulatory strategy. (Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss image via Wikimedia commons)
Checking AICPA's audit boxes have become a regular feature of Gemini’s compliance and regulatory strategy. (Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss image via Wikimedia commons)

Proof of Reserves
The Gemini exchange has completed an attestation conducted by Deloitte, showing its financial reporting obligations work as advertised. This independent review, more formally known as the SOC 1 Type 1 examination, is meant to reduce the “risk of significant error, omission, or data loss.” 

Blockchain Bootcamp
Polychain, Winklevoss Capital and Andreessen Horowitz have signed on as mentors in crypto payments startup Celo’s new blockchain startup boot camp. (Decrypt)

Portrait of the Artist as a New Token
Paris-based artist Ben Elliot has tokenized the future value of his oeuvre on the Stellar blockchain. (CoinTelegraph)

Crossover Story
The BBC covered this weekend’s dForce hack, an example of one of the few “crossover” stories between crypto and mainstream media. (BBC)

Bench Order
A federal judge has ordered the arrest of a former Washington State  Senator accused by the S.E.C. of running a $4.3 million crypto scam. (CoinTelegraph)

CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition


CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition continues its popular twice-weekly chats with Consensus speakers via Zoom and Twitter. Here you'll get a preview of what’s to come in Consensus: Distributed, our first fully virtual - and fully free - big-tent conference May 11-15. 

On the show, we chat with developers from the most exciting crypto projects, unpack the industry’s nuances and hear from entrepreneurs disrupting traditional industries. Then we’ll open the floor for you to ask questions directly to our guests.

Register to join our third session Thursday, April 23, with speaker Magdalena Gronowska from the QuadrigaCX Bankruptcy Board of Inspectors and a Committee Member of the Official Committee of Affected Users to discuss the defunct crypto platform Quadriga CX’s bankruptcy estate and what's next for users, hosted by CoinDesk editors Nikhilesh De and Zack Seward.

Market Intel

Market Stimulus
Bitcoin has recorded a quick gain today, tracking stocks upwards on news of a Senate approved $484 billion coronavirus relief spending package. Prices look to have steadied in the $6,930 to $7,000 range, as of writing. Bulls need to keep bitcoin above the descending 50-day average at $6,802 to avoid a sell-off.

Unknown Until Buyers Buy
Markets aren't acting very efficiently during the coronavirus crisis. "Bitcoin barely flinched as negative oil prices sent shockwaves through traditional markets and in relative terms has held up very well," eToro noted in an email to clients. CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole and Brad Keoun ask if that was the right reaction for the bitcoin market, in the latest First Mover email, a daily markets brief. Amid market fluctuations and deflationary spending packages, the price impact of Bitcoin's potential adoption as an inflation hedge is an open question until more mainstream investors actually start buying, they argue.



Surveillance Capitalism and You
CoinDesk journalist Bailey Reutzel speaks with Alex McDougall of Bicameral Ventures in the inaugural episode of CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition. In this live streaming event, they cover the mechanics of surveillance capitalism and how users can take back some control of that data.

Who Won #CrytpoTwitter?

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