Blockchain Bites: Chase Class Action, 30 Words for Censorship and a Bitcoin Bug

Chase Bank settled a class action brought by crypto purchasers while a new report shows a flaw in time-locked bitcoin transactions.

AccessTimeIconJun 1, 2020 at 3:44 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:46 a.m. UTC
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Chase Bank has settled a class action lawsuit brought by defendants who claim the JPMorgan Chase subsidiary overcharged credit card fees for crypto purchases.

Meanwhile, a new report shows that a million “timelocked” bitcoin transactions are open to a hypothetical exploit, while CoinKite has unveiled a new way to recharge hardware wallets.

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Top Shelf

Chase Class Action
Chase Bank has agreed to repay most of $2.5 million in fees customers say it unfairly charged for cryptocurrency transactions. A subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase, the bank has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit resulting from the bank’s decision in 2018 to charge higher fees on Chase credit cards that had classified the crypto purchases as “cash advances.”

Timelock Fault
In a new report, pseudonymous engineer 0xb10c found more than a million of “time-locked” bitcoin transactions made between September 2019 and March 2020 were not accurately enforced by the network, increasing the risk of a hypothetical form of attack in which miners could essentially steal bitcoin from other miners. The bug affects 10% of time-locked transactions, or 2% of bitcoin transactions overall. 

Beauty Startups and Crypto
There are growing similarities between makeup startups and crypto communities, which are dominated by influencer marketing with products sold through direct-to-consumer (DTC) models and aggregated retail platforms like Amazon, Etsy or Shopify. In both startup sectors, users are encouraged to do their own research rather than trust traditional tastemakers like magazines. “I think DeFi and indie/new beauty [entrepreneurs] are very similar in this regard … bringing power to the people, generating opportunities,” decentralized finance (DeFi) user and skincare aficionado María Paula Fernandez said. 

Cold Storage
CoinKite released Coldpower, a way to charge hardware wallets by connecting the USB plug to a 9-volt battery, rather than plugging it into a laptop. Comparing it to a popular gizmo that prevents accidental data exchange when one device is plugged into another to charge, CoinKite says Coldpower is “like a ‘USB condom,’ but self-powered.”

Crypto Long & Short
Several “blue chip” crypto firms – including Coinbase, Genesis Capital and BitGo – have revealed plans to knit new connective systems for crypto trading and investment, and become prime brokers. CoinDesk’s Head of Research Noelle Acheson posits the move might “solve part of the fragmentation of crypto markets by giving investors access to several exchanges via one account.” In turn, this could lead to a new cycle of development and new market participants in the latest Crypto Long & Short newsletter. 

From Around the Web

  • Bitmain has launched a cheaper version of its flagship Antminer, in a bid to regain market share from rival MicroBT. (The Block)
  • The Block has found that the number of blockchain-related investment deals have been declining for seven consecutive months. 
  • Russian police arrested the head of a post office for mining crypto. (Decrypt)
  • “Bitfinex was once the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. But where is it?” begins Cas Piancey and Bennett Tomlin’s excerpted chapter from a forthcoming book about the stablecoin tether. Piancey travels to China to find out. 
  • PwC’s Henri Arslanian: Blockchain auditors to play ‘pivotal role’ in crypto (Finance Magnates

Opposite Editorial

Why Family Offices Should Consider Digital Assets for Their Portfolios
Constantin Kogan, venture partner at BitBull Capital, takes a look at the growing trend of family offices interested in diversifying client portfolios with cryptocurrencies. “Blockchain-based digital assets can be an alternative for investors hoping to reduce reliance on a failing traditional financial system,” he said.

To Get Serious About Decentralization, We Need to Measure It
Stephanie Hurder, CoinDesk columnist and economist at Prysm Group, argues for standard frameworks for assessing how decentralized a crypto project is. “Blockchain-based systems are economies written in code. The value of a protocol, and any native tokens, depend on economic fundamentals. As such, users, validators and investors benefit from a standard set of measures that gauge these fundamentals and evaluate whether systems are working as intended,” she writes.

Market Intel

Ether's Gains
Bitcoin has entered the seasonally bullish month of June on a positive note, but its recent gains look pale compared to that of ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value. Bitcoin rose by over 8% last week and ended May with a 9.5% gain. Meanwhile, ether’s price rose by 16% last week and 12% for the month of May.

Breakout Token
The ZRX token from 0x, a developer at the forefront of the fast-evolving landscape for decentralized exchanges, surged 67% in May to become the month’s top-performing digital asset. ZRX’s May surge took the token’s price to the highest in almost a year, though the current price of about 32 cents is still down some 87% from the all-time high of $2.50 reached in January 2018, according to data provider Messari. The rise follows protocol updates and a beta launch of a new trading platform. 

CoinDesk Podcast Network

The Future of Money
The last episode from the “Money Reimagined” series looks at the battle for the future of money with insight from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, former Chairman of the CFTC Christopher Giancarlo and Binance CEO Chaoping Zhao. You can get the full four part series here.

'We Need 30 Different Words for Censorship'
The latest episode of Let’s Talk Bitcoin features Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Adam B. Levine to discuss censorship, fascism and what we learned from Edward Snowden.

Who Won #CryptoTwitter?

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