Amazon Web Services Launches Managed Blockchain Service

Amazon Web Services Launches Managed Blockchain Service
            

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing platform

subsidiary of retail giant Amazon, has made its Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB) generally available, according to an announcement on April 30. The product will purportedly allow customers to set up blockchain networks within their organizations, and uses the Ethereum and Hyperledger open source frameworks. Notably, Amazon states that AMB can scale to support thousands to millions of transactions.

Amazon states that the blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) will allow businesses to develop their own networks more quickly and at a lower cost, as it eliminates the need to “to provision hardware, install software, create and manage certificates for access control, and configure network settings.” Rahul Pathak, General Manager, Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS

said:

“Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of provisioning nodes, setting up the network, managing certificates and security, and scaling the network.”

According to AWS’ announcement, major firms that have implemented AMB include United States communications giant AT&T, the Nestlé global food and beverage company and Singapore Exchange Limited. AWS initially announced AMB in November of last year along with the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB). QLDB is a ledger database designed to provide transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable log of transactions, which is overseen by a central authority.

Article Produced By
Aaron Wood

Aaron Wood is an editor at Cointelegraph, with a background in energy and economics. He keeps an eye on Blockchain's applications in building smarter and more equitable energy access globally.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/amazon-web-services-launches-managed-blockchain-service

 

Bart Chilton: Former CFTC Regulator Crypto Holder and ICO Endorser

 
Bart Chilton: Former CFTC Regulator, Crypto Holder and ICO Endorser
             

Last weekend, Bart Chilton, a former commissioner of the United States Commodity Futures

Trading Commission (CFTC) and early advocate for cryptocurrency regulation,
died at the age of 58.

Apart from his work for the regulator, he was best known as the host of RT (formerly Russia Today) America’s financial show “Boom Bust” — in which he often covered cryptocurrency news — and as the author of the book “Ponzimonium: How Scam Artists Are Ripping Off America.” The news about Chilton’s death was broken by RT, his latest employer, on April 27. According to the TV network, the Boom Bust host passed away as a result of “a sudden illness.” Later, CNBC wrote that Chilton died because of complications from pancreatic cancer, citing a family member.

25 years of public service: Chilton’s bio

Prior to working for the Russian state-owned television channel, Chilton had an eventful political career in the U.S. government, which lasted 25 years. Chilton grew up in Ogden Dunes, Indiana, where he worked at a steel mill for a year before entering Purdue University in 1979. As he told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the heavy manual labor shaped his mindset before majoring in political science and communications, as Chilton felt that someone had to look out for "the little guy."

However, Chilton dropped out one semester before graduation to work on Democratic Party’s 1984 political campaigns. From 1985 to 1995, he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving as a legislative director for three different members of Congress and as the executive director of the bipartisan Congressional Rural Caucus. He later joined the executive branch during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, in which he became the deputy chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and acted as a liaison to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In 2007, Chilton was nominated to be a CFTC commissioner by President Bush, and his position was subsequently confirmed by the Senate. He was renominated by President Barack Obama in 2009 and finished his work for the agency in 2014. Chilton chaired the agency’s Energy and Environmental Advisory and the Global Markets Advisory panels.

Soon after becoming a commissioner, Chilton started to champion strong pro-market regulation views, as illustrated by his first official remarks. Specifically, the public servant drew attention to the phenomenon of “massive passives,” arguing that the influx of pension and institutional investments provoked the volatility in commodity prices. As he explained to the WSJ, a "massive passive" could represent as much as 20% of one market — a percentage that "gets to be where you might not be able to control prices, but you have the possibility of moving them."

Bloomberg describes Chilton as “a U.S. regulator who pushed for tighter regulation of swaps and derivatives.” According to The Washington Post, he was “perhaps best known for his mane of silver white hair and unconventional speeches, loaded with pop culture references and catchy phrases.” For instance, he famously nicknamed high-frequency traders “cheetahs” who race “in and out” of the market. In November 2013, Chilton announced he was leaving the CFTC “in the not too distant future,” without specifying the reason. Soon, he began working for a high-frequency trading association, as a senior policy advisor at DLA Piper law firm. “People are going to say, ‘wait a minute, you used to beat the [stuff] out of those guys,’ and I did, but I never said they should go away,” Chilton told CNBC of the move.

Chilton and crypto: From calling bitcoin a “shadow currency” to holding and ICO endorsements

Although Chilton has said that he’s been calling for cryptocurrency regulation since 2012, he never addressed the topic during his congressional speeches while working for the CFTC, as per the agency’s database. In fact, it seems that Chilton first publicly discussed bitcoin in May 2013 on CNBC, when he declared he was not “100% saying we should regulate it, but if anybody is going to, it seems like something

we should consider.”

“It [bitcoin] is being potentially used for, you know, guns and money, and nobody is looking after it. It really is a shadow currency.”

Further on in the interview, Chilton argued that cryptocurrency holders “were losing actual money on this [bitcoin],” to support his viewpoint. “If people have the possibility of not being backed up, if things aren’t cleared, if there is no margin requirement, you don’t want this to be just a house of cards that can impact it.” He then implied that the CFTC might oversee the cryptocurrency sector in the future, given that people seem to hold virtual currencies for future profits. That, in turn, appears to fit the description of a commodity and hence fall within the regulator’s purview,

Chilton argued.

“If you guys want to be a shill for the financial industry, and support a shadow currency that people purchase drugs and money with, have a party, man. My job as a regulator, I’m going to look after it.”

In 2016, however, Chilton (no longer a CFTC commissioner) wrote a commentary for CNBC in which he called the bitcoin and blockchain industry “disruptive,” and argued that President Obama should ensure that its growth is not damaged by overly tight regulations,

comparing it to the early IT-industry:

“When the internet was being developed, an effort and initiative by the Clinton administration to ensure that the fledgling idea would not be overly regulated was put in place — the 1997 Framework for Global Electronic Commerce. The point: to ensure laws and regulation would not negatively impact innovation. Current CFTC Commissioner Chris Giancarlo recently (and rightly) called for such protection for digital currency. President Obama should heed the call.”

In September 2017, Chilton highlighted bitcoin’s volatility as a major issue, saying that he would have started a probe into potential market manipulation if he still worked at the CFTC at the time. Specifically, he argued that the “blind spot” occurred because virtual currencies cannot be treated like other stocks due to their complicated, digital nature and that there were no Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements established within the industry. In November 2017, the former CFTC commissioner declared that

bitcoin wasn’t “a scam of a fraud”:

“I don’t think it’s, you know, a fraud, like [JPMorgan Chase CEO] Jamie Dimon said, or a pyramid scheme like [Russian] President Putin says. I mean, people are actually using bitcoins to purchase things. So, that’s not a scam or a fraud.”

In January 2018, Chilton disclosed that he owned bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH):

“I wish I had been investing when I told everybody to be careful. I had a lot of my friends that said, ‘You told me not to invest.’ They would have been millionaires.”

Around the same time, it was revealed that the former CFTC regulator was involved in an initial coin offering (ICO) project called OilCoin, which billed itself as “the world’s first legally compliant cryptocurrency backed by oil reserves” and planned to launch an ICO in January 2018. However, OilCoin’s social media accounts went inactive as early as December 2017. Chilton’s name is still listed on the startup’s website under the “Founders and Directors” tab, suggesting that his endorsement could have stemmed from a commercial partnership.

“Good, Bad and Ugly of Cryptos”: Chilton’s latest views on crypto

In January 2019, Forbes published Chilton’s article titled “2019's Good, Bad and Ugly of Cryptos,” which details a parallel between the crypto industry and the Clint Eastwood movie from 1960s. Indeed, as mentioned above, he often drew from pop culture to demonstrate his points — Chilton’s other Forbes piece largely references “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a 2018 biographical film about Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen.

In his latest articles, Chilton argued that the industry is becoming more civilized — futures trading on regulated exchanges like CBOE and CME, as well as Bakkt’s potential arrival were mentioned as examples — which, along with the massive price crackdown, are good developments for the market. However, he argued, security remains to be a great concern for crypto, with major hacks happening regularly.

Chilton was also supportive of the underlying technology. In March 2019, he shared his thoughts on various use cases and potential uses of blockchain — comparing it to bamboo — in a video at Hong Kong Blockchain Week called “Blockchain Dreamers and the Properties of Bamboo.” Prior to that, Chilton claimed that banks tend to ignore public ledgers because “they are trying to keep control of the financial system.”

CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, also known as “crypto dad” for his “do no harm” approach toward crypto, was among many of Chilton’s colleagues who lamented his death. “In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Bart used his signature style of humor to draw attention to pressing issues for the agency and the markets at large, with the intent of protecting retail investors,” the chairman said. “With his passing, the commodities world has certainly lost a bit of its sparkle.”

Article Produced By
Stephen O'Neal

Stephen O'Neal is a Sociology major from Leeds. He's passionate about crypto and all the stuff you can spend it on.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/bart-chilton-former-cftc-regulator-crypto-holder-and-ico-endorser

Indian Banks Consider Promoting Blockchain Tech Use for Payments

Indian Banks Consider Promoting Blockchain Tech Use for Payments
           

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is considering

implementing blockchain technology to increase the strength of digital transactions, Indian business magazine Business Today reports on April 14. The initiative of ten banks, under the aegis of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), aims to improve the NPCI by implementing distributed ledger technology, the publication underlines.

The NPCI, an umbrella organization that operates retail payments and settlement systems in India and includes 56 national banks as stakeholders, was set up with the guidance and support of the Reserve Bank of India and the IBA. The NPCI will focus on developing blockchain tech in the payment domain for boosting digital transactions, the article states.

It also says:

"NPCI intends to develop a resilient, real time and highly scalable blockchain solution. It is proposed to develop this solution using an open source technology/ framework/solution."

As Cointelegraph wrote in July of last year, five major banks from each BRICS member, including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of distributed ledger technology for enhancing the digital economy. Back in last fall, experts in the blockchain field held debates during the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, underlining that blockchain technology will replace the world’s current payment systems, as Cointelegraph reported.

Article Produced By
Max Yakubowski

Max Yakubowski has a Ph.D. in Linguistics and Anthropology, with a focus in innovative technology and its cultural and social influence. He joins Cointelegraph after working as a freelance copywriter and blogger.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/indian-banks-consider-promoting-blockchain-tech-use-for-payments

Poll: Americans give social media a clear thumbs-down

Poll:
Americans give social media a clear thumbs-down

A sizable majority say social media does more to divide the country than unite it, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

          

Fifty-seven percent of Americans say social media does more to divide the nation than unite it.NBC News

WASHINGTON — The American public holds negative views of social-media giants like Facebook and Twitter, with sizable majorities saying these sites do more to divide the country than unite it and spread falsehoods rather than news, according to results from the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

What’s more, six in 10 Americans say they don’t trust Facebook at all to protect their personal information, the poll finds. But the public also believes that technology in general has more benefits than drawbacks on the economy, and respondents are split about whether the federal government should break up the largest tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook.

“Social media — and Facebook, in particular — have some serious issues in this poll,” said Micah Roberts, a pollster at the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted this survey with the Democratic firm Hart Research Associates. “If America was giving social media a Yelp review, a majority would give it zero stars,” Roberts added.

According to the poll, 57 percent of Americans say they agree with the statement that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter do more to divide the country, while 35 percent think they do more to bring the nation together. Fifty-five percent believe social media does more to spread lies and falsehoods, versus 31 percent who say it does more to spread news and information. Sixty-one percent think social media does more to spread unfair attacks and rumors against public figures and corporations, compared with 32 percent who say it does more to hold those public figures and corporations accountable.

And a whopping 82 percent say social media sites do more to waste people’s time, versus 15 percent who say they do more to use Americans’ time well. But those numbers also come as nearly seven in 10 Americans — 69 percent — say they use social media at least once a day. The negative attitudes about social media are shared by Democrats, Republicans, men, women, urban residents and rural ones. One variable, however, is age — with younger poll respondents less likely to believe that social media divides the country and spreads unfair attacks and rumors.

Sixty percent don’t trust Facebook to protect personal information

The NBC/WSJ poll also finds Americans are down on Facebook, with 60 percent saying they don’t trust the company at all to protect personal information. Just 6 percent say they trust it either “a lot” or “quite a bit.” By contrast, the percentage of Americans not trusting companies or institutions with their personal information is lower for Amazon (28 percent), Google (37 percent) and the federal government (35 percent).

And by a 74 percent-to-23 percent margin, respondents say that social media companies collecting users’ personal data to allow advertisers to target them is not an acceptable tradeoff for free or lower-cost services. Overall, 36 percent of adults view Facebook positively, while 33 percent see it negatively. And Twitter’s rating is 24 percent positive, 27 percent negative. “If these were political candidates, it would be one thing,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates. “But for companies, you’d think these ratings would be [more] on the positive side.”

Down on social media, but upbeat about technology

Despite these sour attitudes about social media, the NBC/WSJ poll shows that Americans are upbeat about technology in general. Fifty-nine percent of respondents agree with the statement that technology has more benefits than drawbacks, because it means products and services can be cheaper and made more efficiently.

That’s compared with 36 percent who believe that technology has more drawbacks than benefits, because it means workers are being replaced by robots and computers.And 60 percent of Americans say they feel more hopeful rather than more worried when thinking about the changes that technology might bring over the next five years. Asked if the federal government should break up the largest tech companies — like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — into smaller competing companies, 47 percent say they agree and 50 percent disagree.

In addition to the 69 percent of Americans who say they use social media at least once a day, the NBC/WSJ poll finds 63 percent saying they pay most of their bills online; 48 percent saying they’ve tried to limit their smartphone use; 42 percent saying they’ve made an effort to quit or limit social media; 26 percent who have blocked or unfriended someone on Facebook or social media because of their political views; and 14 percent saying they play an online multiplayer video game like Fortnite.

And asked how old is a child under 18 old enough to have their own smartphone, 42 percent answer ages 15 and older; 40 percent say ages 12 to 14; and 11 percent say ages 11 and younger. The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted March 23-27 of 1,000 adults – almost half reached by cellphone – and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

Article Produced By
Mark Murray

Mark Murray is a senior political editor at NBC News.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna991086

 

43 Million Lost as Crypto Scams in Australia Rise 190 in 2018

$4.3 Million Lost as Crypto Scams in Australia Rise 190% in 2018
          

A 190% increase in cryptocurrency scams saw Australian consumers lose $6.1 million Australian dollars

($4.3 million) in 2018, according to a report released by the country’s Competition and Consumer Commission on April 29. The substantial rise from the AU$2.1 million ($1.48 million) lost in 2017 came despite an industry wide slump in cryptocurrency prices, with Australian authorities receiving 674 reports where crypto was used to pay scammers.

Most of the victims were targeted by investment scams where they are encouraged to purchase digital currencies or asked to make crypto payments for access to forex trading, commodity trading and other investment opportunities. A total of AU$2.6 million ($1.8 million) was lost this way — and often, consumers only realized something was wrong when they were unable to withdraw funds or contact the fraudster responsible.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC,) almost half of all those who lost money to crypto scams were men aged 25 to 34. The true number of victims could also be much higher, as some may have been too embarrassed to come forward, the report notes. One victim, who believed they had been given a trial task for a well-paid job, was pressured into converting money at bitcoin (BTC) ATMs and sending it to investors.”Their bank accounts were then frozen as a fraud investigation took place.

The unnamed victim said:

“I’m cooperating with the bank and hope to get my accounts unlocked and my name cleared. It’s clear to me now that this was just a money laundering scheme and I fell for it.”

The ACCC is now urging consumers to be wary of unusual payment methods such as crypto, iTunes gift cards and remittance services — especially if the payment request appears to be coming from a government agency. In March, an Australian crypto fund manager was taken to court by his clients over the loss of AU$20 million ($14 million). It is alleged Stefanos Papanastasiou had requested his clients to transfer money to his wife and sister, and was unable to pay them back when they requested a withdrawal.

Article Produced By
Thomas Simms

Thomas is a British reporter who loves all things breaking news and crypto. When out of the office, he also likes backgammon and gin.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/43-million-lost-as-crypto-scams-in-australia-rise-190-in-2018

325 Million Bitcoin-Accepting Real Estate Project in Dubai Pauses Operations

$325 Million Bitcoin-Accepting Real Estate Project in Dubai Pauses Operations

             

The Aston Plaza in Dubai, a major bitcoin (BTC) real estate project,

is reportedly pausing its operations, British daily news agency The Times reports on April 28. The $325 million project — developed by founder of the Ultimo lingerie brand Michelle Mone and her billionaire partner Douglas Barrowman back in 2017 — includes 1,300 luxury apartments, with at least 150 units planned to be sold in bitcoin.

Touted as the first major development of this size to be available for purchase in cryptocurrency, the Aston Plaza initially offered $130,000-priced studios, about 15 BTC as of February 2018, as well as two-bedroom apartments for $380,000, worth around 45 bitcoins. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the entrepreneurs sold 50 apartments for bitcoin as of February 2018.

According to the Aston Plaza website, the venture now offers studios as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments starting at 9 BTC; however, the website notes that price is pegged to the United States dollar exchange rate for bitcoin as of Jan. 8, 2018, making 9 BTC equal to around $147,000. As previously reported by CNBC, the project was originally scheduled to be completed by September 2019.

However, citing government inspectors who visited the site in January of last year, The Times reports that construction of the venture has stopped. As presented on the project’s website, 25% of the project has been constructed to date, with over 400 apartments already sold. According to Lady Mone’s press office, The Times’ categorization of the construction as stopped is “damaging as the towers are currently being re-designed.” In an email to Cointelegraph, the press office noted that the clients’ money is currently being held in an escrow account.

Mone had previously founded another crypto-related initiative known as Equi Capital, according to tech news outlet The Next Web. The Equi project — with reported involvement from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — was initially set for launch as an initial coin offering (ICO). Following a $7 million pre-sale, the ICO was eventually cancelled, with refunds issued to investors due to loss of interest and failure to make targets.

The press office of Lady Mone told Cointelegraph in an email that the Equi project was stopped by them as they worked on their partnership with Wozniak, and thus cannot be considered a failure. The email notes that due to legislation surrounding security tokens, they have a team of lawyers working on how to move forward, with a launch planned for later this year. In February of this year, the UAE’s largest real estate development firm, Emaar Properties, has officially denied reports that it enabled crypto payments for property.

Article Produced By
Helen Partz

Helen is passionate about learning languages, cultures and the Internet. She has years of experience working at international online advertising projects. Growing interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in late 2017, she joined Cointelegraph as a writer.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/325-million-bitcoin-accepting-real-estate-project-in-dubai-pauses-operations

 

Consumer-Trageted Cryptojacking Is Essentially Extinct: Research

Consumer-Trageted Cryptojacking Is "Essentially Extinct": Research
            

Illicit crypto mining — or cryptojacking — against consumers “is essentially extinct,”

declares a report released by cybersecurity company MalwareBytes on April 23. Per the report, after in-browser miningservice CoinHive shut down in early March — when the team claimed that the project had become economically inviable — cryptojacking against consumers has sharply decreased. At the same time, the number of such attacks targeting businesses increased from the last quarter.

Furthermore, MalwareBytes also notes that bitcoin (BTC) holders who use Electrum wallets on a Mac have lost over $2.3 million in stolen coins to a Trojanized version of the wallet in Q1 this year.

Cryptojacking is the use of a computing device for mining cryptocurrency without the knowledge of the device’s owner. Common effects experienced by users are slowdown, more heat generation and shorter battery life. Arguably, the cryptocurrency which is seemingly preferred for such attacks is privacy-centric coin monero (XMR), thanks to the ability to mine it on lower-tier hardware.

As Cointelegraph reported in May last year, a researcher claimed at the time that the Coinhive crypto mining script had been detected on more than 300 government and university websites worldwide. Earlier this week, United States-based cybersecurity firm Symantec found a spike in a new crypto mining malware that mainly targets enterprises.

Article Produced By
Adrian Zmudzinski

Adrian is a newswriter based out of Pisa, Italy. He's passionate about cryptocurrency, digital rights, IT, tech and futurology and likes to think about the future in a positive way.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/consumer-targeted-cryptojacking-is-essentially-extinct-research

Chinese Government Supports Development of Blockchain City in Malaysia

Chinese Government Supports Development of "Blockchain City" in Malaysia

             

The Chinese government is purportedly supporting the construction of a "blockchain  city"

in the critical shipping lane of the Malaysian Malacca Strait. The development was announced in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on April 26. Construction and engineering company China Wuyi and investment network SWT International Sdn Bhd have jointly launched the Chinese government-backed project aimed at the development of the city of Malacca into a blockchain city called Melaka Straits city. The founders of the project are planning to raise 500  Malaysian Ringgits ($120 million) during the initial stage.

Per the release, the entire infrastructure of the city will be based on blockchain technology, with a so called DMI platform offering its native DMI coin. DMI will be used to pay government-based services within the city and feature an exchange that will enable Melaka Straits City tourists to exchange their fiat currencies for DMI coins. The project CEO Lim Keng Kai said that "our company is using cutting-edge blockchain technologies and integrating those into the traditional industry to make Malaysia a world-class tourist destination. We have the government approval to remediate this land and came up with some great plans for the area."

China has been expanding its presence in the Pacific region through investments in infrastructure and municipalities. Over the past seven years, China reportedly poured $6 billion in concessional loans and other aid into resource-rich Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby, being eager to exploit its natural gas, minerals and timber resources. Last June, South Korea revealed plans to launch a blockchain center in Busan city modeled on the Zug-based Crypto Valley, an independent association established for cryptocurrency and blockchain development with the support of government of Switzerland. Chairman of the Korea ICT Financial Convergence Association Oh Jung-geun claimed that “we need a place to concentrate on the cryptographic industry in Korea like the Crypto Valley in Switzerland."

In February, Norway’s autonomous city Liberstad adopted a cryptocurrency native to its blockchain-powered smart city platform as its official medium of exchange. The private, anarcho-capitalist city was founded in 2015 as part of the Libertania project, which eschews taxes and government regulation. A report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates that spending on so called smart city technology is expected to grow to $135 billion by 2021.

Article Produced By
Ana Alexandre

Total change in her career took Anastasia into the world of analytics and business information as a researcher and translator in 2010. Some time later she got into FinTech, a dynamically developing segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology. Ana joined Cointelegraph in September 2017.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/chinese-government-supports-development-of-blockchain-city-in-malaysia

Now Facebook is allowing anyone to look you up using your security phone number

Now Facebook is allowing anyone to look you up using your security phone number

 

                

And I mean, geez,

stuff like this with Facebook just isn’t a surprise anymore, is it? For years social media Big Brother had been pestering its users to secure their account with two-factor authentication (2FA) by prompting them to enter their phone number so they could get a text with a security code login when logging into their account from a new device for the first time.

On the surface, Facebook prompting people to enable 2FA was a good thing–if you have 2FA enabled it’s much harder for someone who isn’t you to log in to your account. But this being Facebook, they’re not just going to do something that is only good for the user, are they?

Last year it came to light that Facebook was using the phone numbers people submitted to the company solely so they could protect their accounts with 2FA for targeted advertising. And now, as security researcher and New York Times columnist Zeynep Tufekci pointed out, Facebook is allowing anyone to look up a user by their phone number, the same phone number that was supposed to be for security purposes only.

Oh, and Facebook won’t let users opt out of this privacy violation they never opted in to. The most you can now do is limit who can look you up with the phone number you provided to “Friends,” but you can’t hide it entirely. And remember, by default Facebook allows the whole world to find out who you are by entering your phone number.

In response to the growing outrage over Facebook’s latest data misuse scandal, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch, “We appreciate the feedback we’ve received about these settings and will take it into account.” Sigh. Sure you will. If users want to try to claw back some of their privacy from Facebook’s latest data grab, go into the Settings of your Facebook account, click Privacy, then click “How People Find and Contact You.” Then click “Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?” and change the dropdown box from “Everyone” to “Friends.”

Article Produced By
Michael Grothaus

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter represented worldwide by Marjacq Scripts Ltd?. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. Contact his agent at Marjacq Scripts Ltd?. You can also read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90314763/now-facebook-is-allowing-anyone-to-look-you-up-using-your-security-phone-number

SeedInvest Gains FINRA Approval as Alternative Trading System a Month After Circle Buyout

SeedInvest Gains FINRA Approval as Alternative Trading System a Month After Circle Buyout

           

SeedInvest, the equity crowdfunding platform

owned by crypto-friendly payment giant Circle, has gained approval to offer secondary shares trading, crypto industry news outlet The Block reported on April 26. The platform, which Circle bought out for an undisclosed sum in March this year, can now allow its users to trade startup shares via its accreditation as an Alternative Trading System.

The company got the go-ahead from the United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a month after gaining initial regulatory approval. At the time, Circle praised SeedInvest for its input in aiding the U.S. startup investment scene, notably through its assistance with the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. “As a crowdfunding pioneer in the United States, SeedInvest helped to shape the JOBS Act,” a blog post read.

It continued:

“Today they are at the forefront of enabling startups to raise capital directly from investors over the internet — creating new capital formation options for startups and growth companies, and giving average retail investors the opportunity to invest directly into innovative private companies.”

Circle, meanwhile, continues to see growth in various sectors of the crypto economy. As Cointelegraph reported, the company’s over-the-counter trading desk for large-volume investors saw turnover of $24 billion in 2018. Also in March, reports emerged that Circle was seeking fresh funding to the tune of $250 million. The company was previously known for securing investment from Goldman Sachs.

Article Produced By
William Suberg

William Suberg got into Bitcoin while completing his Masters degree and hasn't looked back since, writing about anything crypto-related which makes him sit up and pay attention. He started working with Cointelegraph in October 2013.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/seedinvest-gains-finra-approval-as-alternative-trading-system-a-month-after-circle-buyout