In today’s edition of The Daily, we focus on the crypto community’s alarm over the de-platforming of a social media network in response to a shooting incident in the U.S. We also look at a recent Bitcoin book recommendation on a Chinese TV show, as well as a North Korean attempt to scam investors.
Paypal and Stripe Block Gab
Over the past two days, the Gab social network has been “no-platformed” by a handful of mobile app stores, web hosting providers and payment processors, in response to the murder of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The suspect in the mass shooting was a user of the service, which reportedly has been cooperating with investigators.
Paypal and rival payments processor Stripe have blocked Gab’s ability to receive funds since the shooting, even though they did not take similar action against Facebook, Twitter and Youtube after it was revealed that they had enabled terrorist groups to recruit new members on their own platforms. However, as a much smaller social network, Gab — which has publicly condemned the Pittsburgh atrocity — is not being given the same benefit of the doubt by Silicon Valley. In response, noted social media influencer Cøbra has called on freedom-loving cypherpunks and others in the Bitcoin community to stand behind Gab.
Chinese TV Show
Promotes ‘Mastering Bitcoin’
A program on CCTV2, the economy-focused channel of state broadcaster China Central Television, recently recommended Andreas Antonopoulos’ book, “Mastering Bitcoin,” according to local media reports. Developments in the Chinese cryptocurrency community usually draw a lot of attention beyond the borders of the world’s second-biggest economy, which is home to numerous Bitcoin miners and investors, and this was no exception.
Controversy has erupted over claims that the program apparently changed the book’s title in Chinese to mention “blockchain” instead of “Bitcoin.” This has driven speculation among commentators about how the TV show might reflect the Chinese government’s current thoughts about the two terms. But beyond the title, the actual content of the book does not appear to have changed, according to Antonopoulos, who cited local sources.
Security Company Claims North Korea
Behind Cryptocurrency Scam
The North Korean government has long been suspected of using illicit means to secure cryptocurrencies for its own use. However, while most reports have pointed to evidence that the hermit kingdom is using hackers to steal funds — particularly from South Korean exchanges — the regime has apparently resorted to other means, as well.
Recorded Future, a cyber-security company with offices in the U.S. and Sweden, said last week that it has discovered an asset-backed token-sale scam called Marine Chain, allegedly run by a Singapore-based “network of North Korea enablers.” The group behind Marine Chain claimed that it was an asset-backed cryptocurrency to tokenize sea vessels used and owned by different parties. Recorded Future has argued that the move into cryptocurrencies is a “natural” progression for the regime of Kim Jong-un, which is eager to identify new revenue streams in the face of strict international sanctions.
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