Stories From Activists and Refugees

Many bitcoiners see cryptocurrency as a cypherpunk tool that enhances personal freedoms, with cypherpunk meaning “using privacy tech to promote social change.” There are diverse users around the world gaining this type of value from bitcoin, but they rarely give interviews or are seen on stage at conferences.

CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen is joined by the Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein and Syrian entrepreneur Moe Ghashim to discuss how cultural context shapes the way people view bitcoin, including stories from the Middle East.

Later we’ll explore the risks of governments impacting the bitcoin ecosystem, through regulatory enforcement, censorship and market manipulation. Then we’ll dive into what everyone can do to enhance bitcoin’s usability through education.

Fortress Financial Group Increases Buyout Offer for Mt. Gox Claims

Fortress Investment Group has increased its offer to purchase claims from creditors who lost money in the infamous $480 million Mt. Gox hack. The group, which aims to profit by eventually recovering the Bitcoin, upped its offer on the cryptocurrency to 88% of the estimated account value.

Cointelegraph has reported previously how Fortress calculated offers to creditors. The latest offer of $1300 is significantly higher than the $755 offered in December due to the recent increase in Bitcoin’s value.

However, the offer is still discounted “due to the likely timeline (3 to 5 years) and financial risk of the ongoing litigations”, according to Michael Hourigan, a managing director at Fortress.

How did this happen to such a powerful crypto exchange like Mt. Gox?

The crypto exchange went bankrupt in 2014 after investors collectively lost 850,000 Bitcoin, or roughly 7% of the total existing supply at the time. CEO Mark Karpeles was charged with embezzlement and falsifying data, but — remarkably — received a rare not-guilty verdict in the Japanese court for the more serious charges.

Mt. Gox is no longer in bankruptcy, partly as a result of this verdict, which has given creditors the opportunity to reclaim some of their losses. As of October 2019, Mt. Gox has reported that 56 people have filed such petitions in the Tokyo District Court.

BTC Crash, Fraud and Anti-Hodling: Bad Crypto News of the Week

The Bitcoin community collectively facepalmed after BTC fell back below $10,000. It was the result of an $800 crash that took place over the course of one hour, the fifth-largest one-hour drop ever recorded. But some analysts are calling for an unprecedented rally ahead of the pending halving. This is largely due to the appearance of a “golden cross”, when the 50-day moving average crosses the 200-day moving average. In today’s market terms, that calls for a BTC price of $26,000 before the next halving.

Binance co-founder CZ is also optimistic about price gains within the same timeframe. He said previous halvings have seen rises and the next halving doesn’t appear to be priced in yet — perhaps Bitcoin bulls still have more to look forward to.

Gemcoin founder Steve Chen has admitted to wire fraud and tax evasion, and we even get context on the recent clash between Ronnie Moas and Dan McDermitt.

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