What Sex Workers Want From Crypto

In this audio interview, CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen and SpankChain community manager Allie Eve Knox talk about the conjunction of porn, the sex workers who create it and crypto. From performers who accept BTC and XRP to decentralized delivery services, Cuen and Knox explore what happens when financial companies meet censorship-resistant systems.

The biggest issue, says Knox, is chargebacks. By creating a completely transparent and safe system for potentially untoward activities, big financial companies no longer get to pretend to be moral. Further, it helps the performers actually make a living.

The biggest problem? Knox and other performers and sex workers face semi-secret discrimination from payment platforms. She recalls being shut out of PayPal early on.

“I think it’s a morality thing. I know when I got shut down on PayPal in 2014 they were like, ‘Hey, you’re violating our terms of service.’ And I remember writing them back and being like, ‘Exactly what am I doing?’ I was selling socks. I was taking pictures. How is this a thing? They were just like, ‘You know, we don’t really like this, so we’re not gonna let you do it.'”

Longfin CEO Reaches $400,000 Settlement With SEC Over Fraud Charges

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached a settlement with fintech firm Longfin’s CEO, Venkata S. Meenavalli, on charges of fraud.According to an SEC press release Friday, Meenavalli has agreed to pay $400,000 in both disgorgement and penalties related to a 2017 Regulation A+ offering the SEC deemed fraudulent. Longfin delisted from the Nasdaq in May 2018 and shut down the following November.

As CoinDesk reported in October 2019, the SEC alleged Longfin lied to potential investors relating to its public offering and Nasdaq listing, concluding with a $3.5 million disgorgement and $3.2 million fine.

The SEC complaint against Longfin, which was later upheld by the Southern District Court of New York in an October 2019 indictment, centered around Longfin’s claim to be “managed and operated” in the United States and “sham” commodities transactions representing some 90 percent of the firm’s 2017 reported revenue.

“As alleged in our complaint, Meenavalli abused the Reg. A+ process to conduct a fraudulent offering, list Longfin on Nasdaq, and entice investors with falsified revenue”, SEC officer Anita B. Bandy said in Friday’s release.

If approved by the overseeing court, Meenavalli will disgorge $159,000 – equivalent to his executive salary at Longfin – plus a civil penalty of $232,000 with interest, according to the release. A criminal action against Meenavalli by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey remains open.

Lightning Network Messaging, Political Expediency and What Crisis Has Revealed

In a time of increasing censorship aimed towards protecting us, is truly private messaging possible? Why are we using “data driven” approaches when we know the data is wrong? Lightning Network messaging protocol Juggernaut’s John Cantrell and HRF’s Alex Gladstein help us see what the crisis has revealed.On today’s show we’ve got a pair of interviews for you. First we speak with John Cantrell, the author of Juggernaut, a new messaging layer 3 application being built on top of layer 2 lightning network, which is itself built on top of layer one bitcoin. It’s a lot of layers, but as a technological concept currently in beta it’s a fascinating project, and we talk about it. (Juggernaut on Github)

After the break we’re joined again by Alex Gladstein of HRF.org for a discussion on political expediency in the age of pandemic and what crisis has revealed about various governments, and different types of governments around the world. Alex is one of my favorite returning guests, with his global human rights focused work taking him to some of the most interesting and most oppressed places around the world

“What’s interesting is that citizen journalists I know in Taiwan have pressed the government on this and they’ve gone to parliament and it’s all on record, and they’ve said ‘Have these (…) digital contact tracing or cell phone surveillance things been useful?’ And the governments said “Only in one case…. Only in one case was this sort of mass surveillance approach been useful’, so they’ve actually been honest with the people… But at the end of the day it does teach us that even the most progressive governments are going to be lured by the sirens call of using surveillance to tackle problems.” – Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer HRF.org

This episode of Let’s Talk Bitcoin is sponsored by eToro.com and features content from John Cantrell, Alex Gladstein and Adam B. Levine. Todays show features music by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats with editing by Jonas. Album Art original photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

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