Ripple Lead Developer Advises On Remote Work


Cryptographer and leading C++ software engineer at Ripple Nik Bougalis offers advice on remote work management to firms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a March 16 tweet, Bougalis offered his help to company managers looking to have their teams work remotely. His proposal comes as the ongoing epidemic resulted in a global push for remote work in an attempt to decrease the opportunities that the disease has to spread further.

The Atlantic wrote on March 13 that people have anticipated the rise in remote work since the personal computer was invented. Still, the outlet points out that remote work adoption has been slow so far, “but the next few months will be a very strange test” of this kind of work.

Bougalis explained that he has worked remotely for 20 years and is currently leading a team at Ripple that is both large and completely distributed. He wrote:

“If you’re new to remote work — especially as a manager — and have questions, please ask! I’ll try my best to answer and share my insights to help you and your team.”

One Twitter user asked how he can know if his employees are not taking more time than necessary to finish tasks when working remotely. Bougalis admitted that this is a common concern, but points to trust as the obvious solution and recommends:

“Remember, you hired your team for a reason — they are good at what they do and you trust them. Don’t micromanage your team now or assume that just because they’re not in the office they aren’t working. […] If productivity suffers when working remote, understand why. Employees not working hard is almost never the problem.”

Furthermore, Bougalis recommended managers use text-based communication software such as Slack and IRC since it makes messages less ephemeral than VOIP and allows for information to be absorbed at a later time.

XRPL Monitor, a Twitter profile dedicated to tracking large transfers of XRP, the crypto Ripple works with, reported that over 248 million XRP (worth over $35 million at press time) moved in large transactions over the last 24 hours. This is just one sign of panic in the cryptocurrency space that resurfaced amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bitcoin bull and Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz recently said that investors lost confidence in Bitcoin (BTC). He said:

“[Bitcoin] was always a confidence game. All crypto is. And it appears global confidence in just about anything has evaporated.”


Italian Red Cross Launches Bitcoin Fundraiser To Combat COVID-19


The Italian Red Cross and the Colli Albani Committee are raising donations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fight the country’s coronavirus pandemic with the support of Helperbit, as announced on March 12.

Proceeds from the campaign will reportedly be used to set up a second-level advanced medical post for pre-triage of COVID-19 cases in the country, and it is expected to reach a goal of €10,000 to buy the necessary medical equipment for the infrastructure.

The remaining funds will be used to cover the fees of the medical staff that will be involved in the project.

Bruno Pietrosanti, president of the Colli Albani Committee, said that they need to ease the pressure on hospitalizations due to the increase in infected patients and the reduced number of places available in Italian hospitals:

On carrying out the initiative alongside Helperbit, a blockchain startup that offers a platform for charities, Pietrosanti added the following:

“We believe that an innovative fundraising tool like Bitcoin can help us find the necessary economic resources that are very difficult to obtain in this historical moment.”

The campaign is also supported by Young Srl, a Fintech startup that operates in the cryptocurrency sector to support community initiatives, and by Blockchain Education Network Italy, a non-profit organization that divulges information about Bitcoin and blockchain in Italian territory.

Andrea Ferrero, CEO of Young SRL, commented on the use of blockchain in this fundraiser:

“I strongly believe that blockchain technology is more effective and transparent to support this type of initiative. Young is a company that aims to create or exploit innovative models to improve existing procedures and we will always be at the forefront in supporting charitable projects, such as the Red Cross one.”

Emiliano Palermo, a representative from Blockchain Education Network Italy, highlighted the importance of these platforms, which offer “transparency” in donations, amid the emergency in the country.

As of press time, the death toll from coronavirus in Italy has passed 1,200, with more than 17,600 cases reported, according to official data.

Weekly Cryptocurrency News Update


Bitcoin To Hit $100K In 2025, Says Justin Sun, Founder Of Tron

Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of Tron (TRX), the 15th biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, is investing in a number of cryptos other than Bitcoin (BTC).

In a Feb. 23 interview with CNN, Tron CEO said that he is a long-term believer in cryptocurrencies and owns a stake in many altcoins, including the two largest coins after Bitcoin — Ether (ETH) and XRP.

Iranian Cell Calls For The Use Of Cryptocurrency

This week an Iranian general called for a unique way to bypass the sanctions on his country enforced by the United States.

Saeed Muhammad, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, called for Iran to use cryptocurrencies to evade the economic sanctions. According to the Telegram channel of, a crypto news organization based in Iran, the general addressed a crowd on Feb. 26 (translated from Farsi):

“We are demanding the creation of a more sophisticated mechanism to bypass sanctions. To circumvent sanctions, we must develop solutions such as the exchange of products and the use of cryptocurrencies with our partnerships [in other countries].”

Lawsuit Alleging Ripples XRP Moves Forward

A United States federal district court has decided to allow a lawsuit alleging that Ripple’s XRP crypto asset is an unregistered security.

Court documents filed on Feb. 26 reveal that Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the Court of the Northern District of California ruled to only partially grant Ripple’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit against it.

The lawsuit in question was initiated in August 2019 by XRP investor Bradley Sostack, who alleges that the firm misled investors and sold XRP as an unregistered security in violation of federal law.

Binance’s CZ Overtakes Bitmain Co-founder In New Hurun Rich List

While China now has more billionaires than the United States and India combined, Binance CEO might have more money than any crypto person, a new report says.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has overtaken a co-founder of cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain in the latest Hurun Global Rich List, an annual ranking of the world’s biggest billionaires published Chinese media Hurun Report.

Issued on Feb. 26, the new Hurun Report’s list of 2,816 global billionaires includes six individuals who made their fortune from blockchain and crypto industry.

South Korean Tax Policy Association Proposes Two Step Tax On Cryptocurrencies

Wooden house figurine and money bag with a dollar symbol. Budget, subsidized funds. Mortgage loan for purchase housing, construction or modernization. Tax, building maintenance.

South Korean tax experts have advised the Korean government to apply a low-level trading tax on cryptocurrency profits before subjecting citizens to a transfer income tax, according to a Business Korea report. The Korean government is expected to announce its tax reform plan in late 2020.

The low-level trading tax was recommended because there is a lack of legal infrastructure to enact transfer taxation.

During a seminar on Feb. 21, members of the Korean Tax Policy Association advised the South Korean government to enact this two-step plan, arguing that taking a deliberative approach to implementing a cryptocurrency income tax will be most effective.

Explained: Confidential Transactions


Confidential Transactions keep the amount and type of assets transferred visible only to participants in the transaction (and those they choose to reveal the blinding key to), while still cryptographically guaranteeing that no more coins can be spent than are available.

This goes a step beyond the usual privacy offered by Bitcoin’s blockchain, which relies purely on pseudonymous (but public) identities. This matters, because insufficient financial privacy can have serious security and privacy implications for both commercial and personal transactions. Without adequate protection, thieves can focus their efforts on high-value targets, competitors can learn business details, and negotiating positions can be undermined.

Confidential Transactions (CTs, the general idea of which was proposed by Adam Back on BitcoinTalk in 2013) aims to make the content of a transaction private — as Greg Maxwell explains in a 2017 talk, the amounts transacted are often more valuable to spies: if you wanted to spend 500 sats on a coffee but broke up a 1 BTC UTXO to do so, the barista would now know that you owned at least 0.999995 BTC (which could be problematic for your security if coins hit new highs in dollar value).

With CTs, both the receiver’s address and the amount transferred are hidden from any observers, in such a way that only parties to the transaction (and those they share it with) are aware of the value sent/received. For this to work, a cryptographic technique known as a Pedersen commitment is used.

I’m not a cryptographer, and it would be a waste of everyone’s time for me to try to explain how they work. I’d recommend this outstanding primer by ecurrencyhodler, or Maxwell’s initial investigation. Suffice it to say, a Pedersen commitment functions similarly to a regular commitment scheme, but allows for some mathematical manipulation that enables the verification of data without it being divulged.

Why is this important? Remember that, in order to work, the Bitcoin ledger needs to be balanced (inputs need to match outputs). That’s straightforward enough when every transaction is made public and nodes can verify it. Given that the purpose of Confidential Transactions is to redact amounts from the blockchain, however, a more creative approach is needed (the Pedersen commitments, paired with a few other tools) to ensure no one’s playing central bank and secretly printing off more money.

Bitcoin To Hit $100K In 2025, Says Justin Sun, Founder Of Tron


Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of Tron (TRX), the 15th biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, is investing in a number of cryptos other than Bitcoin (BTC).

In a Feb. 23 interview with CNN, Tron CEO said that he is a long-term believer in cryptocurrencies and owns a stake in many altcoins, including the two largest coins after Bitcoin — Ether (ETH) and XRP.

When asked whether Sun has its crypto portfolio diversified, the Tron CEO answered:

“I own a lot of XRP and Ethereum, too. I’m like a long-term believer of the crypto so I want all crypto assets to succeed. So that’s why I own a lot of other different cryptos as well.”

As a major believer in crypto, Sun is bullish on the price of cryptocurrencies and confident that cryptos like Bitcoin are the future of money. In the interview, Tron CEO predicted that Bitcoin will cross $100,000 mark in 2025, emphasizing that other cryptocurrencies will follow the trend.

Justin Sun’s $100,000 Bitcoin prediction in his own words:

“I definitely believe Bitcoin will pass $100K in 2025. I believe we can achieve this price before 2025. At the same time, I think a lot of other crypto projects like Tron, Ethereum and XRP will also see the bull market.”

In line with his bullish stance on crypto, Tron’s Justin Sun claimed in the interview that he invests all of his money to crypto. However, Sun still converts his crypto in fiat currencies like the United States dollar. In the interview, Tron CEO said that he only withdraws crypto to fiat when he needs to spend money in his daily life.

The news comes about a month after Sun had his charity lunch with Berkshire Hathaway chairman and known Bitcoin critic Warren Buffett. On Jan. 23, Tron CEO met with Buffett to finally have a long-awaited luncheon after postponing the event for medical reasons previously in 2019.

In the latest interview, Tron CEO revealed that he didn’t exactly try to convince the famous billionaire investor that crypto will massively surge in the coming years. Instead, Justin Sun was trying to explain some crypto potentials to Buffett as he wanted him to understand basic fundamentals of blockchain and crypto such as instant crypto transactions.

Tron CEO also outlined that Buffett was “very open” to new technologies like crypto and blockchain, noting that the the known investor accepted Bitcoin and TRX from him. However, Buffett has claimed that he doesn’t own any cryptocurrency and doesn’t plan to invest in any crypto in a Feb. 24 interview with CNBC. In the interview, the billionaire investor reiterated his negative stance on crypto, arguing that cryptos have “zero” value and don’t produce anything.

In another CNBC interview in 2018, Buffet predicted that crypto will come to a “bad ending,” declaring that Bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared.”

Crypto Appears On The Popular TV Show: The Simpsons

One of the newest episode of “The Simpsons” aired has just featured Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory as a guest star to explain cryptocurrencies and how a blockchain works.

In the song and dance predicts cryptocurrency to be the future money, the animated ledger states: “Each day I’m closer, to being the cash of the future. Not in your wallet, I’m in your computer!

At the end of Jim’s talk, there is a subliminal message on screen. It further explains how cryptocurrencies work, part of which says:

“Using the word “cryptocurrency” repeatedly while defining cryptocurrency makes it seem like we have a novice’s understanding of cryptocurrency. Well that is a total pile of cryptocurrency. In this system, rules are defined for the creation of additional units of cryptocurrency. They can be generated by fiat like traditional currency or just thrown around randomly or all given to LeBron.”

The crypto community welcomed the episode. Altcoin Daily account has commented:

“The Simpsons did it! Cryptocurrency explained to Lisa by the great Jim Parsons on #TheSimpsons! It’s the money of the future! Bullish!”

Some comments to the tweet also pointed out that the Simpsons has a reputation for predicting the future over the years. Ten years ago it showcased Donald Trump as the president of the U.S., and more recently guessed the Game of Thrones series finale.

Gemcoin Founder Confesses To Fraud


Steve Chen, the mastermind behind the $147 million Gemcoin cryptocurrency scheme, has admitted to wire fraud and tax evasion in a plea agreement.

The 62-year-old Southern California resident agreed that he and other co-conspirators fraudulently promoted a cryptocurrency called Gemcoin (or Gem Coins) that helped fleece $147 million from 70,000 victims.

Chen, also known as “Boss,” reported an income of $138,000 in 2014 which is a far cry from the $4.8 million he now admits to pocketing that year. Chen used the proceeds to buy homes and pay for a gambling habit, authorities said.

Between July 2013 and September 2015, Chen ran a multi level marketing scheme to promote U.S. Fine Investment Arts, Inc. (USFIA) which rewarded investors first with points, and then with Gemcoins.

These virtual coins were supposedly backed by gems mined by the company and could be traded on the USFIA platform.

While the value of the coins supposedly increased based on the company’s gemstone sales, in reality, the USFIA did not own or operate any gemstone mines. Instead, USFIA bought gemstones from commercial suppliers and assigned grossly inflated prices.

Nick Hanna, US Attorney stated earlier “Mr. Chen’s promises to investors were as worthless as his non-existent mines and phony digital currency. This case should remind all investors that trappings of success may convey legitimacy, but everyone should exercise extreme care when considering giving hard-earned money to any outfit promoting trendy products and extravagant profits.”

Chen has agreed to pay back $1,885,094 in back taxes for 2014 as well as pay a civil fraud penalty and interest.

He’s facing a sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of at least $500,000, and he’s required to pay “full restitution” to all the victims.

Follow XcelToken Plus to keep up with the current happenings in the crypto world.

Ukrainian Regulations States That Mining Does Not Require Governmental Oversight


Ukrainian’s powers stated that crypto mining does not require regulatory activity from governmental oversight bodies or other third-party protocols.

In its legal article on virtual assets published on Feb. 7, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine specified that mining does not necessitate directives by state authorities as this activity is measured by the protocol itself and network members.

The agency further added that it will contribute to the development and implementation of decentralized technologies, as well as establish sandboxes for their evaluation and verification, and assessment of potential risks to the market.

The agency swore to promote collaboration between the financial market and virtual assets and their effective development, international best practices on taxation of virtual assets, as well as establish effective mechanisms to prevent abuse and offense from business and law enforcement.

Ukraine has appeared to be actively exploring the digital currency and blockchain space, in recent months. At the end of January, Ukraine’s Finance Minister reportedly said that the State Financial Monitoring Service of Ukraine (SFMS) would be the authority responsible for tracking the sources of origin of the funds on citizens’ crypto wallets. Thus, the SFMS would be able to not only find out the origin of crypto but also detect how those funds have been spent.

Last December, the Ukranian government approved the final version of a money laundering law that will handle virtual assets and virtual asset service providers per FATF guidelines.

The new law comprises some guidelines on how the government aims to monitor and regulate the trading of cryptocurrencies. One of the guidelines focuses on individual crypto transactions worth less than 30,000 hryvnia ($1,300), from which the administration will only gather the public key of the sender for the purpose of financial monitoring.

Explained: Elliot Wave Theory


The underlying theory behind the Elliott wave principle is based around how price moves, which typically is not in a straight line, but in a series of waves. A great analogy would be one that compares an ocean tide coming in as the water rises, and flowing out as the water recedes into the sand below.

Within any financial market (including cryptocurrency), every action creates an equal and opposite reaction. When price movement moves up, a contrary downward movement must follow.

Price action within any financial marketplace is often divided into trends and corrections (sideways movement). Upward or downward price action will showcase the direction of a trend, while corrections will always move against the trend. These repeating patterns have been shown to occur within all financial marketplaces since the dawn of time.

A man by the name of Ralph Nelson Elliott, first discovered these repeating patterns, known as impulsive and corrective waves. He noticed that these impulsive waves, which always coincide with the main trend, tend to respond in 5 waves.

Even on a smaller scale, each of these impulsive waves can be found and continue to repeat themselves inside the larger Elliott wave patterns. These “waves within waves” are labelled as “wave degrees” within the Elliott Wave Principle.

Human social nature can be found within these repetitive patterns due to the predictive manner of human psychology in which the powers of greed, FOMO, and “weak hands” rule. You can call it another “self-fulfilling prophecy” all you want; however, these patterns show up within all financial markets due to these reactive and basic human emotions.

As discussed above, Elliot waves come in 2 different phases: motive (the trend) and corrective phases. The motive phase forms 3 advancing waves of 1, 3, and 5. The counter waves (downward) are comprised of 2 and 4.

During the corrective phase, you’ll typically find 2 receding ways labeled A and C, with a counter wave (upward) labeled B.

The rules behind the motive waves are as follows:

  • Wave 2 never moves below the beginning of wave 1.
  • Wave 3 is never the shortest wave.
  • Wave 2 and 4 can sometimes alternate in form, for example, Wave 2 can show up as a zigzag wave while Wave 4 will be flat.
  • At least one of the waves (1, 3, or 5) will be much longer than the other two. Most of the time, the third wave is the longest of the three, but that is not always the case in crypto.

Rules for the corrective phase are as follows:

  • Wave B terminates at or below the start of Wave A
  • Wave C typically terminates below Wave A.
  • In the cryptocurrency market, corrective waves typically claim more than 60% of the all-time high price (top of 5th wave). Some would argue that the norm is 75 to 80% and 100 to 120% retracements can be found if correlated with bad news.

Just remember that if you get confusing results from your chart, it’s most likely that you’ve miscalculated and dismissed some of the rules mentioned above. Don’t worry though; you’ll most likely miscount these waves the first several times you try.

In order to combat this miscounting issue, here’s a trick you can use to spot these waves.

Go to the top bar where you can change the candlestick display on TradingView and choose the Heikin Ashi candlestick. This type of candlestick helps you better view red or green candles that correspond with a particular trend.

The Heikin Ashi displays the average pace of prices, which is great at identifying trending periods. This is what Elliott waves are all about. It will greatly reduce the confusion on whether candlestick patterns are showing bearish or bullish patterns. Trust me, these help immensely.

The Elliott Wave Principle is another highly useful chart pattern that many veteran traders use to recognize the beginning and end of a trend.

Never buy into the news or hype alone. These systems are used to fool people into buying the tops or bottoms of the market, which is a sure-fire way of failing.

Do your own research before buying and selling into the market. Know what phase the market is currently in (motive or correction) and make an informed buying decision utilizing the Elliot Wave Principle.

Crypto Ponzi Scheme Lures Unknown Number Of Baseball Players


Two men charged over an alleged crypto trading ponzi scheme lured investors, including professional baseball players, with social media posts boasting about their luxurious lifestyles.

On January 30, the Secret Service arrested the Arizona-based founders of Zima Digital Assets, John Michael Caruso, aged 28, and Zachary Salter, aged 27.

Caruso commonly refers to himself as “Krypto King” in social media posts and claims he’s been a cryptocurrency investor since 2012. He has a criminal history and was last released from prison in late 2017.

Salter is an aspiring R&B singer who releases music under the name “Sweet Talker.”

Despite claiming no taxable income, the pair’s extravagant social media posts about their luxury good purchases helped draw in new investors.

They were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

The complaint alleges that Salter and Caruso defrauded more than 90 investors out of at least $7.5 million since June 2018. That figure includes an unknown number of former pro baseball players and senior citizens. Zima is still actively taking investments so the total amount lost is unknown.

Zima’s website claims the firm “operates various private funds focusing on investments in cutting-edge technologies, including crypto and other blockchain based assets,” and Caruso and Salter were featured as successful crypto investors in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Cigar Aficionado.
A press release that looks an awful lot like an ordinary Business Insider story referred to Caruso as “the Michael Jordan of algorithmic cryptocurrency trading.”

Forensic accountants believe that none of the money Zima took from its would-be investors was actually invested in cryptocurrency. The pair instead used the money to live it up, spending $350,000 on luxury car rentals and another $610,000 on private jets, a mansion rental (dubbed “the Krypto Castle”), as well as a variety of jewellery and designer clothing.

Caruso had a fleet of luxury cars including a Lamborghini, and the pair lost $830,000 within 134 hours of gambling at Las Vegas casinos.

They frequently posted about their lifestyles on Instagram and Facebook, including a video suggesting Zima had $1 billion in assets under management. They used direct messaging on the platforms to contact potential investors.

Their victims include former Major League Baseball players and their families, along with a 76 year old man who lost $200,000 and an 86 year old who lost $60,000.

The investigation found that $1.9 million of the funds was paid back to investors in the form of “returns.”

“The pattern of investor payments against investor payouts with no investment of funds is consistent with … a Ponzi scheme,” court filings show.