Tag Archives: coinbase

Wikileaks Calls for “Global Blockade” of Coinbase after Coinbase Bans the Wikileaks’ Shop

(DFN) Wikileaks called for a “global blockade” of Coinbase this past Friday after Coinbase issued a letter intending to shut down Wikileaks’ shop on the Coinbase merchant network.

Wikileaks said that “Coinbase has blocked the official @Wikileaks shop”, which sells various branded items like clothing, stickers, posters, etc “from its platform without notice or explanation.” Wikileaks published a letter they received stating that “Coinbase is a regulated Money Service Business under Fincen”, which is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Coinbase said that they are “obligated to implement regulatory compliance mechanisms,” and that “[u]pon careful review, we believe your account has engaged in prohibited use in violation of our Terms of Service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service.” Coinbase also gave instructions for how to withdraw any remaining funds in the Wikileaks’ shop account.

Wikileaks responded by calling “for a global blockade of Coinbase next week as an unfit member of the crypto community” and that Coinbase was acting under “concealed influence”. Famous Bitcoin author Andreas Antonopoulos, drew attention to the irony of coming full circle from the early years of Bitcoin when Wikileaks was under an “extra judicial embargo by Visa, Mc, Paypal and banks” and that “Coinbase has repeated history.” Antonopoulos was referring to the famous financial blockade that lead Wikileaks to adopt Bitcoin as a donation mechanism putting Bitcoin in the spotlight to the displeasure of Satoshi Nakamoto who had argued against Wikileaks adopting Bitcoin so early in its life. Satoshi completely disappeared from his limited online presence six days after that debate.

On a related note, Coinbase did recently update its merchant services by no longer supporting custodial merchant processing solutions and will instead replace it with a free, non-custodial solution. Cheapair.com, which accepts Dash directly, has already announced it will be leaving Coinbase for this reason.

Coinbase is very similar to a bank

Coinbase allows very easy user experiences in buying Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin, but contrary to many popular opinions, when a user stores their crypto on Coinbase, they do not actually own their crypto. The user only owns a promise to pay, issued by Coinbase, so if for any reason Coinbase decides not to pay, the user can only attempt to retrieve their cryptocurrency through litigation. This is orthogonal from when a user keeps their crypto in a private wallet, of which they control their own private keys, and thus the cryptocurrency in that wallet. Coinbase has sacrificed this security of their users for improved user experience and user interface along with compliance with federal regulators. It cannot be said with certainty since Wikileaks did not have any hard evidence, but they did elude to the fact the Coinbase pushed Wikileaks out of the merchant shop because of pressure from regulators. This is similar to what happen in 2010 with mainstream money processors Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and other banks, as Antonopoulos mentioned.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were created to avoid government and large corporate intervention in the affairs of individuals. Satoshi did take a hard stand against Wikileaks adopting Bitcoin, but Satoshi’s arguments centered more around fear of drawing too much government attention to Bitcoin, which could destroy the project before it got strong enough. The Wikileaks conflict with Coinbase does bring renewed attention to the issue of individuals having complete control of their money because when trust is placed in a centralized third party vendor, they can exert unforeseen power over individuals and their money at their whim. Nevertheless, Coinbase grew popular because it provided an excellent transitional stop when converting fiat to crypto within the US, but that quickly evolved into much larger services ranging the gambit from merchant solutions, commerce, and pseudo-banking services.

Dash is slaying the gatekeepers

Dash has been working diligently to increase the adoption of Dash aroundthe world powered by Dash’s low transaction fees and fast transaction times, which makes Dash usable in everyday transactions no matter how small or how often. This is one of the biggest threats to centralized gatekeepers of fiat-to-crypt exchanges since now individuals can get paid directly in Dash, hold their wealth in Dash, and use Dash to make purchase for housing, food, water, and other necessities and wants of life. Examples can be see in Venezuela in Dash Cities where numerous merchants trade goods and services directly for Dash or in New Hampshire where individuals paid in Dash can visit numerous storefronts and online stores to make their daily purchases. This does not even touch the nearly 800 merchants on DiscoverDash.com.

In addition, Dash is working to make Dash easy to use, while also maintaining the security of the blockchain. with improved user experiences and user interfaces so consumers do not have to overcome large switching costs when adopting crypto for the first time. To supplement this, there are project to launch a Dash support desk in Venezuela and already a Dash Embassy in German-speaking Europe. Coinbase made it very easy to buy crypto with fiat and now Dash is making it remarkably easy to earn and use Dash everyday, mitigating the need for centralized gatekeepers.


Written by Justin Szilard.


This article was republished with permission from Dash Force News.

Coinbase Says No New Regulator Needed

(Dash Force News) Last week, Coinbase issued a written testimony to the US congress stating that no new regulatory authority is needed and that “federal regulators already have sufficient authority.”

Coinbase instead insisted that greater coordination among regulators and communication with consumers is needed. Mike Lempres, the chief legal and risk officer at Coinbase detailed how each agency sees cryptocurrencies “through their own lens.” He called out the fact that the “SEC says [cryptocurrencies are] assets, particularly ICO’s, are probably securities; the CFTC says tokens are commodities, unless they are securities; the IRS says they are property; FinCEN says tokens are money”. In his testimony, Lempres related this to the parable of the “three blind mice and the elephant”, although he probably meant the three blind men and the elephant, whom each of the three inspected the large elephant from such a narrow view that they all mistook the animal for something other than an elephant. He said it is important for exchanges and consumers to know where one regulatory authority ends and another begins.

Lempres went on to discuss how Coinbase is “studiously avoiding listing tokens that could be determined to be securities because we are not currently licensed to trade securities and cannot take the risk.” Lawmakers took a less optimistic view with Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman calling cryptocurrencies a scam and Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga saying congress would act if investors needed protection.

Regulator interests to be satisfied

The comments from Lempres brings to light the fact that each governmental regulatory agency has their own interests to satisfy by regulating cryptocurrencies in a way that makes their agency the relevant party. Each agency and lawmaker claims it is in their interest to protect consumers, which may be true, but each agency and lawmaker can also demand more funding as their tasks increase. Competition within the government can be seen as good or bad depending on various circumstances and each brings possible consequences.



Regulatory competition could have the negative effect that Lempres touched on with the three blind men and the elephant parable since each agency will end up focusing on a little section on cryptocurrencies and give a wrong diagnosis. The wrong diagnosis could lead to excessive and confusing regulations that stall innovation in the space. On the other hand, there could be a positive effect since the competing agencies and regulations could lead to a discovery of the best form of regulation through competition. This is less likely to occur at the federal level since the laws have a national affect, but Coinbase is subject to different licensing requirements in 38 US states. As different states attract more or less cryptocurrency business, the best regulations that are not too burdensome will be revealed. A good example of the effects of a too stringent cryptocurrency law was the mass exodus from NYC after the implementation of the Bitlicense, which is currently under pressure to be reformed.

All these regulations are pitched as solutions to help protect people, so if a better way to protect people is found then this new method should not be ignored.

Dash can self implement operational principals

Dash occupies a unique position in the cryptocurrency space with its governance and treasury system that is checked via economic incentives. Every Dash that is mined is distributed among miners, masternodes, and the treasury fund. The masternodes vote on how to allocate funds from the treasury to better the network, which the masternodes have a large economic and financial stake in to satisfy consumers so the value of Dash, and thus their investment, is maintained. This system has a unique check-and-balance system to ensure Dash consumers remain happy, which can be seen as a form of self-regulation that not only prevents the system from taking advantage of the user, but also acts to promote the users interests and well-being.

Dash provides the option to send transactions both as a regular cryptocurrency transactions and as more private transactions through PrivateSend, while being used by people allaround the world for commerce. Dash is continuously increasing partners and technology to grant users more earning and spending options. The options and large scale usage of Dash argues that Dash is being used less for speculative investments or for illegal activities and instead being used as a currency that prioritizes its users. Dash is structured to serve and protect users right now and is surpassing regulators at their own job because Dash has its own stronger incentives.


Written by: Justin Szilard

PayPal’s Braintree to Begin Accepting Bitcoin

The above-embedded video features a cryptic new advertisement by PayPal, which hints at the company’s intention to begin embracing bitcoin, a popular digital cryptocurrency which many consumers and businesses prefer over government-backed paper currencies. The commercial promotes PayPal’s vision for a new “people economy,” saying, “We are the people who have built a whole new place to live, dream and be. We employ ourselves and vote with our money. Our phone is our wallet. We can spend bitcoin with a tap, without a pocket. We can buy and sell and rent and send and lend a twenty to a friend. From the coffee bar and share-car, we are unstoppable with our thumbs… No need to send any details or data, not even when we pay each other. We have magical money, not bound by bank or bill. It’s instant, simple, and secure enough to get out of the way.”

According to Bloomberg, Braintree, a mobile payment system that was acquired by PayPal’s parent company eBay, is set to begin accepting bitcoin in the near future, which represents PayPal’s first step towards bitcoin integration. Said Braintree CEO Bill Ready at this week’s Disrupt SF tech conference, “We’re announcing PayPal’s first foray into bitcoin. Over the coming months we’ll allow our merchants to accept bitcoin. On the consumer side it will be a sleek experience.” The announcement came on the heels of the launch of Braintree’s One Touch payment system, which will allow consumers to purchase products from merchants with a single touch, without keying in credentials each time.

Though most PayPal and eBay merchants will likely begin accepting bitcoin in time if the integration with Braintree goes well, bitcoin users will have to wait a while before the entire eBay marketplace opens up to the digital cryptocurrency. To start off, Braintree merchants will choose whether or not they want to accept bitcoin. Said Bill Ready in a statement on Braintree’s website, “While we’re focused on giving people more seamless buying experiences, we’re also fierce advocates of giving merchants — and in turn their customers — flexibility and the freedom of choice. That’s why today, we also announced that we’ll enable our customers to easily accept bitcoin in the coming months via a partnership with Coinbase — a trusted, high quality bitcoin payment processor with 1.6M consumer wallets and 36,000 merchants globally. As we make bitcoin available, our v.zero SDK will make it seamless for developers and merchants to add bitcoin to their existing payment methods and provide an elegant, adaptive user interface for consumers to pay in bitcoin with their Coinbase wallet.” Since Braintree provides mobile payment support for brands like Uber, Dropbox, and Airbnb, its bitcoin integration will dramatically expand available options for users of the digital cryptocurrency.

Techcrunch quoted Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong as saying, “We had a lot of developers tell us they’d love to add bitcoin, but Braintree would handle all of their payments and they didn’t want to add another SDK. They would say that if Braintree added it, they would add it.” Braintree merchants who choose to accept bitcoin will be able to have it instantly transferred into a chosen fiat currency.

In other bitcoin-related news, a hacker claims to have hacked into the email address of bitcoin’s mysterious founder and is offering to reveal his identity in exchange for 25 bitcoins, valued at around $11,000.