Your Ether or Your Life?
Louis Meza, a New Jersey local, has been charged with grand larceny, robbery, kidnapping and criminal use of a firearm in connection with his attempted theft of $1.8 million worth of Ether. The New York County District Attorney’s office made these charges recently in the New York State Supreme Court. The man in question, knowing that the victim was in the possession of a large amount of Ether, arranged a meeting and following this arranged a car service to pick up the victim. In a peculiar turn of events, Meza emerged from a hiding spot within the car and “demanded that the victim turn over his cell phone, wallet, and keys while holding the victim at gunpoint.”
From there, Meza went to the victim’s apartment and stole the Ether, says the office of the DA. A quote from the DA’s office explains that Meza did in fact manage to transfer the whole amount of $1.8 million from the victims account to his own.
“Video surveillance later obtained from the victim’s apartment building showed MEZA using the set of keys stolen from the victim to enter the victim’s apartment and then leave the apartment holding a box believed to contain the victim’s digital wallet. Additional records reveal that soon after obtaining the victim’s digital wallet, the defendant then transferred approximately $1.8 million in Ether to his own personal account.”
Vance Cyrus, District Attorney, reflected on this crime and the fact that these new crypto crimes could become a lot more regular in the future; “We can expect this type of crime to become increasingly common as cryptocurrency values surge upward,”
Alt coins surge in price following the opening of Bitcoin Futures
Bitcoin is the top cryptocurrency in the world right now, that much is known. Most Crypto virgins have even heard about it and there’s no denying its current dominance in the Crypto scene. However it is not the only cryptocurrency booming right now and many Alt coins have been fortunate enough to follow in the success of their big brother. Following the CBOEs opening of its very first bitcoin futures market on Sunday, prices of a select few Alt coins soared.
Litecoin surged to an all time high of $150 on Sunday, and then went a few steps further surprising the crypto world by striking $338 at its highest point. Litecoin owners, myself included, rejoiced on online forums such as reddit at r/litecoin and Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin, even got in on the commentary with a tweet that exposed his excitement:
“Am I not even allowed 4 hours of sleep in crypto?! Can’t the market stay calm when I’m asleep? Jeez”.
Ripple also experienced a rapid growth, moving to $0.83. That is a massive 243% jump, considering its stagnation at $0.25 where it has stayed for most of this year. IOTA unfortunately was not among the alt coins which experienced recent growth following the opening of the futures market. After Microsofts involvement in IOTA was revealed to be less of an involvement and more of an interest, its recent 300% climb in value came to a sudden halt and the coin has actually dropped significantly over the last week, dropping by a third of its value.
SEC decides not to suffer from the Munchees, and bans MUN tokens
Munchee, an ICO for a restaurant app, has been halted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission due to fact that it was an unregistered security. The ICO attempted to raise $15 million for their project, but the SEC were forced to intervene and issued the Munchee Inc. with a cease and desist order. Munchee’s ICO was based on their sale of “MUN Tokens’, a form of digital currency that functioned within their app to unlock more premium features.
The SEC were quick to deem the ICO illegal and decided that the ICO was really only aimed at cryptocurrency investors. Munchee cooperated immediately with the SEC and because of this, were not penalised. “Munchee and its agents targeted the marketing of the MUN tokens offering to people with an interest in tokens or other digital assets that have in recent years created profits for early investors in ICOs,” the SEC said in its statement.
Munchees contributors were refunded and the sale of tokens was halted promptly after the cease and desist order was issued. The Chairman of the SEC Jay Clayton, has put out a warning related to the shutdown of Munchee, saying that they will be on the lookout for similar projects that conflict with the law “I have asked the SEC’s Division of Enforcement to continue to police this area vigorously and recommend enforcement actions against those that conduct initial coin offerings in violation of the federal securities laws.”
Ethereum Hits an all time high of over $750
Ethereum, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies second only to Bitcoin, reached record highs this week and is trading at just over $700 at the time of writing this article. Its increase in value has remarkably been more impressive than Bitcoin this year, it was valued at just $8.30 in January at the start of 2017 and has since shot up to a steady 600-700 price range. That is extremely impressive progress for Ethereum and represents an over 8,000% increase in value.
Ethereum may be a cryptocurrency based on blockchain, but thats where its similarities with Bitcoin end. Ethereum is actually a platform used for decentralised apps running on its blockchain, whereas the use of Bitcoin is primarily for payments. The platform that Ethereum have been able to provide has bred a new category of startups that can raise funds through ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). Potential investors can exchange their ETH for newly generated “tokens” fabricated on the Ethereum blockchain. This new wave of investment technology has raised over $1.24 Billion from July – September alone.