industryterm:bank

  • Universal Loss of #privacy & the Bullish Case for #bitcoin Adoption
    https://hackernoon.com/universal-loss-of-privacy-the-bullish-case-for-bitcoin-5d42a2864756?sour

    It is incredible how some visionaries who lived among us were able to predict things decades in advance — the famed British author George Orwell was one such visionary. In his literary classic “1984” (which was written in 1949, by the way!), he painted the picture of a total surveillance society under “Big Brother” where humans live and function like sheeple and every person’s every action or word would have consequences.Lo and behold, enter real life in 2019, and we are looking more and more likely to descend into an #orwellian future.The internet, without doubt the greatest human invention of the modern era, changed human life as we knew it. The internet made information mobile, which led to unlimited possibilities. It granted new ideas, sights, sounds, concepts, skills, and opportunities to (...)

    #surveillance-state #offshore-banking


  • Will there be #credit-money in the crypto sphere?
    https://hackernoon.com/will-there-be-credit-money-in-the-crypto-sphere-ef3c5ad89c3b?source=rss-

    If there are presentations about what is money, then we usually hear, that money has to be durable, portable, divisible and fungible. We fully agree with this discussion.But there is a bigger picture. The money doesn’t have only one dimension, but it has two dimensions — there is base money and there is credit money. The notes and coins in your wallet are the base money. The money what you have on your bank account is actually credit money.This article:• Analyses how the base money and credit money work today• Analyses how the base money and credit money worked in the last 5’000 years• Discusses what will happen with the credit money in the crypto sphereBelow is the picture of the first known credit money, from Mesopotamia, from ca 2’500 B.C., now in the possession of the British Museum in  (...)

    #monetary-system #blockchain #base-money #bitcoin


  • Product 102 for Engineers: Decision Making and #strategy
    https://hackernoon.com/product-102-for-engineers-e1b8b4e82fa3?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---4

    How to build the product you want to and not go out of businessProgramming notes: this post is n in a series of indeterminate length on Product topics mainly for #startup people, mainly leadership, mainly coming from non-GTM backgrounds. There’s a list at the end.Vision and DistractionSpirits professionals will tell you that takes significant up front capital and reserves in the bank to wait out the many years it takes [barrel aging!] before you have a good product.Note: A terrible product is easy to come by in a few months. That might work for some market for some of the time, but eventually those brands are low-margin loss-leaders in bigger portfolios or they have severely limited growth or they go under.So what do we do in the meantime? We make gin.On the way to making whiskey, some of (...)

    #product-management #product-strategy #business


  • Brian Dillon on Vladimir Tatlin’s tower in St Petersburg | Books | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/jul/25/vladimir-tatlins-tower-st-petersburg

    L’emblème de l’URSS en fait !

    In the heart of St Petersburg, on the north bank of the Neva, the spire of the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul lances the sky like a baroque syringe. But the spire has been surpassed, for height and force, by a structure that soars slantwise some 400 metres into the air, and prods the clouds like an accusing finger.

    The building - if that is what it is - spans the river and presents to a viewer of its eastern aspect a flat, grey lattice that might be a crane or a vast gun emplacement levelled at the heavens. It soon resolves itself, however, into discrete but unified parts. The iron spine of the thing speeds out of the earth at an angle of 60 degrees. Encircling it, a double helix of the same metal, supported by vertical and diagonal struts, tapers to an oddly indeterminate apex. Inside this narrowing cage, an arrangement of three (or is it four?) huge glass geometric shapes is visible. Perhaps, as one strains now to take in the whole from a nearby bridge, there is a grinding of gears far above, and something revolves at the upper reaches of the tower, half lost in a flurry of snow.

    #Vladimir_Tatlin #soviétisme #design #architecture


  • How to keep your Bitcoins safe ?
    https://hackernoon.com/how-to-keep-your-bitcoins-safe-c3dfebcf3f77?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3--

    The most important benefit of #bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) is the fact that you and only you have control over them. No one, like a bank or government, for example, can take them from you.But with great power comes great responsibility. Because only you control your funds, if thing go south, there’s no one to rely upon and no one to help you. If you mess things up, you can only blame yourself.Therefore, keeping your coins safe is the highest priority of any #cryptocurrency owner. Here is the list of main alternatives where to keep one’s coins, from the worst to the best option.Crypto ExchangesLevel of #security: LowRecommended storage value: $0Recommended wallets: not recommendedUsability: You don’t have full control over your funds99% of all cryptocurrency hacks happened at (...)

    #crypto #safety


  • Mark Zuckerberg’s Plans to Capitalize on Facebook’s Failures | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/mark-zuckerbergs-plans-to-capitalize-on-facebooks-failures

    On Wednesday, a few hours before the C.E.O. of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, published a thirty-two-hundred-word post on his site titled “A privacy-focused vision for social networking,” a new study from the market research firm Edison Research revealed that Facebook had lost fifteen million users in the United States since 2017. “Fifteen million is a lot of people, no matter which way you cut it,” Larry Rosin, the president of Edison Research, said on American Public Media’s “Marketplace.” “This is the second straight year we’ve seen this number go down.” The trend is likely related to the public’s dawning recognition that Facebook has become both an unbridled surveillance tool and a platform for propaganda and misinformation. According to a recent Harris/Axios survey of the hundred most visible companies in the U.S., Facebook’s reputation has taken a precipitous dive in the last five years, with its most acute plunge in the past year, and it scores particularly low in the categories of citizenship, ethics, and trust.

    While Zuckerberg’s blog post can be read as a response to this loss of faith, it is also a strategic move to capitalize on the social-media platform’s failures. To be clear, what Zuckerberg calls “town square” Facebook, where people post updates about new jobs, and share prom pictures and erroneous information about vaccines, will continue to exist. (On Thursday, Facebook announced that it would ban anti-vaccine advertisements on the site.) His new vision is to create a separate product that merges Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram into an encrypted and interoperable communications platform that will be more like a “living room.” According to Zuckerberg, “We’ve worked hard to build privacy into all our products, including those for public sharing. But one great property of messaging services is that, even as your contacts list grows, your individual threads and groups remain private. As your friends evolve over time, messaging services evolve gracefully and remain intimate.”

    This new Facebook promises to store data securely in the cloud, and delete messages after a set amount of time to reduce “the risk of your messages resurfacing and embarrassing you later.” (Apparently, Zuckerberg already uses this feature, as Tech Crunch reported, in April, 2018.) Its interoperability means, for example, that users will be able to buy something from Facebook Marketplace and communicate with the seller via WhatsApp; Zuckerberg says this will enable the buyer to avoid sharing a phone number with a stranger. Just last week, however, a user discovered that phone numbers provided for two-factor authentication on Facebook can be used to track people across the Facebook universe. Zuckerberg does not address how the new product will handle this feature, since “town square” Facebook will continue to exist.

    Once Facebook has merged all of its products, the company plans to build other products on top of it, including payment portals, banking services, and, not surprisingly, advertising. In an interview with Wired’s editor-in-chief, Nicholas Thompson, Zuckerberg explained that “What I’m trying to lay out is a privacy-focused vision for this kind of platform that starts with messaging and making that as secure as possible with end-to-end encryption, and then building all of the other kinds of private and intimate ways that you would want to interact—from calling, to groups, to stories, to payments, to different forms of commerce, to sharing location, to eventually having a more open-ended system to plug in different kinds of tools for providing the interaction with people in all the ways that you would want.”

    L’innovation vient maintenant de Chine, en voici une nouvelle mention

    If this sounds familiar, it is. Zuckerberg’s concept borrows liberally from WeChat, the multiverse Chinese social-networking platform, popularly known as China’s “app for everything.” WeChat’s billion monthly active users employ the app for texting, video conferencing, broadcasting, money transfers, paying fines, and making medical appointments. Privacy, however, is not one of its attributes. According to a 2015 article in Quartz, WeChat’s “heat map” feature alerts Chinese authorities to unusual crowds of people, which the government can then surveil.

    “I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” Zuckerberg tells us. “This is the future I hope we will help bring about.” By announcing it now, and framing it in terms of privacy, he appears to be addressing the concerns of both users and regulators, while failing to acknowledge that a consolidated Facebook will provide advertisers with an even richer and more easily accessed database of users than the site currently offers. As Wired reported in January, when the merger of Facebook’s apps was floated in the press, “the move will unlock huge quantities of user information that was previously locked away in silos.”

    Le chiffrage des messages est loin d’être une panacée pour la vie privée, ni pour la responsabilité sociale des individus.

    Zuckerberg also acknowledged that an encrypted Facebook may pose problems for law enforcement and intelligence services, but promised that the company would work with authorities to root out bad guys who “misuse it for truly terrible things like child exploitation, terrorism, and extortion.” It’s unclear how, with end-to-end encryption, it will be able to do this. Facebook’s private groups have already been used to incite genocide and other acts of violence, suppress voter turnout, and disseminate misinformation. Its pivot to privacy will not only give such activities more space to operate behind the relative shelter of a digital wall but will also relieve Facebook from the responsibility of policing them. Instead of more—and more exacting—content moderation, there will be less. Instead of removing bad actors from the service, the pivot to privacy will give them a safe harbor.

    #facebook #Cryptographie #Vie_privée #Médias_sociaux #Mark_Zuckerberg


  • Mapping #trickbot and RevengeRAT with MITRE ATT&CK and AlienVault USM Anywhere
    https://hackernoon.com/mapping-trickbot-and-revengerat-with-mitre-att-ck-and-alienvault-usm-any

    MITRE ATT&CK™ (Adversarial Tactics, Techniques and Common Knowledge) is a framework for understanding attackers’ behaviors and actions.We are pleased to announce that AlienVault USM Anywhere and Open Threat Exchange (OTX) now include MITRE ATT&CK™ information. By mapping alarms to their corresponding ATT&CK techniques, we are assisting in prioritizing analysis work by understanding the context and scope of an attack.Below we’ve outlined how this new capability can help you investigate two threats — TrickBot and RevengeRat.Mapping a Trickbot infection with ATT&CKTrickbot is a #malware family that was discovered a few years ago targeting the banking industry, but following some investigations, it is still active and evolving. The malware is usually delivered using attached Office (...)

    #mitre-attack #threat-intelligence #security


  • Cyber Ponzi Scheme — Stay Alert!
    https://hackernoon.com/cyber-ponzi-scheme-stay-alert-9626247f479f?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---

    Cyber Ponzi Scheme — Stay Alert!Ponzi schemes or pyramid schemes are easy to structure and enable a cyber attacker to hide behind layers of lies and distractions. These cyber schemes use well-known bank names without consent to gain credibility and lure more investors. It is crucial that we shed light on this topic to better educate ourselves on such schemes to avoid the consequences.Definition of the term & how it works:A Ponzi scheme is described as a fraudulent investment campaign in which people are deceived into #investing large sums of money and promised high rates of return that are not from legitimate business activities, profits or trading. The schemes advertised as being no risk to investors and are backed by financial reports and investor testimonials showing off their high (...)

    #ponzi-scheme #cybercrime #scam #cybersecurity


  • Meet Francis Malofiy, the Philadelphia Lawyer Who Sued Led Zeppelin
    https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/02/11/francis-malofiy-led-zeppelin

    Francis Malofiy may be the most hated man in the Philadelphia legal community. He may also be on the cusp of getting the last laugh on rock’s golden gods.

    #droit_d_auteur #musique #plagiat

    • @sandburg Voillà

      Meet Francis Malofiy, the Philadelphia Lawyer Who Sued Led Zeppelin
      https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/02/11/francis-malofiy-led-zeppelin

      People Laughed When This Philly Lawyer Sued Led Zeppelin. Nobody’s Laughing Now.

      Francis Malofiy may be the most hated man in the Philadelphia legal community. He may also be on the cusp of getting the last laugh on rock’s golden gods.

      By Jonathan Valania· 2/11/2019


      Philadelphia-area attorney Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      The fact that Philadelphia barrister Francis Alexander Malofiy, Esquire, is suing Led Zeppelin over the authorship of “Stairway to Heaven” is, by any objective measure, only the fourth most interesting thing about him. Unfortunately for the reader, and the purposes of this story, the first, second and third most interesting things about Malofiy are bound and gagged in nondisclosure agreements, those legalistic dungeons where the First Amendment goes to die. So let’s start with number four and work our way backward.

      At the risk of stating the obvious, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let the record show that “Stairway to Heaven” is arguably the most famous song in all of rock-and-roll, perhaps in all of popular music. It’s also one of the most lucrative — it’s estimated that the song has netted north of $500 million in sales and royalties since its 1971 release. Malofiy’s lawsuit, cheekily printed in the same druidic font used for the liner notes of the album Led Zeppelin IV, alleges that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant — Zep’s elegantly wasted guitarist/producer/central songwriter and leonine, leather-lunged lead singer, respectively — stole the iconic descending acoustic-guitar arpeggios of the first two minutes of “Stairway” from “Taurus,” a song with a strikingly similar chord pattern by a long-forgotten ’60s band called Spirit. At the conclusion of a stormy, headline-grabbing trial in 2016 that peaked with testimony from Page and Plant, the jury decided in Zep’s favor.

      When the copyright infringement suit was first filed in Philadelphia by Malofiy (pronounced “MAL-uh-fee”) on behalf of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust — which represents the estate of Randy “California” Wolfe, the now-deceased member of Spirit who wrote “Taurus” — people laughed. Mostly at Malofiy. The breathless wall-to-wall media coverage the trial garnered often painted him as a loose-cannon legal beagle, one part Charlie Sheen, one part Johnnie Cochran. “Everybody kind of dismissed me as this brash young lawyer who didn’t really understand copyright law,” he says, well into the wee hours one night back in December, sitting behind a desk stacked four feet high with legal files in the dank, subterranean bunker that is his office.

      Hidden behind an unmarked door on the basement floor of a nondescript office building in Media, the law firm of Francis Alexander LLC is a pretty punk-rock operation. The neighbors are an anger management counselor and a medical marijuana dispensary. “I think of us as pirates sinking big ships,” Malofiy, who’s 41, brags. Given the sheer number of death threats he says he’s received from apoplectic Zep fans, the fact that mysterious cars seem to follow him in the night, and his claim to have found GPS trackers stuck to the bottom of his car, the precise location of his offices remains a closely guarded secret. Failing that, he has a license to carry, and most days, he leaves the house packing a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson.

      While most lawyers are sleeping, Malofiy is working through the night to defeat them, often until sunrise, fueled by an ever-present bottle of grape-flavored Fast Twitch as he chain-chews Wrigley’s Spearmint gum and huffs a never-ending string of Marlboro menthols. We’ve been talking on the record for going on eight hours, and Malofiy shows no signs of fading; in fact, he’s just announced the arrival of his third wind.

      He has a pretty good ‘fuck you’ attitude that comes from an inner confidence. He might have had a little too much early on,” attorney Jim Beasley Jr. says of Malofiy. “If you piss the judge off with your pirate act, the judge can make it difficult for you. Sometimes you could avoid all that by not swinging your pirate sword around.

      Talk turns to the distinctly pro-Zep tenor of the media coverage of the “Stairway” trial. “I was a punch line for jokes,” he says, spitting his gum into a yellow Post-it and banking it into the trash for, like, the 42nd time. Nobody’s laughing now, least of all Page and Plant. Nor, for that matter, is Usher. Back in October, at the conclusion of a dogged seven-year legal battle marked by a bruising string of dismissals and sanctions, Malofiy won a $44 million verdict — one of the largest in Pennsylvania in 2018 — for a Philadelphia songwriter named Daniel Marino who sued his co-writers after being cut out of the songwriting credits and royalties for the song “Bad Girl” from the R&B heartthrob’s 2004 breakout album, Confessions, which sold more than 10 million copies.

      Also, in late September of last year, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Malofiy’s appeal of the 2016 “Stairway to Heaven” verdict and ordered a new trial on the grounds that the court “abused its discretion” when the judge refused to allow Malofiy to play a recording of “Taurus” for the jury. (Members were only allowed to hear an acoustic-guitar rendition played from sheet music.) The retrial is expected to begin in the next year, and Page and Plant, along with bassist John Paul Jones, are again anticipated to take the stand. Copyright experts say Led Zeppelin — which has a long history of ripping off the ancient riffs and carnal incantations of wizened Delta bluesmen and only giving credit when caught — should be worried.

      Malofiy, who calls Zep “the greatest cover band in all of history,” will go to trial armed with reams of expert testimony pinpointing the damning similarities between the two songs — not just the nearly identical and atypical chord pattern, but the shared melodic figurations, choice of key and distinctive voicings. He’ll also show the jury that Page and Plant had ample opportunity to hear “Taurus” when Zep opened for Spirit on their first American tour in 1968, two years before they wrote and recorded “Stairway.”

      “Most big companies rely on the concept of wearing you down, forcing you to do so much work it literally drives you broke,” says Glen Kulik, a heavy-hitter L.A.-based copyright lawyer who signed on as Malofiy’s local counsel when the Zep case was moved to federal court in California. “If you have any chance of standing up to them, it’s going to require an incredible amount of persistence, confidence, and quite a bit of skill as well, and Francis has all those things in spades.” And Kulik would know, having successfully argued a landmark copyright infringement case before the Supreme Court in 2014 that paved the way for the Zeppelin suit.


      Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      Ultimately, Malofiy doesn’t have to prove Led Zeppelin stole Spirit’s song; he just has to convince a jury that’s what happened. Assuming the trial goes forward — and that this time, he’s allowed to play recordings of both songs for the jury — there will be blood. Because contrary to his hard-won rep as a bull in the china shop of civil litigation, Malofiy possesses a switchblade-sharp legal mind, an inexhaustible work ethic, and a relentless, rock-ribbed resolve to absorb more punches than his opponents can throw. He’s a ruthlessly effective courtroom tactician with a collection of six-, seven- and eight-figure verdicts, not to mention the scalps of opposing counsel who underestimated his prowess. “I don’t plink pigeons; I hunt lions and tigers and bears,” he says. The big game he’s targeted in the past decade include deep-pocketed transnational corporations like Volvo (an epic seven-year case that ended in an undisclosed settlement) and Hertz (against whom he won a $100,000 verdict).

      In the arena of civil litigation, where the odds are increasingly stacked against plaintiffs, Malofiy claims to have never lost a jury trial, and that appears to be true. “I have lost twice — in the Zeppelin case and a lawsuit against Volvo — but got both decisions reversed on appeals,” he says, unsheathing a fresh stick of Wrigley’s. “Now, the same people that were asking me for years why I’m doing it are asking me how I did it.”

      If Malofiy prevails in the coming “Stairway” retrial, he’ll completely shatter the Tolkien-esque legend of the song’s immaculate conception — that it was birthed nearly in toto during a mystical retreat at a remote Welsh mountain cottage called Bron-yr-aur, to which many a starry-eyed Zep disciple has made a pilgrimage once upon a midnight clear when the forests echo with laughter. It will be like proving that da Vinci didn’t paint the Mona Lisa, that Michelangelo didn’t sculpt David. Barring a last-minute settlement, many legal and copyright experts predict that Malofiy may well emerge victorious, and credit for the most famous rock song in the world will pass from the self-appointed Golden Gods of Led Zeppelin to some obscure, long-forgotten (and not even very good) West Coast psych band, along with tens of millions in royalties, effectively rewriting the sacred history of rock-and-roll. And the man who will have pulled off this fairly miraculous feat of judicial jujitsu is the enfant terrible of Philadelphia jurisprudence.

      Malofiy hates wearing a suit and tie. Outside the courtroom, he dresses like a rock star masquerading as a lawyer: a crushable black trilby perched at a jaunty angle atop a blue bandana, a collarless black and orange leather Harley jacket, and a pair of beat-to-fuck brown Wesco boots, unlaced. “I’m always in jeans and boots when I meet new clients,” he says. “I warn them up front: ‘If you want a fancy lawyer in a suit, you should go elsewhere.’”

      The barrier to entry for new clients at Francis Alexander LLC is steep, because Malofiy doesn’t take on new cases so much as he adopts new causes. A case has to register on a deeply personal level if he’s going to eat, sleep, and fight to the death for it for the next five to seven years.

      “Lawyers have an ethical responsibility to advocate zealously for their clients,” says attorney Max Kennerly, who’s worked with Malofiy on a number of cases. “But frankly, in this business, a lot of lawyers play the odds and just do a ‘good enough’ job on a bunch of cases. Sometimes they win, and sometimes they lose. Francis really throws himself into his cases.”

      After 10 years of struggle, things finally seem to be breaking Malofiy’s way. Fat checks from cases settled long ago are rolling in, alleviating some fairly crippling cash-flow issues, and big cases just keep falling out of the sky — more than his two-lawyer outfit can field. They need to staff up, stat. Malofiy wants to hire some young bucks fresh out of law school — preferably Temple — as force multipliers in his quest to hold the powerful accountable on behalf of the powerless. “Most kids in law school right now will never see the inside of a courtroom,” he says. “Law schools don’t want to teach you how to change the system; they want to load you up with debt so you have to go do grunt work for some corporate law firm that specializes in maintaining the status quo.”


      Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      Malofiy doesn’t have a website. He doesn’t do social media. He doesn’t trawl the watering holes of the rich and powerful. He doesn’t even have a business card. Thanks to the notoriety and name recognition that came with the Zeppelin trial, new clients chase him. He just got off the phone with a Brooklyn puppet maker who wants him to sue the band Fall Out Boy for alleged misuse of two llamas — Frosty and Royal Tea — that it created. Right now, he’s on a conference call with a trio of British songwriters who want Malofiy to sue the Weeknd for allegedly lifting a key section of their song “I Need to Love” for a track called “A Lonely Night” on his 2016 Starboy album, which has sold more than three million copies to date.

      “Why are you guys calling me?” he asks.

      “We’re looking for an honest person fighting for ordinary working people,” says Billy Smith, one of the Brit songwriters in question. Malofiy clearly likes the sound of that. After thinking it over for a few moments, he tells them he’ll take their case and gives them his standard new-client spiel. “I can’t promise we’ll win, but I can promise I won’t turn yellow when things turn bad. I won’t put my tail between my legs and run,” he says. “If there is any bad news, you will hear it from me first.”

      His teeth have been bothering him for days, and near the end of the call, one of his dental caps comes loose. He spits it out, and it skitters across his desk before he traps it under his palm. Most lawyers would be mortified. Malofiy thinks it’s hilarious. “I got teeth like you people,” he says to the Brits. Everybody laughs.

      Many people mistake Malofiy’s unconventionality as a design flaw when it’s actually a feature. “I think that’s an incredibly important part of what makes him so good as an attorney,” says A.J. Fluehr, 33, Malofiy’s right-hand man, co-counsel and, though eight years his boss’s junior, voice of reason. “Because he’s so unorthodox, I believe it causes a lot of other attorneys to underestimate him and think, ‘Oh, he’s not serious; he doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ All of sudden, there’s a massively serious case against them.”

      Even some of the defense lawyers who’ve done battle with Malofiy begrudgingly acknowledge his chops. “I’ve known Francis for four years now. He is difficult to deal with but a fierce advocate for his clients and his cause,” says Rudolph “Skip” DiMassa, a partner at Duane Morris. “Calling him ‘abrasive’ would be putting it mildly. But he wears it like a badge of honor that he is not like all the other lawyers in town.”

      When I read that and similar assessments from other lawyers back to Malofiy, he chalks them up to blowback for the heresy of Robin Hooding a corrupt status quo. “I have a target on my back because I sue big corporations, politicians, big law firms. Hell, I sued DA Seth Williams,” he says one night at the Irish Pub, as he’s nursing a screwdriver he’ll chase with a root beer. “When you start stepping on toes and suing the wrong people and get a few million shifted from those who have it to those who don’t — that’s where the change happens; that’s where you make a difference. And there is a price you have to pay for that.”

      According to family lore, Francis Malofiy’s maternal grandfather was murdered by Nazis in occupied Greece; his great-grandmother had to cut the body down from a tree and carry it home on the back of a mule. Concurrently, his paternal grandfather was murdered by Nazis in Ukraine, while his father and grandmother were frog-marched to camps in Germany. Some things can never be forgotten or forgiven. That’s why Malofiy is always kicking against the pricks. A slight child, he was often bullied at school, and after a brief experiment with turning the other cheek, he started fighting back. Hard. He recalls the day that a bully was picking on a girl half his size; young Francis cold-cocked him and threw him into a closet door. The kid had to be taken out on a stretcher. After that, the bullies moved on to easier prey. “I was always fighting for the little guy, even back then,” he says.

      In the third grade, friends turned him on to Poison’s Look What the Cat Dragged In and Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, indelibly imprinting the spandexed bikers-and-strippers aesthetic of ’80s hair-metal onto his psyche. He started channeling the energy he once put into beating back bullies into beating the drums. One day in the sixth grade, he came home to tell his dad about a band all the kids were into: “The Led Zeppelins.”

      “He said, ‘No, son, it’s just Led Zeppelin.’”

      “No, I’m pretty sure it’s the Led Zeppelins.”

      So his father, who’d seen the band at the Electric Factory, drove Francis to the record store at the Granite Run Mall, where the clerks set him straight. His father bought the four-cassette Zep box set that had just come out. On the way home, Malofiy heard “Whole Lotta Love” for the first time, and before the song even ended, it was official: Led Zeppelin was his favorite band. When he was in high school, his drum teacher gently broke the news that Zep didn’t exactly, um, write all their own music — that key parts of their iconic songs had been cherry-picked from old, obscure blues recordings. “I said, ‘C’mon, don’t talk shit about Jimmy Page!’” Malofiy recalls. Then his teacher played him the Willie Dixon-penned Muddy Waters track “You Need Love” — which is what “Whole Lotta Love” was called before Zep hijacked the lyrics and the riff and Frankensteined them into the gloriously scuzzy heavy-metal Viking porno movie for the ears we’ve come to know and love. It was hard for Francis to process, and even harder when he was tipped to the uncanny similarity between Spirit’s “Taurus” and “Stairway.” Still, the spell Zep cast over him remained unbroken.


      Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      As a young teenager, he built go-karts, dirt bikes and small-block Chevys. To make spending money for guitars and records, he started buying beater cars, fixing them up, and flipping them for quadruple what he paid for them. He almost didn’t graduate from high school because he’d played hooky too many times, to go fishing or work on cars or play guitar. When he finally got his high-school diploma, he raced home from school to show his mother in his Chevy S-10 lowrider. Tearing ass on the backcountry roads of Media, he blew past a cop who immediately lit up his cherry top and gave pursuit. Soon, one cop car became two, then three, until there were five cars tailing him.

      Much to his parents’ dismay, his run-ins with the law became common. They were never for anything all that serious, just the usual teen-rebel monkeyshines: fighting, speeding, the occasional high-speed car chase. He got a big wake-up call in 1998 when his beloved Uncle Nick — a.k.a. Nicholas “The Greek” Vasiliades — was handed a life sentence for running a high-volume meth lab in a warehouse in Manayunk that supplied the drug networks of the Pagans and the Mafia, as well as for his 50-gun arsenal of illegal weaponry. Malofiy was devastated. “I was going down a bad path,” he says. “My uncle pulled me aside and said, ‘You’re smart enough to do it the right way. You need to step away.’”

      Malofiy took the warning to heart and focused on getting a college education, graduating from Penn State in 2000 with a degree in finance. After college, he went back home to Media and his true loves: cars, girls and heavy metal. With a revolving cast of musicians, he formed multiple go-nowhere suburban hard-rock bands with cringe-y names like Prada G and Sluts ’n Slayers. Unimpressed, his parents urged him to enroll in law school. Eventually he relented, forging this pact: He would go to law school if he: a) could do whatever he wanted with the unfinished basement of his parents’ home (i.e., build a high-end recording-studio-cum-man-cave tricked out with a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom); and b) nobody hassled him about having long hair, rocking out and chasing girls. Deal. Malofiy took the LSATs and scored just south of 160 — hardly off the charts, but good enough to get into Temple, where he found himself drawn to copyright law.

      He graduated from law school in December of 2007 and took the bar exam the following July. On the night of August 16, 2008, he stopped into the Liberty Bar at 22nd and Market with his then-girlfriend. It was crowded, but they found a table in the back. After ordering drinks, they started getting static from a group of three young men in ball caps and white t-shirts. “Three drunken jerkoffs, white privilege out the ass,” says Malofiy. According to Malofiy’s testimony, the trio mocked his bandana and called him “cunt,” “pussy” and a “dirty spic.” (It was summer; Malofiy was tan.) According to Malofiy, at some point the men apologized and the situation seemed defused, but then one of them grabbed Malofiy’s girlfriend’s ass. “I said, ‘That’s it. Follow me out,’ and made for the door,” Malofiy says, but he was blocked by a member of the group. As they stood chest-to-chest, Malofiy says, the man struck him twice. Finally, Malofiy, who boxed in college, unloaded with a right cross that landed squarely on the guy’s left cheekbone, shattering the glass still clenched in Malofiy’s fist.

      The man suffered a deep gash in his cheek that would require 150 stitches and reconstructive surgery. Malofiy nearly severed the tendons in his thumb. Bleeding profusely, he had his girlfriend drive him to the emergency room at Penn Presby to get stitched up and then to Central Detectives to file a criminal complaint.

      Two months later, in October, notice came in the mail that he had passed the bar. His mother was ecstatic and insisted on driving him to the Pittsburgh office of the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania immediately to obtain his law license rather than wait two weeks for the formal ceremony. When they got home the next day, Malofiy got a call from Central Detectives, who said they had a “body warrant” for his arrest on aggravated assault and related charges stemming from the Liberty Bar fight. The next day, he turned himself in and spent a night in jail awaiting a bail hearing. Had he not gone to Pittsburgh at his mother’s behest, it’s unlikely he’d have gotten his law license with a felony arrest on his record.

      Malofiy’s first case as a newly minted lawyer would involve defending a client staring down decades in prison if convicted: himself. Heeding the maxim that a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client, Malofiy hired Sam Stretton, one of the most respected criminal defense attorneys in the city. Malofiy took the stand and delivered an impassioned defense of his actions. “He had already hit me twice, blocked my exit-way,” he testified. “I was scared for my safety and my girlfriend’s safety, and his friends had just yelled ‘Fight!’ and came up to me with fists drawn. I thought I had no other option.” The jury found him not guilty on all charges.

      “Welcome to Hogwarts,” Malofiy jokes as he shows me around the vast oak and stained-glass room that houses the law library at the Beasley Firm, possibly the most fearsome and feared personal-injury law firm in the city, where he worked, in an of-counsel capacity, from 2012 to 2014.

      Fresh out of law school and still wet behind the ears, Malofiy showed up one day in search of mentoring. Granted an audience with Jim Beasley Jr., one of the most successful plaintiff’s attorney in the city, Malofiy ended up with a promise of rent-free office space, the phone extension 666, and a commitment to help finance some of the highly ambitious cases he was mounting — a product-liability suit against Volvo, and a breach-of-contract suit, against a marble manufacturer that had screwed his client out of an ownership share, that resulted in a $4.2 million verdict — not to mention the Usher case. “Jim was like, ‘I keep getting calls from defense lawyers saying That kid’s the fucking devil, so you must be doing something right,’” Malofiy recalls.

      During Malofiy’s tenure at Beasley, he took out a controversial full-page ad in this magazine that depicted him crashing through a courtroom in a hot rod, looking every bit James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Many members of Philadelphia’s uptight, buttoned-down legal community thought it was disrespectful. “Everyone was outraged, but I thought it was funny,” says Beasley. “He has a pretty good ‘fuck you’ attitude that comes from an inner confidence. He might have had a little too much of that early on, but I think he’s throttled back a bit. So many of a judge’s decisions are ties and jump-balls that are not reversible, and if you piss the judge off with your pirate act, the judge can make it difficult for you. Sometimes you could avoid all that by not swinging your pirate sword around.”

      Malofiy has learned this the hard way. In 2015, a three-judge panel voted to suspend his license to practice law in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for improper conduct in the Usher case — despite the fact that the special prosecutor recommended what amounted to a slap on the wrist: a reprimand.

      “It’s highly unusual that they would disregard the disciplinary recommendations of the special prosecutor after he has heard the facts,” says Stretton. The matter is currently on appeal before the Third Circuit.

      At Malofiy’s insistence, I’ve been tailing him for the better part of a month: from a big-dollar NDA’d settlement in a judge’s quarters, to a Port Richmond dive bar called Chuckles, to a Bucks County gun shop where he plunked down $1,729 for a handsome Benelli shotgun (a gift for his right-hand man Fluehr), to a back-alley strip bar in Center City and the disused factory under the Commodore Barry Bridge that he’s purchased and plans to renovate into office space, living quarters and a beer garden. I watched him hide his $82,000 Land Rover from the repo man (“It’s all a misunderstanding”) and then, days later, saw a pile of white letter-size envelopes stacked on his desk, each containing what looked to be thousands in cash. What I have come to learn is this: When you write about lawyers, there is so much you can’t write about lawyers.

      Malofiy slowly, methodically and unflinchingly parceled out the most personal details of his backstory — the good, the bad and the ugly — as I incrementally earned his trust. But always on his timetable, not mine. It could be exasperating, but by the end, I discovered the method to his madness: He’d been pacing his revelations as he would a trial presentation. And now we’re reaching the crescendo of his closing argument — the big reveal.


      Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      It’s a few clicks shy of midnight at Malofiy’s house in Media on a Sunday night shortly before Christmas. In the morning, he’s jetting off to an auction in London to bid on the Helios recording console that captured “Stairway to Heaven” for the ages. (Malofiy, true to form, won’t confirm that he won or lost the auction.) Though he’s been locked in a nasty four-year legal fight with Led Zeppelin, they’re still his favorite band.

      Malofiy called to insist that I come to his house tonight. “Why? What for?” I demanded. He said he wanted to show me something I could only see there. I begged off, explaining that this article was due in the morning and I already had more than I could use. But he insisted, promising it would be worth my while. He doesn’t disappoint. He tells me to open the freezer. There’s a bottle of Tito’s vodka, an ice tray, and half a lemon on a plate with a yellow plastic knife. “That’s the lemon Robert Plant squeezed into his tea when we deposed him in London back in 2016,” he claims. This is deeply ironic and, if you’re acquainted with the role lemons play in Plant’s legend, cosmically hilarious. One of Led Zeppelin’s most infamous tracks is “The Lemon Song,” a sultry blooze ramble from 1969’s deathless Led Zeppelin II stitched together from pieces of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” and Robert Johnson’s “Travelling Riverside Blues.” (Zep settled a 1972 copyright suit over the Howlin’ Wolf portion of the song.) In the fifth verse, Plant sings:

      Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg
      The way you squeeze my lemon, ah
      I’m gonna fall right out of bed

      By swiping that lemon rind at the deposition, Malofiy stole Robert Plant’s metaphoric penis the way Prometheus stole fire from the gods. Zep famously invoked the mythic “Hammer of the Gods” from Norse legend. For Jimmy Page, that hammer was his guitar, but for Plant it was his, um, mighty lemon tree.

      Incredible though it may seem, Malofiy says he’s kept the lemon on ice for the past three years and had it in his briefcase like a talisman when he gave oral arguments for what proved to be his successful appeal of the 2016 “Stairway” verdict. He has every intention of taking it to the retrial that will, barring unforeseen developments, commence in the next year.

      “Robert Plant is always going on about his lemon, and at the deposition he made a big deal out of slicing it up and squeezing it into his tea and then sucking on the rind,” he says with a cat-who-ate-the-canary grin. “Jimmy Page famously dabbled in black magic and was always going on about Aleister Crowley, and I said to myself, ‘If they are going to use black magic to try to beat me on technicalities — well, two can play at that game.’”

      Published as “The Devil’s Advocate” in the February 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.


  • Journey Through FinovateEurope 2019
    https://hackernoon.com/journey-through-finovateeurope-2019-fa74670f8f2d?source=rss----3a8144eab

    Jim Marous and UXDA’s presenter Karlis JonassNo doubt, if there’s a place you could call the innovation epicenter of the financial world, it’s #finovate. It brings voice to the future banking and illuminates what will be the common practice of tomorrow. This year UXDA stepped on the stage beside other world’s leading finance innovators and influencers to demonstrate which direction the financial industry is heading to. UXDA outlined the rising significance of delightful user experience #design in financial services — definitely one of the routes the future of banking will take. Here’s a recap of the most remarkable Finovate memories to inspire every financial professional who aims to reinvent banking.https://medium.com/media/ef2ac6d98e08e1e48f6da3de24525bf3/hrefMissionThe world of finance is (...)

    #fintech-conference #fintech-event #ux-design


  • Idiot’s Guide to Precision, Recall and Confusion Matrix
    https://hackernoon.com/idiots-guide-to-precision-recall-and-confusion-matrix-b32d36463556?sourc

    Evaluation metrics for classification modelsBuilding Machine Learning models is fun, making sure we build the best ones is what makes a difference!Evaluating ML modelsRegression modelsRMSE is a good measure to evaluate how a machine learning model is performing.If RMSE is significantly higher in test set than training-set — There is a good chance model is overfitting.(Make sure train and test set are from same/similar distribution)What about Classification models?Guess what, evaluating a Classification model is not that simpleBut why?You must be wondering ‘Can’t we just use accuracy of the model as the holy grail metric?’Accuracy is very important, but it might not be the best metric all the time. Let’s look at why with an example -:Let’s say we are building a model which predicts if a bank (...)

    #artificial-intelligence #machine-learning #ai #deep-learning #technology


  • Blockading Venezuela: The Linchpin of the US Strategy of Aggression | Venezuelanalysis.com
    https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14111

    Revealing examples are emerging of the cumulative impact that US sanctions against Venezuela are having on the Venezuelan people in the field of health, one of the key priorities of the Bolivarian revolution.

    In July 2017, the US bank Citibank refused to handle Venezuela’s payment for the import of 300,000 insulin doses to meet the needs of 450,000 registered patients.

    Three months later, the US blockade prevented Venezuela from depositing funds with the UBS Swiss bank, delaying a purchase of vaccines for months and disrupting the country’s vaccination schedules.

    In November 2017, transnational pharmaceutical companies Baster, Abbot and Pfizer refused to issue export certificates for cancer drugs, making it impossible for Venezuela to buy them.

    And in 2018, a $9 million payment through an international account for dialysis supplies for treating 15,000 patients, free of charge, was similarly blocked under threat of US sanctions.

    These illustrative examples and similar ones about the blocking of food imports put the lie to the US claim that it is concerned about the well-being of the Venezuelan people.

    #sanctions #crimes #etats-unis


  • My Hackathon Experiences
    https://hackernoon.com/my-hackathon-experiences-73b0b6191409?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---4

    My experiments in the world of hackathon started out of my boredom in office work and have turned out to be a rich collection of experiences. You can find the solutions at my github.RBL bank hackathon(3 days)Problem statement — Make a data science solution with customer dataOffline | Prize pool — 2 lakhsWhat I likedGreat food arrangementComfy workplaceCould have been betterForced to use API provided for fetching dataThe API didn’t work for 1.5 daysAPI have transaction data of only 1 user of just a few months. No machine learning was possible over it.No guidance provided on what to do with so less dataTeam presentations were private with the JuryCoinberg hackathonCoinberg hackathon(2 days)Problem statement — Cryptocurrency — Arbitrage trading | Sentiment analysis | Portfolio management | Trend (...)

    #data-science #deep-learning #hackathons #machine-learning #nlp


  • Conquering crypto winter: inside #horizen’s move to increase its block reward
    https://hackernoon.com/conquering-crypto-winter-inside-horizens-move-to-increase-its-block-rewa

    During this ‘crypto winter,’ the slump in crypto prices has led to the shutdown of a number of projects.Most recently, the NEM Foundation, a community-sponsored non-profit organization that promotes the #blockchain of NEM, announced a massive downsizing of its 150-person staff.While the foundation says it’s not bankrupt, it admits that it only has about one month of funds left in the bank.Despite the hard times, some projects with governance and economic incentives in place have been able to weather the storm only partially scathed. One such project is Horizen, where I act as general counsel.I recently sat down with Rob Viglione, the company’s co-founder and CEO to get his insights on the declining prices. Rob elaborated on Horizen’s plan to use its unique tokenomic structure to survive the (...)

    #cryptocurrency-investment #cryptocurrency #crypto-winter


  • The Awesome Duo: 6 Cases of How #fintech Benefits From AI
    https://hackernoon.com/the-awesome-duo-6-cases-of-how-fintech-benefits-from-ai-bb408242a1c5?sou

    Photo by Alice Pasqual on UnsplashIf you’ve ever used the Internet to transfer money between accounts or apply for a bank loan or trade, you’re probably aware of how deeply rooted fintech has become in our day-to-day lives. In 2018, about 61% of Americans used digital banking services and this number is set to exceed 65% in 2022. One of the newly-emerged traits of the 4th Industrial Era, fintech is an application of fast-evolving digital technologies to improve and facilitate financial services.Companies are rapidly adopting fintech to keep abreast of the competition. The investments into this industry are also impressive: in 2018, it attracted over $16 billion investment in the UK alone, according to KMPG.On the other hand, entire countries are rapidly adopting AI technologies to compete (...)

    #artificial-intelligence #chatbots #machine-learning #deep-learning


  • The #future of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
    https://hackernoon.com/the-future-of-central-bank-digital-currency-cbdc-64797b645887?source=rss

    Are we ready for nationwide digital currencies?The recent working paper, of the University of Luxembourg, Postdoctoral Researcher Hossein Nabilou, about the potential legal challenges of issuing a Central Bank Digital currency #cbdc, suggests the benefits of cryptocurrencies greatly out way the drawbacks.Recently, US-based global financial service provider, J.P. Morgan announced the launch of JPM Coin. An internal digital currency for institutional investors to use to wire money in a fast and cost-efficient way. Cross-border payments or remittance has some major drawbacks that can be overcome by using #cryptocurrency. The time and operational costs can be strongly reduced. By opting for paying with digital currencies and by implementing them in the safe environment these issues can be (...)

    #blockchain #central-bank


  • The Connection Between Crypto And Fiat Is Closer Than You Think
    https://hackernoon.com/the-connection-between-crypto-and-fiat-is-closer-than-you-think-aa6a2ea1

    Don’t keep your money siloed from the 21st century! Photo courtesy canva.comMoney has come a long way from dusty ledgers, oversized check-books and waiting in long lines at the bank.In fact, consumers are so frustrated with “Big Banks” failure to innovate that one in three of us believe traditional banks will cease to exist in 5 years.Most people don’t even use physical money anymore. The mobile-payment market has made cash a relic in Asia, with 1.4 billion monthly users on China’s two biggest platforms (or roughly 18% of the world’s population). Though mobile payments are growing, there’s something even more revolutionary to the traditional banking sector:The introduction of #cryptocurrency as a real alternative for payment.In South Korea, consumers can use crypto to pay at thousands of retail (...)

    #crypto-and-fiat #crypto-fiat-connection #bitcoin #stable-coin


  • Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000) [WEBRip] [720p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/kevin-perry-go-large-2000#720p

    IMDB Rating: 5.5/10Genre: Comedy / MusicSize: 707.99 MBRuntime: 1hr 22 minKevin and Perry are two 15-year-old boys whose desperation to lose their virginity is so great that it inspires a sort of awe. In the rare moments when they’re not thinking about girls, Kevin dreams of being a singer, and Perry has ambitions toward becoming a dance music DJ. When Kevin and Perry manage to stop a bank robbery, they’re given a sizable cash reward, and they decide to go on a holiday in Ibiza, which is supposedly populated with thousands of beautiful women willing to sleep with anyone. However, after the boys pack plenty of sunscreen and condoms, Kevin’s parents announce that they’re tagging along. Undeterred, Kevin and Perry make the trip and meet superstar DJ Eyeball Paul , who may or may not (...)

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/BC4C69A13661BC84786250EC47C0A04225EEAF4C


  • #privacy on #bitcoin and Why Everyone Should Care
    https://hackernoon.com/privacy-on-bitcoin-and-why-everyone-should-care-bed439e2550f?source=rss-

    When GiftUnless you’ve been living off the grid for the past twenty years, it’s pretty obvious that the world (led by Sweden in the West and China and South Korea in the East) is trending toward a cashless society. In countries that have kept pace with the latest advances in Fintech, transacting with bank cards, Paypal, Venmo and a growing list of mobile apps has become the norm. Cash payments in Europe have been consistently on the decline over the past decade, and in Sweden, more than 40% of the cash supply has been taken out of circulation since 2007. We embrace digital payment rails because they’re the most effortless way to shop these days. Convenience is always king. But there are no free rides in life, including the “free” online services we all enjoy. We ultimately pay for them one (...)

    #cryptocurrency #technology #blockchain


  • About the Relationship Between Stablecoins and Security Tokens
    https://hackernoon.com/about-the-relationship-between-stablecoins-and-security-tokens-a26e43f15

    Crypto news last week were dominated by the headlines of J.P Morgan announcing the intentions to launch its own stablecoin dubbled “JPM Coin”. My initial reaction to the news were mixed. On one hand, the JPM Coin represents a strong validation for the stablecoin market and will certainly pave the way for new banks to join this trend. However, we can’t be oblivious to the fact that commercial-bank-backed stablecoins are likely to contribute to the fragmentation of the space and basically be a temporary solution until central banks decide to issue their own stablecoin(more about that in a future post). The launch of the JPM Coin made me reflect about a thesis I’ve been exploring lately about the relationship between stablecoins and security tokens. With stablecoins quickly consolidating as (...)

    #invector-labs #ethereum #blockchain #cryptocurrency #security-token


  • 3 Reasons why JPM Coin By JPMorgan Is Awesome For Blockchain Adoption
    https://hackernoon.com/3-reasons-why-jpm-coin-by-jpmorgan-is-awesome-for-blockchain-adoption-67

    Here Are The Reasons Why JPM Coin By JPMorgan Is Awesome For Blockchain AdoptionJPMorgan Chase introducing their #cryptocurrency called JPM Coin on 14th February 2019, reported by Cointelegraph. JPM Coin works like #bitcoin. It speeds up transactions between JPMorgan customers. JPM Coin is pegged to the US Dollar unlike other highly volatile cryptocurrencies- like a stablecoin. JPMorgan Chase is the first major United States bank to introduce its own digital coin for real-world usage. The news further highlights Wall Street’s positive sentiments about blockchain technology.CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Mr. Jamie Dimon, has affirmed blockchain technology’s potential in the future global financial system despite his initial critique of Bitcoin in September 2017. JPMorgan Chase has been (...)

    #jpmorgan-chase #jpm-coin #blockchain-adoption


  • Bill Barhydt on How #abra Is Building a Global Bank With #bitcoin
    https://hackernoon.com/bill-barhydt-on-how-abra-is-building-a-global-bank-with-bitcoin-ef5f66d9

    Audio interview transcription — WBD073Note: the following is a transcription of my interview with Bill Barhydt, CEO and Founder of ABRA. I use Rev.com from translations and they remove ums, errs and half sentences. I have reviewed the transcription but if you find any mistakes, please feel free to email me. You can listen to the original recording here.You can subscribe to the podcast and listen to all episodes here.In this episode, I talk with Bill Barhydt, the CEO of ABRA. We discuss their recent announcement whereby users of the app can use Bitcoin to trade stocks and ETFs and the complexity of building a global bank on Bitcoin.https://medium.com/media/18869c019574e610f6724906afed6ebf/hrefConnect with What Bitcoin Did:Listen: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | (...)

    #trading #blockchain


  • JPMorgan Chase Moves to Be First Big U.S. Bank With Its Own Cryptocurrency - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/business/dealbook/jpmorgan-cryptocurrency-bitcoin.html

    In 2017, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, declared Bitcoin a “fraud” and said that any employee caught trading it would be fired for being “stupid.”

    On Thursday, JPMorgan became the first major United States bank to introduce its own digital token for real-world use, the latest step in Wall Street’s evolving approach to the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.

    Despite questioning Bitcoin’s legitimacy, Mr. Dimon has said he recognizes blockchain’s potential in the future of the global financial system. And JPMorgan has already released a blockchain platform, Quorum, that several institutions are using to keep track of financial data.

    The bank’s token is unlikely to shake up the financial system anytime soon. Because it will be run by JPMorgan, it lacks the fundamental qualities that have made cryptocurrencies so radical: the freedom from middlemen and from regulatory oversight.

    JPMorgan will control the JPM Coin ledger, and each coin will be backed by a dollar in JPMorgan accounts, giving the coins a stable value. That means JPM Coin will not be subject to the wild price volatility that has drawn speculators to other cryptocurrencies.

    The bank is following in the footsteps of several smaller players that have introduced similar digital coins tied to the dollar. A consortium of European banks has been finalizing a similar product, Utility Settlement Coin, that would make it possible to move money between banks more quickly. Several cryptocurrency exchanges already have their own so-called stablecoins.

    The advantage of such a token, Mr. Farooq said, is speed. Clients that want to move huge sums of money would traditionally need to do so via wire transfer, a process that could take hours or even days. With international transfers, changes in currency exchange rates during the long lag times could end up adding to customers’ costs.

    Mr. Farooq said JPMorgan’s offering would be useful for big clients, but not for the smaller speculators who have typically taken an interest in cryptocurrencies.

    “This is designed specifically for institutional use cases on blockchain,” he said. “It’s not created to be for public investment.”

    #Cryptomonnaies #Banques #Spéculation


  • JP Morgan just became the first bank to launch a stable coin
    https://hackernoon.com/jp-morgan-just-became-the-first-bank-to-launch-a-stable-coin-16c924a9b36

    They move $6 Trillion around the world each day. RIP Ripple?sourceThis is not JP Morgan’s first #blockchain rodeo. JP Morgan launched an Interbank Information Network (IIN) for cross border payments. 176 banks world wide have joined IIN since 2017.IIN is designed to transfer information.JPM coin is designed to instantly transfer value.Initially it will only be accessible to wholesale customers of JP Morgan. Unlike other stable coins JPM coin is a permissioned private blockchain.“Pretty much every big corporation is our client, and most of the major banks in the world are, too,” — Umar Farooq, Head of Blockchain Initiatives, JP MorganBlockchain will lead to faster settlement times for payments between institutional customers.This project is huge becauseIt removes the trust issues around if there (...)

    #jp-morgan #hackernoon-top-story #jp-morgan-stablecoin #stable-coin


  • Exclusive : #Venezuela shifts oil ventures’ accounts to Russian bank - document, sources | Article [AMP] | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-pdvsa-banks-exclus-idUSKCN1PY0N3

    CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters on Saturday.

    PDVSA’s move comes after the United States imposed tough, new financial sanctions on Jan. 28 aimed at blocking Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s access to the country’s oil revenue.

    Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido said recently that a fund would be established to accept proceeds from sales of Venezuelan oil.