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Square Crypto Hires Blockstream Co-Founder, Open Source Bitcoin Dev

Square Crypto announced on Twitter that they have hired Matt Corallo, Bitcoin software developer and co-founder of Blockstream.

Square Crypto, the cryptocurrency-focused branch of mobile payment company Square, has hired Blockstream co-founder and Bitcoin (BTC) developer Matt Corallo. Square Crypto announced the news in an official Twitter post on Aug. 20.

Matt Corallo also commented on the announcement, saying:

“So excited to be joining the @sqcrypto team over the coming weeks. Experimenting with different models to accelerate Bitcoin OSS is awesome!”

As indicated in his Twitter post, Corallo is a Bitcoin Open Source Developer who previously worked at Bitcoin development company Chaincode Labs. Per his LinkedIn profile, Corallo has worked there for the past two years and 8 months. Additionally, Corallo is listed as the co-founder of Blockstream, a blockchain and Bitcoin development company where he worked for just under two and a half years.

Square Crypto’s teambuilding

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who also founded Square, is looking to build a small team dedicated to improving crypto infrastructure. The team will reportedly include one designer and a handful of software engineers, and all of their projects will be open source. Square Crypto’s first hire was Steve Lee, who previously served as a director at Google.

Square aims to develop Bitcoin infrastructure

In a recent Twitter “ask me anything,” project manager at Square Crypto Steve Lee emphasized that his team is particularly keen on developing support for the Bitcoin ecosystem. Lee wrote:

“We are very, very pro-Bitcoin. There is more than enough work for us to do there. That said, we are open to emerging use cases and technologies that complement Bitcoin.”

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Web3 Foundation Director Resigns to Pursue DAO Projects

The director of the Web3 Foundation has resigned, and says he will be gradually leaving Web3 to pursue work on DAOs.

Web3 Foundation (W3F) director Ryan Zurrer has announced that he is stepping down from his role at the decentralized web-focused nonprofit to pursue his interest in investments and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

Zurrer expounded on his departure in a series of Twitter posts on Aug. 5. Zurrer explained that he will be gradually removing himself from the organization, partially in light of its current success. In June, W3F managed the token sale of blockchain interoperability protocol Polkadot (DOT). Zurrer said:

“With the success of the DOTs sale, the success of the @web3summit & the Foundation in a strong position organizationally, I will gradually step away at the end of this year and go back to what my primary passion is — deploying capital and helping early-stage teams build.”

Zurrer also emphasized the high value he places on pursuing successful DAOs, remarking:

“The dream of a sustainable decentralized organization that attracts and filters for great talent, supports genuine innovation and meaningful experimentation, and delivers outlier value to its members is really the most compelling project in my humble opinion.”

DAOs are a special type of organization that is autonomous and managed by smart contracts on a blockchain, not people.

The soon-to-be-former director additionally teased that he has some upcoming surprises to unveil alongside additional details on new DAO ideas at the upcoming Web3 Summit 2019.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Zurrer worked as principal and venture partner at blockchain firm Polychain Capital for two years, before switching to his position at the W3F for a similar amount of time.

DAOs on the rise

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the law firm Gravel & Sheathe announced that it had helped the developer cooperative dOrg to create a DAO endowed with legal status. The firm moreover believes that this DAO is the first legal entity of its kind within the United States. This DAO reportedly runs on the Ethereum blockchain and is licensed in Vermont under the title “dOrg LLC.”

In June, cryptocurrency exchange Ethfinex, the sister exchange of Bitfinex, launched a DAO. The DAO will purportedly act as a test for how the exchange can decentralize its operations. The DAO was built by DAOstack and is known as efxDAO, with an initial funding budget of $5,000.

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Circle OTC Trading Branch Head Daniel Matuszewski Resigns

The head of Circle’s over-the-counter trading desk has resigned and an in-house trader will reportedly fill his vacancy.

Daniel Matuszewski, head of over-the-counter (OTC) trading at the money transfer and BitLicensed crypto trading company Circle, has resigned.

The Block reported news of Matuszewski’s departure on August 2. He apparently said that he was resigning to pursue a “brand new entrepreneurial opportunity in crypto.”

According to the report, an anonymous source has said that Nick Gustafson will be entering Matuszewski’s prior role. Gustafson previously worked as a trader at cryptocurrency exchange Kraken’s OTC unit, and appears to have worked as a trader at Circle for a little over a year, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Circle’s OTC Department

As previously explained by Cointelegraph, OTC trading may be an attractive option to crypto investors. In addition to Circle, crypto platforms like Coinbase and Binance have opened OTC desks, and did so in the middle of crypto winter no less. OTC desks allow traders to transact directly with each other, which can be especially important for companies that can’t comply with the listing requirements for traditional exchanges.

In January, Circle said its OTC trades had a notional volume of $24 billion in 2018, and was only expecting volume to go up this year:

“This year, we anticipate further incremental growth in institutional adoption catalyzed by stablecoin usage, advancements in institutional custody solutions, increasing regulatory clarity particularly in the [United States], and improvements and innovation in core crypto infrastructure.”

Projected future of crypto regulation

As reported by Cointelegraph, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire recently said that he thinks the United States will implement crypto regulation as a check on overseas companies. According to Allaire, there is an increasing number of digital asset projects being developed outside the U.S., with American companies also migrating elsewhere to boot. As a result of this, he conjectured:

“I think it is ultimately going to lead to, ultimately legislative initiatives to try and ensure that there are appropriate safeguards and investor protections but also clarity, which is much needed to allow the technology and industry to flourish.”

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Report: Coinbase VP of Engineering Tim Wagner Steps Down

Coinbase vice-president of engineering Tim Wagner is reportedly stepping down from his position at the trading platform.

Tim Wagner, the vice president of engineering at major cryptocurrency platform Coinbase, is reportedly leaving the company.

Wagner will purportedly leave Coinbase within the next two weeks, according to a report by CoinDesk on July 30. An unnamed spokesperson for the company is said to have confirmed Wagner’s departure with the news outlet.

At press time, Tim Wagner is currently still listed as VP Engineering at Coinbase on LinkedIn profile.

Previous roles at Microsoft and Amazon

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Coinbase initially hired Wagner last August. Wagner previously worked for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft before joining Coinbase. 

At Microsoft, Wagner worked as the director of development for Microsoft’s Visual Studio Ultimate. At Amazon, Wagner held a number of positions including general manager for multiple products, including AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway and AWS Serverless App Repository.

Recent employees and their departures

Just yesterday, another Coinbase member also departed from the platform’s team. Andrew L. Ridenour — who worked at Coinbase for just half a year more than Wagner — left the crypto company to rejoin the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

During his time at Coinbase, Ridenour was involved in the creation of legal structures and business plans for the platform’s trading and custodial services. At the CFTC, he is slated to offer legal and policy counsel to the chairman for issues involving futures and derivatives markets.

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US Awards Patent for Blockchain-Based Firearm Data Recording System

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent to two inventors for a blockchain-based system for recording ballistic data during self-defense scenarios.

Two American inventors have won a patent for a blockchain-based recording system for ballistic data. 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded two inventors — Jason Palazzolo and Kevin Barnes — a patent for a “firearm environmental recording apparatus and system” on July 23.

This apparently could include multiple recording devices, including a camera, microphone, and spatial sensor module that can record velocity, spatial measurements and acceleration data. 

The filing states that a blockchain database or network could be used to store or be associated with any of the data gathered by the mechanisms.

Justifire and evidence for self-defense

According to LinkedIn, Jason Palazzolo is the founder and CEO of a company called Justifire. On its website, Justifire advertises a product called a “blackbox for your firearm.” The featured device attaches to the barrel of a pistol and contains the same features mentioned in the patent — video, audio and spatial recording and data gathering.

The website claims that the purpose of this technology is to provide proof of self-defense, saying, “This valuable data could be used by its owner as evidence of an event where lethal action was required.” Justfire additionally claims that only it will be able to access the encrypted information, by default:

“Data and video footage that involves a violent action taken against another human will be automatically recognized by the device and instantly encrypted, becoming un-accessible to all parties except Justifire Technologies LLC. Data will be provided to the owner of the device only through specific legal request, preventing any party from submitting the public to graphic illegal actions.”

Blockchain-based gun monitoring

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Missouri State Representative Nicholas Schroer proposed a bill in 2017 to make blockchain-based gun monitoring illegal. The bill, which was entitled “Imposes Restrictions on the Use of Firearm Tracking Technology” stated:

“It shall be unlawful to require a person to use or be subject to electronic firearm tracking technology or to disclose any identifiable information about the person or the person’s firearm for the purpose of using electronic firearm tracking technology.”

However, the bill did include exceptions to this policy, specifically for law enforcement officials, merchants using distributed ledgers to report sales and firearm owners who have expressly issued a written authorization for monitoring their weapons.

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Steve Wozniak Co-Founds Blockchain-Based Energy Saving Firm in Malta

Steve Wozniak has co-founded a company in Malta, which will reportedly use blockchain technology to save energy.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of American tech giant Apple, has invested in a new blockchain-based company headquartered in Malta. Wozniak is now the co-founder of energy efficiency company Efforce, according to a report by Maltese news daily The Malta Independent on July 18.

Wozniak co-founded the company alongside Jacopo Visetti, who — according to his LinkedIn profile — works in the renewable energy and environment sector. According to this page, Visetti co-founded Efforce in January, 2018 — approximately one year and seven months ago. 

According Efforce’s LinkedIn page, the company provides the first blockchain-based platform focused on investing in energy efficiency, with its stated goal “to be recognized as the first and main platform in the world for tokenized energy savings.”

As per the report, Wozniak recently spoke about Efforce at the pre-launch for the Delta Summit, which is a blockchain conference held in Malta. 

Wozniak reportedly spoke about how he thinks blockchain will be a great boon to decreasing the public’s environmental impact without requiring people to change their habits. Wozniak also spoke on the local government’s pro-blockchain attitude as key to Efforce’s decision to launch in Malta.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Wozniak also co-founded a blockchain investment project in October 2018. He founded the venture capital fund EQUI Global to support investments in blockchain solutions.

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Blockchain Hits Top 10 Future Skills in LinkedIn Asia Pacific Report

The social network also identified compliance and AI in being highly useful skills in the coming years for the sector.

Blockchain is one of the top ten most important employee skills in the Asia Pacific region, a new report from professional social network LinkedIn confirmed in June.

A regular feature on the network, the 2019 APAC version of “The Future of Skills” lists blockchain among the most sought-after abilities workers will need in the coming years.

Specifically, “setting up and managing a distributed and decentralised public ledger” will be a useful skill, while other areas making the top ten include compliance and artificial intelligence (AI).

Both areas are closely tied to the blockchain sphere, with the disruptive technology producing a need to inform regulator attitudes.

“Rising skills can be used to forecast where industries are going,” LinkenIn commented about the findings. The report added:

“Examining what rising skills certain industries are hiring for shows what changes they are anticipating.”

As Cointelegraph reported, both blockchain and blockchain industry businesses frequently make other LinkedIn rundowns, such as desirable businesses to work for. In April, United States cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was the sole crypto company in the local “Top Companies 2019” shortlist.

Within APAC, blockchain appeared particularly high on the list in jurisdictions such as Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. In all three, businesses have flocked to develop applications while governments also express a strong desire to implement the technology formally.

Singapore, for instance, is undertaking a state-wide initiative, Project Ubin, which should bring blockchain-facilitated services to the mainstream beginning in 2020.

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Over 100 Staff Now Reportedly Working On Facebook’s Crypto Project

CNBC has collected public details on high-level executives for Facebook’s cryptocurrency project via LinkedIn.

More details are now emerging regarding high-level executives for social media giant Facebook’s crypto project, according to a report by CNBC on June 6.

According to the report, there are now 100 people known to be working on the crypto project via profiles on professional networking platform LinkedIn. Facebook is also reportedly not done hiring, with over 40 openings still available in the team’s business unit, as per its website listing.

The aim of Facebook’s new crypto project, according to advertising on its career descriptions, is to provide a public service centered on accessibility:

“Our ultimate goal is to help billions of people with access to things they don’t have now — that could be things like healthcare, equitable financial services, or new ways to save or share information.”

The head of Facebook’s blockchain-based project is David Marcus. Marcus served on the board of cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase until recently, and previously worked as the president of PayPal.

Additionally, Facebook developer Eric Nakagawa will reportedly take the title, “head of open source.” Nakagawa has reportedly championed open source projects in the past at PyTorch artificial intelligence (AI) software. Nakagawa also previously acted as founder and CEO of popular 2000s humor website, “I Can Has Cheezburger?”

As recently reported by Cointelegraph, Facebook may relinquish control of its cryptocurrency governance to third parties, in order to provide a degree of decentralization. Additionally, Facebook will reportedly announce its secretive crypto project some time this month, at which point its employees will be allowed to take part of their salary in the platform’s native cryptocurrency.

At blockchain conference Consensus 2019, the CEO of Polychain Capital said Facebook would be wise to build its alleged stablecoin on a public, open blockchain infrastructure. CEO Olaf Carlson-Wee commented that doing so would alleviate public concern, saying:

“I think given all the problems that Facebook has had with policing their platform and things like that, I think that the strategic move for Facebook would actually be to build public infrastructure. And that public infrastructure could be incorporated onto all the Facebook platforms, which of course are proprietary. But that public infrastructure, if they don’t try to own it, I think that’s where they will have the most success.”

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Financial Service Giant BNY Mellon Appoints New Head of Blockchain

Subhankar Sinha will be the company’s new Head of Blockchain, a role for overseeing BNY Mellon’s blockchain ventures.

New York-based global investments company, Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), has named Subhankar Sinha as the company’s Head of Blockchain, according to a May 13 press release.

Sinha’s role in the corporation will be to work on creating and furthering partnerships with startups, accelerators and other businesses in the blockchain field.

Sinha previously worked as a director for the London-based international accounting firm PwC, co-founding and co-leading the firm’s American blockchain consulting practice. After leaving PwC, he created a firm to advise startups on business models.

BNY Mellon put out a job offer (now defunct) for the role of “Blockchain Senior Principal” on online business networking platform LinkedIn four months ago, noting that they were seeking a “subject matter expert for the Firm on blockchain/DLT technologies.”

BNY Mellon — a bank with $34.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.8 trillion in assets under management — has been testing blockchain technology since 2015, even releasing so-dubbed BK Coins as tokens for internal use as corporate incentives, according to the WSJ.

Since then, BNY Mellon has used blockchain tech to keep backup records of transactions and co-founded a project (Utility Settlement Coin or USC) to issue currencies on the blockchain. More recently the company has partnered with the Intercontinental Exchange to provide private key storage for crypto assets.

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Research: White Paper Writers Can Earn $50K, But Say Startups Often Mislead Investors

White paper writers reportedly say they are “constantly required to fabricate and exaggerate facts.”

White paper writers are earning up to $50,000 per job, according to a Decrypt investigation published on April 22— but the freelancers involved have accused some startups of misleading investors.

The writers told the website as part of its two-week investigation that completing a paper can take up to eight months and cost between $1,000 and $50,000, with most of the work found via platforms such as LinkedIn and Upwork. Many of those interviewed alleged they were “constantly required to fabricate and exaggerate facts.”

Adefemi Yusuff Adegoke, one white paper writer, noted that some startup figures amount to fraud — with miscellaneous budgets actually going into the pockets of top executives. He added:

“A project that can be executed with $180,000 funding budget can be padded up to $450,000. And they won’t report the total amount realized during ICO.”

Volodymyr Malyshkin, a Ukrainian white paper provider, revealed he had been asked to include fake numbers in documents. He also claimed many businesses had little understanding of what blockchain involves, and simply want to include the buzzword in order to attract investment. In some cases, Malyshkin said writers faced the task of inventing entire business models for their clients.

An anonymous white paper writer in the United States added that copyright infringement is rife in the industry, with startup executives ordering writers to include details of patented technology belonging to rival companies.

On the other hand, most of those interviewed reported a recent uptick in demand for white paper writing, suggesting the crypto slump is nearing its end, Decrypt notes.

Accusations of white paper fraud are nothing new in the industry. Last October, Ethereum network developer Joey Zhou alleged that the white paper for petro, Venezuela’s state-owned cryptocurrency, was a “blatant Dash clone.”

And in January, Simon Morris, former chief strategy at BitTorrent, reportedly left the company after confronting Tron CEO Justin Sun about alleged plagiarism in the platform’s code and white paper. BreakerMag reported that Sun said: “We have come to consensus that this did not happen. And we have moved on.”