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Ministers Have Been Fired For Mining Bitcoin During Work

Two ministers have been caught mining bitcoin using government properties in the Crimean Council of Ministers. Bitcoin.com reported that these government officials had installed “malicious software on the government’s server and also programmed many computers in the basement of the building which were used for this purpose.

The Chairman of Anti-corruption Committee of Crimea, Alexander Akshatin reportedly said that they were able to identify the incorrect activities in time and fired the officials before they cashed in. Both working with technology, one as the head of the IT department and the other as head of hardware and technical support, they seemingly had a lot of knowledge on how to work these systems.

Akshatin was not able to exactly say how much they mined however he did note that in March 2017 just a bitcoin was $1800, now it costs even $4000. Even half a bitcoin is some money. “They thought there was nothing wrong with that”,he told the press. “But if you were not on the alert and some limited information went through this channel you understand the extent to which this could all turn out.”

Akshatin believes dismissing these employees should be an example for others who would think to do the same. At the moment, Crimea has got a lot of potential to use Bitcoin as a currency, as it is being discussed by government figures such as Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev and President Vladimir Putin. To help stimulate foreign tourism as well as increase investments in the region, they are thinking of establishing cryptocurrency exchanges as well as regulating cryptocurrencies in the next few years.

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ICO to be Supervised: SEC forming “Cyber Unit”

On Sep 25, 2017 –  a press release was announced by SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) related to the formation of a “Cyber Unit”. Including many services and functions, the mentioned unit will deliver oversight over virtual currencies and Initial Coin Offering.

The Commission did state that:

The Cyber Unit will focus the Enforcement Division’s substantial cyber-related expertise on targeting cyber-related misconduct, such as:

  • Market manipulation schemes involving false information spread through electronic and social media
  • Hacking to obtain material nonpublic information
  • Violations involving distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings
  • Misconduct perpetrated using the dark web
  • Intrusions into retail brokerage accounts
  • Cyber-related threats to trading platforms and other critical market infrastructure

Major authority will be on the Unit positioned to be used if all the above mentioned are below its purview. As it has been dedicating its time most is on the third bullet in the market. From now it the commission will have the official role of overseeing ICOs and Distributed ledger Technology.

Simply giving oneself enforcement power over “distributed ledger technology” seems overly broad. Depending on how the SEC (and perhaps the courts) define this term, the SEC could have wide latitude to investigate users of digital currencies.

The declaration for this approach by SEC is quite welcoming on the community and market. With ICO gold-rush raising up to $1.5 bln only in the last 10 months is a branch that needs oversight. Many are turning out to be scams, money stealing or ideas that just at the heads of want-to-be entrepreneurs.

Comment from a crypto enthusiast and could be very well how the community feels in general for the Cyber Unit formation (user amygdala9):

“I dislike any regulatory oversight. Period. Though I’m pleasantly surprised at the SEC’s chosen course of action here. They might even manage to deter a blatant exit scammer/fraudster or two from preying on idiots.”

As a result of dedication, the SEC seems to be taking a balanced approach to digital currencies. Given that many ICOs promise “tokens” that sound a great deal like “shares,” it’s unsurprising that the SEC would be interested in potential securities’ violations from that area.

Careful enforcement could prevent retail investors from being fleeced while not destroying the fledgeling ICO market entirely. Likewise, oversight over “distributed ledger technology” violations could give the SEC more power to track down and prosecute alleged scammers like Josh Garza.

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