a16z Puts $16 Million Behind Stablecoin Platform MakerDao

a61z invests in MakerDAO

Stablecoins are becoming big business these days. In a $15 million deal, Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z crypto fund is buying 6 percent of the total MakerDAO maker (MKR) token supply. The investment will give a16z a financial and governance stake in the dai stablecoin.

A16z made the announcement today, September 24, 2018. MakerDAO also received $12 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital in December 2017.

A stablecoin is a token pegged to another asset, like the dollar. Stablecoins can provide a hedge in the volatile world of crypto trading, especially in exchanges that have no direct link to banking. MakerDAO has two main tokens: dai and MKR. A separate token, MKR works alongside dai to help dai maintain its 1:1 peg with the U.S. dollar.

A16z sees a world of opportunity for stablecoins. “The same volatility that is holding back crypto for payments is also limiting its use for a host of other financial services and products,” a16z partners Katie Haun and Jesse Walden said in a co-written statement.

“Today, it’s not really practical to make a long-term loan in bitcoin because you’d have to consider two independent risks: first that the loan would be repaid, and second, whether the bitcoin would be worth more or less at the time the loan came due.”

The purchase of MKR marks the first investment from a16z’s dedicated $300 million crypto fund. The move was driven by Haun, a former federal prosecutor who led the investigations into the Mt. Gox heist and Silk Road.

According to the terms of the partnership, MakerDAO, a project that runs on Ethereum smart contracts, will receive the operating capital over three years. Dai adoption and regulatory support are  main priorities, says a16z. To reach those goals, Andreessen Horowitz and a16z will be offering expertise in areas ranging from sales and business development to marketing, talent and more.

A16z is not the only company to set its eyes on MakerDAO. ConsenSys, a production studio for Ethereum-based startups, has partnered with MakerDAO on two social-good projects: Bitfröst and optiMize. Blockchain money transfer company Wyre has also partnered with MakerDAO.

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin considers MakerDAO one of the “most interesting” projects running on Ethereum. “The way that whole construction works and how it is designed to be decentralized is fascinating,” he said in a recent interview with Bitcoin Magazine.

Still, MakerDAO faces some stiff competition. Currently, there are 29 active stablecoins in the market, all vying for a piece of the action. Tether is by far the most popular, with a $2.8 billion market cap. The difference between tether and dai, however, is how the two assets are collateralized.

Tether is supposedly backed by fiat (the company tells us this but has had no official audit to support those claims). MakerDAO, on the other hand, is collateralized with ether, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain. But because ether is a volatile asset, if you want to buy $100 worth of dai, you have to deposit $150 worth of ether.

How dai works is not inherently easy to understand either. MakerDAO uses an elaborate scheme of tokens, smart contracts and “autonomous feedback mechanisms” to maintain its peg.

To get dai, for instance, you send ether to an Ethereum smart contract. You then lock your ether into a collateralized debt position (CDP) and draw out a loan of dai against that. To redeem ether, you send dai back to the CDP, along with accrued interest that can only be paid for with MKR.

After interest is paid, MKR is burned, removing it from the total supply. The logic here is that if the adoption and demand for dai and CDPs increase, so too will the demand for MKR. In terms of its governance role, MKR will also enable a16z to vote on certain “risk parameters” of CDPs.

MKR is currently trading at $459 with a total supply of 1 million. If the demand for MKR skyrockets, that will be a boon for a16z. But first, a16z needs to convince crypto traders that dai is a better bet than tether, or fiat, for that matter.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

The post a16z Puts $16 Million Behind Stablecoin Platform MakerDao appeared first on bitcoinmining.shop.

Here We Go Again — Crypto-Community to Deal With Another Foundation

Here We Go Again — Crypto-Community to Deal With Another Foundation

This weekend a new organization was announced at Baltic Honey Badger bitcoin conference called the ‘B Foundation.’ At the event, Satoshi Labs co-founder Alena Vranova divulged the information of a new foundation that will have a mix of “charitable and commercial” efforts.

Also read: The Bitcoin Files Protocol Provides a BCH Secured File Storage System

The B Foundation: A Charitable and Commercial Effort

Here We Go Again — Crypto-Community to Deal With Another FoundationThis weekend cryptocurrency proponents were surprised to hear about a new association created in order to bolster bitcoin core (BTC) and lightning network (LN) adoption. The astonishment is due to the fact that many cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe foundations mix like oil and water within the ecosystem alongside the controversies tied to the original Bitcoin Foundation. Despite public opinion concerning foundations and bitcoin, a group of self-professed ‘crypto-thought leaders’ has formed a union called the ‘B Foundation.’ According to the event slides, the B Foundation members will include Jameson Lopp, Elizabeth Stark, Adam Back, Pavol Rusnak, Alena Vranova, Whale Panda, Alex Petrov, Francis Pouliot, and Giacomo Zucco.

Here We Go Again — Crypto-Community to Deal With Another Foundation
The B Foundation members will include Jameson Lopp, Elizabeth Stark, Adam Back, Pavol Rusnak, Alena Vranova, Whale Panda, Alex Petrov, Francis Pouliot, and Giacomo Zucco.

According to the announcement transcript, the main focus of the foundation will be dedicated to BTC and LN development. The foundation will solicit donations and also be both “charitable and commercial” in order to “match donors and projects.” According to the B Foundation’s Alena Vranova, the group’s governance will be base on a council of board members.      

“The B Foundation will be based in Liechtenstein because of the bitcoin support savvy government — The foundation will be mixed charitable and commercial,” explains Vranova’s transcript. “The governance will be based on a council (for legal), executive team (director, executive assistant, etc), and the board will be non-paid.”

The transcript continues:

I have to say that centralized efforts are much more effective — If you have an Ethereum Foundation with a marketing department and promotions and creates beautiful sleek-looking material and produces materials, it’s much more effective in the short-term.

Here We Go Again — Crypto-Community to Deal With Another Foundation
According to the Twitter crowd, for most people, this announcement triggers doubt and skepticism.

Ex-Bitcoin Foundation Member: ‘It’s Appalling to See Maximalists Defending a New Foundation’

Some people liked the idea of the B Foundation like the former Bitcoin Foundation director Bruce Fenton. “Congrats to The B Foundation, a new non-profit org Some great people with solid track records in Bitcoin,” Fenton explains on Twitter. Although, across forums and social media, a few cryptocurrency community members seemed skeptical about the idea of a foundation and especially one with people who are focused on extreme BTC maximalism.

“As an ex Bitcoin Foundation Board Member (remembering the horror), it’s appalling to see Maximalists defending a new Foundation,” explains Olivier Janssens on Twitter.

Janssens adds:

The only way is having competing projects for separate areas, like Coincenter. Giving one organization all those tasks = terrible idea.

Here We Go Again — Crypto-Community to Deal With Another Foundation
During the Baltic Honey Badger bitcoin conference, the B Foundation collected $850 USD worth of BTC.

Openbazaar’s Brian Hoffman: ‘Divisiveness Dressed up as Something Every Supporter of Bitcoin Should Support’

Openbazaar’s CEO Brian Hoffman detailed on Twitter that he is supportive of efforts to bolster cryptocurrency adoption, but believes an organization aimed at protecting the protocol is a bit contradictory.

“I’m supportive of efforts to educate and promote the use of Bitcoin or related tech, but the idea of having some kind of canonical organization that positions itself as the protector of the protocol is antithetical to the nature of Bitcoin itself — We the people protect Bitcoin,” Hoffman states.

When another bitcoin supporter told Hoffman he sees no threat with the new B Foundation, the Openbazaar founder responds by saying:  

I never said it was a threat — It’s an attempt to sow more divisiveness dressed up as something every supporter of Bitcoin should support.

Of course, the cryptocurrency community will just have to wait and see to find out what this foundation plans to do with donations. The organization has already been soliciting donations and gathered $850 USD worth of BTC on September 23. According to the B Foundation Twitter page, there will be more announcements concerning this group’s actions in the near future.  

What do you think about the idea of another bitcoin-based foundation? Do you like the idea of this new B Foundation or do you feel it adds more divisiveness? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, the B Foundation Twitter account, Twitter, and the theb.foundation website.  


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section. 

The post Here We Go Again — Crypto-Community to Deal With Another Foundation appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The post Here We Go Again — Crypto-Community to Deal With Another Foundation appeared first on bitcoinmining.shop.

IRS Agent Indulges In Bizarre Fetish In Taxpayer’s Home

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

On June 8, 2006, more than a decade ago, armed agents from the Internal Revenue Service arrived at the home of Michael and Shelly Ioane of Atwater, California.

Michael Ioane was suspected of tax fraud, and the IRS agents were there to conduct a search of the premises and look for evidence.

About thirty minutes into the search, Shelly Ioane (the wife, who was not suspected of any crime whatsoever) told the agents who were ransacking her bedroom that she needed to use the bathroom.

According to court documents, one of the IRS agents escorted Shelly to the bathroom… then came inside with her.

Shelly protested and asked the agent to wait outside. The agent refused, stating that she needed to make sure Shelly was not hiding any evidence.

Bear in mind, Shelly wasn’t suspected of a crime. But an agent from the Internal Revenue Service stood there and watched this innocent woman urinate and defecate in her own toilet in her own home… without so much as turning her head slightly or even pretending to avert her eyes.

This is truly disgusting on so many different levels.

In most civilized countries, tax problems aren’t even a criminal matter. They’re civil… sorted out administratively, rather than at gunpoint.

And armed government thugs certainly aren’t able to abuse power to this extreme– indulging in their weird fetishes to watch innocent women defecate in their own homes.

But what’s probably the craziest part about this entire story is that when Shelly Ioane sued (for obvious reasons), the federal government mounted an aggressive and spirited defense of its actions.

It’s appalling. They literally tried to justify this ritualistic degradation of an innocent human being’s most basic dignity by calling it ‘standard procedure’.

Really? It’s standard procedure for agents of the Internal Revenue Service to watch people crap in their own toilets? Do you get extra benefits for that?

(Another interesting fact here is that when Michael Ioane requested to use the restroom – i.e. the guy who was actually suspected of a tax crime– no IRS agent accompanied him.)

Bear in mind we’re talking about the Internal Revenue Service. This isn’t Jack Bauer saving the world from nuclear-armed terrorists.

No. This level of abuse and brutality is justified because of a dispute over taxes.

That’s how desperate the government wants its money.

Now, as you can imagine, the wheels of justice grind very, very slowly. Especially when it’s the government (or an agent of the government) being sued.

Shelly Ioane was violated back in 2006. But the case was only recently settled LAST WEEK!

Seriously! How pathetic. It took more than a DECADE to get this far… because the government kept fighting.

When the Ioanes filed suit, the government fought tooth and nail to keep it out of court, and to throw out most of the charges.

Then the government claimed that IRS agents couldn’t be sued due to ‘qualified immunity’, which protects federal employees from lawsuits that may arise from the performance of their duties.

In 2016 it finally went to court. And a US federal judge ruled that the IRS agents could not be protected by qualified immunity since they were clearly violating basic standards of decency.

But the government refused to accept that outcome and appealed the decision.

Finally, just last week, a federal appeals court affirmed the original court’s ruling, concluding that the IRS agents completely violated Shelly’s “clearly established right to bodily privacy” and were hence not entitled to qualified immunity.

That’s a major blow to the IRS. But this issue is STILL not resolved.

The only thing that’s been settled is that the agents aren’t entitled to qualified immunity. So now Shelly has to sue AGAIN on the original charge of being violated twelve years ago.

Sadly it will probably take a few more years for this case to ultimately be resolved, if ever.

And it shows the lengths to which the government will protect its own, regardless of how egregious and vile the behavior of its agents.

The post IRS Agent Indulges In Bizarre Fetish In Taxpayer’s Home appeared first on crude-oil.news.

The post IRS Agent Indulges In Bizarre Fetish In Taxpayer’s Home appeared first on aroundworld24.com.

The Real Wave Is Red : Republican Sentiment Soars To Record High

With stocks at record highs and President Trump gloating at the “record strength” of the US economy, it appears confidence is coming back as sentiment among Republicans reached an all-time record high in the latest Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.

That’s quite a red wave…

The peak spread in confidence between Democrats and Republicans occurred in July 2004 (heading into George W Bush’s 2nd term election)… President Trump is currently very close to that peak…

Additionally, Gallup reports forty-five percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the Republican Party, a nine-point gain from last September’s 36%. It is the party’s most positive image since it registered 47% in January 2011, shortly after taking control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. Forty-four percent give the Democratic Party a favorable rating.

The parity in Republicans’ and Democrats’ favorable ratings marks a change from what has generally been the case since Barack Obama’s election as president in November 2008.

Only one other time in the last decade has the Republican Party had a significantly higher score than the Democratic Party. That one exception came in November 2014, immediately after elections that saw Republicans capture control of the Senate and expand their majority in the House, when 42% rated the GOP favorably and 36% the Democrats.

Gallup concludes that for the Republican Party, less than two months away from an election that could see them lose control of both the House and the Senate, gains in public favorability are a welcome sign.

And finally, perhaps of most note as the media push the blue wave mania…

We note that Independents are well, independent, with sentiment soaring to its highest since Dec 2000…

As Bloomberg highlights, political independents have split from Democrats and grown more optimistic as the economy has forged ahead.

The question is – what happens if stocks crash between now and November?

The post The Real Wave Is Red : Republican Sentiment Soars To Record High appeared first on crude-oil.news.

The post The Real Wave Is Red : Republican Sentiment Soars To Record High appeared first on aroundworld24.com.

Emails Show Yale Profs Canceling Classes For Kavanaugh Hearing

Authored by Zachary Petrizzo via Campus Reform,

Professors at Yale Law School canceled classes Monday to allow students to protest the Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearing, according to emails obtained exclusively by Campus Reform

Dana Bolger, a Yale Law School student and senior editor at Feministing, posted a series of tweets regarding the cancellations. According to screenshots of emails she posted to Twitter, Professor James Forman Jr. and at least four other Yale Law School professors canceled classes on Monday.

Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s embattled Supreme Court justice nominee, is a Yale Law School alumnus.

Additional emails obtained exclusively by Campus Reform show that as many as 20 Yale Law School faculty members canceled or rescheduled up to 31 classes on Monday because of the Kavanaugh hearing. 

Yale Law School spokeswoman Debra Kroszer told Campus Reform on Monday that “Yale Law School did not cancel all classes,” but, she added, “many faculty members chose to reschedule or cancel their own classes today. And some held classes as usual.” 

“While I respect the right of the students protesting to make their voices heard, I disagree with professors’ decisions to cancel classes at the request of those protesters,” Emily Hall, a student at Yale Law school, told Campus Reform in a statement. “It effectively encourages students to participate in the protests and penalizes those who choose not to by disrupting the class schedule,” Hall added.

In another tweet, Bolger states that on September 21, “YLS faculty demanded fair process on Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations, [but the] @YaleLawSch dean chose to remind us that she ‘cannot take a position for or against a nominee.’” Bolger then added that the YLS dean, “didn’t bother her [a] few months ago when she issued [a] press release fawning over his nomination.”

In a September 21 open letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Yale Law School faculty stated in part that “the confirmation process must always be conducted, and appointments made, in a manner that gives Americans reason to trust the Supreme Court.”

Some questions are so fundamental to judicial integrity that the Senate cannot rush past them without undermining the public’s confidence in the Court. This is particularly so for an appointment that will yield a deciding vote on women’s rights and myriad other questions of immense consequence in American lives.”

According to a tweet from Bolger, the “Yale Law School students and alums will be holding a press conference TODAY AT 3:15PM in the Kennedy Caucus Room in Russell [Senate Office Building]- where Anita Hill hearings were held.”

Students back on campus at Yale hosted a sit-in Monday morning to “protest both the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, this school’s implicit endorsement of him, and our administration’s complicity in widespread sexual harassment in the legal profession,” according to an email obtained by Campus Reform.

Campus Reform reached out to Bolger, Forman, and Wishnie for comment but did not hear back by publishing time. If and when a response is received the article will be updated. 

The post Emails Show Yale Profs Canceling Classes For Kavanaugh Hearing appeared first on crude-oil.news.

The post Emails Show Yale Profs Canceling Classes For Kavanaugh Hearing appeared first on aroundworld24.com.

Kavanaugh: “I Will Not Be Intimidated Into Withdrawing” By “Smears” And “Vile Threats”

Brett Kavanaugh defied his accusers on Monday when he said that he will “not be intimidated into withdrawing” his Supreme Court nomination after a second woman emerged late on Sunday with a sexual misconduct allegation against him. In a letter from Kavanaugh to Senators Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein – the chairman and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee – the SCOTUS candidate said the accusations against him are “smears, pure and simple.”

“They debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination – if allowed to succeed -will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service,” Kavanaugh said in the letter to Grassley and Feinstein.

“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed,” an exasperated Kavanaugh write.

He sent the letter after The New Yorker reported that Senate Democrats are investigating a sexual misconduct allegation dating back to Kavanaugh’s freshman year at Yale University, Deborah Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed himself in front of her during a dorm party at Yale. She told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face, causing her to touch it without her consent. The latest allegation emerged not long after Kavanaugh had faced earlier sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who says that at a party in the early 1980s Kavanaugh pinned her down to a bed and tried to remove her clothing.

Kavanaugh and Ford are both scheduled to testify before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Earlier, president Trump said he backs Kavanaugh “all the way” and the accusations against him “totally political”, and with other republicans joining in, it appears there will be a drawn out fight over his nomination. Republcian senator Orrin Hatch said the New Yorker piece was a “smear campaign.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) meanwhile said Democrats are engaged in “wholesale character assassination.”

The post Kavanaugh: “I Will Not Be Intimidated Into Withdrawing” By “Smears” And “Vile Threats” appeared first on crude-oil.news.

The post Kavanaugh: “I Will Not Be Intimidated Into Withdrawing” By “Smears” And “Vile Threats” appeared first on aroundworld24.com.

Iran Vows “Crushing And Devastating” Revenge On US, Israel For Deadly Attack

As Iranians held funerals following the Saturday terror attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, the acting commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said that the Islamic Republic would “take revenge” against the United States and “some of its biggest regional allies,” according to CBS News

25 people were killed and at least 60 more wounded in Iran’s largest terrorism incident in nearly a decade. Nearly half of the dead are members of the Revolutionary Guard. 

Speaking at the funeral ceremony, acting commander Hossein Salami vowed to strike back against the “triangle” of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.

Hossein Salami, acting commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

You are responsible for these actions; you will face the repercussions,” said Salami. “We warn all of those behind the story, we will take revenge.”

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Monday that the five attackers were paid by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – despite the Islamic State claiming responsibility for the violence – and that Iran would “severely punish” those behind the bloodshed, by which he meant the United States and Israel, who were accused by the deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as being involved in the attack and said they should expect a “devastating” response from Tehran.

“Based on reports, this cowardly act was done by people who the Americans come to help when they are trapped in Syria and Iraq, and are paid by Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Khamenei said on his official website.

On Monday, thousands of mourners gathered at the Sarallah Mosque on Ahvaz’s Taleghani junction, carrying caskets in the sweltering heat.

Others, mainly young people wearing ethnic clothes of the region’s Arab minority, held large photographs of those slain in the attack. Of the 25 killed, 12 people were from Ahvaz and the rest from elsewhere in Khuzestan.

The procession walked down the Naderi and Zand Streets, many weeping and beating their chests, a traditional way of showing grief. Mourners played drums, cymbals and horns, according to local custom.

The crowd also chanted slogans of “Death to U.S.” and “Death to Israel” – chants staple at Iranian political rallies.

The attack has been claimed by Arab separatists as well as the Islamic State. Five assailants reportedly involved in the attack were all killed as Iranian troops returned fire in the attack and subsequent chase. Meanwhile, the Islamic State posted what they claim is three of its fighters preparing the attack, according to IRNA. Two of the men featured are speaking Arabic with an Iraqi accent according to the New York Times

On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused an unnamed US-allied regional country of supporting the attackers – thought likely to be either Saudi Arabia, the UAE or Bahrain – all close US military allies that view Iran as a regional threat for its support for militant groups. 

Iran’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, has summoned Western diplomats and accused them of providing safe havens for the Arab separatists. 

All of those small mercenary countries that we see in this region are backed by America. It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes,” Rouhani said in front of the UN General Assembly in New York.

In response, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, insisted that the Trump administration has no plans for regime change in Iran – telling CNN: “He can blame us all he wants. The thing he’s got to do is look in the mirror.” 

 

During Monday’s funeral ceremonies in Ahvaz, Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavai said that several suspects in the attack have been identified and that “a majority of them were detained.” 

“We will punish the terrorists, one by one,” he promised the mourning families. 

Last year, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, suggested that it was time to turn external pressure on Iran to internal pressure – and has in repeated interviews likened Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Hitler. At one point Salman said “I believe the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good.

Some, such as the secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, tried to cool tempers and said Tehran needed to talk to its neighbours to avoid tensions. “It’s essential to be fully aware and increase our constructive dialogues to neutralise the plots of enemies who want to create suspicion and disagreement among regional countries,” Ali Shamkhani said.

And yet, even he criticized the United States, saying U.S. sanctions against Iran were illegal and that President Donald Trump was using them as a tool for “personal revenge”.

Meanwhile, the UAE – a close ally of Saudi Arabia and Washington – rejected Iran’s allegations alluding to its involvement in the violence. Commenting on the deadly attack, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when asked by a Fox News interviewer if the United States played any role in the attack, said: “When you have a security incident at home, blaming others is an enormous mistake.” He did however say that the loss of innocent lives was tragic, Pompeo added. There has been no reaction yet from Saudi Arabia or Israel.

Iran’s accusations of its Gulf neighbors will antagonize Iran’s regional foe Saudi Arabia. The oil super-powers are waging a war for influence across the Middle East, backing opposite sides in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, while Saudi Arabia is eager to steal Iran’s oil market share as US sanctions force clients to seek oil from other suppliers.

There was a silver lining for the economically embattled ruling regime: analysts said the violence has led to a boost in domestic support for the Guards which they could use to silence their critics, who include pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani.

Rouhani engineered Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that ushered in a cautious detente with Washington before tensions flared anew with Trump’s decision in May to pull out of the accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Ahvaz National Resistance, an Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, and Islamic State have both claimed responsibility. Both were ignored.

The post Iran Vows “Crushing And Devastating” Revenge On US, Israel For Deadly Attack appeared first on crude-oil.news.

The post Iran Vows “Crushing And Devastating” Revenge On US, Israel For Deadly Attack appeared first on aroundworld24.com.