SEC Orders ICO Startup to Return $25.5M to Investors

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered cryptocurrency firm BitClave to return $25.5 million to investors. In a March 28 announcement, the SEC announced charges against the California-based cryptocurrency startup. The regulator found BitClave to be responsible for selling unregistered securities in its initial coin offering. Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit Kristina Littman commented: “Issuers of securities, traditional or digital, must comply with the registration requirements of the federal securities laws. […] The remedies ordered by the Commission will provide meaningful relief to investors…

Ontology Partners With German Startup to Accelerate Supply Chain Identity Solutions

Ontology recently partnered with German digital identity and cloud wallet provider, Spherity, to collaborate on expediting development on digital identity solutions for products and enterprises. The partnership will see Spherity’s Cloud-Edge wallet integrate with Ontology’s (ONT) blockchain, and allow Ontology to use Spheriy’s Decentralized Digital Identity solutions. The two firms will work together on creating proof-of-concept pilots demonstrating applications for digital identity within the context of supply chain, mobility, and pharmaceuticals — leveraging Spherity’s existing customer base. Ontology and Spherity will also collaborate on research and marketing initiatives. Identity solutions…

UAE Startup Relies on Blockchain Technology to Flatten COVID-19 Curve

UAE-based startup incubator, in5, is helping to design blockchain-based methods to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and thus flatten the curve. According to a report published on May 20, Liber Health, supported by in5, is one of the platforms used for patient identification supported by blockchain technology. They are creating a contactless system to recognize the biometric ID data and analyze suspected COVID-19 symptoms. Liber Health hopes that by tracking patients that have been in contact with suspected COVID-19 cases, they can help individuals apply quarantine measures as…

Andreessen Horowitz Releases Lectures From Its ‘Crypto Startup School’

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz — also known as a16z — has started releasing an online version of “Crypto Startup School,” its seven-week education course for industry entrepreneurs.  Two lectures from week one were published on May 13 via TechCrunch, while the rest of the material will eventually become available on the investment giant’s website. Lectures from crypto execs and professors are on the way  Titled “Crypto Networks and Why They Matter,” the first talk was held by a16z general partner Chris Dixon, who argues that blockchains can become the…

Blockchain Startup Aims to Help Indian Farmers Get Fair Crop Prices

A blockchain-based agtech startup Agri10x has inked a partnership with the Indian government to help farmers sell their produce directly to buyers. According to a report published by local news outlet Business Standard, Agri10x will gain access to half a million government-affiliated common service centers that will help farmers in rural areas register on the Agri10x platform. Indian agriculture industry has huge room for disruption A report on sale of food produced by Indian farmers suggest that between 69 to 73% of produce left with farmers is sold below the…

Zoom Acquires Encryption Startup Keybase to Fix Privacy, Security

Video conferencing app Zoom, the undisputed titan in an era of social distancing, has acquired end-to-end encryption start-up Keybase. The acquisition, announced May 7, follows multiple privacy and security-related scandals — including the rise of video conference gatecrashing (“zoombombing”), controversial data sharing with Facebook, false claims that video calls were encrypted, and revelations that nefarious actors were peddling half a million Zoom accounts on the darknet. Under the terms of the new deal, Keybase will become a subsidiary of Zoom and its team will lead security engineering work to develop…

Bitcoin Cash DeFi Startup Raises $1 Million in Seed Round

The General Protocols startup is developing its Decentralized Finance (DeFi) vision on Bitcoin Cash after raising more than $1 million in a seed funding round.  This round of funding allows the Singapore-based team to develop their flagship product AnyHedge on Bitcoin Cash. Anyhedge is an open source derivatives tool that exchanges and OTC desks can embed allowing them to create new markets with smart contracts. The funding came from investors including cryptocurrency trader Marc De Mesel and BCH ‘thought leader’ Molecular, and the team includes two former Bitcoin.com employees and…

Famous Venezuelan Entertainer Quits Acting to Lead Controversial Crypto Startup

Long-time Venezuelan actor and singer, Fernando Carrillo, has announced his retirement from acting. He has decided instead to venture into the crypto business. Starting May 1, Carrillo will become the CEO of Fight to Fame, though his role only extends to Mexico and the Latin American region. According to an article published on April 29 by the Mexican newspaper, El Universal, Carrillo will lead the Singapore-based crypto firm founded by Morgan Shi. This company is known for issuing the FF Token. Actor sees Blockchain as the “future” Fernando, who is…

Alibaba-Backed AI Startup SenseTime to Help China Handle Digital Yuan

As China is moving forward with blockchain projects amid the COVID-19 crisis, the government has tapped another tech partnership to continue the development of China’s digital yuan. Domestic artificial intelligence (AI) startup SenseTime has partnered with the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) Digital Currency Research Institute to provide its AI expertise amid the reported trials of the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC). SenseTime to accelerate AI advancement in a joint body with PBoC SenseTime, purportedly the world’s highest-valued AI startup with an over $7.5 billion valuation, will work with the…

Co-founders of ICO Startup Admit to Stealing Business From Their Own Company

The co-founders of Bidooh, a British digital advertising firm, admitted to stealing intellectual property from their own company with the intention of selling it to third-parties. The firm created facial analytics software for use in advertisement, after ending a $3 million initial coin offering, or ICO, in 2018. As reported on April 20 by Prolific North, a U.K. local news outlet, Bidooh’s co-founders, Abdul Alim and Shahzad Mughal, were accused of creating a clone of their own company and selling Bidooh’s products to third parties. This was likely done to…