Lyft faces lawsuit over lack of wheelchair access in SF

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Uber was sued at least thrice over the past year for failing to accommodate passengers with wheelchairs, but a new lawsuit proves that it's not the only ride-hailing service with poor accessibility. Non-profit org Disability Rights Advocates has file…
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Qualcomm faces a challenging future despite dodging Broadcom’s bullet

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After months of listening to Broadcom say flattering things about Qualcomm during its hostile takeover bid, it’s tempting to see Qualcomm as a prized jewel bursting with potential. But now that Broadcom’s pursuit has been permanently blocked due to national security concerns, it’s worth remembering that Qualcomm is a company with…Read More
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Microsoft faces 238 complaints of gender discrimination

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Microsoft has been accused of 238 cases of gender discrimination or sexual harassment by female employees working in US-based technical jobs, according to court filings made available this week. The complaints were made between 2010 and 2016, and inc…
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Coinbase Faces a Class Action Lawsuit for Insider Trading

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Bitcoin’s Hard Fork

A group of private cryptocurrency traders just filed a class action lawsuit against Coinbase, one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges. The group alleges that Coinbase employees engaged in insider trading of the relatively new cryptocurrency called bitcoin cash.

Exchanges are a vital part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. When traders want to purchase crypto using traditional currency or exchange one cryptocurrency for another, they do so via an exchange. These digital asset exchanges are typically websites (though they don’t have to be), and each exchange can choose which cryptos it is willing to accept.

On August 1, 2017, bitcoin — arguably the first cryptocurrency — “forked” into two individual lines of cryptocurrency: bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Anyone who already owned bitcoin prior to the fork found themselves the owner of an identical amount of bitcoin cash after August 1st. Unfortunately, if the exchange that hosted that trader’s bitcoin didn’t choose to accept bitcoin cash, the trader had no way to access their new type of digital currency.

A few days prior to the anticipated bitcoin fork, Coinbase announced it had no intention of supporting bitcoin cash and urged users to withdraw their bitcoin from Coinbase if they wanted access to bitcoin cash. Then, on August 3, Coinbase reversed that decision. The exchange said GDAX, its trading platform marketed toward more sophisticated traders, would start accepting trading of bitcoin cash at some point before January 1 of the following year.

None of that is illegal. What may be illegal, however, is what happened a little over four months later.

Coincidence or Collaboration?

On December 19, 2017 Coinbase tweeted without prior warning that it would begin accepting bitcoin cash trades. Within minutes, that crypto’s value shot up by almost $ 1,000. The sudden value increase caused liquidity issues for the GDAX trading platform, meaning the exchange didn’t have enough of the asset (bitcoin cash) to meet trade demand.

This liquidity issue ended up forcing GDAX to cancel any trades it couldn’t satisfy — basically, any placed more than a few minutes after Coinbase’s Twitter announcement. Anyone who didn’t meet this cut off had to wait for GDAX to address the liquidity issue before they could trade their bitcoin cash.

Cryptocurrency trader Jeffery Berk, who filed the class action lawsuit in a California district court, alleges that some people knew about Coinbase’s decision in advance. These people began trading bitcoin cash on other exchanges hours before the tweet, increasing the crypto’s value. Then, these “insiders” flooded GDAX with orders the moment the platform began accepting bitcoin cash to the detriment of other traders who were unaware of the impending announcement.

“When Coinbase’s customers’ trades were finally executed, it was only after the insiders had driven up the price of Bitcoin Cash, and thus the remaining Bitcoin customers only received their Bitcoin Cash at artificially inflated prices that had been manipulated well beyond the fair market value of Bitcoin Cash at that time,” the lawsuit alleged.

In the lawsuit, Berk wrote that he placed an order just five minutes after Coinbase’s tweet, but that the exchange didn’t fill his order until the next day, at which point he was paying almost double the price set when he placed the order.

Under the Microscope

The “insiders” referred to in Berk’s lawsuit could be employees of Coinbase or they could be people Coinbase’s employees shared information with. Either way, if those people profited from knowing information about the company’s decision before Coinbase made that information public, they engaged in illegal insider trading.

On December 19, 2017 Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong released a Medium post detailing the company’s employee trading policy and announcing plans to look into the almost-immediate accusations of insider trading. A company spokesperson told Motherboard they had hired a law firm to investigate the situation and that, so far, the firm hasn’t uncovered anything inappropriate.

Clearly, traders aren’t content with waiting for Coinbase to police itself, and now, the California court system is involved.

This lawsuit follows closely on the heels of the news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is cracking down on the other end of the crypto spectrum — the initial coin offerings that startups sell to initial investors to fund the companies’ blockchain endeavors.

Almost 10 years after the creation of bitcoin, the U.S. legal system is finally ready to take a closer look at crypto. Hopefully, that involvement will increase the legitimacy of digital currencies, and decrease some of the fraud that plagues the largely unregulated industry.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post Coinbase Faces a Class Action Lawsuit for Insider Trading appeared first on Futurism.


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Amazon faces criticism for being ‘complicit’ with counterfeiters

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Amazon pledged to tackle counterfeiting in 2017, but its lax policies are still hurting inventors and small companies, one supplier says. In a blog post, Elevation Lab founder Casey Hopkins wrote that a Chinese manufacturer ripped off its popular und…
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21 new and notable Android Wear watch faces from the last 3 months (11/11/17 – 2/22/18)

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Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android Wear faces that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 3 months or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info. Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Watch Faces

Nautilus Watchface

I have been using the Nautilus Watchface for a little while now I must say I am impressed with how it looks.

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21 new and notable Android Wear watch faces from the last 3 months (11/11/17 – 2/22/18) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

Tesla faces a critical year, but Elon Musk is obsessed with the future

Elon Musk was upbeat during a Wednesday conference call about Tesla’s financial performance in 2017, a roller-coaster year in which the company lost over $ 2 billion but also launched the Model 3 and revealed a Semi truck and new Roadster. Musk was obviously buoyed by the success of the first ever flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket, which happened just over 24 hours before the call. The billionaire CEO even received congratulations from financial analysts participating in the call, with one participant calling the synchronized rocket booster landing the “sickest thing” he’s ever seen in his life.

From the onset, the mood contrasted the dour November earnings call. Musk took that call from the Gigafactory, the site of the Model 3’s current…

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Apple’s proposed Australian flagship store faces public opposition, called ‘Pizza Hut pagoda’

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Apple is facing a rare adverse reaction to the design of a proposed global flagship store in Australia, with the Melbourne City Council on Tuesday voting to lobby the government and Apple for a new aesthetic.
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GoPro faces uncertain future as holiday sales disappoint

The holidays were not kind to GoPro. The action camera company had already issued an earnings warning in January, dropping its projected Q4 revenues from $ 470 million to $ 340 million, that's a 37 percent year-over-year decline. The holidays were so d…
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