Nov 18, 2018

Twitter scams and other crypto news this week

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

On Thursday, Bitcoin Cash, itself a "fork" (or clone) of the original Bitcoin, split into two versions that will go their separate ways, and create their separate sets of headaches for users. But here's what else happened in the industry this week.

Catch up quick: Cryptocurrency scams are thriving on Twitter eight months after it said it was working to eliminate them; two initial coin offering issuers settle Securities and Exchange Commission registration charges; and Nvidia nurses a "crypto hangover" as demand for mining chips evaporates.

Cryptocurrency scams are thriving on Twitter eight months after it said it was working to eliminate them (BuzzFeed)

  • Why it matters: Scammers on social media networks are taking advantage of two weaknesses at the same time. The first is the frenzy and lack of information about cryptocurrencies that are making it easy for people to buy into scams because they believe they can make a quick buck. The second is that social networks like Twitter still have a lot of work to do to keep this type of abuse completely at bay.

Two ICO issuers settle SEC registration charges, agree to register tokens as securities (SEC website)

  • Why it matters: "These are the Commission’s first cases imposing civil penalties solely for ICO securities offering registration violations," the commission wrote in its announcement. It added that both issuers, Airfox and Paragon, conducted their ICOs after the SEC issued its report last year warning the industry that some could qualify as securities.

Nvidia nurses 'crypto hangover' as demand for mining chips evaporates (CNBC)

  • Why it matters: The ups and downs of cryptocurrency prices have business consequences beyond their direct investors, as Nvidia's challenges shows. Similarly, investors had concerns over the valuation of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, as Axios previously reported, due to its exposure to digital token prices.

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Hungary's Viktor Orbán granted sweeping powers amid coronavirus crisis

Viktor Orbán. Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

Hungary's parliament passed a law Monday to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orbán almost unlimited power, for an indefinite period, to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: Hungary has taken a sharply authoritarian turn over the past decade under Orbán, and its likely that he and other strongman leaders around the world will seek to maintain powers they gain during the current crisis long after it's over.

Go deeperArrow25 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 737,929 — Total deaths: 35,019 — Total recoveries: 156,507.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 143,055 — Total deaths: 2,513 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. Trump latest: The president brushed aside allegations that China is spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus on "Fox & Friends."
  5. Business updates: Americans are calm about their retirement savings despite coronavirus fallout.
  6. World updates: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will self-isolate after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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BIG3 to create a hybrid reality show about quarantine basketball

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sports are on pause, and there's no timetable for their return. In the interim, leagues, teams and athletes are getting creative with ways to keep fans engaged.

The latest: A "quarantined reality show basketball tournament," courtesy of the BIG3, the upstart 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and his longtime business partner Jeff Kwatinetz.

Go deeperArrow55 mins ago - Sports