Mt Gox trustee asks DoJ to fess up about jailed BTC-e owner

The trustee in charge of recovering funds for investors affected by the iconic collapse of Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox is now seeking more information about Alexander Vinnik, the alleged former owner of defunct exchange BTC-e.

The news was announced yesterday following a trustee meeting. The trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, is asking the US Department of Justice for details on its investigation which eventually led to the shutdown of BTC-e.

“The Rehabilitation Trustee has contacted the US Department of Justice through a US law firm, and seeking further information,” Kobayashi said in a statement.

It’s believed that BTC-e played a role in the laundering of funds stolen from Mt Gox that were lost through a series of hacks and scams.

How Kobayashi plans to use the information from the DoJ remains unclear, but it’s certainly going to uncover some gems. That is assuming the DoJ complies with their request.

The US DoJ made an attempt to shut down the exchange in July 2017 with a massive 21-count indictment . In associated documents, BTC-e was accused of running an international money laundering operation which was said to have processed money from the hack of Mt Gox.

The supposedly Russian-linked exchange has previously been reported to have handled around five percent of Bitcoin‘s trading volume. Further research found that 95 percent of ransomware-related cashouts were conducted through the platform.

Vinnik, the alleged owner of BTC-e, was arrested back in July 2017 whilst on a family holiday in Greece.

CoinDesk reports that Vinnik remains in prison in Greece where he has continually protested his innocence and asked to be extradited to his homeland .

While some funds have already been recovered, creditors to Mt Gox are reportedly due to meet Kobayashi again in March 2020 for another update. It looks like the Mt Gox saga is never going to end.

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Supply chain managers don’t want to buy blockchain

Despite the excitement currently surrounding blockchain, it seems supply chain managers are falling out of love with the decentralized technology.

Procurement industry leaders discussed blockchain at the Supply Management Forum in London last week and spoke of how they are still waiting for the value of blockchain adoption to be proven. Organizations aren’t investing in blockchain technology yet because “It lacks practical application,” Supply Management Magazine (SMM) reports .

Jaguar Land Rover’s global purchasing transformation director, Richard Harding, even said that he has not yet seen a blockchain use case enticing enough to make him invest his time into it.

Some might find that surprising, given headlines at the end of April were awash with the news that Jaguar Land Rover was working with IOTA to reward drivers with cryptocurrency.

A spokesperson recently told Hard Fork in an email that JLR’s relationship with IOTA is currently a “research project.” Whether it will be deployed or not remains to be seen.

What’s more, the project with IOTA is not related to the automaker’s supply chain. Echoing the procurement professionals at the forum, blockchain isn’t useful in every scenario.

Indeed, Stefanie Seff, strategic leader of procurement for Thurrock Council, also said at the forum that they can see the benefit in blockchain, but are yet to see anyone demonstrate the benefit of switching to the decentralized technology.

SMM magazine cites that this might be signs of a growing trend. Figures from a recent report by industry research firm Gartner suggest that because of the lack of strong use cases, 90 percent of blockchain-based supply chain projects will experience what it calls “blockchain fatigue,” by 2023.

In short, “blockchain fatigue” is the result of exploring a technology that lacks standards, and was oversold and misunderstood.

So far though, the firms that put almonds , cheese , milk , shrimp , and metals on the blockchain are claiming success in their respective trials.

Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if “blockchain fatigue” will affect all use cases or just the most ridiculous ones.

Bitcoin breaks past $8,000 to hit yet another 2019 price record

Bitcoin’s price is rallying, surpassing the $8,000 for the first time this year.

According to CoinMarketCap, the digital currency last stood at around $8,000 in July last year.

It comes after the world’s most famous cryptocurrency reached a new yearly high, pushing past $5,600 earlier this month.

It’s difficult to ascertain what has caused Bitcoin‘s price to surge in recent weeks, but as always speculation has been rife .

Just yesterday, Hard Fork reported on Bitcoin‘s upward movements, noting how its recent rise to $7,000 signified the strongest rally over a six-week period since the famous bull-run in 2017.

Although Bitcoin‘s current value spells good news from cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the digital currency still has a long way to go if it’s ever going to reach the same levels it did in December 2017 when one coin was priced at more than $20,000.

For now, Bitcoin sits slightly above $8000, priced at $8,230.53 according to CoinMarketCap.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Readers are advised to do their own research before investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Hunter Jones

Hunter Jones

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