Welcome to the Daily Debrief, the only newsletter that has serious qualms about selling your personal data to surveillance companies.
Coinbase salts its own wounds. Two concurrent reports have shed light on Coinbase’s increasingly controversial acquisition of digital surveillance startup Neutrino. On Friday, Cheddar revealed that Coinbase had enlisted Neutrino as a sort of in-house surveillance provider after its previous contractors sold off its users’ data. And on Sunday, Messari revealed that this was part of a broader shift among surveillance startups to a “give-get” model—you give us your data, we “get” it. And then, presumably, ‘we sell it.”
Tim reports on their reporting, here.
Sexually transmitted offering. Get yourself checked for STOs with this new, informative guide, compiled by Timbo, on what and where and how and why... security tokens are beginning the next big, but this-time-regulated mania. Read Decrypt’s official Complete Guide to Security Token Offerings here.
Monopoly Money. In an opinion piece for us today, the crypto-pundit Joseph Young opines that fears about JPMorgan and Facebook jumping into crypto are unfounded. Critics figure (reasonably IMO) that the Big Dogs will attempt to dominate crypto the way they've dominated their own worlds. Joseph Y. however says that not only is this an unlikely scenario, their entrance could be good news for crypto lovers everywhere. Read it here.
Cthulhu’s verdict. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell tweeted a screenshot from his M&A team’s due diligence report on Neutrino, the controversial and aforementioned Coinbase acquisition. From a pool of five contestants, Kraken gave it “last place on product,” citing its “rudimentary” UI, lack of “passive monitoring features” (notifications, etc.) and complete absence of a discernible roadmap. Worse? Kraken also disqualified the startup because of its close association with Hacking Team, which was known for developing spyware for tyrants.
Win Kraken’s money. Kraken is also offering up bounties of up to $100,000 for “tips” regarding the whereabouts of Canadian exchange QuadrigaCX’s missing $190 million. Though the case is supposedly solved — the founder, the only man with the private key, reportedly died — Kraken still believes something is afoot. If you’re a would-be sleuth (i.e. 4chan contributor) you can sift through the entrails of the conspiracy on Powell’s own podcast, here. Or submit tips here.
It was a dark and stormy tweet. Chris Burniske, crypto demi-God and co-author of the industry bible, Cryptoassets, fired off a smart tweetstorm on how the first stage of crypto adoption will be an influx of devs, not users. Devs, he believes, are moving to crypto en masse as an alternative to the closed-access, mass-surveillance feedback loops that are the Silicon Valley big dogs. Big, if true.
But wait! The QuadrigaCX mystery is still unsolved! That’s right, kids — the eternally locked coin-stuffed wallets we thought belonged to the late founder have been discovered to be … empty, save for a paltry $400,000 that was accidentally transferred last month. Again, Kraken is at the forefront on the reporting, here.
Something else. Is there anything not QuadrigaCX/Kraken/Coinbase-related today? You betcha! Malta’s attempt to rebrand itself as the leading regulatory light in the blockchain industry has been rebuffed—by Malta’s own banks, reports the Times of Malta. The banks, reportedly, are refusing to service the many blockchain startups approaching them for service. Why? Because doing so would be outside of their “risk appetite.”
(The Times of Malta, eh. Now there’s a paper we don’t plagiarize anywhere nearly enough.)
Written by Ben M, who has been acquired by Coinbase. Expose his human rights abuses at firstname.lastname@example.org.