Online advertising professionals may be shocked to read recent research from Californian fraud management provider Pixalate, which claimed that up to 30% of all ad traffic is falsified. In stark contrast to previously reported estimates of ad fraud, this would imply that true ad impressions are significantly lower than commonly believed. If so, this means that many companies are potentially spending their marketing budgets on adverts which have no effect on sales, as they are never seen by real customers.Known as ‘ad fraud’, cyber-criminals use tailor-made bots to hijack unsuspected users’ devices via phishing scams and generate fake interactions and impressions from ads. One of the largest of these schemes, which was stopped during a joint operation between the FBI and Google, was called “3ve”. The criminal scheme affected over 2 million individual devices and operated over 5,000 fake websites from which to generate fraudulent ad engagement.Unfortunately, 3ve was just the tip of the iceberg. Ad fraud is incredibly difficult to detect and fairly low risk, which makes it an attractive racket for cyber-criminals the world over. However, a range of sophisticated new technologies is being developed to combat ad-fraud. These include blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). Firstly, let’s examine why ad fraud is having such a heavy impact on the digital economy.Why is fraudulent traffic such an issue?Most companies who advertise online spend vast amounts of time and resources building the perfect advertising campaign, targeting a specific subset of internet users and identifying their perfect customers. Advert campaigns are a major driving force for a company’s sales, but despite this it’s estimated that a staggering 21 trillion digital adverts per year will be affected by fraud.By the end of 2019, total digital advertising spends worldwide is expected to reach $316 billion, almost $100 billion higher than the GDP of Portugal. At the same time, it’s estimated that a shocking $32 billion of that expenditure will be wiped out and rendered useless through fraudulent activity by 2022.Ad fraud is generally measured in ‘IVT’, which stands for invalid traffic, mostly generated by bots. Across platforms and devices, Pixalate found that 23% of ad fraud occurs through social networking apps, and 14% through gaming apps. In the U.S. alone, IVT rates were 17% and surprisingly, mobile apps were the most susceptible to generating fraudulent ad engagement, with smartphone apps having a 17.1% IVT in Q3 2018 alone.These figures highlight the huge extent of the global problem advertisers are facing on a daily basis. Without new tools in the fight against ad fraud, it’s likely that rampant criminality in digital marketing will continue to grow. Luckily, those tools are already in development.Fighting fraud with decentralization and blockchainAlthough fraud has gripped the digital ad industry for years, new technologies are emerging which may be able to put power back into advertisers’ hands. The most promising of these is blockchain, which by virtue of its decentralized digital ledger technology, is democratizing the way ads are served and interacted with by publishers and advertisers.Although blockchain was developed primarily for payments, it is now being explored for its potential to facilitate a wide range of secure and transparent transactions; which makes it the perfect technology to use for the micropayments common in ad delivery.One such company leveraging the power of blockchain is Sofia-based AdEx. In a bid to prevent fraud, AdEx uses a peer-to-peer system to allow ad publishers and advertisers to buy and sell traffic via a decentralized marketplace. This restricts fraudulent users from accessing and transacting regularly on the platform. Using the AdEx platform, advertisers only pay for genuine traffic, verifiable on the blockchain.Other emerging technologyArtificial intelligence and machine learning are also being deployed to fight fraudsters. Using AI, law enforcement and digital protection agencies can identify suspicious activity automatically and with higher accuracy than traditional methods.Likewise, ML algorithms can comb data from potentially fraudulent interactions and learn when, where, and how these scenarios are most likely to occur. TrafficGuard use big data and ML technology to block impressions which are likely to be fraudulent. By tracking the entire customer journey, TrafficGuard can identify if users are real people by the actions they take, and how long they take to perform certain actions, which a bot would do instantly.These tools aren’t being developed in isolation, with some blockchain-based companies also implementing AI and ML solutions. Many advertisers who are currently losing huge portions of their marketing budgets to fraudsters are looking to deploy multiple solutions to prevent ad fraud. Whether these technologies will be enough to stop the proliferation of fraud in the digital ad industry altogether will remain to be seen, but they will surely restore much greater power to honest advertisers and publishers.
Archives for September 18, 2019
The total crypto market cap started a strong decline below the $255.0B support.Bitcoin price is down around 4% and it recently broke the $10,000 support area.Litecoin (LTC) price is correcting gains and is trading below the $75.00 support area.BCH price failed to surpass the $325 resistance and is correcting lower towards $305.Tron (TRX) price is correcting gains and is approaching the $0.0165 support level.Cardano (ADA) price is testing the $0.0500 level, with a minor bearish angle.Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto market cap are declining sharply. Ethereum (ETH), LTC, BCH, EOS, cardano, ripple, TRX, XLM and BNB are currently correcting gains.Bitcoin Cash Price AnalysisBitcoin cash price traded above the $320 level against the US Dollar. However, the BCH/USD pair failed to gain traction above the $325 resistance level and recently started a downside correction. The price is down around 4% and it seems like it could soon test the $305 support level.On the upside, the $320 level is an initial resistance. However, the main support on the upside is near the $325 level, above which the price could rally towards $340.Cardano (ADA), Litecoin (LTC) and Tron (TRX) Price AnalysisLitecoin price recovered nicely above the $72.00 and $75.00 resistance levels. However, LTC price failed to continue higher and it is currently correcting gains. It is trading below the $75.00 level and it seems like it could test the $72.00 support in the near term.Tron price is facing a strong resistance near the $0.0172 level. TRX price is currently correcting recent gains and is approaching the $0.0165 support area. If there are more downsides, the price could continue to slide towards the $0.0162 support area. On the upside, the price might struggle near $0.0170 and $0.0172 in the near term.Cardano price managed to climb above the $0.0500 resistance area. However, ADA price is struggling to break the $0.0520 resistance and it is currently correcting lower. If it breaks the $0.0500 support, it could resume its decline in the coming sessions.Looking at the total cryptocurrency market cap 4-hours chart, there was a sharp bearish reaction after the market cap tested the $265.0B resistance area. It broke many supports near the $260.0B and $255.0B levels. Moreover, the market cap declined below a major bullish trend line with support near the $255.0B level. However, the $245.0B area is acting as a strong support. It seems like there could be a minor upward move before the price revisit the $245.0B support area. Therefore, there could be more dips in bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, litecoin, ripple, ADA, BCH, TRX, ICX, XLM and other altcoins in the near term.
Following a week of consolidation in an ever tightening channel Bitcoin finally made its move today. Many had been predicting it would be to the downside and they were correct as the king of crypto slumped 5% in an hour plunging back into the mid-$9,000 zone.Monster Red Bitcoin CandleJust an hour or so ago one huge red candle plunged Bitcoin prices through support at $10,100 and back into four figures. The move culminated in a bottoming at a previous support level at $9,600 but things bounced off this price quickly.BTC price 1 hour chart – Tradingview.comThe move had been predicted by many analysts who suggested there would be a final phase down to below $9k before any meaningful upside rally can continue. Bitcoin traders were quick off the mark to seek new support levels and predict BTC’s next move. Josh Rager added that there was nothing unexpected about this move but things could turn south below $9,400.“Not really worried unless price breaks and closes below $9400 again. This is the area to keep an eye on”$BTCNot really worried unless price breaks and closes below $9400 againThis is the area to keep an eye on pic.twitter.com/dLRAht4DD4— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) September 19, 2019Industry observer Richard Heart added that the move has kept things within the large descending triangle formation that has developed since the initial run back in July.They say Technical Analysis doesn’t work. It’s just a line on a chart… pic.twitter.com/rAGyovkAWu— Richard Heart (@RichardHeartWin) September 19, 2019At the time of writing BTC had closed the last hourly candle at around $9,800 so the drop has not been as extreme as it initially looked. A further period of consolidation may well happen at this area before buyers can push the asset back into five figures.The Bakkt launch next week may provide some bullish momentum but at the moment no new money is entering the markets and it is the same players recycling the same funds.Bitcoin Dominance DropBitcoin dominance is now back below 70 percent according to Tradingview.com however the altcoins are also starting to slide so yesterday’s big pump was clearly just a blip. The likely scenario is that all of these gains will be wiped out again as BTC dips back into four figures.Ethereum has dropped back to $205 while XRP is back below $0.30 again as the dump follows the pump for altcoins. The sea of red is intensifying at the moment as all crypto assets blindly follow their big brother like the digital lemmings that they are.Over the past couple of hours $10 billion has been dumped from total crypto market capitalization which has slid back to $262 billion.Image from Shutterstock
Ripple price extended gains and traded towards the $0.3250 resistance area against the US dollar.The price is currently correcting sharply and is trading below the $0.3000 support area.There was a break below a key bullish trend line with support at $0.3050 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).The price is likely to find a strong support near the $0.2840 and $0.2800 levels in the near term.Ripple price is correcting gains from the recent high against the US Dollar and bitcoin. XRP price could retest the $0.2800 support area before a fresh increase.Ripple Price AnalysisYesterday, we saw a massive rally in ripple price above the $0.3000 resistance against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair even broke the $0.3120 resistance and posted a new monthly high. A swing high was formed near $0.3272 before the price started a downside correction. There was a sharp decline below the $0.3150 and $0.3050 support levels to start the current correction.Additionally, there was a break below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last major rally from the $0.2562 low to $0.3272 high. More importantly, there was a break below a key bullish trend line with support at $0.3050 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. The pair is now trading close to the 50% Fib retracement level of the last major rally from the $0.2562 low to $0.3272 high.The next key support is near the $0.2850 and $0.2840 levels. Moreover, the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the last major rally from the $0.2562 low to $0.3272 high is near the $0.2835 level. Therefore, the price is likely to find a decent buying interest if it reaches close to the $0.2800 support area. If there are more downsides, the next major support is near the $0.2650 level (the previous resistance area).On the upside, an immediate resistance is near the $0.3000 level. There is also a connecting bearish trend line forming with resistance near $0.3050 on the same chart. If there is an upside break above the $0.3050 resistance, the price could resume its uptrend. The next key resistances are near the $0.3200 and $0.3250 levels.Looking at the chart, ripple price is declining sharply and trimming gains below $0.3000. However, the $0.2850 and $0.2800 support levels are likely to stop the current decline in the near term.Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD is currently gaining momentum in the bearish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD is currently declining and is well below the 50 level.Major Support Levels – $0.2850, $0.2800 and $0.2650.Major Resistance Levels – $0.3000, $0.3050 and $0.3200.
Crypto exchange Binance is planning to add over-the-counter (OTC) trading to its platform in a month to provide users with fiat currency gateways.
Binance’s co-founder and chief marketing officer He Yi said at a media session on Tuesday during the Shanghai Blockchain Week that the exchange will specifically support fiat on-ramp via OTC for Chinese yuan.
He added that the new service will be part of Binance’s plan in the coming months to dedicate more time and resources to compete in the Chinese market. Further, the exchange is also rolling out a payment service to allow users from 170 countries to buy crypto assets using fiat currencies at Binance.com.
Fiat-to-crypto OTC trading has been a critical part in terms of fiat on-ramp for crypto traders based in China as local authorities prevent the direct connection of exchanges to banks and fiat deposits as part of the ban on initial coin offerings in September 2017.
Other long-running Chinese exchanges like Huobi and OKCoin have since then moved overseas and offered crypto-to-crypto trading while recruiting OTC market makers onto their platforms to help users buy and sell cryptos using Chinese yuan.
The news about Binance’s OTC capabilities comes as the exchange, which, according to CoinMarketCap data, is the world’s largest by trading volume, quickly racks up deals that increase its links with the real economy and improve its connections to mainstream finance.
At the beginning of the month, it began to offer sandboxes for the testing of two crypto-futures trading platforms, dubbed Futures A and Futures B. Users will vote on which is the best. The following day, it said it acquired Seychelles-registered JEX, a crypto derivatives exchange.
Last week, Binance introduced a dollar-based stable coin, Binance USD, and said the coin received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
The exchange is pitching its stable coins as alternatives to Libre. Also in the U.S., Binance said it would start accepting U.S. customers via its partner from Sept. 18, after banning them earlier in the year.
And just yesterday, the exchange invested into Mars Finance, a Chinese crypto data and media company, although the amount of the investment was not disclosed.
Binance image via Shutterstock
Ouch. The Bitcoin (BTC) price has dumped by over $450 in the past few minutes, with bears finally managing to take the wheel of the cryptocurrency market after over two weeks of lull.It isn’t clear what triggered this move, but with this flash crash, the leading cryptocurrency has decidedly shed the $10,000 support.With this $500 drop, bullish traders on BitMEX and other leverage-enabled platforms were hit fairly hard.According to Skew Markets, a cryptocurrency analytics firm, in fact, over $150 million worth of BTC long positions on BitMEX were liquidated in the past hour.Liquidated long on XBTUSD: Sell 10,000,000 @ 9760 🏅🏆💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯💯 ~ hide your kids, hide your wife, cause they’re liquidatin’ everybody out here— REKT (@BXRekt) September 19, 2019This move brings Bitcoin to a very important territory, analyst Magic has said. As he pointed out in the tweet below, BTC is now testing the 21-week moving average right now, which, as reported by this outlet previously, is a level Bitcoin flirted with during 2017’s bull market on over four separate occasions. The loss of this level could imply that bulls are losing control of the long-term trend.Bitcoin is testing the 21 week MA right now. This is the moment of truth!— MAGIC (@MagicPoopCannon) September 19, 2019Featured Image from Shutterstock
ETH price extended gains above the $215 resistance area against the US Dollar.The price is currently correcting lower and is trading below the $212 support area.There was a break below yesterday’s highlighted bullish trend line with support near $211 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).The pair is likely to correct further lower towards the $200 support area in the near term.Ethereum price is currently correcting gains versus the US Dollar and bitcoin. ETH price might soon test the $200 support area before it starts a fresh increase.Ethereum Price AnalysisYesterday, we saw a solid upward move in ETH price above the $200 resistance against the US Dollar. The price even broke the $210 level and settled well above the 100 hourly simple moving average. As a result, the price extended gains above the $215 level and posted a new monthly high near $218. On the other hand, bitcoin price remained in a bearish zone and settled below the $10,200 level.At the moment, Ethereum is correcting gains below the $212 support area. Additionally, there was a break below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $188 low to $218 high. More importantly, there was a break below yesterday’s highlighted bullish trend line with support near $211 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. It opened the doors for more downsides and the price is now trading below $210.An immediate support on the downside is near the $204 level. It coincides with the 50% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $188 low to $218 high. However, the main support is near the $200 level and the 100 hourly SMA. Moreover, the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $188 low to $218 high is also near the $200 area.Therefore, the price is likely to find support if it corrects lower towards the $204 or $200 levels. On the upside, there is a short term resistance forming near the $210 level and a connecting bearish trend line on the same chart. If there is an upside break above $210, the price could resume its upward move in the near term.Looking at the chart, Ethereum price is clearly correcting lower below the $210 support area. It seems like the price might revisit the $200 support area and the 100 hourly SMA. Once the current correction phase is complete, the price could start a solid upward move.ETH Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for ETH/USD is currently gaining pace in the bullish zone.Hourly RSI – The RSI for ETH/USD is currently well above the 50 level.Major Support Level – $204Major Resistance Level – $212
After facing months of lackluster price action, XRP’s bulls have finally awoken and are now propelling the cryptocurrency’s price towards a key region of resistance and it may incur significantly further gains before it slows down anytime soon.This upwards momentum has made XRP a market-leader over the past 48-hours, and a break above its near-term resistance could lead to significantly further gains in the near-term.XRP Surges Past $0.30 as Buyers Gain Full Control At the time of writing, XRP is trading up nearly 14% at its current price of $0.316, which marks a significant surge from its 24-hour lows of $0.28.Over a one-week period, it is abundantly clear as to just how positive XRP’s price action has been for investors over the past week, as it is currently trading up significantly from seven day lows of $0.25 – which is where the cryptocurrency had been trading at for several weeks following its drop below $0.30 in mid-August.This bullish price action has come about as the aggregated crypto market is expressing tremendous strength, with Ethereum and other major altcoins posting large gains over the past 48-hours.In the near-term, XRP may continue rising until it hits its moving average around 0.00005 BTC, which would mark a significant rise from its current price of 0.000031 BTC.Big Cheds, a popular crypto analyst on Twitter, spoke about this in a recent tweet, also noting that XRP’s RSI is entering a “power zone” with a bullish EMA cross currently occurring.“$XRP #Ripple daily chart- Still pushing as RSI enters the power zone, EMA 8/34 bull cross,” he explained.$XRP #Ripple daily chart- Still pushing as RSI enters the power zone, EMA 8/34 bull cross #TheStandard pic.twitter.com/0sxRDHXfdP— Big Cheds (@BigCheds) September 18, 2019$0.33 May Be Key Resistance Region in Near-Term As for what dollar price may be the next key resistance region for XRP, one popular analyst is noting that $0.33 will likely be the price at which the crypto faces some resistance, but a break above this level could spark a massive uptrend.Harry, an analyst that focuses primarily on XRP, explained in a recent tweet that a movement above $0.33 will likely prove to be quite positive for the cryptocurrency’s near-term price action.“$XRP – market appetite for #XRP increases greatly above $0.33c I think,” he noted.$XRP – market appetite for #XRP increases greatly above $0.33c I think x— Harry (@HaraldoXRP) September 18, 2019The coming days will likely illuminate the long-term importance of XRP’s recent rally, as any extension of this upwards momentum could signal that this latest surge is emblematic of a long-term shift in trend.Featured image from Shutterstock.
Multinational financial services company Wells Fargo has been accused of hypocrisy over its seemingly confused stance on crypto assets. Whereas the firm has previously stated that it does not allow transactions involving cryptocurrency, it now appears that the financial giant is experimenting with its own digital currency.The third largest bank in the US announced yesterday that it will be working on its own stablecoin project. Naturally, the cryptocurrency community has enjoyed poking fun at the apparent double-dealing going on at the firm.It’s Really Not a Crypto Though is it?Wells Fargo first showed contempt for the cryptocurrency industry earlier this summer. In response to a question posted the banking giant’s Twitter, it replied that it did not support cryptocurrency transctions:Thanks for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo does not allow transactions involving cryptocurrency. -Josh— Ask Wells Fargo (@Ask_WellsFargo) July 12, 2019Of course, following yesterday’s revelation that the bank is working on its own stablecoin digital currency, many took the opportunity to call the bank out for apparent hypocrisy or to interpret the news as a bullish signal for the crypto asset market. One Reddit user joked that Wells Fargo was “FUDing” and FOMOing” at the same time.Meanwhile, popular podcaster and co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, Anthony Pompliano, Tweeted the following about the stablecoin announcement:Warren Buffett owns almost 10% of Wells Fargo.Wells Fargo is creating a dollar-backed digital currency.So now Warren Buffett basically loves Bitcoin, right? 😂— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) September 17, 2019Although it’s definitely fun to poke fun at banks, especially when it comes their own often hypocritical actions, it’s important to remember that banking giants are only experimenting with elements of crypto assets because their very survival is threatened. Faced with permissionless, borderless, almost free competition from the likes of Bitcoin, bankers must move fast to preserve their increasingly threatened and immensely privileged existence. Their efforts, in reality, are desperate attempts to stop people turning to real cryptocurrencies for improved financial services.Had Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies not started to represent a real threat to the banking status quo, it seems unlikely that any bank would be moving at light speed to create its own digital settlement currency. If the general public just assumes that value always needs to take days to travel the globe, why would it clamour for any improvement?Cryptocurrency has changed this and has forced the banks into action. However, their closed network systems represent nought but a tiny fraction of the overall innovative potential of cryptocurrency. That innovative potential may well eventually do away entirely with much of the current banking business model.Given the buzz around cryptocurrencies at the moment, it’s understandable that many media publications lump any effort by a business at creating a digital cash in with cryptocurrencies. The term is popular on Google Trends and accusations of hypocrisy or excitement from the cryptocurrency community make for even more clicks and more advertising revenues.However, there should be a concerted effort to stop calling digital currencies like Wells Fargo’s cryptocurrencies. They represent little more than digitised versions of dollars. In designing their systems, banks will certainly be careful to strip away all the really revolutionary properties of crypto. This leaves just a faster, cheaper way for banks to send each other money. Hardly the kind of world-shaking change that Bitcoin advocates believe is on the horizon, is it? Related Reading: Trump Administration Hates Bitcoin but Fine with Off-Shore Tax Havens?Featured Image from Shutterstock.
U.S. law enforcement has charged an early supporter of the ethereum project and former paid advisor to Overstock’s tZero with extortion.
Steven Nerayoff, an attorney and founder of blockchain consulting firm Alchemist, was arrested Wednesday morning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and was scheduled to face charges before a federal court in Brooklyn in the afternoon. The FBI also arrested Michael Hlady, an Alchemist associate.
Nerayoff and Hlady face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the alleged scheme, described as “an old-fashioned shakedown” by the United States Attorney Office’s for the Eastern District of New York (part of the Department of Justice) and “an age-old extortion scheme … with a modern-day twist” by the FBI.
Nerayoff’s attorney, Avi Moskowitz told CoinDesk that “a
According to the government’s complaint, Nerayoff’s firm was tapped as advisors for an undisclosed, Seattle-based startup — dubbed “Company 1” in court documents – in July 2017. Nerayoff began demanding larger than contractually agreed-upon ethereum payouts for his help with the company’s initial coin offering (ICO) that coming fall, the complaint says,
Per the agreement, Nerayoff was entitled to 22.5 percent of all the cryptocurrency tokens sold during the ICO as well as 22.5 percent of all the funds raised by Company 1 “regardless of the method and manner in which [the funds] are raised.”
Before the ICO occurred, Nerayoff demanded higher compensation from Company 1 executives, identified as John and Jane Doe. Through an email sent to the company’s executives, Nerayoff demanded 30,000 ETH if the pre-sale and crowd sale surpassed 60,000 ETH in addition to a large allotment of the Company 1’s ICO token, the complaint says.
If not, Nerayoff promised to “sabotage the crowd sale, generate negative press for Company 1 and use his contacts with influential people to ‘destroy’ Company 1,” the DOJ alleged.
Company 1 agreed to the payout despite not receiving additional compensating services, the complaint says.
The ICO raised 55,677 ETH during the pre-sale of the token. A crowd sale the following two months raised an additional 20,000 ETH, totalling 75,677 ETH raised, worth about $32 million at the time. Of the 75,766 ETH raised, Nerayoff received 30,000.
The following March, Nerayoff demanded a 10,000 ETH “loan” from Company 1 worth $4.45 million at the time, the complaint says. Nerayoff also introduced Company 1 to Hlady, his “operations guy.”
According to court documents, “Nerayoff claimed Hlady was a former government agent who could carry firearms through airports. On separate occasions, HLADY told Jane Doe … that he had been shot at and had killed people, that he had ‘taken down’ a head of state, and that he had been a part of the Irish Republican Army, the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the FBI.”
That same month, the two executives of Company 1 visited Nerayoff at his New York home. While there, Hlady and Nerayoff entered the guest room of Jane Doe, sleeping by herself. Turning on the light and pulling a chair up to her bed, Hlady and Nerayoff demanded the 10,000 ETH loan or they would “crush” her company.
Nerayoff and Hlady continued to threaten Jane Doe through iMessages and personal threats thereafter, including telling her where her child attended school.
Jane Doe instructed a Company 1 employee to pay the 10,000 ETH loan to Nerayoff between March 28 and April 1, 2018. The loan was never repaid by Nerayoff, according to the U.S. attorney.
Roles in ethereum, tZero
Nerayoff was on the board of advisors of tZERO, Overstock’s security token trading platform, as of March 1, 2018, according to a securities filing. An Overstock press release from 2017 described him as “architect of the Ethereum ICO.”
Similar language has been used to describe his involvement with the early ethereum team. For example, his bio on the TechStars accelerator’s website states,
“Steven’s innovative work as the legal architect of Ethereum’s record setting token sale continues to be the basic structure used throughout the world today. Steven innovated the concept of ‘utility,’ specifically using the concept of ‘gas’ or ‘fuel’ for legal purposes.”
People who worked on ethereum during its early days told CoinDesk he was indeed involved, though those descriptions may be somewhat exaggerated.
For example, Nerayoff guaranteed payment on about $200,000 of legal bills for an opinion letter the team obtained from a law firm for the 2014 token sale, according to one source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
He was also involved in the ideation of gas, but far from the driving force suggested by his bio, two people who worked on the early ethereum team said.
A tZero spokesperson told CoinDesk that the company “has no affiliation with Steven and his company, Alchemist. In the past, Alchemist was a paid advisor to tZERO for its [security token offering]. tZERO has since terminated the advisory relationship.”
Department of Justice image via Shutterstock