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Jeremy Welch Joins Kraken as VP of Product

We’re pleased to announce Jeremy Welch, co-founder of the popular Casa wallet service, is joining Kraken as our newest VP of Product. In addition to his expertise as a cryptocurrency entrepreneur, Jeremy brings to Kraken a decade of experience leading product development at both startups…

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We’re pleased to announce Jeremy Welch, co-founder of the popular Casa wallet service, is joining Kraken as our newest VP of Product.

In addition to his expertise as a cryptocurrency entrepreneur, Jeremy brings to Kraken a decade of experience leading product development at both startups and tech giants like Google. In his new role, he will be tasked with making it easier than ever for clients to buy and sell crypto assets with Kraken. 

This will include launching strategic improvements across Kraken’s product suite and leading the charge on new features to improve our existing user experience. 

Jeremy will also continue to serve as an advisor to Casa as it seeks to grow its non-custodial wallet offering, praised by users for enabling them to safely and securely store Bitcoin without the need for a custodian or exchange. 

To mark the occasion, we sat down with Jeremy to learn about his new position and to get his perspective on the industry’s past, present and future.

Kraken: Welcome to the team Jeremy! What makes you most excited about leading the product experience here at Kraken? 

Jeremy: I’m most excited about building a better future with such a talented team. It’s an incredible honor to learn from and work with Jesse and the other Krakenites around the globe. 

Kraken is the quiet juggernaut in the cryptocurrency world. We have a strong security stance and a culture focused on solving real problems for our large global customer base (we’re not just reinventing Wall Street on the blockchain). 

Despite already being a customer, it was honestly a surprise to see the breadth of initiatives Kraken is quietly building globally.  

There are very few teams that understand the real implications of Bitcoin and other new decentralized technologies. There are even fewer teams out there that have both the resources and the courage to invest in the big technology breakthroughs that are now starting to emerge.  I feel very lucky to be working with a team that is aggressively pushing this world forward.

Your prior position was as a co-founder at Casa, a non-custodial wallet service. Why make the jump to a leading global exchange?

I spent almost four years building Casa before stepping away in January to focus on a family health issue. It was an incredibly tough decision to make, but I knew that my family needed my focused attention, and that I wouldn’t be an effective CEO while that was the case. 

After several months off, I started thinking about what would come next. It wasn’t just a question of the type of product or industry. 

My search for a new role was guided by three priorities: 1) Working with great people 2) Finding a culture focused on building a better future and 3) Flexibility to focus on family.

Those seem like straightforward requirements – but most companies out there offer a mixed bag when it comes to work impact, culture, location, etc. You might get to work on something important and new, but location flexibility or pay might be low. 

Kraken is a rare company – investing heavily in its teams, working on some of the most impactful technologies in the world and also enabling teams to work anywhere and anytime. 

Working at an exchange is extremely fast-paced, and we are still in the early stages of the cryptocurrency revolution. There’s so much to build. But within Kraken’s great team culture and work environment, I’ve found the pace of work to be strongly sustainable. 

The Kraken team has made it very easy for me to get things done while also finding time for family. This company is just phenomenal and I feel very fortunate to work here. 

Tell us a bit about your experiences as a cryptocurrency user. What challenges did you encounter and how will this inform your strategy for your new role? 

Using cryptocurrencies, and more broadly any kind of encryption or decentralized computing technology, is still too complicated.  When we started Casa, it was out of a personal need and also out of concern for friends and family. I knew people who were attacked, who lost funds, and I saw centralized services fail directly.

We made it easy for anyone to manage their funds directly with the best possible security using a carefully designed multi-signature personal key system. Today, it’s super easy-to-setup and easy-to-use with simple apps and 24/7 client service. 

At Kraken, I plan to use the same approach to improve overall user experience, but at an even larger scale. Exchanges are getting more complicated, not less. Increased scale, new security risks, new fintech experiences, new regulatory frameworks and new layer 1 and layer 2 technology improvements are all converging at the same time. 

If that wasn’t enough, something tells me that we’re about to see a whole new wave of customers coming into the market. For this group especially, I want to make their first experience a lasting one.  

Given your past experience, what do you see as the role for cryptocurrency exchanges in the customer journey? What trends do you think will most shape the sector in the next decade? 

Cryptocurrency is no longer a niche industry. More than just wider awareness by the financial industry and by consumers, the bigger sign is the new technologies like Microsoft’s ION project and Facebook’s Libra project. The future of fintech, consumer apps, and much much more will all be built on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

And timing is fitting. The Internet needs a new business model. The Internet also needs an updated and more resilient architecture. I think Bitcoin could be foundational for both of those, and I think the exchange plays a fundamental role in that foundation.  

Money isn’t just about taking and paying debt. It’s an information system. With cryptocurrencies we will see many more unexpected use cases emerge.  

For all these use cases to work, exchanges must work flawlessly and at massive scale. It’s both an exciting and a daunting future we are heading towards. 

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

Right now, we’re focused on making many improvements to the core exchange experience, but there are also many new product areas we are investing in that I think will completely take people by surprise. I’m excited to be contributing to both, and to continue to build a great team.  

Kraken started as one of the first exchanges, and its strong security stance has now enabled it to scale into one of the largest globally. But we are still just getting started. We are working to bring better financial and data access to billions globally.  

Please reach out if you want to help us build a better future! You can review our jobs page. We are hiring across Product Management, Engineering Design, Product Marketing, Growth, support and much more.  

Can’t wait to share more of what we’re working on soon!

Once again, welcome Jeremy! 

– The Kraken Team

Source: https://blog.kraken.com/post/6129/jeremy-welch-joins-kraken-as-vp-of-product/

Blockchain

Members of WallStreetBets Forum Alleged in Telegram Crypto Scam Stealing $2M in BNB and ETH

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Members of the popular WallStreetBets Reddit forum were suspected of a presumable cryptocurrency fraud that could have caused losses of no less than $2 million. By creating a designated Telegram group, they duped investors by guaranteeing remarkable returns through capitalizing on the recent crypto market rally.

The Core of the Hoax

Per a report by Bloomberg, alleged members of the WallStreetBets Reddit Forum used the Telegram messaging service to execute a blatant scam. A particular account by the name of ”WallStreetBets – Crypto Pumps” presented users the chance to purchase a new token certified as WSB Finance before it was listed on crypto exchanges. The operation is known as a pre-mine sale.

The essence of the fraud was connected to the recent cryptocurrency boom as bitcoin and most altcoins skyrocketed in value lately. With some of the digital assets reaching 1,000% gains, the targeted WSB members conned investors into sending money without asking questions and with the potential of netting huge profits.

The notorious account also urged users to transfer popular cryptocurrencies such as Binance Coin (BNB) and Ethereum (ETH) to a designated crypto wallet and then to reach its ”token bot” to gain WSB Finance coins.

However, the perpetrators never dispatched those coins. Furthermore, another message on Telegram revealed that the people who had already issued a payment had to send an equivalent amount again or they would risk losing their initial investment.


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The Aftermath

After executing the hoax, more than 3,451 Binance Coins were withdrawn on Tuesday (May, 4th) from the wallet inside the Crypto Pumps messages.

Since the price of BNB at that point was approximately $625, the fraud caused losses of more than $2.1 million. Following the scam, thousands of people expressed their frustration and tried to expose the individuals behind the account. Moreover, the quantity of the other cryptocurrency – ether – still remains a mystery.

Two weeks ago WSB admins warned about offers that might try to take advantage of the forum’s name in order to allure the crypto audience. The ”WallStreetBets – Crypto Pumps” account has been removed from Telegram but whoever managed it left a message that might stun the affected victims:

”Buying Lambo now.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/members-of-wallstreetbets-forum-alleged-in-telegram-crypto-scam-stealing-2m-in-bnb-and-eth/

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Blockchain

South Korean Crypto Exchange Accused Of $1.5 Billion Scam

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The South Korean cryptocurrency exchange platform V Global was accused of luring 40,000 people into illicit multi-level deceit. The entire scheme amounts to more than 1.7 million won, which equals $1.5 billion.

The Investigation

As reported by the Korean officials, the police raided many places in the country related to a virtual cryptocurrency exchange, and its notorious CEO – known as LEE – alleged to fundraising without regulatory permission. The authorities blocked the exchange’s cash deposits as a part of the investigation.

In total, the Gyeonggy Nambu Police Agency reported that it searched the exchange’s headquarters in southern Seoul along with 21 other places and froze more than $214 million left in the account.

Another report from today shed more light on the developments. According to Yonhap News, the name of the organization is V Global. The Korean police are examining the accusations against them for fraud under the Certain Economic Crimes Weighted Penalty Act, the Similar Receiving Act, and the door-to-door sales business.

The main accusation against the exchange is gaining a deposit of 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion) from 40,000 members in the period between August 2020 and January 2021. The announcement revealed that most of the people were elderly or housewives with no experience in cryptocurrency trading.


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Too Good To Be True

The investigation revealed that the exchange urged investors to entrust their funds to an account and lured the members that the expected return would be three times higher than the initial investment. According to the authorities, there was a pyramid element in the scam as the exchange promised to grant an introduction fee of 1.2 million won ($1,065) for every newly recruited member.

The report affirmed that the trading venue paid some members in the form of a block. Therefore, people who signed up earlier received funds from individuals who entered the exchange later.

Moreover, the Korean police seem confident to deal with the fraud case as it revealed its intention to confiscate 240 billion won ($214 million) left in the V Global account as of the 15th last month, even before the prosecution process.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/south-korean-crypto-exchange-accused-of-1-5-billion-scam/

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Blockchain

Georgia’s central bank is exploring ‘Digital Gel’ CBDC

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The National Bank of Georgia said that it is considering launching a central bank digital currency.

In an announcement today, the central bank hinted at the issuance of a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, in an effort “to enhance efficiencies of the domestic payment system and financial inclusion.” The National Bank of Georgia, or NBG, said it would be inviting fintech firms and other financial institutions to participate in the project, named Digital Gel after the symbol for the country’s fiat currency, the lari.

“CBDC holds the promise to unlock the tremendous value of innovative business models for the benefit of society,” said the announcement. “The introduction of CBDC could increase financial intermediation efficiency, help introduce new financial technologies, facilitate financial inclusion, and reach previously unbanked populations.”

However, the bank mentioned the possibility of risks in the launch of a CBDC in the Republic of Georgia given the “new and potentially disruptive technology.” The NBG said it may conduct extensive testing of the CBDC in a controlled environment to ensure a smooth rollout, but did not provide any details regarding a timeline for launch.

With a population of roughly 4 million and a gross domestic product of approximately $15 billion, a nation like Georgia falls at the smaller end of countries exploring CBDCs. The Bahamas officially rolled out its Sand Dollar central bank digital currency in October, while China has been piloting its digital yuan in select cities prior to a full-scale launch. In the United States, Fortune 500 company Accenture announced this week it would be partnering with the Digital Dollar Foundation to conduct CBDC trials.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/georgia-s-central-bank-is-exploring-digital-gel-cbdc

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