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Crypto and Blockchain Firms Pitch In to Help Coronavirus Victims



Some blockchain and cryptocurrency firms have pledged to help victims of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Cryptocurrency exchange Binance pledged to donate 10 million Chinese yuan ($1.44 million) to the effort.

In a tweet on Jan. 25, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that Binance made the pledge but did not make any announcements after a Twitter user tagged him in a news article about cryptocurrency donations being accepted for the cause:

“For #Wuhan, not realistic to do crypto to end beneficiaries. Binance pledged 10m RMB ($1.5m USD) to help #coronavirus victims. We didn’t make any announcements. But [Binance Charity Foundation] BCF/Binance team has been busy for the last few days. Still need help to arrange logistics locally.”

According to a Jan. 25 WeChat post by blockchain marketing service firm Krypital, the firm also launched a charity donation effort to acquire medical supplies for Wuhan coronavirus victims.

Krypital also announced that it will create a blockchain-based donation system that allows for greater transparency and efficiency. The firm accepts Tether (USDT) on the Ethereum blockchain.

The company is also recruiting volunteers for group administration, material purchase, sorting and transportation management, media announcements and graphic designers.

As Cointelegraph reported, yesterday Bitcoin (BTC) slumped 6% on the Chinese New Year as uncertainty surrounding the spread of the coronavirus. On Jan. 26, Fox News reported that the current death toll of the virus is 56.



Lawyers Duke it Out Over Who Gets To Lead the Class Action Suit Against Tether



In a U.S. courthouse for the Southern District of New York, Judge Katherine Failla heard this afternoon from three plaintiff teams suing iFinex et. al. and vying to serve as lead counsel in the emerging class action with potentially tens of thousands of injured members.

IFinex’s Tether (USDT) stablecoin firm and its Bitfinex subsidiary are charged with manipulating the Bitcoin market in 2017 — something the firm strenuously denies.

Kyle Roche, representing plaintiffs Leibowitz et. al., argued that his firm Roche Cyrulnik Freedman LLP was the first to investigate the alleged market manipulation, the first to file a complaint, and also possessed the top cryptocurrency expertise. “Cryptocurrency is unique,” said Roche, “the law is new, and this case presents difficult definitional issues.”

The case should not be limited to Bitcoin issues alone, he argued; it should include other cryptocurrencies like Ether that may have been harmed by the alleged pump-and-dump scheme.

“Cryptocurrency really works as one market. People who purchase one cryptocurrency often buy many, especially in a bubble” as occurred  in the summer of 2017, said Roche. He referenced page 43 of the so-called Griffin paper, introducing it into evidence.

That academic paper, Is Bitcoin Really Un-tethered? by John M. Griffin And Amin Shams, was posted in June 2018 and later updated. It investigated whether Tether influenced Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices during the 2017 boom. The authors found that that purchases with Tether were timed following market downturns and resulted in “sizable increases in Bitcoin prices.” This paper became a foundational piece of research for all four subsequent lawsuits.

Many in the crypto community have long been skeptical that Tether is actually backed by the U.S. dollar at a one-to one ratio as claimed. The Griffin paper also found “insufficient Tether reserves before month-ends.”

The Griffin paper showed, said Roche, that the price of Bitcoin was going down before Tether’s issuance, but after Tether was issued the price of Bitcoin went up — and this happened with six other crypto currencies as well.

Attorneys pit research against experience

Karen Lerner of Kirby Mcinerney LLP, representing plaintiffs’ Young, Kurtz, Crystal et. al., argued that a different kind of experience was more important in an action of this kind. “We are class action lawyers, and we are antitrust and commodities lawyers.” And, she contended, that even though they weren’t the first to file a complaint, their work was the most original, with an extensive regression analysis that identified 115 specific dates when market manipulation occurred and 256 actual transactions. Their firm’s proprietary algorithm would show “a lockstep pricing relationship between spot Bitcoin and Bitcoin futures,” she argued.

Brian Cochran, an attorney with Robbins Geller, representing plaintiff Ebanks et. al., questioned the Roche firm’s unique crypto expertise. “He says his one crypto case in Florida gives them more expertise than my two crypto cases — which were class actions.”

Who gets to sue Tether?

More significant, perhaps, Cochran criticized the class size proposed by the other law firms. “Roche defined it as anyone who owned crypto over the last six years. That’s overwrought — much too broad. Bitcoin and Bitcoin futures are closer to my definition of the class. Not all cryptos should be included.” That would simply be taking money from real victims and giving it to others.

As might be gathered, there were many lawyers in attendance for the oral arguments: 12 attorneys represented the four plaintiffs, while the defense team sent three attorneys just to observe — with space at a premium, several lawyers had to take seats in the jury box. As the session neared conclusion, Judge Failla said, “I had hoped to decide the motion today, but you made my decision very difficult.” She promised a decision on Thursday at 4pm EST.


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taraxa-py added to PyPI



Taraxa RPC client in python.

taraxa-py pypi address: taraxa-py

Taraxa official website:


git clone
cd taraxa-py
python install


pip install taraxa-py


default parameters:

config={ "ip":"", "port":7777, "jsonrpc":2.0, "id":1

for all methods, if no parameter given, default will be used.

  1. package level config set and reset.
    any of below config will influence the whole packge.
import taraxa.jsonrpc as rpc
import taraxa.eth as eth
import taraxa.taraxa as taraxa
import as net rpc.set({ "ip":"", "port":7777, "jsonrpc":2.0, "id":1 }) eth.set({ "ip":"", })
taraxa.set({ "ip":"", })
net.set({ "ip":"", }) rpc.reset()
  1. function level config set
    function level config set only influence the function it self once.
import taraxa.eth as eth
r=eth.blockNumber(ip='' ,port=7777)


  • low level use
import taraxa.jsonrpc as rpc
data = '{"jsonrpc":"2.0","method":"eth_blockNumber","params":[],"id":1}'
r = rpc.send(data)
print(r) data = {"jsonrpc":"2.0","method":"eth_blockNumber","params":[],"id":1}
r = rpc.send(data)

data can be json string or dict. response is json string.

  • middle level use
from taraxa.jsonrpc import *
r = eth_blockNumber()

response is json string.

  • high level use
import taraxa.eth as eth
r = eth.blockNumber()

response is parsed to python types.

  • ethereum web3 like use
from taraxa.web3 import Web3
w3 = Web3(ip="" ,port=7777)
r = w3.blockNumber()
print(r) w3.ip = ""
w3.port = 7778
r = w3.blockNumber()

Web3 object w3 will hold the ip and port once you set.
w3 method will use the ip and port you set until you reset it.

sub packages

  • jsonrpc
  • eth
  • web3
  • net
  • admin
  • admmin_net
  • debug
  • test


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Justin Sun Bought Steemit. Steem Moved to Limit His Power



The people who run the Steem blockchain executed a reversible soft fork Sunday, stopping one of the largest piles of tokens from voting. The move comes days after Justin Sun’s Tron Foundation acquired Steemit, the blockchain’s most prominent app.

The protective measure is a striking one in the cryptocurrency space and illustrates some of the thought-provoking realities of delegated governance.

The blog post describing the fork describes the involvement of a well-resourced entity as potentially very exciting. But its authors were quick to qualify:

“In these early stages the most important task for witnesses [Steem’s version of bitcoin miners or EOS block producers] is to ensure the security of the Steem blockchain. To this end, we have updated to a temporary protective protocol to maintain the status quo currently established in regards to Steemit Inc’s stake and its intended usage.”

Steem is a delegated proof-of-stake blockchain (DPoS), much like EOS, which means a smaller number of decisionmakers are needed to coordinate in order to counter a major new stakeholder. The community deemed action necessary because Steemit owns a giant pile of tokens that could be used to take over the blockchain, though the pool has never previously voted. It is believed that Sun, a savvy marketer and controversial figure in the industry, now owns that giant pile.

From here out, things start to get pretty confusing. 

When the soft fork was executed, the network’s validators, called witnesses, blocked STEEM held by a limited set of accounts from voting on who governs the network and participating in other ways that might allow it to seize control. Within the community, this pool of tokens is known as the “Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake.”

As far as we can tell, the fund amounts to something like a founders reward or pre-mine on most other similar blockchains. Sources tell CoinDesk the ninja stake could potentially represent something like 20 percent of the current supply, which would apparently make it a decisive voting bloc.

As the post about the soft fork notes, “There have been a lot of uncertainties around [Steemit Inc] and its continued use of the assets it controls.”

Steemit’s holdings have always been a source of tension between Steem and Steemit, but as long as co-founder Ned Scott ran Steemit, the community felt relatively comfortable that he would not intervene in governance. The ninja stake was meant to be used to grow the network. With a new owner, the group is less sure.

The move prompted a response from Sun, who wrote Sunday night, “We have so much to work to do to make the power that it really can be.” He went on to list plans for incorporating Tron’s various cryptocurrencies, getting STEEM tokens onto more exchanges and getting influencers onto the blogging site. 

Sun is organizing a summit called STEEMit 2.0 Town Hall for March 6, inviting the top 50 witnesses to take part, according to the post. A key question for that meeting will no doubt be what Tron intends to offer in terms of a token swap between STEEM and TRX, a question that has only been floated abstractly so far.

Ned Scott and the Tron Foundation did not reply to a request for comment from CoinDesk. 

The announcement of Steemit’s acquisition did not specifically address the company’s holdings of cryptocurrency, so it is as yet unknown if all of it went to Tron in the deal. 

How Steem works

Steemit, a blogging site that works somewhat like a cross between Reddit and Medium, is the most well-known app on the Steem blockchain.

Besides Steemit, there are many more decentralized apps that run on the blockchain. Steemit Inc only owns Steemit, but it is the most influential.

Steemit relies on Steem to track its users and also assess their clout on its network. Content that does well on Steemit shares in a small portion of the blockchain’s new emission of tokens. 

The current supply of STEEM, as of this writing, is 373,442,235, according to, a block explorer. 

Steem has three different tokens: Steem, Steem Power and Steem Dollars. Steem is the core token. Steem Power is created when users agree to lock up Steem, and it functions sort of like an ownership stake on the network. Steem Dollars is a stablecoin.

What makes Steem challenging is that you never really know how much Steem Power there is in the world. It shrinks very slowly but it can increase quickly. 

According to a longtime Steem community member, James Reidy, there are 210 million Steem Power in existence that could potential govern the chain. There could be as much as 340 million, if all STEEM were staked to vote. 

Reidy estimated that Steemit controls something like 68 million in Steem Power, “but exact numbers are not known because they could have Steem and Steem Power in any number of unknown accounts,” he told CoinDesk. 

There are several times more witness candidates than there are witness slots available.

Reidy, who serves as a witness candidate but does not hold one of the top 20 spots (there are several times more witness candidates than there are witness slots available), told CoinDesk:

“What the witnesses did I believe is best for the chain during this uncertain time. There were promises from SteemIt Inc that the stake in question would be used for certain purposes to grow the ecosystem but more importantly that it would be non-voting stake. This was never enshrined in code. It’s highly unlikely those promises transferred in the sale (why would they) so the witnesses moved to protect the chain until details can be agreed upon.”

Disclosure Read More

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.


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