NBA Draft Prospect Jonay Porter is Also a Crypto Fanatic

One of the NBA’s latest prospects is Jontay Porter. The 18-year-old has high hopes for the future. Firstly, of course, he’s wanting to be picked in June’s draft. Secondly, he’d love to help his team, the Missouri Tigers, win the NCAA Tournament that they’re competing in. Finally, he’s hoping for a big rebound off the court – in the cryptocurrency market.

An Enterprising Young Mind

In a recent interview with the Kansas City Star, the young NBA hopeful spoke of his interest in cryptocurrency and how he himself was invested in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Tron. He told the publication about how he approached putting together his diverse crypto portfolio:

“I did my own research, obviously; that’s what you should always do if you’re investing… I’m obviously not going to put all of my money in cryptocurrency.”

He started by buying $300 worth of Bitcoin. This was followed by smaller purchases of more crypto assets using his student-athlete allowance.

Unfortunately, the Tigers’ leading rebounder was forced to cash out some of his investment. He explained to the Star how he had been bought a used SUV by his parents. Owing them the money back and with no way to pay it yet, he was forced to sell half of his crypto assets. He was, however, careful to keep some skin in the game as he’s optimistic of a rebound in the markets:

“I was kind of sad, because [the market] was about to bounce back. But my mom needed it right away.”

Missouri Tigers’ assistant coach and father of the budding basketball star turned investor, Michael Porter Sr., told the publication about his son’s inquisitive mind. He said, “he’s  always been a thinker.” Meanwhile, Lisa Porter, the teenage athlete’s mother added:

“He had the gumption to just do it… All my other kids would really debate over it.”

From a young age, Jontay had an inquisitive mind and sought ways to turn that into financial gain. In the Sixth Grade, he started dismantling, repairing, and jail-breaking his iPhones. This transformed into something of a business. He’d advertise his repair services for cracked screens and the like on CraigsList. He always made sure to undercut the local businesses offering the same services in his town.

Of course, Jontay Porter isn’t the first athlete to embrace cryptocurrency. The US Winter Olympic luge team famously declared that they’d accept Bitcoin donations for their medal challenge this year. Unfortunately, Olympic rules prohibited the team from wearing any Bitcoin branding on their official uniforms. This is a real shame too as the event was held in crypto-loving South Korea and had the whole world’s eyes upon it.

All of us at here NewsBTC are hoping that Jontay Porter is successful in his bid to make the big time as an NBA star. He’ll certainly become one of the higher-profile proponents of Bitcoin if he does. Hopefully, he won’t be shy about plugging his investment interests in his post-match press conferences too!

Subscribe to our newsletter

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has halted the activities of four individuals who allegedly promoted deceptive money-making schemes involving cryptocurrencies. These schemes falsely promised participants they could garner huge returns by using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin to enroll themselves and others.

In a complaint, the FTC alleges that four defendants — Thomas Dluca, Louis Gatto, Eric Pinkston, and Scott Chandler — promoted the chain referral schemes called Bitcoin Funding Team, My7Network, and Jetcoin. Using YouTube videos, social media, and conference calls, the defendants promised big rewards for small payments of Bitcoin or Litecoin. The FTC alleges, however, that the structure of the schemes ensured that few would benefit — and that, in fact, the large majority of participants would fail to recoup their initial investments.

Bitcoin Funding Team, My7Network, and Jetcoin

Two of these schemes — Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network — required people to use Bitcoin or Litecoin to pay for the right to recruit others into the schemes. There was no product or service to sell, people were simply told to pay in and recruit other people into the program. Supposedly, the more cryptocurrency people paid in, the more they would make. The FTC alleges that these programs were “illegal chain referral schemes.”

“This case shows that scammers always find new ways to market old schemes, which is why the FTC will remain vigilant regardless of the platform – or currency used,” said Tom Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The schemes the defendants promoted were designed to enrich those at the top at the expense of everyone else.”

The FTC alleges that a fourth defendant, Scott Chandler, promoted Bitcoin Funding Team and another deceptive cryptocurrency scheme, Jetcoin. Similar to the other two, Jetcoin also promoted a recruitment scheme but also promised investors a fixed rate of return on their initial Bitcoin investments as a result of Bitcoin trading. In a series of promotional calls, Chandler claimed Jetcoin participants could double their investment in 50 days. In reality, the FTC complaint alleges, the scheme failed to deliver on these claims and ceased operation within two months of launching.

In its complaint, the FTC charged that the defendants violated the FTC Act’s prohibition against deceptive acts by misrepresenting the chain referral schemes as bona fide money-making opportunities and by falsely claiming that participants could earn substantial income by participating in the schemes. As requested by the FTC, the court has issued a temporary restraining order and frozen the defendants’ assets pending trial.

These types of complaints have been popping up much more frequently as of late. This year has seen the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hitting cryptocurrency and blockchain based technology companies with subpoenas and demands for information in a widespread effort to control fundraising and weed out bad players. The CFTC has also been issuing warnings against similar crypto-related fraud schemes called pump and dumps.

Whenever the topic of Bitcoin regulation comes up, things often deteriorate rather quickly. That situation is no different where House Financial Services subcommittee meetings are concerned. Their most recent get-together raised a lot of questions and showed there is a massive bias toward cryptocurrencies.

The Subcommittee Hearing’s Purpose

On paper, the recent meeting of the House Financial Services subcommittee had positive intentions. The goal is to get an overview of the cryptocurrency landscape. based on that information, regulatory measures may be introduced in the future. Unfortunately, the members of this subcommittee are rather divided on cryptocurrencies altogether. It seems there is a very strong bias toward this form of money, which is not entirely surprising.

Representative Brad Sherman of California is convinced cryptocurrencies are a “crock”. He is not a fan of how people can make a lot of money from buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies. At the same time, most stock market traders make good money by sitting at home in their pajamas as well. It seems the bias against cryptocurrencies is mainly because it is cryptocurrency. An unregulated form of money that makes people millions is a thorn in the side of Sherman.

Airing these concerns during a subcommittee hearing is always positive, though. Everyone’s opinion matters when these groups get together. However, Sherman is not a big fan of the ICO business model either. In his opinion, ICOs are a “lie to the public” and a way to disguise unregulated IPOs. Again, this shows there is some need for regulation of sort sorts, albeit that is much easier said than done.

Regulation is Coming Eventually

Even though the bashing of Bitcoin is clearly visible, the regulatory discussions are far from over. Instead, we will see further subcommittee meetings to discuss the regulatory aspect of the “crypto craze”. Protecting investors is one of the main objects of this subcommittee. Things will move along rather slowly, though .The lack of understanding cryptocurrencies is a problem which is difficult to solve.

It seems a study on the ICO market will be published rather soon. Whether or not that study will be as biased as this subcommittee’s meeting, remains unknown. It is evident a ruleset needs to be put in place for both ICOs and the cryptocurrency at some point. What those rules will entail exactly, has yet to be determined. Once the report is published,  the subcommittee will “move in” to establish some new guidelines.

Luckily, not everyone is as biased to cryptocurrencies. Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota is in favor of a hands-off approach, for the time being. Finding the balance between regulation and innovation is not all that easy. A mixed bag of responses from this House Financial Services subcommittee, with conflicting interests as well. All of this seems to indicate a unified regulation of cryptocurrency and ICOs is still far away.

Renowned venture capitalist and Bitcoin-enthusiast Peter Thiel, who is moving from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, said that rent prices in and around San Francisco are too high to keep the area as a hotspot for novel start-ups. According to Theil, the majority of the money he spends with Silicon Valley start-ups goes to landlords and “urban slumlords,” this according to an interview today at the Economic Club of New York.

Thiel, an early Facebook investor, spoke on a wide range of topics during a lunch at the club, including Silicone Valley/LA, his lawsuit against media-group Gawker, U.S. trade, and President Trump. Thiel also spoke about cryptocurrencies — reaffirming his support for Bitcoin but throwing shade at other coins. Here’s a rundown of some of the issues he discussed.


Thiel is a prominent early backer of cryptocurrencies, with his venture capital firm, Founders Fund, holds many crypto assets. Thiel said crypto effectively served as a “hedge against the whole world falling apart.” But interestingly, he also noted that he was bearish on coins other than Bitcoin:

“I would be long bitcoin and neutral to skeptical of just about everything else at this point,” he said. “My view is that there’s going to be one cryptocurrency that will be the equivalent of gold.”

Los Angeles

Thiel said he was eager to escape the “herd-like thinking” and “lemming-like behavior” he sees in Silicon Valley. Thiel also said that the political alienation he faced after supporting Donald Trump was not a primary driver of his move, but that he, still, wasn’t happy with the current political state of the area.

Silicon Valley, he said, “has become almost a one-party state. If you have something that’s 85-15 as a split, that’s lopsided but understandable. If you have something where the apparent split is 99-to-1, where you have that sort of near-unanimity, that’s not because the 99% have figured out the truth. That’s where you’re dealing with something that’s almost totalitarian.”


For the most part, Thiel largely declined to spell out specific frustrations regarding Trump — and he did defend his decision to support the polarizing president: “I thought supporting Trump was one of the least contrarian things I ever did. Half the country supported him.”

He didn’t say much, but Thiel did show support for Trump’s newly instituted steel and aluminium tariffs, though he is a self-described libertarian; in relation, Thiel argued that too many free-traders are “too dogmatic and too doctrinaire.” Further, he defended Trump’s reelection chances, saying he would win — but repeatedly with the precursor of “if he runs.”

In conclusion, he said: “It’s very hard to get things to work in this country. Obviously, there are all sorts of things that are somewhat disappointing — and at the same time, I don’t know how much one can expect.”


Thiel sits on the board of one media company, Facebook, but played a part in closing down another, Gawker, by funding the lawsuit that destroyed it. How does he reconcile that?

“What Gawker did vis-a-vis what the big tech companies are doing is very different,” he said. “If you voluntarily give the information, that’s quite different from it being illegally obtained in a privacy-violating way.”

Amid the rising number of crypto-related scams that are coming about with the ever-increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra outlined his concerns over the recent rapid boom in the popularity of the coins in a six-page letter to the Dutch House of Representatives and the Senate.

Hoekstra argued that there has been little time to understand and react to the changing landscape, and that the current supervision and regulatory framework is ill-equipped to deal with it; because of the cross-border nature of the technology and markets, closing those gaps requires a unified approach across governments and borders.

Like many other policymakers, Hoekstra sees the value in promoting and developing the technology behind cryptocurrencies — specifically blockchain technology. However, in addition to the concern over fraud and hacking, the minister also expressed concern over the immature and unregulated nature of the market and how to better inform consumers of the potential risks.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has also issued a warning to the public: be wary of scammers impersonating the ATO and demanding Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for fake tax debts. Officials in other countries are calling governments and citizens alike to be wary of cryptocurrencies, too. According to a statement from the agency, so far, $50,000 has been paid in Bitcoin to scammers claiming to be its representatives — and this number is sure to increase.

Kath Anderson, the Assistant Commissioner of the ATO, describes the situation as follows: “Cryptocurrency operates in a virtual world, and once the scammers receive payment, it’s virtually impossible to get it back. Scammers are constantly adapting their methods to maximize their chances of picking your pocket. Unfortunately, it was inevitable that scammers would target cryptocurrency given its current popularity and anonymity.”

In attempts to decrease the likelihood of this continuing to happen, the ATO is warning taxpayers that scammers are constantly changing their methods — now looking to increase their gains using cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the ATO received almost 80,000 reports of scams and more than $2.4 million dollars were lost to scammers that claimed to be from the agency. Another strange aspect is that almost 1/3 of victims didn’t use cash or cryptocurrencies but reportedly paid their scammers in iTunes gift cards — $900,000 worth.

The ATO reiterates in its statement that phone calls that threaten with legal procedures or calling the police, are not from the ATO office. The agency also suggests that scammers will try to steal personal and private information like home addresses, first and last names, bank account numbers and other sensitive data — information the ATO won’t be calling to ask for over the phone.

“If you receive a phone call out of the blue, threatening police or legal action if you don’t pay a debt, or the person calling you is rude and aggressive, hang up, it won’t be the ATO. Any call-back number provided should be checked via an independent internet search to ensure you are calling the ATO,” reads the statement.

John McAfee, founder of the software company McAfee Associates and firm crypto believer, predicts Bitcoin will reach $1 million by 2020. McAfee was named Senior Security Adviser at CryptoSecure, a security solutions provider that prevents cryptocurrency hacking.

CryptoSecure appoints John McAfee as Senior Security Adviser

CryptoSecure, a ‘hackproof’ security solutions provider, has announced the appointment of Bitcoin investor and security expert John McAfee as Senior Security Adviser. The timing of the announcement serves to boost the hype around the company’s initial coin offering (ICO).

The cryptocurrency industry has been plagued with hacks right from the start, with the Coincheck heist being only the most recent. John McAfee’s expertise, both technical and industry-specific, will be a valuable asset for the company:

“Mr. McAfee met the CryptoSecure team on a recent Blockchain cruise conference at which he was the keynote speaker. During an early morning discussion on the security deficiencies of the cryptocurrency market, he was appraised of CryptoSecure’s military-grade hybrid Blockchain, Trusted Solaris OS, One Time Pad infrastructure project. When Mr. McAfee saw CryptoSecure’s first product ‘SafeWindow’ operating he immediately recognized the breakthrough potential to deliver the security so badly needed in the cryptoverse. Realizing that money could not buy this, he decided to join the CryptoSecure team as Senior Strategic Advisor”

McAfee commented on his appointment:

“Cyberattacks threaten to end cryptocurrency. Hackers now have the ability to steal from any wallet, computer or exchange. This is why I joined the Cryptosecure team. With advanced technology to end this crisis.”

The startup describes John McAfee as a brilliant, and controversial Internet and crypto pioneer and visionary, who spent his early years as a programmer for NASA’s Institute for Space Studies, and later created the world’s first commercial anti-virus software.

The statement then added that he concentrates his passion and genius towards the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. He is a champion of the people and a fierce advocate against the increasing incidence and nature of cyber-attacks.

Earlier this year, McAfee left MGT Capital Investment, where he was chief cyber security visionary. The company ended the year 2017 with $9.5 million of cash, no debt, and minimal payables. The picture darkens if we take the words of MGT CEO Robert Ladd, who said he received feedback stating it might be “easier” to get back on the New York Stock Exchange if it chose “to not have John McAfee be an officer or director of the company.”

On his way out, McAfee commented: “I am looking forward to toiling in obscurity as the world’s foremost authority of all things cyber and crypto!”

Goldman Sachs has been a remarkable company when it comes to Bitcoin. While the bank has always been hesitant to embrace cryptocurrencies directly, their investment arm is a different matter. Circle, one of the companies funded by this bank, is now on a hiring spree. The cryptocurrency industry is creating 100 new jobs for this company alone.

The Circle Hiring Spree

It is evident cryptocurrency interest is still on the rise. Even major price drops cannot prevent people from being intrigued as to how it all works. As such, regular people and investors all want access to this new form of money. Circle is one of the go-to solutions in this regard. While initially a mobile payments platform, they expanded into cryptocurrency a little while ago.

This move is only further confirmed by the acquisition of a trading platform. Poloniex is one of the bigger cryptocurrency exchanges in the world today. However, their service has suffered from degraded performance and customer support delays. Circle wants to address those problems by hiring 100 new staffers around the globe.

For now, the company seems intent to focus on Asia. More specifically, South Korea, Japan, China, and Hong Kong are all regions of interest.  With the company having VC backing from Goldman Sachs, among others, this expansion is only the first step. It appears the company is intent on boosting global cryptocurrency use and adoption pretty quickly. That is much easier said than done, especially given the current market sentiment.

Circle Wants Bitcoin to Succeed

Although it seems as if Bitcoin directly competes with Circle’s original business model, the vision of CEO Jeremy Allaire is quite clear. In his opinion, every form of value will become a crypto token eventually. To ensure that can happen, existing cryptocurrencies need to pave the way and succeed. Right now, that process has hit a few roadblocks. Regulators are cracking down on this form of money left, right, and center.

At the same time, Circle may be the catalyst the industry has been waiting for. It is a household name in the financial sector as we speak. Their Pay, Invest, and Trade solutions are all of great interest to investors, consumers, and speculators. Adding cryptocurrency to this growing list of services seems to be a logical evolution.

For now, we have to wait and see how this new plan evolves. Circle has no intention to raise additional funds despite the recent acquisition of the Poloniex exchange. Instead, the company wants to remain profitable for the second year. Whether or not they can succeed in that mission largely depends on how the cryptocurrency markets evolve. Right now, it is not looking all that great in this regard. Anything can happen, though, and the year is far from over.

UK based cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinfloor is about to become the first exchange for digital assets to include physically delivered Bitcoin futures contracts.

First Physically Delivered Bitcoin Futures

Mark Lamb CEO of Coinfloor speaking from Boca Raton Florida introduced the new London based trading platform known as CoinfloorEX. The platform is aimed at commercial traders generally; hedge funds, proprietary trading firms and also a select group of retail investors as well as cryptocurrency miners.

During an interview at the Futures Industry Association’s annual conference about the launch of CoinfloorEX CEO Lamb said;

“When you talk to the liquidity providers, they all say the same thing, which is they want a physically delivered futures contract so they can hedge their exposure across exchanges,”

Though a few traditional futures exchanges already offer Bitcoin futures they are cash settled so that the actual cryptocurrency does not change hands.

Lamb detailed the problems that many proprietary trading firms and large investors have with the cash settled process. Saying that it can be too easily manipulated by moving the prices of the indexes or auctions on spot exchanges in order to set prices more favorably for their moves.

Coinfloor Made Buying Bitcoin Simple

Coinfloor, which is London’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, also established the first exchange-backed Bitcoin Marketplace Coinfloor Market in July 2015.

Coinfloor Market established a secure environment for retail investors in the United Kingdom to trade in Bitcoin. Buyers are provided with a direct interface to a vetted Coinfloor Market Broker who can directly stream Bitcoin to Sterling and vice versa from the Coinfloor Exchange.

Mark Lamb compared the model of Coinfloor Market to the start of the NYSE as “committed to a decentralized network of brokers backed by a centralized exchange, Coinfloor is the first institution in the Bitcoin industry to mirror this proven model.”

Storage and security of customers’ Bitcoin is provided by Coinfloor which is 100% cold storage encrypted with multiple layers of security keys in underground vaults. Coinfloor was started in 2013 and includes Chicago based proprietary trading firm DRW among its investors. It runs the largest UK-based cryptocurrency spot exchange and another in Gibraltar. CoinfloorEX expects their first physically delivered contracts to launch in April.

According to Google’s annual “trust and safety” ads report, the company will crack down on cryptocurrency-related advertising in the coming months. This move comes after Facebook announced its decision to ban cryptocurrency-related ads in January of this year. In a blog post, the internet giant said that many companies advertising binary options, cryptocurrencies, and ICOs were “not currently operating in good faith.” 

A section on Google’s website related to advertising policies and financial services specified that the search giant’s ban would cover ads for “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice).” Other industries up for scrutiny include rolling spot forex and financial spread betting.

Google’s decision means that even companies with legitimate cryptocurrency offerings won’t be allowed to serve ads through any of the company’s ad products, which place advertising on its own sites as well as third-party websites. Google said it took down more than 3.2 billion ads in 2017 that violated its policies, which is nearly double the 1.7 billion it removed the year before.

Convincing advertisers that the company’s ecosystem is safe and effective is critically important — Google parent company Alphabet makes roughly 84% of its total revenue from advertising. This update will go into effect in June 2018, according to a company post.

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution,” Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, told CNBC.

Jack Dorsey

These moves by Google and Facebook to ban ads for cryptocurrencies and related tech may put Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey in the hot seat. The founder of the social network is likely to find himself under pressure to follow the two companies and crack down on misleading ads for potentially risky products and services found on his platform

That said, there’s a bit of a problem: Dorsey has reason to resist because he is not only the CEO of Twitter, but also the CEO of Square Inc., which recently began to offer Bitcoin trading — permitting more users to utilize the cryptocurrency. Square is also (like many in the financial services industry) looking at other crypto and blockchain related investments and patents. In a research post Wednesday, Nomura-Instinet analyst Dan Dolev said that 60% of Square merchants surveyed by the firm said they were willing to accept Bitcoin as a payment. 

For Dorsey, his “Twitter hat” may push him to attempt to pacify regulators and reduce crypto-hype; but Dorsey’s “Square hat” may push him more into cryptocurrency territory, because that’s where the fintech money is. It’s worth having a look: even Dorsey’s own tweets reflect a sort of double-duty, sometimes promoting Square’s Bitcoin products, and sometimes reiterating Twitter’s commitment to civility.

It’s worth noting that Facebook and Google’s ad bans have yet to be fully watertight — they can be circumvented by misspelling words, for example. But at the very least they’re a sign the companies are in some way putting their users before ad profits. Time will tell if Dorsey and Twitter follow-suit. 


Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange, or INDODAX — the largest Indonesian cryptocurrency exchange — is set to bypass the nation’s century-old stock exchange in the number of users. According to Chief Executive Officer Oscar Darmawan, INDODAX, formerly known as, will have 1.5 million members buying and selling digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple by the end of the year.

The platform, which went live in 2014, currently has 1.14 million users. This is in contrast to Indonesia Stock Exchange, which offers stocks, futures, and exchange-traded funds and has only 1.18 million registered participants, according to data from the Indonesia Central Securities Depository.

“We are seeing almost 3,000 new members signing up everyday,” Darmawan said. “Most people are trading in Bitcoins though transactions in Ethereum has increased significantly of late.”


As of today, the platform is undergoing a rebrand, changing its name from to the Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange or INDODAX. Darmawan said that one of the reasons for relabeling the exchange was to reaffirm the company’s position as a digital asset exchange:

“Many people recognized us as a payment system using Bitcoin. In fact, we didn’t intend to have such payment system,” Darmawan said in a press conference today at the Kempinski Hotel in Jakarta.

The exchange is currently focused on the rebranding project, and Darmawan has claimed the transaction and company structure will not be affected during the process, assuring the exchange’s users that they will not experience significant negative impacts: “We guarantee our members won’t be affected because we’re conducting the rebranding process smoothly,” he said.

That said, Oscar was reluctant to detail the process(es) involved with INDODAX legal structure during the rebranding. “We’ll release our official statement after it’s all done. The process is underway now,” he concluded.

Bank Indonesia

Earlier this year, Bank Indonesia took a firm stance against cryptocurrencies. The bank announced that it does not deem digital currencies legal tender, and urged all parties to refrain from owning, selling, or trading in them. The move highlighted the challenges currently faced by regulators across the globe as they seek to manage the potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies, but often don’t have the means to out-right ban their use. 

“Owning virtual currencies is very risky and inherently speculative,” the central bank said in the January statement. Saying, “digital tokens are prone to forming asset bubbles and tend to be used as method for money laundering and terrorism funding, so it has the potential to affect financial-system stability and harm the public.”

With INDODAX set to overtake Indonesia’s stock exchange in users, it’s not clear whether many of the country’s citizens have heeded to Bank Indonesia’s warnings.