iVLG News Roundup Week 10 2014: Bitcoin Turmoil and Creator’s ID?; CNN Flips Zite to Flipboard; SEC Employees Make Insider Trading Gains?
Bitcoin Turmoil and Creator’s ID Apparently Revealed
After the Mt. Gox bankruptcy unfolded last week, this week brought news that the CEO Autumn Radtke of First Meta bitcoin exchange died under suspicious circumstances in Sinapore. And Canada based bitcoin bank Flexcoin revealed it was shutting down after being robbed of $600k worth of bitcoin. The response to the Flexcoin theft was muted in wake of the ~$350 million Mt. Gox heist. And in response to the Mt. Gox debacle, Japan decided bitcoin is not a “cryptocurrency” and announced regulations and taxes that treat bitcoin like a tangible commodity.
What’s more, Newsweek revealed the apparent name and location of the alleged creator of bitcoin inviting ire from many, especially after the 64 year old California resident led press on a regular speed chase through LA to get sushi. Newsweek seemed to be doing its journalistic duty, but the revelation of his name and whereabouts would also seem to put the man in danger and increase the ease by which bitcoin could be stolen. The man named by Newseek denies any involvement with creating bitcoin.
Meanwhile, high profile bitcoin investors the Winklevoss twins took the volatile bitcoin news in stride and purchased tickets from Richard Branson to fly to space.
Flipboard Acquires Zite
Startup digital magazine service Flipboard announced this week that it has acquired rival app Zite from CNN in an acquisition rumored to be valued at $60 million. CNN acquired the reader app in 2011, did little with it, and then sold it for ~$40 million more than it paid. Flipboard is riding high after a recent $50 million Series C funding round, and the acquisition was apparently designed to augment Flipboard’s technology and avoid forcing CNN to compete. Zite CEO Mark Johnson will not be joining the Flipboard team, saying “the sooner Zite goes away, the better.”
SEC Employees Gain Over the Market Selling on Insider Information
A report was leaked this week at the University of Virginia detailing an analysis that showed SEC employees made thousands of trades worth millions of dollars with timing that roughly matches the timing of insider trades of the notorious criminals the SEC pursues. And like Martoma, Rajaratnam, and others the SEC employees outpaced the market significantly making inside sales. But the government employees were not as successful when making purchasing decisions, which suggest either bad luck or no intent on the part of the SEC employees. While an informed reader will recognize the SEC is damned if they do and damned if they don’t, that SEC employees made 8% over market returns on insider sales certainly makes a good headline. Or perhaps it is only securities lawyers who do a double take upon hearing that SEC employees were forced by the SEC to take gains on “insider trades.”
Like Martoma et. al, the SEC quickly issued a statement denying any employees breached ethical duties.
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