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News Bytes for May 1, 2018

Welcome to news Bytes with BlockExplorer, your daily cryptocurrency news roundup. Today we will discuss Caltech using Blockchain technology to share research data, Morgan Stanley moving into the crypto market, the FTC holding a ‘crypto scam’ workshop, and Oscar Mayer launching ‘Bacoin’.

Caltech Uses Blockchain Tech to Share Cell Biology Research with Public

Caltech’s Jensen Lab has announced a new initiative using blockchain technology that allows cellular biologists to share their research with other academic institutions as well as the general public.

Morgan Stanley Allegedly Accelerating Move in to Crypto Market

Big brokerage firms are racing to start trading cryptocurrencies. Insiders share Morgan Stanley may be trying to beat them all to the punch, creating a specific desk for institutional traders, ICOs, and arbitrage quickly.

Federal Trade Commission Holding ‘Decrypting Cryptocurrency Scams’ Workshops

The FTC is launching a crypto workshop in hopes to protect consumers using new financial technologies, according to their press release. The free June 25 workshop will be held at DePaul University in Chicago, and the event will also be available over a webcast.

Oscar Mayer Launches Cryptocurrency for Bacon— Enter Bacoin

To file in the “Because. Bacon.” category this week, hot dog maker Oscar Mayer has launched a cryptocurrency called Bacoin, redeemable for packs of bacon. It’s “the first ever cryptocurrency backed by the gold standard of Oscar Mayer bacon,” the company declares in their press release. Oscar Mayer also warns that, “similar to other cryptocurrencies, the value of bacoin can be volatile.”

FTC

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it will sponsor a workshop designed to help investors avoid cryptocurrency scams.

The workshop, dubbed “Decrypting Cryptocurrency Scams,” will be held in Chicago on June 25 at DePaul University. The event, which is free and open to the general public, will begin at 1 pm CT and will also be live-streamed on the agency’s website.

The event page does not list who will be speaking at the event, but it does state that it will “bring together consumer groups, law enforcement, research organizations, and the private sector to explore how scammers are exploiting the public interested in cryptocurrencies…and to discuss ways to empower and protect consumers.”

The workshop will teach investors about a variety of common cryptocurrency scams, including bait-and-switch schemes, fraudulent investment products, and deceptively-marketed mining machines.

“As consumer interest in cryptocurrencies has grown, so has interest from scammers, who are always looking for new ways to take advantage of consumers,” the FTC said in a statement. “The FTC has worked to educate consumers about cryptocurrencies and hold fraudsters accountable.”

In March, the FTC filed a restraining order against four Florida-based individuals who operated Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network, which the agency alleges are cryptocurrency scams meant to grift money from would-be investors. The defendants’ assets have also been frozen while they await a formal trial.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have also brought numerous suits against alleged cryptocurrency scams, highlighting the fact that fraudsters often congregate around exciting investments and technologies of which many consumers have little concrete knowledge.

Private companies have also taken aim at the rampant fraud that pervades the fringes of this burgeoning industry. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all banned cryptocurrency-related advertisements in recent months, alleging that these ads had in many cases been used to promote fraudulent products.

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