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Pakistan’s central bank reportedly wants to ban crypto

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is reportedly seeking to ban all cryptocurrency transactions in Pakistan.Pakistan’s Sindh High Court reportedly held a hearing related to the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the country, in which several Pakistani authorities, including the SBP, submitted a document to the court, arguing that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) are illegal and cannot be used for trade. According to local news channel Samaa TV, the document cited at least 11 countries, including China and Saudi Arabia, that have opted to ban cryptocurrencies. The Pakistani central bank reportedly urged the court not only to ban cryptocurrency activity but also to impose penalties against crypto exchanges.The SBP also referred to several investigations against crypto exchanges by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), citing investor protection risks as well as money laundering and terrorism concerns. As previously reported, the FIA started a criminal investigation against Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, in early January, alleging a possible linkage to a multi-million-dollar crypto scam in the region.Despite the SBP recommending a blanket ban on crypto, the Sindh High Court has not ordered a ban on crypto transactions in Pakistan just yet. Instead, the court has ordered that the bank’s appeal be sent to the finance and law ministries, which will make a final determination on the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the country and ascertain whether a crypto ban would be constitutional.The news comes years after the SBP issued an initial prohibition on dealing in digital currencies and tokens back in April 2018. At the time, the central bank argued that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or initial coin offerings were not legal tender and were not “issued or guaranteed by the government of Pakistan.”SBP did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. This article will be updated pending new information.Related: The number of countries banning crypto has doubled in three yearsThe latest moves by the Pakistani government echo similar events developing in many countries, including India and Russia, where the central banks are trying hard to ban crypto, while other parts of the government are not necessarily inclined to such a ban. In 2020, India’s ​​central bank had to lift its ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related firms in accordance with an order by the country’s Supreme Court.

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Blockchain startup sues Brian Armstrong for allegedly stealing its work

ResearchHub, a scientific research site founded and self-funded by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, is allegedly based on work stolen from its not-launched competitor, a new court filing suggests.Blockchain accelerator MouseBelt Labs filed on Friday a complaint with the Superior Court of the State of California, alleging that Armstrong’s ResearchHub has something to do with Knowledgr, a research platform in which MouseBelt had invested.The filing alleges that Armstrong was offering investment in Knowledgr while secretly working on his own competing project, ResearchHub, in order to steal some of the resources that MouseBelt put into Knowledgr.According to the filing, Knowledgr’s founder, Patrick Joyce, reached out to Armstrong in early 2019 after the Coinbase CEO laid out principles of “a possible open-source, scientific publishing platform” in an article in February. Armstrong reportedly became interested in Knowledgr and told Joyce that he might fund his own research site to be a competitor but might also invest in Knowledgr after learning more about it.But according to the plaintiff, “this was all a ruse,” as Armstrong had already been developing ResearchHub “for over six months” and “saw Joyce and Knowledgr as a dramatic time- and cost-saving hack.”After leaving Knowledgr in April 2020, Joyce joined ResearchHub as the chief scientific officer in May 2020, according to his LinkedIn profile.The filing argues that Armstrong’s ResearchHub is designed to use tradeable tokens in a similar way to Knowledgr. According to the plaintiffs, Armstrong also offered Knowledgr the opportunity to list its tokens on Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States.The filing goes on to allege that Armstrong offered investment and listing opportunities to Knowledgr in the first place in order to destroy the potential competitor as well as steal from the project, stating:“It was Armstrong’s and the other Defendants’ intent to steal MouseBelt’s work for themselves, to not only eliminate a potential competitor but to obtain for ResearchHub the benefits of the financial, design and technical resources MouseBelt put into Knowledgr, thereby allowing ResearchHub to launch sooner at less cost a successful platform based entirely or substantially on MouseBelt’s work.”Coinbase’s and MouseBelt’s representatives did not immediately reply to Cointelegraph’s request to comment. This article will be updated pending new information.Related: US government goes to court over $11M USDT purportedly stolen by fake Coinbase repBased on the concept of Armstrong’s “Ideas on how to improve scientific research” post from early 2019, ResearchHub has a mission to accelerate the pace of scientific research by providing a “GitHub for science.” The open-source project allows researchers to upload articles while providing incentives for contribution using ResearchCoin (RSC), a newly created ERC-20 token.According to some of the latest posts from Armstrong, ResearchHub has been actively seeking contributors recently.Join the ResearchHub DAO as an editor, help grow the community, and receive $3,000 per month in RSC to help accelerate science.Apply here:https://t.co/7TXpflb2Sp— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) December 8, 2021

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Beijing court rejects monetary compensation in Bitcoin mining contract plea

A district court in Beijing has rejected monetary compensation in a Bitcoin (BTC) mining contract plea against a blockchain company.The Chaoyang District People’s Court on Wednesday deemed the Bitcoin mining contract between the plaintiff and the blockchain firm “invalid,” the South China Morning Post reported on Dec. 16. The plaintiff in the case reportedly paid 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) to the blockchain firm for deployment of mining machines, but incurred losses on his investment.The Beiijng based plaintiff claimed he earned only 18.5 Bitcoin on his investment and demanded an additional 217.17 BTC in compensation for his losses. The court rejected the plea and also directed the Sichuan branch of the National Development and Reform Commission to look into any illegal mining going on in the province. China started its crypto mining crackdown last summer, which resulted in the migration of some of the biggest Bitcoin mining companies from the country. China’s Bitcoin hash rate share fell from over 60% to near zero in the aftermath of the mining crackdown. However, even after eradicating crypto mining almost completely, Beijing announced a massive policy drive against crypto trading and mining again in September, prohibiting even small-scale operations at home and banning all foreign crypto exchanges.China bitcoin mining share April 2021. Source: CCAFChina bitcoin mining share July 2021. Source: CCAFThe Beijing-led crypto crackdown policies have only become stricter with time. Even though Chinese traders have found ways to bypass crypto trading bans on numerous occasions, crypto mining is almost extinct in mainland China.The latest court case regarding a Bitcoin mining contract highlights China’s stand on crypto-related activities. It sends a clear message to the public that the judicial system won’t protect or recognize crypto-related cases.

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